Donald Trump’s Foreign Policy Is a Mind-Boggling Failure

In the Washington Post today, David Nakamura has a good piece about President Trump’s foreign policy—such as it is. As Nakamura correctly notes, Trump has pursued a one-note campaign of bluster and economic feuding against allies and adversaries alike: Canada, Mexico, North Korea, Europe, China, NATO, and virtually the entire rest of the world except for Israel and Saudi Arabia. At best, the results have been uniformly unsuccessful. At worst, they’ve simply alienated everybody while getting nothing in return for the United States.

But as good as the piece is, I still want to gripe about this:

Though he lured Kim Jong Un to the negotiating table through a “maximum pressure” campaign of economic sanctions, Trump’s historic summits with the young dictator ended in failure after talks collapsed in February.

Trump didn’t “lure” Kim Jong Un to anything. Kim has wanted a high-level summit with the US president since the day he succeeded his father, and Trump decided to go ahead and give it to him without getting anything in return and without any sort of staff preparation beforehand. Now, this was not indefensible: sometimes a bold move can crack open a stalled negotiation—if you know what you’re doing. Trump didn’t, so it led nowhere.

Either way, though, we shouldn’t pretend that Trump’s infantile tweets along with his continuation of the Obama sanctions campaign had any effect. Trump could have offered Kim a meeting on January 20, 2017, and Kim would have taken him up on it.


We recently wrapped up the crowdfunding campaign for our ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project, and it was a smashing success. About 10,364 readers pitched in with donations averaging $45, and together they contributed about $467,374 toward our $500,000 goal.

That's amazing. We still have donations from letters we sent in the mail coming back to us, so we're on pace to hit—if not exceed—that goal. Thank you so much. We'll keep you posted here as the project ramps up, and you can join the hundreds of readers who have alerted us to corruption to dig into.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.