Donald Trump

An interview with Anne Applebaum about disinformation, soft power, and Russia.

March 29, 2017

The Trump administration’s real ASEAN test is whether it can preserve the U.S. role as a capable and willing Pacific power seeking to advance greater security, prosperity, and democracy in the Asia-Pacific while working with Southeast Asian states on common challenges in a way that advances U.S. interests but still preserves their autonomy and freedom of action.

The brief exchange between the president and his national security adviser highlights one of the early conundrums of Trump’s presidency and his foreign policy. In his first budget blueprint, released Thursday, and in speeches, Trump has preached “America First,” an approach that involves bolstering U.S. military might, strengthening the country’s borders and slashing foreign aid.

Members of the Saudi government are visiting the US and China. In both countries, they are striving for good relations - and their traveling diplomacy shows that the kingdom is exploring new paths. [...] the crown prince bent over backwards to offer pleasantries, calling Trump a "true friend" of the Arabs and declaring that he did not believe Trump's attempted travel banwas aimed at Muslims. Rather, the crown prince stated, the US simply wanted to protect itself from terrorism.

As the Tweeting-Diplomat-in-Chief, U.S. President Donald Trump is transforming digital diplomacy — the leveraging of online communication technologies to pursue foreign policy. What used to be thought of as an opportunity to move diplomacy out of inter-governmental back rooms to a more robust and transparent basis of digitally enabled engagement of stakeholders seems to be getting dragged into the locker room of narcissistic posturing.

President Donald Trump’s proposed deep cuts to humanitarian aid go against the global development goals the United States committed to in 2015, the European Union’s international development chief warned Friday. “Any withdrawal or cut in the development assistance would actually go contrary to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals agenda,” 

The fallout from President Trump’s executive orders limiting travel from some Middle Eastern and African countries is having far-reaching implications for U.S. tourism. It is not just visitors from the countries targeted by the bans that are souring on U.S. travel; the seven countries included in Trump’s original order in January account for 0.1% of incoming travelers. Rather, an atmosphere of fear at the nation’s airports are scaring off people without the slightest connection to the Muslim world.

Up until the news dropped in February that the Trump administration plans to boost military spending by $54 billion and make cuts of up to 40 percent to foreign aid, the international development community was in overdrive to put its work in the best light. Development experts had been making the case for foreign assistance in terms that they hoped would resonate with the Trump administration—which on the diplomatic and development side consists of only one appointee, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

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