Trump’s New National Security Team
While Mike Pompeo and John Bolton have shown that they can communicate with Donald Trump, neither has ever shown any capacity for dealing with a crisis, much less arresting the decline of US leadership in the world. The expected meeting between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will be their first test.
DENVER – US President Donald Trump’s recent cabinet shakeup – with former CIA Director Mike Pompeo replacing Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State and foreign-policy hardliner John Bolton replacing H.R. McMaster as National Security Adviser – represents a significant shift in national security priorities and attitudes. A dangerous world could become more dangerous still.
After over a year of near-daily drama, the world has begun to adjust to the reality of the Trump administration, which includes frequent ad hominem attacks on foreign leaders and capriciousness in relations even with close allies. Beginning with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, America’s allies, especially in Europe, have recognized that they can no longer count on the US as a partner.
As a result, these leaders are increasingly attempting to mitigate the effects of the Trump administration’s unilateral decisions, many of which directly undermine global cooperation. Notably, Trump withdrew the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – two initiatives that would have helped to cement America’s global leadership, had the Trump administration not insisted on regarding them as Lilliputian conspiracies against the US.