Our foreign policy is a mess and other nations are laughing at us

By Ellen Ratner

The White House is now denying they disagreed with an Intelligence briefing. In a series of tweets, the president excoriated his intelligence team, and then seemed to backtrack.

On Jan. 30, the president tweeted: “The Intelligence people seem to be extremely passive and naive when it comes to the dangers of Iran. They are wrong! When I became President Iran was making trouble all over the Middle East, and beyond. Since ending the terrible Iran Nuclear Deal, they are MUCH different, but [another tweet due to length limits] a source of potential danger and conflict. They are testing Rockets (last week) and more, and are coming very close to the edge. Their economy is now crashing, which is the only thing holding them back. Be careful of Iran. Perhaps Intelligence should go back to school!”

Then on Jan. 31, President Trump tweeted: “Just concluded a great meeting with my Intel team in the Oval Office who told me that what they said on Tuesday at the Senate Hearing was mischaracterized by the media – and we are very much in agreement on Iran, ISIS, North Korea, etc. Their testimony was distorted press. … I would suggest you read the complete testimony from Tuesday. A false narrative is so bad for our Country. I value our intelligence community. Happily, we had a very good meeting, and we are all on the same page!”

Even the Republican-controlled Senate is now going against the president. NBC issued this report:

On Afghanistan and Syria, the GOP-run Senate has issued a stern warning against the president’s plans to withdraw troops. Lawmakers in the House and Senate are questioning Trump’s diplomacy with North Korea, his easing of sanctions on a Russian oligarch and even his intent to stay involved in Yemen’s civil war. And his threats to pull out of NATO are causing consternation on Capitol Hill.

The bipartisan rebuke has left the president increasingly standing alone on consequential issues of international affairs. He is seeing pushback from every corner of the ideological spectrum and across both parties.

In the latest reproach, the Senate Thursday overwhelmingly passed an amendment that disapproves of the sudden withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and Syria. Forty-three Republicans backed the measure.

The vote was 68-23, even though the amendment is non-binding, which means that the president can do what he wants (and most likely will). Leader McConnell said: “I believe the threats remain. … ISIS and al Qaeda have yet to be defeated. And American national security interests require continued commitment to our missions there.”

We have a president who changes his mind, and attacks the press. We liberals were the ones questioning the CIA in the 60s. No one really trusted them, but how do you disagree with photos showing that North Korea is still making missiles? The photos are proof and the president does not want to acknowledge them. We used to take photos with our U-2s over North Korea and now we have satellites which do it. I also agree with just about everyone that ISIS is still very much a factor. We don’t need another 9/11 to prove that. ISIS still grows and has taken over parts of the world, even if we have greatly reduced their area of influence.

President Trump tweeted on Friday: “I inherited a total mess in Syria and Afghanistan, the ‘Endless Wars’ of unlimited spending and death. During my campaign I said, very strongly, that these wars must finally end. We spend $50 billion a year in Afghanistan and have hit them so hard that we are now talking peace … after 18 long years. Syria was loaded with ISIS until I came along. We will soon have destroyed 100% of the Caliphate, but will be watching them closely. It is now time to start coming home and, after many years, spending our money wisely. Certain people must get smart!”

It is not just ISIS that we need to worry about, but also China (and Russia.) On Friday the president announced: “The United States will suspend its obligations under the INF Treaty (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty) and begin the process of withdrawing from the INF Treaty, which will be completed in six months unless Russia comes back into compliance by destroying all of its violating missiles, launchers, and associated equipment.”

Our foreign policy is a mess. Countries must laugh at us and our president. Our policies and our president change like the wind.

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