Foreign Policy is Not a Subtweet

On Saturday, President Trump made a statement in a speech that alluded to there being a terrorist attack in Sweden the night before. In response, the former Prime Minister of Sweden tweeted:

After several days of press coverage where members of the Swedish government and population were interviewed by the American press, Mr. Trump tweeted:

Mr. Bildt continued to respond to the fiasco on Twitter but was highlighting how unstable and untrustworthy the President of the United States is.

Iran has been greatly affected by the President’s reckless tweeting. On several occasions he has specifically targeted Iran, saying that the country is dangerous, full of dangerous people, and they were lucky to have “kind” Obama. The Economist reported last week that there has been an increase in anti-Western, specifically anti-American, protests since his rhetoric began. The current moderate government is under threat. President Rouhani was tremendously popular for improving the economy as a result of the Iran deal. Now, key members of the team who negotiated the deal on behalf of the Iranian government are openly criticizing America and deal. By catering to his base with tweets like,


he is threatening the current thawing of relations between the United States and Iran. A more extreme government means increased instability in the Middle East, an increased threat to Israel, an increased likelihood of attaining a nuclear weapon, and an increased threat to the United States.

Further, he is actually undermining U.S. power in the international stage. Fewer countries trust what comes out of his mouth because it may be contradicted by his Twitter account several days later, or worse, by his Vice President. Insecurity will cause other powers who are hoping to increase their influence to test the validity of Vice President Pence’s claims that the US will support NATO allies and President Trump’s claim that the U.S. will continue to support Japan. Russia and China are vying for power in the international arena, and the failure of the US to staunchly support its allies could create a power vacuum between these two countries. On the international scale, insecurity causes an increase in violence, which will undoubtedly affect U.S. interests abroad.

Being president of the United States of America is more complicated than hosting The Apprentice. You can’t insult your enemies into submission. Unfortunately for the President, some of America’s biggest security threats are from the country that he is currently trying to “improve” relations with. Recently, Mr. Trump has been speaking and tweeting about Russia aggressively. In a press conference last Thursday he said” “Russia is fake news.” In fairness, he was referencing a story that his campaign and his administration have been involved with the Russian government. Regardless of the context, he literally called an entire country fake news. First of all, that makes zero logical sense. A country is not news. It is a country. If a country is fake, it’s usually a failed state or exists in a state of anarchy. Russia is not a failed state. It may be weak because it lacks internal legitimacy, but it is far from a failed state. Second, insulting an entire country because you believe the claim the reporter is making is false is unfathomably reckless. Preserving stressed relationships with foreign leaders is essential. Mr. Trump is burning bridges he is claiming to mend.

President Trump needs to learn fast that foreign policy is something that should be taken seriously. As the head of the most powerful nation in the world, he is responsible for helping maintain global order. If his entire policy is a massive subtweet to all the foreign leaders who have insulted him, the international order will go up in flames. Potentially nuclear flames.


Image credits: Donald Trump's Twitter