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President Donald Trump meets with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto at the G-20 Summit, Hamburg, July 7, 2017 (AP photo by Evan Vucci).

Trump’s ‘Disruption-Lite’ Waffling Makes for Less Reliable U.S. Leadership

Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017

President Donald Trump’s desire to be true to his domestic political base while offering some concessions to policy experts is settling into a pattern. On climate change, relations with Mexico, the Iran nuclear agreement and Cuba, the president has so far been willing to make tactical shifts while keeping some superficial semblance of his campaign promises. It is not a serious or sustainable way to make national security policy.

This past week, the transcripts of Trump’s early exchanges with the leaders of Mexico and Australia were released—and the foreign policy community gasped. The leaked conversations provided unexpected insights into the president’s very casual commitment to the content of his campaign promises, alongside his nervous attention to the public image that won him support with his core base of voters. It’s now clear that this approach makes for bad policies. ...

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