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President Donald Trump meets with Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani at the White House. President Donald Trump meets with Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, in the Oval Office of the White House, Washington, July 9, 2019 (DPA photo by Kevin Dietsch via AP Images).

Egged on by Trump, America’s Friends Are Fighting and Undermining the U.S.

Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019

Before being elected president, Donald Trump had already disparaged many American allies during the 2016 campaign, questioning the point of NATO and suggesting he might abandon defense treaties with countries like Japan and South Korea, among other criticisms of longstanding U.S. foreign policy. So there were immediate questions, and lots of angst, about what effect his presidency would have on U.S. relations around the world.

Three years later, Trump’s often boorish behavior has had an undeniable impact on America’s relationships with its allies. Yet America’s alliances have not fallen apart, and many far-flung friends still have good relations with Washington. The most surprising development, instead, may be that many of these countries are not getting along with each other like they did before the Trump presidency. Some of these relationships are even at risk of permanently unraveling, at great risk to the United States. The network of international partnerships that have bolstered America’s national security, acting as a multiplier of U.S. influence, is clearly fraying, while the Trump administration is doing little to stop it. ...

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