When it comes to the destruction of international institutions and agreements, Donald Trump is more a tease than a terminator.
The U.S. president often aims to undercut international cooperation, but dodges taking decisive action against his multilateral targets. Last week, for example, he announced two steps to weaken the United Nations system that were not quite what they first seemed.
On Thursday, Trump pulled the U.S. out of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), arguing that it is endemically biased against Israel. But this was a largely symbolic move. The Obama administration cut off funding to UNESCO in 2011 over its backing for the Palestinians. The U.S. has not been able to vote in the UNESCO council for the past four years as a result of its funding delinquency. Trump merely formalized this disengagement.