Why Trump Promise of ‘Meetings’ for Global Crisis Management Is No Joke

Why Trump Promise of ‘Meetings’ for Global Crisis Management Is No Joke
President Barack Obama during a news conference following the G-20 Summit, Antalya, Turkey, Nov. 16, 2015 (AP photo by Susan Walsh).

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has punctuated his campaign with foolish and frankly dangerous comments on foreign affairs. He has made recurrent gaffes about nuclear weapons and U.S. alliances. But just occasionally he says something almost sensible.

Last month, a journalist asked Trump how he would persuade Turkey to focus on fighting the so-called Islamic State rather than armed Kurdish groups in the country’s southeastern region. “Meetings,” he replied. “If I ever have the opportunity to do it, meaning if we win, we will have meetings, we will have meetings very early on.”

Foreign policy experts wrote this off as another display of the candidate’s ignorance. The Turkish-Kurdish conflict has claimed over 1,700 lives in the past year. The failed coup in July means that Ankara is even less inclined to strike a peace deal. Are meetings, even very early ones with the next American president, really going to change that?

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