7214. 4/20/2017

CHINA/FOREIGN POLICY/NORTH KOREA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Mr. Trump’s confrontational and improvisational approach to foreign affairs has lifted his mood, fortunes and poll numbers in recent days. There are signs it has also made an impact on the Chinese, prodding them to finally use their leverage with their errant neighbor, North Korea.
But Mr. Trump’s mix of chest thumping and real action — the missile attack and the use of a huge bomb against Islamic militants in Afghanistan — entails serious risks overseas. It could also backfire at home, where a majority of Americans, and many of the populist conservatives who backed him in 2016, oppose long-term military commitments.
The biggest risk, critics say, is that Mr. Trump will talk himself into a war. Only slightly less dangerously, he could weaken the nation’s standing by backing off from a threat to use force.
‘In Beijing, Moscow, Tehran, they are recalibrating their strategies — you can’t deny it — because they don’t have any idea of how Trump will respond,’ said Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, the highest-ranking Democrat on the intelligence committee.”

-Glenn Thrush and Mark Lander, “Bold, Unpredictable Foreign Policy Lifts Trump, but Has Risks,” The Wall Street Journal online, April 20, 2017 

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