Trump’s “Unpredictability” Looks More Like Chaos

The president doesn’t believe in predictability, but his chaos is making the world a dangerous place.

Presidents Donald Trump of the United States and Andrzej Duda of Poland deliver a news conference in Warsaw, July 6
Presidents Donald Trump of the United States and Andrzej Duda of Poland deliver a news conference in Warsaw, July 6 (KPRP/Krzysztof Sitkowski)

Karl Vick writes in Time magazine that Donald Trump’s off-the-cuff foreign policy is keeping diplomats up at night.

He gives four examples:

  • Threatening nuclear-armed North Korea with “fire and fury like the world has never seen” before consulting his advisors.
  • Announcing to the world that he has not ruled out a “military option” for Venezuela, although nobody asked.
  • Endorsing the Saudi-led boycott of Qatar, despite the presence of over 10,000 American soldiers in the latter.
  • Proposing to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran, despite the country’s compliance and other world powers’ desire to keep it alive.

I would add:

  • Raising doubts about America’s NATO commitment to the security of Europe.
  • Creating uncertainty about the future of NAFTA.
  • Promising a trade war with China one day, then praising Xi Jinping the next only to berate him on day three.

As a candidate, Trump said the United States should be “more unpredictable,” but — as Dean Klovens has also argued here — it is hard to see how starting bushfires everywhere is helping to make America “great again”.