DONALD TRUMP departs for his first trip abroad as president on May 19th. He may be happy to leave Washington, but the cloud he is under will travel with him. And while every preparation has been made to ensure nothing will go awry, there is every reason to fear it will. Mr Trump’s boasting to Russian officials about the “great intel” he had on a plot by Islamic State (IS) underlines just how hazardous this excursion is. His shocking indiscretion seems to have sprung largely from a desire to impress his visitors.
There has been comforting talk of a foreign-policy “firewall”, thanks to the influence of the so-called “axis of adults”: the defence secretary, Jim Mattis, the secretary of state, Rex Tillerson and the national security adviser, H. R. McMaster. The result has been a supposedly traditional Republican foreign policy emerging, distant from Mr Trump’s campaign rhetoric.
Mr Trump has declared that NATO is not obsolete after all. East Asian allies have been…Continue reading