Foreign Policy

Trump and the perils of governing by impulse

“People will tie themselves in knots trying to discern a linear, rational decision-making (process) from Trump. It’s never been part of his character and it’s never going to be.” – Tim O’Brien, a biographer of Donald Trump.

That’s scary.

The world is dealing with an American president who is motivated by impulse rather than strategy, by whim rather than rational decision-making.

President's competence comes into question

The question with President Donald Trump is competence. Just like the Trump travel ban's difficulties resulting from a poorly planned policy, that was publicly rushed to create the illusion of an administration "accomplishing things," there is much about the Republican health care proposal (American Health Care Act) that can be perceived the same way.

Compromise is key to changing U.S. politics

One of the central themes of this U.S. election year is the widespread desire for change in the political system.

Public opinion polls suggest that some 70 per cent of Americans support this view, and it helps to explain the rise in the unconventional candidacies of both Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, who tried to win the Democrats' presidential nomination.

Obama will readjust tone of U.S. relationship with Canada

"In the world of Canada-U.S. relationship, access is worth its weight in gold," former prime minister Brian Mulroney, 2011.

Mulroney knew whereof he spoke. He enjoyed warm personal relations with two presidents, Republicans Ronald Reagan and the first George Bush. These relationships at the top translated into access lower down the political ladder as Canadian ministers and senior bureaucrats could make Canada’s voice heard in Washington.

Nations of Middle East must do more to help their region

As U.S. President Barack Obama enters the final year of his presidency his popular support level has slipped below the 50 per cent mark overall, but in the area of foreign policy it is significantly lower, and has regularly registered below 40 per cent in public approval for some months.

Much of the problem seems to stem from international events and the ubiquity of terrorism pursued by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), among others, that do not comport with the kind of world that the president aspires to.