There are literally no members of Donald Trump’s administration with a single day of international diplomatic experience on their resume.
National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster has plenty of military experience but nothing diplomatically.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has only worked in the private sector and has no government or military experience.
Nikki Haley, ambassador to the United Nations, has only domestic experience as governor of South Carolina. And, even though I will applaud her for the job she is doing with such limited experience, Haley cannot maintain diplomatic relations on behalf of the entire country without the support of the administration.
Take the lack of diplomatic experience of the current administration and add the flaming rhetoric of Trump’s tweets, and you have a nation on the brink of war with North Korea. In fact, North Korea’s top diplomat said Monday that Trump’s tweet was a “declaration of war” and went on to further explain how they are justified in shooting down U.S. planes, even within international airspace, and with the backing of a U.N. charter.
North Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister, Han Song Ryol, interviewed by the Associated Press last Friday, said “Now we are comparing Trump’s policy toward the DPRK with the former administrations, and we have concluded that it’s becoming more vicious and more aggressive.”
The eruption of threats and name-calling between two world leaders sharply increases the chance for altercations and miscommunication. Additionally, the more Trump muddies the narrative with his magniloquence, the more difficult it is to maintain cooperation with China and Russia, both of which are absolute key players in all diplomatic solutions.
The way the situation currently stands, American diplomacy is missing in action. The bullying and macho-man complex of the president has left the United States looking immature and has tied the hands of the administration members. And, what’s more concerning, is that Trump doesn’t seem to have much care or concern for what war would mean for the citizens of the United States and, instead, continues to spew rhetoric when he should be working on diplomatic solutions.
A poll out this week from Quinnipiac University has 56 percent of Americans believing that Trump is not fit to serve as president, 67 percent say he isn’t level-headed enough, and 69 percent want him to give up his Twitter account entirely. The assistant director of the Quinnipiac poll says, “There is no upside. With an approval rating frozen in the mid-thirties, his character and judgement questioned, President Donald Trump must confront the harsh fact that the majority of American voters feel he is simply unfit to serve in the highest office in the land.“
So, as the administration sends signals of its willingness to use military force and the option for a limited strike, the reality is that a “limited” option does not exist. Every single use of force runs an irresponsible threat of nuclear war for Americans and I, for one, am not OK with tickling the armpit of nuclear catastrophe.
Lynn Matthews is chair of the Washington County Democratic Party