President Trump is facing two important foreign policy tests this week, with North Korea testing his resolve to act to prevent it from developing a nuclear weapons system capable of hitting the U.S. and Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad launching his most significant gas attack on his own people in years.
It’s a one-two punch that is revealing how the new President views America’s role in the world. On North Korea, the White House has been sending sharp warnings both to the rogue country and to China, which is its largest trading partner, that Trump is willing to act unilaterally if they don’t curb their nuclear development. “The clock has now run out and all options are on the table for us,” a senior White House official said Tuesday, previewing the Trump’s visit with Chinese President Xi Jinping later this week.
On Syria, the White House took a different tack, issuing a harsh statement of condemnation of the Assad regime, but also Trump’s predecessor, former President Obama. Obama has called Syria his greatest foreign policy failure, and Trump cast no small amount of blame over the failed “red line” policy on the use of chemical weapons. But in pointing the finger at Obama, Trump is trying to pass off responsibility for what is now his problem to solve. And his Administration is short on ideas that are any different than Obama’s.
The Obamacare repeal revival falls flat. Inside the Administration’s “extreme vetting” plans. And Susan Rice and Ivanka Trump speak out.
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