That's a million-dollar question, and the reason goes right back to what everyone - his water-carriers, his opponents on the right, and those on the left who absolutely hate him - has acknowledged from the outset: Squirrel-Hair is not driven by a core ideological consistency.
So even when you get encouraging moves such as National Security Advisor Michael Flynn speaking plainly about Iran, particularly its latest missile test, and mentioning that the previous US administration, along with the UN, had dealt weakly with Iran, there is a problematic element:
The problem is with his performance: By issuing a warning so imprecise — in such a dramatic, public fashion — he has set himself and the United States up for either an embarrassing retreat or a risky confrontation.Nikki Haley is off to a good start at the UN, speaking of plain speaking:
But then there is the bone-headedness that presents itself when S-H himself gets into the act. The calls to Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto and Australian Prime Minister Turnbull went badly. In particular, the conversation with Turnbull was supposed to last an hour, but was concluded in 25 minutes. He told Turnbull directly that, of all his talks with heads of state that day, that one was the worst. Also spent part of the time bragging about the magnitude of his election victory. Then tweeted afterward about how the arrangement reached with the prior administration about those refugees on the islands was "a dumb deal" - which it was, but it was a glaring case of misapplied bluntness.The new US ambassador to the United Nations used her inaugural statement to the international body to condemn Russian aggression in Ukraine.“I consider it unfortunate that the occasion of my first appearance is one in which I must condemn the aggressive actions of Russia,” Haley said.“It is unfortunate because it is a replay of too many instances over many years in which United States representatives have had to do that.”She singled out Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.The remarks may help silence critics of President Trump who have feared he’s too in sync with Russian President Vladimir Putin.“This escalation of violence must stop,” Haley warned.
Theresa May seems confident that she has convinced S-H of NATO's crucial role. We shall see. I'm not full-on skeptical, because PM May doesn't strike me as one easily given to illusory conclusions.
And this business about the White House warning Israel to stop announcing new settlements seems inconsistent with prior assurances that the Us-Israel alliance was of a special nature. Then again, the statement just said that Israel should stop announcing them.
There may not be a consistent core driving force at least yet - anything we could call a Trump Doctrine (and that may be too much to ask) - but a tone may be detectable: brash and blunt. It's just a style that every other player on the world stage is going to have to decide how to react to.
The unsettling thing about it is that it makes predicting any dynamics among all the players vis-a-vis the Unites States rather dicey.