President Donald Trump's decision to remove the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement is yet another manifestation of how he continues to see U.S. interests as narrowly economic. Had the president a more expansive view of both the nation's interests and influence, he would have kept the U.S. in the accord. Instead, he not only harmed global efforts to address a pressing problem, but also deprived the U.S. of an important source of so-called soft power. In a world in which military might is increasingly difficult and costly to use, America will suffer from this loss.
Three years into the war in Ukraine, international attention and aid to displaced people has waned. In an area near the war zone, Natasha Bluth reports on volunteer groups trying to fill gaps in support for one of the world’s largest internally displaced populations.Many Ukrainian community organizations, inspired by the Euromaidan protests that called for improved human rights and better ties with Europe, have expanded since the conflict began, including local NGO Ulybka rebenka, or Smile of a Child, which was founded a year earlier to aid disadvantaged children.
The day before President Trump met with Pope Francis, Cardinal Peter Turkson juxtaposed the president’s speech in Saudi Arabia with what the Pope said in Egypt. Taking to Twitter, he wrote: “Pope Francis & Pres Trump reach out to Islam-world to exorcise it of [religious violence]. One offers peace of dialogue, the other security of arms.” [...] Yet the Ghanaian cardinal, Francis’ chief “minister” for matters of peace, suggesting that the “peace of dialogue” is the path to be preferred over the “security of arms.”
Mark Dillen on the negative image of President Trump's first trip overseas.
The United States is resisting plans to highlight how climate change is disrupting life in the oceans at a U.N. conference of almost 200 nations next week, Sweden's deputy prime minister, who will co-chair the talks, said on Tuesday.President Donald Trump doubts that global warming has a human cause. [...] He tweeted after a Group of Seven summit in Italy on Saturday, "I will make my final decision on the Paris Accord next week!" All other G7 leaders reaffirmed strong commitment to the global deal.
United Nations chief Antonio Guterres said on Tuesday he is trying to convince U.S. President Donald Trump's administration of the value of investing in foreign aid and diplomacy and warned that if Washington pulled back as a global leader, other states would step up. Trump has proposed cutting U.S. diplomacy and aid budgets by about a third, or nearly $19 billion. This includes cutting some $1 billion from U.N. peacekeeping funding and a steep cut to funding for international organizations.
Trump’s trip left a big impression on our European allies. So much, that German Chancellor Angela Merkel turned around and announced at a campaign rally that “the times when we could completely rely on others are, to an extent, over.” Joseph Nye’s theory is that when the citizens of another country have a positive view of the U.S. it improves our chances of being able to achieve our foreign policy goals with that country. This soft power, the power of attraction contrasts with hard power, the power of coercion, such as military might and economic sanctions.
While the agenda for discussion was as academic: 'Actively shaping democracy – taking responsibility at home and abroad', the speakers, Merkel and Obama, were received as if they were rockstars. Obama may not be US president, but he can still pull in the crowds. This was Obama's first public appearance since he left office in January 2017, but the warm reception was quite reminiscent of the kind he would command as president. Germany loves Obama. It was hard to spot a single placard critical of him.