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This Week Was Bad For World Order–And Trump Is The Reason

August 12, 2017

Associated Press.

Faced with perhaps his gravest international crisis yet, President Donald Trump this week responded precisely as his some of supporters hoped and his critics long feared. The mix of plain-spoken bluster, spontaneity and norm-breaking risk that defined his political rise defined his approach to a round of fresh threats from nuclear North Korea. When Pyongyang punched, Trump counter-punched harder – much as he did on a debate stage flanked by political opponents.

But this was not a Florida debate stage or a low-stakes celebrity Twitter war of the sort Trump perfected before entering politics. It was a standoff over North Korea’s rapidly developing nuclear program, complete with trading threats of war and the safety of millions in the balance. Over the course of the week, Trump unleashed provocative rhetoric and dismissed the careful or precise diplomatic language favored by his predecessors.

Still, Trump’s strategy was familiar. He tweeted regularly. He took it personally. He spoke off the cuff. He talked – a lot – holding a two-day blitz of press conferences, each yielding moments that immediately sparked chatter, confusion, criticism and attention.

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