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G20 Summit

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.......Trump’s forthcoming visit to Europe could be a success. He could stay above the fray in Poland, praising his hosts but refraining from attacking Germany and expressing support for the European Union. He could heed his advisers’ warnings and limit his interaction with Putin. He could build on the G-7 talks on trade and show he supports a healthy global economic order. He could even use the five days between the G-20 and his appearance in Paris to visit U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan instead of returning home.

For most presidents, success would be well within reach. But Trump is no ordinary president. He is unique in every way. He is unique ideologically in that he is the only U.S. president to object to the postwar liberal international order, especially on trade, alliances and values. He is unique temperamentally, becoming a sycophant when praised and an enemy when slighted. His foreign counterparts will remember how he was manipulated by Saudi Arabia into siding with Riyadh against Qatar over the objections of his secretary of state. And he is unique in how he processes information. He has a short attention span, a limited interest in detailed briefings and a fondness for cable news. The pattern is fairly clear by now. Most of the time, his mainstream advisers can box him in, but it is hardest when he is center stage, either in a crisis or on a foreign trip. Poland and Hamburg provide the next test.


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