Trumplomacy - North Korea, Iran, and Beyond

14. Juni 2018

Lecture and panel discussion with

Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook
Executive Director of the Future of Diplomacy Project at the Harvard Kennedy School

Trump’s need for personal prestige drove him to make one of the worst deals in his career in order to be able to show off any deal at all. As a result, the agreement’s vague wording entailed no substantial concessions from North Korea whatsoever – such as complete denuclearization, a concrete and verifiable roadmap for disarmament, or any mention of conventional weapons – in exchange for comprehensive concessions from Washington. Similar observations can be made in regard to Iran and other areas of U.S.
The current U.S. president has de facto sidelined one of the most capable foreign ministries in the world for the sake of a “personalized” form of diplomacy – one that understands the president as the essence of US foreign policy, is immensely concerned with the personal prestige of the office holder, and generally overemphasizes the military aspect of foreign policy. Granted, the shift to a new Secretary of State might entail some changes, but overall the diagnosis stands: Institutional diplomacy in the United States has been all but sidelined.


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