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Haley and the Trump Administration’s Contempt for Diplomacy

Ambassador Nikki Haley at the United Nations. Credit: IPP Photo Archive/CreativeCommons

Our ambassador to the U.N. doesn’t understand anything about diplomacy:

Haley’s remarks are consistent with the Trump administration’s hopeless North Korea policy. She is insisting that North Korea do something it has said it will never do, and she says that it will have to do this before the U.S. begins to “take seriously” any negotiations North Korea enters into. Setting preconditions for talks is bad enough, but here Haley is setting absurd, deal-breaking preconditions that even she has to know will never be accepted.

There is no more obvious non-starter than demanding that the other side surrender before negotiations even begin. By dismissing all talks that precede denuclearization, Haley is restating the administration’s complete refusal to compromise and its utter contempt for diplomacy as a tool of statecraft. It is an exceptionally obtuse and unreasonable position to take when there is an opportunity to open negotiations with Pyongyang, and I expect that our regional allies will be as baffled as they are disturbed by it.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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