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Pompeo’s Oafish Diplomacy

Mike Pompeo reminds us daily that he has no business being Secretary of State:

U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo fired a broadside of criticism at the U.K.’s approach to national security, demanding America’s long-standing ally takes a far tougher approach to China and Iran, and to hurry up and deliver Brexit.

Both of the major disagreements between the U.S. and Britain that Pompeo uses to attack U.K. policies are rifts created by the Trump administration. It is a U.S. ultimatum to Britain over Huawei that has opened up one of the rifts, and it was Trump’s unilateral and destructive decisions to renege on the JCPOA and reimpose sanctions that created the other. Pompeo’s criticism will not be received as either fair or reasonable in London for the simple reason that he is telling one of our major allies to shut up and do our bidding. It is remarkable how condescending and insulting the Trump administration is willing to be to longstanding treaty allies while happily indulging reckless despotic clients. Pompeo would never dream of making similarly disparaging remarks to the Saudi or Egyptian governments, but when it comes to dealing with one of our oldest and most important allies he berates and scolds them publicly because they don’t fall in line behind every American diktat. The man is an oaf and a bully, and his “diplomacy” reflects that.

Pompeo summons Thatcher’s ghost to insult the current government, but I doubt she would have put up with being lectured to by an unqualified blowhard who was demanding that she do whatever Washington told her to do. The Secretary of State is an exceptionally bad diplomat, and our relations with many of our major allies will be much worse at the end of his tenure than they were at the beginning. This is what happens when you put someone who hates diplomacy in charge of representing the United States to the world.

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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