Dan Drezner observes that Trump is a terrible strategist:
And what is striking about Trump’s approach to governing is how he does not seem to consider what anyone else wants or values. Trump is convinced that the other members of the P5+1 prefer ending the Iran deal when they in fact do not. He is convinced that Republican members of Congress prefer any other outcome to the Obamacare status quo (to be fair to Trump, GOP members of Congress did leave that impression from 2010 to 2016). And on North Korea, Trump is convinced that Chinese preferences are similar to U.S. preferences, which is not true at all.
To put it another way, Trump approaches every situation as a typical hard-liner usually does: he makes unreasonable demands, he projects his own preferences onto others, and he thinks that resistance can be overcome through bluster and intimidation. This approach means that Trump never needs to know anything about the issues or other actors involved (and he usually doesn’t know anything about them), because the only thing that matters to him is that everyone else yield to him. Failure to do so prompts another round of whining about how “disappointed” he is, and that is followed by various threats. Of course, this approach never works because other actors have their own interests and preferences, and they are not going to be swayed into giving them up just because Trump yells at them some more.
Intimidation tactics frequently produce undesirable results. That is certainly the case when the other actors realize that they are in a stronger position than Trump is. For all of Trump’s talk about deal-making, he seems not to grasp that other actors often need incentives for cooperation, and he also doesn’t seem to know how leverage works. He berates China for insufficient cooperation on North Korea when they are the ones in the position to demand something in exchange for providing that cooperation. Trump’s handling of foreign policy in particular shows that he thinks he can just browbeat adversaries and allies alike into submission. That may work when it is used against his unfortunate staffers and appointees, but for everyone else it predictably fails.