The Summit in Helsinki, Finland was a great victory for President Putin of Russia. Donald Trump made several mistakes which destroyed American Foreign Policy, weakened your credibility in the world and increase the influence of Russia.
It all went to hell at the NATO summit where Trump insulted his allies and then made demands because he views himself as the ruler of the world. The contribution of the USA to NATO is 67% but all other countries also contribute annually not only in money but in equipment and personnel, often far more than the USA. Each contribution is not a due to the USA but to the organization as a whole. No one will increase its annual contribution to 4% as demanded by Trump, not even the USA will do that, total bluster with no substance. As for the contribution of 2% it is a goal for 2021 not today.
The trip to the UK was a total disaster, PM May must have wondered why she invited Trump who insulted her publicly, called her incompetent, suggested she sue the EU to get her way, that cannot be done, simple which tribunal would have jurisdiction to hear such a lawsuit. The EU like the UN is a club and each member must live by the agreement of membership. There is no one to be sued. Trump called for PM May to be replaced by the awful populist and incompetent Boris Johnson former Foreign Secretary who by supporting Brexit with lies has done Britain a grave disservice. Trump then went so far as to threaten PM May by saying that the USA would not sign Trade deals with Britain if they did not leave the EU. You do that to an old ally? Well Trump did it to Canada.
Then the incident with HM Queen Elizabeth II, Trump was 12 minutes late, an inexcusable delay when you are a guest and you make your host wait for no apparent reason. This was a provocation engineered by Trump to show that he was the great one. Having worked on such visits myself, I know that it is impossible to be late unless it was decided to be late. Then by standing in front of HM the Queen while she was escorting him at a review of the guard, Trump knew the Protocol, it had been explained to him, but he thought he could disregard it as he had in the past by pushing and shoving other Heads of State at international meeting because he believes he is more important. This lack of common decency and courtesy is what the World sees, this is what America looks like, this goes well beyond one man, he is the President of the USA and his behaviour is beyond reprehensible.
Helsinki was a terrible mistake, by agreeing to a one on one meeting with President Putin, Trump failed to realize that the Russians recorded the meeting and will use what ever he said at that meeting in the future against him as a bargaining chip. This is the oldest trick in the book of diplomacy, you never meet one on one, you always have others with you to take notes, its diplomacy 101. Trump cannot remember what he says and blabs uncontrollably, in all likelyhood he told Putin things he heard at the NATO summit or in conversation with other allies, not understanding that Putin the old spy master made a note of it all.
Putin got an incredible gift at this meeting, after 18 years of hard work, he got the President of the USA to declare that the world would be governed by the two great powers Russia and USA. Even in 1945 the world was divided between UK, France, USA, USSR. China is surely a greater economic power than Russia whose GDP is smaller than Canada. Trump said that there could be a good dialogue and understanding like in the days of the Cold War (1946-1989). I do not remember any such cooperation during those years, it was in fact a deadly game and enormous rivalry with the USSR (Russia). In 1962 a year Trump is old enough to remember, the world stood on the brink of complete nuclear war with the Cuban missile crisis provoked by the USSR.
Trump also said that he believed Putin instead of his own Intelligence agency, this declaration is an act of treason, Trump sided with the real existential threat to the USA and the Western World, Russia. Russia is not our friend and never was, the principle of the Rule of Law, Democracy and Free Elections are foreign concept for the Russians. The unlawful occupation of Crimea, and the aggression in the Donbass and Georgia, the full military support for the Assad Regime in Syria, and meddling in other parts of the World should tell us that Trump is wrong in supporting tyrants like Putin.
Trump now has sent a clear message to the allies of the USA that America cannot be trusted. It is impossible to know if America would come to the help of fellow NATO members in case of Russian aggression in the Baltic States or elsewhere in Europe. This is very dangerous for the peace of the world.
What we see now is that the famous talked about check and balances of the American system simply do not work, you have a rogue President who is not respecting the US Constitution he swore to uphold. The USA today is on a downward slide not only in prestige but in influence around the world. China and Russia are ascending and States like North Korea are profiting from this confusing lack of direction at the White House.
Will the November Elections change anything in the USA, its a gamble but like all gamble the results may be less than satisfactory, no one should bet on how the American public will vote.
From the New York Daily News 17 July 2018.