Donald Trump and the Gullibillies who installed him in the Oval Office have a childish grasp of America's place in the world. They don't understand what made America great and they dangerously overlook how dependent America is on its allies.
They don't realize that there are people who would undermine the United States or that Trump is playing straight into their hands.
Given the global contests for the affections of other nations, even the perception that the United States is preoccupied with only its own interests undermines its ability to attract nations to align with its priorities.
Candidate Trump placing conditions on NATO support and referring to it as obsolete fanned the flames of doubt that Putin lit. At the NATO summit this week, Trump did little to assuage those doubts.
As for Britain, America’s Western rook, the allure of significant commercial opportunities has drawn the U.K.’s interest in China’s One Belt, One Road infrastructure effort. Trump’s recent disclosure to Russia of intelligence obtained from allied sources has called the continuance of the “special relationship” into question.
As for Japan, America’s Eastern rook, the United States canceling the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe exhibited great political courage to join has strained the relationship. Not only does pulling out of the TPP undercut America’s Pacific alliances, but it paves the way for China to assemble an Asian trade alliance with America on the outside looking in, instead of a Pacific trade alliance with America at its center.
America’s global power rests on it remaining unchallenged in North America, giving it the freedom to pursue foreign challenges without worrying about its position at home. There are few things that would more undermine American foreign policy than genuine friction with either of its bishops: Canada or Mexico. Trump’s criticisms of the North American Free Trade Agreement and derogatory comments about Mexico seem oblivious to this reality.
As for those, who like knights in chess, could extend America’s reach, China’s economic gravitational pull, accentuated by its commercial might and massive infrastructure investments, is capturing the attention of South Korea, Turkey, and even Australia, although India remains skeptical.
An “America first” policy risks leaving America alone, as important allies question America’s commitment and carefully weigh the attractiveness of switching or splitting their allegiances.
Americans have chosen an utter buffoon as their commander in chief, a cheaply-gilded version of "Larry the Cable Guy." He's barely been in office four months and he's already damaging the United States and its essential alliances. The pact, that has bound America and her allies together for the past 70 years is unraveling. Europe is withdrawing into itself. Across Asia and the western Pacific, Chinese hegemony is largely unchecked.