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Time for a moratorium on summits: The Trump Pause?

2 12 142

Summits are meant to be useful. They require an incredible amount of effort: painstaking planning, detailed negotiations, expensive logistics and overwhelming security. And all of this is expended almost entirely in the expectation that the spectacle of the gathered leaders will convey an unequivocal message of unity or strength.

The NATO summit in Brussels not only failed to do that, it actually managed to make the alliance look fractured and weak. Like a one-man wrecking ball, U.S. President Donald Trump swung into town and smashed his way through meeting after meeting, leaving the other leaders frustrated and dismayed.

Trump began by ambushing Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of NATO over breakfast. As the television camera’s rolled and as his own Chief of Staff John Kelly rolled his eyes, the president falsely accused Germany of obtaining 60-70 per cent of its energy from Moscow (it’s less than 10 per cent) and in an act of almost child-like transference claimed Germany was “totally controlled” by Russia.

On Trump’s second day he missed his first two meetings with leaders, forced an emergency session to demand higher spending rates among NATO members, emerged claiming they had agreed, only to be contradicted by French President Emmanuel Macron who promised no such thing had occurred. Just before leaving for the airport, Trump told the gathered media that he was a “stable genius”.

The wreckage Trump........

© Macleans