Insulting allies probably isn't the best way to win them over.
On Tuesday, Trump took to Twitter to attack international allies who have been assisting the United States in its fight against ISIS.
"We have 1,800 ISIS Prisoners taken hostage in our final battles to destroy 100% of the Caliphate in Syria," Trump declared. "European countries are not helping at all, even though this was very much done for their benefit. They are refusing to take back prisoners from their specific countries. Not good!"
Trump's complaint ignores the role that international allies — including over 25 European nations — have played in the fight against ISIS over the years.
It also was another reminder that despite Trump’s grandiose proclamation that ISIS is "100%" defeated, the terror group is still a force to be contended with. Just the day before, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi appeared on video for the first time in several years, undercutting repeated claims by Trump and his White House that he has completely wiped out the terrorist network.
The baseless attack on U.S. allies wasn't the only odd thing about Trump's tweet. As many reporters noted, referring to prisoners as "hostages" is not typical language from a president.
It's also not the way American leaders typically conduct high-level diplomacy over national and international security. If the Trump administration is seeking help from European allies, private meetings with diplomats are more likely to be effective than inaccurate attacks on social media.
The infantile display was the latest stumbling block on the trail of failure that has marked Trump’s approach to foreign policy. He has gone to battle against Germany, France, and even the United Kingdom, often lobbing petty insults and attacks or making absurd demands of the country's closest allies.
Thanks to his behavior, America has often been the butt of international derision and ridicule.
The United States does need its allies to help fight terrorists like ISIS. Publicly attacking them undermines those critical alliances and further shows Trump's lack of seriousness or understanding about diplomacy.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.