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America – losing the world’s trust.

This column has consistently seen foreign policy as depending on the long game – essential to build an overarching climate of mutual trust and collaboration, everyone ultimately in the same game looking towards the same goals. This implies a deep respect for the achievements, aspirations and heritage of  each other, a profound effort to understand before seeking to be understood.

Measured in this way we are in deep trouble. 

Turkey at a tipping point between Europe and Russia no longer trusts Trump, Pompeo or Bolton, accuses America of disrespect and so keeps its options open, buys arms from Russia, threatens NATO and resists Trump’s tweets as blustering and misguided attempts to bully their economy.

Iran sticks to its line of direct confrontation however much the White House indulge in wishful thinking and invent weakness where none exists. Europe is concerned – no one is in accord with our stream of alternative truths.

No Persian supreme leader will repeat the experience of negotiating a hard fought agreement only to have a novice president renounce it – there will be no more trust, that has once again to be earned.

And no China leader will have failed to take all of this on board.

 We have a problem – our White House has nailed its colours to the mast – intolerant, racist, amoral and charmless – untrustworthy. The rest of the world will wait them out.

Have a good day, James.