In Praise of Trump Administration Transactional Diplomacy

In Praise of Trump Administration Transactional Diplomacy
(L-R) Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. President Donald Trump, Foreign Affairs Minister of Bahrain Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, and Foreign Affairs Minister of the United Arab Emirates Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan wave from the Truman Balcony of the White House after the signing ceremony of the Abraham Accords on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, on Sept. 15, 2020. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Austin Bay

Until the Trump administration began its experiment in 21st-century American transactional diplomacy, “intractable international problems” dismayed, vexed, and bamboozled establishment diplomats, whether they hailed from Washington’s Beltway morass, U.N. agencies, or cachet townhouses in European capitals.

I specify American transactional diplomacy—meaning negotiating and then concluding two-way deals (bilateral agreements, in diplo-speak) that demonstrably benefit two antagonistic nations. The payoff of conflict and creating peace level: The deal diminishes their level of mutual antagonism, promotes kinder words, and opens opportunities for wealth-creating interaction.

Aside to open-minded readers: “American” indicates the two-way deal was brokered by the United States as a third party. American means U.S. power and prestige explicitly support the agreement. It means American DIME power—American Diplomatic, Intelligence/Information, Military and Economic power—adds steel to the deal.

Note I translate common-sense terms into diplo-speak so elite media types will understand it.

Another point in the same vein: Trump administration diplomats focused on obtaining incremental results that convinced the antagonists they could reach mutually beneficial deals. Trump administration diplomats did not seek headlines and CNN/BBC interviews designed to promote a narcissist’s political career.

Big accusation? For deep background on narcissistic diplomacy, here’s a quote from a column I wrote in 2009: “We live in an age when the farce of history precedes the tragedy ... and even a few left-wing media and academic elites realize giving President Barack Obama a Nobel Peace Prize is utter, rollicking balderdash.”

Yes, 2009. That’s the year then-President Barack Obama got a Nobel Peace Prize for doing absolutely nothing but raising the pulse rate of faculty-club poseurs who invent facts in their heads but utterly ignore the body count their false facts create.

OK, Obama did something. He ignored Iran’s Green Revolution for about 10 critical weeks, give or take.

Sometime, I’d like to ask Obama why he did, in front of an honest camera that records everything I ask and everything he replies.

2009 bottom line: Obama dithered; Iranians died; and now victims of Iran’s ayatollah regime continue to die.

Obama’s Nobel Prize was one of the more noxious results of the American left’s “long march through the institutions,” a phrase encapsulating the route ’60s hard-left political radicals (i.e., communists) took to gain control of universities, media, religious organizations, arts and literary associations, and businesses in order to break the chains of “bourgeois” hegemony and bring about “true revolution.”

A current example of hard-left political radicals: Antifa thugs in Portland are their 21st century embodiment. For that matter, the alleged election corruption connects to the left’s corruption of American politics, society, culture, and education.

Hard-left media radicals work in concert with their cronies. Utter factual example: the silencing of absolutely pertinent facts that say Hunter Biden engaged in likely corrupt activities in Ukraine and in deals with China. CNN’s Christiane Amanpour swore these facts were Russian disinformation, her crooked outrage captured on video.

Except that post-presidential election, Hunter Biden’s suspect action is now acknowledged.

Failing to confront Biden’s corruption preelection puts a Joe Biden administration in long-term political and criminal peril. Corruption of the presidency puts America in peril and, in my opinion, puts freedom worldwide in peril.

Which brings us back to intractable issues. The Palestinian “two-state” issue was supposedly an intractable problem. The Trump administration, an un-Beltway creature, didn’t buy the narrative.

Trump administration transactional diplomacy led the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco to publicly acknowledge peace with Israel. This was in each nation’s individual interest because Iran was a regional and global threat to all. Jordan and Egypt had already made peace deals.

The administration didn’t create the Middle Eastern political momentum that led these Muslim Arab nations to publicly seek peace with Israel. “Normalized relations” is the diplomatic euphemism, but “get along” is the deep meaning.

In comparison, the Obama-Biden administration gave Iran’s religious dictators billions of dollars via the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which they spent on murderous wars in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, and Afghanistan.

JCPOA: The Obama-Biden faculty club administration’s ridiculous name for appeasement of Iran’s radical religious dictatorship.

Austin Bay is a colonel (ret.) in the U.S. Army Reserve, author, syndicated columnist, and teacher of strategy and strategic theory at the University of Texas–Austin. His latest book is “Cocktails from Hell: Five Wars Shaping the 21st Century.”
Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
Austin Bay is a colonel (ret.) in the U.S. Army Reserve, author, syndicated columnist, and teacher of strategy and strategic theory at the University of Texas–Austin. His latest book is “Cocktails from Hell: Five Wars Shaping the 21st Century.”