I don’t know what the point of this Washington Post editorial is other than to exemplify how Trump is inferior to Obama in all respects:
PRESIDENT TRUMP’S belligerent nationalism and his use of trade as a political weapon are being emulated by key American allies, compounding the damage to U.S. strategic interests. One particularly acute case in point is that of Japan and South Korea, which have become caught up in an escalating feud about 20th-century grievances that animate nationalists in both countries. The result: Japan has restricted key exports to South Korea, and Seoul has announced it will end an intelligence-sharing agreement with Tokyo, even as both countries face a growing threat from North Korea.
All this came as a blow to U.S. diplomats who had worked painstakingly to broker the intelligence deal and to encourage the settlement on comfort women. Yet, other than issuing a statement criticizing the South Korean move on intelligence sharing, the Trump administration has made little effort to repair the rift. This, even though North Korea’s recent testing of several new short-range missiles capable of striking both South Korea and Japan has made cooperation between them more urgent than ever.
President Barack Obama made it a priority to ease tensions between these vital U.S. allies, even convening a trilateral meeting with Ms. Park and Mr. Abe to break the ice between them. Mr. Trump, in contrast, has publicly complained about the expectation that he should do something. “How many things do I have to get involved in?” he whined after getting a mediation request from Mr. Moon in July. Thanks to such thinking, the U.S. strategic position in East Asia is steadily deteriorating, to the advantage of North Korea and China.
Is it that the Japanese and South Koreans are children, unable to resolve their differences absent U. S. guidance? Is it that President Obama’s personal intervention provided a magical salve to smooth over millennium-old differences between the two countries?
Is it not possible that sticking our noses into every possible international situation actually provides the illusion of the necessity or even utility of U. S. participation when they are resolved amicably by the parties themselves? Wouldn’t it actually be better if we dispelled that illusion?
So, WaPo editors, how do you see the role of the U. S. in the world and why do the Japanese and Koreans need our help?