Foreign and national defense ministries around the world, as well as embassies in Washington, DC, are struggling to ascertain who is actually in charge of the U.S. government one month after Donald Trump was sworn in as president of the United States. It is a fair question, considering the conflicting statements issuing forth from the White House, State Department, and the Pentagon.
The Chicago public school system has decided to openly defy the president of the United States. More than 392,000 students attend public schools in Chicago, and on Tuesday a letter was sent home with each of those students telling their parents that Chicago schools will not “assist in the enforcement of federal civil immigration law”.
In the week before VP Mike Pence visited Brussels and pledged America's "steadfast and enduring" commitment to the European Union, Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon met with the German ambassador and delivered a different message. Bannon, according to Reuters' sources, signalled to Germany's ambassador to Washington "that he viewed the EU as a flawed construct and favoured conducting relations with Europe on a bilateral basis."
In the latest distancing by Trump administration advisors from recent statements by the President, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in Baghdad on an unannounced visit on Monday to discuss the war effort against ISIS, and said that the US military is not in Iraq "to seize anybody’s oil."
Victory by the 'Russia scare' coalition will limit America’s ability to fight ISIL, complicate efforts to win UNSC support for tough enforcement of the Iran nuclear deal and give China more leverage over both Moscow and Washington.
“I heard nothing in the speech” that was positive, Konstantin Kosachyov, who heads the Russian parliament’s foreign affairs committee, said of Pence quoted by Bloomberg. “The new American leaders have started to reproduce the negatives that accumulated under the previous administration.”
Threatening to destabilize the tentative improvement in Sino-US relations achieved in recent days following Trump's recent concession over the "One China" policy, was the US deployment of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) to the disputed waters of the South China Sea on Saturday as part of maritime "routine operations"
On Saturday morning Vice President Mike Pence did his best to return to conventional foreign policy after he vowed that the United States will "hold Russia accountable." In an address to the Munich Security Conference, Pence assured European allies that the U.S. "strongly supports" NATO and will be "unwavering" in its commitment to trans-Atlantic institutions like NATO.
"I think that the Flynn issue obviously is something that shows that in many respects this administration is in disarray and they've got a lot of work to do," said McCain who added that "the president, I think, makes statements (and) on other occasions contradicts himself."
"Our American friends know well that your tone on Europe and NATO has a direct impact on the cohesion of our continent," the German defense minister told a Security Conference in Munich. "A stable European Union is also in America’s interest, as is a strong and unified NATO."