Washington's "maximum pressure" foreign-policy strategy continues to backfire
The Trump administration's policy of all-stick/no-carrot continues to fail.
This time with Iran.
In effect, Trump and Pompeo have argued for Iran to give up its sovereignty to appease the fears of Netanyahu in Israel, and they have steadfastly told Bibi and The Donald to go pound sand...
China and Iran just inked a 25-year, game-changing strategic deal covering everything from oil sales, contract bids and massive upgrades to Iran’s anti-air capabilities as well as its domestic air force.
China gets access to cheap oil for decades, while Iran gets a sanctions proof customer and revenue to build up air defenses against Israel. That's not what Pompeo intended.
Russia, China, and Iran have very little in common culturally.
But they do have a common enemy and this is pushed them together.
Germany is preparing to strike back against the U.S. if President Donald Trump follows through on his threat to kill off the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline with additional sanctions.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration is considering pressing for coordinated European Union action, according to two German officials familiar with the discussions. An economy ministry paper seen by Bloomberg News said such measures by the U.S. would be new and could hit significantly more German and European companies and banks as well as state agencies.
...The new German strategy adds the possibility of further escalation between the transatlantic allies, with the U.S. this week announcing potential tariffs on $3.1 billion of products from Germany and other European countries. Trump has also reiterated his intention to cut the number of U.S. troops in Germany and renewed a threat to hit the German auto industry with a new set of levies.
Interestingly Treasury Secretary Mnuchin warned the Trump administration of this very thing and was ignored.
As Bolton makes clear, he sees sanctions as a key means to coerce other nations into doing what the U.S. wants -- even though withering sanctions regimes against Iran, Venezuela and Russia haven’t brought the changes the U.S. sought.
“Mnuchin argued that the constant use of sanctions, and the pressure we put on the international financial system would result over time in the tool’s being weakened as states impacted by the sanctions sought to evade them,” Bolton says.
I hate to say it but Mnuchin was right.