The year 2018 has been one of US President Donald Trump's offensive diplomacy. In the first five months of the year, the 45th incumbent of the White House has proved to the world that he is not only an inexperienced head of state but also one who prefers to be reckless irrespective of the consequences that his decisions could lead to.
We already have three examples and all of them pertain to Asia - the continent with the most number of volatile regions - and Trump's actions in each of those have flouted all levels of normality in the diplomatic realm and putting universal peace at stake. Yet, he has no realisation of his suicidal steps even as the world waits with bated breath what could happen next.
First is the scrapping of the crucial Iran nuclear deal of 2015 also known Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA. On May 8, after months of suspense, Trump eventually announced the US's withdrawal from a multilateral agreement that the world powers had made with Iran to contain its nuclear ambitions in lieu of lifting bans.
Trump hasn't cared for any discussions with other major powers and took a unilateral decision which would not only cripple Iran's economy by means of new sanctions but also embolden the hardliners in that country who would pursue a desperate and dangerous path to disaster.
Trump called the deal reached under his predecessor Barack Obama "flawed" and "ridiculous" and what not but more ridiculous is his irresponsible act in removing a mechanism which could serve as the last hope to tame Iran's dangerous ambitions. Iran's regional foe Israel has already escalated the tension with it and nobody can write off a full-blown conflict in West Asia because of Trump's shallow foreign policy.
Jerusalem & Israel:
The second is shifting the US embassy in Israel to the contested city of Jerusalem on May 14, on the occasion of the Jewish state's 70 years of independence.
Trump announced his decision on this last December and it was always seen as another potentially devastating step for it would deepen the wounds in the crucial Israel-Palestine crisis and lead to an endless bloodbath. We have already seen from the ongoing violence on the border where at least 60 people were killed during clashes when the embassy was being opened while several thousands were injured.
Trump might have made his conservative constituencies back home pleased as a leader who keeps his promises (both the decisions on the Iran deal and Jerusalem were something Trump pledged during the 2016 presidential campaign) but on the ground, these moves have ended the US's reputation as a trusted intermediary and made a global disaster look imminent.
The third is the North Korean crisis. Although the proposed talks between Trump and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12 are still in place, but Pyongyang has already started blowing hot and even threatening to cancel the talks with Trump after it abruptly scrapped a high-level meeting with South Korea.
North Korea is upset for it thinks the US is not giving the peace process its due respect even while boasting about its own credit in making the Korean Peninsula conflict-free.
North Korea has termed the US's acts as "one-sided" and made it clear that it couldn't be pressured in the name of pro-peace talks. There is certain logic in North Korea's stand and the self-obsessed leader in Trump fails to see it.
North Korea has a big backer in China and the US can't expect to toy around with Pyongyang to exhibit how much powerful it is, before the world.
Trump and his administration need to display less recklessness before the summit actually takes place and focus on confidence-building measures towards that all-important summit.
But as said earlier, the novice in Trump is more concerned about celebrating his stature and stardom and not effect a real change on the ground. He did give the initial moves well but soon after, started seeing North Korea more out of eyes of arrogance, harming his own plans.
Forget the Nobel Peace Prize; Trump has made himself a perfect candidate to get the 'credit' if the world plunges into a devastating war tomorrow.