The Atlantic

A Troubling Pattern of Personal Diplomacy

Trump has a tendency to agree spontaneously to requests pitched by foreign leaders.
Source: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

President Donald Trump’s decision to quickly withdraw troops from Syria has sparked deep concern about an Islamic State revival, Iranian gains, and a Turkish attack on America’s Kurdish allies. For months, in both public and private, top aides—including Trump’s national-security adviser, his special envoy for the coalition, and his special representative for Syria—had all insisted that American troops were there to stay. Just one phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was all it took to upend the administration’s approach.

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