She served on President Barack Obama’s National Security Council from 2009 to 2013 and at the Treasury Department under President George W. Bush. The leak of secret cables written by British Ambassador to the US Kim Darroch sheds new light on how diplomats representing America’s closest ally view President Donald Trump. The leak is likely to further complicate the increasingly strained relationship between Trump and the UK and could affect diplomatic engagement with America more broadly. He publicly provides his assessments of how all kinds of people are doing, and he doesn’t hold much back, including pejorative nicknames for public officials.
Other leaders rely on confidential, internal assessments of their peers, developed by professionals, to guide their policy approaches. That’s anathema to Trump, based on how he relies on his feelings about foreign leaders rather than the assessments of his home team. Safe spaces The confidentiality of this means of internal communication is supposed to guard against moments like we’re experiencing now. US diplomats rely on the same operating principles when they make their own private analyses of foreign leaders.
Cables are supposed to be a safe, classified space to share analysis. Special relationship The US-UK «special relationship» has been under pressure under Trump, especially when he’s interfered in British politics and criticized the UK. This will have serious impacts on key policy issues, like Iran. Darroch reportedly questioned Trump’s reasoning for calling off a strike on Iran, which likely indicates a broader mistrust of what Trump says on strategic security issues.
At a time when tensions with Iran are escalating and we need to be in sync with our allies, the British Ambassador doesn’t trust what Trump is saying. Don’t kill the messenger Trump can dish out a lot of public diatribes, but he can’t take criticism. Trump has complained about leaks within our own government, so he should get how difficult they must be for his UK counterparts. But it’s likely he’ll react to these leaks not by bemoaning the security breaches but by criticizing Darroch.
Darroch was just doing his job and sharing analysis with his government to help craft approaches to Trump.
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