Pompeo Says ‘Bad Actors’ Gained From Lack of U.S. Leadership

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo offered an unabashed defense of President Donald Trump’s world view during a speech in Brussels on Tuesday.

Pompeo said the Trump administration is “boldly reasserting” the kind of U.S. leadership that helped create the international organizations underpinning the global order since the end of World War II. But he also offered fresh reminders of why current American foreign policy has left allies puzzled. Here are some examples:

  • “Multilateraliasm has, too often, become viewed as an end unto itself. The more treaties we sign, the safer we supposedly are -- the more bureaucrats we have, the better the job gets done”
  • “The central question that we face is the question of whether the system as currently configured, as it exists today, and as the world exists today, does it work? Does it work for all the people of the world?”
  • “Today, at the United Nations, peacekeeping missions drag on for decades, no closer to peace”
  • “The UN’s climate-related treaties are viewed by some nations as simply a vehicle to redistribute wealth”
  • “Anti-Israel bias has been institutionalized”
  • “The UN was founded as an organization that welcomed peace-loving nations. I ask today: does it continue to serve its mission faithfully?”
  • “The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund were chartered to help rebuild war-torn territories and promote private investment and growth; today these institutions often counsel countries who have mismanaged their economic affairs to impose austerity measures that inhibit growth and crowd out private-sector actors”
  • “Brexit, if nothing else, was a political wake-up call -- is the EU ensuring the interests of countries and their citizens are placed before those of bureaucrats here in Brussels?”
  • “Bad actors have exploited our lack of leadership for their own gain. This is the poisoned fruit of American retreat. President Trump is determined to reverse that.”

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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