Donald Trump isn’t big on the whole the whole “speak softly, and carry a big stick,” thing.
See, instead of “speaking softly” and “carrying a big stick,” he’d rather “speak loudly” and “be a big dick.“ (Although, if hand size is any indication…)
As far as diplomacy goes, it’s a strategy that’s been tested before and it usually ends badly, but hey, who knows, right? Maybe it’ll work out this time.
Speaking of diplomatic cliches, Trump likes the “carrot/ stick” approach. Only not so much the carrot part of it.
On Monday, WSJ (who seems to be on something of a crusade with regard to the President over the past week), is out suggesting that Trump’s travel ban is effectively a means of forcing other nations to share information that they may not really want to share.
In other words: coercion on a global scale.
The “extreme vetting” that President Donald Trump has in mind for travel to the U.S. isn’t just directed at individuals applying to come here. It is aimed at entire nations.
The administration is looking to compel countries around the world to cooperate on a range of issues, including sharing their citizens’ criminal histories, lost passports and other information that the U.S. will use to evaluate visa applications. That begins—but doesn’t end—with the six majority-Muslim nations singled out in this month’s revised executive order.
If other countries don’t comply with U.S. demands, their citizens may be denied entry to the U.S. altogether. “It provides some leverage at the end of the day. It really does,” said a senior Homeland Security official involved in the review. “It’s in their best interest to play ball.”
Under the Obama administration, the U.S. tried to persuade other countries to share more information, but it offered carrots such as visa-free travel for their citizens as an incentive to comply. The Trump administration is more interested in sticks.
The bet is that nations will do what’s demanded if travel to the U.S. is on the line. The broader goal is to shift away from what Trump officials describe as a presumption that foreigners should be allowed in unless there is a reason to keep them out. “Our focus as a country has to go from getting to yes in terms of granting the visa to getting it right,” the DHS official said.
But others fear that threats would alienate allies and potential partners needed on a range of global issues, including fighting terrorism. And there is a risk that other countries will shut off access to Americans.
“It’s a very sledgehammer-type approach,” said Theresa Brown, who worked at DHS during the George W. Bush administration and is now director of immigration policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center, a think tank. She said visas are an important piece of U.S. foreign policy and necessary in maintaining relationships. “We have other interests in play with most nations than just screening and vetting.”