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Robert E Kelly @Robert_E_Kelly
, 11 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
So what happened to the summit?

1. Trumpian incompetence

The common thread across the failures of the N Korea summit, Obamacare repeal, the wall, infrastructure, China trade, etc. is Trump’s laziness & disinterest in the grunt work required by his job. ‘Presidenting’ is hard,/1
& Trump has neither the focus, attention span, critical faculties, or work ethic to do it well. Think LBJ constantly on the phone, working the bureaucracy, Congress, US allies, etc. Trump does not do this. He is so checked-out f/ his own presidency in policy terms, that large /2
initiatives which require sustained executive leadership fail. SecState Pompeo’s own commitment was not enough; POTUS himself needs to be involved. But Trump got more hung up on the pageantry and the Nobel hype.

2. We offered the NKs almost nothing

Demanding CVID upfront for /3
vague future promises of whatever was never going to work. That is the ‘Libya model,’ which was a terrible negotiating tactic, as that deal ended really badly for the Gaddafi government and G himself. Trump is great at belligerence & threats, but not at the giving-and-getting /4
of diplomacy. Trump’s triumphalism, peaking with the preposterous notion that he should win a Nobel, likely told the NKs that Trump wanted to dictate surrender terms, rather the negotiate. This is why this whole thing should have started at the bottom,w/ professional diplomats /5
slowly hammering out a deal through concession and counter-concession, building up toward an eventual summit. Hopefully that will happen now.

3. Lack of patience with NK shenanigans

Team Trump seems to have gotten quite upset that US staff in Singapore were stood up, & over /6
NK’s harsh words for the vice-president. And so they should. But this is how NK negotiates. They have always done this sort of flim-flam: off-the-wall, 11th hour hijinks, outrageous demands, insult. If we are going to negotiate with them, we’re just going to have to learn to /7
let this stuff roll off. Or, far better, start the negotiations at the bottom, deep in wonky staff-work without all the glare of global media attention where the NKs are better behaved.

4. Just too fast

The strategic & ideological divisions b/t the US and NK are very large. /8
It was always heroic to suggest we could bridge them in just 9 weeks, esp. with Trump not bothering to put in the work. Historians will spend much time debating whether SK pushed this thing too fast onto someone woefully unready for the burden. But ultimately, SK prez Moon /9
deserves credit for teeing up a huge opportunity for Trump – a deal of a lifetime for a guy who says he is a consummate dealer. And Trump, whose ‘deals’ mostly consisted of cons & frauds like Trump University, blew it.There will be enough blame to go around – NK backsliding, /10
SK overeagerness - but Trump will carry the lion’s share bc of his inability to buckle down and do the work – at minimum controlling his staff to keep Bolton from sabotaging Pompeo – in order to make this a success. END
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