Foreign Affairs — how did we do?
Big Red Car here in the ATX with a spot of rain. It is going to be 70F, but right now it is raining. Substantial rain.
So, today we grade the Big Red Car’s 2017 Foreign Affairs Predictions, made on 2 January 2017.
Here we go.
Foreign Affairs 2017 Predictions
President Trump and President Putin circle each other like mastiffs, bit of butt sniffing, and then play golf together. Putin plays barechested, though weather turns cold and Putin’s nipples erect a protest. President Trump sells him a polo shirt, which Putin reluctantly dons. The US-Russian relationship steps back from the abyss when Putin realizes Trump will spend Russia into the same abyss.
Partly true. President Trump and Putin do engage in a bit of butt sniffing, but no barechested golf, no polo shirt. Keep an eye on this one.
Putin gets that President Trump is a different kind of cat. Wary.
China continues to fortify its illegal islands in the South China Sea. President Trump reaffirms the US commitment to Taiwan and President Trump plays golf with the President of Taiwan, thereby irritating the Chinese government. There is an ugly incident with the Chinese when the US conducts a “freedom of navigation” exercise. Gets tense.
True with a quibble. No golf between President Trump and the President of Taiwan (Madame Tsai Ing-wen). President Trump goes all in on the One China myth.
US conducts freedom of navigation exercises. China protests, but no ugly incident.
The US-Israel relationship is quickly on the mend and President Trump begins a slow and cautious campaign to woo the American Jewish voter. Donald and Bibi become great pals. No golf.
True. Stone cold true.
Bibi invites President Trump to Israel. Melania steals the show. Bigly? Big league?
The Syrian ceasefire sticks because the Russians, Iranians, Syrians, Bashar al-Assad kill all of the US backed rebels. It is easy to have a ceasefire when one side is eliminated.
True. Stone cold true.
ISIS becomes a trivia question and the US kills al-Baghdadi. Mad Dog Mattis says, “What was so difficult about that? We’re the United States of America, right?”
True, the US knocks the crap out of ISIS. Huge campaign promise made. Huge campaign promise kept. It was all about the Rules of Engagement and cojones. President Trump delivered, big time.
We do not kill al-Baghdadi, but he isn’t seen around and speculation is he is grievously wounded. How’s that Caliphate treating you, Caliph?
The Russians cozy up to Turkey who contemplates leaving NATO. Trump gets them back into the fold though it takes some doing.
Russian and Turkey playing footsie. True.
President Trump has not yet worked his magic. Work in progress. This is a big deal for a lot of reasons.
The Russians stop screwing with Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania when President Trump says, “Yeah, I’d consider putting 50,000 troops in Latvia on a permanent basis. Maybe an armored division. Why not?”
True. President Trump wakes NATO up by showing them a couple of invoices.
The American government decides to provide lethal aid to the Ukraine, which shows it has a decent army by driving the Russians out of their eastern provinces.
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. US Congress still has its cojones in the pawn shop. Fails to act.
The Iranians are caught cheating on the nuclear deal and a President Trump administration tears it up while asking for new sanctions. New sanctions are tough. Trump says, “Try me.” The Iranians do and the US Navy takes out a flotilla of little boats and pounds the port they originated from. President Trump Tweets out: “Plenty more where that came from, Ayatollahs. Make sure your sailors know how to swim.”
Wrong. Could be in the future. Stay tuned.
President Trump reinstates all the sanctions on Cuba and turns the CIA loose to undermine the government of Raul Castro.
True. Big prediction because in January 2017 this looked very unlikely.
President Trump takes a serious look at buying Venezuela. Sends Carl Icahn to handle the deal.
Haha, this was a joke, but Venezuela could be bought cheap today. Socialism? Ahh, it really sucks.
North Korea tests an ICBM. Test is a bust when rocket ends up in Pacific. With Chinese approval, President Trump orders US Navy to take out both North Korean launch sites. Kim — with the bad haircut — throws a temper tantrum and the Chinese, finally, tell him to take a walk.
True on ICBM testing. This was a big prediction at the time. Well played.
First test was a bust. Subsequently, they upped their game.
We have not yet taken out the North Korean launch sites. This pot is bubbling. Stay tuned.
China could be way more helpful. Hey, China, you listening?
OK, so there you have it. A pretty good track record on 2017 predictions pertaining to Foreign Affairs.