As Trump Alienates Allies at Home and Abroad, Pence’s Asia Trip Highlights His Competent Diplomatic Skills


David A. Andelman, visiting scholar at the Center on National Security at Fordham Law, wrote an opinion piece for NBC News about how Vice President Mike Pence manages diplomatic relations of the United States.

If President Donald Trump is worried about Mike Pence upstaging him in 2020, he has no one to blame but himself. As Trump rankles allies and foes alike with his support of Saudi Arabia, the vice president is proving himself to be a savvier — or at least more settled — diplomat on the world stage.

In a recent trip across Asia, Pence may not have offset the president’s stated “America first” view. Still, the vice president, largely a cipher for much of Trump’s term thus far, evoked less of the bitterness and frustration that has followed his boss’s forays abroad. At the very least, while reiterating Trump’s critiques of China, Pence consistently conveyed the message that Asia remains very much America’s backyard — and that some in this administration still recognize this and remain deeply commitment to the region.

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