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By allowing Turkey to move its troops into Stria, Trump is likely repeating one of the worst foreign policy blunders in history.
Two weeks ago, in remarks eerily reminiscent of claims British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain made after the disastrous Munich conference in 1938, President Trump hailed the “cease-fire agreement” that Vice President Pence brokered between the Turks and the Kurds as an “incredible outcome” and a “great day for civilization.”
In late September 1938, Chamberlain made a similar claim about his negotiations with Adolf Hitler. The German dictator wanted to annex the area of Czechoslovakia that bordered Germany known as the Sudetenland. The results directly precipitated World War II, revealing the fallacies of appeasement and the dangers present today.
At Munich, Chamberlain, who, like Trump, had little experience in foreign policy, agreed to Hitler’s demands to hand over the Sudetenland, despite not consulting with the Czechs or their allies in Soviet Russia.
A disgusted Winston Churchill — whom Trump claims to admire — bluntly confronted Chamberlain in the House of Commons “You were given the choice between war and dishonor,” Churchill declared. “You chose dishonor and you will have war.”
Less than six months after Munich, Germany took over the rest of Czechoslovakia, and Chamberlain’s policy of appeasement was dead.
Chamberlain’s lack of diplomatic experience and determination to fashion his own foreign policy was his downfall. He often refused to listen to his top foreign policy advisers (sounds like Trump, doesn't it? ) — as evidenced by the resignation of British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden over Chamberlain’s headlong pursuit of the appeasement of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini six months before the Munich agreements were signed.
Today, Trump is repeating not only Chamberlain’s policy of appeasement but also the mistakes that underlay that policy. He ignores counsel from his military and diplomatic advisers and takes dictators such as Putin and Erdogan — whom he referred to as a “good friend” and “great leader” — at their word