It’s been a wild week for geopolitics, and particularly public diplomacy, from insults thrown at our allies at the G-7 to niceties, pomp, and circumstance (and even a little saluting) in Singapore.

But first, I have some personal news to share.  After five wonderful years here at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, I have made the decision to step down as Dean this August to pursue new opportunities in the world of international finance and consulting.

While the years have gone quickly, when I reflect on all that we’ve accomplished, the time feels full and satisfying. I’ve had the honor of working closely with a dedicated and tireless team, from our brilliant faculty who are at the forefront of their fields and devoted to fully preparing our students for global leadership, to our resourceful and perceptive administration.

Together, we constructed a 21st century curriculum incorporating the study and analysis of cybersecurity, gender, the social networks, and Russia. We also welcomed a new generation of academic leadership, recruiting top talent to join our first-rate faculty. I’m particularly proud that we have increased the number of professors in tenure and the tenure stream, as well as appointed the first woman chair of our Board of Advisors.

I’ve had the privilege of graduating 1,500 students, many of whom I’ve been able to get to know personally. They have been true diplomats every step of their journey at Fletcher, which gives me confidence that they will affect meaningful change in their lifetimes and help solve many of the problems the world faces today.

I’m committed to our continued success in attracting the world’s best and brightest, and will remain deeply involved with the School as a close friend and a loyal alum.  You can learn more about my next steps here.

However, I’m certainly not wrapping up my time just yet and, as previously mentioned, there’s bigger news brewing in the world of geopolitics. Over the past few days, President Trump attended two summits — one in Canada with America’s closest allies, friends and partners; the other in Singapore with a brutal dictator.

Presented with these polar-opposite interlocutors, President Trump chose to call Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “weak and dishonest,” while calling Kim Jong-un, arguably the worst leader in the world in terms of human rights, “very smart” and an “honorable man” whom he intends to invite to the White House.

As I told the team at MSNBC’s Morning Joe, beyond the basic theater of the absurd on display here, this rhetoric causes real damage to the structures of the trans-Atlantic and NATO alliances, and that is deeply concerning.

Speaking from experience, I know there has never been a richer, more powerful, or more important alliance than NATO — it represents around half of the world’s gross domestic product and boasts 3 million men and women (almost all volunteers!) under arms.

Canada has been key to NATO’s success, as well as the success of the United States, standing alongside us at every step of our national voyage for the last century. Canada sent its sons and daughters into battle in World Wars I and II, the Korean War, Vietnam, the Cold War, Afghanistan, and Libya. There are plenty of worthy targets in the world for a U.S. President’s ire, but Trudeau is not one of them.

To top it all off, as I wrote in Bloomberg, the President has, instead, heaped praise on Kim Jong-un, who deserves to spend the rest of his life in a jail cell in The Hague under a conviction from the International Criminal Court. It’s almost as if the talking points for the G-7 and Singapore summit were inadvertently switched.

In Singapore, we went from the bizarre to the sublime; heading into the summit, we knew there would have to be some give and take between the two leaders. U.S. troops stationed in South Korea have long been a sticking point for the Kim regime, and so many of us predicted, as I did on NBC News, that we would have to reduce troop levels at some point. However, as I told Rachel Maddow, this needs to be in exchange for the complete, verifiable denuclearization of North Korea.

As if served on a silver platter, with no similar offer from the North Korean side of the table, President Trump announced that the United States would end what he called its “provocative war games” with South Korea. After decades as a senior military officer, I cannot imagine simply stopping these useful, sensible, and necessary military exercises without first seeing tangible progress in terms of not only denuclearization by North Korea, but also demilitarization by that nation. In a piece for TIME, I explore what these “war games” really are, and why snap decisions to stop our exercises, even when the cause is moving a peace process forward, can hurt us so badly across the globe.

Whether or not denuclearization will happen, only time can tell. In my view, it is highly unlikely that Kim Jong-un will ever give up his nuclear weapons. Like I told NPR, he might allow them to be inspected, but he will certainly demand, for a period of years, access to nuclear weapons because he fears if he gives them up, he will meet the same fate as Muammar Gadhafi, Saddam Hussein, and others who have given up their WMDs.

In the face of all of this, we should continue exercising with South Korea unless, or until, Kim Jong-un shows us concrete steps in dismantling his weapons program and his massive conventional forces.

As always, thanks for reading.

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