Countries that benefit from the weakened state of America under Donald Trump are cheering on the chaos on display in Bob Woodward's new book and the anonymous New York Times op-ed, one former CIA operative wrote in an editorial of her own.
"Other countries that benefit from a distracted U.S., or even a chaotic one, the revelations of this week are welcome," former CIA branch chief Cindy Otis wrote in an editorial published by USA Today on Friday.
The disarray evidenced in these bombshell reports don't just serve to titillate American readers, Otis wrote — it also has "global implications."
The anonymous op-ed writer's declaration that there are "adults in the room" working to subvert Trump's worst impulses is meant to assuage the fears of foreign allies, but it also shows this administration has an "ongoing two-track foreign policy in which the president says whatever he wants and senior officials sweep up after him."
"The 'steady state,' as the op-ed calls these insiders, told our NATO allies to trust that the U.S. will come to their defense after the president questioned the entire purpose of the transatlantic alliance," Otis wrote. "The 'steady state' tells them to ignore the president’s Twitter rants."
That same "steady state" has also privately reassured "our foreign intelligence partners that we will still protect their most classified intelligence sources and methods even as the Republican Party majority releases intelligence for political purposes, and Trump’s loose lips, unpredictable temper, and poor security practices suggest he cannot be counted on."
When it comes to intervention in global human rights abuses, countries that commit such atrocities can rest assured that America won't come after them while its president is focused on his own palace intrigue, the former CIA analyst noted.
"Leaders in places like Egypt and Saudi Arabia are increasingly clamping down on the rights of their own citizens, knowing there is no risk of the U.S. making a policy U-turn when it is consumed with simply keeping the trains from coming off the tracks and the executive branch from imploding," Otis wrote.
She added that "the Syrian government was preparing to wage an all-out assault against 3 million civilians in Idlib who have nowhere else to go, knowing the American president is more likely to spend his time railing on Twitter against 'traitors' and the 'failing New York Times' than watching what Bashar Assad is doing to his own people."
"Our adversaries and emerging world leaders benefit from a U.S. that is nearing, if not already, in a constitutional crisis," Otis concluded. "For our enemies, all of this is great news."
Read the entire op-ed via USA Today.