The Donald clearly does not mince words and his unfamiliarity with — and contempt for — diplomatese is now legendary. Hence, his recent ‘candid’ letter to Turkish President Recep Erdog an is par for the course — as, indeed, is its reported binning by the latter. After all, no leader likes to be referred to as a possible devil, not to mention a fool. It also proves, of course, that the US president writes his own letters and does not tolerate editing or any advice to add a few gratuitous diplomatic niceties.
More and more world leaders are displaying increasing annoyance with calibrated diplomatese, from UK’s Boris Johnson and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un to Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari and the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte, who was, ironically, awarded an honorary PhD in diplomacy earlier this month by Moscow State University. The whole structure of international relations — which thrives on obliqueness and opacity — stands to become considerably weakened by this alarming trend of plain-speaking leaders.