Diplomacy is dead. Today’s leaders resemble more carpet dealers in the sook that ask for a price knowing that the buyers will haggle and they will eventually settle for a lot less than the sticker price.
Take Trump. While he certainly has done a lot of what he promised he would do, and this is to his credit, the recent tariffs spat with his allies are probably part of a wider negotiation strategy with a specific endgame. Same with the amateurish Italian duo Salvini/Di Maio. Their rants against Europe are designed to “flatten the battlefield” in order to win concessions from Europe. In this, like Trump, they have the advantage of Street Cred…they just may actually carry through with their threats.
Europe will need to be pragmatic in dealing with them and they just may be able to extract meaningful concessions, because they started with a maximalist strategy.