Apposite cartoon in The Australian today:
Do they all miss Trump’s technique, or do they get it and want to help him by playing along?
Trump knows that the leader of the free world can goad whoever he likes. It’ll scare ’em. Worked with North Korea. Worked with China.
On the other hand, the leader of a fallen empire, pretending to be leader, could not goad anyone. This is how most US presidents behaved post Reagan.
As long as Putin thinks Trump is serious/crazy enough to do it, Putin will think carefully about his next step. All the journos telling the world that Trump is risking war are helping add pressure onto Putin.
Of course, Trump might actually mean it and be prepared to go through with it, even though that is not his aim. True leaders have to be prepared to take that gamble. He seems like a guy who takes calculated risks.