America’s demolition politics smashes the world

Trump shakes hands with Imran Khan, Pakistan's prime minister Macleans | James Alexander Michie

Trump shakes hands with Imran Khan, Pakistan's prime minister, during a meeting in the Oval Office on July 22, 2019 (Michael Reynolds/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

There are those who affirm that Donald Trump’s view of the world, which takes everything, has decimated the international order that was created to help avoid chaos.

An important fact to note is that in April 2016, the Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, delivered a foreign policy speech at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC, describing his vision of the United States place in the world. Located in the usual Trumpian confrontation over America First and the failures of previous administrations, it was a passage that defined what foreign policy would be under his presidency.

In fact, he emphasized “We are totally predictable,” I have complained in a moment of unscripted candor, referring to the U.S. fight against ISIS. “We tell everything. We’re sending troops, we tell them. We’re sending something else, we have a news conference. We have to be unpredictable. And we have to be unpredictable starting now”.

Without a doubt, what the world achieved with Trump is unpredictable. And not only in his approach to ISIS. In the third year of Trump’s presidency, we are seeing everything from the comically absurd (the argument to buy Greenland) to the dangerously uninformed (withdrawing from the nuclear agreement with Iran). A clear trend has been established in the foreign policy of the US administration, marked by its inclination for opportunism and lack of foresight.

Governments follow Donald Trump’s example

Certainly, other governments are now following Trump’s example. On August 5, the ruling Hindu nationalist party BJP of India revoked the autonomous state of Kashmir, a move that caused shocks in the international community. The disputed region is now closed, isolated from the outside world and flooded with hundreds of thousands of Indian troops. Tensions between India and Pakistan have increased and there seem to be no diplomatic means to calm things down.

Likewise, the Pakistani government withdrew its ambassador to India and expelled the Indian ambassador to Pakistan. The Pakistani army has threatened to move soldiers away from Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan, where they are supposed to be fighting against jihadist militants, and threatened to end the peace process between the United States and the Taliban.

It should be noted that the previous US presidents have tried to delay the decline of American preeminence, but it was Barack Obama who realized that he could not stop him and it was wise to manage what the emerging world would look like. In this way, he opted for multilateralism and the strengthening of international institutions.

Obama was playing a long game, based on the principle that, if the new world order would be defined by multiple centers of power, then there should be a framework of international standards by which everyone would interact. International institutions and standards would help avoid chaos.

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Source: Adnan R. Khan | Macleans

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