Premises of Trump’s foreign policy orientation and future of international order – A study in Trumpism
Today’s international order is being decided almost entirely by US super power - at least by and large.
In fact, international order since the World War II, though launched b y Germany, is being controlled and regulated by USA while Europe and bulk of Asian nations lend support for this arrangement made after the WW-II.
Needless to say that veto power USA enjoys has been major reason for American prowess, though there are four more states that enjoy the super status, viz UK, France, Russia and China. Awkwardly, USA has misused the veto in order to shield the crimes perpetuated by Israeli regime that follows fascist ideology of old Nazi Germany which eventually had been attacked by Russia but soon divided into zones by USA and Russia.
US precedent wields enormous power to control not just the USA but also entire world. Ronald Trump who has been elected president would so from January 20 when he formally assures power in Washington as undisputed world leader.
World of Donald Trump
Since the day Donald Trump, disrupter-in-chief and disaster speculator, announced his campaign 18 months ago, he has flouted convention at nearly every turn – and so far, has come out ahead. To be the US president in three weeks time, Trump has opted out of most the decades-long practice for presidents-elect, including sitting for near-daily intelligence briefings, raising questions about his interest in mastering complex global issues.
Trump has been elected the US president to chair the world affairs when foreign policy everywhere begins to seem an elite dogma, rather than a collective choice, as a reflection of national consciousness. Arrival of Trump and victory for Brexit are seen to be negative consequence of ugly imperialism as they have crossed the limits of conventional wisdom and would “pull down the pillars” of liberal internationalism and retreat USA and EU into isolation.
World continues since the end of WW-II to be regulated by US made intentional order to which every big nation as well tries to adhere, making its policies a part of US imagination.
Americans weary of outsourced jobs and continuing war are entitled to ask what they are getting in return without being written off as isolationists. By repudiating American exceptionalism, Trump has unintentionally invited the country to reimagine its place in the world—to find a vision, perhaps, one that is neither hierarchical nor conflictual. Politicians who talk up America as a “city upon a hill” can appear to be content with the status quo.
Trump asks Americans to seek more immediate victories. Consider his criticism of the war in Iraq: his signature objection is that the United States did not “take the oil” before getting out. For Trump, states are similar because they compete for the same fixed pot of resources.
One needs to work in depth to ascertain the possible polices of man like Trump who became fame with contradictory rhetoric.
Any proper analysis of foreign policy of Trump can be done only after January 20 when he assumes power at the White House as its legal custodian because after that whatever he says and does makes sense to the analysts.
Unconventional US President
Undoubtedly, Donald Trump has defied all expectations from the very start of his presidential campaign more than a year ago. He opposed and criticized his own party men. His election victory was unexpected by most and still incomprehensible to many even in USA as media had taken Hillary win against an erratic Trump for granted. First, very few people thought he would actually run. They thought he wouldn't climb in the polls, then he did. They said he wouldn't win any primaries, then he did. They said he wouldn't win the Republican nomination, then he did. Finally, they said there was no way he could compete for, let alone win, a general election. Toss-ups were tossed aside. One after another, Ohio, Florida and North Carolina went to Trump. Now he's President-elect Trump.
That left unhappy and highly disappointed Mrs Clinton's blue firewall, and the firewall was eventually breached. The Democrat's last stand largely rested on her strength in the Midwest. Those were states that had gone Democrat for decades, based in part on the support of black and working-class white voters.
Those working-class white people, particularly ones without college education - men and women - deserted the party in droves. Rural voters turned out in high numbers, as the Americans who felt overlooked by the establishment and left behind by the coastal elite made their voices heard.
While places like Virginia and Colorado held fast, Wisconsin fell - and with it Mrs Clinton's presidential hopes. When all is said and done, Mrs Clinton may end up winning the popular vote on the back of strong support in places like California and New York and closer-than-expected losses in solid-red states like Utah. The Trump wave hit in the places it had to, however. And it hit hard.
Trump insulted decorated many stalwarts, Ms Clinton and war veteran John McCain. He picked a fight with Fox News and its popular presenter, Megyn Kelly. He doubled down when asked how he once mocked the weight of a Hispanic beauty pageant winner. He offered a half-hearted apology when the secret video surfaced of his boasting about making unwanted sexual advances towards women.
Trump gaffed his way through the three presidential debates with clearly lightly practiced performances. None of it mattered. While he took dips in the polls following some of the more outrageous incidents, his approval was like a cork - eventually bouncing back to the surface. Perhaps the various controversies came so hard and fast that none had time to draw blood. Maybe Trump's personality and appeal was so strong, the scandals just bounced off. Whatever the reason, he was bulletproof. He ran against the Democrats. He also ran against the powers within his own party. He beat them all and emerged victorious.
Trump built a throne of skulls out of his Republican primary opponents. Some, like Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Chris Christie and Ben Carson, eventually bent knee. The holdouts, like Jeb Bush and Ohio Governor John Kasich, are now on the outside of their party looking in.
Trump didn't need the help of anybody - and, in fact, may have won because he was willing to take a stand against them. Trump's pox-on-them-all attitude is likely to have proved his independence and outsider status at a time when much of the American public reviled Washington (although not enough to keep them from re-electing most congressional incumbents running for re-election). It was a mood some other national politicians sensed - Democrat Bernie Sanders, for instance, as well as Cruz. No one, however, captured it more than Trump, and it won him the White House.
The polls clearly did a woeful job predicting the shape and preferences of the electorate, particularly in Midwestern states. In the final days of the campaign, however, the reality is that the polls were close enough that Trump had a pathway to victory. That pathway didn't look nearly as obvious about two weeks ago, before FBI director James Comey released his letter announcing that they were reopening their investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server.
True, the polls were tightening a bit, but Trump's sharpest rise in the standings came in the weeks between that first letter and Comey's second, in which he said he had put the investigation back on the shelf. It seems likely that during that period, Trump was able to successfully consolidate his base, bringing wayward conservatives back into the fold and shredding Mrs Clinton's hopes of offering a compelling closing message to US voters.
Of course, Comey's actions never would have been a factor if Mrs Clinton had decided to rely on State Department email servers for her work correspondence. That one is on her shoulders.
Trump ran the most unconventional of political campaigns, but it turned out he knew better than all the experts. He spent more on hats than on pollsters. He travelled to states like Wisconsin and Michigan that pundits said were out of reach. He held massive rallies instead of focusing on door-knocking and get-out-the-vote operations. He had a disjointed, sometimes chaotic national political convention that was capped by an acceptance speech that was more doom-and-gloom than any in modern US political history. He was vastly outspent by the Clinton campaign, just as he was during the Republican primaries. He turned consensus wisdom about how to win the presidency on its head.
All of these decisions - and many more - were roundly ridiculed in "knowledgeable" circles. In the end, however, they worked. Mr Trump and his closest confidants - his children and a few chosen advisers - will have the last laugh. And they'll do it from the White House.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama says he could have won against Donald Trump -- an unprofessional, undignified war of words against Trump that almost borders on insecure immaturity. Why did Obama feel it was necessary to say that? What is/was he trying to prove?
Even for a failed gambling czar, Donald Trump has been surprisingly quick to show his hand as he sets the course of his forthcoming presidency. With a reactionary fervor, he is bursting backwards into the future. Trump has picked people as his core team he always orbited: wealthy, white, male-dominated and business-minded, against what he called "politically correct crap" during his no-holds-barred presidential campaign. The current Cabinet nominated by Trump is being touted as the wealthiest administration ever. The 17 people picked for the Cabinet happen to have combined wealth of over $9.5 billion. The collection of wealth is "greater than that of the 43 million least wealthy American households combined—over one third of the 126 million households total in the USA.
Trump has accomplished this feat through the first wave of nominations to his Cabinet and White House staff. His bizarre selection of men and women marinated either in corporatism or militarism, with strains of racism, class cruelty and ideological rigidity. Many of Trump’s nominees lack an appreciation of the awesome responsibilities of public office and they do not like regulation of big business, such as those for auto, aviation, railroad and pipeline safety. Trump selected Congressman Mike Pompeo to be the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Pompeo is a cold war warrior who believes in a militaristic, interventionist CIA, especially toward Iran, cook up fake intelligence, thereby taking that agency even further away from its original mission of gathering intelligence.
U.S. Secretary of Defense, “Mad Dog” Marine General James Matti believes Barack Obama to be too weak, is an anti-Islamist, a believer in the American Empire and the USA being the policeman for the world. Most of the nominees are adamantly against raising the federal minim wage of $7.25 an hour and his labor views are so extreme; who make no bones about her hatred of public schools and her desire to have commercial managers of school systems; who are big on police surveillance, weak on civil rights enforcement, a hard-liner on immigration and very mixed on corporate crime... Another magnet for Trump’s nominations are those who made big donations to his campaign. For Linda McMahon’s $7 million to pro-Trump Super PACs, she gets to head the Small Business Administration. As a highly controversial professional wrestling CEO, she worked to monopolize the professional wrestling market and stifle competition.
Though the Trump team makeup suggests an extra capitalist regime in the making, some diplomatic appointments like the one for Israel also suggest continuity of Zionist fanaticism and fascism in Mideast, if Trump really goes ahead with what the Neocons and Zionists want against Palestine.
The doctrine of "exceptionalism" has traditionally led Americans to believe that their country is leading the world. Exceptionalism has proven durable because it can vindicate opposing foreign policies: it justified the United States’ political and military separation from the corrupt Old World before World War II, and has lent legitimacy to US interventions thereafter. Even President Barack Obama has proclaimed the USA to be “exceptional” more frequently than any other US president.
Though explicitly rejects American exceptionalism as the first president to take office, Trump vowed to build up the military, make friends with Russia, go after Islamist terrorism, and counter Chinese aggression. American exceptionalism is the belief that the United States stands in the vanguard of history, chosen by providence to redeem mankind. “We shall be as a city upon a hill—the eyes of all people are upon us.” . Yes that has been proven time and again. US presidency poll that crowned Trump the winner, remains the most important occurrence of the time.
Trump has exposed the fragility of the old consensus, and the best response is not simply to try and restore it. American exceptionalism may be well established, but voters want change in the system.
But Trump does not think USA is great. Trump depicted the United States in speech after speech as a retrograde nation. “We need somebody that can take the brand of the United States and make it great again.” “We’re like a Third World country,” he declared. It was once great, but the country would now have to claw its way back, first to first world standards and then, perhaps, to preeminence. In place of confident exceptionalism, Trump offered insecure nationalism, recasting the United States as a global victim.
Trump pointed to the country’s airports, citing them not only as examples of crumbling national infrastructure, but also as places that elicit international disdain. When travelers leave Dubai or China, he said, they land at LaGuardia or LAX and see rubble: “All over the world, they’re laughing.” Trump has inverted the exceptionalist dogma, repeated by both Obama and his 2012 challenger, Mitt Romney, that the United States is the “envy of the world.” Trump, to be sure, assumes that the whole world is watching the United States—not out of envy, but to mock it. Trump explained that he would instead like to make America exceptional, by taking back what it had given to the world. Trump is redefining exceptionalism.
Whereas previous presidents have taken it to be a permanent trait, and an intrinsic part of American identity, the current president-elect views it as a conditional state. A nation becomes “exceptional” by snatching up more wealth and power than others.
Trump rejects American exceptionalism mainly because he thinks it paralyzes the United States: it prevents the country from playing to win. Under the rubric of Cold War exceptionalism, which cast the United States as the defender of the free world, U.S. leaders rebuilt old enemies such as Germany and Japan, lavished dollars and troops on allies, and set up multilateral institutions to ensure broad-based prosperity.
The Democratic candidate Sanders during the primary campaign declared upon announcing his presidential campaign that USA has become a dumping ground for everybody else's problems. Trump just extended the idea further. Sanders campaign represents an assault on American exceptionalism generally denoting Americans' peculiar faith in God, flag, and free market. Trump supports all three. Trump's supporters like the fact that he's super rich, blunt, and hasn't spent his life in politics. But his pledges to keep the rest of the world at bay are core to his appeal.
The so-called insiders within the Washington ruling class are the people who got USA into trouble, Trumps said: what we are doing now isn't working. And years ago, when I was just starting out in business, I figured out a pretty simple approach that has always worked well for me: "When you're digging yourself deeper and deeper into a hole, stop digging." The state of the world right now is a terrible mess. There has never been a more dangerous time. Ignore career diplomats who insist on nuance. The career diplomats who got USA into many foreign policy messes think that successful diplomacy requires years of experience and an understanding of all the nuances that have been carefully considered before reaching a conclusion. Trump wants to disprove them all.
In the 1980s, flying from place to place in his Trump helicopter and Trump jet, he offered opinions on everything from politics to sex, and continually declared himself to be superior in every way. He frequently referred to many people who thought he should run for president and sometimes acted as if he were a real candidate. During one especially tense Cold War moment, he even offered himself to the world as a nuclear-arms-treaty negotiator.
Trump thinks as a man who can make high-end real estate deals he should be able to bring the United States and the Soviet Union into agreement. He offered himself as Cold War nuclear-arms-treaty negotiator. "Pulling back from Europe would save this country millions of dollars annually. The cost of stationing NATO troops in Europe is enormous. And these are clearly funds that can be put to better use." Would you want to end the NATO alliance completely?
As for nations that host US military bases, Trump said he would charge those governments for the American presence. "I'm going to renegotiate some of our military costs because we protect South Korea. We protect Germany. We protect some of the wealthiest countries in the world, like Saudi Arabia. We protect everybody and we don't get reimbursement. We lose on everything, so we're going to negotiate and renegotiate trade deals, military deals, many other deals that's going to get the cost down for running our country very significantly."
Trump then got into a specific example: Saudi Arabia, one of the more important US allies (than Israel but USA uses Israel to get what it wants from Saudi and other Arab nations) in the Middle East. Saudis "make a billion dollars a day. We protect them. So we need help. We are losing a tremendous amount of money on a yearly basis and we owe $19 trillion," he said. Walking back trade deals and agreements that allow the US military to operate overseas is easier said than done. But Trump has tapped into a powerful anti-Washington populist sentiment.
One of the major headlines in world media is Trump’s intention of asking the NATO nations to finance the organization instead of making USA to foot the entire bill for maintenance. Trumps want every NATO member to pay for the US shield. Currently only USA and Turkey make maximum contributions.
Economics of NATO funding by its 28 members is an issue that worries Trump and many others in the West. Donald Trump said USA cannot spend on the security of Europe. "We are spending a fortune on a military in order to lose $800 billion," Trump said. "I think NATO's great. But it's got to be modernized. And countries that we're protecting have to pay what they're supposed to be paying." In fact, it is a position that Trump has stated several times before, saying he believes that the US is getting "ripped off" and that some NATO members are getting an unfair "free ride."
As the Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, in a New York Times interview, outlined a sharp break in US foreign policy tradition, suggesting the US wouldn't defend NATO allies like the Baltic States against Russian aggression if they haven't "fulfilled their obligation to us." Trump seemed to reject core assumptions of US military and foreign policy thinking -- including foreign troop deployment and advocating for civil liberties -- and argued for an unprecedented global retrenchment, frequently framing his argument in economic terms. Trumps vice presidential choice, Mike Pence, however, said that Trump would "stand with our allies." "We cannot have four more years of apologizing to our enemies and abandoning our friends," Pence said. But Trump reiterated that suggested that the massive expense of maintaining an international order that is contributing to trade losses for the US "doesn't sound very smart to me." He questioned the forward deployment of American troops when answering a question about the tension in the South China Sea. According to the Times interview, Trump explained that "it will be a lot less expensive" for the United States to deploy military assets domestically. “NATO now does need to redefine itself," he said
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that the United States' commitment to the mutual defense pact is "ironclad." Hillary Clinton said "For decades, the United States has given an ironclad guarantee to our NATO allies: we will come to their defense if they are attacked, just as they came to our defense after 9/11. Donald Trump was asked if he would honor that guarantee. He said... maybe, maybe not." The former secretary of state continued, "Ronald Reagan would be ashamed. Harry Truman would be ashamed.
Republicans, Democrats and Independents who help build NATO into the most successful military alliance in history would all come to the same conclusion: Donald Trump is temperamentally unfit and fundamentally ill-prepared to be our Commander in Chief."
New spending data released recently show the US shells out far more money on defence than any other nation on the planet. According to NATO statistics, the US spent an estimated $650 billion on defence last year. That's more than double the amount all the other 27 NATO countries spent between them, even though their combined GDP tops that of the US.
NATO is based on the principle of collective defense: an attack against one or several of its members is considered as an attack against all. So far that has only been invoked once -- in response to the September 11 hoax. To make the principle work, all countries are expected to chip in. NATO's official guidelines say member states should spend at least 2% of their gross domestic product on defence.
Of the 28 countries in the alliance, only five -- the USA, Greece, Poland, Estonia and the UK -- meet the target. Many European members -- including big economies like France and Germany -- lag behind. Germany spent 1.19% of its GDP on defense last year and France forked out 1.78%.
American military spending has always eclipsed other allies' budgets since NATO's founding in 1949. But the gap grew much wider when the US beefed up its spending after the 9/11 attacks. NATO admits it has an "over-reliance" on the US for the provision of essential capabilities, including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, air-to-air refueling, ballistic missile defense and airborne electronic warfare. The US also spends the highest proportion of its GDP on defense: 3.61%. The second biggest NATO spender in proportional terms is Greece, at 2.38%, according to NATO. Iceland, which doesn't have its own army, spends just 0.1% of its GDP on defense, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Five other countries spend less than 1%, according to NATO's estimates for this year: Canada, Slovenia, Belgium, Spain and Luxembourg.
All member countries that fall below the threshold committed in 2014 to gradually ramp up military spending to reach the target within the next decade. Additionally, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has also called on other NATO members to spend more on defence.
One can't verify whether the United States is getting "ripped off," but it's clear that most NATO member countries are not spending what the alliance's official guidelines require. Trump's statement may be true. The issue never came up for public debate.
Trump’s comments aimed at getting NATO allies to raise defense spending and do more to fight terrorism could be beneficial. NATO could boost its force size, and its ability to deploy forces.
Trump on Russia and China
Like his predecessors had done before, Trump seems to be interested in extending cooperation and trade with both Russia and China and encourage reforms in their internal policies and he is particularly positive about Russia with which he has maintained bossiness. “I don’t understand why American policymakers are always so timid in dealing with Russia on issues that directly involve our survival. Kosovo was a perfect case in point: Russia was holding out its hand for billions of dollars in IMF loans (to go along with billions in aid the USA has given) the same week it was issuing threats and warnings regarding our conduct in the Balkans. We need to tell Russia and other recipients that if they want our dime they had better do our dance, at least in matters regarding our national security.
These people need us much more than we need them. We have leverage, and we are crazy not to use it to better advantage”. For USA the lack of human rights prevents consumer development in China. “Why am I concerned with political rights? I’m a good businessman and I can be amazingly unsentimental when I need to be. I also recognize that when it comes down to it, we can’t do much to change a nation’s internal policies. But I’m unwilling to shrug off the mistreatment of China’s citizens by their own government. My reason is simple: These oppressive policies make it clear that China’s current government has contempt for American way of life. We want to trade with China because of the size of its consumer market. But if the regime continues to repress individual freedoms, how many consumers will there really be? Isn’t it inconsistent to compromise our principles by negotiating trade with a country that may not want and cannot afford our goods?
We have to make it absolutely clear that we’re willing to trade with China, but not to trade away our principles, and that under no circumstances will we keep our markets open to countries that steal from us”.
Outgoing US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping always agreed that their nations’ relationship was the most important in world affairs.
President-elect Trump spent more time on the campaign trail talking about China than anywhere else. Complaining that China is “raping” the United States by its unfair trade practices, Trump has pledged to restore equity to commercial ties. He has also hinted that he might take a fresh look at Washington’s “one China policy,” which acknowledges that Beijing claims Taiwan, but leaves the island’s precise status ambiguous.
Trump said America’s biggest long-term challenge will be China. The Chinese people still have few political rights to speak of. Chinese government leaders, though they concede little, desperately want us to invest in their country. Though we have the upper hand, we’re way to eager to please. We see them as a potential market and we curry favor with them at the expense of our national interests. Our China policy under Presidents Clinton and Bush has been aimed at changing the Chinese regime by incentives both economic and political. The intention has been good, but it’s clear that the Chinese have been getting far too easy a ride. Despite the opportunity, I think we need to take a much harder look at China. There are major problems that too many at the highest reaches of business want to overlook, primarily the human-rights situation.
Another potential flashpoint: the South China Sea, which Beijing claims almost in its entirety – along with the islets, reefs, and shoals that dot its waters – in defiance of an international legal ruling this year and of US policy. So far, in its drive to build those reefs into military airstrips, China has stayed below the threshold that might provoke a strong American reaction. But a Trump dispensation could lower that threshold, and show less tolerance for Chinese adventurism.
The Trump government would likely be very confrontational with China. not sure if Americans really appreciate China’s sensitivities or strength; Beijing could do all sorts of things to make life difficult and painful for America. The risk is that a general mood of confrontation between Beijing in Washington could spawn an incident that could get out of hand. “China is our enemy; they're bilking us for billions” by manipulating and devaluing its currency. I've been criticized for calling them our enemy. But what else do you call the people who are destroying your children's and grandchildren's future? (Israelis are destroying Palestinians) What name would you prefer me to use for the people who are hell bent on bankrupting our nation, stealing our jobs, who spy on us to steal our technology, who are undermining our currency, and who are ruining our way of life? To my mind, that's an enemy. Trump said during the campaign: If we're going to make America number one again, we've got to have a president who knows how to get tough with China, how to out-negotiate the Chinese, and how to keep them from screwing us at every turn”.
So, under Trump, “it won’t be business as usual,” predicts Bonnie Glaser, a China expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. What kind of business it will be, it’s probably too early to say. But even before he has taken office, Trump’s barrage of tweets and other public comments suggest that he could be ready for a major overhaul of Washington’s China policy.
However, any even worst case scenario, as veto members deciding global issues together with other 3 veto members, they would not come to blows in a military clash, though many specialists do not rule out war, saying: “That is not out of the question.”
USA has built up close tie s with Arab world even while providing a large scale aim package to Israel as a regular free gift in terror goods and money.
Trump said and he must not take sides with Israel the ongoing conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians, so USA can lead negotiations. How can USA neutral when it considers Israel to be America's closest ally in the Middle East? Trump said "Let me be sort of a neutral guy. I don't want to say whose fault it is; I don't think it helps."