Exciting times ahead (3)

As covered in the previous two posts of this series Donald Trump had a positive impact on the US economy and also has challenged the politically correct speech code, to the bewilderment and horror of the mainstream media. But of more importance for those of us living outside the US is how he conducted his foreign policy.

The US have a recent history of indecision and procrastination when it comes to approaching the contentious global issues. For example during the two terms of Barack Obama we saw absolutely no progress towards the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict, reckless inaction in Syria, no effective engagement with North Korea and pussy-footed treatment of ISIS. Every presidential speech contained an assortment of empty phrases which, while sounding comforting, carried no weight and were not followed up by any meaningful action. We have come to accept that Obama’s statements consist of layers of oratorical indulgences devoid of any commitment to get things done. All global players have factored into their strategic scenarios the fact that the US fail to enforce its own red lines and shy away from confronting rouge states.

All this changed with Donald Trump. Here is a partial list of his decisive actions on the global scene, with my comments putting the events in historical perspective:

  1. Bombing of the Assad’s airfield in April 2017. Trump achieved what Obama did not have guts to do – punishing the Syrian regime for its use of chemical weapons against the rebels. The strike was proportional, well planned and competently executed. It was a notice to everyone that the US are not willing to play the game of issuing endless warnings anymore and will act if pushed.
  2. ISIS. It beggars belief that a coalition of Western countries could not bomb out of existence a bunch of murderous religious fanatics camping in the Iraq desert. What was lacking was not military hardware but political will to get things done. With Trump’s entry onto the scene ISIS days were numbered and the “Caliphate” no one else was willing to eliminate dispersed in six months.
  3. The NATO debacle. Obama urged the NATO members numerous times to up their military spending. I personally could never understand why the US are expected to pay for the security of its allies like Western Europe, Japan and South Korea so asking them to pull their weight was a no brainer. The problem is Obama never went beyond the empty phraseology. Trump has and good on him.
  4. Nuclear agreement with Iran. Obama never put the deal through the Congress but only used his side-door “waiver authority” to implement it. This means the agreement needs to be certified (extended) by the acting President every three months. Trump, along with most republicans and some Democrats, believes the deal is bad for the US and has decertified it so the Congress will finally get to scrutinise it.
  5. The clashes with the UN. The United Nations (and its satellites like UNESCO or UNHRC) have always been rabidly anti-Israel and it is about time someone pointed it out. One shocking example is the UN Commission on Rights of Women which in 2017 criticised Israel while making no mention of the Arab countries, with their appalling record of misogyny, honour killings etc. I could never work out why the US gave so much money to this bloated bureaucratic monster which became a propaganda vehicle for anti-American interests.
  6. The Arab-Israeli conflict. After more than a decade of zero progress Trump has signalled he is not prepared to play the waiting game anymore. He accepted Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel (something the US Congress did in 1997) and threatened to cut the funding for the Palestinian Authority unless they get serious about negotiations. Sending money to the political front for terrorists always stroke me as odd so the change is welcome.
  7. North Korea. Their idiot leaders have been handled with velvet gloves by the West over the last few decades. This strategy has failed spectacularly, with the rouge country now on the brink of possessing a deliverable nuclear weapon. Trump decided to confront the issue and out-bullied the Kim Jong-un bully in a series of well-publicised exchanges. Nothing else worked so good on him for trying this approach.
  8. Undocumented/illegal immigrants in the US. Although more of a domestic issue it demonstrates Trump’s willingness to confront seemingly unsolvable problems rather than looking the other way. The World’s greatest democracy has many millions of residents who do not have a legal status in the country. How Trump’s push to sort things out – using the vehicle of the democratically elected representatives of the people – is viewed as divisive is beyond me.

As you can see Trump’s approach to World’s problems has been a departure from the long-standing political convention of collectively putting the head in the sand. A good question to his critics would be “How else are you hoping to get the Israelis and Palestinians to talk, stop NK from developing deliverable nukes, end the legal limbo of undocumented immigrants in the US etc?”. Please share your thoughts in the comments section.




One Response to “Exciting times ahead (3)”

  1. Voytek Klepatski Says:

    I would add the very recent announcement of halting the aid to Pakistan. It is unbelievable that it lasted for decades, while Pakistan was being nearly overtly hostile to the USA, or at the very least excessively friendly to its mortal enemies (Al Quida). Were has the common sense been before Trump?
    And the same question in relation to climate warming (sorry, not arming any longer, it is climate change now). Why spend (and waste) huge amounts of American money in under-developed parts of the world when these money could do much more good at the source of the industry related pollution – in the USA. It took Trump to ask the question, and answer it, and do what the common sense dictates.
    The list goes on.
    Actually, there is one more worth a special mention: Trump seems to be dispensing with so called diplomats. He clearly prefers straight talk rather than the art of avoiding it. I like his “little rocket man” style probably even more than all his critics combined dislike it.

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