Donald Trump will assume his responsibilities as the 45th President of the United States of America in few hours when he will be sworn in at Capitol Hill. Ironically he will be one of the most unpopular presidents in the U.S. history while stepping in to the White House as his current approval rating among U.S. public, according to a recent CNN/ORC poll, stands at just 40 percent. Though there is no survey available but it is safe to assume that he is equally unpopular globally, thanks to his insensitive remarks on major global issues during election campaign which equally freak U.S. allies as well as its adversaries out. (There are two major exceptions: Israel and Russia!)
But besides his unpopularity political pundits are almost certain that Trump Presidency will be a historic one and will shape the future of the U.S. (good or bad!) and the world given he delivers on his campaign promises. And even though most of us think these promises are absurd and hardly deliverable no one can deny Trump’s “capability” to make them true as he has a reputation of being unpredictable and hardheaded.
Donald Trump is an “outsider” having no experience of holding a public office in past which makes it more easy for him to follow through his foreign policy vision: abandoning NATO, building a wall at the border with Mexico, shelving the two-state solution of Israel-Palestine conflict, shredding Iran nuclear deal, rolling back U.S.-Cuba relations, and slashing the funding to the United Nations as well as for the social causes globally.
Imagine a NATO without the U.S. It’s even hard to imagine but what if it really happened. Even if it doesn’t and the Trump administration decides to keep it on, his rhetoric and dislike for NATO has already made Washington’s decades-old allies in Europe uneasy. One thing is certain that U.S. involvement in Europe and security cooperation with its European allies will no longer be as strong and effective as it was during and after the Cold War. This means since now on Europe will be on its own while dealing with Putin’s Russia which is eager to claim its lost status of super power in world politics.
The U.S.’ absence from the scene will force Western European countries to mend their ties with Moscow while overlooking its hegemonic designs towards former Soviet states. The biggest casualty of this policy will be Ukraine which may be followed by other East European and Central Asian states. Brexit has already weakened the European Union and a Europe without a clear support and backing from the U.S. can not stand against Russia.
Then there is Middle East, badly ripped by conflicts and tensions. Trump has repeatedly declared that his administration will viciously battle and defeat ISIS, a promise he must deliver. But on the contrary he criticizes Obama administration for aiding Syrian rebels fighting against President Bashar al-Assad, saying U.S. should not be involved in the war between Syrian government and opposition forces. This statement, which he repeated many times on campaign trail and afterward, is very much in line with his foreign policy’s apparent direction which mostly sounds isolationist and noninterventionist.
If Trump administration decides to keep its focus only on battling ISIS and leaves Syrian rebels on their own it might be the end of five-year-long civil war in Syria which has claimed near 400,000 lives and has displaced more than 10 millions. But obviously this end will not be the one which many in the ‘free world’ were dreaming of. Should U.S. decide to keep itself away from Syrian civil war it will be Russia’s Putin, Turkey’s Erdogan and Iran’s Rouhani (or Khamenei) who will decide how this conflict will end and who will win and who will lose. And one thing is certain that their decision will be hard to swallow for most of the Syrian population and global community. (..to be continued)