By R Ahmad
While President Trump speech must have strung the chord of most American as he pledged that all his policies/decisions will be made to benefit American Workers and families. He further stated, “We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies, and destroying our jobs….. we will follow two simple rules: Buy American and hire American.
However, most part of his speech must have been viewed with serious concern by most if not all American Economic Partners and Strategic Allies. His speech implied that he plans to review existing trade/ economic agreements and resort to protectionism. He also wants to revise the terms of defence pacts/agreements. He indicated that America would no more bear the cost of protecting her allies rather they may have to pay for the cost of getting US protection. His recipe for US economic,industrial revival would be a great challenge for US Multinationals, who may find it extremely detrimental to their financial interests. They had anticipated this threat and that is why the US Media sponsored by corporate interests did oppose Trump tooth and nail during election campaign.
While these actions may cause financial losses/burdens for them but their biggest concern would be his intent to form new alliances. How would new alliances affect their strategic interests in view of President Trump’s policy of Keeping America First? Would new US president go ahead with his election pledge to establish partnership with Russia at the cost of NATO /Western European Allies or it will be limited only against ISIS/Radical Islam or have Wider Scope?
President Trump did mention about securing US communities. One can only hope that this pledge does not translate discriminatory treatment of Muslims in USA. The measures may include extensive surveillance and immigration ban. However, Mr Trump has pledged to stop drug carnage, due to close monitoring of Muslim Communities are likely to benefit the most from war against drugs. This will certainly help Muslim youth from falling prey to extremist/radical ideology. It may be pertinent to mention that most of the homegrown terrorists in USA/Europe were drug addicts and not practicing Muslims.
Mr Trump has also wowed to eradicate Radical Islam from the face of earth. Although use of term Radical Islam may sound offensive to Muslims around the world but he was probably addressing his domestic audience. It may be pertinent to mention that during his election campaign in July 2016 he alleged that Obama/Clinton have founded ISIS! Interestingly Russians also make similar allegations. He has indicated his willingness to cooperate with Russia against ISIS. This will be good for the world if he is sincere in his pledge. As this would mean US would abandon the policy of using Radical Islam/ Radical Muslims (coined by UK) to further/protect her interests. Nevertheless, it is time for King Suleman of KSA to rise above personal/ national interests and exploit this opportunity to lead the effort to counter the root cause of radicalism/ extremism amongst Muslim ideologically rather than opting for military response to counter the symptom.
Another significant pledge made by President Trump was that “We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example – we will shine – for everyone to follow”. Would this mean non-interference in other countries? If so then this will be good for US image and perception in the world, particularly in Muslim World. As in post 9/11 scenario, US officials have been aggressively criticizing other nations/religions traditions, culture and even religious practices. It would be interesting if he would practice this at home and respect rights of LGBT and others in US mainland.
Most analysts hope that, his speeches are mere rhetoric, as President Trump is still unaware of reality. Once exposed to hard facts, limitations of his powers and lack of leverage US has on outside world, he will have to bow down and retract. Even one of the most popular President Franklin Roosevelt could not have his way and succumbed to the dictates of US Congress. Therefore, one should not read too much into his statements/speeches. He will not be able to fulfill his promises/ pledges.
However, there people who think President Trump is different and his rise defy all logic and assessment. Although he is a Republican President, but his views and pledges make him actually represent a third party President. This may get him support from people across party lines, thus may enable him to deliver on some accounts. Particularly on some of the economic issues which resonate with “Bernie Sanders” supporters.
Ironically, there are those who think he will not be able to complete his Presidential term either due to impeachment or due to untoward incident. However, if President succeeded in having his way then most countries/regions across the globe will feel the impact of President Trump’s policies. China, Japan, Germany, India will bear the major brunt. However, so far no major challenge can be foreseen for Russia during Mr Trump’s presidency.