Last Update 15:50
Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Trump and a brave, new world

Will Trump victory in the US presidential elections lessen Washington's engagement in global issues related to global security?

Hassan Abou Taleb , Tuesday 23 Aug 2016

With the American presidential elections nearing, the gap between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump has started to narrow.

The latest opinion survey conducted in August revealed that the gap narrowed to 3 points in Clinton’s favour after it was about 10 points four months ago. Although it isn’t unlikely that the gap may reverse in Trump’s favour and he might be the president.

In the world of politics, this probability is not a laughing matter. Here, the big, dangerous question is what will be the shape of the world during Trump’s term? In many ways, it would be a new term.

Perhaps French President François Hollande’s statement on the 4 August reveals the state of worry that prevails in European countries, like France itself, regarding the expected impact if Trump wins on the flourishing right-wing tendencies in France.

If Trump does win, we will find more than one European president giving top priority to isolating his country from other countries and closing his country’s doors in the face of newcomers from African and Asian countries known for instability or the presence of terrorism.

Indeed a Trump win would deepen what we could call the American hesitancy in being engaged in global issues connected with global security. If there is a real need for an American intervention, it will be made in return for money.

Even before the direct intervention, those enjoying American assurances for protection whether in Europe or in Asia, such as South Korea, or in the Arab Gulf, such as the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, will have to pay enormous sums in order to ensure the continuance of this protection according to Trump’s persuasions.

If that is the case, we will face a kind of privatisation of global security which the world hasn't witnessed before with such a degree of clearness. It is right that all countries, in return for these assurances, give the US a form of indirect support to its budget, the American economy as a whole and the military industries specifically.

Those states don’t take any decisions concerning oil or international trade except after co-ordination with Washington. It is just that the formula Trump suggests is similar to a buying and selling contract. Thus, the world’s security or the security of highly sensitive areas is subject to the ability to direct monetary payment.

In this way, the matter is not just decisions concerning foreign policy or current events, but rather a new concept of collective security and global security and it will have a great impact on the United Nations’ role.

This concept comes close to what was happening in the history of the old empires, when other entities, in order to be safe from the invasion of a certain empire or from probable competitors, had to present an annual tribute to the empire’s ruler so as to provide them with an umbrella of protection and security.

However, the probability of Trump’s wining and the rise of the populist right-wing current in the US, in its turn, might lead to a counter-movement tos his positions -- isolationist attitudes towards certain societies and certain religions, and arrogant attitudes regarding the world’s security and safety.

If this counter-movement emerged on the European level first then on the global level second, it will naturally make the global American role that of self-defence. This will bring about a full exposure of the US, especially if this resistance movement develops in institutions with a global character. This will occur in the medium and long term.

As for the short term, it is likely that there will be confusion among world capitals regarding what to do and how to deal with the president of the strongest country in the world.

This president views the allied countries in a disrespectful way and also views other countries in a racist way with an exception for Russia's Vladimir Putin. Trump considers him a strong president and qualified to cooperate with him in forging a new world history and leading America together.

Moreover, Trump’s view that Bashar Al-Asaad is less dangerous than ISIS is closer to Moscow’s vision. If Trump wins and has not changed such a vision, it is likely that the Syrian crisis will witness major strategic changes. These probable developments will also extend to conducting a total change towards several Arab and African countries.

Forsaking spreading democracy, the attitude which Hillary Clinton clings to through what’s known as “smart change” or “soft pressure”, will cause a change in the US’s role in this wide space of states.

Thus, it will make it possible for these states’ societies to construct their democratic structures according to their own needs and capabilities, not according to American pressures.

The writer is a political analyst.


Short link:



© 2010 Ahram Online.