The Year Ahead 2017: President Donald J. Trump

The soon to be comfortably couched Trump Administration will have a plethora of issues to face in only its first hundred days. And although the Idea of a Trump Presidency is toxic to some, the world looks on with curiosity at the Billionaire from Florida. Below is a summation of what to expect from the Geo-Political policies of the Trump Administration.

Latin America: What was once referred to as America’s backyard has now become a toxic part of the world, for the United States, that seems set to bring much woe to the United States, with consequences far beyond the Western Hemisphere. The advent of Populist Xenophobic politics in America; the bedrock of stability in the Western Hemisphere, not to mention the world, and the pointed direction of these xenophobic, and racist attitudes toward the Latin American population, has heralded the end of the Peace Dividend which General George C. Marshall envisioned after World War II, and the beginning of the United States entrenched in low growth high risk, low reward policies which will have an almost interminable, detrimental impact on the future relations with any, and every country on the face of the earth. It’s not often that the world witnesses such a powerful country refuse the countenance of its “better angels” the way in which we have seen the United States do so in the last election. It will be a long hard slog which will expend vast American resources, and the goodwill and comity of many nations currently allied with the United States, an order for President Trump to impose his narrow, jingoistic view of the world, on the World outside of the these United States.

Europe: Trump has implicitly endorsed far right candidates in both France, and the UK. And though he has been mum about his plans for what Ian Bremmer has called Europe’s “most important year since the end of World War II”, it is safe to assume that it will not be business as usual. And though this almost certainly doesn’t mean war, it could mean a dismantlement of NATO, and the Trans-Atlantic alliance, the bedrock of United States foreign policy for the past 70 years; also a not so quick drift to a quasi-Russian, United States cooperative.

China: China has already said that with the Trump Administrations insistence on deepening contacts between the United States, and Taiwan that the U.S. can expect a proportional response to such maneuvers. This has entailed threatening the incoming Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis, as well as deploying an aircraft carrier to the Straits of Taiwan, and America’s West Coast. Needless to say we can expect a war with this near peer adversary within the next 6-12 Months.

Iran: Iran is a country which many administrations have wrestled with and failed to grasp. In fact it wasn’t until the Obama Administration explicitly threatened Iran with nuclear war, and the successful deployment of the STUXNET virus against their nuclear program, that they came to the bargaining table, and the broader paradigm which prevented diplomatic, and economic ties was shifted. Having said this the tearing up the nuclear agreement by the Trump Administration will probably not lead to war, however President Trump’s Xenophobic policies, explicitly banning Muslim immigrants, and promising to send Latin American immigrants “back”  will only make countries such as China, Russia, and North Korea anxious to further denigrate American values to their core constituencies, and embolden them in any actions which the United States, or its partner Nations may attempt to take against them.

North Korea: The intractable magnitude of the problem will require a deft hand which can find nuance, and seek a common ground on which both countries can find an equitable solution to the nuclear crisis on the peninsula. However with the previously mentioned Iranian agreement being torn up the chances of an escalation on the peninsula, coupled with President Trump’s inability to adequately grasp nuance, this, along with a conflagration with China is a conflict which should go hot in the next 1-3 years.

Africa and the Middle East: Africa and the Middle East have probably not seen such an overtly hostile United States Presidential switch, since the Presidential switch from John F. Kennedy, to Lyndon Baines Johnson. Trumps inauguration will almost certainly mean scores more deaths  just from the conflicts already simmering(ISIS, Boko Haram, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Congo) and due to Trumps campaign of indiscriminate bombing, calls for war crime tribunals from crimes that will make the debate over the Iraq war pale in comparison. Ironically the only thing that can save Africa from Trump is Africa: The lack of foreign basing rights which the United States has in Africa along with the historical enmity between the United States and African nations make it an outlier as Trump imposes his will on the rest of the world.

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