Donald trump has emerged as aninteresting phenomenonin the politics of the USA. There are multiple views pertaining him;some people admire him while some people criticisehim over his aggressive posture. Trump’s recent speech about the US’s foreign policy is perceived to be a presentation of a forthcoming realist proposition. Trump’s foreign policy rhetoric is believed to be an amalgamation of contending perspectives related to definition of national interests of the US.
Most aspects of foreign policy augured by Trump underscore a confrontationist agenda, as well as carrying a substantial pragmatic economic policy. Trump intends to revive the glory of the US given a robust internally protected economic framework.Trump’s foreign policy speech is compelling in many ways as it emphasises on the integral point of protecting America’s core national interests.
Trump intends to boost US’s relationship with strong economies of the world to generate more employment opportunities,whereas theObama administration is believed to have failed given the deteriorating economic situation of the country following global economic meltdown. Trump vindicates a purely republication narrative with a strong military and emphatic role in the world. He wants America’s military to act inhawkish mannerin pursuit of country’s national interests and that it should not hesitate in targeting a threat outside the country at any time.Trump is persisting with an obsessive mantraof national security of the US. He blatantly criticised the Obama administration and its policies toward Israel and China.He postulated that persistency of these policies would lead America to be deprived of its trusted friends like Israel, and resultantly can create chaotic situations for Americans, which may challenge the hegemonic position of the US in the world.
Trump reiteratesthe importance of restarting the national defence missile system, which was barred as a treaty compulsion between America and Russia. Russia’s regional ply of politics in Syrian quagmire, regional aggrandizement and a growing resolve of corrective imperialism serve as an impetus for Trump to restart the missile defence programme.Rhetorically, according to Trump, this national missile defence programme is also said to safeguard American people from belligerent states like Iran and North Korea.
Moreover, Trump also hints atstrengthening US’s longstanding alliance with Europe, primarily through the EU, and aims to strengthen ties pertaining nuclear cooperation and military bases across Europe.
The dichotomy in Trump’s narrative towards Iran and Middle East gets substantiated when he announces that America will dismantle Iran’s ‘terrorist network’, and will destroy the ISIS terrorist groups at once, but on the other hand, argues that the US cannot afford to pour trillions of dollars in the Middle East, and thatthis money should be used for the betterment of American people. It also reflects vagueness in his agenda on foreign policy. Even the preceding presidentsGeorge W Bush and Barack Obama never talked about ‘dismantling’ Iran, and subsequently defeating the ISIS. America also expressed its resolve tocombatterrorism as a global leader with the help of allies, whereasTrump’s trepidation in this regard may bear disastrous rather catastrophic consequences.
Trump augurs for uneasy ties with rival, rather competitors of the US, i.e. China and Russia. Trump is not ready to subscribe to the idea of rival powers; in fact, he posits a narrative of foreign policy where the US would act offensively, singlehandedly, and will persist as a unipole, perpetuating its position as a single hegemon in the anarchic international structure.
Trump eyes to develop and reinvigorate the US both internally and externally. On domestic front he wants to modernise military through state of the art and sophisticated technology to target any threat across the globe. On the other hand, he wishes the US to attain a level of primacy in international affairs, which he believes is fizzling out. He wishes America to be the leader of global campaigns, and expects submissive foreign policy postures of the other states towards the US.Trump is pushing for a belligerent attitude towards China, as he believes China is responsible for American economic crises. Through this Trump is trying to make voting inroads into the struggling working class of the country. And on the other side, Trump has a softer view of Israel, and is critical of Obama administration for making things ‘bad’ with Israel.
Trump’s rhetoric is unorthodox, aggressive and momentous.He is pursuing an event-specific foreign policy narrative. Trump is believed to be an audacious presidential candidate with an unflinching resolve towards concrete issues, but hisapparently idiosyncratic disposition would not be conducive in the long run given pragmatic compulsions of the office of the president of the US.
The presidential decision in the United States of America is yet to be taken by the people of the country, and Donald Trump is trying to address the burning issues that are directly linked to national interests of the country. To what extent he succeeds in following this agenda is yet to be seen,providedof course he gets elected as the president of the Unites States of America.
The writeris M Phil scholar at the School of Politics and IR, Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad