Don’t take a chance on Trump
The Trump era has begun in the American history. It sure will be an epochal era in many ways whether the world welcomes it or not, and whether the...
The Trump era has begun in the American history. It sure will be an epochal era in many ways whether the world welcomes it or not, and whether the Americans like it or not.
Trump claimed he would make America a great country once again. No one contests this. But everyone is wary over how he plans to go about it.
The problem with Trump is his unpredictability. Perhaps, that is the only predictable in him. Nothing else is assumable with his Presidency. Why should India be worried or the world, with his rule in his own country?
The reason is simple. He does not bring any political experience to the White House. Moreover what he brings to the Oval Office is his business module.
The USA always protected its business interests everywhere and played around with weak regimes and countries seeking its assistance and protectionism.
Perhaps, it should own up 90 per cent of all the mess around the world as its own creation due to its business interests. So why should the world be worried about a businessman stepping into the White House?
Have a look around Trump and his world. Who is happy with him, perhaps, except the Russians? The Germans are angry while the Brits are unhappy.
The Chinese are really, really furious and have already been planning their counter moves. Trump has not spared any one.
Philippines to Taiwan to Germany he tweeted his views. For him NATO is redundant and the US should pull out of situations wherein there is no real benefit accruing to America.
Nobody is going to care what happens to the US as long as Trump experiments with his own country. But concerns begin when he insists on "America for Americans" without specifying whether he is referring to the White America or multi-coloured America.
It sounds bizarre to hear that it belongs to the Whites alone as they too are not the natives anyway.
The biggest job on hand right now for him is to unite a highly disunited America, a country that should be more worried than anyone else. Half of its population is unsure of their future, while the other half is high on Trump adrenaline.
The new President's remarks, observations and evaluations have certainly increased tensions in several parts of the world and even some of the country's allies seem not so happy. So far he has not been critical of Putin but it should not take much time for him to ruffle his feathers too.
What is Trump thinking when he says the European Union is basically a vehicle for Germany and supports Brexit? The British themselves are not sure whether they were right in making the exit and this businessman for sure had no business to comment on them.
Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel who was blamed by Trump of committing a catastrophic mistake in allowing refugees to pour into Europe only to sharply react "they have been known for a while (his positions) and my positions are also known.” She also added, "I think we Europeans have control of our destiny" for a good measure.
That is what Trump does to the world. With him around it is Europeans and Americans not friends or allies. Remember his speech delivered to the Indian diaspora during his campaign for Presidency. He said he loved Hindus! He did not mention India. This is an interdependent world of several layers.
There are multi-dimensional issues bothering the nations and their leaders. There are several business interests that clash with nationalistic aspirations of the people and no one is ready to concede any ground. Yet, this man bares his mind.
China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said "anyone trying to use the status of Taiwan for negotiations would be smashing their feet by lifting a rock and would face broad and strong opposition from the Chinese Government and people as well as the international community."
She went ahead and added "not everything could be bargained or traded off" insisting that Taiwan was an inalienable part of the mainland.
The world may not agree with China on Taiwan, but if Trump really wants to be a unifying force, he would not in terms of dividing European Union certainly. India should not rely on Trump's period, long or short, and go about building its allies around the world and protect its own interests is the only takeaway so far despite whatever he said about India.
NATO, he said, was "obsolete for supposedly not confronting terrorism" but quickly added that “with that being said, NATO is very important to me.” He wants to effect a change in the fundamentals of the organisation itself. That is the danger.
The US assiduously built NATO since 1945 as a repudiation of the idea that the US should lead the West, Nicholas Burns, former senior State Department official and ambassador to NATO protested. He reacted after Trump called NATO obsolete "to say that NATO is obsolete, openly support the disintegration of the EU and then denigrate Merkel and put her on a par with Putin is a fundamental break with 70 years of American policy and strategic thought supported by Republicans from Eisenhower to now.
NATO is the great power differential between the United States and Russia, as our Asian alliances are the power differential between us and China.” This coming from someone who served the Presidents of both Democrats and Republicans should be a fair warning. Because if Trump feels that NATO is obsolete, he could also dump his Asian allies any moment.
Working with such a man on issues having a bearing on our interests would really be difficult as any approach would have to be an ad hoc one without relying on the long-term agreements.
On January 11 this year, Xinhua News published a white paper of the Chinese government on its Asia Pacific Security Cooperation where it clearly spells out that small and medium countries must not take sides among big countries.
The elucidation of its policy is centered around ‘security cooperation' and not 'security issues.' Chinese advice or warning to neighbouring countries in the region is based on “the current security structure in the region which is not satisfactory, which has led to mistrust among the nations.”
Through this white paper, China has proposed a concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security in the Asia Pacific Region. The white paper considers the Asia Pacific region to be stable, although it also recognises multiple destabilising and uncertain factors that exist in the region.
The areas of concern include the nuclear issue in the Korean Peninsula, the slow reconciliation process in Afghanistan, terrorism and maritime disputes. The white paper appears to indirectly indicate that the US military deployment is a regional security challenge along with the increasing military preparedness of Japan.
Though it insists on cooperation for its own markets sake, there is little to prove that it will ever be friends with India. As an unknown transition period sets in for the US with Trump, we also sail into the unknown with little knowledge of what the new President would like to do in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the South China Sea.
India's worries would not be confined to visas alone. Security issues will be of far greater significance and consequence. Perhaps, there would be similar concerns elsewhere too. Till the other day, the dilemma was that of the Americans, now it confronts the whole world!