Trumpian Foreign Policy
By. Raimondo Graziano
The last few years of American foreign policy have been astoundingly dismal. In truth, the rot within the American diplomatic corps, the policies that have been put forth by the intelligentsia of the United States have been guided by faulty premises, a lack of a coherent national vision and have been held hostage by the whims of the ever changing administrations that occupy 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue – these failures in American leadership have been piling up for decades. Those at the top, have a vague understanding of what the national interest ought to be. They are guided by misjudgments, corruption and a lack of direction.
The same can be said of the President today. While the man, and unlike other administrations who’ve worked collaboratively on policy, dictates his policies to be enacted in what seems to be a whimsical manner – he still touches upon issues which are relevant, and perhaps have been pushed to the wayside by the mainstay politicians of Washington. From immigration reform, to the depleted nature of our nation’s military, then on to Washington’s corruption and the reluctance of our allies to share the load in regards to the maintenance of the international order. Yet when he goes about pursuing his talking points and turning them into policy, often there is a divide between results and rhetoric.
There is a propensity to pursue an independent American foreign policy, pushing aside our allies and the decades of built up relationship building. While a strong rhetoric is something to be admired, especially in a world marked by consistent challenges to the order we have established. Then there is the insistence on following through on campaign promises, even when the national security and national interests of the country might be threatened. What is most glaring is the withdrawals of troops throughout the Middle East; which leaves room for other nations – Iran, Turkey, Russia and other non-state actors to fill the gap in American leadership. The pulling back from multilateral agreements which the President argues undermine American sovereignty and self-determination has not always been the right course. The critiques leveled at Iran and the deal struck just four years ago are valid. The agreement did push the issues down the road, and did not address the missile capabilities of Iran. While with the trade agreement struck between the United Stated and the Pacific nations would’ve been a boon to the country in combating China.
The President may touch upon the surface issues, on the pulse so to speak of the times; but the nuance and complexity of the issues, the need to rope together differing alliances and competing interests to pursue grand strategy is lost on this administration. The opportunity to boldly lead in tackling corruption, holding our allies accountable, and standing up to the worse rogues that plague this world is there. But in many ways, the administration is guided by the impulses of a man, who is guided by conflicting personal interests and a pride unlike no other. In the end, in this era of Trumpian policy, the people are yet again let down. Perhaps in the years to come, the revolutionary ideas of the Presidents brand of politics will translate into something truly transformative and bring about top down change, and sweep away the ever-rising tide of apathy, corruption and dereliction of duty. But for now, the same old persists under the veneer of change, under the guise of bringing America back to greatness.