by Usman Alabi
During his campaign, Trump epitomised everything anti-establishment regarding America’s foreign policy as we know it.
Radical Islam. Unfair trade deals, (under which he sees America as being in a trade war with China – a war he believes China is winning). Immigration (which he believes has cost Americans their jobs and other benefits.) These three factors influenced his world view during his campaign and they were supposed to determine his foreign policy as well as his reaction to how these factors affect Americans domestically.
Trump chided Obama for involving America in Syria, he looked at NATO and concluded that it was a relic of the past, an extant institution that needed to be done away with. He described China as a currency manipulator, he promised to build a wall against the Mexicans. But the most important of his rhetoric during the campaign was “strategic withdrawal” in international affairs. Trump felt and probably still feels that America was too involved outside and he thus envisioned an American foreign policy that would reduce her involvement in global affairs.
To the surprise of onlookers, in the last 100 days, Trump has been everything but the things he spoke about in his campaign as regards foreign policy. He is in no way different from previous presidents, yet we have seen a Trumpian quintessence which differentiates him from those before him. In the last 100 days of Trump, America’s foreign policy has been brash, wavy, incautious, and spontaneous.It has been determined by instinct rather than logic and clarity of fact; loudness, a lack of critical consideration, and above all, unprecedented unpredictability. Trump in the last 100 days has displayed an uncommon brashness and has further projected the American power internationally, something he swore to cut down for a while to ease the tension.
He not only ordered Tomahawk missiles to be shot at Syria which is an attack on a sovereIgn state on the accusation of the use of chemical weapons, but also increased the number of US troops in Syria. He used a MOAB (Mother of all Bombs), a humongous bomb weighing 22,000 pounds on a cave suspected to be the dwelling of ISIS terrorists in Afghanistan ,the first time such would be deployed in a warfare. He has militarized the Korean peninsula by ordering the deployment of an aircraft carrier and a Thaad (Terminal High Altitude Area Defence) anti-missile system in South Korea, thus ending the era of strategic patience, and at the same time threatening not only North Korea but also China.
He withdrew his accusations on China and hosted President Xi at the White House recently; he changed his tune concerning NATO, and stated that the organization was taking care of terror.
Trump in the last 100 days has put the world on the brink of a third war, and has won more enemies for America. He is responding to the reality of leadership in an unprecedented way, basically with the Trumpian quintessence of instinct and carelessness and brashness. This fog and unpredictability in the American foreign policy seen in the last 100 days is likely to be for a while till the world gets used to Trump.