Trump’s applying ‘the Art of the Deal’ to foreign policy and relations with other countries has caused the future of US relations with countries that before Trump, were considered to be US partners and allies, to be shrouded in a veil of vagueness.
Trump’s applying ‘the Art of the Deal’ to foreign policy and relations with other countries has caused the future of US relations with countries that before Trump, were considered to be US partners and allies, to be shrouded in a veil of vagueness. In particular, European countries are fearful of the future of US foreign policy. Trump has shown that he is not ready to engage constructively with other countries and believes in adopting a path that brings about all the benefits for the United States and its people. It seems that his interest-seeking policies have ultimately led to some divergences between Europe and the US and have led to new trade partnerships between Europe and Eastern Asia, especially China. In the continuation, US foreign policy in the world is investigated in three areas of Western Asia, Europe – Russia and Eastern Asia.
The US and the West Asian region.
As for US foreign policy on the West Asian region, there is still a divide in the US governing body, and there is a difference between Trump and some key ministers such as the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense. Tillerson and James Mattis believe in constructive collaboration with all the countries in the region to pressure Iran, while Trump and some of his advisers, such as Steve Bannon and Sean Spicer, believe in working with some regional countries led by Saudi Arabia to exert pressure on Iran. Therefore, Spicer referred to the difference in relations between Qatar and its neighbors as a “family issue” among the Persian Gulf States.
As for Syria, the United States is trying to establish its presence in areas reclaimed from ISIS by pro-US militias and to increase its popularity in these areas by rendering services to the people. In this same vein, a seven-member delegation of US security officials and State Department have arrived in Syria to restore electricity, to provide access to drinking water and to restore public services. In addition, during a meeting between Trump and Putin in Hamburg, Germany, the two sides agreed to a ceasefire in southwest Syria and create “de-escalation zones”. In addition, last week, the White House issued a statement alleging that the Syrian government was planning to carry out another “chemical attack” in Syria, which could lead to the massacre of civilians, including innocent children. It seems that such claims are made to justify a strong US military presence in Syria to confront the army in order to prevent its further progress. Even some news agencies, such as CNN, have reported that the United States has ordered its air and naval bases in the Middle East to be on standby for possible bombing of the Syrian air base. Of course, in a meeting with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Tillerson said that the US priority was to fight ISIS, not to remove Bashar al-Assad from power. The Trump team seems to be introducing and formulating a new strategy for Syria, which at least in the short term would include the following: keeping Bashar al-Assad in power; agreeing to the suggestion made by Russia and its allies to create buffer zones in Syria, and cooperating with Moscow in various areas, including the use of Russian troops to control parts of Syria’s territory. As regards the Arab-Israeli peace, Trump also tries to negotiate a peace agreement between the two sides. In the same vein, by traveling to the occupied territories and meeting with Mahmoud Abbas and Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump’s son-in-law has made a start on these efforts and has discussed the signing of a peace deal between the two sides. Mahmoud Abbas also announced that Palestine is preparing for a historical peace.
In the US ruling body, there are two contrasting attitudes towards Russia. Trump and his advisers at the White House still believe in finding a way to improve relations with Russia. However, some ministers such as the Secretary of Defense and National Security Advisor, as well as most members of the Congress, believe in increasing pressure and imposing sanctions on Russia. In the Congress, Democrats are still trying to pass the Russian sanctions law, which is part of the law relating to “counteracting Iran’s destabilizing actions.” However, the members of the White House are trying their absolute best to reverse the situation and by preventing the adoption of new sanctions against Russia, they try to pave the way for improved relations between the two countries. Given the meeting between Putin and Trump on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, the White House now expects relative improvement in the relations between the two countries. The 140-minute meeting by Putin and Trump shows that he entire meeting must not have been devoted to criticizing each other, rather it seems that in this meeting both presidents abandoned their “forceful positions” and have discussed different issues and even there have been some agreements. Russia’s foreign minister announced that in their meeting, the US and the Russian presidents agreed to a ceasefire in southern Syria. The announcement of this result in the Syrian issue comes one day before this meeting when Tillerson, the US Secretary of State, said “Washington wants to cooperate with the Russian Federation to resolve the Syrian issue.” The tone of their speeches and the decisions taken at the meeting between Trump and Putin also indicate that a number of secret meetings had already taken place between the two sides; some decisions had been made jointly and just the announcements were made in this meeting. Therefore, the expectation is Russia will compromise on some of its interests in Syria to gain more important achievements with the United States. McMaster, US national security adviser, said the creation of “de-escalation zones” in southwestern Syria had been a US priority, which was achieved in the meeting between Trump and Putin and that the ceasefire will take effect in these regions from Sunday. “De-escalation zones” are to be created under the supervision of Russia, through cooperation with the United States. US officials have reported that Jordan and the Zionist Regime are part of the agreement, and the United States expects Russia to use its influence on Iran to maintain the ceasefire. These statements suggest that, in the first place, the Zionist Regime is trying to be involved in decision-making about Syria’s future and in the second place, Russia will push Iran to give in to some of the demands of the United States.
There are also some reports indicating that US funding for Ukraine has been cut or curtailed. US decision is to replace grants with lending and, in a way, to sell weapons and ammunition to Ukraine. This will either force Ukraine to somehow compromise with Russia, or with the greater involvement of the European Union in the relations between Ukraine and Russia, the tensions in relations between Russia and the European Union will escalate. It has been reported that Tillerson will soon pay a visit to Ukraine and that he aims to persuade Ukraine to compromise with Russia.
On the other hand, as much as the White House wants to revive relations with Russia, the members the Congress are determined to prevent from improved relations between the two countries. In the latest move, immediately after the meeting between the two presidents, Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, added an amendment to the 2018 Defense Spending Act in order to punish Russia for violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) (INF) Treaty. The amendment will impose sanctions on Russia for violating the INF.
As for relations with Europe, although Trump has taken a path which has brought about the dissatisfaction of the European allies, and these strained relations were clearly seen in the G20 Summit, and Merkel explicitly admitted it, nonetheless, the Congress believes that strategic relations with Europe should be maintained. In this same vein, the House of Representatives reiterated Washington’s adherence to Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty about the commitment of states to mutual defense by a vote of 423-4. Paul Ryan, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, said in a statement: “Given that we and all our partners around the world are facing so much threat, a stronger and more secure NATO is of import more than ever.” On the other side, the NATO Secretary-General announced that the military spending of European countries and Canada will increase in 2017.
America’s policy on East Asia and the way to deal with North Korea faces a serious challenge and is deeply confused so much so that the officials in the White House and the Congress do not really know what policies should be adopted on this small and atomic country in Eastern Asia. Especially after the first long-range missile test by North Korea, this confusion has increased. It seems that the United States has been caught between two options of peaceful coexistence with North Korea and its acceptance as a nuclear power or waging an all-out war against North Korea to dismantle North Korea’s nuclear and missile facilities. In addition, the US can no longer be optimistic about China’s assistance to resolve this crisis, especially given that recently Russia has tried to show active diplomacy and be involved in North Korean crisis.
The policy the US has adopted on European countries has led EU members to gradually rely more on their own power to protect the European Union. As a result, it is likely that in Trump’s era, the divergence between the European Union and the United States will accelerate, unless security threats on the part of such countries as Russia become so concrete and real that Europe will again be forced to look to the support of the United States. Therefore, in the coming years, the divergence between the US and Europe will depend a lot on Russia’s policies on Europe, and in case of military and security threats on the part of Russia, European countries will no doubt voluntarily resort to the US.