Foreign Policy and NATO Why does Trump adopt the principle of "America first"?


US President Donald Trump’s participation in the NATO summit in London, marking the 70th anniversary of the alliance, raises questions about Trump’s vision of foreign policy issues.

Since coming to power three years ago, experts have questioned Trump’s motives on these issues, compounded by the absence of an ideological framework to which the president tends or abides.

While “chaos” seems to characterize Trump’s attitudes toward foreign policy issues, some political scientists have translated the president’s policies as a translation to embrace the principle of “America first.”

In his first inaugural address, Trump reflected a 21st-century American populist vision.

This vision focuses on the shortcomings, disadvantages, and consequences of the phenomenon of globalization, directed mainly by the United States, both under Republicans and Democrats in recent decades, but does not respond to the reason for the adoption of some policies that do not combine any one format or framework.

He inherited a failed policy “I have been following Trump and his foreign policies since he came to power three years ago,” said Robert Blackwell, an expert on the Council on Foreign Relations and a former official in several departments of the Republic. “I can confirm that he is the first president since Eisenhower who does not care about the foreign policy-making institutions such as the State Department or intelligence services. Senior advisers. “

Blackwell believes, according to a study published by the Council on Foreign Relations, entitled “Trump’s foreign policies are better than they appear” – that Trump inherited the failure of previous administrations in several important foreign issues, led by the nuclear file of North Korea, and endless wars, whether in Iraq or Afghanistan.

It is believed that the president’s principle in foreign policy is evident after the president adopts several positions and takes some decisions, including a pattern that is useful in anticipating the next steps and decisions, but the situation is different in the case of President Trump, no one can expect the next decision.

He believes that “President Trump swings between political alternatives to an issue several times on the same day and the same week, and can not rely on the existence of a strategy or principle of the President through which to predict the next decision of Trump.”

He said that Trump had contradicted himself towards NATO. He considered that NATO was no longer useful, and that European countries rely on his country on the defensive side, and later expressed that the alliance is the pillar of Washington’s defense strategy.

Trump ridiculed the ideas of some European politicians about the need for defensive independence from the United States. “The idea of ​​the European army did not work well in World War I and II. But America was there for you and will always be. All we ask you to pay your fair share to NATO,” he tweeted. “Germany pays 1%, while America pays 4.3% of its GNP to protect Europe. We want fairness.”

National Doctrine Trump’s foreign policy doctrine is reflected in the book The Age of Power: A Populist Conservative View of Foreign Policy by Oxford University Press by Professor Colin Dwek.

He criticized Professor Dwek, who said Trump’s foreign policy was haphazard and chaotic. He listed four elements that make it easier to understand the president’s foreign policy, including considerable pressure on allies and enemies:

First, geostrategic pressure on competitors, especially China, South Korea, Iran, and Russia. Dweik cited the escalation against the Pyongyang regime leading to unprecedented summit meetings between the two sides.

Trump has been a big supporter of Washington’s allies in the face of Beijing’s expanding influence in the South China Sea by providing significant military support to Vietnam and the Philippines. Trump canceled the nuclear deal with Iran, followed a policy of heavy pressure, reimposed more sanctions, and sent troops and military equipment to the Persian Gulf to deter Iranian hostile activities as Washington sees them.

Second, strategic geo pressure on the allies. Trump has put unprecedented pressure on Washington’s most important NATO allies, the two major allies in East Asia (Japan and South Korea) or Washington’s allies in the Persian Gulf.

Trump argues that NATO defense spending should be increased to 2.5 percent of GNP. It is also pressing Seoul and Tokyo to cover the cost of tens of thousands of US troops in their country, estimated at billions of dollars a year.

On the other hand, Trump does not stop demanding that the Gulf states, especially Saudi Arabia, pay for the cost of protecting their regime.

Third: economic pressure on competitors, especially China. This is evident in the trade war between the world’s two largest economies, which has resulted in the imposition of tariffs and counter-tariffs from Washington and Beijing, with no signs of a halt in the near future.

Fourth, economic pressure on Asian and European allies. The allies did not escape Trump’s trade wars. The president withdrew from the free trade agreement with the Pacific and renegotiated the NAFTA with neighboring Mexico and Canada.

Trump did not hesitate to impose tariffs on imports from South Korea and Japan, prompting the two countries to renegotiate with Washington free trade agreements that give Trump some gains.

Not free Trump adopts a national foreign policy that he sees as more equitable to the material interests of the United States, which were ignored by previous administrations.

The next administrations in the post-Trump era are not expected to change this approach, which is supported by Republicans and Democrats. The nationalism of Trump’s foreign policies may launch a political doctrine of future administrations.

Source: Al Jazeera

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