There is surely no greater sign of the bankruptcy of U.S. foreign policy than its Afghanistan policy. After more than 15 years of war and the deployment of hundreds of thousands of troops, a new president entered the Oval Office poised to fundamentally change that policy. Within months he presented, with great fanfare, a continuation of the same.
Three American presidents have spent nearly 16 years alternately cajoling, coaxing, threatening and bombing Pakistan, all with a goal of trying to change the Pakistani government’s decisions about the factions it supports in Afghanistan’s desperate civil war.
The Trump administration’s evolving UN policy is a case study in how policymaking in the administration remains a work in progress amid competing worldviews, absent or unclear guidance, and an idiosyncratic president. There are deep ideological divisions within the White House about America’s role in the world.
A new brief produced by the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney looks at the role of UN Ambassador Nikki R. Haley in helping shape President Trump's views on the usefulness of the United Nations and the need for its reform, as well as the implications for Australia before it begins its important new role.
As the Trump administration completes its review of policy on Afghanistan and South Asia, public debate is focused on the war’s military component, including President Trump’s decision to delegate decisions on troop levels to the Pentagon. Yet a few thousand more troops alone will be insufficient to end the war. A security plan, including the anticipated troop increase, must be combined with a political strategy that addresses Afghan domestic and regional factors fueling the war.
In five months in office, UN Secretary-General António Guterres, has so far publicly avoided challenging new US President Donald Trump.
But on Tuesday, he threw the equivalent of a last-minute "Hail Mary" pass during a speech at New York University -- making the case for the US to remain committed to the Paris climate accord in terms that he hoped would change Trump's mind, by warning of a drop in the US's global influence if it pulls out of the agreement.
The election of Donald Trump as US president was a seismic event for Americans – those who celebrated and those who wept – and for the rest of the world. The currents that underpinned the result are neither new nor confined to the US: discontent with politics and economics as usual, lack of trust in elites and populist nationalism have been on the rise in many parts of the world. These were clearly expressed through the Brexit vote but also in social protests and electoral upsets worldwide, from the Philippines to South Africa to the Colombia referendum. For the United Nations, an organization that is in some ways both the elite club to end all elite clubs and the global voice of “we the peoples”, the new administration is likely to bring significant change.
The United States’ presence in the Indo-Asia-Pacific is transforming from a traditional alliance network (of Australia, Japan, the Philippines, South Korea and Thailand) into a web of strengthened alliances, new partnerships and creative linkages.
Washington must manage this transformation carefully, so its alliance network maintains a deterrent function and reassures allies, but does not exacerbate USChina tensions.
The India-U.S. relationship is presently stronger than at anytime in their history. The twin summits – less than six months apart – in September 2014 and January 2015 between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have repaired, revived and revitalized the strategic partnership. Yet there remain several hurdles to deepening the relationship, notably, geopolitical differences over Iran, Russia, Syria and India’s membership of various nuclear and missile export control regimes.