He pledged to “bomb the shit” out of ISIS and suggested that America wouldn’t automatically defend its NATO allies, but beyond that Donald Trump hardly mentioned foreign policy on his renegade march to the White House. Sub-Saharan Africa barely registered, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), well, it might as well not exist.
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.
Before January, Europeans should make preparations to safeguard the UN, again.
We face a US president who distrusts international cooperation, disregards climate change and disdains the United Nations. There is nothing unusual about that. Ten years ago, when I moved to New York, George W Bush was in the White House and his hellion of an ambassador to the UN John Bolton (who argued that “there is no United Nations”) was striving to neuter the organisation after the Iraq crisis.
The darkest fears (and silver lining) of a Trump presidency
Perhaps I shouldn’t be sitting down to write this at midnight. I am, I admit, in a bad state. I can’t help feeling that America has committed the most calamitous mistake of my lifetime. There will be a time to be reasonable and to think what one what must do to prevent Donald J. Trump from inflicting terrible damage to the United States and to the world. But this is a moment for the rending of garments.
Before examining the issue of nuclear armed cruise missiles (NACMs) a quick global geopolitical overview is warranted. The short post-Cold War period of cooperation between the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (the P5 in common parlance) has given way to greater direct interstate contestation between them today. Consider the US-Russia confrontation over Ukraine and Syria, the US-China tensions in the South China Seas, not to mention the latent conflict between China and US allies like Japan.
Andrew Jackson had every reason to consider himself the victor of the presidential election of 1824. In a hard-fought campaign, he had won the most popular votes and electoral votes, too. But because he didn’t gain an outright majority in the Electoral College, the election was thrown into the House of Representatives, as the Constitution stipulated.