After the starting of Presidency of Donald Trump, USA has been challenged in many issues around the world despite being a hegemonic power since World War 2. In politics, nothing is perpetual but geography lasts in any circumstance. Allies are changeable but inevitable in world politics. To be a dominant power, every state has to influence other states geographically. USA used to maintain it very nicely. But current geographical influence of USA and ties with allies has waned not gradually, but dramatically. USA has invested a lot in geographical encirclement of Europe and Asia which were the main frontiers of US politics over last few decades. But over time the big-brother role of USA has been stymied by rising and regional powers. Trump administration has taken a policy of isolationism. This strategy resulted in reversal impact on the US position. USA can hope very lightly to regain its geographical domination in Europe and Asia since alternative rising and regional powers are more aware and impatient to fill the vacuum that USA shoves off.
Europe is on its Way to Go
Undoubtedly post World War Europe was greatly dependent on USA. Marshal plan was used to feeding to renovate destructed European economy and infrastructures. Marshal plan should not be considered as US charity to its European brothers rather it was a strategic way to prevent Western Europe from Soviet communist aggression. Gradually Europe united under the US leadership against its common enemy Soviet Union. NATO played a central role in this regard. European Union was beneficial for USA to perpetuate its domination in both market and military capturing. But newly elected president Trump thought it wrongly. He thinks Europe is the one who always eats without paying and USA unselfishly serves. It is one sided Trumpish view who does not even know that Europe is an integral part of its domination. Honestly speaking, Europe is also a witness and associate of its wicked acts. Europe has dedicated itself for mutual interest of USA. Iron curtails broke out, Berlin wall fell and finally Soviet Union totally collapsed in 1991 and Cold War ended. These achievements would have not been possible for USA without Europe. USA was lucky to control Europe but current position of USA has contradicted with European interest.
USA is now facing crisis within its alliance and geopolitical occupancy. Even it has conflict with neighboring Mexico and Canada
Common enemy of Western alliance has once despoiled but emerging Russia under Putin is not negligible. Already Putin has captured Crimea and continuously influencing in Ukraine. Putin has developed Russian nuclear arsenal with modernization. Last NATO summit in July should have been a cornerstone of western alliance to gang up against war monger Putin. Trump could not show the of wise man role of USA rather he exacerbated the unity of the alliance. After NATO summit, he met with Putin in Helsinki for two hours closed door meeting without any agenda. Trump’s suspicious activities with Putin also fueled blase and flame in his country. Russian interference in US Presidential Election question has raised again. We are not yet sure about Russian interference; if it is true, then Trump’s meeting with Putin would be a reward for Putin and certificate of his malfeasances done at home and abroad. Above all, it’s apparent that Trump has pushed away long been European allies and welcoming former enemies.
Division in NATO means partition in Western alliance. There are many contradictory issues between European countries and USA. Especially Trump’s trade policy, Iran Nuclear Deal, and none-confidence to NATO made Europeans angry with Trump. We have seen that thousands of people protested in the heart of London when Trump arrived in London. Trump supported BREXIT and tried to sermonize Theresa May. BREXIT bill has not yet passed in UK Parliament. There is a chance of second referendum. Maybe UK is going to stay in EU. Anyway Trump’s relations with European countries are not going well. Ultimate conflict over NATO budget got most priority. US objection over NATO countries is not a new phenomenon. But Trump has raised question about the relevance of NATO. Though European NATO listed countries are annually increasing their budget. Even everyone pledged to adjust 2% nation budget for NATO by 2024. Some days before the summit, suddenly Trump wrote some letters and sent them to European leaders to increase their budget 4% for NATO. European leaders explicitly declared that they were not yet ready to spend this amount of national money for NATO what Trump demanded.
In consequence of these conflicts, Western alliance is facing a big trouble. Europeans are moving to China instead of USA. Trump’s betrayal with Iran has put Europe in warm water. European is continuing relations with Iran to construct its personal image. European also has started creating bilateral relations with other countries. For saying, European Union has signed a historical biggest trade deal with Japan. Now Europeans are trying to give a message to the world that they have enough maturity in composition of their open foreign policy.
Asia Is Getting away from USA
We thought that Trump’s policy in Middle East would be different than his predecessors. But he is not firmly staying or totally leaving this region. He knows better what he is going to do. Assad regime survived from the brink of hole. Russia-Iran-Turkey-Assad coalition has been a dominant factor in Middle East politics. Putin plays the role of key striker. Russian military leads from the front as if Putin is a Tsar Commander. US policy was scattered in recent times. Putin took the advantage and wiped out ISIS successfully. Newly emerged Turkey and US conflict also created volatile situation within NATO. Trump could not establish any constructive policy rather he fueled conflicts in Middle East. Recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has created flame in Middle East. Now the world knows that USA is not a good mediator rather a traitor for world peace. Abandonment of Iran Nuclear Deal also raised the question about the US credibility. Now Tehran is building its short range ballistic missile.
Traditional US allies are also passing a bad time. Especially Japan, South Korea, Philippines and Pakistan are historical allies of USA. These countries are geographically very crucial to influence Asian politics. Trump has created conflict with every country. Last year was full scale war of words between Trump and Kim. Trump tagged Kim as rocket man, Kim called Trump a mad. But the scenario has been changed when Kim continued ballistic missile test. Trump found no way but to meet Kim. They joined to a summit in Singapore in June in this year. Kim asserted withdrawal of US military forces from Korean peninsula that Trump acknowledged. But it created a double dilemma for Trump. South Korean government does not want instant removal of US force because it may be devastating for South Korean national security. Strategically US withdrawal from South Korea may endanger the security of Japan too. That’s why Abbey is not happy with Trump’s policy on North Korea. Trump’s total denuclearization process has fallen under a big shadow. Kim certainly knows that nuclear is the only asset of North korea which is prerequisite for its survival. Ki may have heard the story of Lybian Muammar al Gathafi and how USA threw away legitimate Iran Nuclear Deal.
On the other hand, two rising superpowers reside in southern part of the Asia. Undoubtedly they are China and India. Once USA has influence over the region. Pakistan was the key instrument of US politics in South Asia. But ongoing relations between USA and Pakistan have reached at the lowest point. Trump consides Pakistan as a greedy foul who betrayed with USA. Trump has cut all previous facilities to Pakistan. Trump should have think about the worth of Pakistan in fighting Afghanistan. Now China is taking huge interest in Pakistan. China has created Gwadar port in Pakistan and invested a lot in its infrastructural development. USA should have battling against China geographically from Pakistan since Pakistan is adjacent to Chinese territory. Maybe Imran Khan will not be very interested to harmonize their bilateral relations. Modi-Trump coalition got coverage but there is little hope of it. US influence in South East Asia has waned. USA could not properly gang up against China in the case of South China Sea conflict. Trump could not provide any exclusive policy in South China Sea. According to current information, China has nuclear plants in its artificial island.
USA is now facing crisis within its alliance and geopolitical occupancy. Even it has conflict with neighboring Mexico and Canada. In this circumstance, USA should tighten nexus with its allies as the emergence of Russia and China where Trump is inaugurating various areas of conflicts with allies. It also undermines the position of USA. It would be tough for upcoming US leadership to convince its allies for securing US interest. It is not a good time to take isolated policy in this globalized multipolar world. Alternative powers are eager to replace US position. So it’s time to see in upcoming days what events are heading towards world politics.
Imran Nazir is a student of International Relations, University of Dhaka.