Analysis by Reporting San Diego
Oct 13, 2017 (San Diego) We have seen many mistakes in foreign affairs by the present administration. The latest is the president’s decertification of the Iran deal, which is not just between the United States and Iran. It is a major error which will further degrade the influence of the United States on the world stage. This will also make any potential negotiations with North Korea far less likely than they were before. They were not great to begin with. The nature of the Hermit kingdom makes it almost impossible to predict. But the United States is proving that it cannot be relied on as a negotiating partner.
This reveals an almost cartoonish view of the world by the president. One where the Trump believes he, and he alone, should get agreements in place. Anything done before should be destroyed. Especially if negotiated by his direct predecesor. There is an element of racism in this. But also there is an element of proto-fascism, in the singular leader who has all the answers. This is also going against the National Security staff that the president has appointed to advise him. They include the Chairman of the Jounts Chief and the Secretary of Defense.
The actions of Donald Trump are not just a mistake, but dangerous to this country’s role in the world, going back to 1945. Decertifying the Iran deal, after leaving the Transpacific Partnership (for which there was no political will on multiple sides,) the Paris agreement, threatening to blow up NAFTA, leaving UNESCO, is also going to isolate the country on the world stage. When we have a president who does believe in force, and has weakened our ability to negotiate, this brings us closer to a major international crisis. This will not be the kind of relative low intensity conflict we are used to. Both Iran and North Korea (who have said the US has declared war on them,) have the danger of becoming quickly high intensity conflicts.
Other nations now know that the United States cannot be relied upon. Our word is literally not worth the ink on the paper of these agreements. The end of the current international order is at hand. This alone is the kind of damage that will last more than a generation. This is not making the country great. In fact, it is quickly making the United States an isolated, very well armed nation, with less real influence on the world stage. It is making the country a second rate power. There are winners in this dangerous game. One is Russia (Europe is turning to Russia for leadership on the Iran issue.) The other winner is China, which is quickly emerging as a power to reckon in the Eastern Pacific. Increasingly we are losing influence.
A strong military, which has distorted national spending priorities, is not the key to power in the world. At least not without a world class infrastructure, academic system, a healthy population and financial system. Three of those major items are in severe decline as we spend most of our taxes in the armed forces. Nor is it helpful to have a hyper wealthy well connected class refusing to pay taxes, even if to fund that military machine.