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The US under Trump

The US under Trump

Since the US still wields considerable economic power and possesses unmatchable military prowess, the entire world keenly watched the debates between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican hopeful Donald Trump for the most powerful position in the world, the President of the United States. The incendiary statement of firebrand Trump against asserting China, Russia and Islam led an overwhelming number of think tanks to predict a sweeping victory for Mrs Clinton. But, out of the blue, Trump won the much-hyped election. Now, the world is anxiously waiting to see the way the foreign policy of Donald Trump would fare after he takes over the Oval Office on 20 January 2017.

After his inauguration as the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump is likely to confront a deeply unstable world: the Middle East is in the throes of simmering turmoil due to the ravaging wars in Syria, Yemen and Libya, and the rampaging militancy and the ideological rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia; the European Union (EU) is reeling under deadly terror attacks and, of course, the Brexit; Russia is rapidly extending its naval and military influence around the Mediterranean Sea and in Eastern Europe; China is audaciously flexing its muscles both militarily and economically in South Asia as well as in the South China Sea; large swathes of war-torn Afghanistan are still under the control of the Taliban and IS-Khorasan; North Korea is bent on clandestinely expanding its nuclear programme and the spectre of a catastrophic war between Pakistan and India is haunting the region.

US-Russia Relations in the Backdrop of Syrian and Ukrainian Crises

Under President Vladimir Putin, Russia has been expanding its power and influence in Syria and Ukraine since March 2014. After annexing strategically important Crimea, it deliberately expedited its extensive aerial bombardments in war-ravaged Syria in a calculated move to augment its already-growing sway in the Mediterranean. Threateningly, Russian hackers continue to systematically penetrate high-level military networks of the US, thus creating severe security threats for Washington. This has brought about escalation of tensions between the two major powers of the world.

President-elect Donald Trump has been less scathing and somewhat friendly toward Russian President Vladimir Putin. During his elections campaign as well as the debates, he categorically stated that he would mend ties with President Putin and reset the bilateral relationship so as to work jointly on flushing out Daesh from the Middle East. In his April 27 speech in Washington, DC, he said: “I believe an easing of tensions, and improved relations with Russia — from a position of strength only — is possible, absolutely possible. Some say the Russians won’t be reasonable. I intend to find out.”

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About Ayaz Ahmed

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The writer is a former senior researcher at the Pakistan Institute of International Affairs (PIIA), and now an independent researcher and columnist based in Karachi.

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