Dear Commons Community,
The United States as a world leader is on the decline. Several recent reports are indicating that other countries namely China and Russia are assuming leadership positions in several key areas.
According to the Los Angeles Times, President Trump “has reduced U.S. influence or altered it in ways that are less constructive. On a range of policy issues, Trump has taken positions that disqualified the United States from the debate or rendered it irrelevant.”
Particularly impactful decisions include the withdrawal of the U.S. from the Paris Climate agreement, a failure to fully address non-ISIS related conflicts in Syria and Iraq, and the recent declaration that the U.S. will acknowledge Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The void being left where U.S. influence once was leaves ample space for a number of nations, and especially China, to rise to positions of greater world standing.
As recently noted by the New York Times, as Trump champions the return of coal and manufacturing, China’s President Xi Jinping “is making strategic investments that could allow China to dominate the 21st-century global economy, including in information technology and artificial intelligence.”
“Mr. Xi is all-in on robotics, aerospace, high-speed rail, new-energy vehicles and advanced medical products”.
China has now assumed the mantle of fighting climate change, a global crusade that the United States once led. Russia has taken over Syrian peace talks, also once the purview of the American administration, whose officials Moscow recently deigned to invite to negotiations only as observers.
France and Germany are often now the countries that fellow members of NATO look to, after President Trump wavered on how supportive his administration would be toward the North Atlantic alliance.
And in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the U.S., once the only mediator all sides would accept, has found itself isolated after Trump’s decision to declare that the U.S. recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Even in countries that have earned Trump’s praise, such as India, there is concern about Trump’s unpredictability — will he be a reliable partner? — and what many overseas view as his isolationism.
“The president can and does turn things inside out,” said Manoj Joshi, a scholar at a New Delhi think tank, the Observer Research Foundation. “So the chances that the U.S. works along a coherent and credible national security strategy are not very high.”
Trump may be making “America great again” but only in the eyes of the White House not the world.