USA

Fayaz Ganaie

Whatever may be our ideological affiliations and national interests there is no denying the fact that United States of America is most powerful country of the world. This even the rivals, and staunch rivals, of this country accept, if not overtly but covertly. The rise of some countries like China though pose great challenges to the United States but they have still long way to go to topple this country from the status of the supreme country of the world in terms of military and economic power, and her influence as well.

There is a caveat, being powerful never means being so perpetually if the power is not reinvigorated to suit the requirements of the changing circumstances of the world order. This is true about the most powerful country of the world also; she must keep working along the lines – working on the lines which made her powerful – in order to overcome the challenges and threats that are posed by the changing conditions. So far the country has done enough to remain on top. The leadership role that she acquired, after Britain was ousted from this position, has been kept intact by the efforts of governments that have ruled this country and the active support of their people. The US accomplished this status in comparatively lesser time if we keep the entire human history in view, and the rise of other countries and civilizations that have ruled the world in the past. The US gained independence in the latter part of the eighteenth century and right away started treading the path to become a world leader which it did become. For some time, after acquiring this role, there were challenges from the erstwhile Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) but the disintegration of the latter country made the United States undisputable leader of the world. Truly a commendable job!

As already stated there are only a few who dispute this, however, from within the United States some signs and signals emerge which suggest that the process of descend of this country has perhaps already begun. Probably the reversal started during the very times when the United States was at the zenith of its power and progress. This is in line with the fact that the same very factors which make a country powerful possess the seeds responsible for turning the tables and bring in the decline. That precisely seems to be the case with the US. Somewhere it is use and misuse of power, means & measures that made it powerful and the misuse of the influence of this country which are responsible for the beginning of the reversal. The reckless policies, and decisions, of the leaderships and also the blind trust that the people of the United States reposed on their leadership yielded three main unpleasant outcomes for it. Firstly, the US has been proved as not invincible. The losses suffered in the Vietnam and Afghanistan dented its influence badly and convinced many states and non-state actors that it can be defeated, if not by conventional means but by nonconventional ones, if not by challenging its nuclear might but by economic strategizing so on and so forth. Secondly, its policies forced other countries to enhance their military power, and prowess, which they did.  After these countries acquired more lethal weapons of mass destruction, nuclear weapons, the capability to carry those weapons to almost every part of the world including the US and the capacity of the nuclear installation to withstand a nuclear strike gave them semblance of security. This reduced the impact of threats, which play important role in international relations, at least for these few countries. Few of these countries now dare to look straight into the eyes of the US, and at times dare it too. Thirdly, the cumulative impact of the first two reduced the influence of the United States in the world affairs. Earlier hardly any country would afford to go against the US in the United Nations Organization but today there are instance(s) where almost entire world stood against this country. Recently the humiliation that the United States suffered in the United Nations, first in the Security Council and then in the General Assembly, against its decisions to declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, can be a case in point suggestive of the lost moral credibility and influence of the US.

Amidst all this the ascent of Donald Trump to the throne of the United States has cleared the haze to a great extent; it has brought the American dissatisfaction, and threats as perceived by its citizens to the open. Concurrently, it has made explicit the lesser influence and credibility that the United States enjoys in the current world order. The sort of open diplomacy that he conducts, by his tweets, has made many things clear by their direct meanings or implied meanings. The tweet in response to the North Korean leader which reads, “North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the ‘Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times. Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!” manifests clearly that the United States feels threatened by North Korea, whatever may be the extent of that threat. Conversely, it can mean that North Korea fears less of the US and she got some recognition by this tweet. North Korea is called as the rogue state in the current world order and the response of the highest power to this rouge state is a kind of valediction towards North Korea. Had it been the United States of earlier times, an undisputed world leader, action would have been taken without giving any credibility to the words of the North Korea. It is implied that North Korea possesses a nuclear button, however smaller it may be and about the working and not working the button, may that never be tested! That really is recognition for a country which has remained under sanctions for most part of its history.  A characteristic of a superpower, and a mature power, is that it reacts not towards minor players initially but when it acts the action is pure and simple action and not worlds only. There are no premature and kneejerk reactions and there is no confusion, what has to be done is clearly worked out and action taken. Influence and diplomacy of such a country at most of the occasions proves enough to bring the desired change. In case of the United States it has ceased to be the case, it is behaving like any other weak country of the world even though it is powerful.

A few tweets against Pakistan seem to have invigorated the latter country, at least in her public discourse. Like this one of January, 1st 2018 where President Trump wrote: ‘The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more! After this tweet, and after the expected support from China towards Pakistan, an impression has been generated where it appears that Pakistan is working at equal terms with the United States. Unlike in past the Pakistan is acting more aggressively this time. The bold and brave statements which officials and politicians are issuing would have been suicidal for the country in the past. In fact, the statements are more aggressive than that issued by the United States. The results seem to be turning the tides in favor of Pakistan. Comparing this state of affairs of the American foreign policy it can safely be said that all is not well with the United States. The rise of Trump has not helped to ease out the difficulties of his country. The aggressive posturing that it displays poses the threats to backfire, and in many cases they do backfire. This behavior is clearly in negation of the appropriate and expected behavior of a mature world power. Unlike the past, where diplomacy was able to convince many people in the world that her policies are not only in the interest of America only but also in the interests of the rest of the world. Today the world knows the American interest is the supreme and only interest that the government of this country works to serve. The interests of all others are of little value and no value for her. Foreign policy of the United States under Trump, therefore, can be describes as erratic. The consistency that was maintained in this policy, at least in appearance to the rest of the world, has faded. There now is consistency in its inconsistency which many people in the United States have also realized. It is reported that the Deputy President is readying himself to take the reins of presidency if trump remains consistent and erratic in this inconsistency, and insanity as few calls it so. Some of the top bureaucrats have shown clear signs of dissatisfaction with the working of Trump administration and there are reports of few resigning from their posts. Blaming everything on Trump is doing injustice to the truth. The earlier presidents of the US are equally to blame, if not more. It is they who allowed the things to progressively deteriorate and which made conditions conducive where a person like Trump was able to gain power. Collectively it is the irresponsible behavior of all these people which provided the weak countries, like North Korea, Pakistan and all others –who never would go against the US in the world forums, to take the foreign policy of America with utter disregard, at least in their public discourse. America should rightly learn the lessons from the human history and it is human history which dislikes haughty attitude of humans and countries. It is human history which has buried great civilizations under the heaps and heaps of dust without leaving any traces. Who would have thought during the hay days of those civilizations that one day nothing of them will remain, and if there might remain anything and that would be representative of their irresponsibility and carelessness to give respect to the forces of the history and tread cautiously. They fell suddenly, and some died gradually.  These great lessons should be remembered till perpetuity and no great or small power of the 21st century can afford to forget them. Those who will do so are doing that for their own peril. So the best policy for the United States is to stop over indulgence in the world affairs. She must know that she too has limitations, and stretching beyond limits, in disregard of those limitations is an utter folly, a disservice to her own people and the people of the world. It is time for her to let the concerned world bodies to take care of their concerned roles in the international relations. With her support, which has been kept in limbo since the time new dispensation came to power, they can make the world a more secure and sustainable world. It is also in her interest to give recognition to other world powers that can also play great role in achieving the collective objectives of humanity.

Changed times demand a changed behavior and as America is an important player in the world affairs so her behavior requires changes for the betterment of all. It is time for US to stop acting aggressively and harmfully and start working constructively and collectively. Together only we might be able to defeat the enemies of humanity which we have created by our own hands else we stand already defeated. Defeat for humanity should not be an option. Of course it should not be an option!

Tag: Politics

Burbs: The reckless policies, and decisions, of the leaderships and also the blind trust that the people of the United States reposed on their leadership yielded three main unpleasant outcomes for it.

A few tweets against Pakistan seem to have invigorated the latter country, at least in her public discourse. Like this one of January, 1st 2018 where President Trump wrote: ‘The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit and thinking of our leaders as fools…

Changed times demand a changed behavior and as America is an important player in the world affairs so her behavior requires changes for the betterment of all. It is time for US to stop acting aggressively and harmfully and start working constructively and collectively