“The decline of US influence in the world will accelerate in 2018,” reads the study released Tuesday by Eurasia Group,
The report said Trump’s unilateral approach to foreign policy is in stark contrast to the policies of former US Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
“With little sense of strategic direction from the Trump White House, US global power, used too aggressively by George W. Bush, then too timidly by Barack Obama, is sputtering to a stall,” it said.
Under Trump’s America First policies — which emphasizes American nationalism in international relations — and confusing tweets and rhetoric about US allies—the US-led world order has “eroded,” write the report’s authors, Eurasia Group’s President Ian Bremmer and Chairman Cliff Kupchan.
Bremmer is a US political scientist specializing in American foreign policy, and Kupchan is a former senior foreign policy adviser to the US House of Repres entatives International Relations Committee.
Eurasia Group is a consultancy that advises hedge funds and multinational corporations about how politics will impact business.
“We now see more clearly a world without leadership,” Bremmer and Kupchan note, pointing out that no other country or set of countries appears ready to replace it.
With global alliances and structures in a weakened state, the world is more prone to accidents and a major crisis developing, Bremmer and Kupchan argue, because “a misstep or misjudgment could provoke serious international conflict.”
Increased tensions with North Korea, the ongoing conflict in Syria, Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 US election, and terrorism are among some of the major factors that could lead to conflict.
Since Trump has abandoned US-led multilateralism on the global stage, there is a power vacuum that Beijing is moving to fill, the report states. “Until last year, China had avoided talk of global leadership, but now China is setting international standards with less resistance than ever before.”
As the Trump administration faces increasing pressure over the federal and congressional investigation into the alleged collusion between some American and Russian officials to influence last year’s US presidential election, the president is prone to lash out in unexpected ways and become erratic and unpredictable, they write.
“Strong courts and media lessen dependence for stability on powerful (sometimes erratic) individuals,” Bremmer and Kupchan write. Without them, conflict “will become more frequent, decision-making degraded, and internal chaos common.”
The report comes amid growing outrage over Trump’s controversial foreign policies, including his recent unilateral decision to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital. The announcement provoked international condemnations including a UN General Assembly resolution that overwhelmingly rejected the US move.
Trump’s unilateral decisions to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, “decertify” the nuclear deal with Iran and pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with allied nations has made his so-called "America first" approach appear more and more like ‘America alone’ stance, The Washington Post reported in November.
The influential daily further pointed to Trump’s recent decision not to recertify the Iran nuclear deal – known as the JCPOA – insisting that it has “put him at odds not just with China and Russia, but also with US treaty allies Britain, Germany and France,” the other signatories of the landmark agreement besides Tehran.