0320 GMT October 22, 2018
More than a year has elapsed since Trump’s entering the Oval Office and yet there are a large number of ambiguities and doubts about his foreign policy, particularly toward the Middle East.
The degree of these ambiguities and doubts are to extent that an expert of international affairs has described Trump’s foreign policy as “a too loud commotion for nothing,” and maintains that no changes have taken place in US diplomacy since his ascension to power.
Stephen Martin Walt, an American professor of international affairs at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, believes that Trump is, in practice, pursuing the Obama administration’s foreign policy and has only combined it with a copious amount of brawl, media propaganda and swearing.
Another prominent analyst has even gone further to claim that the Trump administration basically fails to have a determined foreign policy, adding the behavior displayed by present US officials follows no pattern or strategy.
Fareed Zakaria, an American journalist and author, holds that the main distinguishing feature of the first year of Trump’s term in office was the absence of a certain outlook and strategy in his administration’s foreign policy. Those who disagree with this belief can list a number of moves and measures by Trump during the preceding year and claim that he had a brilliant performance. Their list will include moves such as the hasty release of the National Security Strategy in December, the decision to move the US Embassy to Al-Quds, sending Saudi Arabia and Israel, metaphorically, for a honeymoon and making organized efforts to turn all the regional and transregional countries against Iran.
It appears that an analysis of the recent developments and events would explicitly and vividly say everything about Trump’s foreign policy toward the Middle East. Right at a time when the main US ally, Saudi Arabia, exhausted and worn-out from waging a futile war against Yemen, dismisses all of its top military commanders and, in this way, clearly shouts the failure of the once conservative, but now adventurous, country, several-month long efforts by the US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, who is the most prominent player of Washington’s foreign policy, to condemn Iran over Yemen’s issue face a dead-end.
Haley, who had done her best to convince the members of the United Nations Security Council to convict Iran of violating the council’s resolutions, not only failed to persuade the council to issue a resolution condemning Tehran, but did not succeed in pushing it to arrive at a complete consensus over the issue to see the name of the Islamic Republic completely removed from the resolution in the end.
Thus, the Trump administration appears to be really attempting to make a number of moves in the Middle East having a certain strategy and target. Therefore, it would be wrong to say that the country lacks a determined foreign policy toward the region at the time being. Nevertheless, it is interesting that, as in the past two decades, the US foreign policy in the region is still based on a delusional image of the regional players and fails to be anything but an outdated hegemonic strategy and, more importantly, a ridiculous effort to deny the realities.
An absence of a certain diplomacy and a broad and overall strategy is not necessarily the real problem of US foreign policy in the region. However, it is the extreme vanity of the country which has led to a minimized harmony between its adopted strategies and the environment in which they are being implemented, and has caused it to make an unrealistic and phobic interpretation of its failures and defeats.
The cycle of the US delusion about and inefficient policies toward the Middle East has begun, at least, since the country’s occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq. Despite Trump’s claims during his election campaign, he has yet failed to be brave enough to stop this cycle.
*This article, by Mohammad Mehdi Mazaheri, a university professor, was first published by IRNA.