March 23, 2017
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American withdrawal may change geopolitics
The US president elect Donald Trump is going to alter the geopolitics in near to medium term paving the way for China to grab the vacuum space. This was perhaps long due and change never waits for any approval. Like the fundamental forces of nature, change has its own dynamics. Therefore, global order will witness a massive change leading to confusion and chaos. This is not only going to alter the strategic thinking but realignment of forces will also occur. A series of new calibrations will be made by US partners, friends and allies. Under Trump, American interests will look to set forth a new journey as he has little respect for traditional way of thinking. His vision to put America first may gain temporary leads but it will dwindle in medium to long term. Indeed, course corrections and neocon elements will play a bigger role for which they have been waiting for a decade. Overall Trump will attempt to reenergize the American economy in a more crude way. Yet, it is still unclear whether the problem lies in corporate governance for American companies to succeed or massive introduction of artificial intelligence is going to destroy American and global economy. On the top of it, climate change will drive global conflict module. No more global geopolitics will engineer war or destruction. In fact, geopolitics can only offer the platform but vital survival interests due climate change impact will unfold conflict mechanism in a new way. Trump’s arrival on the stage may create wide spread instability in the near term but slowly the direction for changing in geopolitics may find a settling point. The rule of law for which America is known, or for that matter a key ingredient of democracy, may usher in a new format. America’s withdrawal from global hotspots will only be temporary. Greater the withdrawal tendency takes its root, more chaos will touch American shores like a swirling storm.

Precisely, that was the case for the US during Second World War which gave Hitler a freehand in central Europe. The event more particularly known as neutrality had finally drawn America into a full scale war once Pearl Harbor was attacked. Thus, American withdrawal from burning problems will be impossible as it is fast emerging as a global village. There is no place for complete isolation. While Trump is going to be a pragmatist he would like to leave a legacy. He is very passionate about his fame. That will drive his actions faster than anticipated. For example, he is not keen on having NATO as a vital security bloc for the global peace or peace keeping role. For him, NATO is a burden on US strategic interests. Since the global growth features have shifted from trans-Atlantic to trans-Pacific, there is no need for maintaining status quo in keeping NATO alive without much purpose. Some of Trump’s advisors believe NATO’s relevance is long gone case except some core issues such as nuclear security and checking strategic arms race. Now, China and terrorism may focus as a core agenda for Trump. Both the issues are quite monumental to handle. While he will opt for settling domestic issues with revival of US economy, innovative ideas can really make America great once again. For that Trump will need high quality thinking and his ability to restructure flagging economy. Thus, even if the US pursues security partnership it would cease to remain a security guarantor for some traditional friends. For example, at one point the US was paying below 50 per cent of entire budget of NATO, today it shares more than 76 per cent of NATO activities.

Thus, the idea of collective security in an old format may have to go but total isolationism is near impossible for America. Since Trump believes in personal glory and interested for a strong legacy in history, his vision will change once he assumes high office. The global realities will not allow him to turn a blind eye to existing problems. Thus, securing America’s future will require accepting changes as time will set the agenda for direction. In fact, access to free capital and new markets will certainly drive Trump to find new allies and deepen partnership outside North American region. In the process, some could be left behind and new alliances may emerge. Disregarding history will create confusion for the present and may ruin the future. Trump’s ambition to scale new heights for America is going to be a fine model even for others who are seeking similar glory but talking is different from achieving the same. At a time when man-made problems and solutions have little endurance, looking for a full proof and secure future with limited ideas may not be a viable option. If restrictions are imposed on US companies to come back to American shores to augment jobs in a forced or coercive atmosphere, then most of them will collapse or file for bankruptcy. Even the rampant use of artificial intelligence and sedentary lifestyle of many Americans who thrive the day on sugary drinks can cost billions of dollars for their health care bills. Indeed, revitalizing a nation or nation building need courage and acumen of extra ordinary caliber. Whether Trump has that in him or not time will tell. But more radical change is knocking at the door for a new order.