Donald Trump is in the White House and he has his priorities. He has his presidential elections to fight this November. He has his impeachment to tackle before then. In all probability it is these priorities that condition his foreign policy. His type of nationalism favors his unilateralism. The self-proclaimed leader of the ‘free world’ can leave the tail to wag by itself. He must display his unilateralism on his own. And, so, he can ‘drone an Iranian general in Iraq and threaten more targets in case there is Iranian retaliation. This American ‘nationalism’ evidently sends the rest of the world reeling. Iraq, as American partner after deliberate American regime change there must now be bewildered at the cost of this partnership because the Americans targeted Iraqi soil and also killed Iraqis in the process. To boot, the delicate balance that post- Saddam Hussein, post-ISIS Iraq had set up with long time enemy Iran and its Shiite majority regime now appears in tatters putting Iraq once again squarely in a conflict zone engineered by Trump himself. Antennae are up once again in West Asia bracing for an Iranian backlash that Trump has announced will be countered by further such targeting. This unilateral behavior, furthermore, has no U.S. partners. The U.S. had had partners while dealing with Iran until Trump withdrew unilaterally from a nuclear deal with that country to which his partners, the other guarantors in the deal, remain in disagreement. Provoked by more sanctions by Trump, Trump’s most recent display of unilateral behavior has prompted Iran to forgo the nuclear deal altogether to the chagrin of the other Western powers to whom the deal as such remains congenial.
Iran, at the eastern end of the West Asian conundrum, moreover, borders fragile Pakistan and Afghanistan, the latter country hosting American military presence still. As much as these countries would very much come under the possible conflagration zone, perhaps a raw deal in Trumpism has been dealt to the Saudis with whom America under trump seeks to flaunt a new partnership. As is understood, the Iranians and the Saudis, it is learnt, were lowering the pitch of their sphere of rivalry in the knowledge that intensification of differences could jeopardize the region itself. As the region braces itself with a hike in oil prices as a result of this deliberate provocation, the drone attack set the world reeling in analysis of U.S. priorities. Trump is not just dealing unilaterally outside his country. His country also braces for the effects of his unilateral decision. It is now no longer just Russia or China or, even, North Korea that Trumpism chooses to aggrandize. The action’s long term effects on U.S.-Israel or U.S.-Turkey relations and with many more countries will have been brought under review out of necessity. The American president my relish his Lone Ranger image. Clearly, the world is increasingly uncomfortable because of this. A no-rules based system in international relations is certainly not conducive to global order and peace.