What awaits the world if Trump's political "reincarnation" were to happen?
    Simons' and Felshtinsky's predicitions on Caliber.Az

    INTERVIEWS  23 November 2022 - 18:43

    Samir Ibrahimov

    Former US President Donald Trump announced his presidential candidacy for the 2024 elections while his staff submitted documents for his registration as a candidate for the Federal Election Commission. This has now become one of the main topics among international media outlets.

    The former president has enormous funds to sponsor the campaign and is believed to continue being extremely popular among Republicans. He is believed to be a primary favourite, and he’s still adored by most Republicans.

    The US election is two years away, the first primary one and a half, and the debates between Republican candidates will not happen until the summer of 2023.

    The question is, if he does win in the end, what will his return to the White House mean for the world? We are, of course, primarily interested in the foreign policy aspect. What will his policy in the South Caucasus be, especially with regard to the settlement of Armenian-Azerbaijani relations? Over the past six months, we see that the Biden administration has been quite active in our direction. Will Trump continue this line, will he support any side more? What course will Trump take in the Middle East? The issue of Iran and relations with Israel and Saudi Arabia. And very interesting, of course, how will he react to what is happening between Russia and Ukraine? Will he try to stop unequivocal support to Kyiv, or will he not be able to do so?

    Famous foreign experts shared their assessments on this matter with Caliber.Az.

    "To begin with, I would say that a lot can happen in two years on the political landscape of the United States", said Associate Professor of the Russian and Eurasian Research Institute (IRES) of Uppsala University (Sweden), Dr. Greg Simons.

    "This month’s midterm election proved to be disastrous for Republicans, especially those Trump backed. Therefore, the assumption of his victory in 2024 is a big assumption. But still, if this assumption comes true, what could be his possible foreign policy priorities?

    I believe that he will again advocate for prioritizing America’s internal problems and revise US foreign and security policies accordingly. So there will be cases of concentration on some countries, regions and specific politicians.

    I assume that he would have very little interest in the South Caucasus and conflict resolution there if Iran were not more involved in this region now".

    The main benchmarks of Trump in the Middle East will be positive relations with Israel and hostile relations with Iran, says Simons. Although this will be more difficult now because of changes in the global situation, as the US continues to weaken as demonstrated by OPEC’s refusal to meet Washington’s demand for oil production" the expert stated.

    "And I think that the unconditional support for Ukraine will come to an end. In fact, there are already signs that these relations are changing, as Biden is tired of Ukrainian demands and perseverance. This can be seen, for example, in the rhetoric surrounding the missile incident in Poland. Ukraine is becoming an increasing political and economic burden for the West and in particular the US. Public opinion in the US is already lining up against supporting an endless war there.

    As I said earlier, the US is in decline, and it is on this basis that Biden promised to regain his role as a world leader in 2020. Trump is likely to step back and focus on various domestic issues, but at the same time increase tensions with China. So political populism and opportunism are likely to be the hallmarks of his rule", the associate professor predicted.

    According to American political scientist and Historian, Yuriy Felshtinsky, Donald Trump has already run for president with one important election already having taken place: most Twitter users have voted to grant him access back to the platform. True, he notes, the odds were small, just over 51% against just under 49%.

    "And to clarify two more points: on the one hand, we do not know how Elon Musk calculated this percentage, on the other: Twitter users, on average, are younger voters, and in general they tend to vote for Democrats, not for Republicans. So in this case, 51% "for" is a very good indicator for Trump. Although, of course, some voted "for" not because they support Trump politically, but because of their support for the principle of freedom of speech, which is also typical for Twitter users", the expert said.

    "With high probability, the Republican candidate will be Trump, because otherwise, he will announce that he is running as an independent candidate, which will rob the Republicans of their votes, and thus ensure that the Democratic candidate wins, which is likely to be current President Biden. The fact is, in American tradition, the party does not compete against the incumbent president. So if Biden says he’s running for a second term, the Democrats will have to agree. Objectively speaking, only his age plays against Biden. Everything else, such as the American economy and politics is a matter of opinion", the historian noted.

    "The Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict is in a certain sense impossible to resolve, as it requires compromise or concessions on the issue of territories. The parties are obviously not ready for these compromises. Probably, Trump will approach this issue, considering it not on the merits, but as an opportunity to discuss through the Armenian-Azerbaijani confrontation more complex issues related to the two larger powers behind this conflict: Russia and Türkiye, and the leaders of those powers - Putin and Erdogan. This is if Putin and Erdogan are still the leaders by this time, which is not a given, especially with regard to Putin. In fact, much depends on the course of the Russian-Ukrainian war. There is a psychological relationship between these two wars", said Felshtinsky.

    With regard to Iran, Israel, and Saudi Arabia, the position of any US president, including Trump, is and will be obvious, he stated.

    "Knowing Trump, he will move from quiet diplomacy and backroom play to high-profile public statements and threats, such as those we have heard about North Korea at the time (although nothing was really done then, and vice versa, There was some flirting with the North Korean dictator). It is clear that both Israel and Saudi Arabia are the traditional strategic partners of the US in the Middle East. The Democrats, however, allow themselves different levels of criticism depending on the situation, of both the Israeli government and Saudi leaders. Trump supported both sides in this regard. So for Israel and Saudi Arabia Trump’s victory will be good news. For all these reasons, Iran should be interested in a Democrat victory.

    But there is one important circumstance that may prove fatal.

    We have witnessed the establishment of a strong partnership and even alliance between Iran and Russia in recent months in the supply of arms, and this alliance seems to be becoming not only a military but a political one. From a military point of view, Iran supplies Russia with drones and missiles. And it could be considered, after all, a purely commercial deal. But the Iranian interest seems to be in another (especially since we do not know whether Russia has paid even one rubble for these weapons).
    Because of the protracted war in Ukraine, Russia is interested in obtaining weapons of any kind, including Iranian weapons. Iran is interested in developing atomic weapons, which it plans to use both to deter and intimidate the enemy, primarily Israel and Saudi Arabia, and to strike at that enemy: Israel and Saudi Arabia. For the latter two, the completion of Iran’s work on the atomic project poses an enormous threat, as Iran has repeatedly stated that one of its main foreign policy objectives is the destruction of Israel.

    More recently, Tehran has openly threatened to strike Saudi Arabia as well. It can be assumed and expected that Israel, with the tacit or open consent of Saudi Arabia and the US, will not wait for Iran to complete its work on atomic weapons, but will strike a pre-emptive blow to the country. Of course, this will lead to instability in the Middle East (which will be especially disrupted if Iran does develop nuclear weapons, even more so if done with Russia’s help).

    Today, Putin’s regime is very interested in breaking this stability along with Iran. This is what lies within the foundation of those two states' political union. Putin is blowing up peace in Europe and thus diverting NATO’s forces and attention from other problems. Iran, having received atomic weapons, threatens to blow up the peace in the Middle East and thus divert NATO’s forces and attention away from the Russian aggression in Europe. So here the interests of Russia and Iran are remarkably aligned.

    For this reason, Trump’s support for Israel and Saudi Arabia against Iran will come into conflict with Russia’s and Putin’s interests. In no way will Trump go along with this. So we may be surprised by Trump’s position on the Iranian issue. Supporting both Israel and Saudi Arabia and Russia (as Iran’s ally) can be very difficult", the political scientist points out.

    Trump’s position on Ukraine, more precisely in relation to the Russian-Ukrainian war, is easily predictable. Trump is 100% an ally of Putin in this war", he said.

    "Neither before this war nor after it began did Trump say a single critical word about the Russian leadership. This has its reasons: Trump’s personal dependence on Putin, and Russia’s financial and political support for Trump’s campaign in the last presidential election.

    So let’s hope that either Trump will not become president in the end, or that the war will end before the end of Biden’s presidential term. During the presidential campaign demagogue Trump, of course, will promise voters to stop the war and stop wasting the money of American taxpayers on it (and in this, by itself, there is nothing wrong). But once he has won, Trump will say that he will stop supporting Ukraine even before the end of the war, because it costs the treasury, especially since America is helping Kyiv with more funds than Europe, and under this pretext will stop support for Ukraine or even withdraw from NATO, leaving Europe alone against Russia, with all the consequences. Let me remind you that even before the war, during the 2016 election campaign, Trump repeatedly declared NATO an outdated organization and threatened to stop funding this structure under the pretext that the European Allies contribute a smaller percentage of GDP to its budget than the US. And from the accounting point of view, there was a bit of truth in this. But Trump’s considerations were not in any way financial, but exclusively political. The financial moments were just a convenient excuse for Trump’s strategic task of withdrawing America from NATO", the analyst stressed.

    "We will also hear Trump endlessly repeat that China, and not Russia, is the US strategic enemy and that we need to focus on fighting China, not getting involved in European affairs, which Europeans themselves must deal with. But Trump’s Chinese map is just a ploy to surrender Ukraine and Eastern Europe to Putin, because let’s be frank: if a military conflict between the US and China is truly inevitable (which I highly doubt), then Washington needs allies in this coming war. They are primarily NATO member states. So Trump’s calls for the isolation of America and its withdrawal from European affairs contradict the interests of the US even in terms of opposition to China", Felshtinsky concluded.


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