Can’t wait to move on

For a man who presents himself as the defender of law and order at home, Donald Trump has created chaos elsewhere in the world. It has destabilized old alliances, legitimized autocratic leaders, disrupted trade flows. The rest of the world is just waiting for one thing to end!

I still remember it very well. It was “drizzling” over Washington on January 20, 2017, and we were definitely not as numerous as Barack Obama’s swearing-in … no matter what Donald Trump continues to think. It was there that he had served his speech about the “American carnage” that was ending with him, but above all he warned us that it would now be “America first and only America first”.

Forty-five months later, the United States is certainly in a class of its own, alone among Western countries to conduct a curious foreign policy where, as journalist and host Fareed Zakaria recently noted, “Donald Trump hates these countries, allies of the United States for 70 years and whose soldiers have fought and died in the wars waged by the Americans, Germany, France, Great Britain and Canada ”.

A weakness for the tough

His positions amaze him, as evidenced by the admission made during hours of interviews with journalist Bob Woodward for his book Rage : “It’s funny, the relationships I have [avec les leaders étrangers] : the harder and meaner they are, the better I get along with them. “

What gives the suspicious flirtation with Vladimir Poutine, the blessing granted to the Saudi Mohammed ben Salman despite the atrocious death of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the delusional confession that he and Kim Jong un “fell in love”. From Turkish Erdogan to Brazilian Bolsonaro to Hungarian Orban, all leaders whose policies have compromised their legal and democratic institutions have found a sympathetic ear in Trump.

Creative destruction, really?

Rather, the changes – perhaps necessary – to be brought about by the Republican president’s “dog-in-a-bowling” policy have led to dead ends. In Iran, the strategy of “maximum pressure” isolated the United States which did not even manage to obtain the support of the Europeans to extend the embargo on the sales of arms in Tehran, embargo which ends today .

Afghanistan appears to be the triumph of improvisation, as Donald Trump, after 19 years of engagement, decided that was enough. Barely Robert O’Brien, his national security adviser, announced last Wednesday that there would be no more than 2,500 American soldiers there at the beginning of 2021 that his boss, via Twitter, disowned him by wishing that all the world is “back home at Christmas”.

It’s not all black; there is that good deal of agreement between Israel and the emirates of the Persian Gulf, although the Palestinians find themselves in Gros-Jean as ahead. Otherwise, it’s hard to see how Joe Biden could do worse. What we hear rather is that a simple return to calm will resound, around the world, a huge “Phew! Of relief.

Less trust in Trump than in Putin or XI

Who inspires you to trust to run the affairs of the world?

  • Yes (Confidence)
  • No (not trust)

Merkel (Germany)

  • Yes : 76%
  • No : 19%

Macron (France)

  • Yes : 64%
  • No : 32%

Johnson (United Kingdom)

  • Yes : 48%
  • No : 46%

Putin (Russia)

  • Yes : 23%
  • No : 73%

Xi (China)

  • Yes : 19%
  • No : 76%

Trump (United States)

  • Yes : 16%
  • No : 83%

(Countries consulted: Germany, Australia, Belgium, Canada, South Korea, Denmark, Spain, France, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Sweden)

Source: Global Attitudes Survey – Summer 2020, Pew Research Center

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