Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Top 5 Foreign Policy Problems Donald Trump Must Deal With As President

America faces an international order that’s unstable and in disarray. If Trump doesn’t act to restore that order, we may soon find ourselves in another war.
President-elect Donald Trump inherits a country deeply divided on a host of domestic issues. But the American people relatively agree about one thing—they don’t want to go to war. Unfortunately for Trump, America faces an international order that’s unstable and in disarray. If he doesn’t act to restore that order, we may soon find ourselves in another war.
Of the many foreign policy challenges Trump faces, a few stand out as the most pressing. Here are five conflicts the president-elect will have to contend with on his first day in office.
The most obvious challenge for the Trump administration will be dealing with the ongoing fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Currently, the U.S.-led coalition is battling ISIS in Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city. On Monday, a separate coalition also began an attack on Raqqa, ISIS’s headquarters in Syria. The goal is to leave Islamic State fighters in Mosul nowhere to flee to. Both battles are expected to last weeks.
But even if ISIS is defeated in Mosul and Raqqa, the battle against the millenarian Islamic group will not be over. ISIS will continue to fight a guerilla war requiring a sustained counter-insurgency to defeat them. The United States will have a role in this fight, but what will it be? Will Trump be willing to put our hard-won counter-insurgency experience to work training and fighting alongside Iraqi soldiers? ISIS will also move to strengthen its hold in places like Afghanistan, where it has increased its presence in the past few months. Will Trump pursue them?
But even without a serious territorial base, ISIS is a religious ideology. Its beliefs are contagious and difficult to root out. Let’s also not forget that many foreign fighters will be returning home to the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe, should ISIS loose its territory in Iraq and Syria, bringing with them fundamentalist Islamist beliefs.
2. The Syrian Civil War
To date, approximately 400,000 Syrian civilians have been killed in that country’s civil war. President Assad has barrel-bombed his people, used chemical weapons, and repeatedly broken cease-fire agreements. He is supported by Russia, which is demonstrating its growing influence in the Middle East and causing serious problems for U.S. diplomatic and military forces.
The Syrian rebels, meanwhile, are made up of diverse groups, including those with links to al-Qaeda and others we call, somewhat euphemistically, “moderates.” America’s difficult decisions include whom to back in this fight, what kind of weapons and training to provide them, and how to properly vet them to ensure we’re not arming a future ISIS or al-Qaeda.
This disaster of a civil war is part of President Obama’s legacy in the region. By backing down from his infamous red line, Obama emboldened both Assad and Russian President Vladimir Putin to behave as badly as they like. Of course, Obama had the help of his anemic secretary of state, John Kerry, whose love of diplomacy seemingly knows no bounds.
President-elect Trump can either continue this quasi-isolationist non-policy or take a stronger stance. The latter would require a willingness to use military force, which after all is the only thing that makes diplomacy potent. But will the American people support another engagement in the Middle East?
Read the rest of this op-ed HERE.

If you like what you see, please "Like" us on Facebook either here or here. Please follow us on Twitter here.

No comments: