LOT is written and being written on President Trump. Fact is that rural white America has voted for him. One must go back two hundred years to understand the conservative philosophy of the Republican Party. The population genuinely felt deprived of the jobs and that they are turning in to a minority due to influx of immigrants. Even social credentials of Democratic Party did not impress the majority. The hatred against all immigrants grew in last four decades for multiple reasons but against Muslims especially after the end of cold war sustained propaganda was unleashed by the writers of Right leaning and after Soviet Union collapsed.
American leadership needed an enemy and Islam was declared the threat to western values and civilization. Last three decade saw gradual strangulation of Muslim countries and Islam thus made number one enemy. In this transition Muslims themselves played in the hand of Western Powers in general and CIA in particular. Muslims clergy was penetrated and Islam was used and being used in the name of Islam to create wedge amongst Muslims. Sects, nationalism . TTP in Pakistan, ISIS in Middle East and in many other Muslim countries is being used as vehicle to achieve the objectives. In the process first Afghanistan was destroyed in the name of eliminating Al-Qaida, created by US earlier against USSR and later Iraq trampled in a manner in the name of destruction of weapons of Mass destruction.
During election Hillary had claimed Trump is temperamentally unfit to be the President. It was dismissed as she is a political opponent. But during and after inauguration the body language of the President, his abrupt decisions which has put his white house team in turmoil and forced them to put out the backyard fires. The firing of Acting AG raised eyebrows, and now many alarming voices are raising serious concerns in USA, but it has global impact. The most important is the claim of Dr. John D Gartner, a leading Psychiatric, s interview that Psychologists do not reveal the patient’s condition until asked for and examined. According to him Mr. Trump case is different he has made an exception due to importance of his health and its impact not only in USA but globally. President is suffering from Malignant Narcissism, a dangerous mental condition. In this state the person display extreme aggressive behavior and can go to any length.
The first impact has been in USA itself. Ban the Muslims and wall along Mexico and other intended measures brought out millions out on roads of unprecedented number in history and in major capitols of the world. Trumps other intended actions on foreign policy, economic measures, environment, and his policies against different countries who do not follow US view is likely to disturb the already fast changing strategic scenario world over. Already many western capitals are raising serious concerns. Though US Russia relation might see some detente but difference are likely to emerge on major strategic issues and it has to be seen how Trump Administration unfold its polices . Muslims countries are likely to bear major pressure and wrath of Trump if they do not follow. Thus a very prudent articulate leadership is warranted to avoid backlash.
In Pakistan already Hafiz Saeed has been put under custody along with scores of his lieutenants. Opposition is claiming it is the first sign of pressure from new administration and already blaming the Government succumbed. Trump administrations India tilt is likely to embolden India, and, as I always have been saying that it a situation fraught with extreme dangers for Pakistan. Especially our house is in disarray and country may be pushed to war like in 1971 when we refused to realise the impending dangers. Pakistan is no doubt a much stronger country than it was in 1971 and a nuclear power, but the India has also grown in power and fast developing not only ground forces but its air force and navy. India is dumping money in missile technology nuclear arsenal. Thus there is a need for Pakistan policy makers to seriously reexamine it foreign policy. It cannot be left to few advisors. There is no doubt now the new emerging power balances not only in South Asia but also far in South East, pacific and Europe.
The NATO is already sensing the troubles and US put on notice Germany on the question of trade surplus by 75 billion. the deputy Finance Minister in a interview expressed grave concerns and indicated the imbalance due to cost of production in different countries specially China. There is growing feeling in Europe’s leadership to be independent in reckon making. EU survival is crucial for peace in not only Europe but also for the world at large. Mattis visit to Japan and South Korea is very important. There are 50000 US troops in Japan and 28000 in South Korea. If we go by Trumps election pledges where US troops are stationed, the countries must share the cost. How these countries react to be seen as they are important anchor against China, Russia alliance? The drift of Pakistan and Iran towards this all is but natural due growing Threat of India and US pressures and possible sanctions.
Afghanistan, Trump policy is not yet clear. Already US Command in Afghanistan asking more troops to get out of stalemate instead of engaging Talban in talks for permanent solution. It will put extra pressure on Pakistan. With Trump temperament he may approve Pentagon proposal for escalation of troops in Afghanistan. Nevertheless yes vote to UK PM on the issue of Brexit is a step toward drifting back to earlier nationalism of early 20th century which caused a race in Europe at that time to gain as much military and economic clout for each country paved the way for imbalance resulting in First World War and later followed by Second World War. Last one week actions of Trump are created ripples globally. But it must be seen how things move in next three months. Presently his actions at best are disruptive diplomacy. Already he has lifted sanction to do business with Russia and speaking to Australian PM to honor Refugee resettlement deal. In the region Iran has been put on notice in Missile test, certainly this is going to raise tensions and ultimately impact on Pakistan as well. Similarly what his policy is going to be in Afghanistan and Syria is to be seen in the coming weeks and it is there Pakistan importance emerges. It is therefore very important for Pakistan to be patient and very prudent in its approach. Knee jerk reactions should be avoided. In the end something good may emerge for Pakistan especially with regard to Kashmir irrespective of Indian hard line approach as both Pakistan will not like an Independent Kashmir to emerge. The settlement has to be on the lines enshrined in UN agenda. Similarly, there will be more pressure on nuclear issue and development of Missiles. A very firm and strong leadership is required which unfortunately is not seen presently. The government is mired in internal conflicts. Fake news are planted to create doubts in the country, and to create rifts within the institutions and our some of the media men playing in the hand of those orchestrating. An iron hand approach is required to stem this. Of the cuff statements are avoided. Even Europe is worried on the issue of fake news. We must not lose our horizon and long term national aims.
—The writer, a retired Brigadier, is decorated veteran of 65 and 71 wars and a defence analyst based in Lahore.