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Revival of US Isolationism

 Going back to the history and recalling the farewell address of George Washington and the current elected president of United States have certain commonalities like in international system no permanent friends and foes and focusing on commercial alliances and the slogan of Making America great again.

The President-elect Donald J Trump is basically through his speeches is reviving the principles of American foreign policy that is Isolationism, Moralism, and Pragmatism.

Throughout his election campaign, he is talking about what role NATO had played till now and his criticism on different issues like Obama’s policies, immigration rules, and US-Iran nuclear deal. It seems like he is trying to run the foreign policy as a business deal where your only concern about the profit and no losses at all.

The principle of isolationism, in a sense, that intervention outside the world, only leads to economic crisis and budget deficit and increase in unemployment and domestic crisis in the US.

Moreover, the last priority will be given to national interest instead of collective interest and the relative gains vs. total earnings and his strategy to reshape the military strategy is to use only to pursue only its interest  in the world. It revealed that he is reviving the policy of economic alliances of George Washington. The thing which is not suitable for the Trump vision will be sidelined.

The principles of moralism and pragmatism only in that way that Americans are indispensable and exceptional whether its institutions, individuals, culture, etc. the thing which is in the vision of US is right and moral will be good that is prevailing the concept of might is right, and for that purpose their policies are moralistic and pragmatist and there will be no rethinking or re-evaluation on that and no compromises will be made on these three foreign policy principles. His ultra-realist approach is to some extent will be beneficial, but it will put the US in serious troubles in foreign policy management.

The impact of this also affects the transatlantic relations and also turning the situation in the favor of emerging powers and non-state actors to become active in the world and weakening the role of US power which it enjoys since decades due its principles of internationalism and as a global hegemon and policeman of the world whose role is to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the nations.

The US mindset of isolationism which will prove to be a winning strategy adopted by the successful candidate in the current elections has brought grave consequences for the whole world. The slogan of isolationism and protectionism and making America Great is a matter of concern, because though it help to win the elections, but it will put in danger American prestige of being the hegemon of the world and various experts argue that it’s going to decline from the status of the hegemon.

Moreover, though the Trump and his team have some common interests like on the issue of immigration and some other matters but their difference of opinion regarding the Iran nuclear deal and policy towards middle east will pave the way for rifts between Trump and its advisor and have serious effect, and it will prove to be a tug of war between Trump and his Advisors.

The another point of concern is that the claim of Trump administration of making America Great and ideology of isolationism is rally going to work or not. Because it will be impossible in this globalized world to pursue the policy of isolationism because if any part of the world is facing instability, it will have spillover effect immediately.

Moreover, the policy of protectionism and putting barrios to free trade also results in closing down of its business and results in the budget deficit. Another factor is the US friendly policy towards Russia and harsh policy towards China which is one of the biggest partners of American trade is going to work for it in future.

In order to maintain the status of hegemon, it’s necessary to focus on the process of internationalization rather than focusing on isolationism and pursuing friendly relations with the European states in order to acknowledge its status, because isolationism can’t work in the globalized world but one thing is that not only acquiring a hegemon status but also helps its allies to counter their issues on their own and making them independent, though adopting the strategy of making commercial alliances and avoiding permanent alliances that is the policy of George Washington because it’s the reality that there are  no permanent friends and foes in international relations, this strategy if adopted by current administration will prove otherwise the strategy that Trump is claiming of focusing only on domestic politics and alienation on the issues of foreign policy will prove fatal in the future and dangerous for not only the world but also for the Americans.

By: Mehmoona Malik | The writer is a student of M.Phil in International Relations from Quad-i-Azam University, Islamabad and has a keen interest in Regional and International Politics.