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American foreign policy

Photograph of old presidential campaign buttons

The president’s recent diagnosis with Covid-19 sent the US presidential election race into a tailspin. As Donald Trump and Joe Biden jockey to regain control of the media narrative at a crucial phase of the campaign, speculation about a possible “October surprise” is widespread. Today, the term refers to any news story that breaks late in an election cycle and has the potential to affect the outcome of the election. Yet its origins are firmly rooted in foreign policy. In particular, the phrase describes a sitting president’s alleged propensity to manipulate events to boost their electoral prospects. The president’s recent tweet calling for all remaining US forces in Afghanistan to return home by Christmas has fueled suspicions that Trump is playing politics …

One year has passed since Donald Trump’s inauguration as president and his promise to reorient American foreign policy away from a liberal internationalist agenda to putting “America First.” Since January 2017, the Trump administration has jettisoned major diplomatic achievements of the Obama years – the TPP and the Paris Climate Change Accord. Further, he has called for a revision of the Iran Nuclear Deal and NAFTA, escalated the nuclear standoff with North Korea and threatened to disrupt relations with its long-term allies in Europe and Asia. The main features of the new American foreign policy so far have been: A transactionalist, business-style approach to international bargains, with the aim to negotiate or re-negotiate treaties on more favourable grounds for the …

It is slowly dawning on us all that Donald Trump was right when he said that the American election day ‘will be Brexit times 10’. In my experience, 4,000 miles across the Atlantic, people looked ten times more shocked when they saw Trump give a victory speech than when it became clear that their country had decided to leave the European Union. Much has been written about Trump’s hateful rhetoric, which has offended 282 people and places on twitter alone, and the possible ramifications of his breaking long-established domestic norms. But it is the global implications of a Trump presidency that worries people across the globe. If he makes true on his campaign promises, we would see a large-scale withdrawal …