President Elect Donald Trump hasn’t talked too much about Afghanistan, but what is clear is his frustration with the current American foreign policy. From his disdain of the United States’ role in NATO, Middle East and Trade deals, we can discern some guiding notions his foreign policy will work under. He has criticized the NATO alliance, notably the reliance NATO members have on the United States. NATO being arguably the most important alliance that tilts the power struggle in favour of western nations, is relatively significant more to Western Europe than it is United States. Especially with Russia’s increased aggression in Eastern Europe. If President Elect Trump gradually isolates its self from the world, then the ramifications will undoubtedly be felt by Western Europe. The ramifications on Western Europe may also weaken the support they have for Afghanistan; this can also be dependent on Russia’s motives in Afghanistan.
In the Middle East the President Elect is simply elongating the concerns that many experts have been voicing for many years now, which is: why is the United States engaged in contradicting policies that cancel each other out? Saudi Arabia is an example, which illustrates the inherent contradiction in the U.S.’s outlook on the Middle East. If it has been conclusively proven that Saudi Arabia has funded terror networks, whether it is through charities or other funds, then why hasn’t there been any measures against them? It is unfathomable to many that the U.S. is engaging in battle against proxies that are financially supported by Saudi Arabia. With respect to Afghanistan, Pakistan enjoys the same partiality from the U.S. and President Elect has touched upon on this contradictory policy.
There has been a gradual consensual understanding that the major culprit in the worsening security situation in Afghanistan is Pakistan. With the new Trump administration, the money flowing to Pakistan will dry up and basically the only options that will be left for Pakistan would be to either become disenfranchised with the global order and become a rogue state or a cooperative partner for sustainable peace in Afghanistan. Either way there will be some drastic changes in American-Afghan relations and the government of Afghanistan should prepare.
For the citizens of Afghanistan Trump’s presidency should be viewed from a positive light, the Obama administration was an extension of the Bush administration. These two administrations preferred not to address the underlying issues in Afghanistan, which was the regional power struggle. President Elect Trump’s more direct rhetoric may force nations to reconsider Pakistan’s dual motives as well.KP
By Massud Ebady
THE PASHTUN TIMES