Thursday May 23, 2024

Donald Trump’s pre-election doctrine — Indo-Pak mediation fiasco

By Senator Rehman Malik
September 04, 2019

Donald Trump is a man of multiple traits and he knows the art of survival through thick and thin both in his business & politics. He believes in first using something/ someone for personal gains and then discarding as he does not believe in carrying deadweights. The world witnessed how he has abandoned many from his cabinet having no remorse about ousting of his old colleagues and his business partners.

He knows the art of disposing off and then keep moving and pursuing his target like a shroud business man. He believes in success by achieving his set targets. Undoubtedly he inherited a pile of issues and challenges from Obama administration as under:While Obama had promised to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Iraqi war did not end under him though a timetable was set under the Bush Administration. Afghanistan is still being fought despite several promises of withdrawal of troops by Obama and subsequently by President Donald Trump, they also expanded their military aggression into other Middle East nations, and Obama's Administration killed more people with Drones than Bush.

Trump was engineered into the same policy though he also promised to withdraw the troops from Afghanistan but nothing has been done yet. On the other hand, Obama left an even bigger challenge for Trump in the name of Iranian Nuclear deal which is an agreement on the Iranian nuclear programme signed by Obama in 2015 with Iran including (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States and Germany). Donald Trump after coming into power disapproved the deal hence; he announced US withdrawal from nuclear deal in 2018 on 12th June and instituted highest level of sanctions on Iran. It took little time for the world to understand as to why abruptly he did.

The "Arab Spring" was a bust, nation building in Egypt and Libya, brought disasters in both of those countries. There is greater mess in Syria, Lebanon, and around the Middle East being the part of Obama's failures. The military intervention in Libya overthrew Gaddafi’s regime and turned Libya a source of terrorism as the country stood divided into Administrative units one operating from Tripoli and other from Bin Ghazi. USA perhaps wants Libya to remain as a divided nation.

The consequence of its action in Syria was even worse as above 5000 civilians have been killed by US airstrikes in Syria by now. The first missile airstrike on Syria by USA seems to be the replication of 9/11 incident which has never been proven to have happened the way it was claimed by media. US made its first missile airstrike in 2017 upon an unfounded and unproven reason stated for the attack. Similarly, Trump while running for President talked about staying out of wars and continually criticized all the other candidates for their foreign policy positions which always included interventionism and we have seen what he did actually in Syria after becoming one. It has now become a regular exercise of USA Presidents of indulging into large scale military conflicts with vulnerable or weak states.

The clear evidence of this behavior of US Presidents is that there are very remote possibilities of USA engaging into full scale military conflict with North Korea. Although USA vehemently wants to resolve North Korean problem and it would have definitely dismantled its dictatorial regime as well as the communist ideology by now had North Korea not been a nuclear weapon state because of which, even a small attempt or threat of conventional warfare against North Korea would induce them to fire nuclear weapons. While USA again could have used military option towards North Korea, President Donald Trump assumed North Korea as a potential threat and wisely took the initiative of extending hand of friendship towards Kim Jong in to reconcile with North Korea.

Over the course of this election campaigning, Trump made a lot of promises that he has not yet been able to fulfill. He’s made a lot of promises, and some of them he’s backed down from. He promised to build a wall along the US and Mexico border despite knowing that it would be impractical, expensive, and useless. Now after becoming the President he has stopped talking about the wall since he never had an intention of building one. He had serious attack on interfaith harmony & set the seed to destabilize the Middle East by recognizing Jerusalem and backing a secret war against Iran. Also re-introducing tariffs on Iran when they had not violated Iran’s Nuclear Agreement with the Western Powers. There has been no legislation on infrastructure under him. Despite getting nothing done via legislation, he has been very effective in dismantling govt programmes like EPA, Housing, and Education. He has been successful in appointing conservative judges. He broke his promise to release his tax returns if he was elected, and then lied by saying no one cared about them.

Trump’s tax cuts are utterly wrong-headed and self-serving because most middle class families would end up paying more of taxes. He promised to make America great whereas he has become more an ally of Russia, whilst distancing himself from Europe and America’s long standing friends. All of his policies aim at making the rich richer. Policies that directly aim at currying favour with his followers in order to keep him in office to be able to make the rich even richer. He has no interest in solving the problems US needs to solve. Trump promised to bring America’s trade deficit down. But during his administration, the trade deficit has hit an all-time high instead. The United States is now importing more goods and services from the rest of the world than exporting.

Lately, Donald Trump made another promise by offering to mediate between Pakistan and India on Kashmir issue upon visit of our PM Imran Khan to USA in July. Trump said so by adding that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked him to help ease tensions between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir dispute and that he would love to be a mediator. It was after Trump’s statement that India instantly abrogated the Article 370 which gave special status to Kashmir. Modi also snubbed Trump’s offer saying that he never asked for any mediation and that it should be clear that Kashmir is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan so no other country has the right to intervene. While India got irked by this, Donald Trump continued the norm of backing out on his promises and taking complete U-turns by saying that Kashmir indeed is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan and they are welcomed to discuss the matter and that I would also intervene if they wanted me to. It seems that Trump deliberately lied on Modi as he wanted to raise the controversy so that weapons could be sold to Kashmir if tensions escalate between India and Pakistan and war happens. Donald Trump’s own world doctrine is going pretty well as he has successfully managed to get out of his election allegation of Russian interference and fought it out well. He implemented his Middle East Doctrine and successfully created wedge within the Middle East and moving forward divide & rule policy and he is keeping Iran a live wire to keep the fear technology in hand.

I have no doubt in mind that while keeping Middle East happy dispute selling heavy arms & ammunition his boys must be in dialogue with Iran covertly. I had written my article “8 reasons as to why USA will not attack Iran” on 20th June 2019 which proven to be correct as despite intense war situation USA did not attack Iran. Iran is being used as balancing factor and the west has successfully launched two strong sects within the Shia community and it is likely that there will be clashes and yet an attempt will be made to bring the Ex Shah Iran son based in Washington back to Iran. But it will happen only when public unrest becomes uncontrollable. I foresee that Donald Trump doctrine would like to keep the status-quo till his election but the situation within Gulf will remain uncontrolled and war words will continue. While handling Iran the Donald Trump doctrine is working in Afghanistan apparently to withdraw USA forces as per his commitment. It will now all depend upon how the dialogue between USA & Afghan Taliban goes where Pakistan is providing full help. Donald Trump doctrine is not consistent as it varies with every new briefing of his CIA and Pentagon.

It is now widely believed the President of USA follows the indirect direction coming from CIA and partly from Pentagon. The Donald Trump doctrine is certainly not in favour of Pakistan as the conference in the White House most ended with regular demand of “Do More” from Pakistan. PM of Pakistan returned home from much talked USA visit with the message to do more in Afghanistan dialogue. Donald Trump doctrine will continue to undermine China with this region and tariff issue to bring further tension between USA & China. His doctrine will continue to work to reduce the influence China, Russia and Iran. It is an established fact that Iran has good influence on some factions of Taliban. If the matters are not settled between USA & Taliban then it is likely that Taliban will have open understanding with the expected trio China, Russia and Iran which definitely will dismay Trump.

USA under Donald Trump is more under the influence of Israel; hence Donald Trump future success will also depend on the level of support of Israeli business & Media tycoons. It is this reason that he has already won the major support while watching its interest in The Middle East. It should not be secret that major Middle Eastern countries are doing business with Israel which is being encouraged by the government of Donald Trump.

The writer is former Interior Minister of Pakistan, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior and Chairman of Think Tank “Global Eye”. He can be reached at:, Twitter @Senrehmanmalik