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4/24/19

USA -Trump's Foreign Policy: It is all about RealPolitiek and the EU better get their act together

Otto Eduard
 Leopold von Bismarck
While the US and most of the foreign Press is focused on Trumps twitters and the Mueller report, there has been a major shift in US foreign policy. 

Trump has embraced the law of the jungle, which political scientists and historians define as RealPolitik.

The term “RealPolitik” is widely used today as a synonym for “power politics” and understood as the realist approach to foreign policy, a venerable tradition that stretches from Machiavelli and Bismarck to scholar-diplomats of the postwar era such as George Kennan and Henry Kissinger.

RealPolitik can also be seen as the political approach of self-sufficiency. Decisions on public policy, when approached from a position of RealPolitik, are not afforded time for sympathy or compassion. Rather, RealPolitik is an approach of shrewd pragmatism solely on the basis of political expedience. 

Case in Point: In the Middle East the US Trump Administration has chosen three principal partners: Israel - the only nation in the Middle East with a nuclear arsenal - Saudi-Arabia, the number one oil producer in the world and Egypt , the country with the largest army in the Middle East.These countries have developed a very close relation with the US over the years and importantly to the US, do what they are told to do by the US. 

Realpolitik has played a huge role in this case, as it allowed Israel’s Prime Minister, Netanyahu, to successfully outplay the Iranians in most encounters, as proven by the recent Israeli attacks on Iranian military bases in Syria. Moreover, it allowed Israel to develop close relationships with Arab states that were previously aggressive towards the Israeli cause, a thing that was deemed close to impossible a couple of decades ago.

In Europe, the US Trump Administration considers Russia, not the EU, as the most important power, and developed a "cloaked", but nevertheless close relationship with them.It is no secret, except it seems to the EU Commission, that the US Trump Administration would like nothing better than seeing the EU break apart.

The EU has been engulfed in a state of political instability that seems to have no end in sight. Cohesion between member states is at a historical low, populists are gaining traction at a pace never seen before and a constant state of fear and paranoia has characterized the European population ever since the migration wave has hit the continent four years ago.

At present it seems that pragmatism and self-interest is what characterizes Western Europe the most and a fracture has appeared between the underprivileged East and the heavily industrialized West.

The recent emergence of the populist parties have made this very clear and now the European continent finds itself for the very first time with countries that have elected far-right or Eurosceptic political parties, as seen in the cases of Italy, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Romania and the Czech Republic. Realpolitik dictates that the ideology doesn’t matter anymore, but what happens when the two ideas are applied at the same time?

If Britain does not come to its senses about Brexit and holds a second referendum to stay in the EU,  it is very well possible Britain could become one of the poorest nations in Europe within a period of ten years, specially if Scotland votes to become an independent nation and joins the EU.

In the Far East it is quite obvious that the US Trump Administration considers China not only as the major power in the Region, but certainly a long term dangerous rival.

Both sides have fought a trade war over the past year with damaging consequences for the global economy.

Issues around technology transfer have been key during trade talks between the world's two largest economies in recent months.

"Every country now correctly recognizes that their prosperity, their wealth, their economic security, their military security is going to be linked to keeping a technological edge," says Stephen Olson, research fellow at global trade advisory body Hinrich Foundation.

But many also say their dispute goes well beyond trade - it represents a power-struggle between two very different world views.

Unfortunately, deal or no trade deal, that rivalry is only expected to broaden and become more difficult to resolve.

"We have entered into a new normal in which US-China geopolitical competition has intensified and become more explicit," says Michael Hirson, Asia director at consultancy firm Eurasia Group.

Realpolitik is now at play also between China and the US, at the highest level possible/

The upcoming years are not only going to be very interesting in the eyes of the people that pay close attention to what is happening in the world, but also quite dangerous as the status quo that has kept the world in a state of peace is slowly disintegrating, leaving place to a wasteland of ideologies, interests and individuals at play that will do everything to get into power. 2019 is the year that marks the real return of ReaPpolitik, on a state never seen before.

This isn’t the Cold War whatsoever, this is a completely different world. One based on economic factors, international political bullying and a shock factor never seen before.

Welcome to Earth, which side are you on?

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