Thursday, December 13, 2018 | ePaper

Unhealthy foreign policy emerges in the United States

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Mohammad Amjad Hossain :
Unhealthy situation appears to have taken place at the White House, official seat of the President of United States of America since he occupied as President on 20 January of 2017 while hullabaloo came to notice when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, former Chief Executive of Exxon Mobil, was axed by President Donald Trump. There had been talks for quite some times to remove Rex Tillerson because he is not having good term with President Trump somehow or other. Along with Tillerson Under Secretary of Department of State has left. During his 14-month tenure at Foggy Bottom where Department of State is located Rex Tillerson feuded with President calling him "Moron" but he denied.
My understanding is that Rex Tillerson has been removed as a result of political pressure emanated from Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, who is obsessed with Islamic Republic of Iran because Iran has expanded its influence in the Middle East, including Lebanon, a close door neighbor of Israel, apart from Syria and Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. Neither Israel nor Saudi Arabia did  welcome nuclear deal with Islamic Republic of Iran by five permanent power of the Security Council plus Germany. Nuclear deal was initiated by President Barack Obama of the United States.
Since Donald Trump took over reign of the United States of America he is on record criticizing nuclear deal with Iran while Rex Tillerson was not in favor of change the deal along with National Security Advisor of President Trump. As Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was in favor of compromising dispute with tiny Gulf State of Qatar by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates plus Egypt and Bahrain, but it was not appreciated by Saudi Arabia, particularly Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia. As secretary of state Tillerson visited both Gulf countries to make a deal but his efforts did not bring any result. President Trump also sided with Saudi Arabia criticizing Gulf State of Qatar for supporting terrorist groups. Gulf state Qatar has been maintaining relations with Islamic Republic of Iran for economic reasons. Secretary of state Tillerson was not in favor of transferring American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. That is heart-burning issue for Israeli administration. Tillerson also supported staying in Paris Climate change agreement but Trump was against it.
Rex Tillerson's outburst against attempted nerve-gas assassination of former double agent of Russia by Russia in London might have caused another reason for his ousting by the President. It may be noted that Rex Tillerson, as chief of Exxon Mobil was decorated by President Vladimir Putin with Russia's order of friendship for signing an agreement with Russian State controlled oil company: Rosette at Black Sea port in June of 2012.  As of now President Trump is not seen criticizing Russia or offend Russia since Russian meddling during presidential election in 2016 remains under investigation. President himself is facing criticism by Republican lawmakers for congratulating Vladimir Putin on telephone for his-reelection in Russian Federation.
Rex Tillerson nor National Security Advisor Lt.Gen. McMaster is in favor of exercising military power against North Korea.Gen.McMaster was in favor of preventive war against North Korea but he expressed concern about Trump's abrupt decision to meet Kim Jong-Un. Lt. Gen.McMaster joined in February as National Security Advisor in place of Lt-Gen Michael Flynn, who was ousted because of telling lies to Vice-President of his interaction with Russian former Ambassador to the United States. Now National Security adviser is leaving White House, but reason was not known.
In his farewell speech at State department Rex Tillerson did not thank or even mention the president by name. During his stay at State department Rex Tillerson reportedly destroyed morale of foreign service officers. As a result, many officers quit state department while key ambassadorial posts in South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Turkey remains vacant. Neither Tillerson nor President knows nitty gritty of foreign policy.  
The announcement of appointing CIA Director Mike Pompeo to succeed Tillerson will cause disaster who is reportedly hawk against nuclear deal with Iran. The proposed appointment of former Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, who was appointed during recess of congress when President George Bush was in power, as National Security adviser will add further fuel in dealing with Iran. He is also recognized as hawk. Ambassador John Bolton Joined as National Security advisor who does not need scrutiny of the Senate.  However, Mike Pompeo is now facing interrogation by the Senate Foreign Relation Committee.  Another crisis is looming ahead following reported use of chemical weapons by Syria while President Trump has threatened on 11 April to take action against Syrian government.
Another disquieting news is that Deputy Director in CIA Gina Haspel, another hawk, will be appointed as CIA Director, who is on record responsible conducting" infamous extraordinary rendition programme" running black site in Bangkok and Bucharest where terror suspects were brutally tortured after nine eleven episodes in New York.
President's unexpected announcement on trade tariff has caused annoyance in Canada, India, European Union as well which has caused resignation of chief economic adviser Gary Cohen from White House national economic council on 6 March this year. Tit for tat action has been initiated by China which is second rising economic power in the world against United States of America. China announced new tariffs on US pork, aluminum and other goods in response to sighing trade sanction worth 60 billion against Chinese intellectual property theft. This was signed by President Trump on 22 March of this year.
It is hardly possible to see which way US administration is moving under the leadership of President Donald Trump in implementing foreign policy.

(Mohammad Amjad Hossain, retired diplomat from Bangladesh and former President of Nova chapter of prestigious Toastmaster International club of America, writes from Virginia, USA.)

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