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Foreign Policy of the United States: Evolution of the Trump Government Within the Obama Government and Its New Politic Relationships

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In the end, 2018 was not the year of U.S. foreign policy apocalypse. Normally, this would not be a cause for celebration. But given the anxiety about President Donald Trump and what his administration might do—pull out of NATO, start a war with Iran or North Korea—it was something to be grateful for. In fact, Trump’s first two years in office have been marked by a surprising degree of stability. The president has proved himself to be what many critics have long accused him of being: belligerent, bullying, impatient, irresponsible, intellectually lazy, short-tempered, and self-obsessed. Remarkably, however, those shortcomings have not yet translated into obvious disaster

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Of course, skepticism abounds as to the president’s ability to sustain and manage such a comprehensive reorientation in U.S. strategy. Conceiving policy is one thing. Executing it another. In the first instance, there’s a concern that the notoriously impulsive Trump might preemptively abandon a get-tough approach that seeks systemic changes in Beijing’s bad behaviors in exchange for little more than narrow progress on the trade deficit, allowing him to claim a short-term political victory. Even more worrisome, however, is the question of whether Trump has the strategic competence to navigate what amounts to a new cold war with China—to keep it from turning hot while securing vital U.S. interests. History suggests that periods of power transition in international politics are notoriously risky under the best of circumstances. Adding an erratic and inexperienced president to the mix could well make it even more so

Nevertheless, valid as these concerns may be, they don’t negate the overriding importance of the administration’s clear-eyed prioritization of the China threat as the foremost challenge to U.S. national security in the 21st century.

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The Trump Administration will test the durability of some of America’s longstanding alliances but may create opportunities for new cooperation with others. Trump has expressed that he wanted to improve the United States relationship with Russia, more specifically he wants a closer relationship with Putin (Tucker). Improvement in the U.S.-Russia relationship could alleviate the risk of an escalation in tensions between Iran and the United States. Russia is hopeful for the Trump administration will be friendlier toward them and will “weaken or even diminish sanctions that were previously imposed on them after the annexation of Crimea in 2014” (Tucker). These sanctions being lifted would allow for President Putin to pronounce himself a winner in the stand-off with the Western powers before the presidential election in 2018 (Tucker). Authorities in Ukraine fear that more cordial relationship between the U.S.-Russia will “undermine U.S

support for their reform process” (Tucker). Since the Maidan revolution in 2014, the U.S has been a “committed ally helping finance the new government guaranteeing its international bonds and supporting the IMF program in Ukraine” (Tucker).

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As has been noted, , the U.S. foreign policy is characterized by various differences when the Obama administration and the Bush administration are considered. In Obama’s case, his initial days in office were characterized by improved international relations, especially in the Middle East. This was the case for some time, until Arabs became dissatisfied that President Obama did not fulfil his promises.

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Fishel, Justin. “7 Major Foreign Policy Challenges Facing President Donald Trump.”ABC News. ABC News Network, 23 Jan. 2017. Web. 11 Apr. 2017.

Friedman, George. “Trump’s Conventional Foreign Policy.” RealClearWorld. Geopolitical Features, 9 Feb. 2017. Web. 17 Apr. 2017.

News, CBS. “What North Korea Missile Launch Means for U.S.-China Relations.” CBS News. CBS Interactive, 14 Feb. 2017. Web. 17 Apr. 2017.

Trump, Donald J. “Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump).” Twitter. Twitter, 09 Apr. 2017. Web. 12 Apr. 2017. .

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