America’s waning power will upset world order

Friday, September 4th, 2020 00:00 |
US President Donald Trump. Photo/AFP

This is hard to believe for those of us living in regions globally characterised as developing – the point that elections in the world’s remaining superpower is being interfered with and influenced from outside!

The campaigns for the November elections in the United States of America are only months away. The polls are tightening.

The wide lead that the democratic candidate, Joe Biden, had over the incumbent, Donald Trump over a few months ago is shrinking. But that is not the biggest point that is baffling.

The baffling point is that just like it was four years ago when Russians were said to have interfered in the elections in favour of Trump, those same Russians are said to be at it again. But this time the party seems bigger.

Those in the know say that among those interfering in the elections include of course the Russians, but that they have been joined in their nefarious activities by the Chinese and of all countries, the Iranians. It is said that they all want Donald Trump to win.

But the big question is why these people would be interested in the outcome of the American elections and in favour of Trump.

Because of the calculation that Trump, given four more years, will isolate the United States and in the world and limit the north American nation’s influence.

In the last four years Trump, by focusing on America first, has diminished American influence.

This came to the fore dramatically mid this year when America’s efforts to deal with Iran became a cropper when all but one of the members of the Security Council voted against it. Who could have imagined that a decade ago?

America, under Trump, has walked away on many global arrangements. They are currently in the process of disengaging from the World Health Organisation, meaning that America’s voice will be missing from the table when global health matters come up for discussion.

America is essentially at war with her North Atlantic Treaty Organisation colleagues.

NATO was founded to ensure security for North America and Western Europe, but now stands on unsteady footing because of the American stand.

America walked away from the deal its former president Barack Obama nurtured to stem Iran from shuttling towards developing its own nuclear arsenal.

Very little, may be Covid 19, seems to stand in the way of Iran now. Given, four more years there is no telling what other global or regional arrangements America will walk away from.

But that is not all, domestically there is increasing racial violence on American neighbourhoods.

From all indications the current president seems to thrive in it, promising to decimate it when he is re-elected. 

An America that is disengaging from the global scene leaves a vacuum. Nobody has the kind of power that an engaged America can bring to the table.

It would thus allow pretenders to the throne to rise up and occupy the space. 

Back in the continent, gone will be the days when African dictators would quake to think of their actions and what will befall them if they drew the attention of  Washington.

Take our own case of post-election violence of 2007. It did not take long before the Americans came calling and next thing, we had a handshake. 

It has happened again and again. If American influence is reduced, what is likely to happen is that we will end up with a global order where there is no one person calling the shots, and therefore no order.

That world order of no order will suit some countries just fine. But it will take us to the pre-world war era.

From the confusion some order will seek to emerge, may be America will re-establish herself as the chief sheriff.

May be another country will emerge. For those other countries, it is worth exploring if this would be their opportunity. —The writer is Dean, School of Communication, Daystar University

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