Last week Joe Biden was officially declared the President of the First World Power for the next 4 years. But which kind of World’s scenario is he receiving today, compared to the one received by Mr Donald Trump 4 years ago?
The pre-Trump world (the 2008-2016 Obama administration)
1. Second Cold War between the US and Russia, with terrible management of the Ukrainian crisis and in the choice of sanctions, Russia’s exit from the G8 and the collapse of the 2003 NATO-Russia agreements (Pratica di Mare)
2. A totally destabilized North Africa through the so-called “Arab Spring” (which would have been more appropriate to call “Arab Winter”). Libya bombed and handed over to fundamentalism, leading to an attack on the American Embassy in Benghazi. Uncertainty of action in Syria, with clumsy and inconclusive intent to overthrow the Assad regime.
3. Formation of the Islamic State. The destruction of Palmyra: an incurable wound for the history of Western Civilization).
4. US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Increase of military presence in Lebanon, Somalia and various other parts of the globe.
5. Formal authorization for Iran to proliferate nuclear power, albeit in a decreasing and controlled manner, through the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (which is perhaps the only diplomatic achievement of the Obama presidency, abandoned later for a good cause).
6. Israel, surrounded and besieged amidst missiles and anti-missiles, attacks and reprisals, increases settlements in the West Bank (+ 17% in 2013, + 40% in the 8 years of Obama’s presidency). The irresoluteness of President Obama’s words is demonstrated by the ambiguity of his speech at the UN in 2016 on the issue: while he was speaking to the world in favor of the Palestinian people, his own administration was earmarking a record 36 billion dollars for Israel’s defense.
7. A Turkey swerving towards fundamentalism, with the US enslaved to such an extent that Obama does not dare to pronounce the word “genocide” on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the tragedy of the Armenian people, whose commemoration in Yerevan is not attended by any representative of his administration.
8. Head bowed to China, the power which, in the meantime, in defiance of all universally recognized Human Rights, is colonizing Africa, silently invading the world (a commercial invasion with devastatingly unfair competition) and continuing irresponsibly to pollute it.
9. A North Korea that constantly threatens the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (or rather, “destruction of the USA”, understandably considered the “devil” after the brutality committed in 1950-53).
10. The martyrization of Latin American dictatorships. The end of the embargo in Cuba is decreed when, with the almost imminent (some say it had already occurred, but was kept a secret) death of dictator Fidel Castro, it could have waited a few more months to give a minimum of dignity to the 55 years of suffering of the Cuban exiles. Meanwhile, Chavez annihilates his Venezuelan people in an unimpeded way for the benefit of an oil oligarchy, followed by Morales in Bolivia.
11. Data-gate: the world publicly discovers that the US Secret Service is spying on governments around the world, including its allies.
12. American bombings in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Libya, Iraq and Syria, with a record average of one bomb every 3 hours in 2016. To the detriment of his Nobel Peace Prize, Obama was the US President who kept the United States at war for the longest time.
In sum, after 8 years of Obama Clinton/Kerry administration, we see a world in flames.
The World with Trump (after only 4 years, 2016-2020)
1. Relaxation of US-Russia relations.
2. Arab Spring passed to oblivion. In Libya terrorism is contained and oil wells are defended.
3. Territorial defeat of the Islamic State (especially thanks to the first point).
4. The new sanctions against Iran had made us worry, but Iran’s strategic downsizing (the killing of Solemani went without the announced retaliation) was also necessary to obtain the results in point 6. Hoping that a new agreement will soon be found providing for the total, not partial, suspension of uranium enrichment.
5. Phased withdrawal of US soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan.
6. In Israel, the American Embassy is moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem (as promised by all preceding US presidents, including Obama, but never realized). Subsequently, despite protests from the Arab world, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco recognize Israel and sit at the table with. An important step towards resolving the long-standing Middle East conflict.
7. Turkey threatened to avoid aggression against the Kurds following the withdrawal of American troops from Kurdistan. Crisis therefore averted by “talking tough” (“Don’t be a fool!”, letter from Trump to Erdogan in 2019).
8. Sacrosanct trade war on China, finally recognized as an enemy and not as a partner.
9. Diplomatic meeting with Kim Jong-un, where for the first time in history a US President is welcomed in North Korea and, consequently, a historical dialogue with South Korea begins.
10. Support for the liberation of the Latin American peoples from dictatorships: recognition of the Guaidó government in Venezuela and support for the fall of Morales in Bolivia (actions unfortunately currently undermined by the Bolivarian resistance). Renewal of the embargo on Cuba “until there are free elections” on the island.
11. Instead of spying on its allies in a secretive way, the US transparently asks them to proportionally contribute to NATO defense costs, thus finally stimulating a concrete debate in Europe on the creation of a Common Defense (also thanks to Brexit) and a European Army.
12. Unlike all his predecessors (except Ford, who lasted only a short time) from 1945 to the present no new wars have been started or implemented during Trump’s presidency.
Suddenly, after 60 years, the US has downsized its role as “Policeman of the World”. After decades of tensions, “Yankee go home” must no longer be shouted as loudly as it used to be.
And the post-Trump world?
Therefore, despite what the media have been feeding us for years, at least in terms of foreign policy (but also in terms of economic policy), Joe Biden receives a better legacy from his predecessor. Today, we can see the sky with a different eye: after 4 years of Trump, international geopolitics have become more stable.
The hope is a continuity with the actions taken by the past administration, with no return to the previous years.
Biden still has a long way to go in resolving the various global conflicts, but Trump’s innovative approach to US foreign policy (which will be studied on the books of “History of the International Relations”) has made Biden’s a downhill journey.
The first challenge is a hoped-for realization of the announced nuclear disarmament agreement with Russia.
Trade war against China (and request for compensation for having infected the world with Covid-19). Economic plan for Africa (a second Marshall Plan) to extract it from Chinese colonization. Normalization of Middle Eastern relations. Final step for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. Democratic transition in Libya. Liberation of the oppressed Latin American peoples. And much more. Will Biden be able not to undo the progress made by his predecessor?