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Friday, March 1, 2024

Noise yes, results we will see | Francisco Gan Pampols’ opinion on the significance of the United States elections

It is a common fact to treat elections in the United States as if they were some kind of planetary elections. In fact, it is said somewhat cynically that they are a world election in which only some Americans vote. The truth is that the significance of the result means that, indirectly, affects all international relations conditioning (in)stability and present and future alliances.

It is also common to overreact through ‘noise’ in electoral campaigns prior to the elections in such a way that, through high-sounding statements, a series of lines of action are marked that are probably impossible to carry out but that, nevertheless, serve to unnerve to an electorate eager for strong sensations and charismatic profiles, even if they are only so in appearance. For example, a button, the main aid package to Israel and Ukraine has been rejected twice -and for opposite reasons- in the United States Senate, transmitting a feeling of growing disinterest on the part of the American political class.

In relation to the thing before, some recent changes in the military leadership of Ukraine (Valery Zalhzuyi has been dismissed and Oleksandr Syrskyi has been appointed in his place) they also point to a change of orientation in the leadership and conduct of wartrying to have a contingency plan in case this lack of support continues over time.

The truth is that in the current campaign, in which the two candidates from whom the next president of the United States will emerge will emerge, the thick words are making their appearance and threats, direct or veiled, too. In a very recent intervention in South Carolina, the candidate trump threatened to encourage Russia to attack any European country that fails to meet its defense spending obligations adding that, for its part, there is no intention to defend those countries in the event of aggression by a third party. As expected, The Secretary General of NATO did not have time to censor these statements pointing out that they weakened the cohesion of the Alliance and encouraged Russian imperialist expansionism.

Attack on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard building.

What is true in Trump’s statements, his ‘noise’, remains to be seen, however, the effect they have produced is evident and not only within NATO. I have few doubts about the calculations that are being formulated both in Ukraine and in Israel, the Arab countries, Iran and of course the Palestinian Authority and the terrorist movements in the area about the possible consequences of a new Trump presidency to your interests and expectations.

In this case, although it does not have to be strictly linked to the precedents, there are enough indications to know What possible lines of action will be developed?: by the person who was the main facilitator of the Abraham Pacts, of the threats to NATO countries, of the breakdown of the agreement with Iran to control the production of enriched uranium for military purposes, of the threat of withdrawal of forces deployed in Iraq and Syria, the trade war with China, etc.

Without knowing exactly what can be expected if Trump wins, it can be anticipated that it will be something similar to what happened when George W. Bush succeeded Clinton, in which the slogan in the White House was ABC -Anything But Clinton- something like “anything but Clinton”, implying that the new mandate could not or should not be similar to the previous one in any way.

With the new period that is approaching -whether Trump wins or not-, instability and uncertainty are likely to increase in the different current conflict scenarios and in the potential that may open up in the Asia-Pacific and Indo-Pacific basin. And this is so because the perception of a global governance crisis is not being mitigated as there is no authority with the will and capacity to approximate positions and impose solutions if necessary.

Short-termism prevails on the international scene, on the one hand, and the search for impossible solutions, on the other. Trying to impose a two-state solution at this time in the conflict between Israel and the Hamas terrorist movement, in which the Palestinian Authority is not even a recognized actor, is an exercise in voluntarism that can lead to frustration. I highly recommend reading Shlomo Ben Ami Prophets without honor. The author brilliantly explains – dissecting the causes – the repeated failures of all attempts to achieve a stable peace and lasting relationship between the state of Israel and the Palestinians. An exercise in realism is more necessary today than ever, without this meaning succumbing to the tragic feeling of that reality.

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