With The Election Of Donald J. Trump, The United States

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With the election of Donald J. Trump, the United States has met a strong change of position in the international playing field. The Obama years, characterized by periods of soft power playing and reliance on international frameworks with intermittent reliance on military intervention, have been all but cast aside by a President often associated with ideals of isolationism. Foreign policy can change throughout administrations, but the scale at which these two administrations differ in how they see the world is unparalleled. Whether it be the willingness to work with Russia, a state condemned by the previous administration, in the pursuit of defeating ISIS, the hardline approach which Trump and his Defense Secretary General Mattis approach …show more content…

Smart power, this emphasis on a mixture of soft, diplomatic power, while still maintaining US global hard power strength, can be seen as a response to a mismatched foreign policy that resulted in a series of unpopular conflicts. These conflicts however would end up plaguing President Obama’s policies in his later years. As his second term went on, President Obama was faced with crises throughout the Middle East. In Israel, hopes for a two-state solution were being questioned continually by conflicts between the Palestinians and Israelis, in Libya a military intervention created turmoil and opened territory for extremist expansion, in Syria a civil war developed, and in both Syria and the US-supported Iraq, a new terrorist regime under the name ISIS formed filling the voids left by the lack of control in the regions. In handling terrorist issues, President Obama’s policies continually failed, and slowly returned to the focus on hard, at times unilateral, power. This reluctant use of hard power was primarily done under the auspices of drone programs and special forces operations, which Masters describes as having increased throughout Obama’s years in office (Masters 2013). The policy led to momentary victories, such as the elimination of Osama bin Laden. Despite this, the Obama administration continued to falter trying to appease to a diplomatic world.

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