as expected

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 23 Dec 2018 11:16:45

T HE resignation of the United States Secretary of Defence Mr. James Mattis has come as expected following President Mr. Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan and Syria. For months, the White House was ravaged by a rather bitter debate about the withdrawal of American from Afghanistan as well a couple of other countries. While Mr. Donald Trump had been insisting upon withdrawal of American troops from many war-prone zones, his close aides were against the move for the fear of a geopolitical vacuum in those areas. The resignation of Mr. Mattis is the outcome of several failed attempts by him and others to convince the President against any such move. No matter this development, Mr. Trump’s policy is expected to remain unchanged, and more and more withdrawals from various war-zones around the world can be expected in the future.

Ever since he assumed presidency, Mr. Donald Trump has been facing quite a lot of opposition to his ideas from his close aides. Several of his aides have either resigned or he has sacked them in the past two years. Even though the President claims that he is following a policy-line he had decided as he assumed presidency, his close aides have often found themselves at a losing end since he refuses to engage in a dialogue and discussion on critical policy issues. Mr. Mattis, too, has said in his resignation that the President could choose a person with whom he has no policy-differences.

High-level resignations are a usual matter in politics the world over since stakes are very high and policy-impact on the world can be of high potency. Yet, the resignations and dismissals in the Trump White House have a rather absurd dimension. The allegation doing the rounds is that Mr. trump does not believe in detailed and deep discussions on the issue and is given generally to impulses rather than intelligent choices. A few months ago, he had sacked his Secretary of State, too, when he was on official tour of the Middle East. It was at that time that more dismissals or resignations were expected. The Mattis exit is one more twist to the internal politics in the White House.

Let alone the internal trouble in the White House, and let alone the experts’ opinion on the quality of handling of security and diplomatic issues by Mr. Donald Trump, there are knowledgeable people who believe that the President’s talk and walk have some merit from purely American point of view. They suggest that though Mr. Trump does not follow an isolationist line, he is of the opinion that the US need not get engaged in global politics in which a country’s ability to leverage the situation to its benefits depends directly on its military capabilities.

One of the angles pertains to funds. The US President does not seem interested in committing mind-boggling amounts of money to fight other people’s wars -- like in Vietnam. The domestic outrage against the Vietnam engagement is still fresh in popular memory. Mr. Trump seems to build his political narrative on the basis of such experiences. His idea, as experts suggest, is to save the US its dollars and its troops the number of whose deaths has only increased over the years. This approach is winning for the President a lot of goodwill and popular support. There, of course, are many pitfalls in his approach, but at least for the present, Mr. Donald Trump seems determined to push his own agenda.