Thursday 22 October 2020
Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has been the world’s dominant power, leading Western nations into wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, carrying out countless interventions elsewhere, playing a central role in multilateral organisations like NATO and the United Nations and presenting itself as a beacon for liberal democracy around the world. But under the leadership of President Trump, we have increasingly seen the United States taking a different approach to foreign affairs - one shaped by the slogan ‘America First’. In a radical departure from conventional U.S. foreign policy, President Trump has withdrawn funding from the World Health Organisation, pulled troops out of Syria and showered praise on authoritarian leaders like Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-Un. Rightly or wrongly, Trump’s ‘America First’ policies have precipitated comparisons with the isolationism pursued by the U.S. at numerous points throughout the 20th century.
So with the 2020 presidential election looming, what would a Trump re-election mean for America’s allies and adversaries? And would a Biden presidency mean a return to business-as-usual American foreign policy?