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Price of "Tomahawks:" How US foreign policy would change Ukraine

Author : Yulia Kurnyshova

Source : 112 Ukraine

The use of military force is the most important international currency that the US president can convert in popularity and support within the country
17:34, 28 April 2017

Read the original text at eurointegration.com.ua.

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Soon the world would mark first 100 days of the White House, led by Donald Trump and his administration, and it motivated to review the objectives and methods of foreign policy, leaving the program with which the then presidential candidate won the election.

Embodiment of Trump’s policy sharp turn became military force and threat of force against Syria and North Korea. These steps were likely part of a domestic rather than an international game of Trump’s administration.

Related: Scare with Trump: Japan plays the North Korean crisis in its own interests

United States remains the only superpower in the world, and of course, the might changes the awareness of opinion leaders in American foreign policy and its place in a relationship with the voters. Increasingly, international affairs are seen as provision of domestic policy, a space in which the politicians might seek the solutions to internal problems or hide "toxic" situation of crisis, the failed vote in Congress, the fall of the ratings.

The use of military force is the most important international currency that the US president can convert in popularity and support within the country.

The use of high-tech weapons, allowing efficient strokes without putting US soldiers threatened, ensures that American losses do not turn victory to defeat the president - as in the Vietnam War, Iran in 1980 or 1993 Somalia. Not surprisingly, the original symbol of American military intervention began a new era missile and air strikes, which play an important role, perhaps the most common and most universal cruise missile in service with the US - "Tomahawk".

Related: Trump: Huge conflict with Pyongyang possible

Every US president last thirty years had his own "Tomahawk moment" - the decision to use force against another State, which act as crucial internal reasons. Bush suffered it in 1991 in Iraq, as well as his son in twelve years; for Clinton it was Yugoslavia in 1999, and for Obama - who actually preferred shocking with drones - Libya in 2011.

For Trump "Tomahawks moment" was a blow to the Syrian air base Shayrat on April 7. And the American audience reacted positively another demonstration of US power, opinion polls showed support for the action of the president.

Example, channel NBC conducted a survey, which showed that 62% of Americans are satisfied with Trump’s step.

This high level of support is an unprecedentedly high and unique to the current president from the moment of his inauguration. Meanwhile, the calculation was accurate - American media has been long illustrating the atrocities of the Assad regime and the inaction of Washington.

The success of a show of force in Syria inspired the president’s team, the next step was not long to wait - now in the form of bellicose rhetoric of Trump and sending warships toward North Korea.

Related: Trump gives Pentagon more powers on Iraq, Syria

The emergence in the international arena of "rigid" Trump, Trump-interventionist, marked by his "moment of Tomahawks," by chance was dedicated to approaching 100 days of his administration. This mystical limit is not only symbolic - this time the American public has learned the new leader and is ready to evaluate his actions as of the President.

High ranking of the first 100 days is the key way to comfortable work of the administration.

Picture of Trump's public support has recently looked hopeless. In late March, it was at a record low level – 35%.

The first three months in the White House did not show apparent success, performed no promises given during the election. The court suspended the ban in the US Trump to take some immigrants from Muslim countries suspected of links with terrorism. The health care program was failed in the Congress. Trump’s plans to roll free trade agreements as part of the US fight against global warming have not found mass support in Congress and among ordinary Americans. According to recent surveys of NBC, these ideas are not supported by 57% of Americans and 67% respectively.

Related: Trump says China will solve North Korean problem if it wants to

Finally, the administration had to constantly defend and lose Trump faithful people, fighting off accusations of ties with Russia.

And Trump agreed to change foreign policy, making steps that Americans would enjoy, and for which he would not certainly be responsible in domestic terms. Administration has built a winning combination.

The attack on Syrian President provoked a rate growth to 43%. The result is still the lowest among all post-war presidents, but the progress is obvious.

Syrian action was successfully blended into the script meetings of Trump and Xí Jìnpíng: US president confirmed his willingness to go through with fundamental issues. At least, the parties announced that they have agreed to jointly solve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula. Subsequent events when the Americans and the Chinese played on Pyongyang an option of evil (Washington) and good (Beijing) policeman, show that the agreement has been conducted.

Finally, a blow to the Syrian air base has improved the overall Americans’ impression of Trump’s foreign policy. In addition, during the month, the survey showed a low level of approval of foreign policy (from 22% to 29%).

Trump has openly entangled in his many promises and contradictory steps. The new image of the resolute president will not replace strategy, but will give the appearance of integrity and principled foreign policy.

Of course, for Trump’s team it is a considerable success already. But this success has a price, which should be paid not only by the president but also by the US, the allies, and eventually by the whole world.

Related: Erdogan prepares to meet Trump and Putin in May

Trump’s turn towards more active intervention in international issues contradicts his pre-election rhetoric, he promised to reduce the burden of the US to ensure international peace and security and reduce the cost of foreign policy objectives.

Trump was much criticized for failing to fulfill the promises that he gave during pre-election period. Now the voter clearly understands that Trump cannot completely abandon these promises.

The disappointment of supporters of President threatens even greater drop in ranking than in March. The recent survey by POLITICO shows significant polarization of Democrats and Republicans in support of Trump: the first is totally against him, while the second supports him, forgiving mistakes him.

If its traditional supporters no longer accept the agenda of the President, he will be completely dependent on the changing attitudes of voters. This president will decide on the use of force, paying less attention to the state of international relations, but rather to his "media image" and popularity.

Related: Trump’s decree could affect Ukrainian IT specialists

"Holy cow" of Trump’s program is his promise to increase social and economic standards, promoting national industrial manufacturer. Putting them into question, Trump might lose his electoral support. Therefore, implementation will have to seek funds from other budget items. Washington would obviously save money in other areas of its foreign policy.

But most importantly, power pressure is not a button you can push on too often. Eventually the US would face a crisis, when demonstration of military force, as in Syria, would be not enough.

"Tomahawks" in these cases would be highly undesirable solution.

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