Sunday, November 13, 2016

Quo Vadis, America?

Is Professor Koschut covering his face?
Wohin steuert Amerika? Only two days after the presidential election Professor Simon Koschut of the Free University of Berlin dared to speak about the future US foreign policy, a topic where even our Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier confessed: Nichts Genaues weiß man nicht (It's all so confusing). As you may imagine, the auditorium was fully packed.

Presidential candidate Donald Trump made this statement
with respect to the fight against internal and external terrorism.
When, following his talk, Prof. Koschut was asked whether he had actually prepared a lecture B beforehand he answered: About Hillary's foreign policy I would have given the talk off the cuff.

Results of a poll show that Republicans rate President Obama's foreign policy as bad. So in his lecture B Prof. Koschut cautiously interpreted Donald J. Trump's statements during the election campaign and discovered many contradictory remarks that make a prediction of America's new foreign policy difficult.

With respect to the Middle East will Trump increase the bombing of ISIS and give carte blanche to Assad and Putin at the same time? Sending ground troops into the already burning powder keg - something Hillary was occasionally accused of - is unpopular in the States.

Already now the US have a military budget that is bigger
than that of all those other countries mentioned taken together
Whether America's resources are totally over extended is doubtful as far as the present military spending of the US is concerned. Increasing the defense budget and at the same time lowering taxes will necessarily incur new debts. Raising of the US debt ceiling? No problem, given the Republican majorities in both houses. The stock market is soaring in view of new investments and as I learned German firms hope for a fat share too with their expertise in wall-building.

America is going to be strong again but those countries protected by the American shield shall pay for it. High-paid NATO officials in Brussels are already deeply worried about their posts rather than about the future of the defense alliance.

©Der Spiegel
An unpredictable nation? At least Prof. Koschut assured the audience that President Trump cannot revoke the Paris Climate Protection Agreement but he can block its application.

©Der Spiegel
When congratulating President-elect Donald Trump, Chancellor Angel Merkel laid down the rules: Germany and America are bound by common values: democracy, freedom, as well as respect for the rule of law and the dignity of each and every person regardless of their origin, skin color, creed, gender, sexual orientation or political views. Cooperation with the United States, she said, must be based on these values.

My Bundestagsabgeordneter (member of parliament) Gernot Erler said in an interview: My hope is that the American institutions and moderate fractions of the Republican party will hem in (einhegen) the new president.

We all know: Hope dies last but let's wait and see.

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