By Aadi Achint
In the recent weeks, we have noticed in many discourses regarding various geopolitical activities that have been ongoing in this world, there is a sublime hint of US domestic politics. The internal politics of the country and its divide are evident by the decisions that they take in regard to geopolitical decisions, foreign relations, and trade with the rest of the world. The unstable environment within the USA and the globalisation of its domestic politics have resulted in disasters around the world since post the Second World War.
Some of them are the result of direct involvement of the United States and thereby its politics and others due to innate and sometimes irrational fears within the hearts of the politicians in charge or just plain simple indifference. The question to be asked is, are all elections within the United States going to now impact global happenings and will the world naively sit back and allow this to happen?
In history, we have seen multiple examples of wars and conflicts being impacted by the internal politics of the US. Politics was even given preference over resolving a dispute in some cases. Let us go back to the late 60s, when a president hopeful Nixon had put a stumbling block for the then ongoing negotiations by the Johnson government about ending the Vietnam war. The South Vietnamese famously withdrew from the negotiations and waited for Nixon to come to power. What happened thereafter, for the next six years, is known to everyone.
Joe Biden’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia, to ensure that oil production was not cut, impacting not just the global prices, but majorly the prices at home. With the upcoming midterms, Joe Biden had to sum up the courage and meet Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, a man who he had called a pariah. This visit has now been termed as a bad attempt by Joe Biden to ease up domestic pressure right before the midterm elections where he seems to be losing ground. The end result of a politically motivated and an unplanned visit was an embarrassment for him personally as well as the hegemony of the United States along with a substantial cut in oil production impacting the world.
The war in Ukraine and the need of a victory has made the backers of the war in the west, make the Ukrainians take steps detrimental to the latter’s efforts in the war. The highly talked about counteroffensive, to take back the regions in the north east as well as southern Ukraine, namely the city of Kherson, has been in the news since August. The current dispensation in the US supplied the Ukrainians with a large amount of arms and ammunition for this counteroffensive along with constant media reports as well as words of encouragement from the leaders in the West, who seem to be pushing Ukraine for a decisive action, showcasing a victory.
The result of these attempts till now have been temporarily radical, creating a narrative of victory for Ukraine. For the Democrat’s politics to succeed and the requirement of a much-needed military victory is prime amongst the requirements for a successful election for Joe Biden. This prime requirement has resulted in the losses in the thousands for the Ukrainians as admitted by them and losses and push back by Russians gradually. For the militarily weaker country in this conflict, the loss of each formation or unit would be detrimental towards its overall effort in the protection of its homeland.
The current US handling of Pakistan as well as the sudden bent towards Pakistan showcases another facet of the difference in the thought process is between the two sides of the aisle in the internal politics of America. Post the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, the Republicans wanted to take Pakistan to the task, for the great Double Cross they suffered. The ruling party, however, is looking at cooperation and enhanced relations with Pakistan. We have seen Pakistan being used as a weapon supplier to Ukraine and the much talked about pressure on India. The Americans have over the years realised the futility of its involvement with Pakistan, but for a short term political gain, they will shake the hands of the devil himself.
The beginning of the crisis in the South China Sea, starting from 2012 with the Philippine incident further resulting into the occupation of islands and building of bases by the Chinese military within the region. This has been termed as one of the biggest failures of the former President Barack Obama. This event also led to the rise of Xi Jinping and we see how that is played out for China and the region. A lot many term this softness to be related to business interests within China of certain politicians and their families within the United States. These certain interests till now have been termed to be personal and inconsequential towards geopolitical decisions taken by the United States, but as revelations come forward of a certain laptop and much more, it is difficult to absorb the current narrative.
It is not a phenomenon unique to the United States where politics influences its foreign policy, but the politics within the United States of America with sheer tempo of its involvement within politics, conflicts and economy in various different parts of the world puts across a great example of a system over-extending itself. The rationale behind is to maintain the global hegemony of the US and in all fairness, it would be the case with any country if it was the biggest dog in the block.
The issue with the US approach is the blurred lines between enemies and friends when “national interest” is at stake. This national interest has been an overused weapon by them along with a refusal to accept similar interests of other nations. Having mentioned that, hegemony is a delicate animal as we realise today, an overzealous effort towards holding on, results in a situation where states like the US might benefit by changing its approach or risk losing its pole position.
Although many wars are being fought in the world today, the most spoken about is Ukraine, this because of the personal political capital invested by the leadership in the United States resulting in a situation where a defeat in this war for Ukraine would result in a personal political loss. I would go so far as to state that the lack of an off ramp and diplomacy glaringly visible during this conflict, is a prime example of a superpower too deeply involved in the game, who if changed course, it won’t be without damaging itself.
The impact of these actions can be seen and felt each time and especially within the Indo-Pacific where the challenge is real, but responses can today be termed to be sporadic. The domestic politics is of consequence today for American citizens as must as each one of us its impact can be felt as we go to the gas station amongst other events. The impact of these actions on Ukraine and its people would be difficult to define.
Author is a Geopolitical Analyst at DEF Talks. You can read and listen to his views at www.thedeftalks.com.
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