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CWA # 46, 24 July 2018

United States
Is Trump-Putin Summit a setback for the US?

  Divyabharathi E

Trump’s most interesting comment came as a tweet before the press conference when he said that the US-Russian relations had reached their lowest point ever and that it was the United States’ fault.

Ms Divyabharathi E is a Research Scholar at the Department of International Studies, Stella Maris College, Chennai.

Is Trump’s approach over high-level summits a bad diplomatic strategy? Is the relationship between the US and Russia at loggerheads? Is Trump blaming on Obama administration over Crimean crisis right? Is Trump really under the influence of Russian Intelligence? Finally, is the summit a setback to the US?

 

Summit Approach of Trump: Bad Diplomatic Strategy?

President Trump approaches summits differently from his predecessors. Rather than months of preparation at the lower levels, he enters into the meetings prepared to extemporize. He has been deeply criticized for the same, in particular by those aides who would normally be called upon to prepare for meetings, but it isn’t clear that the old method worked. It tended to reduce blunders, but it also accustomed the meetings, binding the Heads of State who was elected, after all, whereas the bureaucrats were appointed. Trump’s desire to be free to interact and deal is not inherently a bad idea, as it would turn summits into authentic meetings, but the complexities of domestic and foreign politics require discipline.

Only a handful of people know exactly what was said during the private meeting on Monday in Helsinki between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, but the world bore witness to the post-summit Q&A with the media. The American president was not restrained by his advisers, nor was he bound by his prepared remarks. He was, however, constrained by domestic politics. World leaders are politicians, and politicians have publics – whether in democracies or dictatorships – that they must answer to.

 

US-Russia Relationship at loggerheads?

Trump’s most interesting comment came as a tweet before the press conference, though he reaffirmed the comment’s sentiments during the conference. He said that the US-Russian relations had reached their lowest point ever and that it was the United States’ fault. The first part is suspect given events like the Cuban Missile Crisis, but the startling part was the assertion that the U.S. was to blame. President Trump, as usual, decided to put the blame on his predecessors. What I think Trump was trying to do was to attack the Obama administration for trying to isolate Russia rather than engage it. There is a contention to be made for that position, however, it wasn't obviously communicated in the tweet, President Trump made.

The decision by Robert Mueller, the special counsel leading the investigation into Russian meddling into the U.S. elections of 2016, to indict 12 Russians the Friday afternoon before the summit clearly threw Trump off balance. It isn't evident that Mueller needed to do this when he did, given that there was no possibility at all that the Kremlin would remove them. Putin hinted that if Mueller wanted to question them, the Russian government would then want to question Americans accused of committing crimes in Russia, citing one case in particular. Since U.S. foreign intelligence infringes upon laws day by day in Russia to carry out its activity, a concession to this would open a jar of worms nobody needs.

One explanation for the timing of the indictments is that Mueller was oblivious or indifferent to the fact that there was a summit meeting the following week. Another explanation is that in performing his job as special counsel, Mueller saw a chance to bother Trump and he utilized it, organizing his part in the examination over U.S. foreign policy. In any occasion, the arraignments ruled the question and answer session, with American columnists pounding on whether Trump embraced them. Trump could have addressed that they were just prosecutions and not feelings and that he would give the legal framework a chance to choose this, yet rather, he basically took Putin's line, rejecting U.S. intelligence findings.

 

Is Trump under Russian Intelligence?

This conveys us to the subtext of the examination, which is that Trump is somehow under the control of Russian intelligence. The question and answer session should put those worries to rest. If he were, the Russians never would have allowed Trump to dismiss U.S. intelligence findings or side with Putin. To be sure, it would have been imprudent to hold a private meeting between the presidents in any case. The Russians would make every effort to improve Trump's political standing in the United States and to influence him to seem against Russian. They could never enable anybody to envision he was working for them. They would utilize him in various ways. Trump would have assaulted Putin straightforwardly at the question and answer session.

 

Trump- Putin Summit: Setback for the US?

The pressure on Trump is mounting, regardless of whether he is worried about something he did or essentially under the typical pressure that accompanies being under consistent examination. His longing to challenge what he sees as tormentors on all fronts has turned out to be intense, and it broke out around the meeting in Helsinki. Putin without a doubt was satisfied, and the world media proclaimed it a noteworthy setback for the United States.

In fact, at most, it hurt the profession of a lone politician, and more probable it didn't do even that. The American public is completely mindful of Trump's identity eccentricities and public articulations. His endorsement rating has ticked up as of late, coming to as high as 47 per cent as indicated by Rasmussen for the period of June. This is one of the higher outcomes, yet it's quite solid for a president now in his administration. There are voters who will disdain him paying little heed to what he does, and other people who will respect him paying little heed to what he does. Trump's fame won't surge or fall just on the grounds that he acted like himself.

As to American standing on the world stage, that too is reliable. Most detest the United States, however, none can reject it. Many countries across the world held President Barack Obama in withering contempt. President George W. Bush was viewed as ineffective. Dislike of the president for being unsophisticated, or the US for being naive or ruthless (sometimes both, by one means or another), isn't new, and in spite of the fact that there is no doubt that Trump has made huge new opportunities for critics.

Be that as it may, the United States is the world's biggest economy, the engine of worldwide technological development and the main global military power on the planet. It is also the biggest importer, and Germany's biggest client, for instance. German Chancellor Angela Merkel might be outraged by Trump, yet at last, her nation needs the American market. The objective substances of the US control trump the behaviour of the president. Additionally, summits must be put into a setting. They are meetings between individuals, some of whom have enough political support to do what they say they will, other people who don't. Yet, both will pass the scene sometime before the profound power of either country passes away. The balance of power shifts, at the same time, with the exception of in time of war, gradually. A feeling of proportion is required, however, that has never been inexhaustible in the world.

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