Politico reports: It’s been only nine days since Donald Trump won the presidential election, but much of the world is acting like he’s already in charge.
Russia is doubling down on its military offensives in Syria, where dictator Bashar Assad says Trump could be a “natural ally.” Mexico has unveiled an 11-point plan to protect its citizens in the United States. China is touting a new trade bloc in which it will dominate instead of the United States. And the Islamic State terrorist group is stepping up recruiting of jihadists eager to defy a U.S. president-elect whom one fighter described as a “complete maniac.”
As the world moves faster, it may seem normal that foreign interests are willing to look past Barack Obama, the sitting president, and adjust to deal with what they believe his successor will do. And, historically speaking, the transition period has often been a time of tumult in world, as well as domestic, affairs. It was in the presidential transition period between 1860 and 1861 that the U.S. unraveled into the Union and the Confederacy, so-called “Secession Winter.”
But Trump’s looming ascension to the White House is unusually unsettling for the rest of the world for two main reasons: the Republican real estate mogul appears ready to take American foreign policy in a radically different direction than even many in his own party want; and yet he’s so inconsistent that no one really knows what he’ll actually do. [Continue reading…]