August 4, 2016

Ukraine Should Be Ready for Changes in the New Conditions of the Ukrainian-American Cooperation

 

Events taking place within the framework of the presidential campaign of 2016 in the United States, show that the US is at the turn of major changes in the internal and foreign policy, the need for which is dictated by the dynamic development of the geopolitical situation around the United States.

Implementation of these changes, including in the policy of deterring the Russian Federation, will be part of the activities of the new US administration which will be formed in accordance with the results of voting in the presidential elections on the 8th of November, 2016. With this in mind, all the participants of the campaign in their policy documents and speeches had to submit to voters approaches to solving the most important problems in order to maintain the USA's global leadership. Thus, the participants of the campaign, with different degrees of depth have highlighted the problems the new US administration will face, including:

  • changes in the scale of influence of the modern geopolitical centers on the world political and economic processes. These changes are as follows: strengthening of China's positions; deepening of the crisis in the European Union and the UK's decision to withdraw from the EU; the Russian Federation's military aggression against Ukraine, which poses a threat to Europe's stability and security;
  • a sharp intensification of international terrorism, in which people from the regions of armed conflicts are involved. The terrorist attacks in the United States in 2014-2016 have demonstrated the vulnerability of the state security system, in particular the failure of US intelligence and law enforcement agencies to prevent the terrorist threat;
  • increase in the scale of international migration, under which illegal movement of people seems the most threatening. In recent years, the number of legal and illegal migrants, arriving in the US from Central America and the Middle East, has been growing. The growth of national diasporas has weakened the migrants' need for assimilation and has made them disparaging towards the US law;
  • unemployment among US citizens remains at a high level. As a result of the USA's active participation in the global division of labor, production capacities have been moved from the USA to countries with cheap labor.

Against the background of these problems, the US Republican and Democratic parties have finished the process of nomination of candidates for the election of an American president. During the parties' National Conventions, which were held July 18-21, 2016 in Cleveland and July 25-28 in Philadelphia, billionaire businessman Donald Trump got the right to represent the Republicans, while the Democrats nominated former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The nomination as candidates for the US president of a Republican businessman and a woman-Democrat has demonstrated the American Society's high need for election to the head of the executive branch of an extraordinary person able to find an effective solution to the Inter-American problems, in particular:

  • creation of new jobs for American citizens;
  • improvement of the security situation;
  • establishing stricter regulation of migration to the United States.

 

Given the American society's need in improving the situation in the country, D. Trump aimed his election campaign at getting support of the white part of the population and senior people.

D. TrumpIn this sense, D. Trump's key message was introduction of more stringent regulation in the field of migration and strengthening the fight against illegal migration to the United States. Due to the introduction of additional barriers for migrants who do not have higher education and qualifications, he proposes to protect the labor market and to weaken the newly arrived people's impact on the development of social relations in the United States. He believes that the domestic and foreign policy of the USA should be formed by people who bring the most revenue in the state.

Besides, D. Trump has built his campaign on promises to focus on fighting terrorism (which, according to him, the current administration “has lost”), drug trafficking and organized crime, as well as to improve the economic situation. However, he strongly demonstrates his determination in the implementation of the intentions to “restore law and order” and is trying to convince voters that only he is capable to resolve all the difficulties encountered.

In order to achieve success in the campaign, D. Trump relies on his charisma and ability to convince the audience during his speeches. Using the oratory art, he constantly appeals to the need to respect the work of the people and the working people, which are the basic provisions of the US economy. The basis of his program is criticizing the domestic and foreign policy of the current US administration. Besides, D. Trump demonstrates the ability to be up to the mood of the audience. Evidence of this was his stated willingness to make efforts to ensure the safety of members of sexual minorities after the massacre at a nightclub in Orlando. A characteristic feature of D. Trump's campaign is the support from the American people, who do not have higher education.

Besides, D. Trump is making efforts to win over the people who sympathize with the Democratic Party. This was confirmed by Ivanka Trump's speech during the Republican convention, in which she mentioned D. Trump's commitment to ethnicity, gender and social equality.

However, analysis of D. Trump's speeches, first of all during the Republican National Convention on 21 July, 2016, shows his being not ready to give the voters a clear understanding of the practical implementation of his election promises. In particular, the solution of migration problems he sees in strengthening control over the US-Mexico border, not paying enough attention to the elimination of weaknesses in the national legislation, which are used by individuals associated with terrorist organizations and organized crime.

Also unclear is the strategy of economic development of the USA. In his previous speeches D. Trump refrained from discussing possible changes in financial and economic policy of the USA, which could be implemented in case of his winning the elections.

Apart from the lack of a clear understanding of the decision of the United States' pressing domestic problems, D. Trump's statements about his main approaches to ensuring the USA's global power are contradictory. From D. Trump's speeches, we can conclude that today he can't formulate his foreign policy program because of the uncertainty of his foreign policy aspirations. In particular, he calls for making America “stronger” and at the same time stands for limiting the USA's role in global processes. D. Trump tends towards isolationism which is evidenced by his statements about the following:

  • focus on solving domestic problems under the slogan “America First”;
  • possible failure to fulfill the United States' obligations under Article 5 of the NATO Charter, if the contribution of other countries to functioning of the Organization is “insufficient”;
  • pragmatic (and cynical business-wise) approach to the development of international economic relations. D. Trump has expressed readiness to revise international economic agreements in order to see if they are “up to” the USA's interests. However, the eligibility criteria have not been determined. At this, his speeches have demonstrated his being unscrupulous in choosing economic partners. Besides, D. Trump has admitted a possibility of the USA's withdrawal from the WTO in case of the Organization's intentions to block his initiative to increase to 15-35 % taxation of US companies which have moved their manufacturing abroad;
  • determination to establish allied relations with Russia to combat the terrorist organization “Islamic State”. According to his statements, D. Trump sees no obstacles to the development of relations with Russian President V. Putin and suggests recovery of the US-Russian full-scale cooperation;
  • readiness to recognize Russia's annexation of the Crimea and the consequences of Russia's aggression against Ukraine in the Donbas, as well as to stop the policy of deterring Russia. Thus, July 31, 2016 in his interview with US news agency “ABC” D. Trump demonstrated his incompetence with respect to Russia's aggression against Ukraine and stated that “...the Crimean residents are better off with Russia than where they had been”.

Quite possibly, D. Trump's pro-Russian position in relation to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict has been formed by the presence of a large number of supporters of the normalization of US-Russian relations in his environment, namely: the head of the electoral staff of Republicans Paul Manafort, the main foreign policy expert Carter Page, adviser on foreign and security policy General Michael Flynn.

D. TrumpBesides, D. Trump shows political irresponsibility in matters of international relations. This is evidenced by his provocative statement against H. Clinton, in which he called on Russia to make a hacker attack against the Democratic Party and to publish the e-mails of former US Secretary of State. According to American politicians, the appeal to Russia with a request to carry out an intelligence operation against a political opponent in the presidential elections (when there are anti-Russian international sanctions) shows D. Trump's adherence to double standards and opportunism.

Concerns about D. Trump's having no experience of political and state activity, a clear program of action within the country and in the international arena, particularly in matters of the United States' participation in armed conflicts and deterring Russia, have led to the US Republican Party leaders' being against his candidature. In particular, Ted Cruz refused to support D. Trump during the convention and urged voters to vote “according to their own convictions”. A similar position was taken by Republican senators Lindsey Graham, Jeff Flake, Ben Sassi and others.

The Republican leaders' not perceiving D. Trump was also evident against the background of criticism of his approach to solving problems of migration from the family of US soldier Muslim Humayun Khan (died in Iraq in 2004). According to J. McCain, D. Trump's statements against H. Khan's family do not meet the beliefs of the Republican Party. Senate Majority Leader M. McConnell and Speaker of the US House of Representatives P. Ryan, as well as many Republican senators condemned D. Trump's words.

It is possible that the negative attitude of a large part of the Republicans to D. Trump does not allow him to go out today to the same level of financial support, which had Mitt Romney in 2012 (101 million US dollars). D. Trump has 82 million US dollars in his election fund. The number of Republicans who are unhappy with the nomination of D. Trump, now stands at about 60 % of the total number of supporters of the Republican Party.

Besides, the intensified criticism of D. Trump has reduced the level of US citizens' support to him by about 9 % compared with H. Clinton. With all the complexities, D. Trump admits the possibility of losing in the elections on November 8, 2016. In an interview with “Fox News” Agency on August 1, 2016 Mr. Trump said that the election results are likely to be fraudulent.

 

In her turn, H. Clinton has a number of quite important advantages in comparison with D. Trump. In this sense, we should point out a significant public and political experience, and most importantly, — her knowledge of the world political and economic processes, understanding of the development of the situation in different regions, including in former Soviet territories.

H. ClintonBased on this, Hillary Clinton seems to be a person capable of organizing the implementation of predictable US domestic and foreign policy. Therefore, we should expect that the most influential countries would prefer to build relations with the United States with President H. Clinton.

However, the most important role in choosing the US President in the elections on the 8th of November, 2016 will belong to the Hispanic and African-American US citizens, whose number is constantly growing. Demonstrating the continuity of Obama's policy regarding these groups, H. Clinton can count on their support. Having chosen Senator from Virginia Tim Kane, who throughout his political career has been for ensuring the equality of citizens, as the candidate for the US Vice-President stressed H. Clinton's readiness to pay great attention to solving the problems of migrants. At this, the support from Bernie Sanders may show that H. Clinton's domestic policy will include more elements of social equality. 61 % of voters trust H. Clinton's settlement of the racial inequality.

At the same time, during the election campaign H. Clinton proposes clear ways of solving the US domestic problems, first of all economic ones. Approximately 50 % of voters trust her in solving the economic difficulties that exist in the US today (D. Trump — is trusted by 48 %). Besides, H. Clinton is ahead of D. Trump on issues of health system reform, migration, trade, as well as formation of the US Supreme Court.

At the same time, H. Clinton attempts to present herself in a constructive light to D. Trump's Republican opponents too. According to her statements, if she wins the elections, H. Clinton will make every attempt to remove contradictions between the parties and to establish fruitful cooperation between the Democratic and Republican parties. This position of H. Clinton's corresponds with the Republicans' moods which were voiced earlier by P. Ryan. In fact, it means the Democrats' willingness to make concessions to Republicans on important for them issues. It is possible that inter-party talks will be held in a tense atmosphere, but in both the parties the number of those who wish to bring the situation to “the closure of the Government” is decreasing.

It is possible that the result of such tactics is the intention of a number of influential members of the Republican Party to cast their vote in favor of H. Clinton. One of the main advisers to Jeb Bush — Sally Bradshaw on August 2, 2016 got registered as an independent voter and expressed support for H. Clinton in the elections. On the same day, the intention to vote for H. Clinton was expressed by Republican Senator Richard Hanna and President of “Hewlett-Packard” Meg Whitman, who is an influential donor to the Republican Party.

At the same time, preferring a predictable and stable development of the United States, influential representatives of business have increased financial assistance to H. Clinton (has exceeded 4 million US dollars). The funds collected will be used in the final stage of the campaign.

 

So, taking into consideration the situation and preferences of the majority of American citizens, as of today, H. Clinton has the best chances to win the presidential campaign. At the same time, regardless who wins, the new US administration will have to devote great attention to issues that have matured in the American society and allowed D. Trump to get into the final of the presidential race. That is why, reduction of least important for the USA foreign policy and economic programs looks quite possible and logical.

Thus, the need to limit budget expenditures, the fight against illegal immigration and terrorist threats in the country will determine the USA's lower involvement in resolving conflicts in other countries. At this, the main criterion of the American involvement will be reality of achieving the final goals. That's why today they consider options for cooperation with the Russian Federation in the conflict in Syria.

In this context, the prospects of Ukrainian-American cooperation will be formed by the new US administration on the basis of the practical content of reform in our State assessments. But already today the United States is determining the USA's unchangeable policy regarding Russia's military aggression against Ukraine.

In case of adoption of the Law № 5094 “Stability and Democracy for Ukraine Act” (the bill approved by the US House of Representatives' Committee for Foreign Affairs on July 14, 2016), the new US administration will have to provide assistance to Ukraine and won't be able to resume cooperation with Russia until the end of its aggression.

If the USA's executive branch's attention to Ukraine and Russia's aggression in our State weakens, there will be the opportunity to lobby the issue of development of Ukrainian-American cooperation through the United States Congress and non-governmental organizations. In this context, the balance of powers between the branches of the government in the USA determined by a special law, gives great opportunities to Ukraine.

 

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