November 28, 2016


Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election threw everything we know about the values of the US foreign and defence policy into uncertainty.

Even though the composition of the new president’s foreign and defence policy teams will have perhaps become slightly clearer before the publication of Diplomaatia, it is still too early to draw any fundamental conclusions. Indeterminacy prevails.
This issue of Diplomaatia is largely dedicated to Trump’s election victory and possible future prospects. Former Foreign Minister and current member of the European Parliament Urmas Paet is the first to tackle this topic.
“Despite holding great power, even the US president cannot do whatever he likes. The Congress, Senate, civil service, intelligence, interest groups, other countries and so on will have their influence and set limits to his actions. Consequently, President Trump cannot quite be like candidate Trump with all his shock value and irregularity. Nevertheless, changes will certainly be made in US politics and even the country’s strong internal division is a new situation that affects US activities all over the world,” Paet writes.
The article also includes opinions on Trump from Marko Mihkelson, Piret Ehin and Kalev Stoicescu.
An interview with the Director of the Carnegie Moscow Centre Dmitri Trenin concentrates on Trump’s victory from Moscow’s perspective. “Western-Russian relations are not the most crucial issue from the US foreign political perspective. The US has wandered too far in the world. By that I mean that in my opinion, the US foreign policy is gradually moving away from representing the United States’ national interests,” says Trenin.
Hudson Institute analyst Richard Weitz provides an overview of Trump’s possible policies. “However, the transition process has already made evident that his advisers and possible appointees are divided on critical issues, such as how closely they want to collaborate with Russia,” Weitz remarks.
Political observer Karl-Gerhard Lille considers the presidential election campaign from the perspective of the media. “The rise of national populism in 2016 revealed the media’s ideological distance from ordinary people. The media unanimously foretold the failure of Brexit and Donald Trump, rubbing in a clear bias. Media bias was felt before but this removed all doubts. The US and European publications took pride in giving up the pretence and spread the bias everywhere: news, opinion polls, forecast models, fact checking etc.”
Ramon Loik, lecturer at the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences, argues that the European Union could use its resources more efficiently in the fight against terrorism.


This article was published in ICDS Diplomaatia magazine.

Filed under: Commentary