Five months ago, Donald Trump’s national security adviser HR McMaster penned a column attempting to persuade the world that “America first” did not mean “America alone”. Last week Trump took two decisions that landed the US in a strikingly lonely position: he pulled his country out of Unesco, and took a massive swipe at the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. The two moves were very different, but both demonstrated utter disdain for the mechanisms and principles of multilateralism, as enshrined in the UN-based international order. Unesco was created to promote culture and education as a vehicle for peace. The Iran accord was painstakingly negotiated by Trump’s predecessor, along with America’s allies Russia and China, to thwart the danger of all-out war across the Middle East and possibly beyond. Importantly, it was unanimously endorsed by UN resolution 2231. That kind of consensus does not come easily – and now it is being wrecked. Trump’s decisions gave their full meaning to key sentences in the McMaster article, and offered a clear illustration of this administration’s foreign policy outlook. “The world is not a ‘global community’ but an arena where nations, non-governmental actors and businesses engage and compete for advantage,” said that text, adding:… Read full this story
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