“In the finest traditions of our great democracy, we are rallying the noble nations to build a new liberal order that prevents war and achieves greater prosperity,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during a policy speech in Brussels, Belgium. “We are acting to preserve, protect, and advance an open, just, transparent and free world of sovereign states,” he continued.
The comments come a day after Mike Pompeo critiqued the European Union (EU), United Nations (UN), and multilateralism as a whole. He would go on to reject concerns among United States allies that are concerned about President Donald Trump withdrawing from climate, free-trade, and arms control accords — claiming the Trump administration is not undermining the efforts of other western powers.
Policy Ramifications Over Treaty Positions
Over the past several months President Trump has threatened to leave the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) with Russia and the Universal Postal Union agreement. The US position regarding various treaties has been a topic of conversation in recent months, drawing criticism from the EU and other international blocs.
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The U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement: Reasons, impacts, and China’s response details the effects of President Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement:
First, U.S. withdrawal substantially undermines the universality of the Paris Agreement, which is perceived as the backbone of global climate regime. The agreement is primarily distinguished from the Kyoto Protocol by the universal participation of both developed and developing countries (Rosenzweig, 2016), and this universality brings legitimacy that enhances the effectiveness of climate governance: U.S. exit as a key climate negotiator considerably diminishes the Paris Agreement’s universality. Though the ill-fated Kyoto Protocol was made in a different context than the Paris Agreement, the absence of the U.S. from both agreements may point to a similar direction for the Paris Agreement (IPCC, 2014).
“The negative consequences of no deal could go beyond proliferation and the likelihood that Saudi Arabia and other regional powers would also seek dual-use nuclear technology,” Barbara Slavin of the Atlantic Council said in May of this year. “The Middle East and South Asia are rife with conventional conflicts that would only get worse if Iran feels compelled to retaliate in a non-nuclear arena to a US withdrawal from the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action],” she continued in reference to Trump pulling out of the nuclear agreement with Iran.
“In light of these facts, the United States today declares it has found Russia in material breach of the treaty and will suspend our obligations as a remedy effective in 60 days unless Russia returns to full and verifiable compliance,” Mike Pompeo said during his December 4th speech concerning the INF. North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary General Jens Stolenberg later responded, “We really felt that the world was moving forward when the Soviet Union and the United States in 1987 agreed.”
A copy of a memo from National Security Advisor, John Bolton, obtained by Washington Post ordered Defense Secretary James Mattis to “develop and deploy ground-launched missiles at the earliest possible date,” which could be an alarming sign for global stability concerning John Bolton’s hawkish neoconservative foreign policy ideology.
A wave of political maneuvering and diplomatic gestures can be expected in the upcoming months in relation to the Trump administrations ‘America First’ stance while attempting to remain a leader on the international stage.