On the campaign trail, Donald Trump promised to be “unpredictable” and that’s certainly the case as over the past four months we’ve seen policies that have surprised other world leaders, the US public, and at times, even his own cabinet.
But could this be a good thing?
Abdulrahman al-Rashed, the former General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel, wrote an op-ed for Al Arabiya in which he asserted that the policies of the Trump administration have surprised and angered extremists (especially in Iran) because they cannot predict his next move and this leaves them two steps behind.
He wrote: “I believe nothing has angered extremists, be them regimes or organized radical groups, as much as the policies of US President Donald Trump has done.”
He argues that Trump’s stark contrast to the policies of former President Barack Obama are working in the US’s favour in relation to Iran, especially considering his recent mission in Iraq and Syria, and Yemen; three places that Iran is heavily involved in.
Some within the current administration have argued that Trump would be constrained by the nuclear deal, but he is finding ways around that.
al-Rashed wrote: “His Government had [expected] to respect the deal and insisted that Tehran should abide by its strict implementation. Trump did not want to be controlled by the deal.”
Others have argued that Trump would wildly discriminate against Muslim-majority countries, because of his call for all Muslims to be banned from entering the US and his subsequent travel bans, but he has reached out to the US’s middle-eastern allies and his first state visit will be to Saudi Arabia later this month.
A key topic of conversation during that meeting will be Iran’s expansionist qualities, especially regarding Iraq and Syria, Iran’s intimidation of foreign ships in the Persian Gulf and Iran’s illegal arms smuggling to Yemeni or Bahraini militias in violation of international law.
al-Rashed wrote: “President Trump is determined to deal with terrorism, not only as a security issue but as an integral political movement. He surprised everyone with his project and actions that began when he met Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the White House; a program was drawn up to determine the allies he plans to cooperate with.”
It appears that Donald Trump, who wants to take down ISIS and foster peace in the Middle East, wants to work with US allies to achieve his goals.
al-Rashed wrote: “We are witnessing a collective project, Muslim governments and individuals are involved in it, and that is the difference. Trump’s policy lies in transferring responsibilities to the international community, especially to Muslim countries. This is the right step, instead of dropping the accusations through the media and be limited to security pursuits.”