Unprecedented and unpredictable: this is how US President Donald Trump's administration has repeatedly been labelled during its first term. Beyond the frequent tweets and bombastic rhetoric, however, lie a more conventional four years, as the United States navigated an ever-evolving international reality, compounded by a global pandemic and one of the deepest economic recessions in over a century.
In his recently-published memoirs, Egypt’s former foreign minister, Nabil Fahmy, painted a clear picture of the prevalent mood inside Egypt’s ruling establishment concerning the country’s stance towards great powers. In the 2000s, he explains, former president Hosni Mubarak and many of his aides “came to believe” that the United States was pushing for a regime change agenda in Egypt.
On August 20, the Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi met with US President Donald Trump in Washington DC for the second round of the Strategic Dialogues, a series of bilateral talks during which the leaders attempted to discuss the future of both countries’ economic, political and security relations.
In the course of his first official visit to the US in mid-August 2020, the Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi assured his American allies of his commitment to a mutually beneficial exchange.
As the presidential election nears in Belarus—marked by strong countrywide opposition to President Alexander Lukashenka and a corresponding crackdown—the United States faces a choice. If the latest bout of repression continues or intensifies up to and after polling day, it will have to decide whether to once more take a tough line against Lukashenka, after a few years of tentative rapprochement, or to turn a blind eye because of geopolitical calculations.
The COVID-19 crisis is likely to have a devastating effect on Africa. As of June 2020 the number of cases is surprisingly small, which may reflect inadequate testing or an early stage of a much worse epidemic. But what is clear is that the economic impact of the worldwide epidemic will bring the most severe recession that Africa has experienced for decades.
Facing the Covid-19 global public health crisis, instead of strengthening international cooperation, we have seen more divergence and disputes related to so-called “great power competition” between China and the United States.
“We will win this war”. In March of 2020, Donald Trump began referring to himself as a “wartime president”. After months of downplaying the threat of Covid-19 in the United States, he declared war against an invisible enemy: a so-called “China virus”.
For centuries, Latin American states have sought to leverage extra-hemispheric powers, Spain, France or the Soviet Union, to gain a modicum of autonomy and power relative to the hegemon to the north, the United States. China today is no different from those other extra-hemispheric crutches, but Beijing’s long-term vision and the global balance are markedly different from the past.
The many skeptics of the annual G7 summit of major market democracies have long doubted that the promises its leaders make together from their sunny summit peak are actually kept when they return to the dark valleys of domestic politics back home. Such skepticism has spiked as US president Donald Trump prepares to host the 2020 G7 summit, amidst a still deadly COVID-19 pandemic and massive economic pain.