Donald Trump has said he’s only going to allow 50,000 refugees to come into the United States each year. However, he’s also made it so incredibly obvious that he doesn’t want to help any country for any reason. He has said he wants to defund USAID, which guarantees loans to help numerous economies. He has said he doesn’t want to help countries suffering from civil war, famine, health pandemics, and other major issues.
This has been a major focus of the United States since its rise to power. We often had the ability to form meaningful relationships with other countries because we’ve been able to show how much we care. Of course, we didn’t do this to get more advantages to invest in those countries or get their vote in the UN, but on the other hand, we’re at risk of losing their support in various organizations because they’re seeing us leave one by one.
If Donald Trump continues to ignore other countries, then other major players will come in and exceed our influence. I do think we’ll be able to get that influence back simply by supporting these countries again once Trump is out of office. However, it’s likely China will attempt to form agreements that explicitly prevent them from going back to the United States, leaving them with the risk of having no one until 2020.
Since World War II, the United States has been seen as unbeatable. Between NATO, NORAD, US Central Command, US-ROK, and numerous mutual agreements with countries in every region of the world, you can’t beat the United States in a conventional war. There’s no debate on that.
However, there are many asymmetrical war tactics that have already emerged and that countries have been employing for years now. We’ve seen influence campaigns on numerous elections around the world, and that would seem bad enough. However, hacking has become the most reliable way to stop the United States. Our cyberdefense capabilities are not even in the same neighborhood as our dominance in conventional warfare.
China has been outsourcing these cyber capabilities and utilizing much of it themselves. The OPM hack stole information from millions of people, including myself, and all I got in response was a letter from the government saying that my information was stolen and there’s nothing they could do about it. We’ve also seen countries lose actual hard currency. North Korea stole millions from Bangladesh. China claims a rogue organization stole money from Japan. However, Putin claims a rogue organization hacked the 2016 election, and given their strong similarities, I’m not buying that China didn’t have control over that organization.
The point is countries around the world can’t turn to the United States for a quick fix to all their cybersecurity issues. We can’t send in a destroyer or missile defenses or fire warning shots, and our allies know this. More importantly, however, countries not tightly aligned with anyone know this, and our inability to guarantee protection against hacking from China and its allies is encouraging them to actually align with China instead because they’d smaller countries with little chance of control over their own destiny need to make sure they’re on the right side or end up losing everything.
Given that Trump almost lost his ability to have any say on the future of Syria and that he’s having a hard time ending the guestworker program that sends North Koreans to dozens of countries and revenues back to its nuclear program, it’s clear Trump is doing a good job swaying countries worldwide to work with us to squash even the most dangerous aggressors.