US President Donald Trump is waging war of one sort or the other against: China, Iran, Venezuela and Europe. And he’s looking for cooperation from an unlikely quarter – Russia. Mr Trump’s Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, recently travelled there in search of “common ground.”
That sounds hopeful until one considers the reality: Washington and Moscow don’t agree on all of the above. Add to that Russia’s very different view of how to deal with North Korea and it’s clear Mr Trump’s America is losing allies and unable to replace them even with solidly transactional relationships.
There is little to suggest transactional ties can have the strength and spread of relationships based on shared values. Even if, for argument’s sake, Vladimir Putin’s Russia offers Mr Trump a way out on Venezuela (say, by persuading Nicolas Maduro it’s time to go), Moscow is unlikely to go along with the US approach to China, Iran and North Korea.
And even if Hungary’s Viktor Orban appreciates the support Mr Trump unabashedly offered ahead of European Parliament elections, he’s unlikely to support the US position on China or Russia.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE too are fair-weather friends. And Israel, pumped up by the US and ploughing its own exclusivist hateful agenda, can do no more than cheer from the sidelines as Mr Trump’s pugilistic “America First” avatar slugs it out in the international boxing ring.