October 26, 2017

Word: Trump's unilateralism weakening America's standing

Elvin Aghayev, Huffington Post -Leaving UNESCO is a very important indicator that the US is giving up world leadership. Over time, this will weaken the authority of the US, the country’s image, and its ability to influence other countries through cultural connection....

This trend marks a return to unilateralism in American foreign policy. Unilateralism is a very old US foreign policy approach, and traditionally correlates with Republican administrations.

President Donald Trump’s unilateralism has reached a qualitatively new level. While he pursues this “America First” agenda, Trump is achieving the opposite of international goodwill and cooperation.

The US withdrawal from UNESCO is also a turning point in mercantilist, egoistic and unilateral foreign policy. Naturally, the international reaction will be extremely negative. We already saw a preview of the response after Trump’s September speech at the UN, in which he noted that the US would no longer fund global initiatives and countries that don’t bring direct tangible benefits to the American economy. The one-sidedness of this logic is absurdly selfish and an extreme case of hegemonism. 

... This is not the first time the US has withdrawn from UNESCO for ideological reasons. In 1984, the Reagan Administration adopted the same decision, accusing the organization of corruption and excessive loyalty to the Soviet Union. Full membership of the United States was restored only in 2003 under George W. Bush. Considering Bush was widely criticized for unilateralism, the fact that he supported US involvement in UNESCO underscores the extremity of Trump’s move.

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