Joseph Puder, The Trump Doctrine is a pragmatic platform for peace.
Whether or not President Trump wins a second term in the White House, his place as a peace maker will be noted in the annals of history. Unlike his predecessor in the White House, he deserves the Nobel Prize for Peace. He has been nominated to receive the Nobel Prize for Peace by the eminent law professor, David Flint, who is among four Australian law professors who nominated President Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize on the basis of the “Trump Doctrine.”
In fact, the peace between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as well as Bahrain, and Sudan (in the process of being completed) is vastly different and far more productive than the peace that President Jimmy Carter negotiated between Egypt and Israel or that between Jordan and Israel. Unlike the “cold peace” between Israel and Egypt, which essentially is a deal between two governments that left the people out of it, Trump’s peace is all inclusive. The peace President Trump brought to fruition between the UAE, Bahrain, and Israel has all the elements of a warm and enduring peace that involves people to people interactions. Whereas, the Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt were based on territory (the entire Sinai Peninsula returned to Egypt in exchange for peace) for peace; the September, 2020 Abrahamic Peace is based on peace for peace, something Israelis have yearned for since independence. Under Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, few Egyptians ventured to visit Israel, and when they returned, they were “black listed.” At the same time, thousands of Israelis flocked to Egypt. The Jordanian-Israeli peace was slightly better. Still, it involved Israel returning a small piece of land to Jordan. While Jordanian workers come to Israel to earn money, they are not spending money as tourists would. Conversely, the Abrahamic Peace is an attractive peace that is underlined by commercial and trade exchanges, tourism, intelligence and defense partnership, health, and educational cooperation.
The foreign policy “experts” advised President Trump to entice first the Palestinians to make peace as all of his recent predecessors have done. In other words, give them a veto power to block any regional peace between Arab states and Israel; Trump realized that he is dealing with a Palestinian dictatorship that has little interest in the welfare of its people. He rejected the advisors “advice,” and chose another way. He brought together the common interests of the Arab Gulf states and Israel.
President Trump has vouched that an additional five moderate Sunni-Arab states are set to make peace with Israel. In Israel, Trump is considered the most pro-Israel president in history. But it was not just in the Middle East that Trump achieved the previously unachievable peace. He also did it between the European Balkan nations of Serbia and Kosovo. The majority of ethnic Albanian Muslims in Kosovo, previously part of Serbia, split away from Serbia in 2008, in what turned out to be a bloody conflict. Trump brought the two parties together in the White House, and convinced them to end the conflict, and sign a peace treaty.
The Trump Doctrine seeks to enable its allies, notably Israel and friendly Arab nations, to create regional security vis-à-vis Iran. This is in the national security interest of both the U.S. and Israel. Trump’s vision astutely seeks to create a NATO-like alliance between the moderate Sunni-Arab states and Israel.
The Trump Doctrine is another winning approach for America. It is meant to end seemingly endless wars that cost America precious human lives while depleting its treasury. Afghanistan is one such example. Trump’s commonsense approach reasoned that American forces went to Afghanistan as a result of the Afghan Taliban hosting Al-Qaeda perpetrators of the September 11, 2001 attack on America. President George W. Bush was right to punish those who murdered almost 3,000 Americans. But, trying to achieve nation building and democracy in a land that has never known orderly or democratic governance is futile. A 20-year war in Afghanistan has yielded little benefits for America. Trump is however, interested and supportive of the western alliance, while at the same time demanding that the NATO allies pay their share of at least 2% of their GNP on defense, which they have largely complied with.
Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, President of the London Center for Policy Research, in an opinion piece in The Hill, pointed out that, “The war in Afghanistan is no longer crucial to the core of our national security, leaving our troops with no obvious mission. Our Afghan partners need our support, but to exact conditions that would constitute a victory are unclear. Even if we had clear victory conditions, we do not even have accurate metrics to judge whether we have achieved them.” Shaffer added, “Trump gave a lot of American families a great deal of renewed hope when he promised to stop endless wars that have lost so many American lives over the past two decades. By fulfilling that promise he is finally turning that hope into gratitude and relief across the country.” Col. Shaffer reflects the thinking that went into the Trump Doctrine.
Trump is guided first and foremost by American national interest. It is, after all, a most natural instinct. Just as individuals act first to secure their own self-interests, so should nations. “America First” encapsulates that Trump attitude. He sees the European immigration policies, for example, being exploited by other unfriendly nations who see the Europeans as naïve.
According to the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies of Bar Ilan University, “The Trump Doctrine’s goal is simple: safety and prosperity for America and its allies. The “international system” as such does not figure into it. Naturally, this thinking has enraged foreign policy experts who are accustomed to preaching theory, nuance, process, and the wisdom of both their own expertise and that of the international system they serve.”
Stanley Hensohn, of the City University of New York, defined the Trump doctrine as emphasizing American national identity as the cornerstone of America’s elemental and duel relationship with itself and the world. It puts emphasis on American strength in all its forms, including resilience and resolve, and the use of maximum and repeated economic and diplomatic pressure in an effort to avoid war.
Both Presidents Carter and Obama talked a lot about peace, but pursued policies of appeasement that emboldened enemies of freedom and invited conflict. During Carter’s tenure as U.S. President, he held back the Shah of Iran from cracking down on the Islamist and radical leftist revolutionaries. The result was the takeover of Iran by the radical and repressive Ayatollahs’ regime. Obama failed to counter the rising aggression of Russia and China, led from behind as the Arab Spring spawned ISIS, and produced an Iran nuclear deal that did not block Iran’s path to a nuclear bomb. President Donald Trump brought a genuine and historic peace between Arabs and Israelis, as well as between Kosovo and Serbia in the Balkans. He has thus changed the Middle East for the better. That should earn him the coveted Nobel Peace prize.