COMMENTARY: Trump Needs a Geopolitical Victory

Ambassador Ward

United States President Donald Trump is desperate for a win on the global stage. So far, by all measures, he is a big loser. His chaotic foreign policy, his administration’s lack of any semblance of a geopolitical strategy, has so far been anything but coherent. If we can be so generous as to ascribe a foreign policy framework or an executable strategy to his administration’s conduct of foreign affairs then there would at least be some standard by which the first two years of his administration could be evaluated.

As I have written before, the seemingly powerlessness which characterizes governments in the Western Hemisphere provide an ideal space for Trump to use threats and bluster to realize a geopolitical victory. Venezuela is his first big opportunity. As many governments fall in line for regime change in Venezuela, albeit for different reasons, Trump is on a threshold of the victory he desperately craves. But, what will it look like, and what more will it take before there is regime change and return to stability in Venezuela?

The future of Venezuela is uncertain. The effect of regime change and the path pursued by the Trump administration and the U.S.-led like-minded countries in the region will have lasting effects on the region.  Worst yet, should regime change in Venezuela become a precedent for the hemisphere in the 21stCentury.

President Donald Trump

Success for the Trump administration in removing Nicolás Maduro from power will be claimed by the president as a major victory. Regime change in Venezuela could be the change he seeks to switch conversation from the many examples of his geopolitical failures on the global stage.

Trump’s campaign boast that he knew how to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria turned out to be nothing but. He benefited from the coalition partnerships established by President Barack Obama to destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria, including the arming and training of the Kurdish forces to recapture ISIS controlled territory. He claimed victory and announced pullout of U.S. forces from Syria leaving thousands of armed ISIS terrorist fighters to reconstitute and continue their fight against the West. The future dangerous threat from ISIS has been confirmed by the US intelligence community. In the same vein the Trump administration by ignoring al-Qaida’s threat has given space to that terrorist group to rebuild and strengthen, in particular through its affiliates, and again pose a significant threat to the U.S. Homeland, allies, and interests abroad.

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11 Comments

  1. J.John-Charles
    February 6, 2019

    Because of Trump and South Korean leader not one missile has been fired and not one bomb explosion by Kim J of N.Korea,plus no country dare attack thw U.S.

  2. February 6, 2019

    Hmm. I’m no fan of Mr Trump, but this analysis doesn’t make a lot of sense in an American context. His electoral base are mostly indifferent to what happens outside the U.S., as their simplistic view is that the U.S. is wonderful and everywhere else is frightening and terrible.

    Moreover, his negotiations with the Kim Jong-un in North Korea are seen by many as a geopolitical accomplishment (even though the South Koreans deserve at least as much of the credit), as is his trade war with China (at least by many populist Americans who don’t have the economic literacy to know better).

  3. Jonathan Y St Jean
    February 6, 2019

    Unlike Emperor Skerritt who is everything in Dominica, he alone speaks on all decisions and no one has or can challenge him, America has checks and balances on Trump. Did Trump get his wall after a 35 day shut down of the government?

  4. lobourer
    February 6, 2019

    Trump, America first!

  5. J.John-Charles
    February 5, 2019

    Some people put their faith in dreams but I don’t,a dream is just a dream.So those are have dreamed and is dreaming how Obama did a fantastic job and our beloved Trump is just ripping the fruits of his labor.Please stop this nonsense.Obama left Iraq and Afghanistan worse than he go it from Bush.The surge did work under Bush.Remember I told you when Bush left there was no ISIS.Almost all their territory is gone and Mr.O had and have nothing to claim
    Mr O.can take credit for the Arab Spring,Because he was the one who went to the Arab world with his apology tour and critizing the U.S.he made matters worse in Egypt,not forgetting what was done to Gaddafi in Libya along with the death of Americans in the U.S.embassy.No rival respected the U.S.under Mr.O They loved him because he find fault with his country.He is the only one receiving the Nobel Prize for doing nothing.Obama was the president of the world.Trump made it clear he is president of the U.S.A.
    So what coalition from Mr.O

    • Jonathan Y St Jean
      February 6, 2019

      J. JnoCharles you ear entitled to your opinion but I vehemently disagree with your views on President Obama and his accomplishments. Obama did a great job considering the prevailing circumstances of his presidency. The unemployment rate was at 10% when he got to be president and when he left office it was close to 4%. The stock market had fallen to 8000 points for the Dow and got to 21000 points when he left office. The Republicans mission was to make him a one-term president and became the party of no. They failed miserably with their obstructionism. The GOP gerrymandered the electoral machinery and won almost all Senate, House, and Governorships yet they could not prevent Obama from achieving some success. Have you forgotten the number of times the Republicans scheduled votes to overturn Obamacare? They failed even up to today. Trump had the House and Senate why didn’t he build his wall? Why didn’t he overturn Obamacare? Give me a break man. President “Obama” did good.

  6. Jonathan Y St Jean
    February 5, 2019

    Mr. Ward, you insinuate that the US is itching for a fight to achieve a foreign policy victory. Let me ask you some questions because you are old enough to remember. Why did the leaders of Caricom invite the US to put down the regime in Grenada? What did you have to say about it then and now? Wasn’t that regime change? These days there is a lot of silly talk about territorial integrity and respect for sovereign rights, didn’t these concepts exist when the US was invited into Grenada? Go figure

  7. Jonathan Y St Jean
    February 5, 2019

    To me, it’s shameful and dishonest to see the plight of the suffering Venezuelan people, who are hungry and many millions fleeing to other countries, as the leader of another country needing a foreign policy victory. That’s pathetic. The US came to the OAS seeking support to help out the Venezuelan people, but because of cheap oil and other goodies from the corrupt Maduro, who leaves his people hungry whilst giving over $1 million to Dominica and more to other countries, some of these leaders couldn’t abstain from voting but challenged the US calling it imperialist. This was an opportunity lost for the region along with the US to achieve something for the Venezuelan people who are suffering. Mr. Ward, it’s shameful that you can only see the US wanting regime change and you can’t see the plight of the people’s lives. Why are you concerned about what the US wants and not what the Venezuelan people need, food and water. Remember Mr Ward that the Lion pays NO regard to the opinion…

  8. J.john-Charles
    February 5, 2019

    Under Obama ISIS had people alive in cages and drowned them,severing people’s head from their bodies.Took over cities. ISIS found themselves in Syria.Before your boy,Russia did not have a foothold in the middle East, now have a military base in Syria.I could go on and on.
    Now a new sheriff is in town.Even before his advent he sent a warning to ISIS and others
    I Donald J Trump will not stay in Washington and tell the experts on the ground how to fight.Now ISIS is the real J.V.team under Trump.
    Russia and it’s agents annexed Cremier from Ukraine.The Ukraine leader begged Obama and said,please sell me some weapons just to defend ourselves from Putin’s aggression,,DNO you know the answer, nada.As Trump took office weapons were delivered.
    Friends of DNO you remember Obama’s redline in Syria? and what happened after it waa crossed? nothing.Trump didn’t draw redline but when chemical weapons were used Syrian leader and Putin paid over 100 Russian soldiers were killed.These are facts

  9. Man bites dogs
    February 5, 2019

    It’s no big secret this American president is a fake bluffing his way through out trying to pick a fight with everyone, but thanks God as they say he will only be a one term president.

  10. J.John-Charles
    February 5, 2019

    Ambassador Ward is the biggest joker whoever came on the scene.Does he think we are all fools.?
    First of all Trump is not really interested in sending Americans all over the world to die, and spend trillions of tax payers dollars.That’s one of the reasons he was against going in Iraq.I would be surprised if he send soldiers to fight in Venezuela,my president is smarter than you Mr Ward.He have other artilleries at his disposal.
    The Obama you are writing about is a figment of your own imaginations.When the real Obama took office in 2009 the war in Iraq was almost done.He pulled out the troops and the enemies regained strength.Another thing because of his spinelessness ISIS was born under his very nose.when he was warned about thes Islamic terrorist gang while they were still young,he said “they are just a J.V. team,little boys playing with guns.”
    Under Obama ISIS took over slaughtering people all over the middle East, capturing oil fields and land cutting their victims neck live

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