The US moved its Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in a move that almost went unnoticed by world media but could have profound consequences on both Israel/Palestine relations and America. This step should be considered to be a historic one which could change the future of this region.
But, what’s important it will also change the future of the United States of America. This move is one of those that we are getting accustomed to seeing regarding President Trump. The decision seems justified right now if you look at what Trump’s supporters think but in the long run it’s going to affect US foreign policy, and it’s already causing diplomatic headaches.
Trump’s foreign policy can be described with a phrase ‘buy now, pay later.’ Most of his moves don’t have an immediate effect, but in the years to come, they could be costly. The moving of embassy to Jerusalem is another classic Trump decision. He claims that the cost of moving is not $1 billion as some of the staff members suggested, but closer to $400,000. This is true only in the short run. The value of $400,000 is just for moving to the temporary building, while the complete move to a whole new embassy will cost $1 billion. But, while the embassy gets completed, Donald Trump will be gone from the office, so this move and its cost don’t concern him too much.
What POTUS is looking at are the immediate costs of his foreign policy decisions. He’s either not aware of what some of his actions will cost in the long run, or he simply doesn’t care.
One of the things that every US presidents states as their agenda in the coming years after their appointment to the office is the normalization of Israeli/Palestine relations. But since stepping to the White House Trump didn’t show his plan for peace in the Middle East, and after moving the embassy to Jerusalem, Palestine ceased to communicate with his administration.
The Monday move coincides with the date of declaration of Israel independence and will cause massive protests among Palestinians. The moving of embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem shows that the US is not actually neutral regarding conflicts in the Middle East and now thanks to Trump’s decision many countries in this region are opposing their presence. The leading country is Iran, who is not satisfied with the manner in which Donald Trump pulled the US from Iran nuclear deal. At the moment it looks like Trump is deciding without regard for the consequences. If something goes wrong, Trump has no plan B, and that’s becoming obvious.
On another front, President Trump is working on the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. While this move is being applauded by world media, it won’t come cheap. Even if Kim Jong Un accepts US terms on this subject, they will want something in return. NK will most likely ask for regional security guarantees and large economic support. Many analysts doubt that this deal can work. All of the other agreements with North Korea failed, and Trump showed that he has little respect for the contracts signed with other countries which he proved with Iran deal.
What Trump seems to be doing with matters of foreign policy is to tailor them to his needs regarding domestic support. What’s he’s working on is preparing the turf for another election and is gathering support. Instead, he should look to lead this country to safe future with smart foreign policy.
This is the opposite of what Barack Obama did. He looked to make decisions that will influence US foreign policy in the years to come rather than focusing on the immediate opinion of his supporters. An approach that was smart compared to today’s rushed and short-term plan. What Trump is buying cheap right now might be expensive for him and especially for America in the future.