Wednesday, November 22, 2017

News / Event Detail
Posted on: Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) and the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) jointly organized a seminar on “US Foreign Policy and Trump Presidency: A Review and Outlook” on 27 March 2017. Notwithstanding the fact that Trump presidency has yet to complete its first 100 days, the objective was to take a comprehensive look at the emerging trends in the foreign policy behavior of the US. Since domestic factors bear a significant influence on foreign policy, references were made to major trends and narratives and how they would impact American foreign policy regionally and globally. The tone for the theme was set by Chairman ISSI, Ambassador Khalid Mahmood, who encapsulated these developments in his welcome remarks.

                The panelists shared their analysis on a range of subjects virtually capturing the entire canvass of US relations within the international arena. Mr. Zahid Hussain (Dawn News) shared his perspective on “South Asia: The Evolving Dimensions of US Foreign Policy and Implications” highlighting the unpredictability in Trump policy towards South Asia and the question of South Asia being out of attention. However, in his view there no change was expected in US de-hyphenation between India and Pakistan. India would enjoy more leverage in the South Asian context. Ambassador Ashraf Jehangir Qazi’s extensive and in-depth survey of the emerging global scenario emphasized that shifts were taking place in power structure. Historically, great equilibriums have coincided with the rise of great power. However, “China was peacefully defining the global order”.   

                Dr. Talat Farooq, Research Fellow at ISSI in her expose on “US-Pakistan Relations: Will Trump Embrace or Erase Obama’s Foreign Policy?” dilated upon the context and nature of Pakistan-US relations within the framework of triangular relationship between US-India-Pakistan. In her assessment Pentagon was likely to play a prominent role.  Ms. Shamsa Nawaz of ISSI spoke on “US-European Relations: Identifying the Central Pillars of Cooperation under Trump”. Her focus was on developments related to NATO and the US perceptions on the Organization’s defence expenditures and apparent shifting US interests in Trans-Atlantic relationship. Dr. Imran Syed of CPS dilated upon “US-North American Ties: Continuities and Discontinuities” focusing on US relations with Canada and Mexico with references to NAFTA, trade and commercial relations. Ambassador Saeed Khalid shared his thoughts on “The Future of US-Russia Relations” centering on the controversies generated in the election campaign context. He predicted continuation of an uneasy relationship between US and Russia. 

                The Chief Guest, Former Foreign Minister, Mr. Inam ul Haq in his summation identified the general features of the global order. He broadly referred to such dimensions as environmental and climate challenges and the increasing role of people in determining the global trends. While alluding to globalization, he mentioned that while countries like the US and those in Europe were attempting to move towards protectionism, Chinese policies were promoting globalized frameworks. While expressing the vote of thanks, Ambassador Fauzia Nasreen, Head, CPS observed that there was manifestation of xenophobic sentiments in America and Europe and President Trump symbolized that sentiment. Within the context of US-China relations she drew attention to the North Korean imbroglio which could provide space for constructive engagement between US and China. On the question of terrorism she said that while terrorism posed a common challenge for all there was no convergence regionally or internationally on how to manage that threat.

                In the question-answer session, there was active participation of the audience, who commented on the presentations and sought clarification on a number of statements made. 

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