Crisis of Distrust in US to Lead to Its Gradual Decline
- October, 13, 2021 - 15:59
- World news
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A professor at International Relations Department of Iran’s Allameh Tabatababi University says that the crisis of distrust in the United States and its international commitments will eventually pave the way for structural and gradual decline of its hegemonic position.
Speaking at the eighth meeting from a series of preliminary sessions of the International Conference on ‘the Decline of the United States: The Post-American World,’ which was held on October 9, 2021 and attended by a group of professors and researchers in international relations from Allameh Tabatabai University, Dr. Alireza Koohkan, Associate professor at International Relations Department of Allameh Tabatababi University, referred to the US public diplomacy and the signs of its efforts to slow down the decline while comparing US public diplomacy under President Biden with the state of diplomacy under Trump, which he believed reveals some facts about the structural weakness of the United States in recent years.
“Trump’s public diplomacy, as acknowledged by its opponents and supporters, has done irreparable damage to the United States domestically and internationally”, he said, “Trump’s diplomacy was not based on a conventional structure, and ultimately it hurt its soft power, the international community’s trust in the United States, and its regulatory role, because Trump sought to present the image of the United States as he desired”.
As regards public diplomacy, Dr. Koohkan stated that during the Trump era, the process of relations and policy announcements proceeded in an unconventional manner, causing serious damage to the image of the government, and added: “Trump and his team took over the process of notification and policy announcements and ignored the conventional processes and other issues. Trump made most of the policy announcements in person via Twitter. This had a positive effect at first, showing the relationship of the highest American official with the people, but it also had some consequences, one of which was that the governmental image of the United States in the public arena was faced with many challenges. Because the government in its traditional sense has to create order; this order also brings the feature of predictability, while in the Trump era, the predictability of things was lost; policy-making and decision-making were very unpredictable; and this problem existed both domestically and internationally.
He went on to say that Biden tries to reverse the trend and act in a conventional way to compensate for the distrust, and added: “Biden tried to get the mechanisms and public diplomacy back to their normal form; he tried to avoid unconventional methods of commenting and communicating, and focus more on the media, while Trump ignored a significant portion of the media and continued to quarrel with most media outlets until the end of his presidency.
The Associate professor of international relations at Allameh Tabatabai University maintained that the revelation of many racist and narcissistic approaches of the real America during the Trump era was another factor in accelerating the decline of the United States. The United States has always adopted the policies degradation and extortion which was done secretly before the Trump era; but in a humiliating way, Trump made this approach public. Allies such as Japan, Mexico, Korea, and Saudi Arabia faced Trump’s strange speaking style that called into question past conventions, and this has dealt a severe blow to the image of the United States among the international community, politicians, and even the American people; in addition, although the racist stances i.e. the view of white supremacy existed among the Americans, it became bold when a black man was murdered by US police and Trump’s remarks made it public.
Referring to Trump’s efforts to focus on a power-based and self-centered image of America, Dr. Koohkan believed that Biden is faced with a serious challenge in this regard, adding, “Another American challenge today is the problem of portraying the presidency. Trump had a self-centered personality and tried to define the position of the presidency centered on his own personality by attracting the attentions, a capability that does not exist in Biden at all; Biden’s mental, physiological, and even memory problems are among the factors that prevent this from happening.”
Acknowledging the disorganized state of the United States and announcing the slogan of returning a weak America to its heyday, Trump sought to draw attentions to himself, but when the final years of his presidency coincided with serious challenges such as Coronavirus and his inability to overcome it, further damaged America’s global image, and undermined Trump’s previous efforts.
Associate professor of international relations at Allameh Tabatabai University considered the damaged image of the United States in the international arena as one of the reasons for the serious decline of the United States and added, “This distorted and damaged image will not be repaired soon; for example, while Americans have been emphasizing the slogan of the American dream, the unknown dream land that is America, for years; a slogan that, of course, is nothing more than a lie. The corona crisis clearly showed that this dream land is incapable of managing the crisis, despite all its claims of extraordinary ability and having a highly cultured people.”
Dr. Koohkan considered US rivals in the global economy a serious challenge to US public diplomacy and added, “In terms of public diplomacy and soft power, the United States has rivals who, in addition to trying to improve their own power, have hit the United States hard. They are powerful competitors. These competitors have high capabilities in communication infrastructure and communication tools and media, and China, for example, is developing 5G Internet technology so that using the communication infrastructure push the United States aside and be able to present its views”.
According to this international relations researcher, in general, although in the Biden era, efforts have been made to make the public diplomacy better and to compensate for the damage done during the Trump era, the situation of American public diplomacy is on the decline.
US Efforts to Constrain China
The eighth meeting from a series of preliminary meetings of the International Conference on “the Decline of the United States: The Post-American World” was continued by a speech by Dr. Morteza Noor Mohammadi, Associate professor at Department of International Relations, Allameh Tabatabai University. Dr. Noor Mohammadi emphasizing that the decline of the United States is a gradual process and there is a consensus the thinkers inside and outside the United States on this matter, added: “The issue of decline is not new and its trace can be sought and observed in the views of various theorists, especially after the 1980s, as well as in the works of various scholars”.
“The challenge for the United States today is that it has plunged into serious economic weaknesses”, said Noor Mohammadi, “One of the serious manifestations of the decline of the United States in the global arena can be seen in the weakness of the United States in economic competition with other countries which claim they have power throughout the world. A clear example of this weakness is the US economic confrontation with China, which has put the United States on a slippery slope. The economic gap between China and the United States has narrowed economically in recent years, and at times China has been able to accelerate its development faster than the United States.
“Economic battle with China in order to constrain it is one of the top priorities for the United States”, he said, “Distrust in US promises and position, along with costly policies and the imposition of heavy costs on the United States, has taken competition in this area to a new level, and the United States has no choice but to make sensitive choices; choices that all indicate a decline in the country’s position in the world arena.
The US withdrawal from Afghanistan was a choice
“Withdrawal from Afghanistan was one example of the United States’ weakness in maintaining its interests and reducing the decline in the region” he said, “The withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan during the Biden era was the result of a decision, not a coercion. A decision made because of acceleration in the decline; although this happened in a short time and in a situation that showed a negative and humiliating image of the United States to the world, it was the choice of the United States in order to be less harmed. In fact, the high cost of the US presence in Afghanistan not only did not benefit the country, but also greatly slowed down its economic development relative to China.”
According to Noor Mohammadi, the process of the US withdrawal and the decision to do so began during the Obama presidency, was seriously discussed under the Trump presidency, and Biden just implemented this policy. A policy that has shown that the United States is only pursuing its own interests and is ready to threaten its other interests in the region in economic competition with China, and this issue clearly displays the decline of the United States in foreign and military policy.
The Associate professor of international relations at Allameh Tabatabai University said that the choice to leave Afghanistan was in line with a process and the interests of the United States. If we accept that the US withdrawal from Afghanistan is not a coercion but a choice in order to reduce the decline of its position in the region, then we can adopt more rational and far-sighted strategies in the region and the world.
It is worth mentioning that the 2nd International Conference on “the Decline of the United States: The Post-American World” will be held on November 2, 2021, by Imam Hussein Comprehensive University and the Secretariat of the Expediency Discernment Council, in cooperation with the universities and research institutes.
For more information, interested parties may see the conference website at www.usdecline.ir and the virtual pages of the conference secretariat on social media at @usdecline.