Which regions of the world should worry most about Donald Trump?

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16 December
14:46
December
2016

Nobody knows how catastrophic it's going to be but it's clear that his election is already upsetting the global balance of power. That has dire consequences for a lot of different regions, particularly those that are most conflict-prone, and those that are most vulnerable to the loss of Western support. 

In terms of conflict I would say that Eastern Europe should be worried: the Baltic states, the buffer states like Georgia. A cosy, newfound friendship between the United States and Russia will mean that Putin feels he has more latitude to be aggressive. If I were Putin, shortly after January 20th, when Donald Trump's just learning on his feet, I would start to amass troops towards Eastern Europe. I'd want to take advantage of this power vacuum and the fact that there's a foreign policy amateur in the White House. 

"If I were Putin, I would amass troops towards Eastern Europe around the time of Trump’s inauguration. I’d take advantage of the fact that there’s a foreign policy amateur in the White House."

Whats more, a number of nations have learned that they can get preferential treatment from the West if they predicate their reliance on security concerns. You have these countries like Rwanda with Paul Kagame who's a darling of the West even though he's really in with an iron fist. As long as you do the West's bidding on counterterrorism policy, you can do whatever you want with your own people. 

In terms of those groups that have most to lose from a loss of support, those African nations, a so-called America First strategy could lead to the collapse of their economies. There are things that put America first in the long term that don't seem like they do on a first impression. For example: foreign aid which also entails trade agreements enabling African countries to export textiles to the United States. Those types of programmes are crucial for those economies, but they look like giveaways in the short term.

"In terms of those groups that have most to lose from a loss of support, those African nations, a so-called America First strategy could lead to the collapse of their economies."

What people don't realise is that if you build an economy in a developing country, they'll buy western products and they'll also become your important allies in the future. But there's a short termism that's coming up alongside Trump's isolationism. The America First policy will actually put America very much on the long term backburner while appearing to cater to nativist views. Obama was increasingly critical of all this. But when we have a change of administration in the US, it might mean that either some despots won't care –or they won't pay attention and they'll get away with a lot more.

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