What does a Trump presidency mean for Middle East foreign policy?

trumpvictory
Trump speaks next to his family after winning the election.

Well, Arabs may prefer Clinton, but that’s not going to make much of a difference now.

Today at around three in the morning, President-elect Donald Trump accepted his electoral college victory in a large hall, where he largely stuck to the script, and had some kind words for Clinton, despite his previous record of saying otherwise.

Trump is fairly isolationist compared to previous Republican nominees for president, and is much moreso than Clinton, who voted for the Iraq war and has said she wants a no-fly zone over Syria in order to halt Russian aggression.

He has previously called for more compensation from NATO allies for the US’s protection, so perhaps we’ll see some outrageous demands for cash, or a lessening of US involvement in the treaty. Trump has cozied up to Russia, so perhaps we’ll see him withdraw or lessen support for rebels in Syria.

He has also made outrageous remarks about ‘taking oil’ from countries we help in the past, but hopefully he won’t ever actually do that. As I said a few months ago, it’s  just a terrible idea.

As for his ban on Muslim immigration, it seems he may be walking it back somewhat. He has promised that he will use ‘extreme vetting’ with immigrants from Middle Eastern countries in his plan for the first 100 days, but what that means exactly isn’t clear.

An interesting opinion piece touched on the idea that Trump could actually be better for the Middle East than Clinton, because he is less hawkish. You can read that here.

For more details on his foreign policy with the Middle East, we’re going to need a lot more than his vagaries before the election, especially given Trump’s tendency to flip-flop.

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