US President Donald Trump was elected on a populist platform of putting ”America First” and the property developer, businessman, and reality TV celebrity is doing a lot abandoning a long-standing American tradition of using aid toward foreign countries to keep them in their corner at the international stage.
Through the campaign for the top job, then-candidate Trump was vocal about NATO countries who weren’t meeting the 2% threshold of their GDP toward defense spending. As president, Trump didn’t back down from those comments and urged all 28 member states of the world’s largest military alliance to carry their weight by paying their fair share.
The United Nations, the international organization of nations has been a recipient of United States funding since its creation. Over 20% of their annual budget comes from the US. DIsappointed by how those funds are being put into use and wasteful spending, the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley has cut a substantial amount of US$ 285 million. Whether slashing the operational budget for the organization is aimed at forcing other members states to do more in chipping in or a ploy to curb the influence of the UN over America’s foreign policy, remains to be seen.
Since the announcement of his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, sparking international outrage across the Muslim world and condemnation of America’s traditional allies, a shift however domestic, had ramifications which saw a draft resolution at the UN Security Council tossing aside that claim in a 14-1 vote with the lone vote against cast by US veto. A disappointed Trump has threatened to cut foreign aid to countries that voted against American interest. Israel is the highest recipient of the US aid package, followed by Egypt, Jordan, and others.
Palestinian Authority who’ve benefitted from American generosity over the years are now warned of the alternative should peace negotiations between the PLO and the Jewish State. Pakistan has come under attack by President Trump for receiving billions of dollars of American aid money but giving back ”lies and deceit” in return as the frustrated US leader accuses Islamabad of providing a hideout for terrorists as the war in neighboring Afghanistan lingers on. President Trump might be using the threat of cutting funds to convince these organizations and nations which have been America’s allies to act but it remains to be seen if it yields the desired effect.