US Polls Countdown

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AS countdown begins to US presidential election, the world is sitting with fingers crossed. Though Democratic candidate Joe Biden has some edge over the incumbent Donald Trump, the latter can still emerge as the winner. But the stakes for the US and the world in the win or loss of either of the candidates are too big to not become a subject of global interest. If Biden wins, there are certainly going to be some marked policy readjustments in how the US has dealt with the world under Trump.

In the US, there is now a growing realization that the president’s erratic and irrational behaviour is not only creating difficulties for America at home but also making the world a fraught place. The ongoing trade war with China, sudden decisions to pull out troops from Afghanistan and Syria, all have combined to create a very dangerous state of affairs. Also, Trump’s antipathy towards multilateral institutions that have anchored the global stability after the second world war, his protectionist approach towards the economy and pursuit of an isolationist policy for America have threatened to unhinge the world.

If re-elected to office, Trump is unlikely to change his course. His approach to China has threatened to start a new cold war. On the other hand, new geo-political alignments are taking place. China and Russia are moving ever more closer and challenging US hegemony. The Trump’s combative approach is alienating a lot many countries and allies. This is not a happy state of affairs for the world to be in. And under Trump’s presidentship things are unlikely to change anytime soon, if Trump retains presidency.

But as for India, Trump has been invariably good. Earlier this year, Trump’s visit kept India riveted to television for three days. It was Trump’s second visit to India in five years. And since 2001 when Bill Clinton made his game-changing trip, there have been five US presidential visits to India – including the one by George W Bush – all contributing to a deepening India-US relationship. One of the salient achievements of the Trump’s visit was the signing of the $3 billion worth defence deals, including the purchase of what Trump said were the “most feared weapons”.

Interestingly, Trump didn’t publicly raise Kashmir as was widely anticipated. In past, the visiting US presidents have often mentioned Kashmir in their interaction with media. So, India would want Trump to win. However, relations with India have become too important to the US to be significantly affected by the change of presidency. But yes, there’s a hope that under Biden, the US will reassume its global leadership role. More than anything, the current dire state of global economy needs the major powers to unite rather than drift apart.

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