Trump and Putin: The unusual alliance

Trump takes office at a time when the world is witnessing a change in global balance of power

Hussein Shobokshi

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Donald Trump will take over as the new president of the United States of America and occupy the White House very soon. Trump takes office at a time when the world is witnessing a change in global balance of power with a key player in Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is setting new terms and conditions of the world in a practical way.

As part of his design, Putin succeeded in removing a part of Ukraine and “returned” it to its original owners as a result of which he had to suffer very powerful and painful economic sanctions.

In Syria, Putin successfully used the tyrant military force with diplomatic maneuverability to achieve his goal. As he saw his plan succeeding, he aspired to increase his presence in the region. He played an important and effective role in bringing about a paradigm shift that resulted in an agreement with oil-producing countries, which was historical and unprecedented among the members of OPEC and the non-OPEC members.

Meanwhile, Trump is showing “full support” for all the initiatives taken by Putin, although they apparently seem to be directed against America’s national security and its major interests. It was a strange statement when Trump said that America would not bear the cost of defending Europe in the name of NATO alliance.

This is an unusual remark against the old European continent, especially since Russia has a huge military movement on the border with the Baltic States — the states which are flattered by the unofficial welcome from Russia that is formulating to bring some the states back to “mother” Russia again.

Chinese danger?

But why does Trump offer all these free gifts to the Russians? Does this suggest that he supports their policies and the position of Putin with his intense admiration for his personality? Trump realizes that he is dealing with a “person” Putin and not with the institution of the government in Russia, which is trying to win over him as an ally to face the most important and the greatest danger for the United States of America which is China!

China’s party system governs the integrated military and economic institutions and it has a growing influence and boundless political ambition. Trump, who comes from a “national and religious conservatism” background, has found in Vladimir Putin cherishing same values and common goals.

He believes that Putin, whose ancestral origin is from the Western civilization — Christian and conservative values — which Putin himself proudly announced repeatedly and expressed his desire to defend them. Both leaders do not have faith in China. With the intentions and the directions China is heading and its growing influence in the world, it will inevitably and directly affect America and Russia.

Putin will find Trump’s affectionate and warm gestures very “tempting”. Whether it is political or diplomatic support or a carrot and stick approach of economic and other lucrative incentives, it will be a step-by-step tactic until Russia firms up its alliance with America against China. This is most important, as this will shape the next phase of vital policies on the scene, an issue that will also have its reflection over the Middle East.

But the mystery will be clear only if they are to identify the causes and remove the fog by this new landmark coalition.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on January 07, 2016.

Hussein Shobokshi is a Businessman and prominent columnist. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al Takreer on Al Arabiya, and in 1995, he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his B.A. in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.