For decades the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has been helping the poorest countries in the world to develop economy, democracy, healthcare and multiple other projects. It has been providing humanitarian aid and preventing conflicts in those countries as well. However Donald Trump’s election as President of the United States and his Make America Great Again course may spell the death not only of USAID, but of America’s entire foreign policy.
One of the wake-up calls came from the ex-Soviet area, from Belarus. USAID plans to leave the country by 2018 and from 1 August 2017 a number of projects will be halted there owing to financial stress, as is described in a letter of Matthew Sumpter, USAID Belarus Country Director.
As a result, in the country, where Alexander Lukashenko has stayed as eternal head for more than two decades, we can forget about democratic reforms and developments while people who count on USAID support will be left with nothing. And it’s not just about Belarus.
After the US presidential election few people doubted that US foreign policy won’t be different, but hardly anyone could predict such sweeping changes. Financial cuts that hit USAID, which is one of the key promoters of US interests in the world, mean decrease and further loss of America’s influence in many regions where democracy needs not just some financial aid, but a shield. By saying ‘no’ even to a small number of countries, Trump’s Administration gives totalitarian and radical regimes a chance to grab the power and strengthen their positions that necessitate escalating tensions regionally and globally.
So Trump in his rush to pay more attention to US domestic affairs sacrifices the international security which was built up by all the previous principal tenants of the White House. Fickleness of the new Administration and global democracy support cuts tainted the image of America, and in the future it will result in the loss of confidence both in Trump and the United States as the main democratic leaders who abandoned their allies and everyone in need.