The talk was attended by both AUD students and faculty, and centered on forecasting US Foreign Relations with Middle East during president-elect, Donald trump’s presidency.
Political scientist, Dr. Lisa Anderson is the former President of the American University in Cairo. Before her time at AUC, Anderson had been a professor of International Relations, and the dean of the School of, International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.
In her speech, Dr. Anderson talked about Trump’s unusual campaign, describing it as “candid to the point of vulgarity,” and that it “profoundly scared millions of Americans.”
Anderson also added that based on statements Trump has given, both during the campaign, and before it, the president-elect intends to take an isolationist and mercantilist approach to foreign relations, that relied on “extreme military strength” and distrust of allies.
In addition, Anderson explained that Trump claims to be motivated to halt purchases of oil from Saudi Arabia, unless they help militarily or monetarily with the “war against terrorism.” As well as adopt a one-state solution to the Palestine-Israel situation.
Anderson surmised that such policies are reminiscent of a 1928 America, and that they may lead to an economic depression or a war.
“I think it would be very dangerous to become isolationist, it would not be a feasible move, because America can’t isolate itself since it is heavily dependent, economically, on other countries such as China,” said attendee, Tarek al Shawa (21), President of the Finance and Accounting Club at AUD. ‘If the US decides to sabotage relations with china, china can easily crash the US market,”
However, Anderson explained that in practice, the US senate would not allow for any drastic changes to be made by the President, even with a Republican majority in congress.
There were differences of opinion amongst the student crowd attending the talk about whether the Trump administration would be beneficial to the Middle East or not.
“After hearing that Trump wants to be an isolationist and not be involved with the Middle East, I support him,” said Sarah (20), an international relations student. “ I think it’s about time the US stopped intervening in Arab affairs,” she continued.
“I don’t think Trump would be good for the Middle East,” argued Mohammed (21), an Electrical Engineering Student, “ I don’t think he will actually make America isolationist, it’s impossible in reality, and especially not with his plans to destroy [ISIS] in Syria.”
- Feature Picture Source: American University in Cairo – Caravan Website.