Image source: The Conversation/Reuters/Joshua Roberts

The bully or the deal maker- which Donald Trump will Australia get?

10 November 2016

Leading strategist Professor Hugh White, a former deputy head of the Defence department, says he is unsurprised the government and many commentators have eagerly seized on Trump’s words since Wednesday to imagine that things may not be as bad as many fear.

But “talk is cheap” warns White. “The question is, does America defend South Korea when North Korea has the capacity to put a nuclear weapon on San Francisco, which could happen within a few years?”

The US, he says, faces an “immensely serious challenge” to its primacy in Asia from China, and “we can’t assume that the US is going to triumph in that contest and emerge as the uncontested dominant power again”.

How would Trump respond to that? There are two worrying possibilities, says White, because there are “two Trumps”.

Dr Peter Dean, acting head of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University, is also wary of heads burrowing into sand over the looming risks to regional stability.

“Trump wants to be president and CEO of the US,” says Dean. “He is a deal maker. I think he will make a deal with Putin over Syria and Eastern Europe and probably allow Russia to carve out a sphere of influence; he could well do the same with China, trading away some of the security apparatus that we have come to know and love in Asia. That could work out very poorly for us and all the other US allies in the region.”

Read the full article The bully or the deal maker- which Donald Trump will Australia get? in WA Today.

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