The United States President Donald J. Trump's State of the Union speech concentrated mainly on perceived threats from Iran and North Korea. There were, however, no mention of actual successes. Critics remain unimpressed by Trump's handling of international affairs. Truth be told, it was not the unmitigated disaster that everyone thought it would be. That does not mean it was good and even average. The President's rough style and erratic behavior have thrown its allies into a tizzy. It has lowered the US standing in the eyes of the world. To sum it up, 2017 was a year when nothing progressed. The time could be likened to a swamp.
Gambling with the country
The Trump administration made a number of international moves which can be described as gambling. The President took stance on a number of issues which broke long-standing American diplomatic policies. Unpredictability is now the norm. It is now weaponized and used to steer American policy. The aim is to strike fear among the opponents of the United States and thus get gains at minimal cost. The problem is that these gains have not materialized as yet. This is as the opponents of the US have come to realize that the Trump administration has only words, and no actual action. No wonder none of the opposing parties have given way. In reality, America's rivals have only stood their ground. They are in no mood to budge from their given stands.
Keen observers of the US policy has now started to wonder whether Trump has an alternative plan or Plan B in position. This could be specifically valid in a few areas like China and North Korea in the near future. Other future problems may arise from America's trading partners. Iran could also be a problem. These will set the tracks of how 2018 plays out.
Among all the challenges that stare Trump in the face, North Korea could be the prime one. The President has publicly said that he will prevent North Korea to gain a nuclear edge. He said that the country's weapons capability would be blunted so that it cannot threaten the United States. About a year later, Pyongyang has not only shrugged off Trump's threat, it has demonstrated that it continues to be on the path to achieving its stated nuclear ambitions. The only real success he had was to force the Chinese to impose sanctions on Pyongyang.