It seems like the forthcoming inauguration of Donald Trump has caused former Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper to break his vow of silence.
Speaking in the keynote slot at the 2017 Raisina Dialogue, a conference held annually in India by the Observer Research Foundation, Harper took a look at what the geopolitical impact of the incoming president could be.
He started by calling Trump "the elephant in the room." (Except everyone is talking about him. Come on, Steve.)
"[The United States] elected the most non-establishment presidential candidate in the history," Harper continued. "What does it mean?" (It means we are all doomed, Steve.)
"Top line is this, without a doubt: A Trump presidency is a major source, for a time to come, of global uncertainty. We also need to admit that when it comes to specifics we do not have a clear idea of where the president will head." (First time I have ever agreed with you, Mr. Harper.)
Harper went on to say that with the broad outlines the incoming administration has given, there are "two things on international affairs" that he believes are going to be "game changers." The first is that Trump is going to "reverse the cornerstone of seven decades of foreign policy," meaning that he is going to reject the notion that America has a responsibility for global affairs.
"The US under Trump will focus squarely on America's vital national interest, narrowly defined, especially its economic interest," he said. (Yes, Mr. Harper.)
"This does not mean the United States will be unwilling to work with friends and allies on shared interests, it will, but only when such friends and allies are prepared to bring real assets to the table." (Canada has assets, Steve?)
Harper believes this will impact Europe "first and foremost" and that it may lead to a more stable US foreign policy. However, he added, this will have impacts on a world scale saying it "is going to take us into a world that we have not known in eight decades." (Is this a Hitler reference, Mr. Harper?)
"A world devoid of one or two dominating powers and the risks of that are significant." (Stop scaring me, Steve.)
The second foreign policy game changer, Harper said, is the view that America will take towards China—no longer will America view the growth of the eastern country as "benign."
"The Trump administration to China extends way beyond the mere trade imbalance. It has to do with a series of issues, the belief of that massive trade imbalance is financing the rise of a potential geopolitical adversary." (Gawd, bored now, Steve.)
Harper said that he believes both of these policy changes are reflected by the opinion of the American people "whether we like them or not."
"The American public has long been much more skeptical than the establishment consensus has been on China, it has long viewed China as much more of a threat than an opportunity." (Wanna watch Red Dawn, Mr. Harper?)
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