Never before in the history of the United States of America has there been a President more controversial than Mr Donald Trump. A billionaire, with strong ties to the Jewish (and therefore Israeli) lobby; business connections with the Russians and tendencies that reminds one of the notorious gunman from an American western movie. Now nineteen plus days into his presidency, this egomaniac has done more to divide Americans than even the enemies of the State. This divide is more than evident in the protests now raging across the US against the travel ban imposed on citizens of seven Islamic countries (which included cancellation of visas and ‘resident alien status’ issued to their citizens). A federal judge issued an order staying this Presidential Order, generating a personal attack on his person by none other than the President himself.

Mr Trump then went on to destroy relations with Iran and China in a drastic reversal of foreign policy, even threatening use of military force to achieve his policy ends. Perhaps Mr Trump has not had the intellect or the time to read history, which tells us that ‘war is failure of policy’ and if this is the case, then this new White House incumbent does not deserve to be where he is.

The underlying theme of everything that Trump is endeavouring to do in the garb of ‘honestly and speedily’ making good his campaign promises indicated his vicious religious bias towards Muslims. Mr Trump’s repeated religion based remarks, may have actually been paving the way for strengthening anti US radicalism not only within Muslims, but also conservative anti Islamist Christians, thus triggering a real ‘Clash of Civilisations’ – something that runs contrary to the ideals on which America was created.

For the millions of Muslims living inside the US as legalised ‘resident aliens’ and even citizens, Mr Trump’s ‘impulsive and immature’ approach to issues has raised fears for the future. Some are even beginning to say that the US President is serving Israeli interests. I for one have, since the disclosure of the Russian hacking scandal, been toying with the notion that the election of US’ 45th President may well be Russia’s revenge for the alleged connection between US Intelligence and the principal figures in the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Whatever be the case, the crux of the situation is whether Trump’s policies are leading to renewed global tensions, increased terrorism and war. For us, it raises the crucial question of ‘How Pakistan will handle its foreign policy in case of an armed clash between the US and Iran or for that matter, the US and China? Such a conflict will put our diplomacy to its most difficult test. If such a situation does manifest itself in the Iranian context, the best course of action for us would be to stay strictly neutral and watch how events develop. As far as China is concerned, the US would hesitate to take armed coercive action without an ally in the region – this ally would in all probability be India. If this happens, Pakistan would have no option, but to fall into the Chinese camp.

The ‘Trump threat’ can perhaps be viewed underlined by the axiom that ‘a bully will back off when the victim stands up to him’. Iran and China are not ones to be bullied. The US is at a huge psychological disadvantage, when challenging Iran in view of what happened to the Americans during their botched attempt to put boots on Iranian soil during the Teheran hostage crisis. Our western neighbour’s tremendous moral and motivational stamina demonstrated in its revolution and later in the long drawn war with Iraq may also put some sobriety into impulsive White House intentions.

The Chinese are not a nation to be toyed with. They have already brought multi-polarity to the global power equation and possess a credible nuclear deterrence. Any US attempts to back up its bluster with military moves will perhaps manifest in isolating Chinese presence in the South China Sea with Indian help (blocking the Malacca Straits). The US will also have to generate its military presence in Taiwan, a move which may trigger preemptive action by China and perhaps the genesis of a catastrophic global war. Will the US President in all his delusionary decisions risk such a war is something that only time will tell. For now, the global community watches and waits to see what else is pulled out of the Pandora’s Box by someone, whose election to a responsible office may well be the biggest political error committed by the American Electorate College.