October 11, 2017
Nina Khrushcheva has recently written a commentary on Project Syndicate, dealing with the madman theory of international relations. This approach – consisting of scaring one’s enemies and getting one’s allies to fall into line – has apparently been practised in the past by both Nikita Khrushchev and Richard Nixon.
Like Trump, Khrushchev brought the world to the brink of nuclear war back in 1961 because he believed that other world leaders were not taking him seriously. His performance at the UN prior to the Cuban missile crisis has apparently been emulated by Donald Trump recently, who threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea. One doesn’t have to be an IR specialist to understand that an American leader cannot conceivably utter such threats in a forum dedicated to preserving world peace, unless there is something seriously wrong with them. The United Nations, after all, was built in 1946 by the United States.
True, in the wake of the unipolar moment in US history (1989 – 2005), American leaders would like to replace the UN with the so-called Concert of Democracies, more pliable to their whims. Still, the United Nations can be meaningfully reformed in order to oversee a smoother transition from the unipolar to a multilateral world order, a possibility that is favoured by BRICS countries.
As far as President Trump is concerned, he should realize before it’s too late that following into the footsteps of Nixon and Khrushchev can only bring about his own demise.Florian Pantazi