'Trump more of risk factor for IND than he may appear'

'Trump more of risk factor for IND than he may appear'

File picture of US President Donald Trump. Photo credit: AFP

For India, Donald Trump is more of a risk factor than he may appear as New Delhi's interests are unlikely to be served by his trade wars and progressive disengagement of the US from multilateral institutions and treaties that have maintained the global order for decades, claims a new book.

Veteran journalist Alan Friedman in his book "Democracy In Peril: Donald Trump's America" also says that for India, the US president may turn out to be a “double-edged sword".

"On the one hand, he remains the enemy of my enemy, but on the other, he is dangerous, unpredictable and impulsive decision-maker," he writes.

"It is not a given that India's best interests will be served by Trump's trade wars and his progressive disengagement of the US from the multilateral institutions and treaties that have maintained the global order for decades. For India, Trump is more of a risk factor than he may appear," he says.

In the book, Friedman tells a vivid story of terrible inequality - from the excesses of Wall Street to the rising poverty in the US - and explores issues, from racism and gun control to Obamacare, that has polarised a nation.

The author also claims that there is a great deal in common between Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi as regards to issues like politics, approach to governing and nationalism.

He says the most extraordinary aspect of the Trump presidency is that it truly appears to function according to the strictures of a reality television format.

According to him, Trump has made the tweet the "ultimate weapon of mass distraction in 21st-century American politics" as he has sacked dozens of his own administration nominees unceremoniously and often quite aggressively by a tweet.

Friedman says that Trump's transactional approach to international relations, combined with his "America First" agenda, could actually hasten the emergence of a new world order in which Washington is forced to share more powers with Moscow and Beijing.

He says Trump cannot stop the centrifugal dynamics of globalisation and the eventual emergence of a tripolar world but he can be "highly disruptive" along the way.

For Friedman, Trump's trade war with China and his withdrawal of the US from the Paris Accord on climate change and from many other international agreements is consistent with his campaign promises and core beliefs.

"In many ways, the world has been turned upside down by Trump," he writes in the book, published by Om Books International.