While Donald Trump himself desperately tries to undermine what little democracy we have left in the United States, his foreign policy team is, with somewhat less fanfare, triggering one long term problem after another in foreign policy.
The obvious effort to prevent any peaceful resolution to the tensions with Iran has gotten a lot of attention. The administration’s efforts to bribe and blackmail Arab states into agreeing to normalize relations with Israel. None of these are peace deals, nor are any of them made with the goal of any kind of “peace” in mind. But the latest deal with Morocco takes it to a new level.
Not content to upend decades of admittedly failed diplomacy in Palestine and Israel by simply giving Israel everything and leaving the Palestinians less than crumbs, Trump has now recognized Morocco’s illegitimate claim to Western Sahara and explicitly opposed the United Nations’ approach of a referendum among those living in the occupied area.
Trump did this for a photo op. The upgrade in relations between Israel and Morocco is largely illusory; most relations that matter have been going on unofficially for many years. Denying the Sahrawi people their legitimate rights was not necessary here in any sense. I explore all of this in my latest piece for Responsible Statecraft.