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Foreign policy expert: USA reaffirmed role as world's police force

Karmo Tüür.
Karmo Tüür. Source: (Postimees/Scanpix)

Karmo Tüür of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute said on Friday that the United States had reaffirmed themselves in their role as a global police force, but that its action in Syria was overshadowed by issues with international law.

Tüür told ERR on Friday that the USA’s military operation in Syria had at least two contradicting aspects. At one end is the broader picture of global security, where Trump had confirmed the USA’s role as the world’s police force. This, according to Tüür, meant that though it didn’t have the right to act like this, it still had the power and the will to move ahead unilaterally.

Tüür said that this was a positive step in the sense of a balance among the current global powers.

“The other aspect […] is that we as a small country should be careful to follow the aspects of international law. Any kind of unilateral action without a UN mandate is a negative step. This side is bad, seen from our perspective,” Tüür pointed out.

Trump’s decision to order air strikes against the Syrian air force base was to be expected, as it was the wish of the U.S. president to show that he would act differently than his predecessor, Barack Obama, had done.

Commenting on the future development of Russian-American relations, Tüür said that in Russia’s case it was always important to differ between what was said and what was actually done.

“That Russia has condemned the USA’s steps and called the UN Security Council for an extraordinary meeting, all that is the side of rhetoric. What is important is what Russia is going to do next in actual reality,” Tüür added.

If Russia really were to take steps and launch a military counterstrike in the shape of a direct military threat or action against American planes or intelligence installations, then this would be one thing. If everything remained just a verbal threat, the situation would be very different, Tüür said.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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