In dropping a nearly 22,000-pound bomb on Islamic State forces in Afghanistan Thursday, a Virginia Tech expert in international affairs says Washington and the Trump administration sent a powerful message to friends and foes: The United States is determined to remain a world leader that has to be taken seriously.
President Trump believes in the power and effectiveness of coercive diplomacy rather than in multilateral diplomacy and the reliance on other states, according to Yannis Stivachtis, director of the International Studies Program in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences’ Department of Political Science.
“In this respect, the use of military power is seen as a means to compel third states to adopt behavior and attitudes acceptable to the United States,” Stivachtis said. “The use of this powerful weapon seems to indicate that we gradually enter to a new era of great power competition where the demonstration and use of military power plays a significant role in the maintenance of international order.”
“Apart from this powerful bomb, the United States may bring gradually forward other new weapon systems. Russia used the Syrian battleground for testing several new weapons systems. The U.S. military may consider it necessary to reciprocate soon.”
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