Is Trump Likely to Move to the Middle East (and Cause a Shift in the Balance of Power)?

On January 20th, the White House welcomed new residents, The Biden’s and their staff. Former President Trump retreated to his Mar-a-Lago estate to plan his next move. His Twitter and other social media ban represent a shut-down on his rhetoric. The canceling of financial contracts, coupled with losing his largest banking relationship, is a shut-down on his income. U.S. corporations who have vowed to stop donating to the Republican Party if Trump remains a part of it represents a personal shut-down. The lawsuits that await him regarding sedition and treasonous acts against the U.S. Government represent a shut-down on his standing as an

represent a shut-down on his standing as an American citizen. Why would he want to stay in the U.S., where his political and economic agency is quashed? Which part of the world will welcome Trump with open arms? The likely answer is Russia, Israel, and the Middle East.

Never mind the legalities of post-presidential benefits; a lifetime pension, health coverage, staff, and secret service protection. Trump can reject these benefits. He has declined a salary all four years of his presidency. To be free of U.S. conditions post-presidency, he would likely hire his own staff and armed guards. Having former U.S. launch codes and other classified information may or may not prohibit Trump from completely relocating, though spending three-fourths of his time abroad may be preferred over all year long.

Russia would benefit significantly by welcoming a former U.S. President to Moscow. Trump living there would enshrine Putin to a glory higher than Lenin, Stalin, and Trotsky. Over tea, Trump could share U.S. Military secrets while Putin would offer title-free land for a Trump Tower to house all the oligarchs. The Trump units, symbolizing how Russia successfully took down the U.S. with no boots-on-the-ground, would sell so fast he would have to erect ten more buildings. Politically the Putin-Trump match makes sense. However, Trump adds nothing more than a few old codes that would have been changed, and whatever information he can remember about U.S. Military capabilities (capabilities that Russia cannot duplicate quickly). Trump may have very little to offer a Putin who uses the internet for proxy wars against the U.S. Moreover, the weather and the mindset of Russia as a country may not appeal to Trump. He’d likely get bored there after a few weeks.

Israel, however, offers a different appeal. Trump is considered a hero under Netanyahu’s leadership for moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Netanyahu, barely escaping criminal charges himself, would be in step with an alliance with Trump. Netanyahu’s recent campaign featured the two together on public relations flags and posters. Unlike Russia, military secrets shared with Israel equate to telling a toddler how to climb Mt. Everest. Israel posits no threat to the U.S. The danger is losing the longstanding relationship between the U.S. and Israel. The balance of power globally would shift. Israel, the stronghold in the region with a nuclear weapon, would now be open to Russian influences. In the wake of Iran’s advancement with its’ nuclear program, Israel would need military support to replace its alliance with the U.S. In 2019, Erdogan turned to Russia to help push the Kurds out of Turkey. Trump removed U.S. troops in Northern Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq, leaving an open door for Russia to climb higher on the hegemonic ladder of global power. The Palestinians become the new Kurds, run out of an area they could barely call home—all the reason why Trump would not choose to live there, too much action.

The Middle East is most Trump-like; Glitz and glam, sunny beaches, exotic cars, fine dining, and top entertainment. In particular, the UAE comes with plenty of sand to build a modified Las Vegas (betting only, gambling is prohibited), perhaps on The World, a project that needs finishing. Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman (MBS) is a short plane ride away, and Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salam bin Hamad Isa Al Khalifa is equidistant. The balance of power in the region already began to shift toward Israel with the Abraham Accords. Qatar and Lebanon could be forced to sign on. A Trump residency in Dubai would strengthen that shift, bringing the Middle East potentially together with Russia, leaving Iran to join forces in a move against the West. With U.S. troops having a minimal presence in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Northern Syria, Jordan would be surrounded by enemies, with Egypt as its nearest ally. And what of Yemen and Oman? They would likely be engulfed into the new frontier where the Middle East allies with Russia.

Trump still holds influential cards in his hands, impeached or not. Shifting politics and the balance of power, a-la-Morgenthau, still lives.

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