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Trump refusing to 'concede' defeat: Implications for US polity, world, India

By Haider Abbas*

US President Donald Trump, who is saddled with every power till January 20, 2021, before what comes as the ‘inauguration-day’, may have lost to Joseph Biden. But Trump, as he had made it clear, would not relinquish power, even when he is finally declared as having lost. The whole episode has implications for US politics, as also for the world, including India.
Trump has fired defense-secretary Mark Esper on November 10, 2020 shortly after as he had sent a classified-memo to the White House on Afghanistan, in which he had expressed ‘concern’ towards the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan. Esper was toeing the Biden’s line, as against Trump, who had announced that US troops should return by Christmas.
It won’t be a surprise if Trump next in the ‘fireline’ would be the CIA director, the FBI chief, and the Pentagon command. The tussle throws ‘wide-open’ the US establishment into deep clash with Trump.
Meanwhile, the Russian intelligence chief alarm that post-US elections there might be ‘a disorder’ even leading to a destabilised US may come true after Trump gave a call of Million Make America Great Again (MAGA) march on November 15, 2020, leading to thousands of Trump supporters gathering in Washington DC streets ready to back Trump’s ‘conspiracy and fraud’ allegations in ‘mail-to-voting’. Pro-Trump demonstrators and counter-demonstrators are reported to have clashed and stabbing incidences have also occurred.
Indeed, chaos is brewing in US polity. Immediately after Esper was fired, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley made clear his dedication to the ‘constitution’ and not to any dictator, tyrant, king or a queen. Milley has not endorsed Trump’s plan to fully withdraw from Afghanistan. He wanted a ‘conditions-based’ withdrawal – his condition being ‘unless peace prevails’. Indeed, Milley, is singing to the tune of Biden when Trump has sought support from the streets.
Despite his son-in-law Jared Kushner and wife Melania Trump advising to prepare to leave the White House, Trump supporters surrounded on the steps of the Supreme Court with the slogans ‘stop-the-steal’ , ‘count-every-vote’ and ‘four-more-years’ ranting the air. Other cities like Florida and Georgia joined the chorus. 
Russia and China have not congratulated Biden, while India has forwarded greetings and Russia and Pakistan have had joint-military drills
Despite all this, if Trump is to succumb to the results, what would that mean? Despite Simpson cartoon may have foretold that Ivanka Trump to be US president in 2028, and despite Trump supporters having come out in such vast numbers defying the proposed US shut-down in the wake of the new coronvirus wave, where will US head for?
One may hear Trump firing CIA and FBI chiefs, and thereafter army may not comply. All that Trump would be left with is a tweet to call upon people to spill-out on US streets – in the same way as one saw the conflagration in the wake George Floyd’s death in June 2020 last. Trump appears to believe that he a clear victor as Democrat supporters preferred to vote from home for Biden, while Republicans under Trump came out unmasked to vote, despite coronavirus. Waiting for his final-call, would they come out in millions, as he desires?
The view is strong: The tumult in US is just a tweet away from Trump…
There are implications for India, too, as more drama is all set to unfold in US. Russia and China have not as yet congratulated Biden. While India has forwarded greetings to Biden, Russia and Pakistan started with their joint-military drills even as votes were being counted in the US. Meanwhile, China slapped a ban on Indians travelling to China.
The timing speaks for itself. While China and Pakistan are gearing-up tension with India, India and US signed Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA). The signatory from US side, ironically, was Mark Esper, whom Trump has been sent packing.
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*Former State Information Commissioner, media analyst, writes on international politics

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