The United States and ideas for ordering a rule-less order against the background of the world order

Iranian Diplomacy | Hossein Darjani, Rasoul Najafi: The Corona ‘super crisis’ has affected international affairs and the way we analyze them: everything is debated today in global macro-trends according to the Corona factor. But the reality is that eventually this disease and its pervasiveness have emerged in a limited time, limited space, and limited context. As a new human experience, it will enter into the system of future trendology and will educate us how to cope with such pervasive crises.

On the other hand, arguments suggesting that fundamental changes in future world order will be influenced by the corona crisis are not aligned with tenets of creating and establishing order and appear exaggerated. The current international order governing the world has been recognized as the main and acceptable rule for governments over the last eight decades and is the basis for the role of small and large actors.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union and rise of George H. W. Bush (Bush the father) to top of the US echelon of power, an attempt to redefine the world order relying on the US narrative was presented to the world dressed as a discourse called the New World Order; but fundamental transformations in the architecture of the international system, maps, components, tasks and relationships between member states were not included. The post-Bush era witnessed debates on the evolution of deployed order, but eventually changes took place at the level of strategies and goals, not in the main structure of the order.

By understanding the current situation and striving for a new Conceptualization of world order and fragmentation of its types and dimensions from a new perspective; this article examines trends in more than three years of Donald Trump’s Governance which shows effort to re-arrange the developed international order.

Establishment of middle-order and micro-order:

Since the Westphalian macro order, any system consisting of governments has attempted for expanding and strengthening itself to create and deploy middle-orders and the micro-orders; on this basis, the post-World War II international order has followed the pattern of past orders, and over the decades we have encountered a variety of middle and micro-orders to strengthen macro-order.

The formation of middle-orders mean that they have a global scope and focus on difficult components of convergence, such as the unity and military and security alliance of states, and consolidate the deployed macro-order. Agreements such as the Soviet-American nuclear treaty, NATO, Warsaw, and Shanghai are middle-orders of world order for developing security-defense section. In fact, middle-order is mediocrity between macro-order and micro-orders. For example, during the Cold War, the NATO and Warsaw Pact were at the forefront of the Western and Eastern worlds, but none threatened the great order, and in fact, despite their differences in ideology, they strengthened the great order.

Micro-orders are also economically and socially dependent on the macro-order and strengthen it. These include the world trade organization, the world health organization, the United Nations development organization, and etc.  As much as the possibility of establishment of middle-orders and micro-orders in shadow of macro-order may be the possibility of their disappearance and elimination through macro-order is imaginable.

Withdrawal from defense agreements such as Warsaw, Santo, SEATO, etc. are clear examples of this, and in the field of economic and social order, there have been and are more examples in the last eighty years. In fact, middle-orders and micro-orders are constructed and maintained within framework of macro-order; either in temporal, spatial, contextual form, they become different or even extinct.

The European Union formation trend in the last thirty years from the Maastricht Treaty until now, is a clear mark of middle-orders transformation depend on the main rule(deployed macro order), and also is influenced by its main actors. Although middle-orders and micro-orders play a major role for strengthening macro-order(existing international order), by election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, we are confronted with a new kind of ordering which means a new objectivity of the deployed order.

Protest against world order:

From the beginning of Trump’s presidency until now, he has always objected to the existing international order and considers its form and content to be contrary to the US national interests. In trying to fulfill the America’s first slogan, the president of the United States has criticized everything related to Washington’s international responsibilities caused by the deployed order, and on that basis has pulled  out of many global commitments or threatened to withdraw.

He first pointed to macro-order and argued the mechanisms that govern the United Nations and the Security Council did not serve US interests and the country(US) should not provide financial support, equipment and human resources for the United Nations and communicate with partners under the current circumstances. But the macro-order is so strong among members that Trump’s criticism has so far failed to attack the core structure of the world order. But this is not case in field of middle-orders and micro-orders depended on macro-order, and Trump is attacking these areas more intensely. researching this trend shows a new order living in background of the deployed order, and this can affect even the macro-order accepted by the members in long time.

Ordering: development of rule-less order:

A look at Trump’s strategy of threatening and getting out of middle-orders and micro-orders shows a new order in accordance with current intentions and goals of the United States. Over the past three years, Trump has failed to transform global and deployed world order. But because he considers other orders to be very vulnerable and contrary to her own interests, tries to overthrow middle-orders, especially micro-orders, and the consequence is to achieve a rule-less order in which he can advance her goals without regard to those orders. Rule-less order, along with words such middle-order and micro-order (which we mentioned earlier), are new and constructed concepts that we have addressed in this article and try to discuss and expand them. One of the most important concerns of researchers in international relations is correct comprehension of order concept. The world order has had various forms in human history, and disorder is transition from one order to another.

As World War II was a kind of disorder that eventually led to the current established order. Understanding such a situation in background of the current world order, we see a new kind of disorder that, while not large, can be the cause of another great disorder that will eventually lead to the creation of a new world order. We call this approach rule-less order in background of the established order. The closest example in the Corona Crisis is when Trump called the World Health Organization an international institution serving the Chinese government and cut off financial aid to the organization. But there are many such examples.

In middle-orders area, the nuclear missiles non-proliferation treaty (INF), was signed between the united states and the soviet union in 1987 to eliminate intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles, expired on February 1, 2019, with Trump claiming that Russia had repeatedly violated the treaty. Russia subsequently took similar action. The United States also withdrew from the Paris Agreement (micro-order), despite its commitment to the Paris environmental Treaty in 2015, due to it was claimed damage to the US economy. Nafta, which was the result of a free trade agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico, was lifted by Trump’s pressure and on December 10, 2019, officials from three countries in Mexico City signed an amended version of the North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA) entitled CUSMA; But after signing it, we see that the United States has acted on various issues outside the new agreement and has faced serious challenges in issues such as immigration and border protection with Canada and Mexico.

Other middle and micro-orders that Washington does not see in the American interest framework have also been attacked, and although their lack will lead to disorder, this situation is still more acceptable to Trump than establishing order. The new rule of ordering for United States, is disorder in background of macro-world order. In other words, the world order, with all the criticism that Trump has, is implicitly accepted. However, due to the US country’s capacities and capabilities in the political, economic, military and even cultural spheres of the world, he can easily endanger and destroy middle-orders and micro-orders (either made by united states or other countries), if it is in conflict with its interests. This same situation also occurred with Iran, when The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was signed on 14 July 2015 in Vienna, Austria, between Iran and the P5 + 1 (including China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany) and with Trump’s obvious opposition, the United States officially withdrew on May 8, 2018. To put it more clearly, one of the treaties that could have gave legal form and content to relations between Iran and the United States within macro-international order framework and as a micro-order was repealed by one side of the agreement (the United States). This situation is more acceptable to Trump because in the context of disorder and lack of order, he has been able to put pressure on Iran with political, economic, security and military tools. This trend has continued to intensify. Because Iran complained to the International Court of Justice, with citing provisions of the 1955 Iran-US Amity Treaty. With the Court’s initial affirmation about Iran’s complaint, The United States not only disobeyed the Sentence, but also threatened the court with disqualification and support for Iran, and withdrew from the Treaty of Amity. Trump seeks to secure US interests by designing and executing rule-less order. Threat to withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council, threat of NATO not to pay its financial obligations, threat of security partners on the Korean Peninsula and the Persian Gulf to provide financial resources to protect them are all clear examples of the development of rule-less order in the Trump administration’s thinking. The order is regardless to international rules and only in the framework of Washington’s interests.


European researcher Ivan Krastov, who has traveled to the United States several times in recent years, concluded in her recent report, analyzing the US situation under Trump, that the current course is similar to President Harry Truman course. At the time of Truman, the United States made a terrible decision to end the war and ordered a nuclear attack for surrendering Japan. This order was in fact the beginning of a new world order centered on the United Nations and the mechanism of the Security Council.

Trump is also looking for a transformation in the world order, which initially seeks to build new order with a background of rule-less-order at lower levels of order. Rule-less order has helped Trump work for the United States benefits without legal considerations and international law established by the world order. Getting out or threatening to get out of the international middle-orders and micro-orders is on Trump’s agenda, because it costs the United States less and makes it more likely to attack the main rule and the international order in the long time.

But it remains to see what extent this trend can continue. And basically, with or without Trump, after possible holding of presidential elections on  November 3, 2020, what strategy will the United States adopt toward the process of ordering?