The pattern of the Trump presidency can be reasonably described as alarmingly erratic, but the one loosely consistent thread appears to be his belief that in some fashion there will be benefits from prolonged warfare. He will learn that the beneficiaries will be few but there will be countless victims.
Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has emerged as a significant influence within the policy-making apparatus of the White House. After a rather public imbroglio with Trump’s strategic policy adviser Stephen Bannon over the U.S. cruise missile attack on the Shayrat airbase in Syria, Kushner is «in», as they often say in Washington, and Bannon is «out.» In any case, the anti-globalist faction, which is led by Bannon, has received verbal «thumbs down» on several fronts from Trump.
The last three years of the Obama presidency highlighted two very different strategies being advanced simultaneously by the US and the nations opposing its imperialistic overreach, principally Russia, China and Iran. The latter have been seeking cooperation, while the US, with its big hammer, has characteristically been on the search for nails to hammer. Yet the management of international relations has always sought to maintain wide diplomatic channels, even putting in place precautions in the military arena, such as direct communication lines at the height of tensions of 2014 in Ukraine...
German democracy ended up being taken over by Germany’s aristocracy, and now American democracy has been taken over by America’s aristocracy, but in neither case is it the fault of the public, in either country.
If anyone is worried whether the prospect of a major war, which many of us considered almost inevitable if Hillary Clinton had attained the White House, is back on track, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to Moscow was cold comfort. From his remarks together with his counterpart Sergey Lavrov, there is now little reason to expect any improvement in US-Russia ties anytime soon, if ever, and much reason to expect them to get worse – a lot worse.
Donald Trump’s pivot to U.S. involvement in regime change in multiple countries, combined with military and diplomatic bluster, swagger, and chest-thumping can best be summed up as combining the unitary executive imperialistic foreign policy of George W. Bush with the regime change agenda of Barack Obama, or «Bush version 2.0/Obama version 1.5».
In late February 2017, the Russian Federation and China vetoed a joint, US, French and British resolution to impose sanctions on Syria over allegations of chemical weapons use. I wondered at the time why this issue was coming back. In 2014, on Russian initiative the Syrian government agreed to give up its chemical weapons stocks under international observation and with international assistance...
Donald Trump’s order to blast Syria with a barrage of Tomahawk missiles which resulted in the massacre of civilians, including children, was not only a criminal act of aggression. It seems to be aimed at defining a Trump Doctrine for his presidency. That doctrine could be labelled thus: shoot first and don’t dare ask any questions.
The Mosul airstrikes and many others killed over a thousand Iraqi civilians in March, and you might imagine that western leaders would be at least mildly disapproving of this horrible butchery, but there hasn’t been a word from any of them.
The recent visit by the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to Moscow took place against the backdrop of a transformative period in Middle Eastern politics. The cooperation between the two countries undoubtedly reaches a new stage, as highlighted by their quasi-alliance in Syria as well as the prospective long-term economic projects at the bilateral level.