Tuesday, 26 December 2017

World Beware US Frozen Cold War Mentality

Russia and China rightly condemned the new US National Security Strategy (NSS) signed off this week by President Donald Trump. Moscow and Beijing rebuked the 68-page document’s “imperialist character” and “Cold War mentality”.

Purportedly setting out Trump’s “vision” of the world and strategic challenges facing the US, the national security document is rife with contradictions and falsehoods, as well as the usual cringe-making American delusions over its proclaimed virtues and greatness.

However, of serious note is an abiding theme targeting Russia and China as “rivals” who, it is claimed, are “malign actors” trying to undermine America as a world power.

There is little doubt from reading the latest NSS that Washington under Trump is no different from past administrations in its fundamentally hostile view of the world, and in particular a world where Russia and China are perceived as existential enemies.

Both are said to be “contesting our geopolitical advantages and trying to change the international order in their favor”.

It goes on more sinisterly: “We must convince adversaries that we can and will defeat them – not just punish them if they attack the United States”… by developing “weapons systems that clearly overmatches their lethality.”

This amounts to a deplorable call for ever-more militarism, and a dystopian world of America seeing other nations as relentless threats.

China is accused of “economic aggression”; while Russia is accused of “subversion”.

“Russia aims to weaken US influence in the world and divide us from our allies… through modernized forms of subversive tactics, Russia interferes in the domestic political affairs of countries around the world,” states the NSS, repeating baseless claims over the past year saturating US and Western media, which Trump himself has at other times dismissed.

The torrent of contradictions and anomalies in the official US strategic view is staggering and untenable. None more so than the views of the president himself.

When Trump announced the NSS publication on Monday, he played down the rivalries that the document explicitly and repeatedly levels against Russia and China. In particular, Trump’s speech did not accuse Russia of interfering in US politics. As on previous occasions he has dismissed US media claims of Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential elections as “fake news”. Yet, in the strategy document, Russia is provocatively accused of subversion.

More than that, at one point the NSS document makes the following blatantly false claim: “With the invasions of Georgia and Ukraine, Russia demonstrated its willingness to violate the sovereignty of states in the region. Russia continues to intimidate its neighbors with threatening behavior, such as nuclear posturing and forward deployment of offensive capabilities.”

It adds: “The United States and Europe will work together to counter Russian subversion and aggression.”

Bear in mind that the NSS is signed off by President Trump. Bear in mind too that a White House official reportedly admitted that the president was unlikely to have read the entire document.

That means that whatever President Trump says about respecting “sovereign states” and, in his speech Monday, building “great relationships with China and Russia”, we can take his words with a grain of salt. He has little credibility.

The real strategic thinking of the US ruling establishment is not what may be garnered from anything Trump says, but rather in the hostile content of the NSS document.

While Trump might want better relations with Russia the Deep State clearly does not. This is a continuing problem for those wishing to see an end to Washington's over the top corrupt behaviour.

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, December 26th, 2017.]

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