Donald Trump, in his election campaign and after his election, strongly opposed the policy of “permanent wars” and of “regime change” that the neo-conservatives in the Anglo-American world had successfully pushed through for decades. He repeatedly called for establishing good working relations with Russia and China, and ending the senseless military interventions abroad.
To prevent Donald Trump, once elected President of the United States, from carrying out that agenda, “Russiagate” was launched, that is, the claim that Hillary Clinton had been defeated only because the “Russians” intervened through various insidious tactics to favor her opponent’s victory. The entire “deep state” apparatus, together with the neocons and the Obama-Clinton machine in the Democratic Party, has attempted for well over one year to bring down the Trump presidency on such grounds.
But now, as the “Russiagate” is falling apart for lack of evidence, and as the collapse of the trans-Atlantic financial system looms nearer, and progress has been made on the strategic level, on eliminating ISIS South-West Asia and on solving the Korean crisis, the neocons have launched on an all-out offensive to revive their agenda. Basically, that agenda is the program of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) group, which demanded that the U.S. military enforce a global “Pax Americana,” with the U.S. as the unilateral controller of events. PNAC operatives in both administrations pushed for proliferation of disastrous wars, including in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria, and for the coup in Ukraine.
The latest intervention of the neocons is the National Defense Strategy released by the Pentagon on Jan. 19 as part of the Dec. 2017 National Security Strategy. In short, it states that the “principal priorities” are to mobilize U.S. military, economic, financial, diplomatic, law enforcement, intelligence and “information” assets against Russia and China, because those nations — not terrorism or “rogue regimes”– are the primary adversaries of the United States.
The document states that:
“the central challenge to U.S. prosperity and security is the reemergence of long-term, strategic competition by what the National Security Strategy classifies as revisionist powers. It is increasingly clear that China and Russia want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model — gaining veto authority over other nations’ economic, diplomatic, and security decisions.”
Russia responded very sharply to the document, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov calling such “confrontational concepts and strategies” regrettable in a press conference on the same day. However, he restated that Russia remains open for dialogue, and in fact he and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are in very regular contact, despite the apparent inconsistencies in Washington’s policies.
Chinese leaders also reacted immediately to the new strategy paper, ridiculizing the portrayal of China as seeking military supremacy in the region. A spokesman for the Chinese embassy in the U.S. responded with insight:
“If someone is always wearing dark glasses, they will never see a bright world…. Peace and development are the themes of this era, and are also the shared aspirations of mankind. However, if some people look at the world through a Cold War, zero-sum game mindset, then they are destined to see only conflict and confrontation.”
Both Russian and Chinese leaders are aware of the very deep policy differences between President Trump on the one hand and such neocon factions and the Clinton-Obama machine on the other. For the moment, Donald Trump, whatever one may think of his style, has a limited capacity to actually implement his policy.