The failed foreign-policy strategy of the neoconservatives and neoliberals has served to dramatically reduce Washington's role and influence in the world. Important alliances are being forged without seeking the assent of the United States, and the world model envisioned in the early 1990s – from Bush to Kagan and all the signatories of the PNAC founding statement of principles – is increasingly coming undone. Donald Trump’s victory represents, in all likelihood, the last decisive blow to a series of foreign-policy strategies that in the end undermined the much-prized leadership of the United States. The ceasefire in Syria, reached thanks to an agreement between Turkey and Russia, notably excluded the United States.
The military, media, financial and cultural assault successfully prosecuted over decades by Washington finally seems to have met its Waterloo at the hands of the axis represented by Iran, Russia and China. The recent media successes (RT, Press TV and many alternative media), political resistance (Assad is still president of Syria), diplomatic struggles (negotiations in Syria without Washington as an intermediary) and military planning (Liberation of Aleppo from terrorists) are a result of the efforts of Iran, Russia and China. Their success in all these fields of operations are having direct consequences and implications for the internal affairs of countries like the United Kingdom and the United States.
The relentless efforts by the majority of Western political representatives for a successful model of globalization has created a parasitic system of turbo capitalism that entails a complete loss of sovereignty by America’s allies. Brexit and Trump have served as an expression of ordinary people’s rejection of these economic and political regimes under which they live.
In Syria, Washington and its puppet allies have almost exited the scene without achieving their strategic goal of removing Assad from power. Within the American political system, the establishment, spanning from Clinton to Obama, was swept away for their economic and political failures. The mainstream media, spewing an endless stream of propaganda aimed at sustaining the political elite, completely lost their battle to appear credible, reaching unprecedented peaks of partisanship and immorality.
Donald Trump has emerged with a new approach to foreign policy affairs, shaped by various political thinkers of the realist mould, such as Kenneth Waltz and John Mearsheimer. First on the to-do list is doing away with all the recent neoconservative and neoliberal policies of foreign intervention (Responsibility to Protect - R2P) and soft-power campaigns in favor of human rights. And there will be no more UN resolutions deviously employed as cover to bomb nations back into the stone age (Libya). Trump does not believe in the central role of the UN in international affairs, reaffirming this repeatedly during his campaign.
The Trump administration intends to end the policy of regime change, interference in the internal affairs of foreign governments, Arab Springs, and color revolutions. Such efforts, they argue, are ultimately ineffective anyway and are too costly in terms of political credibility. In Ukraine the Americans have allied themselves with supporters of the Nazi Stepan Bandera, and in the Middle East they finance or indirectly support al Qaeda and al Nusra Front. These tactics, infamously branded as 'leading from behind', never achieved their desired results. The Middle East is in chaos, with a Moscow-Tehran axis emerging and going from strength to strength. In Ukraine, the government in Kiev not only seems incapable of complying with the Minsk agreements but also of prosecuting a new military campaign with no guarantees from their European and American partners.
There is a wild card that Trump hopes to play in the first months of his presidency. The strategy will focus on the inherited chaotic situation in the Middle East and Ukraine. Obama will be blamed for the previous chaos, it will be argued that sanctions against the Russian Federation should be removed, and Moscow will be given a free hand in the Middle East. In one fell swoop, the future president may decide not to decide directly on the Middle East or on Ukraine, avoiding any further involvement and instead finally making a decision in the national interest of his country.
A sustainable strategy may finally be attained by remaining passive towards the developments in the Middle East, especially on the Syrian front, leaving it firmly in Russian hands, while emphasizing at the same time the effort against Daesh in cooperation with Moscow. Another wise choice would see Kiev falling by the wayside, trashing Ukrainian ambitions to regain the Donbass and recover Crimea. Finally, removing sanctions would allow the next president to strengthen the alliance with European partners (a diplomatic necessity that Trump must make as the new president). Over two years the EU has suffered from economic suicide in the name of a failed policy strategy imposed by Washington. The Trump presidency will seek to normalize relations between Moscow and Washington as well as with European allies more willing to actively collaborate with the Trump administration.
The Middle East will accordingly see a decline in violence, increasing the chances of seeing an end to the conflict in Syria. This plan for the initial phase of the Trump presidency has been widely announced during the months leading up to his election, both by himself or by members of his staff.
The implicit message is to seek dialogue and cooperation with all nations. Probably what lies behind these overtures is actually an explicit willingness to try to break the cooperation between Russia, Iran and China. The motivations for this action stem from the implications for the United States if a full military, cultural and economic alliance between Beijing, Moscow and Tehran is formed. It would almost ultimately consign the United States to irrelevance on the grand chessboard of international relations.
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