In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Donald Trump: another neocon or finally a realist?

Posted by seumasach on August 29, 2017

The difficulties in establishing the policy direction of the USA under Trump stem not only from the clear conflict between the White House and Congress, the CIA and the neocons but within the White House itself. This is because there are contradictions within the notion of “realism” in terms of foreign policy direction. The USA was founded as part of an imperial agenda emanating from London. Since it’s foundation it has undergone a continuous process of expansion although without formally constituting itself as am empire. So the “realist” contention that the USA is simply a nation state like any other is questionable. The neocon conviction that US interests can only be met through continuous power projection seems, if anything , more realistic. And the fact that they seek only to destroy existing state structures rather create new ones gives them the confidence to press ahead with incorrigible voluntarism. Where then are the limits? Firstly, they failed to subvert internally Russia and China, to prevent their re-emergence as global powers and to divide one from the other. Secondly, CIA campaigns in Ukraine and the Middle East failed in that they merely reposed the question of US military dominance, whether the army was prepared to go head to head with Russia, which was answered in the negative. Thirdly, the neocons are themselves hostile to a formally constituted national army preferring a corporate model, to to put it bluntly, mercenaries. There is nothing new about this: the conflict between oligarchy and the military is inseparable from the history of imperialism be it Rome, Venice, Britain or the USA. It is thus no accident that Trump has surrounded himself with generals. It is precisely this which confirms the victory of the realists over the neocons. However, as this article makes clear, the Trump appears to be oscillating between both camps. The transition from aspirant to global domination to ordinary nation state, defending the welfare of its own people,  creating a secure productive base in industry and agriculture, safeguarding its constitutional structures, guaranteeing the rule of law and conducting an intelligent and fruitful diplomacy, is obviously not a straightforward one, if it can be done at all.


5th August, 2017

For many the new President of the US is a controversial figure. His firm declarations related to focusing on American interest are a source of fear among superpower’s allies. At the same time his tenure isn’t free from actions based on ideas. The world is wondering: is Donald Trump a continuator of George W. Bush’s neoconservative diplomacy or rather an author of its own doctrine founded on the realist school of international relations. For all of us it would be better, if the second option were the actual one.

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