The ins and outs of US security culture

by Deena Stryker | Published: 00:05, Feb 08,2018 | Updated: 22:09, Feb 07,2018

 
 

THERE is a cardinal rule which is invariably invoked whenever a former president meddles in a current president’s dealings with foreign countries. Often cited, it says: ‘The US has one president at a time.’ The long, drawn out ‘Russia Investigation’ targets members of the Trump campaign who have met with various Russian official or private persons during the campaign. It does not accuse them of breaking the above rule, but simply of receiving information pertaining to its adversary, Hillary Clinton.
At first the accusations invoked the law against a presidential candidate receiving anything ‘of value’ from a foreign government — or person. Information detrimental to Clinton would certainly have qualified as valuable to the Republican candidate, but you cannot get rid of a president for such a slim offense, so the Russia investigation blossomed into accusations of either ‘collusion’ or ‘conspiracy’.
So intent is the media on proving its bona fides to the system over which it is supposed to serve as ‘watch-dog’, that for two days now it has repeated breathlessly that one of the players — a minor Trump foreign policy adviser named Carter Page — was the object of a government wiretap because in 2013 he had been an adviser to ‘the Kremlin’ (not the Russian government, an anodyne-sounding tag, but ‘the Kremlin’ which evokes that medieval tower’s foreboding brick walls).
These criticisms are only possible because the American public has already forgotten that in 2013, their former president, Barack Obama, was still pursuing the so-called ‘reset’ with Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Toward the end of Obama’s second term, at the 2015 Munich Security Conference, the yearly international meeting on security, vice-president Biden said:
‘…We all invested in a type of Russia we hoped — and still hope — will emerge one day: a Russia integrated into the world economy; more prosperous, more invested in the international order.’
This statement did not sound anodyne to Vladimir Putin, who since the 2007 Munich Security Conference had consistently presented his opposition to the international order touted by the United States, because it is defined first and foremost as total US hegemony over the world.
Eleven years later, the US deep state continues to pretend that Russia is just being ‘uncooperative’, when it has stated plainly that the world should be kept safe though cooperation between the leaders of the most important regional countries, from east to west: China, India, Russia, South Africa, Brazil — and the US.
The first five formed an alliance in 2014 and have set up various development banks and projects, while the US continues to sulk, convinced (like the Romans and the Nazis) that its time in the sun will never end.
What brings us to the real reason why much of the US political class has been trying to get rid of Donald Trump since he surprised them by winning the presidency? It is not because he is vulgar, brutal and only interested in money: it is because he has affirmed that the one thing he does not like is war.
When Washington pundits ask innocently why Trump never says anything negative about Vladimir Putin, they are pretending to ignore the fact that the central aim of American foreign, laid out in the 1995 Wolfowitz Doctrine, is to prevent any country from challenging American hegemony (routinely referred to as ‘leadership’). The two decades-long US security document noted that Washington must be wary of any country whose resources could enable it to do this.
The Wolfowitz Doctrine remained official US security policy until Donald Trump issued his own in 2017. While walking the walk by identifying Russia and China as adversaries and claims we need to beef up our military, it fails to reaffirm unchallengeable US hegemony.
Should the FBI not want to find out what Carter Page, an oil expert, was telling the Russian government, that sits on the biggest trove of minerals in the world, on president Obama’s watch?

New Eastern Outlook, February 6. Deena Stryker is an international expert, author and journalist who has been at the forefront of international politics for over 30 years.

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