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The United States and the World(二)

Will US strategy change with the Trump presidency?

The
stunning victory of Donald Trump marksa new phase of United States
politics. He appealed to the working class and to the dwindling middle
classcrushed by Wall Street’s domination.  Heinspired the revolt of Main
Street against international financecapitalism.  His victory has
domestic andinternational implications.

Trump’s victory is bigger
than Brexit butit is rooted in the same rejection by the common people
of business as usual byelite politicians owned by Wall Street and “The
City” in London. This rejectionis part of a larger awakening in the
Western world which is opposed touncontrolled finance capitalism and to
its malignant influence over Westernpolitics and economics.

The
same phenomenon that catapulted Trumpto victory in the US and Brexit
supporters to victory in the United Kingdom ison display in continental
Europe.  InFrance, in Greece, in Italy, in Portugal, in Spain millions
of citizens rallyagainst the financiers and their domination of national
and European widepolitics. 

In eastern Europe, voters in Hungary
and inCzechoslovakia elect leaders who defend their national
sovereignty against theschemes of international casino capitalists. In
Russia, the people are behind president Putin and his strongpatriotic
leadership.

Overall, it is clear that in the Westsignificant
numbers of voters reject uncontrolled finance capitalism as a modelof
economic and social organization. Instead, people want to liberate
productive forces in society and in theeconomy and orient them toward
peaceful development.

The establishment elites in finance,
media,and entertainment joined forces to block Trump and to support
Hillary.  Significantly, foreign policy experts whosupposedly were
Republican shifted over to the Clinton campaign and condemnedTrump.

What
has been at stake in foreign policy isa continuation of the hawks’ US
policy of imperialism in support of unipolarhegemony.   The
self-servingjustification of the foreign policy establishment is that
because the US “won”World War II it had the right to step into the shoes
of the former Britishempire to become the self-appointed
“indispensible” state in charge oforganizing and of policing world
order.

In contrast to this imperial vision, Trumpin his first
major foreign policy speech rejected foreign policy as usual.  He called
into question the utility ofobsolete Cold War alliance structures. He
denounced hawkish foreign policy networks such as the neoconservatives. 
He called for a new diplomacy whichemphasizes negotiation rather than
coercion.

In this context, Trump became well knownfor his view
that US-Russia relations must be truly reset on a sustainablebasis.  He
constantly emphasizes that asa businessman he is focused on negotiations
and win-win outcomes. 

This working style can
appropriatelytranslate into constructive foreign policy and
statesmanship.  Instead of the foreign policy incompetenceand failures
of the Bush-Obama administrations it is possible that the US canprovide
positive input and cooperation to solve pressing challenges facing
theinternational community.

Trump has indicated that US allies
inEurope and in Asia need to do more for themselves.  He correctly notes
that the present arrangementsare an economic burden to the US at a time
when the US financial system andeconomy are in a shambles.

As to
US-China relations, like all USpoliticians at election time, he has
called into question China’s currency andtrade policies.  But once in
office it islikely that he will gain a better understanding of the
economic situation andof the benefits of cooperation. 

Trump’s
emphasis on negotiation rather thanon coercion gives some hope that
intensive but friendly dialogue and discussioncan solve many problems.

As
Trump becomes more familiar with theoverall Asian situation and the
historically significant One Belt One Roaddevelopment concept it is
certainly possible that he will want toparticipate.   The US should join
theAIIB and should promote joint ventures between US and Chinese
companies toadvance the One Belt One Road vision.

Unfortunately,
the Obama administration notonly rejected the One Belt One Road concept
but actively sought to undermine itthrough diplomacy and coercion by
various means.  Trump as a businessman should see that thereare great
opportunities for US participation.

Washington and the new
President mustupdate overall Pacific policy.  Duringthe failed
Bush-Obama years, continuation of Cold War alliance structures wasat the
center of strategic policy.  Butthese old alliances are obsolete in the
present changing internationalsituation.

To say that these Cold
War alliances areobsolete does not mean that the US will become
unfriendly to allies such asJapan, or Australia and New Zealand, or the
Philippines.  It simply means that the old “hub and spokes”alliance
structure must be updated and replaced with new forms of
mutuallybeneficial cooperation.

To update US Pacific policy it is
logicalthat in the emerging multipolar world the US policy must be
based oncooperation with major powers.  To createa peaceful and
prosperous “Pacific Community” the US must work on a win-winbasis with
China, Japan, and Russia, for example.

When thinking about a
Pacific Communityconcept, the upcoming Trump administration must think
holistically about theentire Pacific basin. This means that not only the
eastern and southern Pacificbe considered but also that the America’s
from Canada to Chile be taken intoaccount.

From an American
perspective there isnothing new in this.  In fact, this isthe
traditional American perspective reaching back as far as the days
ofPresident George Washington.  Being goodneighbors in the Americas and
engaging in peaceful and mutually beneficialcommerce with Asia was the
core geostrategic concept of the early AmericanRepublic. 

After
the American Revolution, and evenbefore the creation of the
constitutional republic, the first US ship to visitChina back in 1784
was named “The Empress of China” and it departed from NewYork City
harbor on George Washington’s birthday. 

The new US president
hailing from New YorkCity can revive this spirit of friendship and
win-win commerce andcooperation.  He must be careful abouthis choices
for staff so as not to get misled by staff as happened with hismistaken
Taiwan telephone call.

The choice of Rex Tillerson, head
ofExxonMobil, as secretary of state is an excellent step forward.   This
can signal a new direction for USforeign policy that is practical and
emphasizes diplomacy and economiccooperation in support of peace and
development.

During the coming weeks, Trump will add tohis
foreign policy team and task it with forming the basic outline of
hisoverall policy.  When in office he willundertake to staff his
administration but this process takes time and can be amatter of a
number of months.  He willhave to review many policies and this is a
complicated and time consuminggovernmental process.

Although US
foreign policy tends not toshift dramatically in short time frames,
Trump must begin to implement hisvision in a timely and businesslike
manner. Meanwhile, the whole world will be watching and hoping for real
andeffective change in Washington..