FORWARD BASE B

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Trump Foreign Policy: Post-Unilateralism

Coalition, or no, whether other nations were willing or not, the brand of America has been built on unilateral foreign policy.  The world’s only superpower was also the world’s policeman.
Power, however, is a tool and as with money even great amounts of it are easily squandered without clear objectives and a sensible strategy.
The collapse of the Soviet Union was seen as the ultimate legitimation of unilateral diplomacy, an eternal blank check for Wilsonian exceptional interventionism at the “end of history.”

Every president since Reagan doubled down on this nonsense until it reached a climax of absurdity under George W. Bush.  Obama finally toned it down a little bit, because he had to.  Meddling went on unabated, but with most of America’s once abundant international political capital finally frittered away there was only so much he could do.  By the end of his presidency he was a laughingstock openly mocked by the Chinese leadership, insulted by the leader of the Philippines, and regarded with thinly veiled contempt by Russia.

Trump leads a reaction to a political establishment that has been utterly discredited by its decades of relentless ineptitude and failure despite holding every possible strategic advantage.
It has been clear since Trump’s campaign he envisions a US that conducts foreign policy as a nation among nations, not as a bombastic world police that clumsily throws its weight around.

This will mean, thank goodness, far less meddling in the affairs of other nations and a restoration of balances of power.  By wielding power with a lighter hand, it will become possible to accomplish far more.

The US can begin to create a post-exceptionalist, post-unilateral world by simply withdrawing US military interference.
Having US bases while limiting the military power of the host countries has increased the burden on the US while merely infuriating neighboring powers needlessly.

If the US removes most of its troops and involvement in NATO it forces EU nations to spend far more of their wealth on defense.  If Europe insured itself against Russian aggression, Russia would possibly be more amenable to talking about its interests elsewhere…

With a stable balance of power between the EU bloc and Russia, the US could have more constructive conversations with Russia regarding its extremely long border with China.  China is the only world power with potential, besides a real United States of Europe, to be in the same league as the USA.
America and China are presently economic partners joined at the hip, but we must think towards the long game.  Even as the US-Chinese relationship exists now, why not encourage other powers to contain them, giving the US more bargaining leverage?
In light of this, the complete obsession of the USA’s establishment with the Middle East and anti-Russian sentiment is perplexing.  A major foreign policy coup of the 21st century will be to split Russia from China as Nixon once split China away from the Soviet Union.

America could also withdraw from Japan forming a new, more equal relationship and encouraging Japanese re-armament and cooperation with Taiwan to counterbalance Chinese naval ambitions.
Hopefully, a post-exceptional international order would see the US and Europe able to freely operate with the emerging great power of China hampered by its nervous neighbors.  Why meddle when we need only encourage them to do what serves themselves?  The Daoist maxim to “do without doing” will be very appropriate in coming years.

Regarding Korea, it is ironic that if the US renounced its military commitments in the South, it’s possible the Chinese would become suddenly more amenable to discussing phasing out a client state of North Korea they have no special love for, but have kept around as a buffer against a clumsily over-aggressive US.  Add some diplomatic pressure from  neighboring powers, and perhaps an understanding could be arrived at where none is possible now…

Much of the benefits of a post-unilateral foreign policy come from simply undoing the heavy-handed status quo that counter-productively plays at imperialism.  From now on we may see the US doing more with less or in other words, “under budget and ahead of schedule.”

6 responses to “Trump Foreign Policy: Post-Unilateralism

  1. UlricKerensky February 14, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    Every executive finds that they want to rule in a unilateral world, period.

    • Giovanni Dannato February 15, 2017 at 8:47 pm

      Every living thing wants to cram the universe to bursting with copies of itself.
      But in practice there are always limits to power that must be respected for anything favorable to be accomplished.

  2. Sam J. February 15, 2017 at 6:32 am

    The past few days Trump seems to being dragged us into the same hole as what we’re trying to get out of. More harsh words for Russia.

    “… A major foreign policy coup of the 21st century will be to split Russia from China as Nixon once split China away from the Soviet Union…”

    We’re the most natural allies possible. We have no real strategic interests that conflict with theirs and visa-versa. If we can keep Europe from filling with Muslims and draw Russia into Europe as partners it would be the greatest of coups. Do I need to say (((who))) is fucking all this up? Do I need to say that if we would have spent just a tiny fraction of our defense budget on trying our best to make the Russian country prosperous after the USSR fell, how they would have seen us as saviors and how this would greatly increase peace and prosperity for the whole planet? But the (((pieces of shit))) went over there with USA Imperator and looted the fuck out of the country. Completely stole everything that wasn’t nailed down and called it “Capitalism” and “Democracy”. Good fucking luck getting the Russians to trust us.

    “…America could also withdraw from Japan forming a new, more equal relationship and encouraging Japanese re-armament and cooperation with Taiwan to counterbalance Chinese naval ambitions…”

    How do you know the Japanese wouldn’t align with the Chinese? You think they haven’t thought of this? The Japanese and Chinese could control all of Asia. With Japanese tech and Chinese cash and muscle they could easily outclass the US. Europe is in disarray and couldn’t be counted on. The divide would be North-South. We walk a much thinner line than is supposed.

    We should pull out of Afghanistan immediately. Smash the hell out of ISIS in Syria hand in hand with the Russians and give the Northern oil fields of Iraq to Syria and then march out of there as fast as we can.

    What’s got a bee up my ass is this dam. I know it shouldn’t and it’s just one thing but it’s really pissed me off. I was looking at the Oroville Dam situation and had a huge epiphany that this IS the USA. It’s just like this. Apparently before the flood started they knew they had this defect in the spillway and they didn’t fix it. A huge hole opened up in the defect area. If they would have moved heaven and earth they could have filled it with large rocks while the water was off. Even to the extent of hauling all those concrete dividers from the highways to fill the hole. Anything but no…look at it now. A million dollar problem to a 10 million dollar problem. Now with the spillway being destroyed it’s up to 200 million and if the emergency overflow breaks, which it might, then a multi-billion dollar problem with whole towns washed out.

    It just seems symptomatic of the running of the country. All these illegal aliens and they’re not even talking about stemming the flood of people from other countries that will in the long run do not one damn thing for us over all. Muslim refugees raping children. I’ve had enough.

    • Giovanni Dannato February 15, 2017 at 9:17 pm

      Not only are Russia and the USA natural allies, the economic reality is Russia is already a part of Europe. It serves as a commodity provider fueling the more advanced economies of Western Europe.

      Japan and China share historic animosity and have several major strategic conflicts of interest that can’t be ignored.
      Japan’s nightmare as an island nation is a nearby great power in control of the seas.
      China’s nightmare is notoriously resource-poor Japan developing ambitions in its sphere of influence, exactly as it did during WW2.
      If Japan became an ally of China, that would mean eventually becoming a client state of China.
      If the US keeps screwing up, though, maybe Japan eventually actually would rather be a client state of China than a client state of America. Better to set them free so they have more to lose by making a deal with China.

      You’re right, the Oroville dam disaster really is a great metaphor for the state of the nation!

  3. Ex-Ranza February 19, 2017 at 6:03 am

    What are your thoughts on the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis?

    • Giovanni Dannato February 23, 2017 at 8:49 pm

      Looked this up and it seems to have to do with how language affects the way you see the world.
      I’m sure there’s something to it. Languages do seem to come in different flavors. I’ve heard of theories that consciousness itself may rise from the use of language.

      But looking at the world and at history people seem to understand the dynamics of power very much the same regardless of time and place. There are some things fundamental to objective reality that people everywhere will indpendently arrive at.

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