President Trump has been executing a foreign policy, a clear doctrine of sorts, where national security is achieved by leveraging U.S. economic power. It is a fundamental shift in approaching both allies and adversaries; summarized within the oft repeated phrase: “economic security is national security.”
Initially, given the nature of multiple military entanglements, a traditional military approach could not easily be reversed or dispatched. Defense Secretary James Mattis was the bridge to a path forward. President Trump removed military constraints, allowed rules of engagement that were much stronger, and let Mattis work on confronting and stamping out terror threats. In essence, an aggressive “let’s get this over with” approach.
However, that strong-arm military approach cannot continue indefinitely because it will never end. James Mattis was/is one voice who doesn’t want it to end. Hammers are useless without nails. War and intervention have a long history of unnecessarily expanding if not constrained. The war machine turns into a military business.
Candidate Trump, now President Trump, campaigned on a desire to bring U.S. troops home from all the “stupid wars”, in part because they are also “expensive wars.” And as a direct consequence the time for Defense Secretary Mattis was sure to come to an end.
The Trump Doctrine of using economics to achieve national security objectives is a fundamental paradigm shift; modern U.S. history provides no easy reference.
Demanding the restructuring of NATO or removing troops from Syria and Afghanistan will run counter to the favored policies of those who advocate for military deployments; many are also benefactors on the business side of the military industrial complex. However, with the rising global influence of China via their “one-belt, one-road” objectives, the economic confrontation is the modern battlefield.
Yes, it’s time for a shift.
“Peace is the prize” ~ President Donald Trump
The nature of the Trump foreign policy doctrine, as it has become visible, is to hold manipulative influence agents accountable for regional impact(s); and simultaneously work to stop any corrupted influence from oppressing free expression of national values held by the subservient, dis-empowered, people within the nation being influenced.
There have been clear examples of this doctrine at work. When President Trump first visited the Middle-East he confronted the international audience with a message about dealing with extremist influence agents. President Trump simply said: “drive them out.”
Toward that end, as Qatar was identified as a financier of extremist ideology, President Trump placed the goal of confrontation upon the Gulf Cooperation Council, not the U.S.
The U.S. role was clearly outlined as supporting the confrontation. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates needed to confront the toxic regional influence; the U.S. would support their objective. That’s what happened.
Another example: To confront the extremism creating the turmoil in Afghanistan, President Trump placed the burden of bringing the Taliban to the table of governance upon primary influence agent Pakistan. Here again, with U.S. support. Pakistan is the leading influence agent over the Taliban in Afghanistan; the Trump administration correctly established the responsibility and gives clear expectations for U.S. support.
If Pakistan doesn’t change their influence objective toward a more constructive alignment with a nationally representative Afghanistan government, it is Pakistan who will be held accountable. Again, the correct and effective appropriation of responsibility upon the influence agent who can initiate the solution, Pakistan.
The process of accurate regional assignment of influence comes with disconcerting sunlight. Often these influences are not discussed openly. However, for President Trump the lack of honesty is only a crutch to continue enabling poor actors. This is a consistent theme throughout all of President Trump’s foreign policy engagements.
The European Union is a collective co-dependent enabler to the corrupt influences of Iran. Therefore the assignment of responsibility to change the status is placed upon the EU.
The U.S. will fully support the EU effort, but as seen in the withdrawal from the Iran Deal, the U.S. will not enable growth of toxic behavior. The U.S. stands with the people of Iran, but the U.S. will not support the enabling of Iranian oppression, terrorism and/or dangerous military expansion that will ultimately destabilize the region. Trump holds the EU accountable for influencing change. Again, we see the Trump Doctrine at work.
Perhaps the most obvious application of the Trump Doctrine is found in how the U.S. administration approached the challenging behavior of North Korea. Rather than continuing a decades-long policy of ignoring the influence of China, President Trump directly assigned primary responsibility for a reset to Beijing.
China held, and holds, all influence upon North Korea and has long-treated the DPRK as a proxy province to do the bidding of Beijing’s communist old guard. By directly confronting the influence agent, and admitting openly for the world to see (albeit with jaw-dropping tactical sanction diplomacy) President Trump positioned the U.S. to support a peace objective on the entire Korean peninsula and simultaneously forced China to openly display their closely-guarded influence.
No longer is it outlandish to think of North Korea joining with the rest of the world in achieving a better quality of life for its people.
Not only is President Trump openly sharing a willingness to engage in a new and dynamic future for North Korea, but his approach is removing the toxic influences that have held down the possibility for generations. By leveraging China (through economics) to stop manipulating North Korea, President Trump is opening up a door of possibilities for the North Korean people. This is what I mean when I say Trump is providing North Korea with an opportunity to create an authentic version of itself.
What ultimately comes from the opportunity President Trump has constructed is entirely unknown. However, the opportunity itself is stunning progress creating a reasonable pathway to prosperity for the North Korean people. Chairman Kim Jong-un has the opportunity to be the most trans-formative leader within Asia in generations; but it is still only an ‘opportunity’.
Whether Kim Jong-un can embrace openness, free markets and prosperity is yet to be seen. Freedom is a precariously scary endeavor because there’s always a danger loosening the grip on control can lead to fear, which can lead to even tighter more authoritarian, control.
♦The commonality in these foreign policy engagements is the strategic placement of responsibility upon the primary influence agent; and a clear understanding upon those nation(s) of influence, that all forward efforts must ultimately provide positive results for people impacted who lack the ability to create positive influence themselves.
One of the reasons President Trump is able to take this approach is specifically because he is beholden to no outside influence himself. It is only from the position of complete independence that accurate assignments based on the underlying truth can be made; and that takes us to the ultimate confrontations – the trillion dollar confrontations.
A U.S. foreign policy that provides the opportunity for fully-realized national authenticity is a paradigm shift amid a world that has grown accustomed to corrupt globalists, bankers and financial elites who have established a business model by dictating terms to national leaders they control and influence. We have our own frame of reference with K-Street lobbyists in Washington DC. Much of President Trump’s global trade reset is based on confronting these multinational influence agents.
When you take the influence of corporate/financial brokers out of foreign policy, all of a sudden those global influence peddlers are worthless. Absent of their ability to provide any benefit, nations no longer purchase these brokered services.
As soon as influence brokers are dispatched, national politicians become accountable to the voices of their citizens. When representing the voices of citizens becomes the primary political driver of national policy, the authentic image of the nation is allowed to surface.
In western, or what we would call ‘more democratized systems of government‘, the consequence of removing multinational corporate and financial influence peddlers presents two options for the governing authority occupying political office:
♦One option is to refuse to allow the authentic voice of a nationalist citizenry to rise. Essentially to commit to a retention of the status quo; an elitist view; a globalist perspective. This requires shifting to a more openly authoritarian system of government within both the economic and social spheres. Those who control the reigns of power refuse to acquiesce to a changed landscape.
♦The second option is to allow the authentic and organic rise of nationalism. To accept the voices of the middle-class majority; to structure the economic and social landscape in a manner that allows the underlying identity to surface naturally.
Fortunately we are living in a time of great history, and we have multiple examples surfacing around the world. National elections in Poland, Hungary, Italy, Brazil and right here in the U.S. via Donald Trump highlight responses to dysfunctional multiculturalism and financial influences from corrupt elites within the institutions of globalist advocacy: The International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Two specific reference points are playing-out in real time. •One is the U.K. and voices of the British people who voted to Brexit the European Union. •The second is Mexico, and the July 1st, 2018, election of Andres Manuel Lopez-Obrador (aka AMLO), a nationalist.
In the U.K. we see the government turning more authoritarian and distancing itself from the voices of the majority who chose to rebuke the collective association of the EU. In recent decisions the government has taken a more harsh approach toward suppressing opposition, and as a consequence oppressing free speech and civil liberties. [Insert the example of Tommy Robinson here – there are many others.]
This doesn’t come as a surprise to those who have followed the arc of history when the collective global elite are challenged or rejected. Globalism can only thrive amid a class structure where the elites, though few in number, have more controlling power over the direction of government. It is not accidental the EU has appointed officials and unelected bureaucrats in Brussels as the primary decision-making authority.
As the Trump Doctrine clashes with the European global elite, the withdrawal of the U.S. financial underwriting creates a natural problem. Subsidies are needed to retain multiculturalism.
If a national citizenry has to pay for the indulgent decisions of the influence class, a crisis becomes only a matter of time.
Wealth distribution requires a host.
Since the end of World War II the U.S. has been a bottomless treasury for EU subsidy. The payments have been direct and indirect. The indirect have been via U.S. military bases providing security, the NATO alliance, and also by U.S. trade policy permitting one-way tariff systems. Both forms of indirect payment are now being reversed as part of the modern Trump Doctrine.
Similarly, in Mexico the Trump Doctrine also extends toward changed trade policies; this time via NAFTA. The restructuring of NAFTA into the USMCA disfavors multinational corporations and financial holdings who have exploited structural loopholes that were designed into the original agreement.
With President Trump confronting the NAFTA fatal flaw, and absent of the ability of corporations to influence the direction of the administration, the trade deal ultimately presents the same outcome for Mexico as it does the EU – LESS DOLLARS.
However, in Mexico, the larger systems of government are not as strongly structured to withstand the withdrawal of billions of U.S. dollars. The government of Mexico is not in the same position as the EU and cannot double-down on more oppressive controls. Therefore the authentic voice of the Mexican people is likely to rise.
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), is a nationalist but he is not a free-market capitalist. AMLO is more akin to soft-socialist approach with a view that when the central governing authority is constrained, and operates in the best interests of its citizens, equity can be achieved.
The fabric of socialism runs naturally through the DNA strain of Mexico, and indeed much of South America. This is one of the reasons why previous Mexican governments were so corrupt. Multinational corporations always find it easier to exploit socialist minded government officials.
When bribery and graft are the natural way of business engagement, the multinationals will exploit every opportunity to maximize profit. Withdraw the benefit (loophole exploitation) to the financial systems, and the bribery and graft dries up quickly. A bottom-up nationalist like AMLO, is the ultimate beneficiary.
The authentic-sense of the Mexican people, rises in the persona of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador – who actually does personify the underlying nature of the classic Mexican class-struggle.
Thus we see two similar yet distinct outcomes of the Trump Doctrine. Within a highly structured U.K. parliamentary government the leadership becomes more authoritarian and rebukes the electorate; and in Mexico a less structured government becomes more nationalist, more prideful, and embraces the underlying nature of the electorate.
It is not accidental the historic nature of the U.K. is a monarchy (top down), and the historic nature of Mexico is populist (bottom up). Revolution not withstanding, both countries are now returning to their roots.
We are indeed living in historic times.