September 19, 2021

September 19, 2021

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Foreign Policy: Trump’s America is not a Hegemonic Empire

by | Oct 7, 2019 |

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Agree with him or not, U.S. President Donald J. Trump is a man true to his word. He never liked how the US became involved in the Middle East’s wars of regime change manipulation. I’ve seen him say so since the early 1990’s when, even then, private citizen, land developer and independent thinker about foreign affairs, “The Donald”, penned op-eds against the United States becoming too deeply involved in the Kuwait-Iraq-Saudi Arabia oil and power matrix.
Just shy of three decades later, the Middle Eastern Wars have entangled generations of people in a costly and bloody process best measured not in dollars, but in the true currency for war, millions of persons displaced and uprooted and hundreds of thousands of bodies buried per decade.
As of 2019, the strategic tenets of global stability with regards to the Middle East have changed radically. The post-Colonialism system of crafted power centers of the British Mandate that defined Muddle East stability since 1945 is gone. The post-Cold War US “deliver the world from evil” era of world policeman that began in Grenada is also ending. Regional hill and valley stability, a more chaotic form of power balancing, has been emerging in the Fertile Crescent for some time now.

We Americans whether hawks, doves, agency, military, civilian, academics, special interests, activists, pacifists, sympathizers, xenophobes, or anything else that is the complex and cacophonous noise that is who we are, need to deal with the reality that we are entering an era our egos must learn to cope with.

Herewith, please read the complete text of the statement of President Trump on Syria⏤via Twitter @realdonaldtrump
“The United States was supposed to be in Syria for 30 days, that was many years ago. We stayed and got deeper and deeper into battle with no aim in sight.
When I arrived in Washington, ISIS was running rampant in the area. We quickly defeated 100% of the ISIS Caliphate including capturing thousands of ISIS fighters, mostly from Europe.
But Europe did not want them back, they said you keep them USA! I said “NO, we did you a great favor and now you want us to hold them in U.S. prisons at tremendous cost. They are yours for trials.” They again said “NO,” thinking, as usual, that the U.S. is always the “sucker,” on NATO, on Trade, on everything.
The Kurds fought with us; but were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so. They have been fighting Turkey for decades.
I held off this fight for almost 3 years, but it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home. WE WILL FIGHT WHERE IT IS TO OUR BENEFIT, AND ONLY FIGHT TO WIN.
Turkey, Europe, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia and the Kurds will now have to figure the situation out, and what they want to do with the captured ISIS fighters in their “neighborhood.” They all hate ISIS, have been enemies for years.
We are 7000 miles away and will crush ISIS again if they come anywhere near us!”
This is a pivotal statement by a world leader and commander in chief who wields more military and economic power than any empire that has ever been on planet Earth.

Trump is being very clear in what he is telling the world. He knows it is an earthquake that will shake the very foundations of US foreign policy. He knows he is blaspheming at the altar of the entire DC establishment.

Trump is saying in no uncertain terms that we are not a hegemonic power out to conquer the world in our image.
While the United States is modeled on the Greco-Roman democracy model, it is not an Empire. We gave up on Manifest Destiny a very long time ago. We always leave. We always return to the truth that’s been at our core since the 1790’s when our very young nation was asked by many other colonies to help them throw off their masters; that our limitation is that we can only inspire others to be free by our example, attaining freedom is something each nation must aspire to and attain on their own.
To our credit, we’ve actually exited enough times gracefully to make up for the times we’ve exited catastrophically. Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, Greneda, Panama, Bosnia, West Germany balance the scales against Cuba and Vietnam. We’ve done good in this world and we should be proud of that fact. Perhaps it’s because we are such a young and naïve nation, we don’t see that we have to fall into the traps other empires have.
And here we are, at the precipice of having to exit the Middle East so that they can chart their own dangerous path to a better future for themselves.
It’s not without moral cost. There always is. The Kurds put their faith hoping for an independent state backed by their hope for an American Empire that would subdue Turkey, Syria and Iraq. They were told this was simply strategically and politically impossible given the realities of the world by the United States more than once by the administrations of both Barack Obama and Donald Trump. They were advised to seek minority coexistence in multiple countries as a supra-region culture within a political matrix of nation-states. They almost did. They achieved semi-autonomy and lost it in a gamble in Iraq. It’s sad. It’s inevitable. Ho Chi Minh would have told them it as a bet that was lost even before it was made.
It’s not without political cost either. The United States will be seen as the most unreliable ally in the world. The recriminations of hawks and doves alike, both of whom have an interest in the power of a meddlesome and God-like America to shape things to their liking, are sure to thunder loudly. It’s not an easy thing to let the world shape itself when one’s core ethos is about being the benevolent better shaping others for the greater good.
But that’s been coming for a while now.
The days when three letter agencies crafted violent regime change using lesser nations like pawns to better the position of the United States versus an evil peer are more nostalgia than operational. We still try it; but it’s nothing like it was in the 50’s and 60’s when we feared the Red Menace while ducking and covering under tables; not that it would have done much good against the blast, over-pressure and radiation effects of nuclear weapons.
The Berlin Wall has been down now for longer than it was ever up. Our former Cold War foe now has a gross domestic product one tenth of the United States. In practical terms, it’s more a candidate for a Marshall Plan type assistance program to fill its grocery stores. Yes, I do still remember Boris Yeltsin openly weeping for this people realizing how much of a sacrifice they made to carry out their half of the Cold War.
I had a feeling something like this was coming. Trump’s most recent speech at the United Nations contained this prophetic statement, “Many of America’s closest friends today were once our gravest foes. The United States has never believed in permanent enemies. We want partners, not adversaries. America knows that while anyone can make war, only the most courageous can choose peace.”
The question is how will we use our might tomorrow?
Epilogue –
You should read the rest of President Trump’s speech to the UN. There’s a lot in it that should have been pondered more seriously by America and the world. It was lost in the noise because domestic US politics overwhelmed the news cycle. Perhaps it’s a good idea to put some of that aside today. We have more serious matters to deal with. Here is the full text of Donald Trump’s Speech to 74th Session of the UN General Assembly.

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Dennis Santiago is an author and commentator on national policy and global stability issues. His subject matter expertise was developed during the Cold War as a strategic warfare systems analyst, missile defense architect, and arms control analyst. He is the author of the US Imperfect Defense Theory of Strategic Missile Defense. Dennis has worked on conventional warfare, nuclear warfare, and asymmetric warfare. His expertise includes combat aircraft, ordnance, electronic warfare, command and control, campaign design, and game theory.

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