Neoconservative factions in the Anglo-American world are on
an all-out offensive to revive their agenda, which has been
largely overridden by the “new paradigm” of win-win cooperation
and is strongly opposed by President Donald Trump. Their
new assertiveness, from both inside and outside the Trump
administration, comes just as the “Russiagate” campaign in
the United States is suffering blow after blow and just as the
collapse of the trans-Atlantic financial system is accelerating.
Strategically, it follows the progress made on eliminating ISIS
and other extremist terrorist groups in South-West Asia, the
headway in solving the Korean crisis, as well as improvements
in U.S. relations with China and Russia.

The latest intervention of the neocons is the National Defense
Strategy released by the Pentagon on Jan. 19 as part
of the Dec. 2017 National Security Strategy (cf. SAS 1/18).
In short, it states that the “principal priorities” are to mobilize
U.S. military, economic, financial, diplomatic, law enforcement,
intelligence and “information” assets against Russia and
China, because those nations — not terrorism or “rogue regimes”–
are the primary adversaries of the United States (see
more on this below).

Russia responded very sharply, with Foreign Minister Sergei
Lavrov calling such “confrontational concepts and strategies”
regrettable in a press conference on the same day. However, he
restated that Russia remains open for dialogue, and in fact he
and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are in very regular contact,
despite the apparent inconsistencies in Washington’s policies.
Chinese leaders also reacted immediately to the new strategy
paper, ridiculizing the portrayal of China as seeking military
supremacy in the region.

A spokesman for the Chinese embassy
in the U.S. responded with insight: “If someone is always wearing
dark glasses, they will never see a bright world…. Peace
and development are the themes of this era, and are also the
shared aspirations of mankind. However, if some people look
at the world through a Cold War, zero-sum game mindset, then
they are destined to see only conflict and confrontation.”

Both Russian and Chinese leaders are aware of the very deep
policy differences between President Trump on the one hand
and such neocon factions and the Clinton-Obama machine on
the other. For the moment, Donald Trump, whatever one may
think of his style, has a limited capacity to actually implement
his policy.

E.I.R. Weekly Report

The Schiller Institute

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