by MATTHEW JAMISON
One of the most significant developments in international relations this summer of 2017 has been the quiet, stealthy remaking of American Republican President Donald Trump, and the tightening of the mainstream, traditional US military/Pentagon/defense Establishment around Trump’s administration in bringing order to a fractious, clownish and chaotic political operation. There has been a purge going on of key personnel and staff at the White House which began in July with the resignation of Mr. Reince Priebus the Chief of Staff and the Press Secretary Mr. Sean Spicer. Priebus was replaced by the nonsense, tough as brass boots former Homeland Security Secretary and US Marine Corp General John Kelly who quickly moved to oust the clownish mafioso Goldman Sachs financier Anthony Scaramucci as Director of Communications.
Next up was Chief Political Strategist Steve Bannon – another Goldman Sachs banker who had already had his wings clipped by another no nonsense, tough as brass boots, Marie Corp General HR MacMaster (the National Security Advisor) by being kicked off the National Security Council. Bannon ranted and raved against the West-Wing Democrat such as Ivanka and Jared and how the United States was fighting an economic war against China and how he was attempting to dilute the influence of the State Department on Asia-Pacific policy and more broadly the bilateral US-Sino comprehensive strategic partnership for global peace and stability. Bannon was right about one matter: that there is no military option on the table to solve the North Korean missile crisis. Bannon’s departure from the White House represents a victory for the Jared/Ivanka/Gary Cohn/Mnuchin liberal «West Wing» Democrats faction in the Trump White House over control over the direction of both the Trump administration’s domestic agenda, direction, tone and style and the policy on US-China relations & and US Afghanistan policy.
As well as Bannon being purged the extremely peculiar and creepy foreign affairs and national security aide Sebastian Gorka was forced out as well. Gorka had been found going through Reagan Airport last year with a gun and was a gradate of an interesting Hungarian University. It has been reported that right wing nationalist hawks and neocons such as former Bush Jnr era UN Ambassador John Bolton can longer get an audience with the President and present plans which fit with the America First isolationist-nationalist neocon/hawkish agenda such as pulling out of the Obama-era Iran Nuclear Agreement. Clearly there has been a closing of the ranks of certain elements in the military around the President within the inner corridors of the Trump White House. Yet it must be noted that the military veterans led by Generals Kelly and McMaster of the White House are a different breed from the Generals of James Mattis’s Pentagon who are more hawkish and aggressive on China.
In terms of American Domestic Politics the liberal «West-Wing» Ivanka & Jared Democrats such as former President of Goldman Sachs now White House Council of Economic Affairs President Gary Cohn and former Goldman Sachs and Hollywood film executive Steve Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary are in the ascent and firmly in control of the domestic agenda now moving in a more «unifying liberal» direction away from the Bannon America First fire and brim stone agenda of domestic cultural and economic nationalism and with Bannon gone the more sensible White House Generals Kelly and McMaster as well as the sound and moderate Rex Tillerson’s State Department in concert with these liberal «West-Wing» Democrats may prevail in influencing and producing a more nuanced, subtle, balanced and responsible Asia-Pacific policy; Middle East policy and Afghanistan-Pakistan policy against the Pentagon Generals of Defense Secretary James Mattis.
The trouble is certain right wing nationalist elements in the Pentagon who are pushing (in concert with the Japanese Government of Shinzo Abe) for a more confrontational and aggressive posture towards the People’s Republic of China in the South/East China Sea in order to contain, restrain and destabilize China’s Rise and Return to Great Super-Power Status and the Russian Federation’s resurgence on the world stage particularly in the Middle East and in Eastern Europe. The current political turmoil rocking the Untied States of America is severe and like nothing since the internal governmental/political crises the magnitude of Watergate and the Vietnam War. President Donald Trump’s approval rating stands eight months into his Presidency and administration at 38% with a huge 55.8% disapproving. He has become incredibly unpopular and disapproved within such a short space of time politically. So rapid a decline into a severe political storm in the lifespan of an American Government is politically unprecedented and as global implications.
To lose so much ground, any credibility, but saliently – authority – so fast into the life of the Trump administration is truly shocking. There is a quiet coup under way in Washington DC led by some no nonsense, pragmatic, non-ideological Generals to reign in the ideological excesses and wild – absolutely wacky – Bannon world views and instead remake the President into a more stable, unifying and liberal «West-Wing» domestic President while indoctrinating him into the Pentagon military-industrial complex as a controlled Ceremonial businessman figurehead who will toe certain party lines on Afghanistan-Pakistan geo-strategic policy and Asia-Pacific policy re North Korea/Japan in exchange for a somewhat free hand in setting Gulf policy in the Middle East along with Israel-Palestine policy. Russia policy will have to completely rest with he US National Security Council, the Chief of Staff General John Kelly and the State Department as well as the pentagon.
The stage is being set somewhat for a quid pro quo for President Trump. If he agrees to give over control of US-Russia relations and Russia policy to his experts in the US National Security Council, the Pentagon, the State Department, even Congress and move away from seeking a new fresh accommodation, alliance and partnership of respect with Russia & President Vladimir Putin in seeking to stabilize critical world affairs – and continues the 16 year never ending Afghanistan-Pakistan «war on terror» of President George W Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair and President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Theresa May – the Russia inquiry – will fizzle out and not lead to his impeachment and removal from office which is highly unlikely as it is. High crimes and misdemeanours of an American President must be committed by an Incumbent President in order to lead to impeachment, conviction and removal from office.
The East-West Cold War of 1945-1989 ended (it was thought definitely) in 1992 with the beginning of a New World Order. That held sway until 11th September 2001. A new East-West Cold War began then and was thought to have ended by 2012. It didn’t. That became clear by the summer of 2014 and by November 2016, just as with November 1989, a New World Order is starting to emerge and it is not going to be like the post-1992 New World Order which was an American unipolar moment of seeming Western triumph and hubris. One of the great theatres in the emerging post-2012 New World Order is the Great Game Area of South East Asia (Afghanistan-Pakistan) with India, China, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Russia, Pakistan, Japan, the United States, Britain and the European/NATO allies all vying with each other for strategic primacy, dominance and hegemony in this area of acute strategic economic, political, security and military regional and international interests. The area is a great source of rich natural minerals and resources as well as geo-political and geo-strategic significance.
It is this area which has borne witness to the most bloody fighting of the American/NATO led post-9/11 invasion of Afghanistan and Bush/Blair «War on Terror» campaign against the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden’s al Qaeda. It was also this area that was the final routing ground at the end of 1980s militarily of the Soviet Union in the Cold War and the meeting of minds between Osama Bin Laden’s CIA/Saudi backed anti-Russian Mujahidin. After 16 years some in the West and the international community are starting to see that the war in Afghanistan-Pakistan has taken on a great deal more and has been about a great deal more than the events of September 11th 2001 while others primarily in American and British Defense Establishments want to surge in Afghanistan-Pakistan and rev back up the old Bush/Blair terror war machine with India playing a starring role against Pakistan. Welcome to the post-2012 New World Order!