Mueller and Neocon Unilateralists Escalate Against Trump


by Harley Schlanger, Rogue Money:

The release this week of a National Security Strategy document reveals that neocons within Trump’s administration are trying to steer the administration into confrontation with both Russia and China.  The document identifies both nations as pursuing policies directly counter to U.S. interests.  In the introduction, the document claims that “China and Russia challenge American power, influence and interests, attempting to erode American security and prosperity.  They are determined to make economies less free and less fair, to grow their militaries, and to control information and data to repress their societies and expand their influence.”

Later, the document asserts that Russia and China “want to shape a world antithetical to U.S. values and interests.”  In a passage which is a thinly-veiled attack on the Belt-and-Road Initiative, China is singled out as seeking “to displace the United States in the Indo-Pacific Region, expand the reaches of its state-driven economic model, and reorder the region in its favor,” while Russia is accused of seeking “to restore its great power status and establish spheres of influence near its borders.”  President Xi’s “win-win” approach, embodied in his New Silk Road policy, which would replace geopolitical confrontation with pursuit of common goals, is falsely characterized as a plan to dominate its neighbors economically, with military threats to back it up. 

In commenting on the document, Trump’s National Security Advisor General H.R. McMaster explicitly endorsed geopolitics in a speech delivered to the U.K.-based think tank Policy Exchange, stating “Geopolitics are back with a vengeance, after this holiday from history we took in the so-called post-Cold War period.”  He identified both Russia and China as strategic adversaries.  It is reported that the document reflects the views of McMaster and two assistants who participated in drafting the paper, Nadia Schadlow, a deputy assistant for National Strategic Strategy, and Dina Powell, deputy National Security Adviser and a Goldman Sachs alumnus. Both Schadlow and Powell served in the administration of George W. Bush.  

Schiller Institute President Helga Zepp LaRouche identified this language as an attempt to return the U.S. to the “neocon geopolitical confrontation” approach of the two previous administrations, and pointed to sharp denunciations by Russian and Chinese officials, which identified the document as an example of “old, outdated thinking.”  But Mrs. LaRouche also pointed out Trump, in releasing the document, was less confrontational, as he said he will “attempt to build a great partnership with those [Russia and China] and other countries….”  The document also represents a restatement of Trump’s commitment to oppose regime change, stating, “We understand that the American way of life cannot be imposed on others, nor is it the inevitable culmination of progress.”  She identified the divergent points of emphasis as indication of an ongoing internal battle, noting that Trump recently had a very successful trip to China and has spoken repeatedly of his “great” personal relationship with China’s President Xi, and has had several recent very productive discussions with Putin.


It should be noted that the confrontational language in the report echoes comments of former top Obama officials, CIA Director John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who were part of the “Get Trump” team from the outset, signing on to the infamous, still-unsubstantiated assessment released by the intelligence community on January 7, 2017, that concluded, “with high confidence”, that Russia meddled in the U.S. presidential campaign.  On leaving their posts, both continued to attack Trump as naive for believing he can work with Russia.  On June 7, 2017, in Australia, Clapper claimed [in bizarre language reminiscent of Nazi racial theories about the genetic inferiority of Slavs — JWS] that it is in Russia’s “genes to be opposed, diametrically opposed, to the United States and western democracies.”  The two joined forces again on CNN’s “State of the Union” on November 12, 2017, to slam Trump and Russia.  Brennan said that Trump is “intimidated” by Putin, and that Russia is “a threat to our democracy.”  Clapper chimed in, adding that “Putin is committed to undermining our system,” and that Trump, by rejecting that view, “poses a peril to this country.”

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