US goes into self-isolation

US goes into self-isolation

Yesterday, during the panel discussion titled 'Strategic Thinking of the Donald Trump administration: Implications for Peace and Russian-US' held in Moscow, Russian experts analyzed the documents of the strategic planning of the US administration - the National Security Strategy, the National Defense Strategy and the Nuclear Doctrine, approved in December 2017 - February 2018.

The analysts tried to answer the following questions: what maintains continuity with previous administrations and what contribution these documents make on the level of the US foreign policy philosophy, its conventional and nuclear weapons policies, whether the world and, in particular, Europe is facing a new arms race, what should Russia expect, what are the risks and opportunities for us linked to President Trump's self-determination in matters of national security.

According to the Development Director of the Russian International Affairs Council, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Alexander Kramarenko, the US National Security Strategy marks a radical break with its post-war foreign policy philosophy: "It has no pretension to exclusiveness and leadership, its paradigm of international relations sounds quite different - in the spirit of the pre-cold-war era and the 20th century. The classic formula is competition, rivalry. These words repeatedly appear throughout it, unlike in the sanctions bill of Aug. 2, which has no combination of these two words next to each other - Russia and the enemy."

According to the expert, the Strategy receive little coverage by the media in the US and Western countries: "We should also see how this whole thing works out. Apparently, there is a desire to "sit Trump out", and then return to the old foreign policy philosophy. Now it's in fact Kissinger's philosophy, it's about the balance of power, about the fundamental realism. It's not realpolitik, but it still has principles. It's about helping the civil society in a soft way, but not promoting democracy as aggressively as before."

Kramarenko believes that the US allies should be concerned by the Americans going into self-isolation: "This is a reluctance to engage in international affairs in general, but focus on its own business. However, an element of militarism has emerged in both military doctrine and nuclear doctrine. They provide for conducting land, sea and air wars against Russia and China. It suggests that the possibility of wars involving conventional arms, that is, without nuclear escalations, is envisaged. Trump's militarism includes his plan to increase the number of the armed forces and the fact that he surrounded himself with the military. And that the military is the most straight-thinking segment of the establishment, less politicized by American standards and the most trusted among Americans themselves. 72% of Americans trust the military. This is an element of transformational mobilization."

The expert said that there are many varieties of acting from the position of strength: "One can make an attack, or shrink into oneself, or even withdraw from globalization. After all, the current US administration's main task, which follows from the National Security Strategy and Donald Trump's statements, is the country's internal affairs. That is, the creation of internal sources of competitive advantage, including industrialization, perhaps through the development of the military-industrial complex. It retraces the path that we have traversed during the past 15 years."