The National Security Adviser Who Dined with Putin: John Batchelor Interviews Stephen F. Cohen

At least in the geo-strategic area we are beginning to see a Trump presidency that may be conforming to an election platform for a dtente president. This is undoubtedly hugely beneficial for us all, but for Trump means virtually a political war against him from all sides of the political establishment from the E.U. and Washington itself. Cohen discusses Trumps choices for his cabinet and his advisors and its likely affect on the New Cold War. We see the usual propaganda histrionics against Trump at home led by the usual hotheads and captured ‘journalism’. Elsewhere NATO war games are continuing on the Russian border, there is much increased shelling by Kiev in the Donbass, and all manner of criticisms are coming at Russia over Syria. In Washington he is faced with an opposition that carries across party lines with an ingrained belief that Trump is going to pursue dtente (Cohen uses their label as ‘reset’) with Russia as the existential enemy, and they are determined to ‘firewall’ that resistance against the new president. The resistance will be massive. But as Cohen points out, a president has great freedom to pursue a foreign policy of dtente alone without having to go through Congress.
The central figure for this cold war president, so far, is Michael Flynn, Trump’s choice for National Security Advisor. In some circles he is considered too political (he supported the Iraq wars), but where the final appeal may be found is his view that ISIS is the real threat to the United States, and he appears to be open to working with Russia in the M.E. Cohen also notes Trump’s flexibility with his meeting with Tulsi Gabbard (Democrat rep., Hawai’i) who stated that she supported Trump’s anti-war position.
But there are changes in attitudes for governments in Europe also, and Cohen lists countries that are softening their anti-Russian views – or redefining their relationship with Washington to favour Trump’s dtente. One very important observation he picks up on came from President Obama at the recent APEC meeting in Peru that indicates a fundamental change in how Obama, at least, views what Trump is doing. The changes in Europe show that economic interests and common sense ‘are initiating policies of moving away from blindly supporting Washington to those of ‘greater independence’.
But Cohen acknowledges that resistance to Russia in institutions like the World Court may be present there for the long term. These institutions have shown to be politically influenced for Washington -especially in the Ukrainian Civil War where realities have been misrepresented from the beginning. But this writer is still reassured that Trump’s presidency is a dtente presidency, and being such a wilful personality (his public disdain for the press in the US was a good example) suggests that he will not wilt at the challenges in front of him. We should all hope so…

This post was published at Audioboom

 

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