None of the capitals singled out in the Trump administration’s National Security Strategy as being the United States’ prime adversaries – Moscow, Beijing, Tehran, Pyongyang – appear to feel particularly threatened by the fire and brimstone in that document, which was unveiled on Monday.
The Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov shrugged the matter off, saying he could see traces of an “imperial nature” in the NSS “as well as unwillingness to abandon the unipolar world idea and accept a multipolar world.” Peskov saw “some positive moments” in the document where it signals a need to cooperate with Russia in the US’ self-interests, but thought that overall it was too bulky.
Peskov prudently left it to relevant Russia’s agencies to “thoroughly” study the NSS “in order to think it through” – although, prima facie, its “wordings are rather impressive.” The Russian Foreign Ministry had said nothing so far, at time of writing.
In a 673-word remark, the Foreign Ministry spokesperson in Beijing, Hua Chunying, poo-pooed the notion that China is in any strategic competition with the US. Hua asserted: “The Chinese people are full of confidence in the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics of their own choice. History and the reality have proven that this is a successful path … No-one and no country can stop the Chinese people from unwaveringly continuing following the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics and reaping greater achievements.”
Hua wound up by offering some friendly advice: “We urge the US side to… abandon such outdated concepts as the Cold War mentality and the zero-sum game, otherwise it will only end up harming itself as well as others.”
Tehran was equally unimpressed, merely noting that the NSS is “devoid of any wisdom and realism” and advising that the US’ real task ahead should be to sort out its “self-made problems, mishaps and challenges, as the realities of the past one year alone testify.”
Trump’s NSS hasn’t set the Thames, or the Seine, or the Rhine, on fire, either. The big question is what purpose the document serves other than the fact that Trump is mandatorily obliged to come out with it in terms of past practice. Is the hoopla justified?
The NSS appears largely to be about grandstanding in front of the gullible folks in ‘Middle America,’ Trump’s core constituency, and signaling that the boss is going great guns. As for the world outside America, Robert Cohen at the New York Times thinks the NSS is downright farcical: “Trump believes everyone will do his bidding because he says so. Hello!” One cannot but agree.
The NSS appears largely to be about grandstanding in front of the gullible folks in ‘Middle America,’ Trump’s core constituency, and signalling that the boss is going great guns
The NSS outlines a road-map that is patently unrealistic and could turn out to be a catastrophic overreach. The US no longer has the capacity to enforce its will, as the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen show. The Houthis defiantly fired a ballistic missile on Tuesday at the royal palace in Riyadh while King Salman was holding a meeting.
The power to dictate that gave traction to Pax Americana has dissipated. That is where the danger lies. If the US tries to dominate, it could trigger tragic consequences. Peskov is spot-on.
But the real danger lies elsewhere. The NSS signals that the US could broaden its use of nuclear weapons as part of its new security strategy. The document says: “While nuclear deterrence strategies cannot prevent all conflict, they are essential to prevent nuclear attack, non-nuclear strategic attacks, and large-scale conventional aggression.”
This is the first time that any US administration has said that “non-nuclear strategic attacks” represent a category of threat that the US may use nuclear weapons to counter. The shift certainly anticipates the US’ Nuclear Posture Review, expected in the next few weeks.
But what is the definition of “non-nuclear attack” – and, importantly, who defines it? What if the attack is by a “non-state actor”? In September, Rob Soofer, America’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Missile Defense Policy, mentioned cyber-attacks against US infrastructure in this category.
The US is unlikely to launch a nuclear war against existing nuclear powers. But the danger lies in it attempting something like Britain’s during the Suez crisis of 1956, when it forgot for a moment that the imperial era had ended – and overreached. It will be extremely difficult for Trump to swallow the humiliation as Anthony Eden (who resigned as British prime minister) did in such circumstances.
An even bigger danger lies in Trump creating a pathway for other countries to potentially wage nuclear war – India and Pakistan, for example. In fact, the NSS warns against an apocalyptic scenario in the Indian subcontinent: “The prospect for an Indo-Pakistani military conflict that could lead to a nuclear exchange remains a key concern requiring consistent diplomatic attention.”
They used to project themselves as responsible member of the community of nations. They have now outed as the bully they really are.
Low IQ sanghi Bhakt
USA’s increasingly psychotic behaviour reminds one of a scared dog that is suffering from rabies
This is a bullshit article that will please the haters of America. Trump is no different from China’s leader in that he wants to stop America from thinking it has to be the wrold’s policeman or the world’s savior and focus on it’s own problems. China and Russia are both developing greater weaponry including nuclear weponry so Trump feels a need to be competitive. He philosophically doesn’t want to try and export our values in politics or labor. He is almost totally focused on us but has thrown in some hints that it doesn’t mean he is abandoning our friends, that is those that really are our friends.
I’m thinking more and more that a war will be inevitable and, eventually, they will nuke China one day.
The Chinese should be prepared very well for this. You will not have another chance to rise if you fail.
Well intellectuals like you should only relish Modis Mann ki baat and his melodrama. Dont overload your brain by reading Mr Bhadrakumars article. Its way beyond your intellectual capacity.
Every major Asian country should have nuclear weapons with triad delivery capability. When you have psycopath countries like USA armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons the world is no longer a safe place.
Following your own logic strictly, could you explain how the ’embassy move to Jerusalem’ makes sense?
Massoud Hedeshi Yes, but it is a domestic thing that you would not understand.
Hmmm do you mean he is going to bring home the troops from the 160 countries they now occupy and get out of the countries they have invaded, occupied and bombed back to the stone age. If so the world would really have something to celebrate this year coming. But I don`t think he means anything like that , he means doubling down on more of the same More Pax Americana.Just like the writer said that time is over.
Art Laramee Since you have no answer, it is clear that you are the one who does not understand.
Sameer Shah Oh I hope not Sameer. It’ll only escalate.
I remember reading somewhere some time ago that the Chinese have taken their preparations into space, readying to knock out com satellites etc.
one.. point to understand is that over the last few weeks two decisons have been made and both have come from a key and sinister area..the first jerusalem,secondly this NSS report..both of them have the backing of the lage influential group that is the evangelical christian suport base that was key in the reagan era,as the case in the both the bush era..the belief that christ to return in jerusalem and the christians will be raised in arapture in heaven,in order for that to happen wars need to be created and all other races or religions need to be put on one side …with us or aganist us….with the firm belief that all others,muslims jews,hindus,vchinese and the rest will be damned..this is extarordinery one must also bear in mind trumps first trip abroad was riyadh..the whole agenda of the evangelicals is gaining momentum..and although bannon is no longer there,the scenes behind are playing out..
Putin said the other day that Russia’s defense budget is $40 billion. The US is $700 billion, minimum, and more if all the items hidden away in other departments are included. So the US military budget is about 20 times greater than Russia’s and maybe 3-4 times China’s. China has about as many nuclear weapons as UK or France.
NeoFascist evangelicals now believe it will be God hand in all the trumpeter bold moves regardless of the tragic outcomes so as to usher in the biblical end time.
Mr Bhandrakumar. Thank you. Excellent report. I only wish to comment briefly on the banner ‘Make America Great Again’.
Instead of espousing the values that made America great as in its pioneering spirit of the pilgrim fathers, the assiduous stoic persevering spirit of the immigrants to make something out of nothing in their lives, the academic scholars and backyard inventors and the creative innovators in modern technology, the enterprising spirit in commerce and ‘lumen’ in Hollywood and in modern era Western music, that is building from within one’s heart, mind, body and soul, this President thinks he can Trump the world be military bullying and weaponry largesse.
Surely, in a modern educated world where information and news are shared instantly through internet, to be great again is not to start WWIII and hope to be victorious a second time but to be great again through making the world a better place in science and arts and technology etc! That is win the heart, mind, body and soul of the rest of the world!
it might happen one day that the whole world unites against the US, and that will be the day to look forward to.
To obviate future nuclear wars between the subcontinent powers, the IndoPacific NATO should be inclusive like the case of SCO club rather than where both countries are also members instead of Either with Me or mgainst Me old colonial mentality.
Hell Trump don’t want to focus on anything other than how big a tax cut he can give the 1% while the working class takes a shafting,and that old nonsense of being the worlds policeman which of course translate’s into what do you have that we want or can we place our missiels where they overlook another country while our own country wallows in debt again to be paid for by the working class…
a) US arms sales to Far East since the Trump/Kim spat have been billions.
b) Any confict with Kim would result in huge US losses and world economic criis even if N Korea destroyed.
In a stunning rebuke to Donald Trump and Nikki Haley (aka Nimrata Randhawa), 128 nations support UN call for Trump to withdraw his Jerusalem decision.
128 vs 9, with 33 abstention
The last and 2nd Beast in Bible Revelation spake as a Dragon.
It pays to illustrate just how pathetic the US government (the Trump administration) has become by listing the banana republics that have voted in favor of the Jerusalem resolution alongside the US at the UN:
7 bananas. LOL !!!!!!!!!! Truly Paid-thetic !!! Plus two more:
Israel (of course)
USA (the biggest banana republic in the world right now)
Final pangs of a dying breed
Art, I do agrre with you in terms of Trump focusing on America for Americnas. There is just a tiny detail, that I think it is itimportant to note. All his policies are targeted to his supporters and the wealthy Americans. The rest of you, he literall shows you his middle finger.
Art, I do agrre with you in terms of Trump focusing on America for Americnas. There is just a tiny detail, that I think it is itimportant to note. All his policies are targeted to benefit mainly his supporters and the wealthy. The rest of you, he literall shows you his middle finger.
Roger Cheng To conclude what you have concluded requires a blind bias which based on your association with San Francisco is no surprise.
Art Laramee Only a Zionist would state such B.S. as you have
Tim Ebrahimy Thanks for the looney tune. I was entertained.
Rudi Matich There is no other alternative if life as we know it, is to survive.
I dare say Japan would also be destroyed. Keep in mind too, S.K. has many nuclear reactors which would be demolished in an instant, can anyone imagine the disaster such an event would be ? Picture 40 Chernobyls and ten Fukishima’s. That’s just the collateral damage side of it.
You need to include the abstainations too. The nations too spineless to even vote. Terrified they’d be held to account for going against the U.S. bullies.
ONE Australian academic, postures and makes unsubstantiated claims and the whole political spectrum has a fit. No one seems to have cottoned on to the fact the claims being made by this academic, fitted with his desires to further his own agenda, and artificial enhance his importance on the acadmic field, be looked upon favorably by the political movers and shackers.
It would appear, whether the claims are sustainable or even factual, are of no consequence.
It would appear his unfounded allegations seem to take precident over our Trade with China. Do all these folk think their matsers in Wshington will take over this trade should China cease trading with us ???? L.O.L.
AustraliaN politicians, (ever since the CIA/Nixon coupe) have been held in thrall ever since, and have lost the capability to deal with issues relevent to Australian citizens honestly, rather following their masters in the U.S. to the detriment of all Australians, who are simply browsing in the paddock oblivious to what’s going on around them.
KS Chin Australia is incapable of building any military products, everything our military uses, is IMPORTED with heavy caviats imposed upon them. 99% of those products are U.S. imports. and in most cases, very dubious use. B.T.W. is anyone aware, there is a massive hanger in Canberra that houses second hand American helicopters that Australians bought, that cannot be utilised with our defence force ? Millions of Australian dollars thrown away on American junk.
Now lets deal with the claim of Chinses students stealing stuff from the Universities. Australia does not manufacture or even design electronic products, China does, and is miles ahead of any desire Australia may ever harbour in that direction. Personaly, I dont believe there is anything of value within Australian Universities thatthe Chinese would target, other than Turnbull’s ofshore haven bank accounts. L.O.L.
Confusous say, "Sitting across fence, trying to please both sides, becomes excrutiatingly painfull for fence sitter, and cannot be sustained."
Dunno where you got that idea from Shen Shen, but the facts are if China were to reduce her trade and investments with Australia, Australia would become a third World country in a very short time. You only need to examine how the states that dervied the most benefit from the iron ore trade squandered the income from that, they are still suffering and will for a long time to come. Our politicians are incapable of factoring in such events to maintain the country. Witness the "living off the sheep’s back" for many many years, we find it incredibly hard to look to the future and set in place programs to ensure stability.
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