Breaking with the habits of his predecessors, Donald Trump’s National Security Strategy abandons the management of world affairs and lays out the path to the economic and social recovery of the United States. This project, which is perfectly coherent, represents a brutal change that his cabinet will now have to impose on the whole of his administration.
During the mandates of George Bush Jr. and Barack Obama, the documents defining their National Security Strategies were based on the principle that the United States of America was the world’s only superpower. They could wage the « endless war » advocated by Admiral Arthur Cebrowski, in other words they could systematically destroy any political organisation in the already unstable areas of the planet, beginning with the « Greater Middle East ». The Presidents indicated their projects for every region of the world. All that the unified fighting Commands had to do was apply these instructions.
Donald Trump’s National Security Strategy breaks almost entirely with this literature. It conserves certain of the mythological elements of these previous mandates, but attempts above all to reposition the United States as the Republic it was in 1791 (which is to say at the moment of compromise with the Bill of Rights) and no longer as the Empire that it became on 11 September 2001.
The role of the White House, its diplomacy and its armed forces is no longer to rule the world, but to protect « the interests of the people of the United States ».
In his introduction, Donald Trump marks his difference with his predecessors by denouncing the policies of « régime change » and « world democratic revolution » adopted by Ronald Reagan and managed under successive administrations by Trotskyite senior civil servants. He reaffirms the classic realpolitik as declared by Henry Kissinger for example, founded on the idea of « sovereign nations ».
The reader will however keep in mind that certain intergovernmental agencies of the « Five Eyes » group, (Australia, Canada, the United States, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom), such as the National Endowment for Democracy, are still directed by Trotskyists.
Donald Trump distinguishes three types of difficulty that his country is going to have to face -
First of all, the rivalry with Russia and China;
Next, the opposition of « rogue states » (North Korea and Iran) in their respective regions;
Finally, the threat to international law embodied by the jihadist movements and transnational criminal organisations.
Although he too considers the United States to be the incarnation of Good, he does not diabolise his rivals, adversaries and enemies, but attempts to understand them, unlike his predecessors.
He once again uses his slogan « America First! » and makes it his philosophical foundation. Historically, this formula is still associated with support for Nazism, but this is not its original meaning. It was initially a way of breaking with Roosevelt’s Atlantist policy - the alliance with the British Empire in order to govern the world.
The reader will remember that the first cabinet of the Obama administration gave an excessive place to the members of the Pilgrim Society (no connection with the Mont-Pelerin Society), in other words a very private club presided by Queen Elizabeth II. This was the group which piloted the financial après-crise of 2008.
In order to guide this policy of returning to the Republican principles of 1791 and independence from British financial interests, Donald Trump poses four pillars:
The protection of the people of the United States, its homeland and its way of life;
The prosperity of the United States;
The power of its armies;
The development of its influence.
Thus, he does not imagine his strategy in opposition to his rivals, his adversaries and his enemies, but as a function of his Republican and independent ideal.
In order to avoid misinterpretation, he specifies that while he may consider that the United States is an example for the world, it is neither possible nor desirable to impose its way of life on others - particularly since this way of life could not be considered as the « inevitable final outcome of progress ». He does not think of international relations as being the rule of the United States over the world, but as the search for « reciprocal relations » with his partners.
The four pillars of the America First doctrine of National Security
The protection of the people of the United States implies, above all, the restoration of the frontiers (terrestrial, aerial, maritime, spatial and cyber-spatial) which have been progressively destroyed by the globalists.
These frontiers are intended to neutralise the use of weapons of mass destruction by terrorist and criminal groups, and also to contain pandemics and prevent the entry of drugs or illegal immigrants. Concerning the cyber-spatial frontiers, Donald Trump notes the necessity of securing the Internet by giving priority, successively, to National Security, Energy, the Banks, Health, Communications and Transports. But all that remains rather theoretical.
While, since the presidency of Richard Nixon, the war against drugs had been selective, aimed not at drying up the flood of illegal substances, but at directing it towards certain ethnic minorities, Donald Trump responds to a new need. Aware of the collapse of life expectancy exclusively affecting white males under Barack Obama, the despair that it caused and the opioïd epidemic that ensued, Trump considers that the fight against the cartels is a question of national survival.
Speaking of the war against terrorism, it is not clear whether he is referring to the « lone wolves » who continue to fight even after the fall of the Caliphate, as was the case with certain groups of the Waffen SS after the fall of the Reich, or the maintenance of the British system of jihadism. If the second hypothesis is correct, it would be a clear retraction of his declarations of intention during his electoral campaign and the first months of his presidency. He would therefore be obliged to clarify the evolution of relations between Washington and London, as well the consequences of this change concerning the management of NATO.
In any case, we note a strange passage from the text which states as follows - « The United States will work with their allies and partners to dissuade and destabilise other groups which threaten the homeland - including the groups sponsored by Iran, like the Lebanese Hezbollah ».
For all anti-terrorist actions, Donald Trump considers limited alliances with other powers, including Russia and China.
Finally, concerning the resilience of the United States, he validates the programme of « Continuity of Government », although it was the direct beneficiary of the coup d’Etat of 9/11. However, he states that citizens who are engaged and informed are the basis of this system, which would seem to avert the danger of a replay of such an event.
Concerning the prosperity of the United States, a condition for the development of his Defense programme, Donald Trump is a champion of the « American dream », the « minimal State », and the theory of « trickle-down economics » (from top to bottom). He therefore conceives of an economy based on free exchange and not financialisation. Taking the opposite point of view from the commonly-believed idea that free exchange was an instrument of Anglo-Saxon imperialism, he affirms that it is only fair for the primary actors if the new actors accept the rules. He claims that several states — including China — are profiting from this system without ever having entertained the intention of adopting its values.
He bases himself on this idea — and not on the analysis of the appearance of a transnational class of the super-rich — in order to denounce multilateral commercial agreements.
He continues by announcing the deregulation of all sectors where State intervention is unnecessary. At the same time, he is planning the opposition to all interventions by foreign States and their nationalised businesses, which could distort fair exchanges with the United States.
He intends to develop theoretical research and its technical applications, and to support invention and innovation. For that, he plans for special and advantageous conditions of immigration in order to generate a « brain drain » towards the United States. Considering the skills thus acquired, not as the means for establishing a toll-booth on the world economy via patents, but as the motor of the US economy, he intends to create a National Security file of these techniques and to protect them in order to maintain his advance.
Finally, on the subject of the access to sources of energy, he observes that for the first time, the United States is self-sufficient. He warns against policies initiated in the name of global warming, which implies limiting the use of energy. Here, Donald Trump is not talking about the financialisation of ecology, but is clearly lobbing a stone into the garden of France, promoter of the « greening of finance ». Replacing this question in a more general context, he affirms that the United States will support any States which are victims of energy blackmail.
Affirming that while the United States is no longer the sole superpower, it is the dominant power, he states that his central security objective is the maintenance of this military preeminence, in accordance with the Roman adage Si vis pacem, para bellum .
He first observes that « China is attempting to exclude the United States from the Indo-Pacific region, to extend the reach of its State-run economic model, and to reorganise the region to its own advantage ». According to Trump, Beijing is in the process of building the world’s second military capability (under the authority of General Xi Jinping) leaning for support on the skills of the United States.
As for Russia, « … it is seeking to re-establish its status as a great power and create spheres of influence at its borders ». To that purpose, it is « attempting to weaken the influence of the United States in the world and separate the USA from its allies and partners. It perceives NATO and the European Union as threats ».
This is the first analysis of the goals and means of the rivals of the United States. Contrary to the « Wolfowitz doctrine », the White House no longer considers the European Union as a competitor, but as the civilian wing of NATO. Breaking with the strategy of economic sabotage of the European Union by George Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton, Donald Trump posits the possibility of cooperating with his rivals (which are now Russia and China), but only from a « position of strength ».
The current period sees the return of military competition, with three players this time. Knowing the tendency of military men to prepare for the last war, rather than trying to imagine the next, it is a good idea to rethink the organisation and allocation of the armies while remembering that your rivals will position themselves in whatever sector they choose. We should note that it is not in this chapter that Donald Trump evokes the Pentagon’s Achilles heel, but much earlier in the text. It is in his introduction, at a moment when the reader is absorbed in philosophical considerations, that he mentions the new breed of Russian weapons, and in particular their capacity to inhibit the commands and controls of NATO equipment.
The Pentagon must renew its arsenal, both in quantity and in quality. It has to abandon the illusion that its technological superiority (in reality, now overtaken by Russia) can make up for its inferiority in numbers. There follows a long study of the domains of armament, including nuclear weapons, which have to be modernised.
Donald Trump intends to inverse the current functioning of the Defense industry. The industry currently tries to sell its products to the Federal state — Trump hopes that the Federal state will launch its own offers, and that the industrials will respond to these new needs. We know that today, the Defense industry no longer has the engineers it needs to realise new projects. The failure of the F-35 is the most striking example of this. The change for which the President is hoping therefore supposes the prior organisation of the « brain drain » towards the United States which he has already evoked.
As far as Intelligence is concerned, he has adopted the theories of his ex-National Security advisor General Michael Flynn. He wants to reposition not only the Defense Intelligence Agency, but the entire « Intelligence community ». The objective is no longer being able to pinpoint, at any moment, one terrorist chief or another, but being able to anticipate the strategic evolutions of its rivals, adversaries and enemies. This means abandoning the obsession with GPS and high-tech gadgets in order to rehabilitate analysis.
Finally, he considers the State Department to be a tool enabling the creation of a positive environment for his country, including with his rivals. It is no longer the means of extending the interests of multinational companies, which it was under George Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton, nor the organiser of the Empire which it became under Bush Jr. and Barack Obama. US diplomats therefore need to regain a little political dexterity.
The chapter dedicated to the influence of the United States clarifies the end of the « globalisation » of the « American way of life ». The United States will not seek to impose their values on others. They will treat all people equally, and will valorise those who respect the rule of law.
In order to encourage those countries who might wish to become partners, but whose investments are governed by the State, he plans to offer them alternatives solutions which would facilitate the reform of their economy.
Concerning intergovernmental organisations, he announces that he will refuse to hand over the slightest part of sovereignty if it must be shared with countries who question the constitutional principles of the USA - a direct allusion to the International Criminal Court, for example. On the other hand, he says nothing about the extra-territoriality of US Justice, which violates the constitutional principles of other countries.
Finally, reviewing the long tradition which came from the compromise of 1791, he affirms that the United States will continue to support those who fight for human dignity or religious freedom (not to be confused with freedom of conscience).
An application which awaits definition
- Donald Trump’s National Security Strategy poses a set of totally innovative principles for the economic recovery and defense of the country.
- «National Security Strategy of the United States of America», White House, December 18 2017 (2Mo, 68 p.).
It is only after this long exposé that Donald Trump addresses the regional application of his doctrine. Nothing new is announced, apart from an alliance with Australia, India and Japan to contain China and combat North Korea.
At best we learn about two new approaches to the Middle East. Experience with Daesh has shown that the main problem is not the Israëli question, but that of the jihadist ideology. And what Washington blames Iran for is the perpetuation of the cycle of violence by its refusal to negotiate.
By default, the reader understands that the Pentagon has to abandon the project by Admiral Arthur Cebrowski that Donald Rumfeld imposed on 11 September. The « endless war » is over. The tension should not only stop spreading throughout the world, but lessen in the Greater Middle East.
Donald Trump’s National Security doctrine is very solidly constructed, on the historical level (we can see the influence of General Jim Mattis) and on the philosophical level (following ex-Special advisor Steve Bannon). It is based on a rigorous analysis of the challenges to US power (in conformity with the work of General H. R. McMaster). It validates the State Department’s budget cuts (operated by Rex Tillerson). Contrary to the received wisdom of US journalists, the Trump administration has managed to develop a coherent synthesis which clearly distances itself from previous visions.
However, the absence of an explicit regional strategy attests to the extent of the ongoing revolution. Nothing guarantees that the military leaders will apply this new philosophy in their respective domains - particularly since we were able to note, only a few days ago, the collusion between US Forces and the jihadists in Syria.