December 19, 2017

ALWAYS BET ON THE dEEP sTATE:

Trump Doesn't Seem to Buy His Own National Security Strategy (PETER BEINART, 12/19/17, The Atlantic)

If you oppose Donald Trump's new National Security Strategy, take heart. Apparently, he does too.

Fifteen minutes into his speech unveiling the strategy on Tuesday, Trump butchered it in a revealing way. In its fourth paragraph, the strategy declares that the Trump administration will pursue a "strategy of principled realism." But Trump mangled the phrase, declaring instead that, "Our new strategy is based on a principle, realism."

Although likely unintentional, Trump's goof was telling. "Principled realism" probably appeals to Trump's establishment-minded foreign-policy advisers because it adds a moral patina to America First. That ethical gloss is necessary because one of the National Security Strategy's main themes is that Trump--unlike his predecessors--recognizes that the United States faces a new era of great-power rivalry with Russia and China. It paints this looming competition in intensely moralistic terms. America's battles with China and Russia, the strategy announces, are "contests between those who value human dignity and freedom and those who oppress individuals and enforce uniformity." Thus the importance of the adjective "principled." It suggests that Trump's sovereignty-obsessed nationalism--unlike the versions peddled by Moscow and Beijing--aims to create not simply a richer America, but a freer world.

This depiction of a globe divided along ideological lines--between white-hatted American democrats and black-hatted Russian and Chinese authoritarians--sounds more like John McCain, Mitt Romney, or Marco Rubio than Donald Trump. Which may be why Trump largely abandoned it in his speech.  

The strategy has nothing to do with Donald.
Posted by at December 19, 2017 4:39 PM

  

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