16:27 GMT18 June 2021
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    In the beginning of his presidential campaign Donald Trump emphasized that one of Barack Obama's biggest mistakes was to "drive Russia and China together." The question then arises whether driving a wedge between Moscow and Washington will become Trump's foreign policy imperative.

    Donald Trump is likely "to shake the rust off" America's foreign strategy, observers agree, but no one can still tell exactly what changes Washington's foreign policy will undergo.

    "We need a new rational American foreign policy, informed by the best minds and supported by both parties, and it will be by both parties — Democrats, Republicans, independents, everybody, as well as by our close allies," Donald Trump said in an official statement on April, 27, 2016.

    While former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright rushed to warn Donald Trump against "isolationism" and neglecting NATO following his astonishing win earlier this month, there are signs showing that, perhaps, Albright concerns were groundless.

    In an op-ed for Foreign Policy magazine published just before the election, Trump's policy advisors Alexander Gray and Peter Navarro shed light on the Republican nominee's "peace through strength" vision.

    "Trump has pledged to work with Congress to repeal defense sequestration… He has laid out the most detailed plan for rebuilding our military of any recent presidential nominee… Trump will rebuild the US Navy, now at 274 ships. His goal is 350 ships," Gray and Navarro underscored.

    Indeed, the article reiterated Trump's election promise made back in April.

    "We have to rebuild our military and our economy," Trump said, "Our nuclear weapons arsenal, our ultimate deterrent, has been allowed to atrophy and is desperately in need of modernization and renewal."

    Commenting on the issue, American author and strategic risk consultant F. William Engdahl suggested that Trump will "reverse the trend to disintegration of American global hegemony to, as the Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz Project for the New American Century put it in their September, 2000 report, 'rebuild America's defenses'."

    Engdahl assumed that one of Trump's goals is to drive a wedge between China and Russia which are now creating a common trade space in Eurasia.

    In June 2015, Donald Trump highlighted during his appearance on The O'Reilly Factor: "You can't have everybody hating you. The whole world hates us. One of the things that I heard for years and years, never drive Russia and China together, and Obama has done that."

    In his op-ed for New Eastern Outlook American journalist and political analyst Caleb Maupin turned the spotlight on the remark.

    "These are very interesting words that point to a fundamental reality of US foreign policy. The fear of a world where these two massive countries stand arm in arm — with economies independent of western banking institutions — is nothing new," Maupin stressed, referring to Richard Nixon's tactics aimed at dividing China and the USSR back in the 1970s.

    Although the Nixon-Kissinger policy toward Beijing and Moscow proved successful, the situation has dramatically changed under Barack Obama.

    The regime of sanctions imposed on Moscow following Crimea's re-unification with Russia has accelerated the Sino-Russian rapprochement.

    Speaking to Sputnik, Russian military expert Vasily Kashin suggested that now Washington may try to involve Russia in its fold, simultaneously exerting pressure on Beijing.

    To untie its hands in Asia-Pacific, the US leadership may try to reach a compromise with Russia on Syria and Ukraine and even lift some of sanctions imposed on Moscow.

    However, at the same time, "the situation in the Asia-Pacific region will become much more explosive," Kashin warned.

    Still, according to Petr Akopov of Vzglyad, such a strategy won't work, given Russo-Chinese mutual geopolitical interests in Eurasia.

    "In general, it is in Trump's style to propose a 'big deal' to Moscow in order to reach a comprehensive agreement on a global scale. While under Barack Obama the US offered China to create a 'big two' to solve global issues together, Trump could now try to make a similar offer (albeit informally) to Russia," Akopov noted.

    "However, China had not bought into it and likewise Russia won't change its foreign strategy course because of the US's policy shift," he emphasized.


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