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What threatens relations between the US and Russia

US President Donald Trump dismissed another official - National Security Advisor John Bolton. what threatens relations between the US and Russia

What threatens relations between the US and Russia

US President Donald Trump dismissed another official - National Security Advisor John Bolton. The departure of the frank hawk, which also played a leading role in the Russian-American direction, took place against the backdrop of the beginning of the next presidential election campaign. Trump's re-election threatened?

Bolton did not get along in the White House, having worked there for about a year and a half, although, like Trump, he adheres to the "hawkish" views of the Reagan type. He was a supporter of the use of force where necessary and possible to protect and promote American interests. Being a supporter of a tough confrontation with Iran, in June of this year, when the Iranians captured two oil tankers and shot down an American drone, he advocated a military strike against this country. He was already getting ready, but Trump cancelled the attack. Although last spring, when the American president himself was obsessed with the idea of ​​"punishing" Iran, he attracted Bolton to his administration, guided not least by his position on this issue.

Also, in accordance with the views of the president, it was Bolton who, barely taking office, began the practical implementation of his old dream, namely, the final dismantling of the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles. Like Trump, the former adviser considers START-3 to be unprofitable for America, which expires at the beginning of 2021. And in this regard, little will change with his departure.

As for Iran, Bolton’s departure may contribute to some relaxation in relations between Washington and Tehran and even lead to a weakening of the oil embargo. "Anticipating" such a scenario, oil prices have already responded to the dismissal of the adviser by a sharp decline. The fact is that recently Trump, faced not only with misunderstanding and opposition from the European signatories of the “nuclear deal” with Iran in 2015, but also with the rise in oil prices provoked in many respects by the embargo against Tehran, began to demonstrate a willingness to compromise.
He does not need high oil prices at all - they traditionally attract the increased attention of American voters.
Being an experienced and highly qualified diplomat, Bolton tried to bend his line everywhere, seeing one of the most important goals of his stay in the White House to prevent such actions of the president, which would be dictated by his temper and lack of professionalism in foreign policy.
But the president’s impulsiveness, which over time sometimes looks like blackmail, has already become the new normality for the United States and the whole world.
It was Bolton who in many respects took the leading role in the development and implementation of a tough course towards Russia. And these relations have largely shifted to the Bolton-Patrushev communications channel (Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation ), but the Lavrov-Pompeo channel (US Secretary of State) has been relegated to the background. However, this was not the only disagreement between the Secretary of State and the National Security Advisor. In recent weeks, they have generally stopped talking to each other, except at official events, and Pompeo did not hide the joy of leaving his opponent.

Now, one of the options for filling the post of National Security Advisor may be to repeat the formula that had already been tested once (and only once) during the administration of Richard Nixon, when Henry Kissinger had been combining the posts of Secretary of State and National Security Advisor for two years. Appointment to a second post does not require approval by the US Senate, and in this regard, Trump is much more freedom to choose.
The dismissal of the adviser was actually accompanied by a scandal. Bolton recently entered into a heated debate with the president over Trump’s idea to invite representatives of the Afghan Taliban movement (banned in the Russian Federation) to his residence in Camp David in order to agree on peace conditions in Afghanistan. Bolton considered this idea itself deeply immoral because this is the very movement that is directly or indirectly involved in the deaths of several thousand American citizens, including those who died on September 11, 2001. The meeting with the Taliban has been cancelled. However, in his administration, Trump was no longer going to endure such an independent and often contradicting figure in his administration.
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The dismissal of the national security adviser (and Bolton was already the third in this post in this administration) was another manifestation of Trump's impulsiveness, whose staff turnover is extremely high. How high is the number of leaks in the press regarding squabbles in his team?
On the eve of the new election campaign, this will be another occasion for his Democratic rivals to raise the question of his incompetence and unsuitability for the role of leader of the "world's number one power." However, this is not the biggest danger that threatens his re-election for a second term. In America, increasingly began to talk about the possibility of a recession. Moreover, in many ways - man-made, provoked by a flaring trade war with China. And if, regarding the first election of Trump in America, his enemies say that “the Russians helped him”, now there is much more reason to say that the Chinese can “fill him up.”
Having embarked on a trade confrontation with China, Trump may not have fully appreciated his and America's overall capabilities. On the one hand, it is an objective matter of the struggle for world leadership. And the previous US administrations , and the West as a whole, in many ways “missed the Chinese threat”, first supporting Beijing against the USSR, and then in exchange for admission to the huge Chinese market, allowing, among other things, to steal Western technologies with virtually impunity (China itself did not actually create anything, copied everything and is now developing). Now Washington has come to its senses correctly, but late. And Trump may not have enough of his first term to triumph in this difficult economic and technological struggle. Although, playing "long" and consistently, America, theoretically, is able to "put China in place."
However, the problem for Trump is that the costs of the trade war fell to a large extent on those states and those categories of voters who are critically dependent on the supply of their products to China. For example, soybean farmers. Anyway, the slowdown in the Chinese, and after it the global economy will create an extremely unfavourable economic background for Trump's new presidential campaign.
Recently, his electoral support has dropped below 40%. It is unlikely that it will fall even noticeably lower. This is the same “solid Trump electorate” that will remain faithful to him to the last. However, this may not be enough to win. So far, according to polls, there is a significant lag of Trump from the five potential presidential candidates from the Democrats. The main weakness of the Republican President is seen by many as the threat of an economic downturn.
One way or another, but the situation of the unfolding (and it is actually already beginning) presidential election campaign can not only provoke Trump to sharp steps in the foreign policy arena but also will not contribute to the improvement of Russian-American relations. Apparently, it will be necessary to say goodbye to the last current treaty in the field of arms control - START-3. It expires, recalls, at the beginning of 2021, and new negotiations on its extension have not even begun.
In the American political class, there is practically no request to improve relations with Russia, where Vladimir Putin remains the president.
In the context of strong anti-Russian sentiments, even following the scandal of “Russian interference in the 2016 elections”, any significant steps taken by Trump, even if such a hypothetical possibility is possible, towards Moscow will absolutely not bring him anything electorally, while other steps - according to “Counteraction” - even limited support can be met.
It is not yet known how the new “espionage scandal” will end with Oleg Smolenkov, a former employee of the Russian presidential administration who fled to America in 2017 and has “surfaced” in the media only now. After all, for some reason, someone needed this "drain" of information. And even in this form - they say, they were afraid that Trump would blur secrets.
In the American establishment, scarecrows about the omnipotent "Kremlin", built into almost every vacuum cleaner to monitor everything and everyone, go with a bang.
But one cannot underestimate the American president as well as the American voter. During the last election campaign, most experts predicted the victory of Hillary Clinton. Will Trump's opponents be able to speak just as brightly and lure voters not only with tweets but also with analytic layouts? The people today are not only fond of bread, but also of spectacle.
In such a situation, Moscow may prefer to “take a break” in relations with the United States on all significant issues. Despite the fact that America itself has long seemed to press the same “pause" button. Weak consolation is that, in the course of the new election campaign, we will appear to be the “external enemy”, not only we, but also the Chinese.

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