New security strategy: where is the US headed?
Donald Trump presented his administration's security strategy for the first time on Monday. Russia and China are classified as rivals and "revisionist powers" with which the US may, however, cooperate when it suits its interests. Europe's commentators are highly sceptical about the paper.
An old strategy in new wrapping
Writing in Izvestia, political scientist Vladimir Yevseyev concludes that the paper contains nothing new:
“Washington refuses to acknowledge that the world is gradually becoming multipolar. Yet, as the people in the White House are convinced, the economic confrontation with China and the military confrontation with Russia are growing. ... Trump's new version of the US security strategy brings nothing new. It effectively continues the Democratic Obama administration's containment policy vis-à-vis Russia and China. But how is this supposed to help solve the global problems and increase the Americans' security?”
US just stunting its own growth
The Frankfurter Rundschau finds the new security strategy worrying:
“To believe that economic pressure and military muscle-flexing could bring Beijing and Moscow to their senses is nonsense. ... Calling the US nuclear arsenal a fundamental part of its deterrence policy is extremely dangerous. Trump is speaking like a Cold Warrior who divides the world into good and bad. ... From the point of view of Trump and his supporters it may sound good when the president maintains that his predecessors focussed too much on international cooperation. But unilateral initiatives such as withdrawing from the Paris climate accord are just that: unilateral initiatives. And they won't change the fact that the US is isolating itself under Trump. In the long term the US is only stunting its own growth.”
Just a paper tiger?
The security strategy is inconsistent with Trump's actions, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung criticises:
“The document portrays Russia as a rival power that poses a threat to America's security, causes instability in its neighbouring region and tries to drive a wedge between the US and its allies. This assessment reflects a broad consensus in the US. Trump, by contrast, only mentioned this aspect in passing in his speech and mostly talked about the positive conversation he had had with the Kremlin chief the day before. The fact that he hasn't held a single meeting with his state secretaries on the Russian threat yet also contrasts markedly with his declared strategy.”
Bad news for Ankara
For Karar the security strategy highlights the need for Turkey to reconfigure its relations with the US:
“The paper targets practically all of Turkey's strategic interests. The fact that Saudi Arabia and Egypt are being defined as new strategic partners is worrying to the extent that these partnerships could shift from paper to the terrain, and what's more they could be taken to extremes. Because these two countries' regional priorities could restrict Ankara's room for manoeuvre. ... So if it's important to clear up the open questions with the US, Ankara is facing intensive work on bilateral relations.”