President-elect Donald Trump’s triumph threatens — hopefully for the better — decades of secretive, consensus foreign policy.
As the campaign made clear, the result seems likely to block new free trade deals, cut immigration to the United States, reduce U.S. tensions with Russia, increase pressure on Iran, and most probably reduce covert foreign wars and revolutions.
Today’s column and my two scheduled broadcast interviews explore Trump’s likely foreign policy and implementation team, now working under New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to fill about four thousand politically appointed jobs overall in the Trump administration. Neither the presidential campaign nor news coverage of Trump’s surprise victory Nov. 8 have addressed these vital topics of the transition and next administration in much detail so far.
The candidate has spoken largely in generalities about foreign policy and has failed to identify top surrogates speaking in detail. Also, the core issues are highly secretive, with specifics often involving vital “national security” components. We reported these kinds of hidden agendas in What’s Important About Hillary Clinton’s Emails, which disclosed the underlying story of the 2012 arms smuggling operation via Benghazi to Syria that neither political party has every wanted disclosed.
As a final reason for lack of much discussion about foreign policy:Trump’s victory seemed so unlikely that most power brokers themselves are scrambling to adapt without having undertaken the preparations typical for winning campaigns. Washington hosts a large array of “experts” counseling both Democratic and Republican administrations and pressuring for certain policies.
But those experts and their advice is precisely what Trump and many of his supporters have rejected.
One major question is whether Trump’s foreign policy will essentially morph into that the Republican majority controlling the Senate and House, which would delight many of their traditional hawkish, free-trade, and globalist backers — and horrify voters who demand “change.”
That said, one interpretation of Vice President Mike Pence’s role is that he would use his insider Washington experience to run the administration in much the manner of his predecessors George H.W. Bush and Dick Cheney, while Trump (rather like Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush) occupied a more generalist tole. Pence, currently governor of Indiana, is shown in an official photo at left.
In the short term, the president-elect’s unexpected victory is likely to lessen U.S. pressure to overthrow Syria’s president. This also will increase the likelihood of a prompt defeat of ISIS and Al Qaeda in Syria by allowing Russian and Syria to finish the job without covert aid to the jihadists from such regional allies as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. That aid comes with the secret concurrence of hawks in both parties and embedded in the permanent U.S. government bureaucracy.
Yet the Trump foreign policy threatens also major financial and alliance upheavals that doubtless pave the way for a new breed of secretive financial opportunists and oligarchs to profit unchecked from the global disruptions. Trump’s failure to disclose his tax returns and his businesses’ financial supporters brings into focus a major question: Will the massive changes underway simply pave the way for a new group of oligarchs and opportunists to use government for private financial, partisan and ideological purposes?
Financial markets reported massive downturns at news of Trump’s surprise victory. Those paper losses indicate potential harms not simply to financial elites but also to the pension funds and other safety net savings of ordinary Americans who benefit in certain ways from the relatively stable global financial system, even though its long-term inequities and indeed corruption has hurt vast numbers.
These elites have dominated the foreign policies of both Democrats and Republicans for many decades with agendas typically kept secret for the most part. U.S. voters decisively rejected these policies this week.
Many of those policies involve covert operations — government contracts, empire-building abroad via regime change, civil war, assassinations — and pressure on a compliant media that typically overlooks or trivializes major abuses. Voters, although acting on limited information, used gut instinct for the most part this week to demand change.
Few voters know, for example, that the bipartisan foreign policy consensus has been sustained in part because all U.S. presidents beginning in 1981 after President Jimmy Carter have been covert operatives for Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) or Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) before entering politics. Those kinds of relationships create the positive environment with investigative agencies that budding politicos will find useful, and that benefit the agencies.
Even more important, the agencies function in significant part to implement the agendas of Western financial elites, or “puppetmasters,” who control via little-reported means not simply presidents and other top officials of both parties, but also courts, the media, universities, and other non-profit groups.
These conclusions are drawn from my research stemming from my 2013 book Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney and Their Masters.
My continuing research on these themes, including Deep State assassinations and other intelligence-agency coups overthrowing governments and inflicting a globalist agenda of austerity on most citizens even in Western “democracies,” leads to my forthcoming book on this week’s election, Presidential Puppetry 2016: The Candidate Charade Continues.despite the anti-incumbent mood predominate elsewhere in the nation.