Donald Trump is a kind of a real estate king that has recently manifested his special devotion for the army, militarism, and all things army-related that he had previously been hiding. Thus, the nature of his political ambitions that remained a mystery for a while has suddenly become crystal clear for analysts across the world, since they claim that he’s going to subject every aspect of America’s everyday life to his militaristic fantasies.
When he paid a visit to the United Central Command at the very beginning of the term, he declared: “We must start winning wars again!” To achieve this, Donald Trump has stripped the US State Department along with a number of assistance development programs of 54 billion dollars for this whooping sum to be gifted to the Pentagon.
His devotion to appointing generals to various positions in the White House has also become a topic of debate, since he’s has already hired four providing them with the key positions in his administration.
The 66-year-old James Mattis is now the first general since George Marshall, the author of the famous “Marshall Plan”, to occupy the position of US Secretary of Defense.
Then, 54-year-old Herbert Raymond McMaster, he’s the youngest of the recently appointed generals. He’s now occupying the position of National Security Advisor, replacing another general, Michael Flynn, who forced to resign after three weeks in office because of a scandal that uncovered his alleged ties with Russia’s officials.
And, last but not least, is the 66-year-old general John Kelly, who lost son to the Afghan war back in 2010, now occupies the position of United States Secretary of Homeland Security, where he’s being tasked with the protection of borders, ports and airports, while enjoying the authority to oversee all the migration-related matters.
While musing over the question of where did Donald Trump could get such a passion for generals, the French Le Monde argues that Western political figures are convinced that the 45th US President respects only two categories of people: billionaires and generals. An unnamed source in the US State Department has told this media source that in an atmosphere of confusion that the Trump team created, everything works fine only for the military brass that is immune to the witch hunt that Trump started and that is not being tormented with questions about one’s loyalty to the president. Military figures bring with them at least some promise of discipline and minimal observance of the existing rules, which is enough for one to forget about democratic ideals in today’s America.
So, should the metamorphosis that Donal Trump underwent after his inauguration be of any surprise for anyone. Back in his campaign days he would declare non-interference in the affairs of other states and the urgent need to put an end to all the wars that his predecessors started. Now, taking one step at a time, Trump is deviating from the principles of a democratic state, subjecting every aspect of his political life to the warmongering crowd he has gathered around him.
As it’s been noted by the Week, Obama’s foreign policy was a mess, but Trump’s is even worse, since he is moving toward retrenchment, and re-assessing America’s long war in the Middle East, instead of cutting American losses in unwinnable situations. The Trump administration seems to be taking bigger gambles in operations, loosening the rules of engagement for the military, and doubling down on conflicts that only have the most marginal relation to core US interests.
This media source admits that it’s a bitter result for those who hoped that a candidate opposed by most foreign policy hawks would turn out to be a dove as president. But getting to a more peaceful and restrained foreign policy was always going to be a problem for Trump. Those who would vote for Trump had faith that their candidate would recognize the fact that the United States has been fighting dumb wars for years, and that those wars have brought America to the situation it is in now, after paying enormous costs in blood and resources to achieve nothing.
In turn, the American Conservative would note that there’s a twisted perception of America’s leading role in the world dominating the minds of Washington’s establishment. The aversion to war that Americans might once have felt is long gone today.
The New York Times is convinced that US military involvement in multiple countries is increasing “with no end in sight,” but this intensification of America’s foreign wars isn’t likely to produce much opposition. Even when the US was not used to involving itself in the wars of other nations, pro-war hysteria still prevailed. And since now the population of the country is so accustomed to unending war, there is no need for pro-war hysteria to overwhelm the opposition. New wars have become so common that they are greeted with a shrug or bored acceptance.
Washington’s foreign policy debates have long been biased in favor of action, which almost always means military action in practice. War opponents always operate with a number of disadvantages, and one of the most important of these is the lack of sufficient time to organize before the war has already begun.
It seems that Trump is perfectly aware of all this that is why he’s planning to get away with his warmongering intent. If Barack Obama was awarded with a Nobel Peace Prize under some dubious pretext, it seems that Trump would settle for a title of a US military dictator. But will it make those living in the West any more happier?
Jean Périer is an independent researcher and analyst and a renowned expert on the Near and Middle East, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”