NATO can breathe a sigh of relief as its primary funding source and big dog the United States has restated its commitment to the mutual defense pact. “The president-elect and the secretary-general both underlined NATO’s enduring importance, and discussed how NATO is adapting to the new security environment, including to counter the threat of terrorism,” according to minutes of a phone call between Donald Trump and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.
During his campaign for President Trump called NATO obsolete and suggested he might pull the US out of the alliance, which mandates every member state protect each other and join forces in conflict. The establishment were so panicked by the deviation from the script they began planting the idea that this could lead to a war with Russia and upset world peace – an absurd notion, when it was Trump hinting at building a stronger relationship with Putin.
However it’s starting to become clear that Trump’s anti-establishment image, is just that – an image. He’s not anti-establishment, he’s just against the other side of it.
Trump has appointed Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo as CIA director, a hardliner on Syria, Iraq war supporter and somebody who actually thinks torturing random Muslims at Guantanamo Bay was a good idea. Pompeo may have grilled Hillary Clinton on Benghazi, but he would because Hillary is on the “left” *wink wink*. He wasn’t actually against the intervention in Libya itself.
Likewise Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn is the new National Security Adviser. He has been Obama’s biggest critic on the strategy in Syria. This and other behind doors clashing resulted in his removal from the Obama administration, but don’t be fooled in to thinking that makes him some kind of peace-loving maverick. If anything, one of his main contentions with Obama is that he wasn’t hard enough on Islam. You know, the man that has the blood of thousands of Muslims on his hands by continuing Bush’s war on terror? Flynn is a neocon and only recently coauthored a book with Michael Ledeen, a leading neocon figurehead who was pro-Iraq invasion and wants to do the same to Iran!
Quite how this will all play out is yet to be seen, but the people Trump is surrounding himself with are not radically different from either Obama or Bush on interventionist foreign policy. As the clichéd analogy goes … there’s a left wing and right wing, but it’s still a bird. And the Neocon agenda has never changed, regardless of who sits in the White House.