New US National Security Strategy: An Information Bomb?

The new US National Security Strategy is an interesting but contradictory document. 

First, its authors were clearly in conflict, not only with themselves, but more importantly, with President Trump, whose election promises, at any rate with regard to Russia, were quite favorable. 

Second, the document abounds in unfounded and high-sounding accusations against Russia, which would have been annoying for Moscow if it wasn’t for the fact that, objectively, it reinforces the country’s geopolitical status.   

The Strategy was also strongly influenced by the desire for a permanent extension of the list of America’s enemies, a trick auguring increased spending on defense, offense and intelligence. Developments in this area are followed closely by both the Pentagon and the US secret services who have a stake in intimidating Capitol Hill into granting them more financial favors for the future. 

By designating China, Russia and Iran – strong global and regional players – adversaries, the US Strategy makes itself unsuited to the promotion of international cooperation. But at the same time it is convenient for making propaganda constructs involving other countries, both friendly and not. 

Putting China, Russia, Iran and North Korea into the same group reveals and underscores its main contradiction and conceptual weakness. These are all totally different players that each show a different degree of intensity in opposing so-called US national interests. China and Russia, for example, are natural political partners for the US, but they have been artificially included in the category of so-called adversaries on account of increased rivalry for markets and resources and the stubborn unwillingness on the part of the US establishment to acknowledge the actual collapse of the unipolar world. 

Iran and North Korea, incidentally, are purely ideological antagonists of the United States. True, Iran has also emerged as a potential energy supplier to the EU and thus a rival. Judging by all appearances, this is the main secret cause of threats to relaunch sanctions against Iran or even impose new restrictions. 

In effect, the Strategy may undermine trust in the US, both among neutral countries and its loyal allies like Japan, Germany, France and others. This process may even intensify in countries seeking a more diversified approach to international cooperation. 

Peace Through Strength: What Challenges the USA Fears? Pavel Sharikov
The accusations of violating the INF treaty that Russia claims the United States are associated with the technical characteristics of missile defense systems. Obviously, the termination of the INF Treaty will provoke the cessation of other treaties and agreements in the arms control sphere.

Countries that establish, maintain and develop regional alliances to help them preserve their national sovereignty will soon be gaining in influence. 

Nations that counter this trend and insist on using rule of the gun will inevitably lose political weight and eventually find themselves on the sidelines of world processes. Something of the kind has recently happened in the UN, where the United States found itself internationally isolated over its recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and could do nothing about it, despite direct threats to other countries. 

Whether the new National Security Strategy will be an “information bomb” for the old world order depends on the United States’ behavior in the UN, EU and NATO. So far, however, the tables are being turned on America.

Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.