'America first' and concerned allies - ABDULLAH MURADOĞLU

'America first' and concerned allies

The magical word of Donald Trump's election campaign was “America First.” Trump declared that if he was elected U.S. president, he would not pay much attention to the financial and military obligations of the so-called global order. Trump won the elections and employed two factions, nationalists and globalists, in the White House. Effective interest powers, including the military-industrial complex and energy and finance sectors, are represented through these wings.

Since January 2017, Trump has failed to ensure integrity in the administration, shaking the U.S.’s credibility in the eyes of its traditional allies. The U.S.’s allies are confused about how the "America First" discourse will affect them. Trump's tweets were often conflicting with statements by the State Department and defense institutions.

Politico's James Kitfield noted in his Aug. 4 article that the messages that Trump tweeted about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Paris Climate Accord and NATO disturbed allies. The allies asked, "Does Trump want to disrupt the international order based on rules?" Defense Secretary James Mattis was trying to calm concerned allies by saying "stay with us," reiterating the statement attributed to Winston Churchill, “Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing…after they have exhausted all other possibilities.”

With the appointment of John Kelly as secretary general, the number of generals in the White House has gone up to three. The two other generals are Defense Secretary James Mattis and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster. Kelly's appointment further strengthened McMaster's position. It has also been reflected on the media that Trump allowed some of his tweets to be seen by Kelly beforehand. So, there were optimistic expectations that Trump would stop directing foreign policy with tweets and that the Western wing of the White House, which is witnessing a war between the factions, would be disciplined.

The U.S. has long been debating whether the military should assume an active role in political decision-making mechanisms. Some emphasize that the military effect in political decisions should not be a norm, arguing that the current situation is an “exception.” According to David French, who wrote an article titled "In Defense of Trump Generals" in National Review, “It’s good, for this time, that these same men are operating as a check on the most erratic and ill-informed president in modern American history, and maybe ever.” Referring to McMaster, Mattis and Kelly, who are targeted by the extreme elements of rightwing media, French said that they want to see these few men in the White House and they need them there, adding that Trump's generals, instead of bums like Bannon, should stay.

Nationalists argue that Trump should dismiss McMaster, Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in order to succeed in foreign policy, while globalists want White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and his crew to be discharged for the same reason. Trump had to choose one side in order to be able to maintain integrity in administration. After the events led by white-racist groups in Charlottesville, all the attention was turned to radical right wingers coming from Breitbart in the White House. The news that Bannon was fired on Friday dropped like a bombshell.

Globalists, who object to the doctrine of “America first,” won a great victory with the expulsion of Bannon. Will Bannon's strictest advocates in the White House, Stephen Miller and Sebastian Gorka, abandon their positions or will they withdraw through fight? Bannon may be losing the White House, but he will bring the war to a wider area. The fact that Bannon, who regards politics as a war, returned to the chairmanship of the Executive Committee of Breitbart News, the headquarters of the alternative right, as soon as he left the White House, is a sign of this.


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