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The global Trumpquakes that are shaking the world

The arrival of a new US President intent on overturning the established world order has triggered a succession of crisis, some engineered by him, some engineered by his opponents within the US ‘Deep State’ as they seek to disrupt his initiative for a new detente with Russia.

Andrew Korybko

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Donald Trump’s first two weeks in office as President of the United States have been characterized by diplomatic and geopolitical confusion as the “new boss” sets forth to completely upend the global order.

Most foreign leaders don’t understand Trump, nor the New Populism (American variant) that he represents, and they seem to have totally underestimated his capabilities and those of his staff.

Many foreign dignitaries and conventional analysts presumed that he’d be like “any other American politician” – lots of talk and no action – but those who understand what Trump and his team are really about knew better than to fall for such pre-inaugural fantasies.

The reality, as the world has evidently realized by now, is that the impact of President Trump on the global system has been akin to an earthquake – or Trumpquake, as some are calling it – and this has played out across both the diplomatic and geopolitical spheres, albeit for different reasons and to different ends.

Diplomatic Trumpquakes

To talk about the first one, it’s already been highly publicized how Trump withdrew from the TPP, has promised to renegotiate NAFTA, and wants to reorganize NATO – all three of which have drawn massive criticism from the ruling Western elite whom “Trump’s Lenin” – Stephen Bannon – wants to essentially overthrow anyhow.

Trump hasn’t hidden his disdain of the EU and German Chancellor Merkel either, and he has even appointed an anti-EU individual – Ted Malloch – as his country’s representative to the bloc.

Moreover, his latest phone calls with the leaders of Mexico and Australia were fraught with controversy. Trump threatened a limited military incursion against America’s southern neighbor – in what his administration insists was a “lighthearted” remark – if it doesn’t crack down on “bad hombres” (drug dealers and the like) and even allegedly hung up on the Prime Minister “Down Under” because he kept insisting that the US honor a “refugee”/illegal immigrant deal that Obama agreed to last year.

Geopolitical Trumpquakes

Self-Inflicted:

On the geopolitical front, Trump’s already ruffled quite a few feathers with Iran and China, though this was entirely predictable and was earlier forecast in an immediate post-election article I wrote entitled “Here’s What Trump’s Foreign Policy Will Look Like”.

It was also built upon in a subsequent radio analysis for Context Countdown focusing on the three most important themes which will come to define 2017.

These are the intended geopolitical disruptions which Trump and his team have already started to carry out, but the other part of the Geopolitical Trumpquakes are those disturbances which aren’t necessarily the result of the new President’s policies, but are time bombs ‘gifted’ to him by his predecessor’s “deep state” (permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies) and tasked with possibly going off in order to offset the President’s hinted-at plans for a New Détente with Russia in the New Cold War.

To explain, the identity-diverse swath of Europe between the Baltic and Black Seas which Polish imperialist leader Jozef Pilsudski referred to as the “Intermarium” is on the verge of exploding into a series of semi-connected conflicts which could sabotage the Russian-American rapprochement.

Sabotage:

I have written extensively about the various Hybrid War scenarios which could break out in the Balkans in a related series for Oriental Review, and regretfully, many of them seem to be presently unfolding in the region.

Albanians in the NATO-occupied Serbian Province of Kosovo have brought the region to the brink of a continuation conflict, and the unresolved political crisis in the Republic of Macedonia is giving space for yet another attempt at overthrowing the government, be it through a Color Revolution, parliamentary maneuvering, and/or an Albanian terrorist insurgency.

Elsewhere in the Balkans, Bosnia remains continuously only edge as Sarajevo works with its Western patrons to infringe on Republika Srpska’s constitutional sovereignty and trigger its own type of continuation war, perhaps together with Croatia and NATO.

These three interlinked conflict scenarios are dangerously veering towards the realm of imminent possibility, and they’re all conditioned on stopping Russia’s and China’s planned Balkan megaprojects through the region, which are the Balkan Stream gas pipeline and the Balkan Silk Road high-speed railway, respectively.

The end game in this region appears to be the “Balkanization” of the Balkans and its division into a collection of ethno-centric states along the lines of the proposal most recently lobbied for by former British diplomat Timothy Less, which basically formalizes “Greater Albania” at Serbia, Macedonia, and Montenegro’s expense, and dissolves the frail federation of Bosnia along the lines of its three constitutional constituents.  Suffice to say, it’s unlikely that this would ever happen without a major war.

Looking past the former Yugoslavia, neighboring Romania is in the throes what is undoubtedly a Color Revolution, albeit one which has been unleashed for as-yet uncertain geopolitical motivations.

One of the possibilities could be to trigger a chain reaction of destabilization that would travel northwards to Moldova and contribute to the rekindling of the Transnistria conflict, which could very easily lead to the involvement of the Russian troops stationed there and instantly prompt fears of a larger war.

Beyond the Balkans, Kiev has restarted its aggression against Donbass in order to both distract Russia from its diplomatic initiatives in the Mideast and also to provoke it to conventionally intervene and thus undermine the prospects that the US will reach a new form of détente with it in the near future.

As all of this is happening, Belarus appears to have moved to the brink of ‘defecting’ from Russia and pivoting towards the West, which would truly represent a decisive military-strategic setback for Moscow if it fully materializes.

Towards A Literally “New” World Order

The Diplomatic and Geopolitical Trumpquakes – both those that are self-inflicted by Trump and the ones which are time bombs set by Obama-Clinton’s “deep state” – are having the cumulative effect of totally disrupting the two competing world orders and leading to unprecedented volatility in global affairs.

Obama and his post-Cold War forerunners’ intentions were always to secure the US’ unipolar hegemony across the world, while the mid-2000s saw the rise of the Russian-Chinese Strategic Partnership and their joint efforts to construct a Multipolar World Order to oppose the New World Order of unipolarity first unveiled by Bush Sr..

Trump is also enthralled with unipolarity and American Exceptionalism, except his campaign remarks indicated that he recognized the limits of the US’ conventional force projection capabilities and hinted that he would help America adapt to the changing international global conditions of multipolarity through a forthcoming New Détente with Russia which could thus facilitate more concrete “containment” measures against Iran and China.

Trump’s “Third Way” – promoting unipolar goals within an increasingly multipolar world – is at odds with the ‘legacy’ ideology of the US’ “deep state”, which sees any sort of pragmatism with Russia, no matter what its ultimate grand strategic ends may be, as absolutely anathema and something which must be stopped at all costs.

Trump and his team are of course working around the clock and behind the scenes to either co-opt, professionally neutralize, or replace hostile “deep state” elements, though this is a far-reaching and ambitious task which will take years to fully accomplish. Having said that, some of the antagonistic forces which Trump now presides over are intent on sabotaging any realistic prospect that he could ever reach a New Détente with President Putin, which explains the “sudden” and near-synchronous outbreak of so many preplanned and predictable crises.

Under the “expected” geopolitical conditions of what they presumed would be a Clinton Presidency by this point, these geopolitical time bombs may not have been activated all at once and could have been strategically unleashed on a case-by-case need depending on the specific circumstances.

In the state of panic which the hostile elements of the “deep state” presently find themselves, however, they’ve felt compelled to activate all of these crises-on-demand throughout the “Intermarium” in order to sabotage the New Détente.

They may not go as far as throwing all of their weight behind the eruption of several full-fledged simultaneous wars, but the strategy of tension which they’ve masterfully deployed might be enough to sharply revive the fading distrust between both sides and preclude any possibility of their hoped-for rapprochement, especially if armed hostilities commence in the Balkans and Russia and the US predictably find themselves backing opposite sides.

The two Great Powers might even have a rapid falling out simply through the natural disagreements that they’ll have with one another in diplomatically resolving these crises the longer that they play out, unless, of course, my previously elaborated “worst-case scenario” enters into force whereby Moscow is engages in a series of concessions out of desperation to clinch a New Détente.

Concluding Thoughts

There’s no escaping the fact that a series of Global Trumpquakes have rocked the globe and are threatening to completely upend both the preexisting (unipolar) and planned (multipolar) world orders through the emergence of Trump-Bannon’s “Third Way”.

The American President has proudly initiated a spree of Diplomatic Trumpquakes in seeking to shake up the order of business within the US’ sphere of influence with the hope of making it much more efficient and in line with his “America First” ideology.

This is admittedly fraught with a bunch of risk, but the US’ chief decision maker and his closest advisors seem to have calculated that it’s better to proactively seize the moment in radically reforming the system than to have its broken leadership structure eventually cave in underneath them just like the Soviets’ did at the end of the Old Cold War (and likely brought about by similar forthcoming foreign pressures).

On the other hand, the Geopolitical Trumpquakes fall into two categories – those which are self-inflicted by Trump himself and the ones which are “deep state” sabotage.

The first relate exclusively to Asia and are aimed at pushing back against the all-around multipolar progress of China and Iran, striving to take advantage of Trump’s envisioned New Détente with Russia in Europe (ergo why there’s no self-inflicted Trumpquake in this part of Eurasia) in order to split the Resistance Bloc along the lines of how Nixon’s “Opening To China” in the 1970s divided the communist one.

As for the second category of Geopolitical Trumpquakes, these are caused by adversarial elements within the American “deep state” in order to sabotage their President’s outreaches to Russia by sparking a slew of simultaneous crises in order to keep them apart.

What all of these Trumpquakes have in common, however, is that they’re major shocks to both the existing and evolving world orders, and collectively represent the manifestation of global chaos.

It was inevitable that far-reaching instability would come to define the transition from unipolarity to multipolarity, and such a trend was obviously visible long before Donald Trump ever stepped onto the American political scene, but few could have predicted that it would be exacerbated by the US dramatically “reforming” its Western sphere of influence and simultaneously being undermined abroad by its own “deep state” elements because of this.

DISCLAIMER: All personal views are my own and do not necessarily coincide with the positions of my employer (Sputnik News) or partners unless explicitly and unambiguously stated otherwise by them. I write in a private capacity unrepresentative of anything and anyone except for my own personal views. Nothing written by me should ever be conflated with Sputnik or the Russian government’s official position on any issue.

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Tape recorded evidence of Clinton-Ukraine meddling in US election surfaces (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 114.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou take a look at new evidence to surface from Ukraine that exposes a plot by the US Embassy in Kiev and the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) to leak Paul Manafort’s corrupt dealings in the country, all for the benefit of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

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Via Zerohedge


Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko has launched an investigation into the head of the Ukrainian National Anti-Corruption Bureau for allegedly attempting to help Hillary Clinton defeat Donald Trump during the 2016 US election by releasing damaging information about a “black ledger” of illegal business dealings by former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

The Hill’s John Solomon, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko

“Today we will launch a criminal investigation about this and we will give legal assessment of this information,” Lutsenko said last week, according to The Hill

Lutsenko is probing a claim from a member of the Ukrainian parliament that the director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), Artem Sytnyk, attempted to the benefit of the 2016 U.S. presidential election on behalf of Hillary Clinton.

A State Department spokesman told Hill.TV that officials aware of news reports regarding Sytnyk. –The Hill

“According to the member of parliament of Ukraine, he got the court decision that the NABU official conducted an illegal intrusion into the American election campaign,” said Lutsenko, speaking with The Hill’s John Solomon about the anti-corruption bureau chief, Artem Sytnyk.

“It means that we think Mr. Sytnyk, the NABU director, officially talked about criminal investigation with Mr. [Paul] Manafort, and at the same time, Mr. Sytnyk stressed that in such a way, he wanted to assist the campaign of Ms. Clinton,” Lutsenko continued.

Solomon asked Lutsenko about reports that a member of Ukraine’s parliament obtained a tape of the current head of the NABU saying that he was attempting to help Clinton win the 2016 presidential election, as well as connections that helped release the black-ledger files that exposed Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort‘s wrongdoing in Ukraine.

“This member of parliament even attached the audio tape where several men, one of which had a voice similar to the voice of Mr. Sytnyk, discussed the matter.” –The Hill

What The Hill doesn’t mention is that Sytnyk released Manafort’s Black Book with Ukrainian lawmaker Serhiy Leshchenko – discussed in great length by former Breitbart investigator Lee Stranahan, who has been closely monitoring this case.

Serhiy Leshchenko

T]he main spokesman for these accusations was Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian politician and journalist who works closely with both top Hillary Clinton donors George Soros and Victor Pinchuk, as well as to the US Embassy in Kyiv.

James Comey should be asked about this source that Leshchenko would not identify. Was the source someone connected to US government, either the State Department or the Department of Justice?

The New York Times should also explain why they didn’t mention that Leshchenko had direct connections to two of Hillary Clinton biggest financial backers. Victor Pinchuk, the largest donor to the Clinton Foundation at a staggering $8.6 million also happened to have paid for Leshchenko’s expenses to go to international conferences. George Soros, whose also founded the International Renaissance Foundationthat worked closely with Hillary Clinton’s State Department in Ukraine, also contributed at least $8 million to Hillary affiliated super PACs in the 2016 campaign cycle. –Lee Stranahan via Medium

Meanwhile, according to former Fusion GPS contractor Nellie Ohr, Leshchenko was a source for opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which commissioned the infamous Trump-Russia dossier.

Nellie Ohr, a former contractor for the Washington, D.C.-based Fusion GPS, testified on Oct. 19 that Serhiy Leshchenko, a former investigative journalist turned Ukrainian lawmaker, was a source for Fusion GPS during the 2016 campaign.

“I recall … they were mentioning someone named Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian,” Ohr said when asked who Fusion GPS’s sources were, according to portions of Ohr’s testimony confirmed by The Daily Caller News Foundation. –Daily Caller

Also absent from The Hill report is the fact that Leshchenko was convicted in December by a Kiev court of interfering in the 2016 US election.

A Kyiv court said that a Ukrainian lawmaker and a top anticorruption official’s decision in 2016 to publish documents linked to President Donald Trump’s then-campaign chairman amounted to interference in the U.S. presidential election.

The December 11 finding came in response to a complaint filed by another Ukrainian lawmaker, who alleged that Serhiy Leshchenko and Artem Sytnyk illegally released the documents in August 2016, showing payments by a Ukrainian political party to Trump’s then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

The documents, excerpts from a secret ledger of payments by the Party of Regions, led to Manafort being fired by Trump’s election campaign.

The Kyiv court said that the documents published by Leshchenko and Sytnyk were part of an ongoing pretrial investigation in Ukraine into the operations of the pro-Russian Party of Regions. The party’s head had been President Viktor Yanukovych until he fled the country amid mass protests two years earlier.

-RadioFreeEurope/Radio Liberty (funded by the US govt.).

So while Lutsenko – Solomon’s guest and Ukrainian Prosecutor is currently going after Artem Sytnyk, it should be noted that Leshchenko was already found to have meddled in the 2016 US election.

Watch:

Meanwhile, you can also check out Stranahan’s take on Leshchenko being left out of the loop.

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‘I will take over as Brexit Party leader’: Nigel Farage back on the frontline

Nigel Farage says that if the UK takes part in European elections, he will lead his new Brexit Party.

RT

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Via RT


Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has announced that he will lead his new Brexit Party into the European elections if UK MPs decide to delay Brexit beyond May 22.

Farage, who has ostensibly appointed himself leader, told various media, including the BBC and Sky News on Friday morning: “I will take over as leader of the Brexit Party and lead it into the European Elections.”

It comes after the Brexit Party’s leader, Catherine Blaiklock, quit over a series of alleged Islamophobic statements and retweets of far-right figures on social media.

It is not yet thought that Farage has officially been elected as leader, as the party does not, as yet, have a formal infrastructure to conduct such a vote.

The right-wing MEP vowed to put out a whole host of Brexit Party candidates if the UK participates in the upcoming EU elections in May, adding: “If we fight those elections, we will fight them on trust.”

On Thursday night, the EU agreed to PM May’s request for a delaying to Brexit beyond the March 29 deadline. Brussels announced two new exit dates depending on what happens next week in the UK parliament.

The UK will have to leave the bloc on April 12 unless British MPs agree to May’s Brexit deal. If the withdrawal agreement is passed by next week, EU leaders have agreed to grant an extension until May 22.

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Baltics cannot rely on Germany any more

The matter is NATO today is not as strong as it is supposed to be. And it is not only because of leadership blunders.

The Duran

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Submitted by Adomas Abromaitis…

On March 29 Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia will celebrate 15 years of becoming NATO member states. The way to the alliance membership was not simple for newly born independent countries. They have reached great success in fulfilling many of NATO demands: they have considerably increased their defence expenditures, renewed armaments and increased the number of military personnel.

In turn, they get used to rely on more powerful member states, their advice, help and even decision making. All these 15 years they felt more or less safe because of proclaimed European NATO allies’ capabilities.

Unfortunately, now it is high time to doubt. The matter is NATO today is not as strong as it supposed to be. And it is not only because of leadership’s blunders. Every member state does a bit. As for the Baltic states, they are particularly vulnerable, because they fully depend on other NATO member states in their defence. Thus, Germany, Canada and Britain are leading nations of the NATO battle group stationed in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia respectively.

But the state of national armed forces in Germany, for example, raises doubts and makes it impossible not only defend the Baltics against Russia, but Germany itself.

It turned out, that Germany itself remains dissatisfied with its combat readiness and minister of defence’s ability to perform her duties. Things are so bad, that the military’s annual readiness report would be kept classified for the first time for “security reasons.”

“Apparently the readiness of the Bundeswehr is so bad that the public should not be allowed to know about it,” said Tobias Lindner, a Greens member who serves on the budget and defense committees.

Inspector General Eberhard Zorn said (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-arms/germany-not-satisfied-with-readiness-of-submarines-some-aircraft-idUSKBN1QS1G7) the average readiness of the country’s nearly 10,000 weapons systems stood at about 70 percent in 2018, which meant Germany was able to fulfill its military obligations despite increasing responsibilities.

No overall comparison figure was available for 2017, but last year’s report revealed readiness rates of under 50 percent for specific weapons such as the aging CH-53 heavy-lift helicopters and the Tornado fighter jets.

Zorn said this year’s report was more comprehensive and included details on five main weapons systems used by the cyber command, and eight arms critical for NATO’s high readiness task force, which Germany heads this year.

“The overall view allows such concrete conclusions about the current readiness of the Bundeswehr that knowledge by unauthorized individuals would harm the security interests of the Federal Republic of Germany,” he wrote.

Critics are sure of incompetence of the Federal Minister of Defence, Ursula von der Leyen. Though she has occupied the upper echelons of German politics for 14 years now — and shows no sign of success. This mother of seven, gynecologist by profession, by some miracle for a long time has been remaining in power, though has no trust even among German military elites. Despite numerous scandals she tries to manage the Armed Forces as a housewife does and, of course, the results are devastating for German military capabilities. The same statement could be easily apply for the Baltic States, which highly dependent on Germany in military sphere.

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