Just because western media doesn’t understand how President Trump executes a geopolitical strategy based on economic leverage, that doesn’t mean adversaries are not fully aware of the effectiveness of the approach.
The Trump Doctrine has two avenues toward dealing with national security adversaries.
The first route is direct assignment of responsibility toward the enablers: see China for North Korea; The Gulf States for Qatar (Sunni extremism); Russia for Syrian terrorism (Assad); and Pakistan for Afghanistan (Taliban); as recent examples.
However, when the geopolitical threat stems directly from the enabler, and not the enabled, the Trump Doctrine has a distinctly different and far more encompassing, approach. Route two goes through leveraging regional allies and partners: See ASEAN and India for ¹China; and France, Poland, Baltic States for ²Russia. And now President Trump is beginning to shift toward ³Iran.
In each case: China, Russia and Iran, unlike Western media, these powers assemble volumes of research to assist them in understanding the most likely sequence of events President Trump will take.
When we say volumes of research, we indeed mean hundreds of people researching and drafting position documents based upon every scintilla of every deal Donald J Trump has engaged in. No expenses are spared as these state actors assemble information toward their own strategy to counter the most unpredictable adversary they have faced.
These states fully understand how President Trump intends to utilize economic leverage toward his next national security focus. As soon as President Trump mentioned he was going to outline a strategy for Iran, all international adversaries immediately began road-mapping their defense.
How do we know? Well, if you follow the twitches, and you understand the larger dynamic of how Trump weakens his opposition’s position prior to confrontation, you know exactly what to look for. Example(s):
(Via CNBC) Russia has accounted for oil at £30.1 ($40) a barrel in its budget, finance minister Anton Siluanov said. Oil prices have fluctuated this year, falling below $45 a barrel and going above $59.
Russia has accounted for oil at $40 a barrel in its budget, the country’s finance minister Anton Siluanov told CNBC in a TV interview on Friday.
Brent crude was trading above $57 on Friday, but the Russian minister said that the budget has taken into account price fluctuations.
“In order to minimize price fluctuations on foreign markets we have prepared a budget which is based on a price of forty dollars a barrel. I think that this is a fairly considered and conservative price, which has been factored in for the next three years,” Siluanov told CNBC in a TV interview on Friday.
“Incidentally our balance of payments on our current account is balanced on a price of forty dollars a barrel. Therefore, the percentage of the federal budget from oil and gas revenues has gone down from 60 percent to 40 percent.”
But some analysts have predicted prices could go lower. Global stock builds, rising non-OPEC production and sluggish growth in demand could weigh on the oil price, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its report published Thursday.
Meanwhile, OPEC’s production hit the second highest monthly level this year in September. (read more)
Notice OPEC, particularly ‘The Gulf States’ (two-thirds of all production), now a Trump ally, are continuing to driving production. This is in combination with western nations domestic energy policies shifting as a result of Trump withdrawing from the Paris Climate Treaty. [*Note* all nationalistic energy activity is driven by the economics of financial viability, not the ruse of planetary climate.] Sword dancing has benefits.
Meanwhile Venezuela, an OPEC member and also China and Russia’s largest debtor, is in a state of economic crisis and under sanctions from Treasury Secretary Mnuchin. This makes their ability to reach out to the international financial community very, well, challenging.
So what impact is all of this Trumpian shifting of geopolitical economic plates having out in the world of multinational finance?
(Via Bloomberg) The IMF’s steering committee warned that global growth is at risk of faltering in coming years given uncomfortably low inflation and rising geopolitical risks, injecting a cautious note into an otherwise improving economic outlook.
“The recovery is not yet complete, with inflation below target in most advanced economies, and potential growth remains weak in many countries,” the International Monetary and Financial Committee said in a communique released Saturday in Washington.
“Near-term risks are broadly balanced, but there is no room for complacency because medium-term economic risks are tilted to the downside and geopolitical tensions are rising.” (read more)
Q Mr. President, on the Iranian nuclear deal, why not just scrap it altogether now? You threatened to do so. Why not just end it now, withdraw?
THE PRESIDENT: Because we’ll see what happens over the next short period of time. And I can do that instantaneously. I like a two-step process much better.
Q Mr. President, you had said you were going to rip the Iran deal up, and you called it the worst ever.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I may do that. I may do that. The deal is terrible. So what we’ve done is, through the certification process, we’ll have Congress take a look at it, and I may very well do that. But I like a two-step process much better.
Q How long will you give Rex Tillerson to get this new deal? And are strikes on Iran still a possibility if you don’t get what you want?
THE PRESIDENT: We will see what happens with Iran. We’re very unhappy with Iran. They have not treated us with the kind of respect that they should be treating. They should have thanked Barack Obama for making that deal.
They were gone. They were economically gone. He infused $100 [billion] to $150 billion into their economy. He gave them $1.7 billion in cash. And they should be, “Thank you, President Obama.” They didn’t say that.
Q Have you spoken with Theresa May or Emmanuel Macron about the Iranian Deal?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
Q What did they say to you? What did you say to them?
THE PRESIDENT: They would love me to stay in, only for one reason: Look at the kind of money that’s being sent. You know, Iran is spending money in various countries.
And I’ve always said it, and I say to them: Don’t do anything. Don’t worry about it. Take all the money you can get. They’re all friends of mine.
Actually, Emmanuel called up, and he talked to me. And I said, look, Emmanuel, they just gave Renault a lot of money. Take their money; enjoy yourselves. But we’ll see what happens.
Iran has to behave much differently. (link)
“Complicated business folks… Complicated business”…