Trump Only Acting as Booster for US Military-Industrial Complex: Italian Analyst
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A political expert based in Italy deplored US President Donald Trump’s “little regard for diplomacy” and said he is only acting as a booster for the US military-industrial complex, twisting the arms of Washington’s allies to force them to buy more weapons.
“By treating allies dismissively and having little regard for diplomacy, he hopes to show to the average Joe how committed he is to putting American interests above all else, thereby hopefully ensuring his reelection in 2020,” Federico Pieraccini, who is based in Milan, said in an interview with Tasnim.
“However, Trump is only acting as a booster for the US military-industrial complex, twisting the arms of US allies to force them to commit to spending a higher portion of their budgets on American military hardware,” he added.
Pieraccini is an independent freelance writer and political expert based in Milan, Italy. He specializes in international affairs, conflicts, politics, and strategies. He has covered conflicts in Ukraine, Libya, Egypt, Syria, and Iraq.
The following is the full text of the interview:
Tasnim: The US, with its “America First” policy, has moved away from its allies over the past two years and diminished US international participation in international organizations. First, Washington urged its NATO allies to bear the costs of the transatlantic alliance, then it pressured South Korea and Japan, and now the EU is under US pressures. In your opinion, can this change of approach be interpreted as a new trend in the world order?
Pieraccini: The relative downsizing of Washington’s role in international affairs can partly explain its behavior in relation to allies and international organizations. The world is shifting away from a unipolar to a multipolar world order consisting of several poles constituted by peer competitors.
Trump’s abandonment of international agreements such as the Paris Agreement or the Iran nuclear deal is motivated by his desire to demonstrate to his base his “America First” bona fides. By treating allies dismissively and having little regard for diplomacy, he hopes to show to the average Joe how committed he is to putting American interests above all else, thereby hopefully ensuring his reelection in 2020. However, Trump is only acting as a booster for the US military-industrial complex, twisting the arms of US allies to force them to commit to spending a higher portion of their budgets on American military hardware.
Tasnim: Many analysts do not attribute these moves by the US government to Donald Trump, but rather they think the US is trying to save capitalism and the American economy from collapse. Do you agree?
Pieraccini: I think the global trend towards de-dollarization will lead to the US dollar losing its status as the world reserve currency, which will, in turn, curb Washington’s ability to spend unlimited amounts on feeding the insatiable appetite of its war machine. If countries around the world increasingly cease to invest in US treasury bonds, then this will progressively curb the ability of the US to throw a trillion dollars a year at its arms industry. With a shrinking capacity to militarily strong-arm countries around the world into relying solely on the US dollar for trading in such things as oil, then countries will increasingly opt to rely on a basket of other currencies without having to worry about inviting Washington’s ire.
Trump is only following in the steps of his predecessors by continuing to wield the club of the US military and financial pressure against “rogue states” that may entertain the idea of using any currencies other than the US dollar to trade in such things as oil. However, this only drives the acceleration away from dependence on the US dollar and such things as the SWIFT payment network.
Tasnim: As you know, in the US defense budget for the 2020 fiscal year, there have been some cases of interference in the internal affairs of its European allies such as the US sanctions concerning the Nord Stream 2 (NS2) gas pipeline. Don’t you interpret this shift in US policy and the direct interference as a move to sacrifice European interests for its own benefits? Isn’t that a kind of bullying and totalitarianism by the US?
Pieraccini: These measures do not have anything new or surprising. The US has a leadership in full schizophrenia seeing their allies and enemies working together on new projects arising from the developments in the multipolar environment in international relations. Historically, Washington has always feared an axis between Berlin-Moscow-Beijing meaning full Eurasian integration, precisely the trend that will accompany the next decade. The attempts by the United States to finance a military budget to counter the Sino-Russian-European trade initiatives will probably only serve to accelerate even more departure from the role of central hegemony of the United States. In no way can a nation think of limiting the growth and economic integration between countries, simply by threatening sanctions or worse.
Tasnim: Given the US foreign policy and the reactions from its rivals, like China and Russia, and allies, including France and Germany, what do you think about the future of world order?
Pieraccini: As I have tried to reiterate in my answers, the world belongs to multiple nations. More poles of power will have to work together to give a shape to global relations. The last decade has seen the North American empire as a central figure as a hegemonic power. The next 10 years will see a full Eurasian integration of the European, African and Asian continent thanks to projects such as the Belt Road Initiative but also simply as a natural evolution of countries such as Russia, China, Indonesia, India, and the European continent.