US security plan rebels against world order

By Li Haidong Source:Global Times - AFP Published: 2017/12/24 19:08:39

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

The first National Security Strategy plan of the administration of US President Donald Trump was published on December 18. After reading it in detail, I would like to sum up my opinion in five points.

First, the plan has many similarities with those made earlier. Security, prosperity and leadership in international affairs have always been at the core of the US national security strategies. Of course, without a strong military and prosperous economy, it is meaningless to talk about so-called national security and leadership in global governance.

The plan emphasizes that the US will strengthen military power, and it shows that supporters of the plan have not learnt their lessons. Increasing military power will harm the US economy, society and security, just as it did during the wars which the US participated in over the past couple of years. What's more, it means the US will prefer military methods in dealing with international disputes in the future, which will bring more crises and cause complications within international affairs and US domestic politics.

Second, the plan makes it clear that the US adopts a geopolitical mind-set in relations with China and Russia. After the Cold War, the US always put pressure on China and Russia to maintain its dominant role in international affairs. However, it turns out that the US has to admit that geopolitics among major powers is back on stage.

The plan does not reflect the US failure in diplomacy with other major powers, but just blames China and Russia for competition among major powers. It also identifies Beijing and Moscow as "rivals" of the US who destabilize the region. However, the fact is that China and Russia have contributed to regional security. It analyzes the two countries' diplomacy in an incorrect way and reveals that US diplomacy will be more aggressive in the future.

Third, the US considers the plan will serve the international order established after WWII. But it actually works for the international order that the US wants and not the one the United Nations (UN) would want.

The plan puts traditional US allies and partners in prominent positions, while the interests of other nations are deliberately ignored by the US. Such classification runs against the belief that every nation's security is linked and cannot be divided in a globalized world.

Most countries stress the core status of the UN in the current international order. However, the underlying meaning of the plan is that the UN should contribute to strengthening the US-led alliance.

The US always tries to correct the UN-centric world order but accuses China and Russia of changing it. In fact, the world order established by the US is an outdated and exclusive alliance that is not constructive and comprehensive.

The architects of US diplomacy do not consider other nations' viewpoints and are unwilling to talk with other countries on equal terms, making it apparent that Washington cannot stand the growing military and economic influence of China and Russia.

Fourth, the plan attributes political and national security motives to economic activities. Economic activities benefit countries naturally but the plan uses conspiracy theory to analyze such activities between China, Russia and the US.

Trump thinks that China's trade practices, like its alleged theft of American companies' intellectual property, weakens the US economy. The plan says economic activities between China, Russia and other countries are also aimed at the US and have geopolitical implications.

Such anti-globalization sentiment will only bring danger to the US and damage global economic development. What's worse, it will lead to global political chaos.

Last but not the least, ideas about international affairs in the plan are misplaced and devoid of common sense and logic. It is unbelievable that the US blames China for challenging the current economic order. China is the beneficiary of the current economic order and now the US feels the system is unfair. It is clear enough which country is not satisfied with the order and wants to change it.

What's more, the Trump administration thinks that nuclear issues on the Korean Peninsula and Iran are urgent and cannot be addressed without the help of China and Russia. At the same time, the plan sees China and Russia, which have contributed to the issues, as threats. Such inconsistency does not help solve problems but creates new ones.

It can be said that the plan actually reveals the national security mind-set of US elites. It does not get rid of the policy mistakes over the last 30 years after the Cold War and fails to reveal a constructive strategy.

Some elites in the US always make the same mistakes without getting wiser. The plan is not in line with the situation in the US and the rest of the world, and will harm everyone if implemented.

The author is a professor with the Institute of International Relations at China Foreign Affairs University.

Posted in: VIEWPOINT

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