- Bolton & Pompeo: Deciphering Trump’s Neocon Shift
Trump’s appointment of well-known neocons Mike Pompeo and John Bolton as the next Secretary of State and National Security Advisor respectively proves that he’s decisively embraced the neoconservative faction of the “deep state”.
The President used to rail against people like Pompeo and Bolton, especially the latter because of his hawkish views towards Iraq, but now he’s depending on both of them for policymaking advice. This supposedly sudden turnaround has shocked his base, many of whom voted for him because they expected the populist billionaire to “drain the swamp”, though now they’re coming to conclude that the swamp has drained the President of his will to resist the “deep state”.
While that’s the first impression that many people are getting after these two leadership announcements, the argument can also be made that Trump realized that he just doesn’t have the time to build up a “third force” on his own to take on both the neoconservatives and the liberal-globalists, having come to the decision that it’s better to side with one of them against the other at this moment in a “deep state” version of divide and rule than to have to fend off both at the same time. Whatever the true reason may be, Trump’s neoconservative shift is bound to have serious geopolitical implications for the rest of the world, particularly the four countries that are pushing back against it and trying to restore balance to International Relations.
This past week saw Trump preside over the world’s largest-ever expulsion of Russian diplomats in history, which comes on the tail of his trade war declaration against China. Tensions are simmering between the US and Iran over the Obama-era nuclear deal, and while Trump’s open to taking part in unprecedented talks with North Korea, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov earlier warned that members of his government might stage various provocations to sabotage this forthcoming summit. At such a sensitive geopolitical moment as this one, Pompeo and Bolton appear to be the men least-suited for taking on the tasks at hand given their aggressive neoconservative tendencies, but then again, they might be exactly the figures that Trump wanted to place into power this entire time.
Andrew Korybko is joined by Eric Schwing, anti-war, anti-capitalist, and anti-fascist social activist, and Gabriel Benton, an Orthodox Christian, Father, and American Russophile.