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Donald Trump: Peacemaker-in-Chief?


November 13, 2016
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Caroline Mortimer / The Independent

A Kremlin advisor says that Donald Trump's apparent electoral victory has prevented World War Three III: "Americans had two choices: WW III or multilateral peace. Clinton was a symbol of war." Since his victory, Trump has moderated his positions on healthcare, the Iran nuclear deal, and has called for ending support to Syrian "rebels" and for winding down foreign wars. (Cautionary note: during his campaign, Trump has issued many contradictory promises.)

http://news.antiwar.com/2016/11/11/trump-expects-to-end-us-aid-to-syrian-rebels/

Trump Expects to End US Aid to Syrian Rebels
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com

(November 11, 2016) -- In a new interview with the Wall Street Journal, President-elect Donald Trump said that he is likely to end the US support of "moderate" Syrian rebel groups, saying that "we have no idea who these people are" and that the US needs to focus on defeating ISIS.

The interview only briefly touched on foreign policy, but Trump echoed similar concerns about backing Syrian rebels in the past, saying that the defeat of Assad could lead to something even worse in the country, and today warning that backing the rebellion risks starting a fight with Syria and Russia.

This has been an ongoing problem for the US, with the Pentagon seeking to fight ISIS and the CIA and State Department seeking to shift the focus away from ISIS and toward regime change. The CIA is heavily involved in arming and funding the rebels.

The CIA plan to aid rebels, along with Pentagon efforts to create whole new rebel forces, have largely been disastrous failures at any rate, with much of the smuggled arms ending up in the hands of al-Qaeda and ISIS forces. Despite this, the programs have largely continued, and Trump's interest in not doing so is seen as a major shift in US policy.



Trump Won't Rip Up Iran Deal, Adviser Confirms
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com

(November 11, 2016) -- Key Trump foreign policy adviser Walid Phares today offered clarification on the president-elect's plans for the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran, confirming that he intends to "review" the deal, but has no intention of trying to unilaterally rip it up.

Trump's election has sparked a flurry of speculation about things he might do, and one of the major ones has been non-stop speculation that the P5+1 deal is effectively dead, even though a lot of international officials were quick to point out that the multi-lateral agreement isn't something a US president could just destroy on a whim.

Sens. John McCain (R - AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R - SC) bought into this idea too, announcing yesterday that they believe Trump agrees with them on Iran, by which they mean he would be ripping up the deal with an eye toward eventually starting a war.

During the campaign, Trump said he intended to enforce the pact toughly, and Phares says he believes that Trump may seek to negotiate a few changes to the terms of the deal after a review, but again that this would be way short of killing the deal.

Phares also sought to temper other expectations on the incoming Trump Administration, saying that Trump would make negotiating peace between Israel and the Palestinians a "top priority," despite Israeli officials openly insisting Trump's election meant the end of Palestinian statehood, and that he might back off plans to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem if he did not have a consensus on doing so.

Over 18 months of campaigning, Trump said enough different things on different issues that people seem to be finding ways to argue he "promised" almost everything, but the big aggressive changes in US policy appear to be highly overstated.


Putin Aide: Trump's Election
May Avert World War III

Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com

(November 11, 2016) -- Top Kremlin adviser Sergei Glazyev today told Russia's news service that the election of Donald Trump by the United States may ultimately avert World War III between NATO and the Russian Federation, saying that Trump might symbolize a change in course for the US.

Glazyev said many within the Russian government saw Hillary Clinton as a "symbol of war," and that the American voters' rejection of Clinton in favor of Trump showed a rejection of that level of hostility. Russian officials have also praised Trump, saying he appears to have the same foreign policy mindset as Vladimir Putin.

All this talk of embracing Trump, however, may simply reflect Russia's happiness that Clinton didn't win, as Clinton campaigned heavily on being hostile toward Russia, accusing Russia of plotting against her campaign, and talking openly about military action in Syria designed to get "military leverage" against Russia.

Since the regime change in Ukraine saw the replacement of a long-time Russian ally with a pro-West government, NATO in general and the US in particular have been stepping up military deployments along Russia's border in Eastern Europe, with some 300,000 NATO troops deployed in the Baltic states for a battle with Russia.

Clinton was positioning herself as a continuation of that anti-Russia buildup, and more hawkish, which makes it pretty clear that Russia would've seen her election as another step toward open warfare.


Donald Trump's Victory Averted World War Three, Top Putin Aide Claims
Caroline Mortimer / The Independent

LONDON (November 12, 2016) -- One of Vladimir Putin's closest advisors has claimed Donald Trump's victory has averted a third world war.

Speaking after Mr. Trump won a shock victory over Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, Kremlin advisor Sergei Glazyev said the Democrat politician was a "symbol of war" and under Mr. Trump the US had "a chance to change course". He told Russian news wire RNS: "Americans had two choices: World War Three or multilateral peace. Clinton was a symbol of war, and Trump has a chance to change this course."

Relations between the two countries have sunk to their lowest point since the Cold War after Russia was accused of interfering in the election with the strategic leak of emails which were damaging to Ms Clinton and the Democrat party.

In October, the Department of Homeland Security officially blamed Russia for the leaking of emails exchanged by members of the Democrat National Committee (DNC) where they conspired to undermine the campaign of SeNATOr Bernie Sanders. Russian officials have repeatedly denied allegations of interference.

On Thursday, Russia's deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said the Kremlin had been in frequent contact with Mr. Trump's campaign team ahead of his victory.. He told Russian news agency Interfax that Moscow had "contacts" within Mr. Trump's inner circle.

One of Vladimir Putin's closest advisors has claimed Donald Trump's victory has averted a third world war. Speaking after Mr. Trump won a shock victory over Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, Kremlin advisor Sergei Glazyev said the Democrat politician was a "symbol of war" and under Mr. Trump the US had "a chance to change course". He told Russian news wire RNS: "Americans had two choices: World War Three or multilateral peace. Clinton was a symbol of war, and Trump has a chance to change this course".

Relations between the two countries have sunk to their lowest point since the Cold War after Russia was accused of interfering in the election with the strategic leak of emails which were damaging to Ms Clinton and the Democrat party.

In October, the Department of Homeland Security officially blamed Russia for the leaking of emails exchanged by members of the Democrat National Committee (DNC) where they conspired to undermine the campaign of SeNATOr Bernie Sanders. Russian officials have repeatedly denied allegations of interference.

On Thursday, Russia's deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said the Kremlin had been in frequent contact with Mr. Trump's campaign team ahead of his victory. He told Russian news agency Interfax that Moscow had "contacts" within Mr. Trump's inner circle. He said: "I don't say that all of them, but a whole array of them, supported contacts with Russian representatives".

It comes as the former head of NATO, Anders Rasmussen, warned Mr. Trump to show "strength" against Russia or it will be the "beginning of the end" for the US-led organisation.

Mr. Rasmussen, who led the alliance between 2009 and 2014, said Mr. Putin "only respects a firm hand" when dealing with other world leaders and said NATO needs to intervene to protect the vulnerable Baltic states.

He said: "The US must increase support for NATO's eastern flank, set up military bases wherever Russia is threatening the freedom and livelihood of US allies, and whole-heartedly protect Ukraine against future Russian aggression.

"The US President must initiate a no-fly zone to impose and maintain a credible and durable ceasefire in Syria. The US must force the President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, to the negotiating table and find a political solution to the devastating conflict."

Mr. Rasmussen, who previously served as the Prime Minister of Denmark, is currently working as an adviser to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. His comments follow remarks made by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright where she called Mr. Trump "a useful idiot" for Mr. Putin to exploit.

She said: "The main thing is to remember that he is President of the United States and that our interests vis a vis what the Russians are doing are very important, and that our friends and allies in central and eastern Europe have been our friends and allies for a very, very long time".

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

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