Connect with us

Americas

Presidents and Peripheral Foreign Policy: Mitigating Ideology in Global Security

Trevor C. Knight

Published

on

The United States’ democratic system complicates the development and implementation of foreign policy as leadership changes every four to eight years introduce instability and potential inconsistency. In light of recurring administration changes, the United States has a responsibility to engage with foreign partners in a consistent and cohesive manner. In theory, this is a simple task, but in practice it becomes a complex issue fraught with partisan politics, conflicting ideologies, and innumerable opinions and judgments from politicians and officials throughout the government. Understanding the unique set of ideologies held by a newly elected president is critical to anticipating the ways in which foreign policy will be implemented.

Foreign policy is not simply an amalgamation of a diverse set of equally-significant policies, but a complex system comprised of a small group of core foreign policies supported by peripheral foreign policies. Core foreign policies are generally unchanging across presidential administrations and, in the United States, center on the importance of international cooperation and the acknowledgment that intervention is sometimes necessary, especially when it advances collective security or protects human and civil rights. Core foreign policies reflect strongly held eternal values in the United States, including “liberty, equality, justice, an opportunity to prosper…and a chance to live under the rule of law—not under the thumbs of tyrants.” (McCain 2010, 10)

Compared to core foreign policies, which reflect both good governance and fundamental American values, peripheral foreign policies reflect the personal approach each president takes and are influenced by personal ideologies. Peripheral foreign policies include the prioritization of various aspects of international affairs over others, the emphasis of diplomacy with some nations while others get excluded, and the specific selection of methods by which goals are achieved.US Presidents have considerable freedom to develop their own priorities and goals for foreign policy efforts for the duration of their administration. These priorities may reflect policy positions espoused while on the campaign trail or they may reflect facts relating to national security and internal diplomatic concerns only made privy to the president after his election. Presidents and other decision-makers are influenced by political, social, and economic factors, lensed through their personal beliefs. Understanding the knowledge and opinions held by an incoming president is critical to anticipating the likely periphery foreign policy strategies to be implemented during the coming administration.

Presidential opinions toward social issues in other nations provide insight into the potential for interventionist or isolationist foreign policy positions. Interventionist presidents will often advocate for U.S. foreign policy which fights human rights abuses and aims to alleviate human suffering around the world. (Schwartz 2012, 173) Conversely, isolationist presidents are less inclined to engage in international social justice issues or humanitarian crises. Isolationist presidents may participate in humanitarian action, however, if national security interests are affected or if such action can be used to justify military intervention in regions of strategic importance. (Whittall 2015, 1)Interventionist or isolationist foreign policy positions inherently include economic considerations, as strong economies support interventionist policies, while weak or contracting economies see increasingly isolationist policies. (Whittall 2015, 1-3)

A President’s understanding of domestic and international economics plays a significant role in foreign policy development. During periods of increased competition from other countries, presidents must advocate a foreign policy position which enhances competitiveness and ensures positive trade relations. Inasmuch as foreign policy affects the U.S. economy, economics influence foreign policy: the promise of trade and the threat of sanctions can influence another nation with the same efficacy as the threat of military intervention. (Garten 2005)

As a president’s personal values are reflected in their ideological positions, personal values influence foreign policy development in unexpected ways. Personal values are the amalgamation of beliefs and opinions on social issues (i.e., immigration, racism, sexism, religion, etc.) and life experiences, and form the foundation of personality and overall character. (Schoen 2007, 410-412) Personality traits and values may not be immediately apparent when examining the foreign policy opinions of a president, but because personality traits are connected to and affected by external stimuli, high-intensity events may expose previously unknown traits and values.(Schoen 2007, 412)The influence of personal values on foreign policy can shift a previously isolationist president to adopt interventionist policies, or vice-versa.

Reducing the effects of ideology on peripheral foreign policy not only creates stability within the government, it promotes stability on the international stage through consistent engagement with and messaging from the United States. Cooperation between the United States and its allies will benefit from a more consistent and cohesive foreign policy in which American commitments to its allies will withstand administration changes and a fluctuating personal ideology presence. This stability can also encourage nations to increase engagement with the United States, whereas inconsistent policies based on shifting personal ideology may otherwise discourage diplomatic contact. Failing to address the influence of ideology on peripheral foreign policy thus increases the likelihood of the United States neglecting other nations in need of support, unnecessarily entering into conflict with other nations, or failing to defend itself from external threats.

Officials involved in foreign policy development are encouraged to think critically and engage in introspection and examination of the arguments proposed in favor of or in opposition to a specified foreign policy position. In addition to examining the sources of existing knowledge, officials are encouraged to review information which runs counter to existing opinions or beliefs, or information which comes from different sources, including those holding opposing opinions. Beyond the simple consideration of policy alternatives, divergent information may identify gaps in understanding which may indicate a need for reexamination of available sources or the collection of new information. Officials should also be encouraged to review their own foreign policy decisions and the decisions made by others to consider the influence of their own personal ideologies, not just that of the Commander-in-Chief.

As discussed above, political, social, and economic ideologies have direct effects on peripheral foreign policy decisions and need constant mitigation and vetting. Addressing these influences will help counter their potential negative effects on foreign policy development and help decision-makers create rational foreign policy in the best interests of the global community. Thus, executive and legislative personnel, both elected and appointed, have a responsibility to their constituents and the country as a whole to work to eliminate ideological influence from foreign policy. Shaping rational and coherent foreign policy protects the interests of the nation and must remain the ideal for the president, Congress, and other affected decision-makers.

The above recommendations provide a path toward successful foreign policy development. Understanding the distinction between core and peripheral foreign policies, particularly the influence of ideology on peripheral foreign policy, is an underappreciated aspect of global security analysis. Ultimately, more in-depth investigations into this relationship will open up new discussions and more cooperative dialogue between disparate actors the world over. Hopefully, this will lessen conflict and heighten opportunities for peaceful collaboration.

Trevor C. Knight holds a Master of Arts degree in Intelligence Studies from American Military University and is pursuing his Doctorate in Strategic Intelligence from the School of Security and Global Studies at AMU. Mr. Knight currently serves as a strategic intelligence analyst, addressing a wide range of threats to American and global security.

Continue Reading
Comments

Americas

When An American President Becomes Agent Provacateur

Prof. Louis René Beres

Published

on

image: The White House/ flickr

“Whoever can dominate the street will one day conquer the state, for every form of power politics and any dictatorship-run state has its roots in the street.”-Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Party Minister of Propaganda, Nuremberg rally, 1934

“The goal is to dominate the street.”-US President Donald J. Trump, June 1, 2020[1]

Without getting into the complex legal aspects ofan agent provocateur, one simple summary statement is useful to acknowledge: The American president’s public behavior on June 1 2020 was purposefully incendiary and patently unlawful. On that now-unforgettable day, Donald J. Trump, by ordering police,  special operations military, national guard and US Secret Service elements to forcibly clear a path for his photo-op walk to the nearby St James Church, crossed another critical line of presidential malfeasance. Here, rather than restrict deployed law-enforcement elements to their proper Constitutional and statutory roles, Trump commanded these agents  (1) to actively incite citizen wrongdoing, and (2) to exploit all such cynically engineered derelictions for his own presumptive political benefit.

Let us be candid. In matters of US and international law, it doesn’t get much worse than this. By his brazenly willful wrongdoing, Trump’s commands on June 1 carried an obvious and prospectively irreversible potential for personal injuries and death. This lamentable potential was further exacerbated by opaque deployments of “unmarked” US Special Force elements into selected parts of Washington DC, and by Secretary of Defense Mark Esper’s corollary injunction  to “dominate the battlefield space.”

The “battlefield?”  In this case, it  referred not to some distant area of hostilities, but to city streets of the nation’s capital. Americans, of course, are unaccustomed to such patently twisted meanings.
What are the relevant facts behind such problematic executive branch behaviors,  by the Department of Justice as well as Department of Defense? Prima facie, on June 1, 2020, Donald Trump’s personal security detail, then operating under impermissible cover of tear gas, rubber bullets and flash bang grenades, systematically provoked otherwise compliant and unthreatening peaceful demonstrators.[2] The US federal government behavior in this Goebbels-style incident was more than “just” unnecessary or inappropriate. It was grievously illegal, including plainly evident violations of Nuremberg Principles.[3]

As these Principles are now a part of authoritative international law,[4] the agent provocateur behaviors also represented variously serious violations of  U.S. law.[5] Significantly, inter alia, the Nuremberg Principles [6] require military, police and security officials to oppose any leaders’ orders to willfully injure innocent people or to commit any other verifiable crimes of state, including incitement to riot or insurrection.  Such commendably high expectations are routinely ignored in authoritarian or tyrannical regimes, but this fact is not exculpatory for the United States.

Markedly different in this US matter of June 1, 2020, was that certain “peremptory”[7] rules of international ambit and applicability were being systematically ignored or manipulated by an American president.

 When citizens of any proper democracy engage in observably peaceful protest, there exist no per se arguments for challenging presumptions of citizen innocence or for justifying civilian  mistreatment by national executive authorities. Aware of this in the June 1 St. James Church visitation incident, some Members of Congress called upon US Secret Service Director James M. Murray and certain  others to appear before the House of Representatives to explain their wrongful behaviors on June 1. In time, perhaps, the American public will be told what it ought to have been told from the start about what had actually taken place.

In addition to multiple legal derogations, it was a national humiliation for the United States to have rendered itself  comparable to Adolph Hitler’s Sturmabteilung (SA), and later to the Stosstrupp-Hitler (SSH) or Schutztaffel (SS).[8] Increasingly, however, the law-violating behaviors of US President Donald Trump in these matters have  lent palpable credence to such an irremediable humiliation.  These significant derogations cannot simply be covered up or whispered away.

Already done, they cannot be undone.

Apropos of  the Nuremberg Principles of international law, since 1950 an unalienable  part of the laws of the United States, all persons are obliged to resist crimes of state. Though the June 1, 2020 incident did not rise to any determinably high level of criminal behavior, it remains legally worrisome for the United States on several intersecting levels. This is due to the president’s conspicuous indifference to assorted peremptory norms of human rights law, and to the unwillingness of individual agents provocateurs to resist what then amounted to  injurious and universally prohibited crimes of state.

Although these US crimes were relatively minor, they nonetheless represented willful violations of individual legal responsibility for federal agents of law enforcement. Noteworthy, too, is that the wider context of these officially committed and incited wrongdoings centered on properly law-based protests against racism and human rights violations here in the United States. It follows that these illegal behaviors of an American president and his pertinent agencies were not “merely” violative of peremptory Nuremberg Principle obligations. They also represented unjustifiable interference with an authoritative body of codified and customary human rights norms.[9]

Looking to the future, the President of the United States should more determinedly guide all federal agencies on a proper path of law-respecting conduct. Under no circumstances should this path involve transforming the respective agents “in play” into US agents provocateurs. By definition, any such transformation would critically defile and undermine America’s most elementary principles of justice.

Going forward, the goal of an American president should be not to “dominate the street,” but rather to allow or facilitate all otherwise permissible expressions of US civilian protest. If there should  still remain any doubts about this core obligation, one need only recall that Donald Trump’s selected words were an exact literal replication of Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels’ 1934 rally comments for the Third Reich. Is this in any way a proper model for the United States?


[1] The startlingly close verbal congruence of the Goebbels and Trump statements is most markedly worrisome here. Inter alia, it is difficult to believe that the US President’s pertinent speech writer was unaware of Goebbels’s exact words. More than likely, these words were deemed by him an appropriate model for Donald J. Trump.

[2] In this connection, the fact that this provocation was systematic rather than merely random or visceral has various pertinent legal implications. In essence, this “systematic” quality makes the associated dereliction more egregious.

[3] See: Principles of International Law Recognized in the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal and in the Judgment of the Tribunal, Adopted by the UN International Law Commission, 2 August 1950. UN Doc. A/1316, 2 Y.B.I.L.C. 374 (1950).

[4] International law, which is a part of US law,  is itself ultimately deducible from Natural Law. According to Blackstone, this is the reason why the Law of Nations is necessarily binding upon all individuals and all states. Each state and its leaders are expected “to aid and enforce the law of nations, as part of the common law, by inflicting an adequate punishment upon offenses against that universal law . . . .” WILLIAM BLACKSTONE, PUBLIC WRONGS, in COMMENTARIES ON THE LAWS OF ENGLAND, Book 4 Ch. 1 (Philadelphia, J.B. Lippincott & Co. 1893).  Though assuredly not known to President Donald Trump or even to his closest and most senior legal advisors, Sir William Blackstone’s Commentaries represent the core foundation of all subsequent US law.

[5]In precise words of Mr. Justice Gray, delivering judgment of the US Supreme Court in Paquete Habana (1900): “International law is part of our law, and must be ascertained and administered by the courts of justice of appropriate jurisdiction….” (175 U.S. 677(1900)) See also Opinion in Tel-Oren vs. Libyan Arab Republic (726 F. 2d 774 (1984)).Further, the specific incorporation of treaty law into US municipal law is expressly codified at Art. 6 of the US Constitution, the so-called “Supremacy Clause.”

4.See:https://digitalcommons.lmu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://search.yahoo.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1151&context=ilr

[7] Under international law, a peremptory norm is “a norm accepted and recognized by the international community of States as a whole from which no derogation is permitted….” See Art. 53 of Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties; entered into force, 27 January 1988.

[8] Over the twelve years of the Third Reich, other here-relevant bodyguard organizations were created: The Fuhrerbegleitkommando (FBK), the Leibstandarte SS Adoplh Hitler (LSSAH), and Reichssicherheitsdienst (RSD). At Nuremberg after the War, he behavior of these Fuhrer protective units were considered together and with other Nazi institutions with regard to both Crimes of War and Crimes Against Humanity.

[9] For authoritative sources of international law, see art. 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice: STATUTE OF THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE, Done at San Francisco, June 26, 1945. Entered into force, Oct. 24, 1945; for the United States, Oct. 24, 1945.  59 Stat. 1031,  T.S. No. 993,  3 Bevans 1153, 1976 Y.B.U.N., 1052.Court of Justice: STATUTE OF THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE, Done at San Francisco, June 26, 1945. Entered into force, Oct. 24, 1945; for the United States, Oct. 24, 1945.  59 Stat. 1031,  T.S. No. 993,  3 Bevans 1153, 1976 Y.B.U.N., 1052.

Continue Reading

Americas

Evaluation of the George Floyd Indictment

Muratcan Isildak

Published

on

Credit: Fibonacci Blue / flickr

As it is understood from the camera on the police officers, the officers approach the vehicle. There are three people in the vehicle, including George Floyd in the driver’s seat. Officer Lane starts talking to George Floyd while taking out his gun and pointing at him to raise his hands. When Floyd puts his hands on the wheel, the police officer lowers his gun.

While officer Kueng is talking to the other person in the car, officer Lane takes Floyd off the car, then handcuffs. Floyd actively counteracts handcuffs.

When Floyd is handcuffed, he walks along the sidewalk with Officer Lane and sits down on the sidewalk. Officer Lane asks Floyd for his name and identity. Officer Lane asks Floyd if he is under the influence of drugs and reports that he has been detained for money fraud.

Officer Kueng and Lane lift Floyd up and try to take him to the team car. At 20:14, Floyd refuses to walk, stops where he is, and throws himself to the ground saying that he has fear of closed space.

Meanwhile, Officer Derek Chauvin (accused) and Tou Thoa arrive at the scene with another team car.

Police officers made multiple attempts to get Floyd into the team car, but were not successful. Floyd does not get into the car with his own consent; he refuses to ride, resists police officers and does not stand. Floyd’s height is over 180 cm and is about 90 kilos.

While standing outside the car, Floyd says he can’t breathe and repeats it. The defendant (police officer) passes to the passenger door side and tries to get Floyd into the vehicle, Officer Lane and Kueng help.

At 20:19 o’clock, the suspect lays down on his stomach in a handcuffed state. Officer holds Kueng Floyd’s waist and Lane legs. The defendant presses the left knee into Floyd’s neck. Floyd says “I can’t breathe” more than once, “mom” and “please”. The defendant and two other officers stand in their places.

The officers say, “You can speak” as Floyd moves back and forth. Officer Lane asked, “Should we turn him to the other side?” He then says, “No, how we put it will stand like that.”

In the images obtained through the camera on the police officers, it is seen that Floyd continues to move and breathe. Floyd stops moving at 20:24. At 20:25, Floyd stopped breathing and talking. Lane says he wants to turn Floyd. Officer checks the pulse of Kueng Floyd and tells him that he cannot find the pulse.

At 20:27, the defendant removes the knee from Floyd’s neck. An ambulance and emergency medical personnel arrive at the scene, place Floyd on the stretcher and the ambulance leaves the scene. The Hospital where he arrived explains that Floyd has died.

Forensic medicine specialist of the hospital performs autopsy of Floyd on 25.05.2020. Although the entire autopsy report has not been published yet, the autopsy specialist shared its initial findings. In the report; it was stated that no findings were found to support the diagnosis of “traumatic drowning”. Floyd has heart disease due to hypertension and coronary heart disease.

Floyd’s capture by police officers has been counted as contributing factors to his underlying illness and the death of any “intoxicating substance” in his blood.

The defendant pressed the knee to the neck of the defendant for 8 minutes 46 seconds. 2 minutes and 53 seconds of this time is from the moment Floyd is unresponsive.

This is the subject of the indictment against the accused police officer Chauvin.

Based on the available data; the accused must have repeatedly pressed her throat to prevent her breathing for two minutes after learning that the pulse of the victim is not pulsing, the victim must not be able to breathe, and because of these issues, the defendant should have predicted that the act would lead to death, but due to the knowledge and experience he had in his profession, It can be thought that it does not take any precautions to prevent it from being absent, but on the contrary, it has the thought of “no matter” with its comfortable attitudes, and for all these reasons, its intent may indicate the possible / possible muscle. In this case, it can be concluded that there is a defect in the perpetrator that surpasses conscious taxiing.

After it has been determined that the defendant’s intentional force has exceeded its limits, it will also be necessary to consider whether the intent’s intent is to kill or injure. In order for the offender to constitute the crime of wounding, which is aggravated by the outcome of the act, the offender should be intentional injury. In the meantime, if the outcome of death has occurred, the perpetrator will be held responsible for the crime of injury, which has been intensified not because of deliberately killing people. If the perpetrator is not willing to commit a crime, but because of inattention, carelessness, inattention, violation of rules or inexperience in profession and art, conscious or unconscious negligence will come to the agenda according to whether the result is predictable or not. For the perpetrator who surpasses the conscious action, does not show an explicit killing caste, but does not care about the death outcome that may arise from a defective move, probable muscle-based penalty may arise.

As a result; when the indictment, forensic reports, and camera images are analyzed, it is concluded that in our opinion, the responsibility for the punishment, which transcends simple and conscious taxonomy and reaches the level of caste, and at least the possible caste is found. For the other police officers who were at the scene and who made the first intervention to the victim, and who did not interfere with the defendant’s act, which could be the subject of a crime by exceeding the police force, they could be held responsible for deliberate killing or negligence of negligence in cases of defect. Police officers have statutory guarantor obligations to protect and protect people’s lives and property. The police officer, who does not fulfill the requirement of this obligation deliberately or by inexperience in his profession or not following the rules, is held responsible for the negligence movement.

Continue Reading

Americas

A different hybrid war

Published

on

Imagine such a scenario of hybrid warfare: Russia uses speculation on financial markets to collapse the currency of some Western country and as a result acquires a huge amount of money. Russia uses this money to sponsor different public organizations and media that spread Russia’s ideology and criticize its opponents. 33 million dollars are invested in an ethnic minority protection group that exacerbates divisions among the public and even causes occasional mass unrest. It then happens that especially severe unrest takes place right before the election where an anti-Russian president has to be dethroned. The unrest is so violent that the army has to be engaged, but the network of Russian-sponsored NGOs and media outlets will call this the “rebirth of fascism” in order to discredit the president.

It is hard to imagine such a scenario, because in Russia’s case such methods would be eradicated in their early stages and would elicit a response that would be long remembered. But this scenario has already taken place, but it was not Russia. It was the most humane and generous philanthropist known to world – George Soros, who invested the money he acquired from speculations because of his good heart and nothing else to do, and he doesn’t even ask anything in return – at least so we are being told. Or the newest trend is to deny that George Soros has any influence in Latvia, calling it a “conspiracy theory”, and this puts an end to any discussion about the topic, despite information about his networks of influence being publicly accessible and quite eloquent.

In the case of America, Soros has invested 33 million dollars in the Black Lives Matter movement, which is the main organizer of these “protests”. The same George Soros who believes Trump has to leave the White House because he is against globalism and the ideology of open borders. The same person thanked by numerous NGOs and media outlets for their existence, which is also the reason they uncritically spread his ideas. Every revolution has its sponsors, and the course of these revolutions does not depend on any objective factors, but on the emotions provoked by politicized media and their interpretation of who is the “victim” and who is the “suppressor”.

This information reaches those who want to be reached, especially among the generation indoctrinated in the “wisdoms” of the neo-Marxist victim cult – it is a rationalization of crime, because according to neo-Marxist views only “victims” can be moral, whatever they may be doing, while the “suppressors” are always amoral. Therefore, the formula of unrest in America is as follows: money from financial speculation + neo-Marxist ideology + exploiting the divisions of a multi-cultural society.

Every multicultural society is like a powder keg. Ethnic and racial unrests in the US are frequent, and as a rule they always begin with a case of brutality highlighted by the media in order to raise the already existing tensions to a critical point. This happens despite violent crimes being committed every day by different racial combinations, but they are being ignored because they have no use in their particular form at the particular time. Then the looting and killing starts and it affects people who are unfortunate to live in a specific area (mostly inner cities) and most often these are the ethnic minorities themselves. Conflicts erupt not only between blacks and whites, but also blacks and Mexican immigrants, as well as Asians who own small businesses. After the unrest, the economies of these inner cities slump which creates a negative spiral of poverty.

It is clear to anyone who has been following the cruelty of these “protests” that they have nothing to do with the tragic death of George Floyd anymore. Small business owners are the ones suffering the most (and these also include blacks), while those who try to resist being robbed get brutally beaten up. How such idiotism as stealing clothes and cheesecakes serves the memory of George Floyd is unclear – at least to normal people.

But there are plenty of people willing to justify this, because they don’t live in the reality of the people who have suffered from the demolition, but they live in a social network bubble where everything is determined by “racism”, “capitalism” or other smart keywords. Justifying the unrest goes hand in hand with normalizing the ideas of communism, which is being done by the modern “expertocracy”, left-liberal faculties, thinktanks and media. In the US this indoctrination has taken place for more than a half of century and we can see the consequences – it is not just about “different views” but about an attack on civilization, which in Latvia is currently in its initial stage.

Marxism is returning as a farce where leftist activists find honor in serving the interests of financial speculators and support ruining the lives of small business owners and the working class in useless protests. And for this reason Trump will most likely be reelected – just as in 1968 the Americans elected a president of “law and order” Nixon, there will now too be the need for someone able to ensure the safety of peaceful citizens against low-life thugs. And with this I congratulate you!

Continue Reading

Publications

Latest

Trending