Military influence may lead US to revive Cold War era policy: experts

Global Times
Huang Panyue

By Deng Xiaoci

The US may repeat its nation-building pattern due to the strong influence of the military on its policies despite US President Donald Trump's remarks that the US will not use its military force to build democracies abroad, Chinese experts said.

"We will no longer use American military might to construct democracies in faraway lands, or try to rebuild other countries in our own image - those days are now over," Trump said during his visit to Fort Myer, Virginia, a US military facility on Monday, according to a statement on the White House website.

Trump said, "instead, we will work with allies and partners to protect our shared interests. We are not asking others to change their way of life, but to pursue common goals that allow our children to live better lives."

Trump called the US approach "principled realism."

However, Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of China Foreign Affairs University, said that the US would not abandon its nation-building pattern as this influences its policies.

"Trump put forward his 'principled realism' approach because of domestic problems. But he may not be capable to control the whole implementation, forcing the US to return to its former practice of country-rebuilding," Li said.

To ensure victory in Afghanistan, which is in the US' interests, it is almost inevitable for the US to return to its former path of country-rebuilding based on US values - meaning rebuilding Afghanistan instead of merely defeating terrorism as he proposed, Li added.

"We will ask our NATO allies and global partners to support our new strategy with additional troops and funding in line with our own," Trump said, adding that his original instinct was to "pull-out." But "decisions are much different" after sitting behind the desk in the Oval Office, he stressed.

Trump said the US will further develop its strategic partnership with India to pursue shared objectives for peace and security in South Asia and the broader Indo-Pacific region.

However, Trump threatened to adopt a new approach in dealing with Pakistan.

Li said that whether troops increase could ensure a victorious closure of the war remains questionable and it will complicate the situation in the region, starting a new round of power wrangling among countries, including China, Russia and India.

The US has lost its purpose in the war, made mistakes, and is now trying to cure it with another wrong prescription. This is due to its heavily military-influenced diplomatic policies since the end of the Cold War, Li added.


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