Washington, DC. In moves meant to reflect a tectonic shift in US policy, Rex Tillerson has announced the “Trump Doctrine” and a supposed completely new direction in US relations with nation states, that may very well put Kim Jong-Un in the Lincoln bedroom and yet make for a safer world.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday outlined for his staff how an “Trump Doctrine” agenda translates into foreign policy, but did not address the Trump administration’s proposed massive cuts to foreign aid given away by the US yearly.
It is the first time Tillerson had addressed all employees since his first day on the job when he spoke to hundreds of State Department officials in the building’s lobby, and gave the most thorough explanation yet of the Trump administration’s approach to foreign policy.
Some officials have interpreted Republican President Donald Trump’s “Trump Doctrine” agenda, which puts Americans’ interests at home ahead of those of its partners overseas, as a threat to retreat from the world.
Tillerson said foreign policy priorities had gotten “a little bit out of balance” in the previous decades, with the United States too focused on promoting economic activity and trade with emerging economies.
Secretary Tillerson also signaled that the United States would de-emphasize human rights concerns in some of its interactions with other countries, saying that while US values remain constant, its policies can adapt.
“If we condition too heavily that others must adopt this value that we’ve come to over a long history of our own, it really creates obstacles to our ability to advance our national security interests, our economic interests,” Tillerson said.
In remarks on North Korea’s nuclear program, Tillerson said the administration is willing to use so-called secondary sanctions to target foreign companies that continue to do business with Pyongyang in contravention of United Nations sanctions.
On China, Tillerson said the United States has a “tremendous opportunity” to define its relationship with the superpower for the next several decades, and that he sensed great interest by the Chinese leadership to do that as well. Marking a huge departure from US policy of the last 40 years where China has been viewed as a trade irritant, rather than a genuine neighbor in global affairs.
Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will chair a dialogue with their Chinese counterparts in June, in addition to a dialogue focused on economics and trade and led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
Last on the world tour was Russia, where Tillerson said he had told Russian President Vladimir Putin during his visit to Moscow last month that their relations were at their lowest point since the Cold War.”He did not disagree,” Tillerson said. “He shrugged his shoulders and nodded in agreement.”
On Russia the US has the greatest advancement opportunity in history, by withdrawing from attempted meddling in it’s internal affairs, repair of sanctions damage and strategic sharing of global threats, both nations can live safer and more prosperous than at any time in history.
The key to that is if the US can replace those programed to confront and hinder relations and replace them with people open to better relations. So far Trump and Tillerson have not shown how those people will be found and put in office, before the “old school” group can do even more damage to US-Russian relations.
Tags: 'Russian threat'; anti-Russian policy; anti-Russian sanctions; China; Chinese-US relations; President Donald Trump; Rex Tillerson; Russia; Russian Foreign Ministry; US state department; Vladimir Putin; Xi Jinping