Trump Offers Cooperation on Ukraine, Syria, and Missile Defense

January 9, 2018

Valdai Discussion Club:

Donald Trump’s first National Security Strategy (NSS), released on December 18, is not a radical departure from past U.S. strategy documents. Its language reflects the renewed influence of the traditional Republican national security establishment on U.S. decision making and the impact of international and domestic developments. These have impeded Trump’s desire to improve U.S.-Russian relations, reach a disarmament deal with North Korea, or achieve other diplomatic breakthroughs that have eluded previous U.S. presidents.

Still, the current strategy uses blunter language than past versions. For example, the text identifies three types of primary threats to the United States:

· “rogue states” seeking WMDs

· malign transnational actors such as terrorist groups

· “revisionist powers,” primarily Russia and China

Regarding the latter category, the NSS sees Moscow and Beijing as trying to revise the U.S.-backed international order to make it more favorable to their own interests.

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International Cooperation