Article Image

IPFS News Link • Trump Administration

Life Of O'Brien

•, By Teeuwe Mevissen

While it is of course not sure that Trump will win the upcoming election – although we still see this as our base case scenario – O'Brien could very well become part of Trump's administration again.

Indeed, only recently Robert O'Brien said he remains in regular contact with the former president. So what does O'Brien propose according to the news that leaked out yesterday? Perhaps this could be summarized best by quoting O'Brien himself who apparently writes that: "As China seeks to undermine American economic and military strength, Washington should return the favour,".

But let's provide a bit more detail. Economically he apparently suggests decoupling from China. Furthermore he "argues that the 60% tariffs on China that Trump has floated should be only the first step, followed by tougher export controls 'on any technology that might be of use to China' and other measures". Given how interwoven both economies still are and given that we are talking about the two largest economies in the world, it should be clear that such a policy would have a significant impact on the global economy as well.

But it doesn't end with trade. O' Brien also proposes a highly assertive, if not aggressive, foreign policy aimed at deterring and containing China in the region"This morass of American weakness and failure cries out for a Trumpian restoration of peace through strength," as O' Brien puts it. He continuous by suggesting to help "expand the militaries of Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam, increase military assistance to Taiwan and boost missile defense and fighter jet protection in the region". 

Last but not least on the military side of things he advocates new underground nuclear testing and the resumption in the US of the production of uranium-235 and plutonium 239 which is used for nuclear warheads. When we add recent remarks from Stoltenberg to dust the West's nuclear arsenal off and take into account Putin's tour to North-Korea we might want to return to the life of O' Brian and look at the bright side of life!