The growing disintegration of the US government

Originally published in the Greek newspaper “Paraskinio”, issue 589, p. 46 on July 29, 2017

Following the inauguration of the new US President Donald Trump, a state of disintegration within the government began to emerge, split into conflicting currents trying to control his sensitive decisions. Despite the fact that Trump appointed his close associates in key positions led by his advisor Steve Bannon and his son-in-lawJared Kushner, this was not enough to limit the internal variations from his personal choices. Soon, contradictions between the various sides have increased to such an extent that they become apparent in the form of leaks through various figures of the administration, depending on their ties with Russia, China and other countries. This has led the American President to many senior executive changes, such as the NSC and the CIA chief.

The US government today is divided into three major powers: the first is that of the President, his supporters and his allies. The second is the Republican Party leaders who are close to the President, but they disagree with him in the way the US is operating and dealing with crises, permanently holding him under the microscope and pushing him, having an overwhelming majority in Congress, which makes it dangerous for him. The third power is Democrats and President Obama’s allies, who are far from the current President, and believe that the best way to deal with international crises is the principle of leadership from the background and the demonstration of soft power, an attitude contrary to that of the Republicans which is based on the permanent display of power.

In this context, the organs of the administration are separated by the most powerful force. The CIA is closer to the Republicans, which is evident through leaks from time to time on details about the US President, such as the last one for the four Kushner meetings with the Russian ambassador before the presidential election. In this way, the Republican Party holds the President under its control and its need. The appointment of Bannon as a Security Advisor was a big shock to many forces within the US administration. The pressure was great, especially after the appointment of General McMaster in replacement of Flynn. MacMaster is known for his experience in the Middle East, his realistic view of terrorism and Islam, which is completely different from that of Bannon who treats Islam as the cause of terrorism. This difference of view between the two characters and the intense pressure of the Democrats, whose opinion has a weight within the framework of national security, led to the removal of Bannon.

A US diplomatic source, attached to Secretary Tilllerson, assured me that he is thinking of stepping down. The reason is the current disagreement among members of the Gulf crisis management. It is characteristic that Trump removed the power to control the agreement on Iran’s nuclear program by Tillerson. Trump sees the crisis as having a positive effect to the economy, while Tillerson and the Republican Party believe the crisis must be over, and that Gulf instability may pose a threat to US national security in this important region. Will this move be the beginning of greater diisintegration within the US administration? Let’s wait to see it.