Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

Keith Preston: Trump ‘conciliatory’ position on Russia against US hegemony

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The “friendly” position towards Russia, adopted by GOP candidate Donald Trump, runs counter to the hegemony on top of the US foreign policy agenda, an American journalist says.

Keith Preston, the chief editor and director of, made the remarks on Saturday, while commenting on remarks by former CIA acting director Michael Morell, alleging that Russian President Vladimir Putin has recruited the Republican nominee as an “unwitting agent” in the run-up to the US 2016 presidential election.

“Mr. Putin played upon Mr. Trump’s vulnerabilities by complimenting him. He responded just as Mr. Putin had calculated,” Morell wrote in an article published by the New York Times on Friday, in reference to praise previously exchanged between Putin and Trump.

“Mr. Putin is a great leader, Mr. Trump says, ignoring that he has killed and jailed journalists and political opponents, has invaded two of his neighbors and is driving his economy to ruin,” wrote Morell, who has endorsed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for president.

According to Preston, “it is in the rational self interest of the United States as a whole to have a more conciliatory relationship with Russia.”

“Donald Trump has not merely been as hawkish about Russia as the American foreign policy establishment generally is,” said the Virginia-based political commentator. “He’s taken a much more friendly, and conciliatory position towards Russia.”

Trump’s stance comes amid pressure on Moscow mounted by the Western powers, particularly Washington, to reduce Russia’s “rightful” and “traditional” presence in Central Asia and Eastern Europe.

The presence, however, runs counter to the hegemony the US is seeking to maintain on the world, which prompts reaction from US intelligence and foreign policy officials such as Morell, Preston noted.

“The American foreign policy establishment is more concerned about maintaining the political and economic hegemony… It is concerned about Russia exercising its own influence,” he said. “Trump appears to be departing from what is a prevailing consensus among the foreign policy establishment about Russia.”

The US stepped up its military buildup near Russia’s western borders since Crimea re-integrated into the Russian Federation following a referendum in the Black Sea peninsula, formerly a part of Ukraine.

The United States and its European allies accuse Moscow of destabilizing Ukraine. Moscow, however, rejects having a hand in the crisis gripping the country and blames the West for the bloodshed there.

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