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Stephanie Carvin @StephanieCarvin
, 15 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Post #HelsinkiSummit assessment: What we’ve seen over the past week is a confirmation of trends leading up to the NATO Summit. I will give a scan of the environment and then discuss implications for US allies, including Canada.
For the US: 1) Trump sees no value in the US lead world order. He does not see allies but only “competitors”. Trump seems to especially loath traditional US allies who he sees as engaging in practices that hold the US back because of claims of “friendship”. This will not change.
2) Trump prefers disruption to deal making. It plays better with his base. But beyond that, Trump does not like to prepare or engage in the heavy-intellectual lifting required in order to actually get a deal. This is why he considers his handshake with Kim Jung Un a “contract”.
3) Trump will continue to feud with the US Intelligence Community – not over everything, but over two BIG files, Russia and Cyber. I don’t like the pre-9/11 cyber-rhetoric. You can’t compare a cyber-attack with 9/11. But this is still bad.
For Russia: Putin got as much as he could have expected out of this week. 1) Trump bullied allies, cast doubt over NATO 2) Just holding the #HelsinkiSummit was a win as it legitimizes him. 3) Trump trashed the US, Democrats, Mueller, Intelligence officials in front of the world.
If the message Putin is taking away from this is that there will be no real consequences for his interference, he will be emboldened to act out more against his near-abroad and to meddle in the democracies of elections.
Implications for allies: 1) Unless Congress changes dramatically, there will be no coordinated cyber-deterrence against future interventions; No one is making sure those in government with the capabilities are doing their job.
While working-level cooperation between allies, especially five-eyes remains strong, US allies are on their own at a more strategic level and therefore should continue to work together to protect their democracies.
2) Infighting between Congress, the Trump Administration and the US IC is bad and has implications for Canada that I have written about here:… (short version: distracted US IC is bad for intelligence consuming countries like Canada)
3) Trump’s refusal to hold Putin accountable, to cast doubt on the indictment signals to Putin there will be no serious consequences for meddling. US allies should expect an increased risk of interference in ways that sow doubt about the democratic systems generally.
4) Expect the disruptive tactics from the Trump administration to continue. Earlier on states were gearing up to give Trump “wins” on deals and negotiations, but that strategy does not work. Not sure what the policy advice is here rather than “wait it out and try to go around”.
5) Trump will continue to see traditional US allies as burdens/rivals and not partners. This is clear in the WTO tariff challenge launched this morning, his statements about NATO (which he now says is “much stronger” but give him a week). Congress will not stop this.
6) This means multilateral institutions will continue to come under strain, traditional US allies should have low expectations for summits. Low bar is just to keep them alive for the next two years.
This will become infinitely harder if Trump is re-elected. Another two years, okay. Another six years… wow.
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