The Big Three:

Amer­ica, Rus­sia, and China Must Join Hands for Se­cu­rity, Pros­per­ity, and Peace By Ed­ward Lozan­sky and Jim Ja­tras

The Washington Times Daily - - NATION - Ed­ward Lozan­sky is pres­i­dent of the Amer­i­can Univer­sity in Moscow. He is the au­thor of the book Op­er­a­tion Elbe, which de­scribes joint US-Rus­sia an­titer­ror­ist ef­forts. Jim Ja­tras is a for­mer U.S. diplo­mat and for­eign pol­icy ad­viser to the Se­nate GOP leade

With the de­feat of Hil­lary Clin­ton by Don­ald Trump, we may never know how close Amer­ica and all mankind came to nu­clear war. Driven by the glob­al­ist agenda of the “in­dis­pens­able” neo­con­ser­va­tives and lib­eral-in­ter­ven­tion­ists call­ing the shots in a Clin­ton ad­min­is­tra­tion, it would have been only a mat­ter of time be­fore the United States found it­self at war with Rus­sia, or China, or both.

When Trump takes of­fice, for the first time since Ron­ald Rea­gan we will have a pres­i­dent with the stature and vi­sion to put the in­ter­ests of the Amer­i­can peo­ple first. Trump’s firm hand on the tiller of the Amer­i­can ship of state com­bined with his busi­ness sense will en­able him to deal con­fi­dently but fairly with the for­mi­da­ble, no-non­sense lead­ers of the world’s next two ma­jor pow­ers: Rus­sia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jin­ping. This is a unique his­toric op­por­tu­nity that must not be wasted.

Trump can move de­ci­sively to re­store sta­bil­ity to a global or­der that has been spin­ning out of con­trol. It is a good sign that he held cor­dial phone con­ver­sa­tions with both Putin and Xi soon af­ter his vic­tory. It’s time to ce­ment mu­tual good­will with both Rus­sia and China, which have es­tab­lished a de facto al­liance in re­sponse to the mis­han­dling of Amer­i­can pol­icy un­der Trump’s im­me­di­ate pre­de­ces­sors.

No one should pre­tend Trump’s task will be easy in light of the world’s many con­tentious is­sues. Trump’s “Amer­ica First!” pol­icy to make the United States se­cure, pros­per­ous, and great again is a wel­come change from decades of glob­al­ism. Sim­i­larly, Putin and Xi also put their coun­tries’ in­ter­ests first – that’s their job. But Trump has dealt with “tough cus­tomers” be­fore, and that hasn’t stopped him from mak­ing great, mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial deals.

Among our sug­ges­tions:

Dis­pense with the “in­dis­pens­ables”: Trump is right when he says he doesn’t need smug, self­anointed “ex­perts” who have “per­fect ré­sumés but very lit­tle to brag about ex­cept re­spon­si­bil­ity for a long his­tory of failed poli­cies and con­tin­ued losses at war.” It is not a ques­tion of re­tal­i­at­ing against those who harshly crit­i­cized him but of se­lect­ing only high­est-cal­iber pro­fes­sion­als who will faith­fully im­ple­ment his agenda. As they say, “per­son­nel are pol­icy”: Trump must keep out of his Ad­min­is­tra­tion peo­ple whose only “con­tri­bu­tion” would be to try to steer him back to the fail­ures of the past.

Make the com­mon strug­gle against “rad­i­cal Is­lamic ter­ror­ism” a pri­or­ity: Trump has rightly faulted his erst­while op­po­nent and the lame duck sit­ting in the White House for their fail­ure to name the prin­ci­pal se­cu­rity threat to Amer­ica and the whole civ­i­lized world. To say the least, that threat is nei­ther Rus­sia nor China, who them­selves are bat­tling ji­hadism at home. It is ur­gent to set­tle the dan­ger­ous flash­point in Syria. Aid to so-called “mod­er­ate” ter­ror­ists from west­ern and re­gional pa­trons like Saudi Ara­bia must end, im­me­di­ately. Co­or­di­na­tion among the U.S., Rus­sia, and China, and with Syr­ian and Iraqi forces, must aim to de­stroy all ji­hadist groups, not just the Is­lamic State. NATO should reach out to Shang­hai Se­cu­rity Or­ga­ni­za­tion to co­or­di­nate a world­wide anti-ter­ror­ism strat­egy.

Defuse re­gional ten­sions where Amer­ica’s vi­tal

in­ter­ests are not at stake: De­spite sug­ges­tions from the for­eign pol­icy es­tab­lish­ment, nei­ther China nor any­one else is threat­en­ing the sea lanes in the South China Sea. As Philip­pine Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte’s open­ing to Bei­jing shows, even Amer­ica’s clos­est re­gional part­ners do not want to be pushed into a mil­i­tary con­fronta­tion to suit the agenda of “in­dis­pens­ables” in Wash­ing­ton. Amer­i­can con­cerns about North Korea can only be solved with Bei­jing’s se­cu­rity re­spected. In Europe, NATO forces should stand back from Rus­sia’s bor­ders and ter­ri­to­rial wa­ters. NATO ex­pan­sion should be ended – start­ing with the U.S. Se­nate’s de­clin­ing to act on the ac­ces­sion of tiny and cor­rupt Mon­tene­gro – while a new se­cu­rity ar­chi­tec­ture in Europe takes shape. The Al­liance’s 2008 pledge to bring in Ge­or­gia and Ukraine should be with­drawn. We and our Euro­pean al­lies should find a way to co­op­er­ate with Rus­sia on pulling Ukraine out of its po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic cri­sis as a united, neu­tral state.

Rus­sia boasts the world’s great­est land­mass and nat­u­ral re­sources un­ri­valled by any other coun­try. She also has the only nu­clear arse­nal com­pa­ra­ble to Amer­ica’s. China is the most pop­u­lous coun­try in the world, with an econ­omy achiev­ing a par with ours and a bur­geon­ing mil­i­tary sec­tor. If Amer­i­can pol­icy had been de­signed to alien­ate both of th­ese gi­ants and drive them to co­op­er­ate against us, it could not have been more suc­cess­ful.

Per­haps co­in­ci­den­tally, soon af­ter we first pro­posed the idea of “Big Three” co­op­er­a­tion of Amer­ica, Rus­sia, and China, it was voiced by no less an Es­tab­lish­ment fig­ure than for­mer Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­viser Zbig­niew Brzezin­ski. That some­one who is cer­tainly no friend of Rus­sia or a known ad­mirer of China would take that po­si­tion shows that there is some ob­jec­tive de­gree of logic to it.

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump can cor­rect the mis­takes of past U.S. pres­i­dents. Rather than ad­ver­saries Rus­sia and China can be­come Amer­ica’s es­sen­tial part­ners and are, we are con­vinced, ready to re­spond pos­i­tively. It’s time for Trump and Amer­ica to take the ini­tia­tive for U.S-Rus­sia-China co­op­er­a­tion to­wards a se­cure, pros­per­ous, and peace­ful fu­ture. A Trump-Putin-Xi “Big Three Sum­mit” should be a pri­or­ity for the new U.S. Pres­i­dent’s first 100 days.

“Un­for­tu­nately, af­ter the Cold War, our for­eign pol­icy veered badly off course. We failed to de­velop a new vi­sion for a new time. In fact, as time went on, our for­eign pol­icy be­gan to make less and less sense. Logic was re­placed with fool­ish­ness and ar­ro­gance, and this led to one for­eign pol­icy dis­as­ter af­ter an­other. We went from mis­takes in Iraq to Egypt to Libya, to Pres­i­dent Obama’s line in the sand in Syria. Each of th­ese ac­tions have helped to throw the re­gion into chaos, and gave ISIS the space it needs to grow and pros­per. It all be­gan with the dan­ger­ous idea that we could make West­ern democ­ra­cies out of coun­tries that had no ex­pe­ri­ence or in­ter­est in be­com­ing a West­ern Democ­racy. We tore up what in­sti­tu­tions they had and then were sur­prised at what we un­leashed. Civil war, re­li­gious fa­nati­cism; thou­sands of Amer­i­can lives, and many tril­lions of dol­lars, were lost as a re­sult. The vac­uum was cre­ated that ISIS would fill. Iran, too, would rush in and fill the void, much to their un­just en­rich­ment. Our for­eign pol­icy is a com­plete and to­tal dis­as­ter. No vi­sion, no pur­pose, no di­rec­tion, no strat­egy.” Pres­i­dent-Elect Don­ald J. Trump

Don­ald Trump

Vladimir Putin

Xi Jin­ping

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