Chief adviser for Colin Powell gives interview to Azeri.Today
Trump's administration under the influence of Congress undertook a new aggravation of relations with Russia, the new package of sanctions further brought the relations of the two nuclear powers closer to the brink of the abyss. New US sanctions against Russia have worked against the Americans themselves, provoking a wave of outrage in European countries, which is not surprising, as these sanctions affect their economic interests. The only country with which the US does not launch open confrontation, but consider it a serious competitor in the economic sphere, and possibly in the military, is China, which the Americans openly admit.
A few days ago, on the eve of his resignation, US Chief Strategic Adviser Stephen Bannon said that his country was waging a trade war with China. Moreover, he clearly hinted that if Washington does not oust Beijing, China will be the hegemon in the next 25-30 years. Bill Smallen, director of research in the field of national security in the Maxwell School on Citizenship and Public Relations, ex-chief of staff of the US State Department, the former chief adviser to the US Secretary of State answered to Azeri.Today’s questions about what is behind Bannon's statement about the trade war with China, what exactly the US interests in the South Caucasus region are, how much the US is interested in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and why UN resolutions do not work on Armenia.
- Mr. Smullen, first of all, I want to thank you for agreeing to give an interview to our website. I would like to talk on global topics. How do you assess the foreign policy of the new US administration?
- The Trump Administration’s foreign policy is overwhelmingly laden with challenges in an increasingly dangerous world. They include: terrorism, North Korea, Russia, China, Syria and Iran to mention a few. The President is torn between nationalism and globalism which tends to lead to strategic incoherence on the part of his Administration.
- Chief Strategic Advisor to US President Stephen Bannon said that his country is in an economic war with China. What is behind the statement of the chief strategist of the White House about the trade war with China?
- The U.S. is not waging nor should we wage an economic war with China. To do so would lead to differences and disagreements between our two countries which would not be helpful. Mr. Bannon would be wise to understand his making rhetorical contributions to the notion of a trade war with China is not diplomatically useful. Instead he and we need to think of what we are experiencing with China as simply economic competition.
- Can this trade war be exacerbated? And how will a full-scale trade war affect the economies of the post-Soviet countries? What new risks and opportunities will appear for the former USSR countries?
- Trade wars can spin out of control on many different fronts. The U.S. needs to seek economic partnerships with as many countries as possible to include countries that were part of the former Soviet Union. As the world grows smaller globally, the need to seek new economic opportunities grows larger.
- What are the specific interests of the US in the South Caucasus region? What trends are observed in the US foreign policy course in the South Caucasus region?
- The United States has important if not vital national interests in the South Caucasus. They include regional stability, preventing the resumption of conflicts, and supporting strong governance in Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia. The U.S. cannot retreat from its steady involvement in the South Caucasus over the past quarter century. We must stay engaged by prioritizing conflict prevention, economic development and the rule of law.
- As you know, Armenia occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijani lands - Nagorno-Karabakh and 7 adjacent areas. What do you know about this conflict and how much is the US interested in settling the Karabakh conflict today?
- The history of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan is well documented. U.S. diplomacy to prevent the resumption of this so-called frozen conflict between the two countries is essential. Renewed hostilities would endanger the lives of many civilians, put at risk important infrastructure and possibly cause serious environmental damage. U.S. policy toward the relationship between the two countries should be based on sustainable involvement that is evolutionary rather than revolutionary.
- And the last question. The UN Security Council adopted 4 resolutions on the Karabakh issue in relation to Armenia. However, the Armenian side did not comply with these resolutions and did not release Azerbaijani territories. As you know, according to the UN resolutions, Israel returned the Sinai peninsula to Egypt. So why does the UN resolution not work in case of Armenia? Who should Azerbaijan blame for this issue?
- I cannot speak for the United Nations or its seeming unwillingness to enforce its own resolutions that apply to Armenia. I would encourage Azerbaijan to make the case before the UN that as an oversight body it has an obligation to enforce Armenia’s compliance with these four resolutions.