19 - 25 июня 2017   № 5-6 (2194) Издается с 1990 г.
The theater of Hamburg
The g-20 meeting is now history. Most international conferences produce good meals, pleasant conversation and statements with meaningless words. Hamburg was different.

Hamburg became an indication of changes in the global order , which will produce differing results over time. These changes must be judged in terms of intended audiences and by the factors of results and processes established.

There were symbolic actions, relative to both Washington and the world, as well as Putin and Trump. Hamburg became the first open indication that the United States has become an outside force in the world., rather than world leader. Because of disagreement over the climate change and trade , America has become defined as an impediment to world needs of both globalization and climate survival.

In military, many sciences, finances, and momentary control of many international organizations, America remains the major power. It is in the soft power of assumption of political, economic and moral leadership, where Trump has damaged Washington's credibility.

Power is a fabric, which once lost, cannot easily be re-established. The meeting between presidents Putin and Trump produced wins for both presidents. Their audiences are shaped by domestic politics in each nation.

Putin was seen as an equal of both Trump and other leaders, after three years of western sanctions and exclusion from global decision-making. This was exactly his goal, which was to that Russia be included in world discussions. For Trump, the standard was lower. Trump had to prove that he could appear to criticize Russia, while at the time producing some demonstration that his words of closer relationship of Russia would create american benefits. Because of an overwhelming american belief that Russia interfered in the us elections, and continues to.

Seek hacking access into american infrastructure, Trump could not appear to provide anything slightly beneficial for Russia. Trump has placed himself into a box, which limits his actions. He is absolutely correct that better relationships are required between the United States and Russia. He is focused upon his own legitimacy as president. Any agreement that russian actions supported his victory immediately removes legitimacy from the victory in most american minds. They may not have liked either Clinton or Trump, but most americans have mentally accepted flexible standards. They are not bothered by americans seeking to influence events around the world, because this is seen a reflection of both US power, and for many the

Assumed american role bringing democracy and economic betterment to others. However, the thought that others might seek to influence event within the United States, produces angry reaction. This is producing a strategy of Trump seeking to work with Russia, and denying russian involvement, while many of his officials ,like United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley state clearly that russian hackers were involved.

Trump seeks the future ability to claim any position, regardless of the findings of the congressional special counsel, or the various investigations underway. Trump's audience was his 35-40 percent base of the electorate. Trump's administration is claiming Hamburg as a major victory for Trump. His claimed result was a potential ceasefire in Syria, which may provide a base for larger cooperation, or be criticized as aligning more with Moscow's goals. If the ceasefire is unsuccessful, any benefit will disappear.

Any relationship becomes a process which either strengthens or weakens over time. The syrian agreement might provide a future basis for further agreement, or be viewed as applying only to this region of Syria.

Possible moves toward peace in Syria will differ from region to region, depending upon the relative influence and strengths of Russia, the US, Assad and local forces. Success in one area, may strengthen relationships between the US and Russia, but will not guarantee positive results toward peace in Syria.

So results will be judged by what happened in Hamburg. The process of relationship for Russia and the US remains damaged and frail. Issues of Ukraine, Syria, Iran, North Korea, cyberwarfare and nuclear relationships require a level of trust which will be slow to re-establish.

But the theater of Hamburg damaged american leadership, assisted Putin's inclusion, and provided the beginning of channels for the future. The theater returns from a Hamburg base, to a worldwide stage. Hopefully, continuing acts of the performance will be beneficial.


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