The Conflictual Relationship Between Donald Trump And The US "Deep State" - Part 2

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

In just two weeks as president of the United States, Donald Trump has left traces of how he intends to tackle various international political situations. The previous article dealt with a series of possible sabotage efforts suffered by the Trump administration. In this second and concluding article, I intend to analyze the situations in Iran, Russia, Ukraine, and Syria as well as the stance towards NATO, the EU and China. The goal is to decipher how Trump has used admissions, silences and bluffs in order to advance his intentions and obviate the deep state’s sabotage efforts.

Deep-state sabotage is in full swing and is increasingly influencing the Trump administration. The latest example can be seen in the resignation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. He was forced to resign either for inappropriate contacts with the Russian ambassador in the US prior to his appointment, or for not telling the truth about his phone call to the Vice President and President.

As with the whole Trump presidency, it is very difficult to understand whether we are facing an act of sabotage from the deep state or whether this is yet another semi-improvised strategy to muffle the drums of war. We all know of Flynn’s closeness to his Russian counterparts, a rapprochement that cannot be placed in danger with the dismissal of the new National Security Adviser. Trump needs Russia more than Russia needs Washington; improving ties is something that Trump needs in order to avoid major conflicts and de-escalate the international situation. One could even imagine that Flynn was wisely removed given his harsh and trenchant positions on Iran that would send Washington on a terrible path of war with Tehran.

There are several international situations in which the intentions of the new administration are very difficult to understand and sometimes even provoke amazement. Let us first examine the administration’s attitude towards the Iran and Yemen. As noted a few weeks ago, very harsh words from the US administration were directed towards Tehran following a legitimate missile test, and especially with the defensive actions of the Houthis in Yemen. With Yemen and Iran not looking like diminishing their legitimate actions, the affair regarding Flynn could fall into a de-escalation strategy to contain excesses in Islamophobia expressed by the former National Security Advisor.

Trump has always preferred to counter deep-state sabotage attempts with substantial bluffing, as seen with the strong rhetoric used against Tehran regarding its recent actions, exactly as in Yemen for the actions of Ansarullah defense forces. The Trump strategy seems to want to please the factions closest to the neoconservative wing, the Israeli and Saudi lobbies. Targeting Yemen and Iran with words has at least temporarily quietened the drums of war of an important part of the establishment in Washington. Trump has to carry out a careful balancing act involving his words and actions in order not to not draw too harsh a response from the Washington establishment.

Flynn's dismissal could also be seen as an easy attempt to sabotage and prevent a rapprochement with Russia; indeed this is likely to be so.

But meanwhile, we can consider one positive aspect: Flynn has always been highly Islamophobic, tending to find it difficult to distinguish between Wahhabi terrorist goons and legitimate Islamic fighters like the Houthis or Hezbollah. Flynn has usually maintained pro-Saudi positions and even pro-Qatar Muslim Brotherhood positions. It may even be that Trump has torpedoed his own personally chosen pick dampening the excessive saber-rattling against the Islamic Republic of Iran that was possibly laying the groundwork for an escalation that Trump had to reign in. This is pure speculation, but everything is possible with this unpredictable presidency.

Much talk, little action

Trump still gives the strong impression that he intends to avoid any further conflict. Bluffing on Iran and Yemen seems to be the ideal choice for the Trump administration: harsh tones and words to placate the most hawkish factions without actually taking any action appears to be the new normal. The first strategy of Trump's foreign policy therefore seems to be to employ a tactic of inaction. Not acting could well represent a new turning point in American foreign policy, avoiding further involvement in the Middle East and in the Persian Gulf. This would represent the first confirmation of Trump’s intention not to squander American resources by going to war and betraying his election promises, thereby further impoverishing the United States. Observing the very intense words on Iran, let us try and analyze the intentions of the Trump administration. Certainly having people like General Mattis within the administration is a big test for how Trump will manage to contain the most anti-Iranian wing of his inner council. Could Flynn's departure be the first step of this internal cleansing, a warning signal to other pro-war figures? Or maybe it is none of the above and in actual fact the first successful sabotage from the deep state.

Silence as a strategy of inaction

Another important approach in Trump’s presidency is a frequent silence or lack of comment on international events. Two most recent cases concern Syria and China. With regard to the «One China» policy, Trump confirmed assumptions made in the past, namely that his intentions are anything but malicious. The tone was initially hard, only to be replaced by a long silence, and then finally words one would not expect, averting an international crisis on this front. It is a modus operandi that should be taken as an example for understanding the psychology of Trump. At first he was critical in a decisive way, calling into question China and Taiwan, then he no longer mentioned the topic, and finally he gave his blessing to the «One China» policy, initiating a likely mutually fruitful cooperation.

Another important part of Trump’s policy of silence involves Syria. Since becoming president, Trump has rendered events in Syria irrelevant, making the issue disappear from the media radar. Thanks to Trump’s guerrilla tactics, lobbing smoke grenades hither and tither and signing two executive orders a day, the media simply does not have the time and perseverance to keep up with everything. One of the sacrificial victims has been the reality in Syria; but a lack of attention from the mainstream media is currently the best hope that we can desire for the Syrian people. Trump’s attitude seems to be deliberately cautious and silent about developments in that nation. The situation in Syria is firmly in Russian hands, and what seems to be occurring is an indirect coordination between Washington and Moscow against Daesh in the country. The silence from Trump certainly irritated the most radical and extreme wing of the deep state, but any attempt to sabotage this progress in Syria now seems to be wrecked thanks to the inaction of the Trump administration and the actions of Moscow. The final coup de grace would be to openly cooperate or act in joint US-Russia actions to defeat terrorism in the region.

Admissions to confirm the election promises

Finally, Trump has never hidden and indeed has often touted his vision of the approach that should be taken with the Russian Federation. A rapprochement with Putin to combat terrorism is one of the pivotal points around which the Trump presidency rotates. During the election campaign he has never hidden his positive intentions, even though this increased the criticism directed towards him. This part of his tactic is based on the admission from the beginning of his campaign of his intention to reach a deal with Moscow. The first confirmation of this intention can be seen in Syria, with Washington apparently ceasing the flow of money and weapons to the so-called moderate rebels, pleasing Moscow and looking for a de-escalation of the conflict. Another important aspect regarding Trump’s statements in terms of foreign policy concerns the role of NATO and his European allies.

During the election campaign he repeatedly attacked the role of NATO, but then was forced to reach an agreement given the importance of the international framework guaranteed by NATO in Europe. This provided a very clear indicator of how Trump’s strategy works out if he has to defer to other considerations. He changed his initial positions by placing a strong emphasis on the need for US allies to pay their share of military spending, namely 2% of GDP. Currently all NATO countries, excluding the United States and Greece, fall below this commitment. Sharp focus is brought on the EU members on the cost of keeping NATO alive, forcing them to come to terms with the harsh economic reality that this implies. In the long term this could lead to a strong treaty revision of NATO. EU countries are increasingly facing difficulty in increasing defense spending, especially when considering existing austerity measures as well as the lack of importance placed on NATO by the European public, with the exception of the EU elite.

This tactic will further weaken the integrity of the European Union. In a sense, the Trump strategy in this case is crystal clear and will probably achieve its objectives.

This situation will provide the perfect opportunity for the European populist and nationalist parties to further attack the foundations of the European Union and its security framework guaranteed by NATO. If Trump wanted to undermine the EU's foundations, pointing to the futility of NATO and at the same demonstrating to his base that he will act on his election promises, then this strategy seems perfectly calibrated.

Ultimately, we can already say that the relations between Trump and the deep state are essentially based on sabotage efforts against Trump, and the asymmetrical responses of his administration, ranging from bluffing, to silences, and admissions.

To correctly assess Trump’s foreign policy, one should divide into three categories the vicissitudes of the United States. In a first column we can include words and rhetoric; in the second, inaction; and in the third, actions taken.

While it is clear and obvious that the first column includes Iran, Yemen and the EU/NATO, it is worthwhile noting that the second column certainly includes inaction like shown towards China, Syria, and the events in Ukraine. The third column, for the moment, essentially concerns the first steps towards Russia and the rapprochement with Moscow. In this sense, it is worth remembering that the resignation of Flynn may just be a deep-state move to sabotage Trump before he takes decisive action to settle a deal with Russia. The tactic of not acting, or of inaction, is difficult to sabotage, as the deep state came to realize when Obama decided not to act in Syria in 2013. Criticizing actions taken is much more effective and easy for the media, as seen with the attacks on Trump’s team for ties with Putin that are deemed too close. In this sense, the hypothesis that Flynn has been sacrificed should not be discarded in this context as a way of promoting a rapprochement with Russia, eliminating one of the most contentious issues between the administration and the deep state.

On this aspect we will need to await the developments between Moscow and Washington, and how this will possibly change the rhetoric against countries such as Yemen and Iran, two countries long criticized by Flynn and his colleagues.


The only possible conclusion relates to the previous point, namely the clear division between words, actions, or inaction. At the moment, the Trump team’s strategy seems to use these three options to further advance their own interests and strategic objectives. Given the uncertainty surrounding the intentions of Trump’s administration, the only sensible attitude seems to wait and see whether the aggressive rhetoric remain just that. Another consideration relates to actions taken by the administration to approach and mend troubled relations with the Russian Federation. Finally is the inaction in foreign policy that amounts to a precise tactic. If words remain words and inaction will continue to remain a key part of the current presidency, perhaps for the first time in decades we will see in practice a positive change in direction from the new US administration.

In all this it remains to be seen whether Trump will really change the direction set by liberal hegemony with its global ambitions for a more realistic one as repeatedly suggested by the school of political realism represented by Mearsheimer. Only time, and actions, will tell.

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Nemontel's picture

Most of the elite despises Trump. It's expected that many in the deep state are opposed to him as well.

Saucy-Jack's picture

Trump is playing the deep state like a fiddle...

Dancing Disraeli's picture

Wish we still had Bill and Hillary.  THEY knew how to treat each other.

doctor10's picture

The CIA originated from the OSS during and after WW II. The organization was originally run by descendants of the founding fathers of the USA. Their families benefitted from the reconstruction of Europe and Japan etc. Over time they morphed into corporations during the 60-70's and in the 80's and 90's those American Corporations were gradually sold to mutli-national corporations-with their valuations being contigent upon their "unique" relations with the "deep state spook system" and US military

The multinats have all hi-jacked this to their globalist ends leaving the American people and their interests and concerns at the mercy of the tools and systems we used to dominate the close of the 20th century. Their intent is to dominate the world on the basis of those assets.

They aren't interested in anything to do with "America First" which by force will put some of them last and degrade their access to the levers of power in the world they have assumed for 20 years

We Are The Priests's picture

Ajax, you piece of shit mutherfucker!  Fucking with us is one thing, but you fuck with our families and we go nuclear.  You can spoof and proxy all you want, but we have your location and are closing in.  This is your only warning.  Just remember, you feel the sting, but never hear the bang.

Money Boo Boo's picture

so your cover is posing as a WalFart Greeter? clap.

American Snipper's picture

legitimate Iranian missile test, are you fucking serious? Who the fuck is this guy???

Money Boo Boo's picture

Sovereign nations have a right to test their ballistic missiles or is this just only for Americans?

City_Of_Champyinz's picture

is conflictual a real word??? ZH spellchecker says negative ghostrider....

RightLineBacker's picture

Think so.

I heard that it is the title of a porno DVD.

What more proof do you need?

Check it our.

qomolangma's picture

I just did you a service:

conflictual (adjective)

The definition of conflictual is something characterized by disagreement.

When two people disagree on everything, this is an example of a conflictual relationship.


stant's picture

While deep state desperately endevours to get its " Fuking pony" it's going lose the whole ranch

Fascal rascal's picture
Fascal rascal (not verified) Feb 22, 2017 11:33 PM

Heavy stuff.

Trump should keep it simple.

Always keep em guessing.

RightLineBacker's picture

I was looking forward to this Part 2 because I found Part 1 to be very interesting.

Unfortunately Part 2 was disappointingly short on substance and depth.

To bad, so sad.

Count Chancellor Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk's picture

Trump is reduced to a blustering buffoon floating lofty as a hot air baloon and then doing nothing just like a goodyear blimp in the sky. Sad. Very Sad. Mucho Sado-Machismo.

JSBach1's picture

Trump needs to get his own house in order first. Having said that, we will see if he keeps the Blue State's footprint relatively small and constrained -- as it relates to foreign "interventions". After all, that was his stance on the campaign-trail. Now comes the manifestation of those assertions...

deth's picture

Interesting observations, coup vs counter coup, spy vs spy.

? The Last American Statesman ?

Don’t need rose-colored glasses
With a brand new wide-screen TV
Coup d'etat now in syndication
Coup de grâce for a pole marquee
Congressional shadows, marionette
Executives out of control
Silverware stolen, now its war eternal
And a gallon of gas for your soul

Liars, lawyers, psychos and thieves
Zombies just dance to the spin
Crowd is chanting, ‘Barabas, Barabas’
Oh, not that again
No hard feelings, jump if you can
From the Undead Railroad Line
Every moment gets more expensive
As you’re running out of time

Twilight approaches the empire’s edge
Darkness and liberty lost
Quick, say a prayer, light up a candle
Bow to the Rubicon crossed
Parchment empowered, the many make one
Echoes that Latin refrain
Pray for the last American statesman
And all on board this hell-bound train
Pray for the last American statesman
Pray for this hell-bound train

dogismycopilot's picture

“In my opinion, what we see is an unholy alliance between the secular globalist left and the religious globalist Islamists,” Hohmann told Jones. “On the face of it, they would seem to have little in common, because you think of the secular left as being feminist and pro-woman and pro-gay rights and all that, whereas Islamists tend to not be too fond of those things. But if you look a little deeper, they really do have a lot in common.”

For one thing, Hohmann noted, Islamists and the secular left share a common enemy: Christianity and Judeo-Christian values. They both disdain national borders: Islamists want to establish a global caliphate while the secular globalist left desires a single unified super-state. Islamists believe in a cradle-to-grave nanny state, a principle that Shariah law shares in common with secular socialists. And they both advocate violent revolution.

“On the Islamist side, you have jihad and violent revolution, and the socialists, as we’ve seen, are now getting more and more violent and are all for revolution – revolutionary overthrow of the American system,” Hohmann said.

“They both also have a common disdain for free speech. They are completely intolerant of free speech. We saw that on the campus of Berkeley [earlier this month], and we see it all the time of course in Muslim countries, where you cannot speak out against Islam or Muhammad or anything that Islam says is sacred. It’s a crime; you can lose your head.”

So the two groups have more in common than people think, Hohmann concluded, and he expects them to work out their differences after they both gain sufficient power at the global level.


Dancing Disraeli's picture

They'll both be dead before they ever get a chance to divvy up the pie.

Sir John Bagot Glubb's picture

I don't think this guy has any fucking idea what he is talking about.  This article is complete nonsense.  It's like saying on the one hand Trump may go play tennis in the White House backyard with Whoopie Goldberg after his 10 am meeting with the Girl Scouts but then on the other, he really wants to go play golf and that will draw more White House reporters to Mar-a-Lago thinking he's going thete to give a big press conference and announce something really important about his transgender bathrooms executive order but if he flies to Florida on a Trump plane instead of Air Force One, he really just wanted to play badminton after lunch in Cincinnati.

What mindboggling bullshit.  If this nonsense is what the fucking CIA does all day, we need to drone it.  No person with any real life experience thinks like this.

Cabreado's picture

Well, that was helpful.

moorewasthebestbond's picture

Give Trump a few more weeks to get his cabinet settled, and then the DOMESTIC PROSECUTIONS and FOREIGN POLICY SMACKDOWNS can commence in earnest!

RevIdahoSpud3's picture

I kinda started to read part 1 of this convuluted mess when I realized it was shades of the first, second, third and fourth turnings (turned out to be the stomach). Federico can go suck himself.

gunzeon's picture

Wasn't there a lot or pressure on Trump to get rid of Flynn ? ... since way back ?

Not my opinion of course, in any way shape or form, but wasn't it widely believed that he was not the "right stuff" ?


jmcoombs's picture

Only lying, scheming, power hungry politicians think like this article portrays. Business people like Trump don't think like this knucklehead. They don't have time. A waste of energy. Trump isn't going to lie about important things anyway just to create intrigue. He doesn't have to. He wants results. Intrigue doesn't create results. Intrigue just creates distrust and more intrigue.

One World Mafia's picture

Given it was Flynn who ratted out al-CIA-duh, his harsh Iran talk was probably bluster.

Jack Napier's picture

Keystone Pipeline anyone? The elite love Trump. I think all the smart people have left the building already. This article could have been as short as this post.

Razor Burn'd Capitalist's picture

"The only possible conclusion relates to the previous point, namely the clear division between words, actions, or inaction. At the moment, the Trump team’s strategy seems to use these three options to further advance their own interests and strategic objectives."


Good Summary.


Bannon is a smart Jesuit.

Time will tell soon how Catholic the Pope really is in resonance. 

caesium's picture

Bannon is a lapsed Catholic and doesn't understand the Jesuit pope.

Bizarrely, the deep state attempted to influence the 2005 papal election thru their agent John Allen of CNN and failed to get the South American papacy they wanted. Credible leaks suggest he finished second back then.

Now they have what they want and Bannon wants him gone. Make America great again by changing the pope?

caesium's picture

Of all the European countries I've lived in, I found the Italian intelligentsia the most impressive. What they don't get though is the ethnic and religious complexity of the Anglo Saxon World.

For example, Americans endeavour to hide these complexities thru the "City on a hill" project. It's very to explain the project and what lurks beneath it to the uninitiated.

pga's picture

One of the deep state representatives has some problems so it seems:

The John McCain Russian saga keeps getting more bizarre. Sen. John McCain as a presidential candidate in 2008 directly and illegally propositioned Vitaly Churkin, the Russian ambassador to the United Nations, to donate to the McCain/Sarah Palin GOP ticket, according to documents released by Wikileaks.

DuneCreature's picture

The Deep State Enforcer Arm

Highly recommended ** Dune Certified ** - Non Fake Newz -

~~~~~~ { A Recovering CIA Officer Not An Agent Of Chaos } ~~~~~~

On CTM - 2/21/2017 Interview with Kevin Shipp and John B Wells =


Control what the people see and hear and you have the sleeple right where you want them.

Live Hard, When Even The News Is A National Security Secret Who Knows What The Fuck Is Going On At Dot Gov, Die Free

~ DC v5.0

Hannibal's picture
McCain secretly travels to Syria to meet with troops, leaders, rebel opposition
dexter_morgan's picture

Trump needs to deal harshly with this fuckwad pole smoker. Sooner rather than later.

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

"After analyzing the situations in Iran, Russia, Ukraine, and Syria as well as the stance towards NATO, the EU and China, we can begin to decipher how Trump has used admissions, silences and bluffs in order to advance his intentions and obviate the deep state’s sabotage efforts."

You mean like that failed Yemen operation that was declared a success that killed more than 40 women and children and a U.S. Navy servicemen (who had no business there in the first place) by his "hand-picked" Sec Def who was tacitly "rubber-stamped" by both sides of the aisle?

One could argue that Trump told Obama to "fuck himself" when he heard the plans drawn up by the "Depp State" after his first meeting with him post-election. But it doesn't matter.

He should have told the American people we're NOT in Yemen.. NOR Iraq... Nor Syria... Nor Ukraine...!


falak pema's picture

Nero does not like the Praetorian guard of Claudius now that he wears the purple?

"You're fired ... I can do anything even make my driver into putter!"--- So simple really and truly.

"I'll run the Praetorians from Mar a Lago and Bannon will add the smelly onions to my Trump soup. You'll awl enjoy it as nobody makes a Trump brand like me the God-Emperor of golden peak, who sells his unique skills on Twitter.

"Its gonna sell on Amazon I'll guarantee you that! Bezos may be Wapo but Bezos likes my soup as its gonna be a gravy train to big bucks that no Oligarch can resist.

"So get off my back while I whack Mutti into eating my soup. The moar you buy Trump brand the moar the world gets hung like a hungry pussy pole danced into nirvana land. Not bad as poetry :  Trump the brand that never stops giving to the hungry pussies of white tribe's immaculate Melaniamism. 

"I can play the lyre too like that guy Nero, singing "My Way" to make America great small land."

What does the FED cauldron, the mother of golden petrodollar fiat, think about God-Emperor's new populist song?

Is it 'up dollar' or down to 'foggy bottom dollar'? 

Some conundrum that the Squid can't get its men to truly focus on !

How do we save the Two mandates of FED; along with the UNSAID third mandate; the mother of all Pax Americana lies?