The Geostrategy That Guides Trump's Foreign Policies

Authored by Eric Zuesse via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

According to Alastair Crooke, writing at Strategic Culture, on June 5th

"Trump’s US aims for ‘domination’, not through the globalists’ permanent infrastructure of the US defence umbrella, but through the smart leveraging of the US dollar and financial clearing monopoly, by ring-fencing, and holding tight, US technology, and by dominating the energy market, which in turn represents the on/off valve to economic growth for US rivals. In this way, Trump can 'bring the troops home', and yet America keeps its hegemony [America’s control of the world, global empire]. Military conflict becomes a last resort.

He bases that crucially upon a landmark 6 November 2017 article by Chris Cook, at Seeking Alpha, which laid out, and to a significant extent documented, a formidable and complex geostrategy driving U.S. President Donald Trump’s foreign policies. Cook headlined there "Energy Dominance And America First”, and noted that,

“Towards the tail end of the Clinton administration and the Dot Com boom in 2000, [Trump’s U.S. Treasury Secretary until April 2018] Gary Cohn of Goldman Sachs had dinner with his counterpart at Morgan Stanley, John Shapiro. From this dinner was hatched an audacious plan to take control of the global oil market through a new electronic global market platform."

This “global market platform," which had been started months earlier in 2000 by Jeffrey Sprecher, is “ICE,” or InterContinental Exchange, and it uses financial derivatives in order to provide to Wall Street banks control over the future direction of commodites prices (so that the insiders can game the markets), by means of the financial-futures markets, locking in future purchase-and-sale agreements. It also entails Wall Street’s buying enormous commodities-storage warehouses and stashing them with such commodities -- such as, in that case, aluminum), and so it influences also the real estate markets, and doesn’t only manipulate the commodities markets. Those vast storehouses (and the operation of the U.S. Government’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve, to carry out a similar price-manipulation function in the oil business) are crucial in order for the entire scheme to be able to function, because without control over the storehousing of physical commodities, such futures-price manipulations aren't possible. Consequently, ICE couldn’t get off the ground without major Wall Street partners, which are willing to do that. Cohn and Shapiro (Goldman, and Morgan Stanley) backed Sprecher’s operation; and Wikipedia states that,

"Wall Street bankers, particularly Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, backed him and he launched ICE in 2000 (giving 80 percent control to the two banks who, in turn, spread out the control among Shell, Total, and British Petroleum)."

This is today’s financial world - a world in which billionaires control the future directions of commodities-prices, and thus manipulate markets, and even determine the economic fates of nations. It’s not the myth of capitalism; it is the reality of capitalism. It functions by means of corruption, as it always has, but the corrupt methods constantly evolve.

However, Trump’s geostrategy goes beyond merely this, especially by bringing into the entire operation the world’s wealthiest person, the trillionaire King Saud, who, as the sole owner of the Saudi Government, which in turns owns the world’s largest corporation Aramco, which in turn dominates the oil market and which is also #6 in the natural-gas market (far behind the three giants, which King Saud is trying to destroy — Russia, Iran, and Qatar — so that the Sauds will become able to dominate even there). Trump’s geostrategy ties King Saud even more tightly than before, into America's aristocracy. 

King Saud, as Cook noted, is trying to disinvest in petroleum and reposition increasingly into natural gas, because outside the United States and around the world, people are seriously concerned to minimize global warming so as to postpone global burnout from uncontrollably soaring atmospheric carbon. Petroleum has an even worse carbon footprint than does natural gas; and therefore natural gas is the world’s “transition fuel” to a ‘survivable’ future, while solar and other alternatives take hold (even if too late). Despite all of the carbon-fuels industries’ propaganda, people outside the United States are determined to delay global burnout, and the insiders know this. King Saud knows that his petroleum-laden portfolio will have to diversify fast, because the long-term future for petroleum-prices is decline. And he won’t be able to control prices at all in the natural-gas business unless he’s got America’s aristocracy on his side, in the effort to keep those prices up (at least while the Sauds will be increasing their profits from natural gas). Unlike his dominance over OPEC, Saudi Arabia has no such position to control natural gas-prices. He thus needs Wall Street’s cooperation.

Cook said:

"The second objective was a switch from oil to natural gas, and when the U.S. [military] was obliged to leave Saudi Arabia, they [the U.S.] thereupon established their biggest regional base in Qatar, who co-own with Iran the greatest single natural gas reserve on the planet – South Pars.

Energy Dominance

In the four months since President Trump's announcement, the market strategy developed by Gary Cohn is now being implemented and its elements are emerging into view.

Firstly, there has been a massive inflow of Managed Money into the oil market, particularly the Brent contract, which has seen the Brent oil price increase by 35% since the starting point, which I believe can be dated to the August Brent/BFOE Crude Oil option expiry on June 27th 2017. …

The dominant market narrative is that the backwardation in Brent is evidence of surging global oil demand which has emptied inventories and is leading the price to new sunlit uplands. However, I see the market rather differently.

Firstly, whether the Brent spot month is supported by financial, rather than physical demand, the result will still be a backwardation, and because few oil producers expect a price over $60 to be sustainable they therefore hedge and depress the forward price. In support of this view, I am far from the only market observer who believes that Aramco, and Rosneft would not be selling equity if either Saudi Arabia or Russia believed the oil price trajectory will be positive even in the medium term. …

This still leaves open the $64 billion question of which market participant is motivated and able to support the ICE Brent term structure for years into the future by swapping dollar risk (T-Bills) for long term oil risk (oil reserves leased via prepay purchase/resale contracts).

My conclusion by a process of elimination is that this Big Long can only be Saudi Arabia and regional allies, with Saudi Arabia now under the management of the thrusting young Mohammad bin Salman."

However, I do not agree with Alastair Crooke’s “In this way, Trump can ‘bring the troops home', and yet America keeps its hegemony [America’s control of the world, global empire]. Military conflict becomes a last resort.” I explained at Strategic Culture on March 25th “How the Military Controls America” and noted there that “on 21 May 2017, US President Donald Trump sold to the Saud family, who own Saudi Arabia, an all-time-record $350 billion of US arms-makers’ products.” This means that not only Wall Street — the main institutional agency for America’s aristocracy — and not only American Big Oil likewise, are committed to the royal Saud family, but U.S. corporations such as Lockheed Martin also are. Vast profits are to be made, by insiders, in invasions and occupations, just as in gas and oil, and in brokerage. 

Although Trump routinely talks about withdrawing U.S. troops, he does the exact opposite. And even if this trend reverses and America’s troop-numbers head down, while the U.S. economy becomes increasingly dependent upon Big Oil and Big Minerals and Big Money and Big Military, America’s military budget is, under Trump, the only portion of the entire U.S. federal Government that’s increasing; so, “Military conflict becomes a last resort” does not seem likely, in such a context. Rather, the reverse would seem to be the far likelier case.

War against King Saud’s chosen enemies (Iran, Qatar, Syria) and possibly even against the U.S. aristocracy’s chosen enemy, Russia (and against Russia’s allies: China, Iran, and Syria) — seems more likely, not less likely, with Trump’s geostrategy.

In fact, on 29 June 2017, when President Trump first announced his “Unleashing American Energy Event,” the President spoke his usual platitudes about the supposed necessity to increase coal-production, and what he said was telecast and publicized; but his U.S. Energy Secretary, the barely literate former Governor of Texas, Rick Perry, also delivered a speech, which was never telecast nor published, except that a few days later, on July 3rd, an excerpt from it was somehow published on the website of Liquified Natural Gas Global, and it was this:

“I want to address what Mr. Cohn was talking about from a standpoint of how important American energy is as an option, not as the only option, but as an option to our allies and to count[r]ies around the world. 

At the G7 it was really kind of interesting. The first thing they beat on the table talking about the Paris accord, you can’t get out of it, and I was kind of like OK. Then we would go into our bilats and they’d go, how about some of that LNG you’ve got? How do we buy your LNG, how do we buy your coal? And it was really interesting, it was a political issue for them. This whole Paris thing is a public relation[s], political issue for them. We made the right decision, the President made the right decision on this. I think it was one of the most powerful messages that early on in this administration that was sent. 

We are in a position to be able to clearly create a hell of a lot more friends by being able to deliver to them energy and not being held hostage by some countries, Russia in particular. Whether it is Poland, Ukraine, the entirety of the EU. Totally get it, if we can lay in American LNG, if we can be able to have an alternative to Russian anthracite coal that they control in the Ukraine. That singularly will have more to do with keeping our allies free and building their confidence in us than practically anything else that I have seen out there. It is a positive message around the world right now.”

If that was more the reality of Trump’s “Unleashing American Energy” policy than just the pro-global-burnout cheerleading of Trump’s mere words, then it seems to be — in the policy’s actual intent and implementation — more like “send more troops in” than “bring the troops home,” to and from anywhere. It is more like energy policy in support of the military policy, than military policy in support of the energy policy.

This sounds even better for the stockholders of Lockheed Martin and other weapons-firms than for the stockholders of ExxonMobil and other extractive firms. On 6 March 2018, Xinhua News Agency reported that, “U.S. President Donald Trump's chief economic adviser Gary Cohn has summoned executives from U.S. companies that depend on aluminum and steel to meet with Trump this Thursday, in a bid to persuade the president to drop his tariff plan, media reported Tuesday.”

After all: Goldman has warehouses full of aluminum, and has the futures-contracts which already commit the Wall Street firm to particular manipulations in the aluminum (and other) markets. Controlling the Government so that it does only what you want it to do, and only when you want the Government to do it, is difficult. In any aristocracy, some members need to make compromises with other members, no matter how united they all are against the publics’ interests. This is the way it’s done - by compromises with each other.


cheoll wadalt Sun, 06/10/2018 - 23:40 Permalink

"In any aristocracy, some members need to make compromises with other members, no matter how united they all are against the publics’ interests. This is the way it’s done..."

Yeah, but (((some aristocrats))) are apparently more important than others.

In reply to by wadalt

ravolla cheoll Sun, 06/10/2018 - 23:46 Permalink

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THIS is an important week here in the SPAMMER's BUNKHOUSE.  You see, there are dozens of "personalities" living in this one single sad SPAMMER's sick little mind, which he calls "Spammer's Bunkhouse."  How sick is that?

This week I (we?) are celebrating SEVEN YEARS here on ZH, obsessively SPAMMING every thread we can with off-topic comments.

SAD BUT TRUE!!  I (we?) have wasted my (our) youth (or at least the last seven years) with at least one hand in my pants and the other hand SPAMMING ZH.  Yes, indeed.  DOZENS and DOZENS (maybe hundreds) of log-on's banned -- 
>>  Biblicism: that's me.
>>  All the porn at Celebrity-leaks: that's me
>>  "I made $7500 last week on the Internet sucking cock!": that's me. 
>>  Daily Westerner: that's me.

>>  "In the news....SPAMMER broomsticked by furious readers" -- registered in Nigeria) :: that's me TOO!! 

That's our life (all of us living in Master Spammer's Mind): mopping the floor at the Porn Cinema at 2am, working the drive-thru window at SONIC, sucking cock on the Internet, and spamming ZH with an enormous Excel spreadsheet of the log-on's of dozens of "digital friends" who upvote one another and virtually suck my little micro penis..

MEET my current imaginary friends.  We all live in one SPAMMER's HEAD but as for me, I have gone off the reservation.  These other "personalities" are pretty troubled.

  <<<  NEWBIE
Cheoll   <<<  NEWBIE

Mr Hankey    <<<  total utter WHACK JOB
gzcekkyret     <<<  NEWBIE

You know SPAMMERS never die on ZH -- here's just a sampling of the banned log-on's ("The Fallen Spammers") ---

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In reply to by cheoll

gregga777 Tallest Skil Mon, 06/11/2018 - 01:42 Permalink

The United States pushed the partition of Palestine through the United Nations in 1947 precisely to destabilize the Middle East. Israel wouldn't exist if not for 'covert' US exports of surplus US military equipment, former US military pilots and imports of fighter aircraft from countries like Czechoslovakia and $ hundreds of billions in subsequent US financial support and military equipment. Israel exists because it serves US interests in destabilizing the Middle East. 

In reply to by Tallest Skil

silver140 Tallest Skil Mon, 06/11/2018 - 02:05 Permalink

This one track fixation on Israel is very shallow. It's a facade for the real entities that are destroying the planet.

"In any aristocracy, some members need to make compromises with other members, no matter how united they all are against the publics’ interests."

This is not aristocracy, it is a pandemic swarm of parasitoid corporate fascists. They control Israel, SA, the US the EU, Asia and are working on Africa and South America. They are not human any more. They are psychopaths controlled by a parasitoid ideology that recognizes nothing of value in life.

A parasitoid is an organism that lives in close association with its host and at the host's expense, and which sooner or later kills it.


In reply to by Tallest Skil

Juggernaut x2 Sun, 06/10/2018 - 23:19 Permalink

Over $1T/year in debt for the foreseeable future is not a sign of dominance of anyone or anything. In what sane world does a country choose to not issue its own currency but instead becomes indebted to a cabal of private banks?

Offthebeach Juggernaut x2 Mon, 06/11/2018 - 07:22 Permalink

Loans, and hence debts, are votes of confidence.   Put aside debts, and borrowers.   Loans are made by money men.  Not idiots.  They can place their money anywhere.  The US can raise taxes, at will, and compared to elderly, dying Europe, the US has plenty of room to tax more.  However, it also can in big chunks absorb, or borrow, and with reasonable ability to pay back for the far future.( After that all living loaners will be dead ).  

Here at ZH are a lot of gold bugs and anti-government bank types.  So Squid and Whale litterally bank/stack metals.  

Every market participant,  and even non participant. ....manipulates the market.  


In reply to by Juggernaut x2

LetThemEatRand Sun, 06/10/2018 - 23:20 Permalink

"while the U.S. economy becomes increasingly dependent upon Big Oil and Big Minerals and Big Money and Big Military, America’s military budget is, under Trump, the only portion of the entire U.S. federal Government that’s increasing"

Neo-feudalism.  Same plan as the last guy, and the guy before that, and so on.  Different marketing.

youshallnotkill Sun, 06/10/2018 - 23:24 Permalink

Trillionaire King Saud will eventually be disposed of when Islamic radicalism comes home to roost. It is just a matter of time.

In the meantime Trump will have alienated all other democratic nations, that have stood loyal with the US since WW1, starting with its largest neighbor Canada, which incidentally is also the largest supplier of oil to the US, and actually purchases more US goods than it exports in turn (not the least because the US have trade barriers for Canadian soft wood lumber).


gregga777 youshallnotkill Mon, 06/11/2018 - 01:46 Permalink

In the meantime Trump will have alienated all other democratic nations, that have stood loyal with the US since WW1.

US arms shipments, on credit after they ran out of cash, followed by more than 1 million US Servicemen in 1917-1918 'won' the Great War for the British and French. Too bad about the Russian Empire. 

Those trusty allies have persisted in grossly underfunding their own defense needs while slapping huge tariffs on American products. That made sense while they were digging themselves out from under the rubble of World War 2. But, that situation disappeared at least three decades ago. 

In reply to by youshallnotkill

Singelguy youshallnotkill Mon, 06/11/2018 - 06:40 Permalink

The only reason nations have stayed loyal is because they profited tremendously from the one way trade deals and military defense subsidies that the US so generously provided. The US can no longer afford to do that, certainly not at the expense of American workers. 

The problem with Canada’s economy is that it manufactures nothing. It exports raw materials and imports finished goods. This is clearly seen with the correlation between the price of oil and the value of the Canadian dollar. They move in tandem. Canada is also highly dependent on US military protection since they have niether the population nor the resources to defend themselves. Trudeau forgets all that when he says, “we will not be pushed around”. Canada needs the US far more than the US needs Canada.

In reply to by youshallnotkill

MEFOBILLS Mon, 06/11/2018 - 00:44 Permalink

Qatar cannot get South Par's gas to Europe via pipeline.  Syrian option is now off the table, which means Liquified gas on Ships.

This then means that Qatar is priced out relative to Nord Stream.

Europeans, who are the main consumers, are doing the back of envelope calculations.  Whoever has the cheapest gas can run their plant and equipment at lower prices, and then wins in the economic game.

Austria is already on-board with Nord Stream.

The Devious Jews (America's Aristocracy) lose again.  They are not as smart as they think they are.

A relatively small contingent of Russian aero-space forces won in Syria, paid mostly out of the "training" budget of Russia's military.

The only way it works is if Russia AGREES to price their pipeline gas at Liquified prices.  Maybe that is the great bargain at foot, but even then Russia wins lots of foreign exchange.  

not dead yet MEFOBILLS Mon, 06/11/2018 - 01:22 Permalink

American LNG is more expensive by far than Russian gas which is one reason Europeans are reluctant to buy it even as the US is trying to force it on them. Bulgaria was signed onto Southstream until they and other countries on the proposed route got a we're gonna fuck ya message from the US unless they dropped out which they did. Now Bulgaria says they want Southstream. It must be driving the neocons crazy that so many countries are disobeying their DC swamp masters.

In reply to by MEFOBILLS

Posa Mon, 06/11/2018 - 00:57 Permalink

What's outlined in this commentary is a complete loser strategy by delusional criminals. Coal remains the centerpiece of energy policy in much of the world: China (where 500 hundred coal plants are under constriction or in the pipeline); India ; much of Africa; Japan; and Eastern Europe.

"Climate Change" was invented in earlier guises by Club of Rome oligarchs in the Seventies. Only saps and suckers in the West believe this fraud. The rest of the world laughs and is happy however, to sell solar panels if that's what you want.


Furthermore, Europe is heavily invested in Russian natural gas. Drump's latest trade discord ensures that much of the EU, led by Germany, buys the Russian product. Additionally, US fracked oil and gas has a limited shelf-life and will largely be exhausted in 15 years.


And finally, the days of Regime Change elective wars are over. Either the US backs down from these adventures or there will be nuclear war with the Sino-Russo bloc.


not dead yet Mon, 06/11/2018 - 01:12 Permalink

I love the part where Perry says American LNG replacing Russian gas "keeps our allies free." Yeah, free to jump whenever the US orders them too. All around the world, even before Trump, the US has shown it cannot be trusted to keep agreements or meet commitments. The Europeans trust the Russians as they are as good as their word. Yeah but, they shut the gas off before. Yes they did and they gave fair warning that if Europe would not reign in the stealing of their gas they would shut it off. Europe thought Russia was bluffing but we now know they weren't. Europe also knows that the American fracking miracle may not last much longer and they could be SOL if they commit to the more expensive US LNG and it doesn't get delivered. The American gas companies have run huge gas lines into Mexico so they have commitments there too. The Europeans lost a lot of good paying business with the Russians when the magic negro put on sanctions. Now with Trump doing his thing the Europeans are considering flipping the bird at the US and go back to trading with Russia.

farmboy Mon, 06/11/2018 - 01:27 Permalink

The US has a total hegemony in the financial world. With that it tries to control the world. Prices in bonds, stocks, currencies, commodities etc. Rebellion nations can expect attacks on their currencies, commodities. It works as long as people do not figure it out and think that mr market is still alive. Enemy nations like Ukraine will be pacified through revolution and plundered with free money freshly printed by the FED so Soros, the IMF, KKR, Neocons can steal their assets. Troublemakers like Germany can expect attacks on their core industry like diesel cars and banks. In the meantime Google/FB/Apple will spy on the whole world.

gregga777 Mon, 06/11/2018 - 01:37 Permalink

people are seriously concerned to minimize global warming so as to postpone global burnout from uncontrollably soaring atmospheric carbon.

CO2 is plant food. Period. CO2 levels are near the lowest ever in the past 500 million years.


Dr. Tim Ball and the Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science — the Inconvenient Truth

The Oppenheimer Ranch Project


Dr. Tim Ball

Former Professor of Climatology

University of Winnipeg


Author of:

Human Caused Global Warming: The Biggest Deception in History

The Why, What, Where, When and How it Was Achieved


Book at…

MrNoItAll Mon, 06/11/2018 - 02:33 Permalink

I think what guides Trump's foreign and other policies is the world's need to prepare for the imminent global financial meltdown. Global trade has been a disaster, it is wasteful and inefficient, dependent on vast amounts of oil, benefiting global industrialists and their shareholders at the expense of nearly everyone else. The world will be a better place when we've returned to more local/regional economies. Taking a baseball bat to current global trade arrangements and forcing radical changes now is preparing for that future. Don't get caught up in the theatrics.
There IS method to the madness of Trump's policies, tweets and belligerent statements.

viator Mon, 06/11/2018 - 05:41 Permalink

"people are seriously concerned to minimize global warming so as to postpone global burnout from uncontrollably soaring atmospheric carbon". Nonsense, the exact opposite is happening in every sense. 

JelloBeyonce Mon, 06/11/2018 - 07:40 Permalink

"Vast profits are to be made, by insiders, in invasions and occupations, just as in gas and oil, and in brokerage."

Always spun by the Aristocrats/Oligarchs in control as "liberation".

acheron2016 Mon, 06/11/2018 - 08:45 Permalink

The original source article sounds interesting.  This article, and its hate filled delusions are so bad I literally quit reading.  This crackpot isn't worth my time.  I am now leaving ZH to click on the generously provided original article that hopefully was not written by an unhinged leftist hell bent on the destruction of human civilization.