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Hawks at the wheel: Bolton and Pompeo ‘steering US towards confrontation everywhere’

Hawks at the wheel: Bolton and Pompeo ‘steering US towards confrontation everywhere’
From Iran and Venezuela to China, President Donald Trump’s foreign policy is being shaped by hawks who believe that the US cannot be challenged militarily, a political analyst told RT, adding that Washington is now risking war.

Sidelining even the president himself, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton are now in the driver’s seat, steering US policy into ever greater provocation and conflict across several continents, independent political analyst Alessandro Bruno told RT.

“These two are dangerous,” Bruno said. “Pompeo and Bolton have control of US foreign policy right now. I don’t think Trump has any control.”

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President Trump’s hawkish advisers are putting the US on a collision course with other world powers, and the chances for diplomatic solutions diminish by the day.

There’s no diplomacy potential... Pompeo and Bolton seem to be oblivious to the fact that the US isn’t the only power around anymore.

The USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group will soon arrive in the Persian Gulf – some 7,000 miles away from its home port in Virginia – in order to “send a clear message” to Tehran. While Bolton, a longtime Iran hawk, claims the move is meant to preempt an Iranian attack, the adviser’s eye may actually be on the country’s oil trade.

“Bolton is speaking from both sides of his mouth,” Bruno said. “This is clearly a military provocation. [T]hese deployments are made regularly…[but] the fact that Bolton has specifically said now that the mission of the Lincoln is to counter Iran’s efforts to sell oil on the grey market makes it very specific. There’s a real target, here.”

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As US sanctions tighten around Iran, the country’s oil sector has looked for ways to defy the restrictions and maintain sales. Iran’s recent turn to the ‘grey market,’ as well as assistance from Europe, could help exports stay afloat, but the American military presence in the Gulf could hamper those efforts.

By cutting off oil revenues and hampering Iran’s ability to operate outside of its borders, Washington seeks to “limit Iran’s influence in the region,” Bruno said, but such “gunboat diplomacy” risks kicking off a bloody conflict.

“This is the real danger,” Bruno said. “The United States has used situations like these, particularly with ships, particularly in gulfs, to start various wars,” he added, referring to the wars with Spain (1898) and Vietnam (1964), which both started after alleged attacks on US warships in foreign waters.

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Iran isn’t the only country in Pompeo and Bolton’s crosshairs. US warships recently sailed through the South China Sea in a blatant violation of Chinese territory, while Washington threatens ‘humanitarian intervention’ in Venezuela, sure to turn the country into a smoldering ruin.

The hardline policies aimed at China, Iran and Venezuela could backfire. Everyone is scared of the United States now, nobody can trust the United States as a reasonable partner. We’re back to 2003, with George Bush and Iraq.

The reckless behavior not only risks bloodshed, Bruno said, but has seriously damaged American credibility around the globe – or whatever remained of it. In an attempt to isolate its ‘adversaries,’ Washington might find itself isolated instead.

“China and Russia have considerable military capabilities. And China will not allow the US to stop its [economic] growth,” Bruno said.

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