By ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI and PAUL WASSERMAN FEB. 20, 2017
Washington — The global order is in disarray. The world is sliding into significant disorder with no international structure capable of handling the kinds of problems that are likely to erupt almost simultaneously. To compound it all, chaos among the major powers could generate truly disastrous consequences.
So far, President Trump has failed to formulate any significant, relevant statements about the global condition. Instead, the world has been left to interpret the sometimes irresponsible, uncoordinated and ignorant statements of his team.
Self-promoters seeking important positions should not be permitted to create the impression that their sometimes simplistic and extremist terminology is becoming national policy. The recent public embarrassment over American policy toward the Kremlin, culminating in the resignation of Michael T. Flynn as national security adviser after just 24 days in the job, speaks for itself.
While we did not support Mr. Trump, he is the president of the United States. He is our president, and we want him to be a success. Right now, he does not look like that to the rest of the world, or to us.
A vulnerable world needs an America characterized by clarity of thought and leadership that projects optimism and progress. “Make America Great Again” and “America First” are all very well as bumper stickers, but the foreign policy of the United States needs to be more than a campaign slogan.
So we would advise the president to give an address that offers a bold statement of his vision, including his determination to provide America’s leadership in the effort to shape a more stable world. This speech should not be a detailed blueprint for American foreign policy, but rather serve as a much-needed reminder that the president of the United States is on watch, is actively engaged and has a sense of historical direction.
What we need to hear from our president is why America is important to the world and why the world needs America. At the same time, he can take advantage of the opportunity to point out what the United States expects from the world.
We may disagree with President Trump on day-to-day decisions, but we urge him to recognize that the ideal long-term solution is one in which the three militarily dominant powers — the United States, China and Russia — work together to support global stability.
Much hinges on the degree to which America and China can engage in successful dialogue. This would open the way for a more serious, strategic Sino-American understanding. That, in turn, could create the basis for a more lasting understanding among all three major powers, since Russia would realize that if it were not included in a Sino-American accommodation, its interests would be at risk.
America must also be mindful of the danger that China and Russia could form a strategic alliance. For this reason, the United States must take care not to act toward China as though it were a subordinate: this would almost guarantee a closer tie between China and Russia.
More immediately worrying is the problem posed by North Korea, which will require increased cooperation among North Korea’s more powerful neighbors, including China and Japan (and potentially Russia), as well as the United States. Isolated American efforts are unlikely to move Pyongyang in a positive direction…
(CONT) NEW YORK TIMES