National Interests: Priorities and Security

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The future of the military policy of Donald Trump

Vol. 14, Iss. 12, DECEMBER 2018

Received: 18 September 2018

Received in revised form: 1 October 2018

Accepted: 22 October 2018

Available online: 14 December 2018


JEL Classification: H56, N40, N42

Pages: 2178–2194

Konyshev V.N. Saint-Petersburg State University (SPbSU), St. Petersburg, Russian Federation

Sergunin A.A. Saint-Petersburg State University (SPbSU), St. Petersburg, Russian Federation

Subject The article examines the state and prospects of the U.S. military policy during the presidency of D. Trump.
Objectives The research determines political, institutional and strategic factors, which shape the U.S. military policy promoted by the Trump Administration, and investigates what makes the policy distinctive.
Methods We analyze doctrinal documents guiding the U.S. military policy, the 2019 budget of the U.S. Department of Defense and experts' views. The research also employs methods of logic and comparative analysis.
Results We found common and differing aspects in doctrinal principles of the Obama and Trump security policies, key parameters of the Trump military doctrine, specifics of funding the Department of Defense and evolution of the U.S. military policy in the nearest future.
Conclusions and Relevance The Trump Administration demonstrates the consistency in following the military strategy pursuing the U.S. hegemony worldwide and control over maritime routes in the Persian Gulf – Indian Ocean – South China Sea – East China Sea. What distinguishes the current strategy from Obama's one is that it involves other tools for attaining strategic goals. D. Trump failed to subdue the anti-Russian tendency in the U.S. foreign policy. The USA considers Russia, China, Iran and North Korea as the main sources of military threats. D. Trump denied to reduce the military budget, which is earmarked to accelerate the retrofitting of military forces and gain the global military supremacy. The nuclear triad modernization programs undermine the strategic stability in the U.S.–Russian relations.

Keywords: military strategy, security threat, modernization, U.S. armed forces, Trump


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