By Javad Heirannia

Soft power does not major concern to Trump administration: Robert Jervis

December 29, 2017

TEHRAN - Robert Jervis, a professor of international politics at Columbia University, says so called "soft power" does not seem to be of major concern to Trump administration. Congress apparently won't take Trump up on the request for general legislation on JCPOA and “probably will deadlock on most relevant measures,” Jervis tells the Tehran Times.

Following is the full text of the interview:

Q: New US security strategy announced by Trump is based on 4 principals: protecting the country, improving public wealth, displaying peace resorting to the US power and influence. To what extent in this new strategy the soft security aspects have been considered?

A: So called "soft power" does not seem to be of major concern to this administration.

Q: Some criticize the new strategy and believe trump’s new strategy excludes some issues like human rights and climate changes. Considering this approach, will Trump’s new strategy result in security and stable peace?

A: It isn't clear that a focus on human rights increases stability, let alone security.  But while downplay if not ignoring human rights is consistent with Trump's campaign promises, it is a major break from past US policy and fails to conform to American values.

Q: The new strategy allocates more money to the US army. Does this mean that the US foreign policy will become more militarized and the significance of the diplomacy will decline?

A: Not necessarily.  Diplomacy is likely to be deployed very selectively, however.  For example, it has been effective in tightening the sanctions against North Korea.  Furthermore, a more robust military can provide backing for diplomacy.  This requires a strong and more active State Department than we have seen under Sec Tillerson, however.

Q: Considering the significance of the US army in the new strategy, is there possibility for more US military interventions in different parts of the world?

A: Possible, but aside from counter-terrorism, in his campaign Trump called for less military intervention, and he may mean it.

Q: Trump calls Russia and China in his new strategy as rivals not enemies that the US has to try to make economic relation with them. What is the reason for his positive approach toward these two countries?

A: I think he called them "adversaries," and according to press reports they do not think they are being treated gently.

Q: Trump defended his stance toward Iran and North Korea. As he hasn’t certified the JCPOA, how do you see the fate of the JCPOA?

A: Hard to tell.  Congress apparently won't take Trump up on the request for general legislation on it and probably will deadlock on most relevant measures. The big question is whether Trump will continue to waive sanctions.

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