The White House “Gang of Four” represented by US Vice President Peng Si, Secretary of State Pompeo, National Security Advisor Bolton and White House Trade Committee Director Navarro played their respective roles in the Trump administration’s internal and external affairs. The conflict, but the general direction is to take Trump away from the diplomatic and national security routes that Trump wants to advance. Of course, because the White House Gang of Four is not a rope, the route options they provide to Trump are not uniform. In this case, Trump can also choose his own path based on his own likes and dislikes and interests. Excessively subject to misleading by the Gang of Four as a whole or by anyone.
The reason why they are classified as the White House Gang of Four is that the different values they represent have a certain impact on US diplomacy, and everyone has an ambition to influence the US diplomatic line, and even say that they have higher political ambitions.
As a vice president, Mike Pence generally has no real power, and the size of his voice depends entirely on the president’s authorization. At the critical moment of crisis, Donald Trump will choose Pengs to come out and express a tough stance. For example, when North Korea launched missiles and held nuclear tests in 2017, Burns (rather than then Secretary of State Tillerson) made several public appearances and issued a tough statement; on the eve of the mid-term elections in 2018, in order to preserve the Republican leadership in Congress, Burns even cooperated with Trump to deliver a speech in the US think tank, and high-profile criticism of China’s political system and economic and trade policies. In addition to diplomatic occasions, Burns also insisted on tough religious conservatism on some internal issues and won the favor of ultra-conservatives.
Mike Pompeo is a political ally of Burns. Pompeo was able to drop from the position of Director of the CIA to the State Department, replacing the then Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, without the recommendation of Burns. Of course, Pompeo and Burns are candidates for the Republican conservative movement Koch Brothers, and the hawkish positions basically overlap. After Pompeo served as Secretary of State, he actively helped Trump to take the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. However, after the second special gold meeting, the North Korean official media approved Pompeo arrogance, hoping Trump to replace Pompeo. At the same time, Pompeo frequently intervened in Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and Taiwan, and repeatedly accused China of human rights and democracy issues, which also triggered dissatisfaction from the Chinese government.
In other words, the two diplomatic objects that Trump and China and the DPRK are very concerned about do not like Pompei.
Peter Navarro and trade representative Robert Lighthizer are political allies on trade issues and are extremely ideological. However, unlike Navarro, Wright Heze took the lead in trade negotiations with China, during which time he showed flexibility and made necessary concessions to meet Trump’s request for an agreement with China as soon as possible. Including Trump’s partial ban on Huawei after the Osaka Special Olympics, Wright Heze also had to accept it.
But Navarro is different. This person’s discrimination against China is deeply rooted. His economic philosophy is completely contrary to the mainstream economics of the world and China’s economic development experience. He provides Trump with economic data about the US economy experiencing prosperity, not necessarily accepted by mainstream economists. Trump has always praised the US economy at its best level in history, mostly misled by Navarro and others.
Mike Pompeo is tough and hard. To this day, he still refuses to admit that the Iraq war is a mistake, and he wants to lead the war to Iran. Fortunately, Trang popularizes early detection and refutes plans to increase the number of troops in the Middle East. It can be said that people from both sides of the United States, including mainstream public opinion, do not like Bolton. In addition, Bolton has regarded North Korea, Russia and Iran as enemies of the United States for decades, but in the eyes of Trump, Russia and North Korea are partners, and the leaders of Russia and Russia are his good friends.
The four gangs of these four people influence the diplomatic decision-making of the United States. When Trump uses them, he has to avoid falling into the quagmire of either side.
In the past three years since Trump took office, there have been few achievements in internal affairs and diplomacy, but there have been many chaos. Through a series of personnel changes and power distribution, as well as frequent manufacturing and transfer of crises, Trump has overstretched the crisis and various investigations, and eventually turned his ruling focus to the 2020 re-election campaign. That is to say, in the next year or so, all domestic and foreign diplomacy will first consider whether it can help its successful re-election. Unlike the past two years of using the hawks to establish a tough image or leadership, Trump, who is now re-elected, will turn to domestic affairs and consolidate the basics of voters.
For external affairs, Trump can only publicize his own political achievements. Even if he creates an external sense of crisis, he must stay away from the edge of war. Otherwise, the anti-war American voters will inevitably turn their backs. Therefore, Trump will naturally reuse more moderates. Even the most difficult diplomatic problems, Trump has to deal with it in a soft manner. This is the case with the Korean Peninsula. The same is true for the China-US trade war.
In this case, the status of the White House Gang of Four may be affected, even if the position does not change, the right to speak will be forced to make adjustments. For example, because after three special events and the special meeting, Trump adopted a gesture of reconciliation with China and the DPRK, and the Gang of Four will converge.
With Kim Jong-un’s meeting, Trump temporarily reached the “outcome” that North Korea would no longer test nuclear weapons, which is enough to make him accountable to voters. For the first three special gold medals, Trump is a plus. However, the fourth special gold meeting will definitely not continue the three previous “simply for seeing” models. It must have substantive content, such as discussing the gradual lifting of sanctions, the normalization of US-DPRK relations, and whether and how North Korea has abandoned nuclear weapons. The problem, etc., otherwise it will only give Trump a reduction. After all, many people in the domestic left still oppose Trump’s reconciliation.
This reconciliation gesture or route is inextricably linked to the position of the National hawks such as Bolton and Pompeo.
The same is true of the China-US trade war. Trade hawks, Hittize, and others have to accept the reality that Trump has been manipulated “politics” on trade issues to serve its own interests. No matter what personal ideals Navaro and Wright Heze have, they need to balance a balance between personal ideals, ambitions and the interests of the president. Wright Heather, a negotiator who had let Japan bow to his head, actually hopes to reach a trade agreement accepted by Trump and draw a successful conclusion to his political career.
In terms of the recent escalating tension between the United States and Iraq, Bolton and Pompeo have been hoping for a color revolution in Iran to remove the Iranian threat by regime change. From suggesting Trump to tear up the Iranian nuclear deal, resisting diplomacy with Iraq, and rushing to send troops to the Middle East, they seem to step by step to bring the United States to the edge of the war. Fortunately, plans such as Bolton’s increase in the Middle East were also refuted by Trump. The refusal to confront the Iranian military will also be a line of Trump’s re-election campaign.
Therefore, Trump will continue to make a difference in the issue of the peninsula. If he wants to make a success in the China-US trade negotiations, he must be vigilant if he wants to avoid another battlefield in the Middle East on the Iranian nuclear issue. The White House Gang of Four limits the right of four people to speak in related fields. This may also be an opportunity for Trump to shuffle the White House’s power and take the opportunity to replace the hawks.