Former Defense Secretary James N. Mattis blasted President Trump’s “America First” theme. Can you imagine a military hero not wanting to put his country first? It just so happens that Mattis didn’t bother to mention he holds a senior position at the Cohen Group, a firm that dedicates itself to making business deals in China.
Any prohibition on Beijing’s cyber products —is generally counter to The Cohen Group’s objective of bringing China and U.S. companies together in multi-million dollar deals.
The Cohen Group, founded by former Defense Secretary William Cohen and staffed by a number of former high-ranking government and military leaders, has two of its four overseas offices in China.
Mr. Mattis’s Nov. 23 Foreign Affairs.com column was co-authored with three other national security experts . The article’s thoughts resemble the Obama administration’s China approach. It is what we will have in a Biden administration — they will cozy up to Xi.
Mr. Mattis is identified in his column as a former defense secretary and fellow at the Hoover Institution, but not as a senior counselor at The Cohen Group global consulting firm in Washington.
In the article Mr. Mattis rejects Secretary of State Michael Pompeo’s campaign of rallying Asian countries against China’s drive for dominance. Mr. Mattis does not mention China’s declared economic war against U.S. ally Australia as revenge for Canberra calling for an international investigation into the origins of the coronavirus in China.
We still have no idea how the Wuhan virus began.
Mr. Mattis wrote, in a broad indictment of Mr. Trump’s foreign policy:
“Crucially, the United States should not press countries to choose outright between the two powers. A ‘with us or against us’ approach plays to China’s advantage, because the economic prosperity of U.S. allies and partners hinges on strong trade and investment relationships with Beijing. Rather than treating countries as pawns in a great-power competition, a better approach would emphasize common codes of behavior and encourage states to publicly promulgate a vision for their country’s sovereign future and the types of partnerships they need to pursue it.
“It would also expand the cooperative space in which all countries supporting a rules-based order can work together to advance shared interests. Cooperation across different ideological systems is difficult but necessary, and there should be opportunities to cooperate with China in areas of overlapping interests, such as pandemic response, climate change, and nuclear security.”
Mr. Mattis urged Mr. Biden to remove “America First” from all foreign policies.