Dog Brothers Public Forum

HOME | PUBLIC FORUM | MEMBERS FORUM | INSTRUCTORS FORUM | TRIBE FORUM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
April 24, 2017, 02:14:05 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
Welcome to the Dog Brothers Public Forum.
101767 Posts in 2375 Topics by 1089 Members
Latest Member: Sarge
* Home Help Search Login Register
+  Dog Brothers Public Forum
|-+  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities
| |-+  Politics & Religion
| | |-+  US Foreign Policy
« previous next »
Pages: 1 ... 14 15 [16] Print
Author Topic: US Foreign Policy  (Read 130002 times)
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 39793


« Reply #750 on: December 15, 2016, 09:34:15 AM »

This article engages with some deep and important points-- respect for that!-- but I would like to see it address why, given Europe's dramatic failure to meet its commitments for military spending, why the US should not consider exactly what the article mentions-- the idea of an alliance with Russia to balance against China.

Given the PROFOUND questions in play, it is more than a little unfortunate that Trump has acted, and is acting in ways that allow questions concerning his motivations to take form.
==============================================================

Saving Europe From Itself—Again
A Russian aggressor could drive through NATO’s weak center or bite off its edges piece by piece.
By Mark Helprin
Updated Dec. 14, 2016 11:40 p.m. ET
126 COMMENTS

Though Europeans bridle when confronted with the possibility that Americans have something to offer, the Champs Élysées is not called Unter den Linden, and the Thousand-Year Reich and Warsaw Pact are no more, because—intelligently, successfully, and sacrificially—the U.S. came three times to Europe’s aid.

But for the past quarter-century the U.S. has had no effective, proactive strategy in regard to the defense of Europe. Should it not awaken to this with strategic clarity and resolve, the price may be beyond calculation.

Although the Continent is dangerously weakened by ideological fevers, economic malaise and the importation of bereft masses from war-crazed cultures, keep your eye upon the sparrow—a resurgent, revanchist Russia, which with continued success in recobbling its lost empire will look westward to the rich lands between it and the Atlantic. Rather than arriving late as in the two world wars, the U.S. should take military and diplomatic measures now to deter yet another catastrophe.


The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was able to keep the Soviets at bay because its nuclear forces and resolution were at least equal to those of the U.S.S.R.; its powerful conventional elements were properly positioned opposite their adversaries; its command structure was unified; and American echelons were deployed in strength.

Despite the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, the migration of most of its members to NATO, and the U.S.S.R.’s collapse, the European military balance is shifting toward Russia. While the U.S. has reduced the number of its nuclear weapons, failed to modernize them, and pacified its nuclear doctrines, Russia has cut less, steadily modernized, and promiscuously issued nuclear threats.

Some examples in regard to conventional forces: In 1987 the U.S. had 354,000 military personnel in Europe and surrounding waters, and 735 combat aircraft. Now it deploys 40,450 and 130, respectively. Between 1987 and 2015, Great Britain’s main battle tanks have dwindled to 227 from 1,200, France’s to 200 from 1,340, and Germany’s to 306 from 4,887. Britain’s combat aircraft have fallen to 194 from 596, France’s to 360 from 520, and Germany’s to 235 from 604.

Given the strategic chaos in the Mediterranean, it is astounding that while in 1985 the U.S. Sixth Fleet often comprised two aircraft carriers, six nuclear submarines, and 28 other warships, during most of the Obama administration it had been reduced to one virtually unarmed command ship.

Though to save themselves the Europeans must be pressured to increase defense expenditures, threatening publicly and without warning to refrain from U.S. treaty obligations, and eight years of military retreat under President Obama, have emboldened Russia and pushed Europe further into creating a European defense separate from NATO. Herding 28 countries into a coherent military structure is difficult enough without adding another level of command. And even if the possibility of aligning with Russia to balance out China were not met with Russian betrayal, the price would be Western Europe, which is obviously unacceptable.

Were Europe merely to meet its minimum spending targets, military outlays would increase by 59%, or $87 billion annually. This close to $1 trillion over a decade would bolster its capacities and also allow for a richer variety of equipment, which—though more costly and unwieldy—would provide different tools for different problems, with multiple types, ranges, and heat and radar signatures vastly complicating an enemy’s planning.

But reconstituting NATO’s strategic and conventional forces is not in itself sufficient to counter Russia’s carefully executed incremental strategies. Russia treats firmness as provocation justifying further Russian aggression, and sees fecklessness as an invitation to the same. Adding to the general instability, de facto U.S. abandonment of tactical nuclear weapons while Russia retains them removes NATO’s option of limited escalation, forcing it to rely on either its weakened conventional defenses or all out nuclear brinkmanship. To counter this, NATO needs a new form of flexible military-diplomatic response. To wit, a massive, newly deployed force that can quickly and with precise calibration respond to provocation, and with similar agility ease off in response to accommodation.

No such structure now exists, due to NATO’s overall weakness and to the scattered deployment of its components, suitable to the defense of each individual nation more than to defeating an attack upon its center. Germany’s rapid westward conquests in both world wars might not have occurred had British armies not been sitting off to the side in England. This bitter lesson, leading to the success of strong central deployment in the Cold War, has now been forgotten. As NATO’s capabilities have contracted, the accession of new members has expanded its continental defense perimeter by 83%. The product of these two deficiencies is vulnerability similar to that of the interwar years of the 1920s and ’30s.

An aggressor can drive through NATO’s weakly defended center or bite off its weakly defended edges piece by piece (starting, perhaps, with the Baltic republics). Concentrating the main NATO force near Russia’s borders would make them simultaneously too provocative and too vulnerable. Massing them in Germany would rob them of the ability to move in response to Russian action except to the Russian periphery.

Better to base NATO’s main “column” in Germany and (a major diplomatic challenge) France. In response to Russian provocation, French-stationed forces could then be moved eastward—in a clear and substantive signal—and moved back just as easily. Tripwire forces could be sent to the Baltic and Poland as they are now (though now, with insufficient backing other than general nuclear warfare, Russia need not take them too seriously). Meanwhile, NATO’s center would be massively defended, which is the heart of the matter and the best insurance against Russian adventurism.

Mr. Helprin, a senior fellow of the Claremont Institute, is the author of “Winter’s Tale,” “A Soldier of the Great War” and the forthcoming novel “Paris in the Present Tense.”
Logged
bigdog
Power User
***
Posts: 2242


« Reply #751 on: December 16, 2016, 12:47:03 PM »

http://warontherocks.com/2016/12/the-return-of-hard-power/
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 14507


« Reply #752 on: December 17, 2016, 12:01:15 PM »


It is very interesting and I will comment after digesting it.

China has serious internal stability issues. This fuels China's aggressive behavior in the South China sea. Building China's internal perception of a strong, rising power is what gives the CCP it's legitimacy with the population. Failure to maintain it's legitimacy could be fatal to the current power structure. So, China is motivated to act aggressively, and not back down in a scenario that offers a loss of face for the power structure. Keep in mind that despite all the money China has dumped into upgrading it's military, it spends even more on internal security. The power vacuum of "leading from behind" has further fueled China's aggressiveness. Obama has left Trump a ticking bomb.

« Last Edit: December 17, 2016, 12:03:38 PM by G M » Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 14507


« Reply #753 on: December 19, 2016, 08:55:47 PM »

http://www.mediaite.com/online/obama-heads-to-golf-course-after-receiving-reports-on-berlin-attack-and-russian-ambassador-death/




Obama Heads to Golf Course After Receiving Reports on Berlin Attack and Russian Ambassador Death
by Justin Baragona | 4:05 pm, December 19th, 2016
2863

Well, this is what one would call bad political optics.

With the dual breaking news events surrounding potential terrorism and a foreign diplomat being shot to death, White House pool reports showed that President Barack Obama headed to a country club in Hawaii near his rental house, where he is vacationing.

The first email shows that Obama has directed his staff to keep him updated on the situation in Turkey regarding the assassination of the Russian Ambassador.

    From the White House, per Principal Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz:

    “This morning the President was briefed by his National Security Team on the assassination of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey in Ankara today. The President directed his team to provide updates as warranted.”

    Meanwhile, at 10:10 a.m. in Kailua, the press van prepares to depart the rental house where we’ve been holding.

In a following email, we are informed that Obama is leaving the rental home to go play golf.

    The President and his motorcade departed the Kailua neighborhood where the First Family rents a vacation home at 10:21 a.m. Spectators on the street threw shakas and recorded photos or video on cell phones as the motorcade made the 10-minute drive to Mid-Pacific Country Club, where the President will be golfing under cloudy skies.

The times listed are local Hawaii time. Obama’s motorcade left his vacation home at 3:21 PM ET.

Currently, the news is dominated by both the assassination in Turkey, which could have large-scale implications on foreign policy and relations, and multiple deaths in Berlin via a truck driving through a market in an incident reminiscent of the Nice terror attack.

Needless to say, there will be a lot of negative attention given to Obama playing golf in the immediate aftermath of these horrific, and potentially history-altering, events.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 39793


« Reply #754 on: December 20, 2016, 12:42:43 PM »

This thread is for substantive issues.  Obama ducking work yet again belongs on the Glibness thread.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 39793


« Reply #755 on: December 21, 2016, 07:16:30 AM »


http://www.hoover.org/research/new-american-grand-strategy
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 39793


« Reply #756 on: December 23, 2016, 11:47:14 PM »

https://www.policyed.org/intellections/no-empty-threats/video?utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=intellections&utm_content=foreign-policy-empty-threats&utm_medium=paid
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 39793


« Reply #757 on: December 25, 2016, 04:04:57 PM »


The Trump Doctrine: A Work in Progress
Geopolitical Weekly
December 20, 2016 | 08:02 GMT Print
Text Size
Commentators among the Washington establishment have been quick to dismiss President-elect Donald Trump's foreign policy moves outright over the past few weeks, but his actions merit deeper exploration than knee-jerk disbelief. (JEFF SWENSON/Getty Images)

By Reva Goujon

The world is in a "frenzy of study," Henry Kissinger said in a recent interview. At home and abroad, strategists and pundits are trying to piece together a blueprint of American foreign policy under U.S. President-elect Donald Trump from a stream of tweets, some campaign slogans, a few eye-catching Cabinet picks, meetings at Trump Tower, and a pingpong match already underway with Beijing. Highbrow intellectualism can be a handicap in this exercise. Commentators among the Washington establishment have been quick to dismiss Trump's foreign policy moves outright as erratic and self-serving over the past few weeks. In an op-ed entitled "Trump Failed His First Foreign Policy Test," for instance, columnist David Ignatius admonished the president-elect for the "hot mess" his phone call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen precipitated. Trump makes people uncomfortable. It's what he does best, in fact. But how this quality applies to foreign policy is a question that merits deeper exploration than knee-jerk displays of stricken disbelief. After all, as Kissinger noted in his Dec. 18 interview, "a president has to have some core convictions."

So what are Trump's? From what we can discern so far from his upbringing, the trajectory of his career and the profiles of those who have infiltrated his inner circle, Trump prizes business acumen and a "killer" instinct for managing affairs. He has enough corporate firepower in his Cabinet to fill the next Forbes' list. By nominating ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, he has demonstrated his belief that tough deal-making — identifying sources of leverage and showing a willingness to use them — is the secret to running a country and presiding over the international system. Trump does not fear nationalism; he sees it as the natural and rightful path for every state, the United States included, to pursue in protecting its interests. He also seems to have internalized the idea that the United States is losing its competitiveness and that internationalist foreign policy is to blame. Finally, Trump apparently believes that U.S. foreign policy has become too predictable and overwrought with diplomatic formality. Better to say it like it is and call out institutions and conventions that have outlived their usefulness.

This, at least, is the worldview at a distance. When we come in for a closer look, however, some of the cracks come into clearer view. In 1953, General Motors Co. CEO Charles Wilson was asked in his Senate confirmation hearing to become President Dwight D. Eisenhower's secretary of defense whether his decisions in office could end up harming his company. He answered that they might but that he could not imagine such a scenario since "for years I thought what was good for the country was good for General Motors and vice versa." In fact, what is good for a business will not always be congruent with the national interest. A company is answerable to its shareholders, just as a president is answerable to some degree to Congress and the American public. But the mission of the CEO — maximizing value for its shareholders — entails different considerations when pursuing the raison d'etat and preserving a social contract with a nation's citizenry. The latter entwines economic arguments with the social and moral obligations of the state, a nebulous territory where inefficiencies, compromise and the social consequences of massive deregulation are unavoidable.

Driving a Hard Bargain

Trump sees it as his mission to repair the social contract with the American public by bringing manufacturing jobs back to the United States. This will be easier said than done, however. Across-the-board tariffs against big trading partners, such as China, might have worked 20 years ago but not in today's globalized environment. Raising import tariffs now could cause the price of goods no longer produced domestically to skyrocket and disrupt international supply chains, turning many U.S. businesses into pawns in various overseas trade wars.

It could be argued that China depends more heavily on exports than the United States does and cannot afford to risk its vital supply lines in a major confrontation with the world's most powerful navy. This, in effect, leaves Washington with the upper hand in its trade tussle with Beijing. In the search for additional leverage against China, Trump has shown a willingness to expire Washington's "one-China" policy, a holdover from the Cold War that dodged the question of Taiwan's statehood to drive a wedge between the Soviets and Communist China.

But that's just one side of the equation. China has twin imperatives to maintain access to export markets and raw materials and to prevent an outside power from blockading its northern coast through the Taiwan Strait. If Trump's policies interfere with these objectives, Beijing has levers it can pull to retaliate. Should the United States play the Taiwan card to try to exact economic concessions from Beijing, China can strong-arm U.S. companies operating on the mainland. Beijing can also use its enormous economic clout over Taiwan — whose semiconductor manufacturing and assembly industry is tightly intertwined with the mainland — to threaten a disruption to the global tech supply chain. Furthermore, as its recent seizure of an unmanned U.S. naval drone illustrated, China can flex its maritime muscle, albeit cautiously, to raise the stakes in a trade dispute with the United States. Though Trump would rather leave it to regional stakeholders such as Japan and South Korea to balance against Beijing, his compulsion to correct the United States' trade relationship with China will draw him into stormy security waters in the Pacific.

A Different Kind of Negotiation

Just as Trump regards the one-China policy as a relic of the Cold War worth revisiting, he intends to update Washington's relationship with Moscow. As Trump sees it, the United States is not fighting an existential battle with Russia deserving of Cold War-era collective security commitments. Russia is no longer preoccupied with forging an empire under an ideology that is anathema to Western capitalism. Instead, Moscow is focused on the more basic task of constructing a national identity and insulating the state and its borderlands from Western encroachment in anticipation of greater domestic turmoil to come. As Kissinger recently put it, Russian President Vladimir Putin is like one of Fyodor Dostoevsky's characters, for whom "the question of Russian identity is very crucial because, as a result of the collapse of communism, Russia has lost about 300 years of its history." If Russia were to try to build a state by expanding its already sprawling territory, nationalism would not be enough to hold it together. Consequently, Putin is trying to defend the areas surrounding his country and compel the West to recognize and respect that sphere of influence.

Taking a less alarmist view of Russia's intentions, the Trump administration sees an opening to develop a new understanding with Moscow, one that could put to rest the question of Crimea and perhaps recognize Russia's influence over eastern Ukraine. Syria, a peripheral issue for both Moscow and Washington, would be recognized as such. Since sanctions are a drag on business and Russia sorely needs investment, Trump could ease the measures to get a dialogue moving on what an understanding would look like without sacrificing the U.S. military presence along Europe's eastern flank.

Should Tillerson be confirmed as secretary of state, Trump would rely on his knowledge of Kremlin personalities and their internal feuds to advance the negotiations. After all, if a company needs good inroads with the Kremlin to do business in Russia, the same must go for a government that wants to negotiate with Moscow. But negotiating access to Russia's Arctic shelf on ExxonMobil's behalf is not the same as conducting talks centered on Russia (or China, for that matter) trying to get the West out of its backyard.

Russia has no illusion that a shuffle of personalities in the White House will reverse U.S. policy and cede the former Soviet sphere to it. The United States will still be compelled to keep a check on Russia's moves in Europe just as Moscow will maintain its levers across several theaters, from cybersecurity to arms control to proxy wars in the Middle East. Though Trump's administration may change the tone of the conversation and broach the topic of tactical concessions, Russia will still be driven by an unrelenting distrust of Western intentions that will keep defenses up on both sides. Nonetheless, the very notion of a private bargain developing between Washington and Moscow will inject uncertainty into long-standing collective security arrangements as the European Continent is undergoing another Machiavellian moment in history where the assertion of state interests is breaking the bonds of its flawed union.

An Unlikely Precedent

Despite the changes that Trump will doubtless bring to the presidency, his foreign policy is not as unprecedented as the world's pundits may claim. The bridge between President Barack Obama's foreign policy doctrine and the one evolving under Trump is not entirely sturdy, but the foundation is there. As president, Obama was a realist. He considered it his mission to rebalance the United States after the country had overextended itself fighting wars in the Islamic world. His resistance to expanding U.S. military commitments in the Middle East was deeply ingrained; as he said in an interview in The Atlantic, "it is literally in my DNA to be suspicious of tribalism." He held strong convictions that the United States would once again be trampled under a sectarian horde in the Middle East if it tried to extend its ambitions beyond the more immediate and visible threat of the Islamic State. He also pressured even close U.S. allies such as the United Kingdom to pay their fair share in security commitments because, as he put it, "free riders aggravate me." Obama was a follower of 20th-century American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, who held a rather Hobbesian view of the world as a struggle among self-interested groups. (It was Niebuhr who wrote, "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.") The current president built a foreign policy on extreme restraint while addressing his own set of geopolitical anachronisms: the United States' relationships with Iran and Cuba.

But Obama, unlike Trump, applied an internationalist lens to his realist views. He wanted his allies to pay their share but was resolute in keeping the U.S. security umbrella over their heads. He viewed foreign trade as a means to build alliances and contain conflicts. Still, protectionism was already well underway during Obama's tenure. Since the 2008 financial crisis, the United States has led G-20 countries in carrying out discriminatory trade measures on selective industries (particularly metals), according to a report by Global Trade Alert. At the same time, Obama saw that the world was changing with technology and that old jobs would give way to advances in manufacturing. He preferred to think in longer horizons, at times to his own detriment: For Obama, the long-term impact of climate change was existential compared with the short-term threat posed by the Islamic State.

By contrast, Trump's realism is steeped in nationalism and tends to be more myopic in assessing threats. His solution to displaced American labor is to punish foreign trade partners rather than to retool the workforce to adapt to demographic and technological change. Under Trump, climate change concerns will take a back seat to the more immediate desires to ease regulations on business. Rather than play a restrained globalist role, the next president would sooner respect countries' rights to defend themselves, irrespective of the long-term consequences of undermining time-honored collective security arrangements. Though a departure from an already defunct two-state solution in Israel's favor acknowledges the current reality, it also risks further destabilizing the balance of power in the Middle East as Turkey continues its resurgence and multiple civil wars rage on. A short-term escalation with Beijing over trade and Taiwan could cost Washington a much bigger strategic discussion over China's attempts to achieve parity with the United States in numerous spheres, from cyberspace to the seas.

Keeping the World on Its Toes

Perhaps the greatest difference between the Obama and Trump foreign policies lies in what may be Trump's biggest virtue: his unpredictability. Obama has been criticized as overly cautious in his foreign policy and thus too much of a known entity for U.S. adversaries. Trump, on the other hand, gives the impression that he is willing to throw caution to the wind and rely on instinct in shaping foreign policy. This matters immensely for U.S. allies and adversaries alike that have to be kept on their toes in developing their long-term strategy while avoiding the unexpected with the world's superpower.

Regardless of who occupies the presidency, the United States' strong geopolitical foundation gives it options. As opposed to more vulnerable countries in less forgiving locales, the United States, buffered as it is by two vast oceans, can debate the merits of isolationism and intervention. George Kennan, a diplomat during the Cold War era, may have captured the immense power of the country's unpredictability best:

    "[American democracy is like] one of those prehistoric monsters with a body as long as this room and a brain the size of a pin: He lives there in his comfortable primeval mud and pays little attention to his environment; he is slow to wrath — in fact, you practically have to whack his tail off to make him aware that his interests are being disturbed; but, once he grasps this, he lays about him with such blind determination that he not only destroys his adversary but largely wrecks his native habitat."

Aloofness in international affairs is a geopolitical luxury, but it cannot be taken for granted. That may be the basis for the Trump doctrine.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 39793


« Reply #758 on: December 27, 2016, 08:07:11 PM »

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/443347/obama-foreign-policy-ignores-human-nature-time-tested-truths?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daily%20Trending%20Email%20Reoccurring-%20Monday%20to%20Thursday%202016-12-27&utm_term=NR5PM%20Actives
Logged
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 6907


« Reply #759 on: December 29, 2016, 03:44:33 PM »

All we have heard for 8 yrs is that what we really need are *statesmen* who can give us diplomacy, diplomacy and more diplomacy.  The Left lectured us that we just need more of this

diplomacy, diplomacy and more diplomacy.
diplomacy, diplomacy and more diplomacy.
diplomacy, diplomacy and more diplomacy.
diplomacy, diplomacy and more diplomacy.

Now 5 minutes before he exits Obama is giving everyone the finger.

Thanks for your diplomacy BROCK!
Nobel prize winner.  If only the world was smart enough to appreciate your genius.  God , can we make it till the 20th?

From another compost this one the Huffington one:

Brock "lowers the boom":
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/obama-sanctions-russia-over-election_us_586560e7e4b0d9a5945a9b3a?17ybfuwv2i4jqncdi

Funny how cyber security only became a top priority once it hurt the Democrat Party.  Last I heard we still don't have our power gird protected against and EMP.  

If you ask me  OBama  looks more like a coward then a tough guy, by getting pissy as he is heading for the exits after 8 yrs of selling us out.

« Last Edit: December 29, 2016, 03:52:06 PM by ccp » Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 14507


« Reply #760 on: December 29, 2016, 09:13:09 PM »


David Burge
‏@iowahawkblog
Russia invades Crimea: oh well
Russia shoots down airliner: mistakes happen
John Podesta falls for phishing scam: RESTART THE COLD WAR



All we have heard for 8 yrs is that what we really need are *statesmen* who can give us diplomacy, diplomacy and more diplomacy.  The Left lectured us that we just need more of this

diplomacy, diplomacy and more diplomacy.
diplomacy, diplomacy and more diplomacy.
diplomacy, diplomacy and more diplomacy.
diplomacy, diplomacy and more diplomacy.

Now 5 minutes before he exits Obama is giving everyone the finger.

Thanks for your diplomacy BROCK!
Nobel prize winner.  If only the world was smart enough to appreciate your genius.  God , can we make it till the 20th?

From another compost this one the Huffington one:

Brock "lowers the boom":
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/obama-sanctions-russia-over-election_us_586560e7e4b0d9a5945a9b3a?17ybfuwv2i4jqncdi

Funny how cyber security only became a top priority once it hurt the Democrat Party.  Last I heard we still don't have our power gird protected against and EMP.  

If you ask me  OBama  looks more like a coward then a tough guy, by getting pissy as he is heading for the exits after 8 yrs of selling us out.


Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 39793


« Reply #761 on: January 10, 2017, 08:53:31 PM »


Understanding America's Global Role in the Age of Trump
Geopolitical Weekly
January 3, 2017 | 08:07 GMT Print
Text Size
A Trump supporter holds a campaign prop of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan in November 2016 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. President-elect Donald Trump has invoked Reagan's policy of "Peace Through Strength." (JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)

By Rodger Baker

The New Year, of course, is a time when many reflect on the past and look toward the future. The past provides potential lessons and cautions for those who would seek to find tomorrow's solutions in yesterday's actions. In his 1994 book Diplomacy, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger wrote: "The study of history offers no manual of instructions that can be applied automatically; history teaches by analogy, shedding light on the likely consequences of comparable situations. But each generation must determine for itself which circumstances are in fact comparable."

While Kissinger is explicit on the importance of studying and applying history to policy, he is as insistent that history not be misapplied, that the assessment of the past not lead to false conclusions for the present or the future. Today, the concept of "Peace Through Strength" popularized by President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s is emerging as a mantra of the incoming Trump administration, its advisers and supporters. The risk of raising iconic personalities and policies from American history is that lessons may inadvertently be misapplied. The concepts may be sound, but the interpretation and application in a different context may lead to wildly different results.

Peace Through Strength

"Peace Through Strength" was a cornerstone of the Reagan administration, an assertion that an economically and militarily strong United States was necessary to ensure peace and stability internationally by demonstrating the futility of challenging U.S. power. But times have changed, the world system is far different than it was during the Cold War, threats have evolved, and the mythos of Reagan has perhaps superseded the reality of history. It is worth considering what Peace Through Strength meant in the past, what it may mean in the present, and perhaps most important, just how one measures American strength in the modern era.

It is hard to reconcile some current policy proposals — rolling back free trade, increasing tariffs, pulling back on the U.S. global role and leaving allies to their own defense — with the underpinnings of the Reagan-esque Peace Through Strength, which encouraged free trade, an activist foreign policy and the strong support of distant allies. But it is also a very different moment in history.

Reagan came to office at a time of double-digit interest rates and chaotic oil markets, in a binary world of the U.S.-led West versus Soviet East, and on the heels of a major U.S. intelligence reassessment of the Soviet nuclear and conventional threat. The structure of the U.S. economy was still based on manufacturing with a strong export component, and the coming computer revolution was just beginning. Reagan even noted in his 1983 State of the Union address that "To many of us now, computers, silicon chips, data processing, cybernetics, and all the other innovations of the dawning high technology age are as mystifying as the workings of the combustion engine must have been when that first Model T rattled down Main Street, U.S.A.," a comment that seems rather quaint given today's technology-driven lives.

In the Soviet Union, Reagan had a single major foreign threat to contend with, and he coupled his push for missile defense systems (to negate the advantage in Soviet missiles) with calls for reductions in nuclear arms. Peace Through Strength was intended to deter conventional and nuclear attacks against the United States and its allies by the Soviet Union and its allies.

In his March 1983 Address to the Nation on Defense and National Security, Reagan explained Peace Through Strength as the application of a policy of deterrence. "Since the dawn of the atomic age, we've sought to reduce the risk of war by maintaining a strong deterrent and by seeking genuine arms control. 'Deterrence' means simply this: making sure any adversary who thinks about attacking the United States, or our allies, or our vital interests, concludes that the risks to him outweigh any potential gains. Once he understands that, he won't attack. We maintain the peace through our strength; weakness only invites aggression."

Two months earlier, in his State of the Union Address, Reagan had highlighted the dual economic and military components of a policy of Peace through Strength. "Our strategy for peace with freedom must also be based on strength—economic strength and military strength. A strong American economy is essential to the well-being and security of our friends and allies. The restoration of a strong, healthy American economy has been and remains one of the central pillars of our foreign policy." The dual concepts of a strong domestic American economy and a strong defense capability were tied together into a single strategy with a global focus.

The incoming U.S. administration has picked up on these two themes and revived the Peace Through Strength concept. The focus is on rebuilding the American economy through manufacturing, infrastructure development and tax reform, and on strengthening American defense in part through an expansion of nuclear capacity. But the conditions are different now. Manufacturing and exports are no longer as important to the U.S. economy, technology has created entire new sectors of economic activity, and trade patterns have expanded into massive networks spanning continents. Interest rates in double digits when Reagan took office are barely rising above record lows today, and oil prices remain hovering near lows, while U.S. domestic production is on the rise. Technology has advanced the tools of warfare and disruption into the cyber realm, reducing the speed and confidence of identifying the perpetrator and altering the perception of risk and reward for state powers as well as non-state actors.

And, of course, there is no Soviet Union. Rather than a single superpower adversary, the United States faces the emergence of several regional powers, none exactly an opponent, but each seeking to assert its own interests in the face of the single remaining global hegemon. The threat is seen less as a battle between nuclear-armed superpowers than as a struggle against non-state actors with a very different risk-reward calculus. It is not clear, for example, that a strong nuclear force will deter terrorist attacks by non-state actors and their sympathizers. Even the large-scale U.S. military response in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks did not stop the later emergence of the Islamic State or its promotion of militant attacks against American allies, interests and homeland.

Reagan's Peace Through Strength was more than simply about making America great: Reagan asserted America was already great but just faced some problems. His policy was about making America strong internally and externally so it could carry out its broader global mission of spreading democracy. Underlying Reagan's policies was the recognition that American exceptionalism derived not only from its being powerful, but from its responsibility to spread the American system to other countries. In the super hero trope, great responsibility came with great power.

Beacon vs. Missionary

Exceptionalism has long been a conceptual underpinning of American foreign and domestic policy. America's founding myths perpetuate the idea that this is a unique country, one that has refined a system of government and personal freedoms that are not merely the result of local conditions, but universal in application. The debate among American leadership, as Kissinger highlighted, has long centered on whether to be the light on the hill, semi-isolated but a shining beacon for others to emulate, or to be the active crusading missionary, taking a direct role in bringing American principles and systems to the world.

Reagan was no isolationist; he did not seek retrenchment or withdrawal from the global role of the United States. Instead, he promoted internationalism, free trade, active financial and defense support of allies, and a hands-on approach to world affairs. The Reagan administration sought through strength a greater capacity to fulfill what he saw as the U.S. role as the leader of the West, the bringer of democracy, and the guiding light to the world.

It is this broader mission that appears, at least on the surface, to be lacking in the incoming administration's expression of Peace Through Strength. America is exceptional, but exceptional and alone, responsible for itself but not others. The goal is to make America great, but it is unclear to what end. In part this may be the wide swing reaction to the perception that the current Obama administration often appeared to focus on the interests, concerns, or verbal preferences of others over those of the United States. In times of transition the pendulum often swings wide before it moves a back a little toward the center. Reagan's policies were a far cry from those of his predecessor, and Barack Obama shaped himself as the antithesis of what was derided as the cowboy-esque tendencies of the George W. Bush administration. In each case, though, the realities of the global system ultimately tempered at least some of the rhetorical and ideological differences, or at least their application.

Perhaps the biggest challenge currently is simply understanding just how to measure American power in the modern world. During the Cold War, the intelligence community produced so-called "net assessments" and National Intelligence Estimates for the president and the administration to measure the net balance between different aspects of American and Soviet power and those of their alliance structures. These included economic, social, political and, of course, military comparisons, though the latter frequently defaulted to bean-counter comparisons of the numbers of systems rather than providing a holistic look at their overall effectiveness. The dissolution of the Soviet Union and the Communist bloc gave rise to a clear preponderance of U.S. economic, cultural, political and militarily power.

But that massive gap is narrowing, not necessarily due to a decline in overall U.S. strength, but rather to the rise of regional powers — notably China and the re-emergence of Russia, but also smaller regional groupings that have been growing economically and militarily. Many worldwide argue that the United States should no longer be the default global leader, that other countries have the right to take their turn at broader international leadership, and that U.S. ideals are not universal and so should not be asserted as such. The diffusion of global power is also creating a diffusion of global ideals. Global and domestic resistance to perceived over-globalization is strong, and the ability of the United States to assert its ideals and its right to lead the global system is increasingly challenged from without and within.

In relative strength, the United States is losing ground, particularly by measures from the beginning of the post-Cold War period. But that does not mean that any other single power will soon overtake the United States. The United States remains the single largest economy and the single most powerful military force in the world. The question is perhaps not whether the United States has strength, but how it intends to apply that strength, and whether the United States has vision beyond itself.

Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 39793


« Reply #762 on: February 02, 2017, 09:02:04 PM »

Trump Embraces Pillars of Obama’s Foreign Policy

By MARK LANDLER, PETER BAKER and DAVID E. SANGERFEB. 2, 2017
Continue reading the main story
Share This Page

    Share
    Tweet
    Email
    More
    Save

Photo
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a speech during a memorial ceremony for Ron Nahman, the founder of Ariel, one of the largest Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank on Thursday. Credit Jack Guez/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

WASHINGTON — President Trump, after promising a radical break with the foreign policy of Barack Obama, is embracing key pillars of the former administration’s strategy, including warning Israel to curb construction of settlements, demanding that Russia withdraw from Crimea and threatening Iran with sanctions for ballistic missile tests.

In the most startling shift, the White House issued an unexpected statement appealing to the Israeli government not to expand the construction of Jewish settlements beyond their current borders in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Such expansion, it said, “may not be helpful in achieving” the goal of peace.

At the United Nations, Ambassador Nikki R. Haley declared that the United States would not lift sanctions against Russia until it stopped destabilizing Ukraine and pulled troops out of Crimea.

On Iran, the administration is preparing a set of economic sanctions that are similar to what the Obama administration imposed just over a year ago. The White House has also shown no indication that it plans to rip up Mr. Obama’s landmark nuclear deal, despite Mr. Trump’s withering criticism of it during the presidential campaign.
Continue reading the main story
The Trump White House
Stories about President Trump’s administration.

    Melania Trump’s Absence From Washington Raises Questions About Her Role
    FEB 2
    New C.I.A. Deputy Director Had Leading Role in Torture of Detainees
    FEB 2
    Trump Looks to Another Finance Veteran for Senior Role
    FEB 2
    Pointing to Trump, Groups Reject U.S. Aid to Fight Extremism
    FEB 2
    For Europe, There’s a New Threat in Town: The U.S.
    FEB 2

See More »

ADVERTISEMENT
Continue reading the main story

New administrations often fail to change the foreign policies of their predecessors as radically as they promised, in large part because statecraft is so different from campaigning. And of course, today’s positions could shift over time. But the Trump administration’s reversals were particularly stark because they came after days of tempestuous phone calls between Mr. Trump and foreign leaders, in which he gleefully challenged diplomatic orthodoxy and appeared to jeopardize one relationship after another.

Mr. Trump, for example, made warmer relations with Russia the centerpiece of his foreign policy during the campaign, and European leaders were steeling for him to lift the sanctions that they and Mr. Obama imposed on President Vladimir V. Putin after he annexed Crimea. But on Thursday, Mr. Trump’s United Nations ambassador, Ms. Haley, sounded a lot like her predecessor, Samantha Power.

“We do want to better our relations with Russia,” Ms. Haley said in her first remarks to an open session of the United Nations Security Council. “However, the dire situation in eastern Ukraine is one that demands clear and strong condemnation of Russian actions.”

Similarly, Mr. Trump presented himself during the campaign as a stalwart supporter of Israel and sharply criticized the Obama administration for allowing the passage of a Security Council resolution in December that condemned Israel for its expansion of settlements.

“While we don’t believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace,” the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, said in a statement, “the construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful in achieving that goal.”

The White House noted that the president “has not taken an official position on settlement activity.” It said Mr. Trump would discuss the issue with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel when they meet Feb. 15, in effect telling Mr. Netanyahu to wait until then. Emboldened by Mr. Trump’s support, Israel had announced more than 5,000 new homes in the West Bank since his inauguration.

Mr. Trump shifted his policy after he met briefly with King Abdullah II of Jordan on the sidelines of the National Prayer Breakfast — an encounter that put the king, one of the most respected leaders of the Arab world, ahead of Mr. Netanyahu in seeing the new president. Jordan, with its large Palestinian population, has been steadfastly critical of settlements.

The administration’s abrupt turnaround also coincided with Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson’s first day at the State Department and the arrival of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in South Korea on his first official trip. Both men are viewed as potentially capable of exerting a moderating influence on the president and his cadre of White House advisers, though it was unclear how much they had to do with the shifts.

With Iran, Mr. Trump has indisputably taken a harder line than his predecessor. While the Obama administration often looked for ways to avoid confrontation with Iran in its last year, Mr. Trump seems equally eager to challenge what he has said is an Iranian expansion across the region, especially in Iraq and Yemen.
Get the Morning Briefing by Email

What you need to know to start your day, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.
Receive occasional updates and special offers for The New York Times's products and services.

    See Sample Manage Email Preferences Privacy Policy

In an early morning Twitter post on Thursday, Mr. Trump was bombastic on Iran.

“Iran has been formally PUT ON NOTICE for firing a ballistic missile,” he wrote. “Should have been thankful for the terrible deal the U.S. made with them!” In a second post, he said wrongly,  (MARC:  FY Pravda on the Hudson!!!) “Iran was on its last legs and ready to collapse until the U.S. came along and gave it a life-line in the form of the Iran Deal: $150 billion.”

Still, the administration has been careful not to specify what the national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, meant when he said on Wednesday that Iran had been put “on notice” for its missile test and for its arming and training of the Houthi rebels in Yemen.

The new sanctions could be announced as soon as Friday. But most experts have said they will have little practical effect, because the companies that supply missile parts rarely have direct business with the United States, and allies have usually been reluctant to reimpose sanctions after many were lifted as part of the 2015 nuclear accord.

Ali Akbar Velayati, an adviser to Iran’s supreme leader, replied, “This is not the first time that an inexperienced person has threatened Iran,” according to the semiofficial Fars news agency. “The American government will understand that threatening Iran is useless.”

Some analysts said they worried that the administration did not have tools, short of military action, to back up its warning.  (MARC:  I share this concern)

“Whether the Trump administration intended it or not, they have created their own red line,” said Aaron David Miller, a senior fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. “When Iran tests again, the administration will have no choice but to put up or shut up.”

Mr. Netanyahu will cheer Mr. Trump’s tough tone with Iran. But the American statement on settlements may force him to change course on a delicate domestic issue. His coalition government seemed to take Mr. Trump’s inauguration as a starting gun in a race to increase its construction in occupied territory.

After Mr. Trump was sworn in, the Israeli government announced that it would authorize another 2,500 homes in areas already settled in the West Bank, and then followed that this week with an announcement of 3,000 more. On Wednesday, Mr. Netanyahu took it a step further, vowing to build the first new settlement in the West Bank in many years.

For Mr. Netanyahu, the settlement spree reflects a sense of liberation after years of constraints from Washington, especially under Mr. Obama, who, like other presidents, viewed settlement construction as harmful to the chances of negotiating a final peace settlement. It is also an effort to deflect criticism from Israel’s political right for Mr. Netanyahu’s compliance with a court order to force several dozen families out of the illegal West Bank outpost of Amona.

Mr. Trump had also promised to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. But in recent weeks, the White House slowed down the move, in part out of concern that it would cause a violent response.

The policy shifts came after a turbulent week in which Mr. Trump also clashed with the leaders of Australia and Mexico over one of the most fraught issues of his new presidency: immigration. He defended the tense exchanges as an overdue display of toughness by a United States that has been exploited “by every nation in the world, virtually.”

“They’re tough; we have to be tough. It’s time we’re going to be a little tough, folks,” he said at the prayer breakfast Thursday. “It’s not going to happen anymore.”

Yet later in the day, the White House felt obliged to put a more diplomatic gloss on events. Mr. Spicer said Mr. Trump’s call with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of Australia had been “very cordial,” even if Mr. Trump bitterly opposed an agreement negotiated by the Obama administration for the United States to accept the transfer of 1,250 refugees from an Australian detention camp.

A senior administration official disputed a report that Mr. Trump had threatened to send troops to Mexico to deal with its “bad hombres.” The official said that the conversation with President Enrique Peña Nieto had been “actually very friendly,” and that Mr. Trump had been speaking in jest.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 39793


« Reply #763 on: February 03, 2017, 08:06:49 AM »

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Column-one-The-Trump-way-of-war-480439

Logged
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 6907


« Reply #764 on: February 03, 2017, 12:38:36 PM »

Risk of war going way up?

http://www.wnd.com/2017/02/michael-savage-cautions-trump-about-inner-circle/
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 39793


« Reply #765 on: February 06, 2017, 09:47:31 PM »

Glick quotes this article as support of her hypothesis:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-administration-looks-at-driving-wedge-between-russia-and-iran-1486342035
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 39793


« Reply #766 on: February 10, 2017, 11:34:10 AM »

 By Peggy Noonan
Feb. 9, 2017 7:48 p.m. ET
233 COMMENTS

Let’s step back from the daily chaos and look at a big, pressing question. Last fall at a defense forum a significant military figure was asked: If you could wave a magic wand, what is the one big thing you’d give the U.S. military right now?

We’d all been talking about the effects of the sequester and reform of the procurement system and I expected an answer along those lines. Instead he said: We need to know what the U.S. government wants from us. We need to know the overarching plan because if there’s no higher plan we can’t make plans to meet the plan.

This was freshly, bluntly put, and his answer came immediately, without pause.

The world is in crisis. The old order that more or less governed things after World War II has been swept away. The changed world that followed the fall of the Berlin Wall is also over.

    Make Inaugurals Dignified Again

    Advice for the new president on his first day—and for the media covering it.

    Click to Read Story

    Shining a Light on ‘Back Row’ America

    Chris Arnade, a photographer whose travels and pictures reveal an America that is battered but standing, a society that is atomized but holding on.

    Click to Read Story

    The Smartest Thing I Heard in 2016

    In July, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott told me this was an ‘unpollable’ election. He was spot on.

    Click to Read Story

    Advertisement

    What Trump Got That Romney Didn’t

    Trump, unlike Romney, understands that ideology isn’t enough to provide the unity America needs.

    Click to Read Story

More By Peggy Noonan

We’ve been absorbing this for a while, since at least 2014, when Russia invaded Crimea. But what plan are we developing to approach the world as it is now?

I always notice that a day after a terrible tornado hits the Midwest the television crews swarm in and film the victims picking through what’s left. People literally stand where their house was, their neighborhood was. In shock, they point at some flattened debris and say, “That was our living room.” They rummage around, find a photo. “This was my son’s wedding.”

That’s sort of what a lot of those interested in foreign policy have been doing in recent years—staring in shock at the wreckage.

But something has to be rebuilt. Everyone now has to be an architect, or a cement-pourer, or a master craftsman carpenter.

It’s been instructive the past week to reread a small classic of statecraft, “Present at the Creation” by Dean Acheson, published in 1969. As undersecretary and then secretary of state he was involved in the creation of the postwar order.

After the war the world was in crisis, much of it in collapse. “The period was marked by the disappearance of world powers and empires, or their reduction to medium-sized states, and from this wreckage emerged a multiplicity of states . . . all of them largely undeveloped politically and economically. Overshadowing all loomed two dangers to all—the Soviet Union’s new-found power and expansive imperialism, and the development of nuclear weapons.” The Cold War had begun. China was in civil war, about to fall to communism. Europe’s economy had been destroyed. Europe and Asia were “in a state of utter exhaustion and economic dislocation.” The entire world seemed to be “disintegrating.”

What came after the crisis was the Marshall Plan, in which the U.S., itself exhausted by the war, helped its allies, and enemies, survive and resist communism. The objective, as the Truman administration declared it, was not relief but revival—spending American money to bring back agriculture, industry and trade. New financing was needed from Congress, in amounts then thought impossible—hundreds of millions that became billions.

It was an effort appropriate to its time. Apart from its essential good—millions didn’t die of starvation, nations such as Greece did not fall to communism—it brought America more than half a century of the world’s sometimes grudging but mostly enthusiastic admiration. They now knew we were not only a powerful nation but a great people. This was not unhelpful in times of crisis down the road.

It is exciting at a time like this to read of the development of a successful foreign-policy effort from conception to execution. And—how to say it?—Acheson’s first-rate second-rateness is inspiring. This was not a deeply brilliant man, not a grand strategist, but more a manager who was a good judge of others’ concepts. He could see facts—he had sturdy sight—and spy implications. He had the gift of natural confidence. He could also be clueless: One of his most respected aides was the Soviet spy Alger Hiss.

But Acheson was gutsy, willing to throw the long ball, and a first-rate appreciator of the gifts of others. He thought George Marshall, who preceded him as secretary of state, the greatest American military figure since George Washington. He is moving on the subject of Harry Truman. You are lucky if you can love a president you serve, and he did. Unlike FDR, Truman was not devious but plain in his dealings; also unlike FDR, he was not cold at the core but available. After Truman left office, a friend of Acheson’s, visiting the new White House, was told as a man went into the Oval Office: “Oh, he’s going in to cheer up the president.” Acheson’s friend replied, “That’s funny, in our day the president used to cheer us up.”

Acheson: “Harry S. Truman was two men. One was the public figure—peppery, sometimes belligerent, often didactic, the ‘give-’em-hell’ Harry. The other was the patient, modest, considerate and appreciative boss, helpful and understanding in all official matters, affectionate in any private worry or sorrow.” Truman “learned from mistakes (though he seldom admitted them), and did not waste time bemoaning them.”

What is inspiring about Acheson’s first-rate second-rateness is that he’s like a lot of those we have developing foreign policy right now.

Acheson, though he did not present it this way, provides useful lessons for future diplomats in future crises.

• Everyone’s in the dark looking for the switch. When you’re in the middle of history the meaning of things is usually unclear. “We all had far more than the familiar difficulty of determining the capabilities and intentions of those who inhabit the planet with us.” In real time most things are obscure. “We groped after interpretations of [events], sometimes reversed lines of action based on earlier views, and hesitated before grasping what now seems obvious.” “Only slowly did it dawn upon us that the whole world structure and order that we had inherited from the nineteenth century was gone.”

• D on’t mess things up at the beginning. Acheson’s insight was that it wouldn’t work to put forward the Marshall Plan and then try to sell it to the public. The way to go was to explain to Congress and the public the exact nature of the crisis. This, he believed, would shock both into facing facts. While they were doing that, a plan to deal with the crisis was being developed. “We could not afford a false start.”

• Be able to see your work soberly. Keep notes so history will know what happened. “Our efforts for the most part left conditions better than we found them,” Acheson says. Especially in Europe, which was dying and went on to live.

• Cheer up. Good things can come of bad times, great things from fiercely imperfect individuals.

• Even though you’ll wind up disappointed. All diplomats in the end feel frustrated over missed opportunities and achievements that slipped away. “Alas, that is life. We cannot live our dreams.”

Still to be answered: What is America’s strategy now—our overarching vision, our big theme and intent? What are the priorities? How, now, to navigate the world?

That soldier needs an answer to his question: What do you need from us? What’s the plan?
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 39793


« Reply #767 on: February 27, 2017, 09:32:03 AM »

https://www.prageru.com/courses/foreign-affairs/why-america-must-lead
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 39793


« Reply #768 on: March 07, 2017, 06:53:29 AM »



Very interesting read:

http://www.aei.org/publication/securing-asias-mediterranean/?utm_source=paramount&utm_medium=email&utm_content=AEITODAY&utm_campaign=030717
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 39793


« Reply #769 on: March 14, 2017, 05:09:40 PM »

http://www.aei.org/publication/boltons-foreign-policy-priorities/
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 39793


« Reply #770 on: March 14, 2017, 05:14:01 PM »

http://thestrategybridge.org/the-bridge-index
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 39793


« Reply #771 on: March 17, 2017, 01:53:09 PM »

WTF?

http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/227526/obamas-foreign-policy-wizards
Logged
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 6907


« Reply #772 on: March 17, 2017, 01:55:33 PM »

 huh angry
Logged
bigdog
Power User
***
Posts: 2242


« Reply #773 on: March 30, 2017, 03:21:28 PM »

http://chargedaffairs.org/on-china-and-russia-strategy-for-the-new-administration/

"...the United States should work to improve relations between Russia and countries adverse to China such as Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam, at least on the economic front."
Logged
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 6907


« Reply #774 on: March 30, 2017, 03:26:30 PM »

Bigdog posts:

http://chargedaffairs.org/on-china-and-russia-strategy-for-the-new-administration/

"...the United States should work to improve relations between Russia and countries adverse to China such as Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam, at least on the economic front."

ccp responds:

About the author of above post:

http://chargedaffairs.org/author/caleb-marquis/

John Bolton on threats to US.  He seems to categorize China and Russia as long term threats vs more immediate threats such as terrorism, N Korea
He might well agree with Caleb Maruis on some of hs strategy which is kind of vague :

http://www.breitbart.com/radio/2017/02/23/bolton-trump-needs-long-term-strategy-keep-russia-check-europe-middle-east/

I tried to find something written on Rex Tillerson's views on Russia China and all that comes up is mostly LEFTist slanted criticism:

"Tillerson skips Nato for meeting with Putin" etc.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 39793


« Reply #775 on: March 30, 2017, 07:44:44 PM »

Thank you CCP
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 39793


« Reply #776 on: April 03, 2017, 07:35:29 PM »

Have not read this yet but it looks promising.

https://thestrategybridge.org/the-bridge/2017/3/27/in-the-mind-of-the-enemy
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 39793


« Reply #777 on: April 11, 2017, 12:00:13 PM »

https://amgreatness.com/2017/04/10/trumps-realism-america-first-not-america-alone/
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 14507


« Reply #778 on: April 16, 2017, 04:59:35 PM »

http://www.thediplomad.com/2017/04/climbing-out-of-obama-foreign-policy.html

Sunday, April 16, 2017
Climbing out of the Obama Foreign Policy Hole (Part 2)

A bit over three years ago I posted a piece titled "Climbing Out of the Obama Foreign Policy Hole." It was one of several in which I surveyed the disaster that was our foreign policy under the late, unlamented Obama misadministration, and provided some general prescriptions, and made the following observation,

our president should matter more to foreigners than to us. We hear nonsense from progressives about the president "running the country." Wrong! Our presidency was not designed to run the country--anybody who thinks that it was has not read the Constitution. The executive branch is not the country. The president must concentrate on the executive branch and the main tasks assigned it by the Constitution. Instead of promoting disastrous health care initiatives, listening to every phone call in Iowa, using the IRS to suppress dissent, beating up on Israel, yammering about fictitious global climate change, or demanding a costly and pointless relabeling of food products in the supermarket, the President should focus on his primary responsibility, the national defense. We must have a military capability second to none, and, in fact, greater than any foreseeable coalition of powers that might oppose us. We must stand with our allies; our word must be a gold coin; our enemies and friends must know we say what we mean and mean what we say, to wit, we have the biggest gun and will pull the trigger. The enemy is real and dangerous--a look at the forcibly altered NYC skyline should be proof enough of that. The "end of history" silliness should have died in the rubble of the Twin Towers.

I had written one earlier than that, some four years ago (time flies!) in which I also focussed on,

the disaster that is Obama's foreign policy, a policy of defeat. In its defense, let me say that to call it a policy designed for America's defeat gives it too much credit. My experience at State and the NSC, has shown me that most Obamaistas are not knowledgable enough to design anything. Foreign policy for the Obama crew is an afterthought. They really have little interest in it; many key jobs went vacant for months at State, DOD, CIA, and the NSC. The Obama foreign policy team is peopled by the "well-educated," i.e., they have college degrees, and as befits the "well educated" in today's America, they are stunningly ignorant and arrogant leftists, but mostly just idiots. They do not make plans; they tend to fly by the seat of their pants using a deeply ingrained anti-US default setting for navigation. They react to the Beltway crowd of NGOs, "activists" of various stripes, NPR, the Washington Post and the New York Times. Relying on what they "know," they ensure the US does not appear as a bully, or an interventionist when it comes to our enemies: after all, we did something to make them not like us. Long-term US allies, e.g., Canada, UK, Israel, Japan, Honduras, Colombia, on the other hand, they view as anti-poor, anti-Third World, and retrograde Cold Warriors. Why else would somebody befriend the US? Obama's NSC and State are staffed with people who do not know the history of the United States, and, simply, do not understand or appreciate the importance of the United States in and to the world. They are embarrassed by and, above all, do not like the United States. They look down on the average American, and openly detest any GOP Congressman or Congresswoman  . . . They have no problem with anti-American regimes and personages because overwhelmingly they are anti-American themselves
As we come up on the 90th day of the Trump administration (Only three months! Time crawls!) are we making progress in climbing out of the hole Obama made for us?

I think the answer is, "yes."

In just a scant ninety days, Trump has reestablished the USA as a force with which to be reckoned. It is a remarkable achievement, and one done solely on the basis of leadership. Even under the miserable Obama reign, the USA was the world's foremost economic and military power--at least on paper. We, however, had Obama, Clinton, and Kerry as the architects of a bizarre foreign policy which in essence assumed that the US had to atone for past sins, and should adopt a foreign policy worthy of perhaps Liechtenstein (I mean no offense to Liechtenstein), and not worry about whether America was "winning." We caught an eight-year "glimpse" into what a post-America world would look like. As I have said before, (here, here, for example) Russia parlayed its much weaker hand into a winning one on the basis of superior leadership on the part of Putin and Lavrov; they, and all our other rivals, knew how to take advantage of the foreign policy clown car careening around in DC.

You can have aircraft carriers, stealth bombers, the US Marine Corps, and an awesome fleet of nuclear subs but if leadership is missing, you got blather, you got convoluted word salads, you got angst, you got, well, you got dystopian Obama World in which our enemies ran amok while we ran amuck. To repeat, what was missing was American leadership. That's no longer the case.

As I have noted before, you can like Trump or not, you can agree with him or not, but the man makes decisions, and moves on. I don't see the "flip-flops" that some of his old critics greet with the same glee that  some of his old supporters bemoan. If these first there months are any indication, I think he will prove a master negotiator and game changer in the foreign policy arena. Trump is not flip-flopping, the world is; it is coming his way, not the other way round.

The Russians and the Chinese certainly have taken note of the change in Washington, and I suspect that the regimes in Iran, North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela, and the fetid leaders of ISIS and the other radical Islamist death cults have, as well. We can see positive change all around; we see it in the willingness of the Chinese to work much more energetically to control Krazy Kim and deal with the unbalanced nature of our bilateral trade, we see it in the Russian acquiescence to our blasting their Syrian ally, we even see it on our border where illegal crossings have plummeted as the coyotes fear the new sheriff.

I am optimistic that we have begun the long climb out of the Obama foreign policy hole.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 39793


« Reply #779 on: April 22, 2017, 03:38:34 AM »

 By Daniel Henninger
April 19, 2017 7:01 p.m. ET
265 COMMENTS

After 59 Tomahawk missiles landed on a Syrian airfield, followed by the dropping of a 21,600-pound bomb on Islamic State’s hideouts in Afghanistan, the world has begun to ask: What is Donald Trump’s foreign policy? And so the search begins by pressing what Mr. Trump has done so far against various foreign-policy templates. Is he a neoconservative, a Scowcroftian realist or a babe in the woods?

We know this is a fool’s errand. There will be no Trump Doctrine anytime soon, and that’s fine. The Obama Doctrine, whatever it was, left his successor a steep climb in the Middle East and Asia. It is difficult to find doctrinal solutions for issues that everyone calls “a mess.” It is possible, though, to see the shape of an emerging strategy.

The place to look for that strategy is inside the minds of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.

During his Senate confirmation hearings, Mr. Mattis said something that jumped out at the time. He called the North Atlantic Treaty Organization “the most successful military alliance probably in modern history, maybe ever.”

This was in notable contradistinction to the view of his president that NATO was obsolete. Then last week, after meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, President Trump said of the alliance: “I said it was obsolete. It’s no longer obsolete.”

Let’s set aside the obligatory sniggering over such a remark and try to see a president moving toward the outlines of a foreign policy that, for a president who likes to keep it simple, may be described with one word: allies.

NATO emerged as a formal alliance after World War II. Less formally, the U.S. struck alliances with other nations to base troops and ships, as in the Persian Gulf.

After the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, foreign-policy thinkers began to debate the proper role of the U.S. as the world’s only superpower. Liberals argued that maintaining the U.S. at the apex of this alliance system was, well, obsolete. Instead the U.S. should act more like a co-equal partner with our allies, including international institutions such as the United Nations.

The idea of a flatter alliance structure, or leading from behind, came to life with the Obama presidency. It doesn’t work.

If indeed Jim Mattis and H.R. McMaster are the architects of an emerging Trump foreign policy, their most formative experiences, in Iraq, may shape that policy.

After the Iraq War began in 2003, the U.S. tried to defeat the enemy essentially with brute force. Serving in different areas of Iraq—Gen. Mattis in Anbar province and then-Col. McMaster in the city of Tal Afar—the two men realized that force alone wasn’t winning. Instead, they sought, successfully, to gain buy-in from the local populations and tribal leaders. In return for that buy-in, U.S. forces provided security to their new allies.

The difficult and ultimately tragic question was, what happens after the U.S. leaves? In strategic terms: How does the U.S. stabilize a volatile world without becoming a permanent occupying force?

Last month, Gen. McMaster brought onto the NSA staff Nadia Schadlow, who has thought a lot about that question. Her assignment is to develop the National Security Strategy Report. The title of her just-released book, “War and the Art of Governance: Consolidating Combat Success Into Political Victory,” summarizes its core idea:

Unlike its pullout from Iraq, the U.S. has to remain involved—engaged—in the turbulent political space that always exists between conflict and peace, a space filled with competition for influence and power. What Gens. Mattis and McMaster learned in the wake of Iraq is that if you make allies, you should keep them.

Thus, Vice President Mike Pence stood at the DMZ across from North Korea reconfirming the U.S.’s alliance with South Korea. A day later, he did the same in Japan.

Mr. Trump met in recent weeks with King Abdullah of Jordan, President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi of Egypt and, most importantly, Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Salman. This week, Mr. Trump called to congratulate Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his referendum “victory.”

These are the Middle East’s “tribal leaders,” or allies, whose buy-in will be necessary if the U.S. is to consolidate gains from the military strikes in Syria and Afghanistan—possibly with the partition of Syria into three tribal sectors.

Russia has separated itself by choosing instead an alliance with Iran to create a Russo-Iranian Shiite crescent extending across the Middle East to the Mediterranean.

The Mattis-McMaster foreign policy taking shape looks like a flexible strategy born of military experience in fast, fluid circumstances—our world. It is based on both formal and mobile alliances with partners willing to use diplomatic, financial, political and, if necessary, military pressure to establish stable outcomes. The word “abandon” doesn’t fit here.

Some might say that sounds like the U.S. leading alongside. With one big difference: The U.S. is in fact leading.

Write henninger@wsj.com.
Logged
Pages: 1 ... 14 15 [16] Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!