Author Topic: US Foreign Policy & Geopolitics  (Read 253177 times)


DougMacG

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Re: Churchill
« Reply #901 on: April 07, 2019, 03:49:14 PM »
https://www.latimes.com/travel/la-tr-winston-churchill-museum-in-missouri-50th-year-20190405-story.html?outputType=amp&__twitter_impression=true&fbclid=IwAR25fhHwN9ZTyqYssJwW22_VPfp9TlktNyDlnFdNW1G5PudvH5wtTxwhx6A

Nice publicity for the college BD.

I have long believed the UN, if the US is to host it, should meet somewhere in middle America, not NYC.

I wonder if Churchill's medical prohibition doctor note is in the museum:


DougMacG

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US Foreign Policy, 5 Very Important Things About the World Nobody Knows
« Reply #902 on: April 08, 2019, 08:28:33 AM »
https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/04/02/5-very-important-things-about-the-world-nobody-knows/

5 Very Important Things About the World Nobody Knows
The future will be determined by a handful of big questions that don’t yet have answers.
[More at the link on each.]
...
China’s future trajectory.
...
How good are America’s cybercapabilities?
...
What’s going to happen to the EU?
...
How many states will go nuclear in the next 20 years?
...
Who will win the debate on U.S. grand strategy?
...

Crafty_Dog

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George Friedman: The Haka
« Reply #903 on: April 16, 2019, 07:30:27 AM »
April 16, 2019
By George Friedman


Doing the Haka


Despite the furor that rages, the world appears to be quietly moving along.


In New Zealand, the Maoris have a ceremonial dance called the haka. Today it’s performed at rugby matches and consists of the New Zealanders making stylized threatening gestures, including sticking out their tongues at their competitors, crouching, jumping and chanting. It is deeply rooted in Maori history, but for all its energy and passion, it does not do what it is intended to do, which is frighten their opponents, and the rugby match goes on.

The political history of humankind is filled with the haka and the violence that was meant to come next. Even at the great turning points, the deepest agonies of humanity, life went on. This was no comfort to those caught in the moment. They died, but in the end, so did everyone. That is of course too Olympian a perspective for most of us, and certainly for those of us with children and grandchildren, but there is a terrible truth to it.

On a lesser level, there are moments when the haka goes on, when all sides are determined to frighten each other and frighten the world, yet it means no more than what it means at a rugby match. Coming back down to earth, we seem to be at a moment like that. The furor rages, but the world appears to be quietly moving along.

The Americans and the Chinese have been locked in a “trade war.” There has been great anticipation of catastrophe for both sides, yet the world remains unchanged save for the noise.

The North Koreans have nuclear weapons. The Americans don’t want them to. Each meeting is greeted with the expectation that something will happen. Apart from each side pulling frightening faces, nothing does.

Russia continues to lick its wounds after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the loss of Ukraine. Threatening gestures are made in places that hardly matter to Moscow, like Syria, and Russia struggles with the price of oil, but little of substance takes place.

On the Continent, there are those who regard the European Union as the source of Europe’s redemption, others who see it as a necessary evil, and still others who see it merely as evil. Each faction has utter contempt for the other and makes frightening faces, but nothing comes of it.

In the Middle East, the lines shift as Arabs and Israelis face the Iranians in a battle never really joined. The Kurds and the Palestinians demand statehood, but both are still far from reaching their goal.

And in the United States, Donald Trump is president and the Democrats despise him. Each day, each side invents a new way to hurl contempt, and the viewers are enthralled by the venom. But at the end of the day, Trump sleeps in the White House and those who feel this is outrageous demonstrate their outrage.

There are, of course, places where terrible things are happening, and they must not be dismissed. But such dreadful things have been going on for a long while and will likely continue beyond our time.

This is not the normal condition of the world. Think of the 2008 financial crisis and the great movement of global power that it incited, with China staggering economically and Europe fragmenting politically. These are not moments but rather unfolding trends. Nothing is settled, even when things come to a standstill, as they appear to be now. Nothing is leading to anywhere. Trade wars continue without coming to a head, nuclear talks lead nowhere, gestures of power remain gestures, and ancient animosities continue to show themselves. And the politics of the time plod on, resembling a haka more than any great historical moment.

In one sense, it has always been this way, the blood and fury flowing while humanity goes on. At other moments, they are the signs of a period that has exhausted itself. That is what our current moment looks like. What 2008 created has run its course, and the world is waiting for the next act in the never-ending drama. But such moments of meaningless paralysis can continue a long time; in retrospect, they are good times, but in the moment, they frustrate those who aspire to great things. It is a moment of mediocrity, in which the haka challenges the course of history, but it does not capture the moment that is coming.
The problem is that once the haka has been danced, eventually the game begins. We seem to be in the haka interlude, with dances meant to inspire terror being performed and onlookers seeing the performance as merely odd. But the period of gestures will end. Where the future war will break out is truly unclear. At the moment, none of these hakas warrant war. But wars never seem to warrant violence until they are underway.

The world, as always, is filled with genuine issues that affect nations profoundly. In due course, the gestures end and the issues are settled. Some of the lesser issues can be resolved with calm discussion. It is the most significant ones that transit from the gesture to the conflict. It is rare that all explode at once. But equally rare that none explode at all.



Crafty_Dog

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George Friedman: The Nature of Nations
« Reply #904 on: April 18, 2019, 09:59:18 AM »
April 18, 2019



By George Friedman


The Nature of Nations


Over the past few weeks, I have discussed the relationship between geography and the evolution of three countries: the United States, Australia and Hungary. A key distinction I drew between them was that the United States and Australia were invented countries while Hungary was an organic country. This week, we’ll examine this idea further.
Invented Nations, Organic Nations

The American and Australian nations were forged from migrants who crafted a political system that defined them. In both countries, the political system and its moral principles – along with the social principle that each newly arrived citizen must set his own course and take responsibility for his own condition – defined them. This enabled the simultaneous absorption of migrants into the system and the retention of their familial memory. It was possible, and even necessary, for migrants to graft their own psyches onto an overarching commitment to the national regime and the culture it created, while preserving a residual recollection of where they came from. This was not simply something for recent immigrants. The descendants of the first English immigrants became Americans and Australians through the regimes, but centuries later, they still remembered that they were once English and that they owed something to that past.

This complex identity emerged from the need to invent something different than what existed. The immigrants faced a geography of a vast land occupied by other nations, and they felt a compulsion to create a new reality on that land. The creation of that new reality was in many ways driven by the reality they faced rather than a clear plan. It was a process of ongoing invention and self-invention that bore new nations while embedding in the national psyche the complex tension between the immigrants’ hunger to leave the past and their hunger to retain it.

Hungary, an organic country, is a different case. A Hungarian living in Hungary has a single identity. His family’s past is Hungarian, his mother tongue is Hungarian, and so on. Most important, he is Hungarian no matter what the regime is. And yet, when we step back and think of the origin of organic nations like Hungary, we see they all came from somewhere and they all displaced someone. They just did so a long time ago. Hungary’s history is blurred by time, but at some point between the 6th and 9th centuries, the Hungarian tribes crossed over the Carpathian Mountains and displaced tribes that were already there.
The difference between the United States or Australia and Hungary is not that the Hungarians did not displace native peoples on occupying the land. It was more radical. The Hungarians existed independent of the land and prior to coming to the place where they finally settled; the Americans and Australians as peoples were invented after coming to the land. The Hungarians had community and identity independent of place; the Americans and Australians built it after coming to the land, partly from the land but mostly from the moral and legal principles of their nations. The Hungarians were bound to their people; the Americans, in particular, were bound to the principles of the regime.

This striking difference is illustrated in two very different pledges. In the 9th century, once settled in the Carpathian Basin, seven Hungarian tribal leaders took a blood oath. Although the Hungarian people preceded it, it was on this oath that Hungary as a nation was founded. In contrast, American armed forces pledge to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic” – not specifically to defend the land or the people.

Land, People, Regime

When we think of a nation, we think of three components: the land, the people and the regime. In the American and Australian cases, the identity of the people was always somewhat ambiguous. It was the regime, constitution, laws and moral principles that bound the nation together. The land evolved over time. In the case of Hungary, the land was taken, the people were the absolute, and the blood oath joined the tribes, which were already Magyars, into one.

There is much criticism of modern settler countries displacing native populations. But most nation-states came into existence by displacing someone else. The Hungarian case is simply one in which the conquest took place so long ago, and the destruction of the native peoples – who either were killed or simply scattered – was so total that there is no moral question. The moral question arises with the United States, Australia and other recently founded nations, because the deed is still remembered. The uncomfortable truth is that the creation of one nation requires that another pay some price.

Most people who think about geopolitics think in terms of the interaction of geography and people. But in this equation, the people are a very complex variable. Geography provides imperatives for survival, but geopolitics does not exclude the origins and nature of community, nor the moral character of the nation. And, therefore, it doesn’t ignore the political regimes that emerge.

The difference between the Hungarian blood oath and the American military oath is striking. The first was a pledge to the unity of the people; the second was a pledge of loyalty to the Constitution even against the people if necessary. The blood tied the Hungarians together. The regime and its principles tied the Americans together. The Australians define themselves based on place, though their history makes their moral commitment complex. Still, the moral derives from the necessary – and the necessary begins with place.



Crafty_Dog

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Newt Gingrich: Wei Qi-- America's Key to Victory
« Reply #906 on: April 24, 2019, 07:37:42 PM »
For my fellow geopolitical junkie friends:

Wei Qi – America’s Key to Victory

China is inevitably seeking global dominance across multiple domains. This has become clear as China hosts more than 40 world leaders in Beijing this week for the second international forum on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – with Vladimir Putin as the guest of honor. Axios’ Mike Allen wrote, “When you can get that many powerful people to come to you in Beijing, you're starting to look a lot like a superpower.”

Dave Lawler with Axios also notes that the BRI infrastructure effort is only one part of “China's plan to supplant the U.S. as the dominant global superpower within the next three decades.” In addition to the BRI, China’s aggressive tactics used in the race to 5G, the militarization of the South China Sea, the theft of intellectual property, and discriminatory business practices all work collectively to advance China’s economic, military, and political influence across the globe.

In my new book Trump vs China: America’s Greatest Challenge, which will be released in October, I describe China’s challenge to the rules-based world order and how, as a result, American interests and security are being put at risk.

Sun Tzu, one of the most famous (and possibly legendary) Chinese military thinkers stressed that you must know both yourself and your opponent in order to be successful in competitions. According to Sun Tzu, the attributed author of The Art of War, by having an understanding of both contenders, “you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”
China is the most serious and formidable competitor that the United States now faces. It is essential to examine Chinese tactics and strategic thinking to better position the U.S. for this new era of competition. It will affect the future of our country for generations to come.

One of the most revealing comparisons to Chinese strategy is the game wei qi, which is said to have originated in China thousands of years ago. Wei qi – more commonly known by its Japanese name, “go,” in the West – is a game played with two players using a checkered board lined with 19 horizontal and 19 vertical lines. One player has 180 white round stones and another has 181 black round stones. The players take turns placing their stones on the board one at a time on the intersections of the checker lines. The goal of the game is to capture the most territory either by encircling empty spaces or your opponent’s pieces on the board. The player with the most territory after all the pieces have been played, or after both players pass on their turns, wins.

Go is an incredibly complex game due to the number of possible moves and board configurations. As the game progresses, there are multiple invasions, engagements, fights, and confrontations between players that occur in all different areas of the board at the same time. Moreover, it is a lengthy game that requires players to capitalize on short-term victories – but to never lose sight of the long-term strategy.

In a paper analyzing Chinese strategic thinking, Dr. David Lai, now the research professor of Asian Security Studies at the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College, argues that the Chinese approach to strategy is reflected in go. The American approach to strategic thinking, Lai argues, is reflected in chess.

American strategy relies on our technological superiority and capabilities. The U.S. focuses on force-on-force competition that seeks the result of total victory over the opponent. In chess, there are pieces that are more powerful than others that are deployed with the objective of capturing the opponent’s king. Every move is directed toward protecting your own king and seizing your opponent’s. In this way, chess is narrowly focused.

Chess players must also preserve their stronger pieces to keep the balance of power in their favor and ensure a better chance of victory. The player with the most powerful pieces in play during the game will likely win.

Henry Kissinger notes in his book, On China, “If chess is about the decisive battle, wei qi is about the protracted campaign.”
In go, every stone is equal. Players can unleash massive amounts of potential power by creatively and tactfully placing their stones. All stones that are placed on the board work in close connection with one another, as each individual is a part of a larger, bigger strategy.

Moreover, in go there are multiple campaigns, pursuits, battles, and maneuvers happening at the same time across the board. As the board is constantly changing in complex, subtle, and dynamic ways, players must always have a sharp awareness of the overall situation. Due to the number of possibilities where players can place their stones and the limited number of stones available, players must know when to fight for or defend territory. More importantly, they must know when to let it go.
In an evenly matched game, go is a competition of simultaneous incremental victories. Total, decisive, and complete defeat of an opponent is not typically an attainable objective. Usually, games are won by just a few points.
Dr. Lai notes that playing go with a chess approach is dangerous. Similarly, it will be dangerous for the U.S. to continue to approach the challenges we face with China without understanding and seeing the totality and breadth of their strategy.

China has already placed numerous stones on the board – such as artificially low Huawei 5G equipment prices, government loans to Belt and Road countries, building islands in the South China Sea, and forced technology transfers.
These stones work together in pursuit of various territorial acquisitions that will (in partnership with other stones) yield 5G dominance, control of the South China Sea, and economic superiority.

We must examine all of these campaigns – in addition to others – collectively. We must understand this go-based approach, rather than look at each endeavor as an independent challenge. Each of China’s campaigns work in concert with one another and will ultimately result in China’s emergence as a global hegemon. China’s current aggressive tactics will eventually undermine the United States, jeopardize our security, hurt our economy, compromise our values, and alter our way of life.

Those trying to understand the challenges that the United States now faces with China need to learn how to play go. The National Go Center has very helpful resources and events for players of all levels.

Moreover, the United States must develop an American-based strategy in this new era of competition that is focused on our strength, capabilities, ingenuity, and American spirit. Only then can we ensure that that the U.S. will emerge prosperous, successful, and stronger than ever.
Your Friend,
Newt

G M

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Re: Newt Gingrich: Wei Qi-- America's Key to Victory
« Reply #907 on: April 27, 2019, 10:55:24 PM »
I strongly suspect China is using AI to plan out it’s global strategy.



For my fellow geopolitical junkie friends:

Wei Qi – America’s Key to Victory

China is inevitably seeking global dominance across multiple domains. This has become clear as China hosts more than 40 world leaders in Beijing this week for the second international forum on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – with Vladimir Putin as the guest of honor. Axios’ Mike Allen wrote, “When you can get that many powerful people to come to you in Beijing, you're starting to look a lot like a superpower.”

Dave Lawler with Axios also notes that the BRI infrastructure effort is only one part of “China's plan to supplant the U.S. as the dominant global superpower within the next three decades.” In addition to the BRI, China’s aggressive tactics used in the race to 5G, the militarization of the South China Sea, the theft of intellectual property, and discriminatory business practices all work collectively to advance China’s economic, military, and political influence across the globe.

In my new book Trump vs China: America’s Greatest Challenge, which will be released in October, I describe China’s challenge to the rules-based world order and how, as a result, American interests and security are being put at risk.

Sun Tzu, one of the most famous (and possibly legendary) Chinese military thinkers stressed that you must know both yourself and your opponent in order to be successful in competitions. According to Sun Tzu, the attributed author of The Art of War, by having an understanding of both contenders, “you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”
China is the most serious and formidable competitor that the United States now faces. It is essential to examine Chinese tactics and strategic thinking to better position the U.S. for this new era of competition. It will affect the future of our country for generations to come.

One of the most revealing comparisons to Chinese strategy is the game wei qi, which is said to have originated in China thousands of years ago. Wei qi – more commonly known by its Japanese name, “go,” in the West – is a game played with two players using a checkered board lined with 19 horizontal and 19 vertical lines. One player has 180 white round stones and another has 181 black round stones. The players take turns placing their stones on the board one at a time on the intersections of the checker lines. The goal of the game is to capture the most territory either by encircling empty spaces or your opponent’s pieces on the board. The player with the most territory after all the pieces have been played, or after both players pass on their turns, wins.

Go is an incredibly complex game due to the number of possible moves and board configurations. As the game progresses, there are multiple invasions, engagements, fights, and confrontations between players that occur in all different areas of the board at the same time. Moreover, it is a lengthy game that requires players to capitalize on short-term victories – but to never lose sight of the long-term strategy.

In a paper analyzing Chinese strategic thinking, Dr. David Lai, now the research professor of Asian Security Studies at the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College, argues that the Chinese approach to strategy is reflected in go. The American approach to strategic thinking, Lai argues, is reflected in chess.

American strategy relies on our technological superiority and capabilities. The U.S. focuses on force-on-force competition that seeks the result of total victory over the opponent. In chess, there are pieces that are more powerful than others that are deployed with the objective of capturing the opponent’s king. Every move is directed toward protecting your own king and seizing your opponent’s. In this way, chess is narrowly focused.

Chess players must also preserve their stronger pieces to keep the balance of power in their favor and ensure a better chance of victory. The player with the most powerful pieces in play during the game will likely win.

Henry Kissinger notes in his book, On China, “If chess is about the decisive battle, wei qi is about the protracted campaign.”
In go, every stone is equal. Players can unleash massive amounts of potential power by creatively and tactfully placing their stones. All stones that are placed on the board work in close connection with one another, as each individual is a part of a larger, bigger strategy.

Moreover, in go there are multiple campaigns, pursuits, battles, and maneuvers happening at the same time across the board. As the board is constantly changing in complex, subtle, and dynamic ways, players must always have a sharp awareness of the overall situation. Due to the number of possibilities where players can place their stones and the limited number of stones available, players must know when to fight for or defend territory. More importantly, they must know when to let it go.
In an evenly matched game, go is a competition of simultaneous incremental victories. Total, decisive, and complete defeat of an opponent is not typically an attainable objective. Usually, games are won by just a few points.
Dr. Lai notes that playing go with a chess approach is dangerous. Similarly, it will be dangerous for the U.S. to continue to approach the challenges we face with China without understanding and seeing the totality and breadth of their strategy.

China has already placed numerous stones on the board – such as artificially low Huawei 5G equipment prices, government loans to Belt and Road countries, building islands in the South China Sea, and forced technology transfers.
These stones work together in pursuit of various territorial acquisitions that will (in partnership with other stones) yield 5G dominance, control of the South China Sea, and economic superiority.

We must examine all of these campaigns – in addition to others – collectively. We must understand this go-based approach, rather than look at each endeavor as an independent challenge. Each of China’s campaigns work in concert with one another and will ultimately result in China’s emergence as a global hegemon. China’s current aggressive tactics will eventually undermine the United States, jeopardize our security, hurt our economy, compromise our values, and alter our way of life.

Those trying to understand the challenges that the United States now faces with China need to learn how to play go. The National Go Center has very helpful resources and events for players of all levels.

Moreover, the United States must develop an American-based strategy in this new era of competition that is focused on our strength, capabilities, ingenuity, and American spirit. Only then can we ensure that that the U.S. will emerge prosperous, successful, and stronger than ever.
Your Friend,
Newt

Crafty_Dog

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George Friedman: US-China Trade Talks and American Strategy
« Reply #909 on: May 14, 2019, 09:40:01 AM »

May 14, 2019



By George Friedman


US-China Trade Talks and American Strategy


The United States is shifting from military to economic warfare.


As the U.S. continues to negotiate a trade deal with China, a shift in American global strategy has emerged. The United States is reducing its use of direct military action and instead using economic pressure to drive countries like China, Russia, North Korea and Iran into conceding to U.S. demands. Even in places where the U.S. is still engaged militarily, such as Afghanistan, serious talks are underway for a withdrawal. It’s a shift that has been long in the making. In my book “The Next Decade,” published in 2011, six years before Donald Trump took office, I argued that the United States would reduce its military activity dramatically because it couldn’t maintain the tempo of engagement it had established over the years. I also discussed the topic in a 2018 article titled “The Trump Doctrine,” which argued that the United States would eventually be forced to scale back its foreign engagements. The use of economic power to shape behavior isn’t new; what is new is the focus on economic rather than military warfare.
An Inexperienced Power
The U.S. is a global power, engaged and exposed in many theaters. Having used its military presence in far-flung corners of the world as a symbol of its global reach and superiority, the U.S. spread itself thin and became unable to defeat even enemies whose forces and capabilities were far inferior. The classic example is Korea in 1950, where the United States had deployed an insufficient force, a result of the military drawdown. The North Koreans chose to strike, compelling the U.S. to fight for three years to a truce that left the North Korean regime intact and the boundaries roughly the same as before the war. The U.S. could not initiate war with the force it had. The North Koreans could and did.
Since World War II, the United States has been victorious in only one major conflict: Desert Storm. For 28 of the past 74 years, the U.S. has been at war in places like Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq but has failed to achieve victory in most cases. Neither Rome nor Britain used main force to wage wars. They relied instead on capable local powers with an interest in defeating the same enemy to do most of the fighting. They underwrote the conflicts and supplied some minimal force and material aid, but they tried always to limit their own exposure. The United States, a much younger and more inexperienced power, has consistently used its own force as the main combatant, and failed.


 

(click to enlarge)


There is a core geopolitical reason behind the U.S. failure in these wars. The United States has fought most of its conflicts in Europe and Asia, where force deployment is a substantial logistical effort. The challenges of intercontinental logistics limit the number of troops that can be sent. More important, the moment the United States sets foot in Eurasia, it is vastly outnumbered. The U.S. has tried to overcome this challenge through technology, but as we saw in Korea, technological superiority is enough to contain the enemy but not enough to defeat it. In Vietnam and the Middle East, the United States fought dispersed forces, native to the area and therefore with better intelligence on American forces than the Americans had on them.
The U.S. failures were also due in part to the fact that no one could define what a sufficient force was, and even if they could, it would likely be much larger than what the U.S. was willing to commit to the effort. The U.S., therefore, fought long wars based on the mistaken belief that the force it was willing to supply was enough to defeat the enemy. And while the United States is outstanding in conventional war, it’s not good at occupying a country that is unwilling to be occupied.
Charting a New Path
Inevitably, the time came when the United States recognized that continuing to do what it had been doing for years and expecting a different result was insane. And so, it has developed a new path, one which Trump has followed in his dealings with several countries thus far. The first step in this new strategy is to intimidate the adversary. When that doesn’t work, threaten to carry out military action without actually doing so. The final step is to resort to economic warfare by initiating or extending sanctions or a blockade. (In some cases, Trump has used some military force to enforce sanctions but, rather than going ashore, has used the Navy as the primary vehicle of military operations.)
It’s within this context that we should view the U.S.-China trade talks. Chinese trade practices seen by Washington as establishing an unfair advantage for Chinese producers is a reasonable topic for discussion and negotiation. But such negotiations are also a powerful alternative strategy for dealing with China’s potential emergence as a global power. For Beijing, the buildup in the South China Sea is an attempt to break out of the ring of islands surrounding the sea and, therefore, undermine a geographic advantage the U.S. would have if it chose to blockade China. The U.S. wants to retain this advantage. But even more important, it also wants to retain the Western Pacific – a region from which it fought to expel Japan during World War II – as a buffer against Asia. If China broke out of the South China Sea, it could become a Pacific threat. The U.S. could prevent this from happening by committing a major military force to the region. It could also initiate an attack on the Chinese navy. But it also has a third option that requires no military commitment at all: impede the reason for China’s policy in the South China Sea in the first place – securing safe passage for Chinese exports.


 

(click to enlarge)


China is heavily dependent on exports, which account for roughly one-fifth of its gross domestic product – possibly more given doubts over the accuracy of Chinese GDP figures. About 18 percent of Chinese exports are destined for the United States. In contrast, U.S. exports to China account for only about 0.5 percent of U.S. GDP. This is classic asymmetric warfare. China is far more dependent on its exports to the United States than the United States is on exports to China. Certainly, some Americans will be hurt by a trade war, but the U.S. as a whole is much less vulnerable than China is. The U.S. has therefore found a way to threaten vital Chinese interests without threatening war (though it also has some forces located near the South China Sea).
The U.S. has applied a similar approach to Iran, whose expansion throughout the Middle East is a concern for the U.S. and its allies. It’s questionable whether military action against Iran would succeed, so the U.S. has resorted to economic warfare here, too. It pulled out of the nuclear deal and imposed sanctions on Iranian energy exports that have hurt the Iranian economy. As for North Korea, the United States, in concert with the United Nations, introduced strict sanctions to try to limit Pyongyang’s nuclear program. It even seized a North Korean cargo ship last week that allegedly was used to violate sanctions. Similarly, the U.S. has accepted that it can do little militarily in eastern Ukraine or Crimea, but it has organized painful sanctions against Russia and made clear that additional sanctions are possible.
The U.S. is the world’s largest military power, but it is also the world’s largest economy and importer. For the most part, U.S. military engagements over the past 74 years have not ended well, but the use of economic warfare, which takes advantage of the fact that China and other countries are heavily dependent on the U.S. market, gives Washington an alternative to the military option.
It is not clear whether Trump will continue to use this approach, but thus far he has done so. As I have argued elsewhere, political leaders’ actions are shaped by geopolitical reality. The geopolitical reality of our time is that economic action has emerged as a major foreign policy tool of the United States.




Crafty_Dog

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George Friedman: The Problem of Occupation Warfare
« Reply #911 on: May 22, 2019, 08:17:25 AM »

May 22, 2019



By George Friedman


Iran and the Problem of Occupation Warfare


For the U.S., defeating the Iranian military wouldn’t be the end of the war.


There has recently been a lot of talk about a war between the United States and Iran. In my view, it’s unlikely because the risks are too high for both countries. Iran can’t take the chance that its military would be destroyed, and the U.S. can’t accept the costs a real victory would entail. Since Korea, the United States has performed poorly in war, with the exception of Desert Storm, when the destruction of Iraqi forces allowed U.S. entry into Kuwait and no Kuwaiti resistance to American occupation emerged. But in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq, the United States faced the problem of what I would call occupation warfare, a type of combat that carries a substantial price even after the initial war has been won.

The Three Phases of War

Military theorist Carl von Clausewitz posited that there were three phases of war, each requiring different capabilities of warfare. The first phase is breaking the enemy’s military force, what we typically think of as military combat. The second is occupying the country, which involves the physical occupation of the defeated country and the establishment of the instruments of governance, production and consumption. The third is breaking the enemy’s ability to resist, which involves not only breaking its morale but also destroying any desire of the population to fight back against the occupiers.

The second phase is necessary because defeating an enemy military without occupying the country opens the door to the establishment of a new military force in the defeated country and a return to the strategic threat that sparked the war in the first place. After World War II, for example, the Allies had to occupy Germany and Japan or risk leaving in place the ability to resume the fighting and the political forces that posed the threat to begin with. In the final peace negotiations, therefore, the Americans insisted on occupation despite Japan’s resistance to it.

But the third phase of war didn’t emerge in either Japan or Germany for two reasons. First, and most important, the Allies had attacked not only the military but also the civilian population. Modern war involves hitting industrial targets, and factories are surrounded by people. Attacking the enemy’s industrial base means attacking its population, which dissolves any will to resist in the first place. The population, therefore, didn’t resist and the third phase never developed.

Second, even had there been a will to resist, the occupiers tried to rapidly identify weapons caches and destroy them. Leftover weapons could have been used to reignite the fighting, but eventually, new supplies would have to be obtained. Some might be stolen from the occupation force, but, with some exceptions, creating a force to resist the occupation requires an outside power willing to deliver materiel and a base from which to distribute it.

In Iraq, the United States defeated the Iraqi army within weeks and was able to quickly occupy the country. But the Iraqi army’s weapons had been cached in a number of places, and many Iraqi troops took weapons home. The United States had destroyed the Iraqi army and occupied the country but then faced the emergence of a force that had both the will and weapons to resist, obtained from both within and without the country. The United States failed at that third phase of war.

The Urge to Resist

In occupation warfare, the occupied have no hope of defeating or inflicting significant damage on the occupying military. But they can use their advantages to undermine the occupiers’ will to resist. The resisting force has several advantages, chief among them moral superiority. It is their country that’s being occupied, and the urge to resist is easy to generate. In addition, they have superior intelligence to the occupier and, therefore, a deeper sense of what’s happening. If the terrain permits, they can use it to cloak themselves. In urban environments, the city can make them invisible. Rooting the resistance out of a city is difficult and requires gathering intelligence from the civilian population, but their willingness to help is limited by their sympathy for the resistance, hatred of the occupier and fear of retribution. When the occupier carries out operations in populated areas, civilians are inevitably killed or wounded, increasing the population’s hostility and decreasing the opportunity for cooperation.

This is why occupation warfare is so difficult. It requires the occupier to craft a strategy appropriate for the occupied country, one based on knowledge of the country that the occupying force doesn’t have. The occupier, therefore, can’t obliterate the resisting force, but the resisting force can strike as and where it chooses, depending on its capability.

This means that the occupied win so long as they are not defeated, and the occupiers lose so long as the resistance continues. The resistance will try to create an unending war not because it expects to win but because it wants to break the will of its enemy to remain in the country. War must have a purpose and an end. The purpose for the resistance is clear. But over time, even the relatively low casualties being inflicted on the occupiers compel them to reconsider the political value of continuing to wage war. Clausewitz pointed out that war is the continuation of politics by other means, and that is nowhere truer than in occupation warfare. For years, the war can drag on with the assumption that withdrawal would undermine international credibility and that the occupier cannot allow itself to be defeated in this way. But in due course, the price of withdrawal becomes lower than the cost of maintaining the presence.

Occupation warfare, against a motivated and supplied resistance, is the most difficult type of warfare. It breaks an occupier not by main force but by steadily draining its resources. Some might say that the resistance cannot withstand overwhelming and brutal force. That may be true in some instances, but consider the German attempt to suppress Soviet partisan fighters and communists under Tito. The Germans had occupied the territory but couldn’t defeat the resistance despite extraordinary brutality. The partisans had the Pripet Marshes to hide in. Tito’s force had mountains. Both had a degree of outside supply. And both were highly motivated by the fact that surrender meant death. The very brutality of the occupier put steel into the resistance.

The Seduction of Victory

The United States can certainly destroy the Iranian military. It can also likely occupy Iran, but it would then be forced into occupation warfare. The Iranians would lose control of their country for an extended period of time. The costs would be too high for each side. The U.S. could of course bomb Iran, but only one country has ever capitulated after facing airstrikes alone: Yugoslavia in the Kosovo War. And even in this case, the capitulation had more to do with foreign diplomacy than the pain of war. Air power can cause tremendous damage but likely won’t force a country to back down. The end of war requires a political shift in an enemy, and air power usually can’t impose such a shift.


 

(click to enlarge)


The United States has had experience with occupation warfare in Afghanistan and, in some sense, in Vietnam. In each case, the ability of the enemy to impose extended occupation warfare on the United States compelled the U.S., in the long run, to accept an outcome that was previously unthinkable. In Iraq, the German and Japanese examples from World War II led to the assumption that the final phase would not involve resistance. But those examples, it turns out, didn’t apply to the Iraq War.

There will be mutual threats and possibly even airstrikes and counterstrikes. But the destruction of the Iranian military would lead to occupation and necessitate breaking the will to resist. The dangers of occupation warfare are well known, but the calm after the destruction of the enemy’s military is the most dangerous point in war. It seduces the victorious government into imagining that this time will be different. It rarely is.





Crafty_Dog

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Crafty_Dog

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Re: US Foreign Policy
« Reply #915 on: June 04, 2019, 08:49:08 PM »
Does that mean we leave our NATO allies in East Europe too?  And what of Ukraine?

G M

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Re: US Foreign Policy
« Reply #916 on: June 04, 2019, 09:14:29 PM »
Does that mean we leave our NATO allies in East Europe too?  And what of Ukraine?

We have NATO allies? Really?

1. The vast majority of our NATO “allies” are a bunch of ungrateful backstabbers who are happy to let us pick up the tab while they rot from within.

2. The US military is badly overstretched and worn thin and hasn’t actually won a war since about a quarter century before I was born.

3. We can use the US military to protect people around the globe, well except actual Americans on American soil. Does this strike you as a bit odd?

Crafty_Dog

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Re: US Foreign Policy
« Reply #917 on: June 04, 2019, 09:55:07 PM »
Of course point taken about over extended, but in fairness it should be noted Llithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Poland have all been grateful and pay their way.  The Czechs signed on for being a missile base for us too.

 

G M

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Re: US Foreign Policy
« Reply #918 on: June 04, 2019, 10:19:58 PM »
Of course point taken about over extended, but in fairness it should be noted Llithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Poland have all been grateful and pay their way.  The Czechs signed on for being a missile base for us too.

How many of your children would you want to go to war for the future of Latvia?

Keep in mind that Russia today is Brazil with a nuclear arsenal. But with worse beaches and fashion sense.


http://statisticstimes.com/economy/projected-world-gdp-ranking.php

« Last Edit: June 04, 2019, 10:25:55 PM by G M »

DougMacG

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Re: US Foreign Policy
« Reply #919 on: June 05, 2019, 05:51:21 AM »
"Of course point taken about over extended, but in fairness it should be noted Llithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Poland have all been grateful and pay their way.  The Czechs signed on for being a missile base for us too."

   - These alliances are valuable. 

"How many of your children would you want to go to war for the future of Latvia?"

   - Seen alone, it makes no sense, but intervene and stop major threats sooner before they grow larger was the lesson of that 'last war we won'.

"Keep in mind that Russia today is Brazil with a nuclear arsenal. But with worse beaches and fashion sense."
http://statisticstimes.com/economy/projected-world-gdp-ranking.php
[/quote]

Yes, Russia's importance is over-rated.  Their ability to cause trouble does not seem hampered by their shrinking economy.  Besides bankrupting them through fracking, a wonder what we could do if we committed to an all-out, no weapons fired, cyber war aimed directly at the threat they pose.  By the end of Trump's second term we should have the UN replaced with a security council that doesn't give the two largest threats veto power.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2019, 08:06:10 AM by DougMacG »

DougMacG

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Re: US Foreign Policy
« Reply #920 on: June 05, 2019, 07:50:35 AM »
"We have NATO allies? Really?"

   - Kind of a stretch to call Germany an ally right now.

"1. The vast majority of our NATO “allies” are a bunch of ungrateful backstabbers who are happy to let us pick up the tab while they rot from within."

   - True.

"2. The US military is badly overstretched and worn thin and hasn’t actually won a war since about a quarter century before I was born."

   - A few exceptions in my view.  Ask ccp about the war in Grenada.  Small but it mattered that we drove their bases out of our hemisphere for the moment.  We liberated Kuwait and had Saddam's troops waving their underwear in the desert to show the sign of surrender.  We defeated Saddam Hussein soundly a decade later and the threat he posed, ending with his own people hanging him.  The nation building exercise was another matter.  Likewise for forcing Osama bin Laden into hiding and eventually eliminating him, but again not the nation building.  The real wins were the conflicts avoided through strength and deterrence.  We defeated the Soviet Union, a win perhaps as large as the win over Hitler. 

"3. We can use the US military to protect people around the globe, well except actual Americans on American soil. Does this strike you as a bit odd?"

   - Yes, back to that point about rot from within.

We need to update the rules and promises made in NATO and update our priorities on where we station troops and military resources.  There is an obvious asymmetry entering agreements with these smaller 'powers' like Latvia, and all powers are smaller than us, but we would rather have these countries with us than against us in a larger conflict and we would rather stop Russian Soviet (or Chinese or Islamist) expansionism at their border than at ours.  At least we elected a President who has called them out on keeping their end of the bargain.  The deepest military thinker on the other side is still working on utility billing in South Bend.

One thought comes to mind for a post-Trump US foreign policy, a  President Pompeo.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2019, 07:58:21 AM by DougMacG »

ccp

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Re: US Foreign Policy
« Reply #921 on: June 05, 2019, 08:19:31 AM »
" .Keep in mind that Russia today is Brazil with a nuclear arsenal. But with worse beaches and fashion sense."

true but I agree with (Ras) Putin  ;  they do have some foxy ladies

and  as a plus they do produce the best preserved mammoth carcusses!   :-D


ccp

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Germany not our ally VDH
« Reply #922 on: June 05, 2019, 08:33:04 AM »
Doug wrote  "  Kind of a stretch to call Germany an ally right now."

since we are all VDH fans here I might assume we have all seen his post today on this subject.  If not here it is:

https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/06/angela-merkel-germany-anti-american-views/

About Grenada - it was a great win .  some later called it a police action - but the point was it proved we will defend our borders and our interests and having another Cuban backed socialist regime in our back door wa good enough reason to do it.
90 % of Grenadians were glad we invaded!  - to the chagrin of the F'n liberals.
And finally after the Lefts constant battering of US military ever since the Vietnam War it was a great pleasure to see our military being revered appreciated again .  As it should be. 


Crafty_Dog

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Re: US Foreign Policy
« Reply #923 on: June 05, 2019, 08:54:06 AM »
OK, thought experiment.  We leave NATO.  What happens when the Russkis retake East Europe?

What happens when the Turks throw in with Russia and reestablish an Ottoman Empire.

What happens when the Iranians see no reason to not go nuke?  They already have the missiles , , ,  What happens next in the Middle East?  What message do the jihadis-- and those who oppose them-- take?

What happens when Russia effectively ends its pretense of supporting sanctions on North Korea?

What message do the Chinese take?  Not only in the South China Sea but also with regard to the plan to replace the US at the center of the international order with their ethno-fascist goolag state?

You guys are indulging yourselves in a temper tantrum.


G M

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Re: US Foreign Policy
« Reply #924 on: June 05, 2019, 01:38:06 PM »
"Of course point taken about over extended, but in fairness it should be noted Llithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Poland have all been grateful and pay their way.  The Czechs signed on for being a missile base for us too."

   - These alliances are valuable.

**Please describe the value of the alliances.** 

"How many of your children would you want to go to war for the future of Latvia?"

   - Seen alone, it makes no sense, but intervene and stop major threats sooner before they grow larger was the lesson of that 'last war we won'.

**Like the rise of the global jihad that started in 1979? Or the collapse of our border?**

"Keep in mind that Russia today is Brazil with a nuclear arsenal. But with worse beaches and fashion sense."
http://statisticstimes.com/economy/projected-world-gdp-ranking.php

Yes, Russia's importance is over-rated.  Their ability to cause trouble does not seem hampered by their shrinking economy.  Besides bankrupting them through fracking, a wonder what we could do if we committed to an all-out, no weapons fired, cyber war aimed directly at the threat they pose.  By the end of Trump's second term we should have the UN replaced with a security council that doesn't give the two largest threats veto power.
[/quote]

Cyber wars will lead to shooting wars. Better to collapse the Chinese and Russian economies through legitimate means.

G M

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Re: US Foreign Policy
« Reply #925 on: June 05, 2019, 01:48:12 PM »
OK, thought experiment.  We leave NATO.  What happens when the Russkis retake East Europe?

**Much easier said than done. Russia faces a much bigger threat from China. Something that could be exploited if we'd weren't pushing their paranoia buttons on their borders.**

What happens when the Turks throw in with Russia and reestablish an Ottoman Empire.

**I am pretty sure Putin and whatever Russian strongman follows him won't be bowing to either Turkey or Mecca anytime soon.**

What happens when the Iranians see no reason to not go nuke?  They already have the missiles , , ,  What happens next in the Middle East?  What message do the jihadis-- and those who oppose them-- take?

**You think Iran doesn't already have nukes? The Sunni states and Israel are planning on dealing with Iran. Perhaps we should let them.**

What happens when Russia effectively ends its pretense of supporting sanctions on North Korea?

**That it will be business as usual, without the pretense.**

What message do the Chinese take?  Not only in the South China Sea but also with regard to the plan to replace the US at the center of the international order with their ethno-fascist goolag state?

**Does getting out of the North American Moochers Organization mean we don't work against China's plans for conquest? I don't recall saying that.**

You guys are indulging yourselves in a temper tantrum.

G M

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Re: US Foreign Policy
« Reply #926 on: June 05, 2019, 02:00:29 PM »
"Likewise for forcing Osama bin Laden into hiding and eventually eliminating him, but again not the nation building."

He was in hiding before 9/11. We killed him. Did we kill the global jihad? Did we teach Pakistan a lesson for sheltering him? Indeed we did. We taught them and the rest of the world that America won't do what it takes to win. America will settle for a draw on the battlefield that translates to a strategic loss. Oh, and how many billions of dollars did we keep giving them even after we knew about Bin Laden?

In late 2001, did you think that by 2019, there would be places throughout the western world where sharia law would be the law?

Do you think we are winning?

Crafty_Dog

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Re: US Foreign Policy
« Reply #927 on: June 05, 2019, 05:43:33 PM »
What does that have to do with withdrawing from East Europe?


Crafty_Dog

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Re: US Foreign Policy
« Reply #929 on: June 05, 2019, 09:45:58 PM »
I listed probable consequences of our leaving East Europe to the Russians.  Your reply is non-responsive to that.

G M

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Re: US Foreign Policy
« Reply #930 on: June 05, 2019, 10:33:08 PM »
I listed probable consequences of our leaving East Europe to the Russians.  Your reply is non-responsive to that.

I believe Russia acts in a more hostile manner because we have NATO on their border. Imagine if Mexico became a Soviet client state/Warsaw pact member during the Cold War. We might actually have a real border fence long before Trump. I am sure you are well of Russian history and why they are always awaiting the next horrific event on Russian soil.

Russia doesn’t like it’s prison bitch relationship with China. There is a chance to do a “Nixon to China” to a degree, although the Dems have really poisoned that well.

That doesn’t mean we don’t help Eastern European nations, but we don’t need to keep pissing money away on NATO.

Crafty_Dog

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Re: US Foreign Policy
« Reply #931 on: June 06, 2019, 12:16:54 AM »
That is responsive.

Of course the other side to it is that it can also be portrayed as being OK with Russia re-establishing the Soviet Empire in East Europe. 

IMHO these questions remain:

What happens when the Russkis retake East Europe?

What happens when the Turks throw in with Russia and reestablish an Ottoman Empire?

What happens when the Iranians see no reason to not go nuke?  They already have the missiles , , ,  What happens next in the Middle East?  What message do the jihadis-- and those who oppose them-- take?

What happens when Russia effectively ends its pretense of supporting sanctions on North Korea?

What message do the Chinese take?  Not only in the South China Sea but also with regard to the plan to replace the US at the center of the international order with their ethno-fascist goolag state?


DougMacG

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Re: US Foreign Policy
« Reply #932 on: June 07, 2019, 06:56:56 AM »
That is responsive.

Of course the other side to it is that it can also be portrayed as being OK with Russia re-establishing the Soviet Empire in East Europe. 

IMHO these questions remain:

What happens when the Russkis retake East Europe?

What happens when the Turks throw in with Russia and reestablish an Ottoman Empire?

What happens when the Iranians see no reason to not go nuke?  They already have the missiles , , ,  What happens next in the Middle East?  What message do the jihadis-- and those who oppose them-- take?

What happens when Russia effectively ends its pretense of supporting sanctions on North Korea?

What message do the Chinese take?  Not only in the South China Sea but also with regard to the plan to replace the US at the center of the international order with their ethno-fascist goolag state?

Crafty,  You make a strong case and I agree with you. 

There are some enormous contradictions within our foreign policy.

We protect places like East Europe and West Europe because it is in our best interest, not as a favor to them.  Therefore I guess we need to get over their thanklessness.

The better we protect them, the less compelled they feel to contribute to their own defense.  Someone needs to question these alliances even if we continue them.  (Enter Trump.)  It seems to me we need bilateral negotiations with sovereign nations.  Groupthink just becomes bilateral, US and not-US.

NATO has an all or none premise.  No real deterrence comes from saying we might come to the defense of a country depending on the latest political circumstances.  Article 5 of NATO spells out a certainty that has serves a good purpose.  Meanwhile, all the burden falls on the US and that is not right.

I don't see how (or why) we can provide for their defense AND then face unfair trade practices in return.  cf. Europe has 4 times the tariff rate on cars vs. US.  Also they give us zero support in the UN and Europe is giving us zero support in the tariff and technology war with China.  Does it make sense that we protect them and get stepped on in return?  Maybe yes, but then what is the lever we have with them?

When do we reevaluate things like having the two largest rogue players on the security council of the UN with permanent veto power?  When do we reevaluate our own participation in an institution that is anti Israel and anti-US, anti-Taiwan, anti-life, anti free enterprise, etc.?

The Trump phenomenon of questioning NATO and US interventions was not started by Trump.  People are skeptical.  The interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan could have been strike hard and (mostly) leave.  Colin Powell was wrong about break something that is already broken and you have to fix it. 

So-called allies like Germany and Turkey keep giving us reason to question the alliance.  Other key allies and would-be/should-be allies are not in the 'North Atlantic'.  List of countries that helped in Gulf War 1991:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coalition_of_the_Gulf_War

As G M suggests, Russia is a third rate economy.  If they are our enemy, if they are the threat we spend a good part of $5 trillion per decade to defend against, aren't there other strategies, economic strategies (fracking expansion and exporting LNG worldwide) that would weaken them as well to supplement our military expense.  Don't we have cyber capabilities that would cripple Russia or China if necessary without deploying a troop or firing a shot?

G M

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Re: US Foreign Policy
« Reply #933 on: June 07, 2019, 01:43:50 PM »
https://medium.com/@bradleynewlon/free-riding-in-nato-525ad98fe504

NATO members recognize past Russian aggression and see the current threat posed to the NATO member Baltic states. However, there is not a consensus on how to deal with these aggressions. Poland is the most openly hostile state to the Russians and has accepted military aid willingly. The invasion of Ukraine highlights some of the disagreement between the United States and Germany within NATO. For instance, seventy-one percent of Germans, when surveyed, were in favor of providing economic aid to Ukraine. The Americans, on the other hand, were sixty percent in favor of providing economic aid. The public’s view of providing aid is unanimously in favor on both sides. However, the contrast lies in the public’s view of providing military aid. Forty-six percent of Americans were in favor of providing military aid whereas only nineteen percent of Germans were in favor. Sixty-two percent of Americans were in favor of admitting Ukraine to NATO whereas only thirty-six percent of Germans approved.

Above I have only highlighted only some external issues for NATO members, and there are more that could be covered. However, I believe the evidence above sufficiently highlights

NATO’s current problems both external and internal. Namely, Russian aggression and intimidation of both NATO and non-NATO states, and, secondly, disagreement amongst NATO states on how to solve problems. For the rest of this paper, I will focus on whether there is freeriding in NATO. Namely, through examining NATO funding targets, and current trends in funding country-to-country.

Free Riding in NATO:

To first assess whether there is free-riding in NATO we first need to explore what freeriding is and why it arises in agreements such as NATO. This questions first brings us to the subject of public goods. In our introductory economics classes, we learned about the goods we use every day — these are called private goods. Namely, we can exclude others from using them, and our consumption of them prevents others from using them as well. However, when one cannot exclude someone from a good or rival their consumption that good is called a public good. National Defense is a favorite example of a public good because, seemingly, no matter how many people there are in a country it does not seem to impede the military’s ability to defend them.

It is impossible for free-riding to exist when it comes to regular national defense because citizens are required by law to pay their fair share of taxes. In the case of NATO and international defense, however, countries are not mandated to pay a certain amount towards their defense. However, NATO members met in 2014 and agreed to raise a budget that is equal to two percent of their real GDP — this rule cannot be enforced. This is where free-riding arises. Members are not required to pay a certain amount to be members of NATO, so there is an incentive to pay as little as possible to get by. This incentive can be demonstrated in a simple 2x2 game theory matrix — in this example we will model the decisions between two parties for simplicity.


Where Strategy A is to provide, and Strategy B is to under-provide. As we can see here the dominant strategy for either member is to always under-provide. This is the fundamental problem in associations where there is no mandate of a specific level of financial support.

However, the problem with NATO that arises begins to complicate once we add in more actors. Typically, public goods are underprovided; however, International defense in NATO is overprovided despite members not meeting the agreed upon level of spending — two percent of

GDP. This is because of the over spending by members such as Estonia, Greece, The United States, and The United Kingdom — with the United States overpaying by the largest margin. Latvia is the only country who currently meets the agreed upon level of spending as we can see in the figure below.


A Pew Research poll showed that fifty-eight percent of Germans, fifty-three percent of the French, and fifty-one percent of Italians were against using the armed forces to defend another member of NATO. On the other hand, only thirty-seven percent of Americans and citizens from the UK were opposed to using the armed forces to defend an ally. These poll results, coupled with another poll that said that sixty-eight percent of Europeans believed the United States would use the force necessary to defend against a Russian attack, can be used to explain Europe’s willingness to provide less than the agreed upon two percent of GDP. We can use our median voter model to explain these countries raising a budget where the two percent of GDP target is not met. That is if we assume the legislature perfectly represents their constituents. This can be seen in the diagram below.


This diagram represents a normal distribution of ideal voter points with the black line separating regions, Provide and Underprovide, representing the voter who is indifferent between the two, the green line representing the median voter, and the red lines representing two candidates running for office. In the case drawn above, the candidate who is closest to the median voter wins the election — over the long term the candidates’ positions will converge. This can explain why most countries in NATO do not meet the agreed-upon funding level.

ccp

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Nato alliance - sort of
« Reply #934 on: June 07, 2019, 03:16:35 PM »
"A Pew Research poll showed that fifty-eight percent of Germans, fifty-three percent of the French, and fifty-one percent of Italians were against using the armed forces to defend another member of NATO. "

But they would have no problem if the US did !   :x

That after the US bailed them out of 2 WW!


G M

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Re: Nato alliance - sort of
« Reply #935 on: June 07, 2019, 04:38:12 PM »
Our NATO "allies" are prepared to fight to the last American.


"A Pew Research poll showed that fifty-eight percent of Germans, fifty-three percent of the French, and fifty-one percent of Italians were against using the armed forces to defend another member of NATO. "

But they would have no problem if the US did !   :x

That after the US bailed them out of 2 WW!

Crafty_Dog

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Re: US Foreign Policy
« Reply #936 on: June 21, 2019, 09:42:02 PM »
Note my post earlier this evening on the South China Sea thread about Germany eyeing the Taiwan Straits and the French actually sailing it.

G M

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Re: US Foreign Policy
« Reply #937 on: June 21, 2019, 10:08:57 PM »
Note my post earlier this evening on the South China Sea thread about Germany eyeing the Taiwan Straits and the French actually sailing it.

The PLA/PLAN is duly on notice!  :roll:



DougMacG

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Re: Defense One on Sanders et al foreign policy
« Reply #940 on: June 27, 2019, 08:07:05 AM »
https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2019/06/end-forever-wars-sound-bite-not-security-policy/158017/?oref=defense_one_breaking_nl

"Pulling out completely [Syria in this case] won’t end that war or terrorism in that country, but it will give every one of the roughly 20 identified terrorist groups there freer reign"

Having a zero leave behind force and no base in Iraq enabled the ISIS caliphate.  Surrender in Vietnam brought human disaster.  The pullout in Afghan is putting the Taliban back in charge.  Leaving NK and Iran untouched adds them to the nuclear club.  No one else steps up when the US does nothing.  These aren't simple, easy or inconsequential choices.

It is easy to be a critic and difficult to lead with a coherent policy aimed at long term security.  Sanders is stuck at the sound bite phase.  His highest level of executive experience was the surprise of being elected mayor of Burlington Vermont.  He has never seriously contemplated the consequences of his words or proposals, and he might have picked the Soviets over the Americans in the cold war anyway. Who would be his Secretary of Defense?  Or would they close the department?  Why would you rather fight the wars here?  And if so, wouldn't you want to control the border at some point in the conflict?

Trump didn't know what the term nuclear triad was or know Kurds from Quds by name at the start but he did understand peace through strength, and maybe more importantly, negotiation through strength.  He also knows which side he is pulling for and made some excellent appointments.  He will no doubt make mistakes but has been mostly a very pleasant surprise on national security policies so far.

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Re: US Foreign Policy
« Reply #941 on: June 27, 2019, 04:04:28 PM »
https://www.wnd.com/2019/06/memo-to-trump-trade-bolton-for-tulsi/

personally I would rather have Bolton.

recently on the John Batchelor show he had a guest who pointed out that Al Qaida is just as strong in Afghanistan now as it was prior to 911!

We can thank the Taliban for that.

So Tulsi is from that source not correct in what she is saying that the Taliban did not attack us and the other candidate
who stated they re harboring the terrorists is correct.

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Considering America on Independence Day
« Reply #942 on: July 05, 2019, 05:22:30 PM »
Jul 4, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
7 mins read
Considering America on Independence Day
A painting of the Declaration of Independence by John Trumbull (1756-1843).
(Photo12/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

The Geopolitics of the United States, Part 1: The Inevitable Empire

    July 4, 2016: The American geography is an impressive one. The Greater Mississippi Basin together with the Intracoastal Waterway has more kilometers of navigable internal waterways than the rest of the world combined. The American Midwest is both overlaid by this waterway and is the world's largest contiguous piece of farmland. The U.S. Atlantic Coast possesses more major ports than the rest of the Western Hemisphere combined. Two vast oceans insulated the United States from Asian and European powers, deserts separate the United States from Mexico to the south, while lakes and forests separate the population centers in Canada from those in the United States. The United States has capital, food surpluses and physical insulation in excess of every other country in the world by an exceedingly large margin. So like the Turks, the Americans are not important because of who they are, but because of where they live.

     

The Greater Mississippi Basin is the continent's core, and whoever controls that core not only is certain to dominate the East Coast and Great Lakes regions but will also have the agricultural, transport, trade and political unification capacity to be a world power — even without having to interact with the rest of the global system.

Listening to the Echoes of the American Revolution

    July 4, 2016: "The struggle had opened in a grey dawn at Lexington; its last shot was fired eight years later on the other side of the world outside a dusty town in southern India."

    So ends Piers Mackesy's 1964 book, "The War for America; 1775-1783." Mackesy helps us see beyond the story of a scrappy band of rebels cleverly hiding behind trees and using backwoods marksmanship to defeat an outdated rank-and-file military organization, an image still pervasive in Americana today. Instead, what emerges is a cautionary tale of just what it means to be an empire with global interests and relations. Writ large are the choices and responsibilities that ultimately limit possibilities, require prioritization and can lead to unexpected catastrophic results.

    The world is a complicated, interconnected and volatile place. No country has the singular power to intervene for national, economic or even moral reasons everywhere. For Britain, a small rebellion, driven by distance, fiscal policy and changing culture, escalated from a localized police action to a global crisis that dragged on for nearly a decade. In the process, old foes were reawaked and unforeseen challenges to British forces at the far reaches of the empire emerged. On America's Independence Day (a day marking more the start than conclusion of hostilities with the mother country), it is worthwhile reflecting on the ideas and complexities of global capabilities and responsibilities as well as considering the nature of independence and freedom.

At the outbreak of the American Revolution, Britain was, at least briefly, the undisputed global hegemon ... In reality, the British were stretched thin, facing political turmoil at home and transitioning from a high-intensity wartime military and economy to a post-crisis structure.

Coming to Terms With the American Empire

April 14, 2015: The geography of the American empire was built partly on military relations but heavily on economic relations. At first these economic relations were fairly trivial to American business. But as the system matured, the value of investments soared along with the importance of imports, exports and labor markets. As in any genuinely successful empire, it did not begin with a grand design or even a dream of one. Strategic necessity created an economic reality in country after country until certain major industries became dependent on at least some countries. The obvious examples were Saudi Arabia or Venezuela, whose oil fueled American oil companies, and which therefore — quite apart from conventional strategic importance — became economically important. This eventually made them strategically important.

As an empire matures, its economic value increases, particularly when it is not coercing others. Coercion is expensive and undermines the worth of an empire. The ideal colony is one that is not at all a colony, but a nation that benefits from economic relations with both the imperial power and the rest of the empire. The primary military relationship ought to be either mutual dependence or, barring that, dependence of the vulnerable client state on the imperial power.

This is how the United States slipped into empire. First, it was overwhelmingly wealthy and powerful. Second, it faced a potential adversary capable of challenging it globally, in a large number of countries. Third, it used its economic advantage to induce at least some of these countries into economic, and therefore political and military, relationships. Fourth, these countries became significantly important to various sectors of the American economy.

The U.S. military is built around force multipliers, weapons that can destroy the enemy before the enemy destroys the relatively small force deployed. Sometimes this strategy works. Over the long run, it cannot.

The Geopolitics of the United States, Part 2: American Identity and the Threats of Tomorrow

Aug. 25, 2011: What happens when something goes wrong, when the rest of the world reaches out and touches the Americans on something other than America's terms? When one is convinced that things can, will and should continually improve, the shock of negative developments or foreign interaction is palpable. Mania becomes depression and arrogance turns into panic.

An excellent example is the Japanese attack on American forces at Pearl Harbor. Seventy years on, Americans still think of the event as a massive betrayal underlining the barbaric nature of the Japanese that justified the launching of a total war and the incineration of major cities. This despite the fact that the Americans had systemically shut off East Asia from Japanese traders, complete with a de facto energy embargo, and that the American mainland — much less its core — was never threatened.

Such panic and overreaction is a wellspring of modern American power. The United States is a large, physically secure, economically diverse and vibrant entity. When it acts, it can alter developments on a global scale fairly easily. But when it panics, it throws all of its ample strength at the problem at hand, and in doing so reshapes the world.
A map showing the United States' expansion over time.
How the Plight of a Heartland Could Upset America's Balance

Societal, economic or cultural change is not always immediately reflected in the halls of Washington, D.C. Some of the change at the political level can be delayed due to the fundamentals of the U.S. political system. Changes in population due to the rise and fall of local state economies will only result in changes in representation every decade and even then, they will be gradual. After each census, the House of Representatives recalculates the number of seats allocated to each state proportionally, meaning that the population declines in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, West Virginia and Michigan that have occurred over the past decade will have a delayed effect on overall political power within the House. In the meantime, traditionally powerful states that see waning power and influence ahead will seek to hold onto influence in other ways and in other branches of the government. See the 2016 presidential elections, when many states that have been facing long-term economic decline gravitated to the candidate who promised a return to former glory. However, the growth of urban areas as economic hubs could slowly change the social and political profiles of the states that host them. Ultimately, the lag between demographic and economic changes and its formal reflection at the level of political representation leaves the U.S. political system in a state of limbo.

Against this backdrop, the United States is witnessing the growth of ideological divides stemming from generational shifts, urbanization, internal migration and economic inequalities. Without a unifying culture, economy and geography knitting the core together, the new ecumene — fiscally robust as it may be — will not help an already fraying populace mend itself. After all, many of the cultural concerns and economic priorities of Los Angeles still have little in common with those in Raleigh. Instead, we are more likely to witness states push more heavily for their own regional, rather than national, interests as a result of the lag of national representation behind economic realities.

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Re: Considering America on Independence Day
« Reply #943 on: July 05, 2019, 05:25:43 PM »
The best case we can hope for is a peaceful separation, but that is less and less likely.


Jul 4, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
7 mins read
Considering America on Independence Day
A painting of the Declaration of Independence by John Trumbull (1756-1843).
(Photo12/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

The Geopolitics of the United States, Part 1: The Inevitable Empire

    July 4, 2016: The American geography is an impressive one. The Greater Mississippi Basin together with the Intracoastal Waterway has more kilometers of navigable internal waterways than the rest of the world combined. The American Midwest is both overlaid by this waterway and is the world's largest contiguous piece of farmland. The U.S. Atlantic Coast possesses more major ports than the rest of the Western Hemisphere combined. Two vast oceans insulated the United States from Asian and European powers, deserts separate the United States from Mexico to the south, while lakes and forests separate the population centers in Canada from those in the United States. The United States has capital, food surpluses and physical insulation in excess of every other country in the world by an exceedingly large margin. So like the Turks, the Americans are not important because of who they are, but because of where they live.

     

The Greater Mississippi Basin is the continent's core, and whoever controls that core not only is certain to dominate the East Coast and Great Lakes regions but will also have the agricultural, transport, trade and political unification capacity to be a world power — even without having to interact with the rest of the global system.

Listening to the Echoes of the American Revolution

    July 4, 2016: "The struggle had opened in a grey dawn at Lexington; its last shot was fired eight years later on the other side of the world outside a dusty town in southern India."

    So ends Piers Mackesy's 1964 book, "The War for America; 1775-1783." Mackesy helps us see beyond the story of a scrappy band of rebels cleverly hiding behind trees and using backwoods marksmanship to defeat an outdated rank-and-file military organization, an image still pervasive in Americana today. Instead, what emerges is a cautionary tale of just what it means to be an empire with global interests and relations. Writ large are the choices and responsibilities that ultimately limit possibilities, require prioritization and can lead to unexpected catastrophic results.

    The world is a complicated, interconnected and volatile place. No country has the singular power to intervene for national, economic or even moral reasons everywhere. For Britain, a small rebellion, driven by distance, fiscal policy and changing culture, escalated from a localized police action to a global crisis that dragged on for nearly a decade. In the process, old foes were reawaked and unforeseen challenges to British forces at the far reaches of the empire emerged. On America's Independence Day (a day marking more the start than conclusion of hostilities with the mother country), it is worthwhile reflecting on the ideas and complexities of global capabilities and responsibilities as well as considering the nature of independence and freedom.

At the outbreak of the American Revolution, Britain was, at least briefly, the undisputed global hegemon ... In reality, the British were stretched thin, facing political turmoil at home and transitioning from a high-intensity wartime military and economy to a post-crisis structure.

Coming to Terms With the American Empire

April 14, 2015: The geography of the American empire was built partly on military relations but heavily on economic relations. At first these economic relations were fairly trivial to American business. But as the system matured, the value of investments soared along with the importance of imports, exports and labor markets. As in any genuinely successful empire, it did not begin with a grand design or even a dream of one. Strategic necessity created an economic reality in country after country until certain major industries became dependent on at least some countries. The obvious examples were Saudi Arabia or Venezuela, whose oil fueled American oil companies, and which therefore — quite apart from conventional strategic importance — became economically important. This eventually made them strategically important.

As an empire matures, its economic value increases, particularly when it is not coercing others. Coercion is expensive and undermines the worth of an empire. The ideal colony is one that is not at all a colony, but a nation that benefits from economic relations with both the imperial power and the rest of the empire. The primary military relationship ought to be either mutual dependence or, barring that, dependence of the vulnerable client state on the imperial power.

This is how the United States slipped into empire. First, it was overwhelmingly wealthy and powerful. Second, it faced a potential adversary capable of challenging it globally, in a large number of countries. Third, it used its economic advantage to induce at least some of these countries into economic, and therefore political and military, relationships. Fourth, these countries became significantly important to various sectors of the American economy.

The U.S. military is built around force multipliers, weapons that can destroy the enemy before the enemy destroys the relatively small force deployed. Sometimes this strategy works. Over the long run, it cannot.

The Geopolitics of the United States, Part 2: American Identity and the Threats of Tomorrow

Aug. 25, 2011: What happens when something goes wrong, when the rest of the world reaches out and touches the Americans on something other than America's terms? When one is convinced that things can, will and should continually improve, the shock of negative developments or foreign interaction is palpable. Mania becomes depression and arrogance turns into panic.

An excellent example is the Japanese attack on American forces at Pearl Harbor. Seventy years on, Americans still think of the event as a massive betrayal underlining the barbaric nature of the Japanese that justified the launching of a total war and the incineration of major cities. This despite the fact that the Americans had systemically shut off East Asia from Japanese traders, complete with a de facto energy embargo, and that the American mainland — much less its core — was never threatened.

Such panic and overreaction is a wellspring of modern American power. The United States is a large, physically secure, economically diverse and vibrant entity. When it acts, it can alter developments on a global scale fairly easily. But when it panics, it throws all of its ample strength at the problem at hand, and in doing so reshapes the world.
A map showing the United States' expansion over time.
How the Plight of a Heartland Could Upset America's Balance

Societal, economic or cultural change is not always immediately reflected in the halls of Washington, D.C. Some of the change at the political level can be delayed due to the fundamentals of the U.S. political system. Changes in population due to the rise and fall of local state economies will only result in changes in representation every decade and even then, they will be gradual. After each census, the House of Representatives recalculates the number of seats allocated to each state proportionally, meaning that the population declines in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, West Virginia and Michigan that have occurred over the past decade will have a delayed effect on overall political power within the House. In the meantime, traditionally powerful states that see waning power and influence ahead will seek to hold onto influence in other ways and in other branches of the government. See the 2016 presidential elections, when many states that have been facing long-term economic decline gravitated to the candidate who promised a return to former glory. However, the growth of urban areas as economic hubs could slowly change the social and political profiles of the states that host them. Ultimately, the lag between demographic and economic changes and its formal reflection at the level of political representation leaves the U.S. political system in a state of limbo.

Against this backdrop, the United States is witnessing the growth of ideological divides stemming from generational shifts, urbanization, internal migration and economic inequalities. Without a unifying culture, economy and geography knitting the core together, the new ecumene — fiscally robust as it may be — will not help an already fraying populace mend itself. After all, many of the cultural concerns and economic priorities of Los Angeles still have little in common with those in Raleigh. Instead, we are more likely to witness states push more heavily for their own regional, rather than national, interests as a result of the lag of national representation behind economic realities.



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Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: We Stand with Hong Kong
« Reply #947 on: August 20, 2019, 05:16:27 PM »


We Stand With Hong Kong
Sooner or later, the rest of the world will have to do what the protesters are doing—confront Beijing.
By Mitch McConnell
Aug. 20, 2019 6:51 pm ET
Protesters outside the Central Government Offices in Hong Kong, Aug. 18. Photo: roman pilipey/Shutterstock

The Hong Kong crisis is something the world has seen time and again: authoritarian rulers seeking to repress the innate human desire for freedom, self-expression and self-government. The scenes remind us of Budapest in 1956 and the Prague Spring of 1968, of Tiananmen Square in 1989 and Moscow in recent weeks. The next chapter is unfolding today as the Chinese Communist Party terrorizes the people of Hong Kong.

An estimated two million Hong Kongers—about one-fourth of the population—are demonstrating for the freedoms and autonomy that have made their city a global success. They are protesting the government in Beijing and its determination, in violation of its promises, to chip away at those freedoms.
Opinion Live: America’s Political Realignment and the 2020 Election

Join Paul Gigot in Los Angeles on Wednesday, October 1 for a discussion with Opinion columnists and political experts on the current state of the 2020 election field. Register with WSJ+.

The protestors want their liberties preserved, the territory’s autonomy respected, and justice for those the security services have detained, brutalized or murdered. Contrary to Communist propaganda, this citizens’ uprising is no foreign conspiracy. If anything, the world’s leading democratic nations have been slow to respond. Only one capital is responsible for what is unfolding in Hong Kong: Beijing. The demonstrators are responding to its efforts to exert ever more influence and control over what is supposed to be an autonomous region.

It is crucial to recognize that the dynamics that led to this crisis didn’t begin in Hong Kong and won’t end there. The turmoil is the result of Beijing’s systematic ratcheting up of its domestic oppression and its pursuit of hegemony abroad.

Years ago, it was reasonable to think that China’s rapid development and integration into the global economy might lead it to embrace prevailing international rules, that success would give Beijing a stake in the systems that uphold peace and prosperity. Now it is clear the Communist Party wants to write its own rules and impose them on others.

For evidence of China’s hunger for power, consider the fate of its other supposedly autonomous regions. In Tibet, Beijing’s brutal response to unrest in 1959 drove tens of thousands into exile and killed tens of thousands more. In Xinjiang, a mostly Muslim province, the state has displaced ethnic Uighur minorities through population transfers and established an elaborate architecture of social and political surveillance, including ethnic prison camps. Xinjiang is no autonomous region; it is a modern gulag. In both cases, Beijing spent decades methodically tightening its grip.

Beijing has sought to write a similar story in Hong Kong, albeit more subtly. But Hong Kongers are not cut off from the truth by China’s “Great Firewall.” They recognized a bill to allow extradition to the mainland as a significant threat to their legal and political autonomy. So China’s leaders now face a choice. Will they intensify pressure on Hong Kong, gambling that the rest of the world will look the other way? Or will Beijing conclude that further repression in Hong Kong would bring further consequences?

China’s trading partners, including the U.S., should make it clear that any crackdown would have real and painful costs. I wrote the Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, which extended special privileges to the region because of its unique status. This special access to the U.S. and other nations helped drive the investment and modernization that have enriched Hong Kong, and Beijing by extension. Beijing must know the Senate will reconsider that special relationship, among other steps, if Hong Kong’s autonomy is eroded.

I support extending and expanding the law’s reporting requirements to illuminate Beijing’s interference in Hong Kong. And the Senate will do more. I have asked Jim Risch, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, to examine Beijing’s actions in Hong Kong and its efforts to expand the Communist Party’s influence and surveillance across China and beyond. I am working with Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee for State and Foreign Operations, to fund democracy and human-rights programs across Asia. I will maintain our strong focus on rebuilding and modernizing the military, continuing the huge strides of the past 2½ years, so that our ability to project power and defend American interests keeps pace with this major competitor.

But it is not America’s task alone to address these threats. The world is awakening to China’s abusive and aggressive practices, from unfair trade actions to intellectual-property theft to offshore expansion. Now Hong Kong has plastered front pages with yet another cautionary tale about how the Chinese regime treats those within its envisioned sphere of influence and disregards international agreements that govern them.

Every trading nation and democracy that values individual liberty and privacy has a stake here. Their choice is not between the U.S. and China but between a free, fair international system and the internal oppression, surveillance and modern vassal system China seeks to impose.

The U.S., for its own interests, seeks international peace, a good relationship with China, and a mutually prosperous future for our peoples. Hong Kong is only one piece of the complex set of interests that makes up the U.S.-China relationship. But China’s treatment of the people of Hong Kong will shape how the U.S. approaches other key aspects of our relationship.

As Beijing grapples with growing domestic unrest and slowing economic growth, it should pause before threatening a key engine of its growth and provoking the international community. Beijing can step back from chaos to pursue freer and fairer trade and greater respect for sovereignty and human rights. These basic steps can ensure a more prosperous and peaceful future for all of our citizens.

Mr. McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, is U.S. Senate majority leader.

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Re: Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: We Stand with Hong Kong
« Reply #948 on: August 20, 2019, 06:26:30 PM »
I agree with the murder turtle.




We Stand With Hong Kong
Sooner or later, the rest of the world will have to do what the protesters are doing—confront Beijing.
By Mitch McConnell
Aug. 20, 2019 6:51 pm ET
Protesters outside the Central Government Offices in Hong Kong, Aug. 18. Photo: roman pilipey/Shutterstock

The Hong Kong crisis is something the world has seen time and again: authoritarian rulers seeking to repress the innate human desire for freedom, self-expression and self-government. The scenes remind us of Budapest in 1956 and the Prague Spring of 1968, of Tiananmen Square in 1989 and Moscow in recent weeks. The next chapter is unfolding today as the Chinese Communist Party terrorizes the people of Hong Kong.

An estimated two million Hong Kongers—about one-fourth of the population—are demonstrating for the freedoms and autonomy that have made their city a global success. They are protesting the government in Beijing and its determination, in violation of its promises, to chip away at those freedoms.
Opinion Live: America’s Political Realignment and the 2020 Election

Join Paul Gigot in Los Angeles on Wednesday, October 1 for a discussion with Opinion columnists and political experts on the current state of the 2020 election field. Register with WSJ+.

The protestors want their liberties preserved, the territory’s autonomy respected, and justice for those the security services have detained, brutalized or murdered. Contrary to Communist propaganda, this citizens’ uprising is no foreign conspiracy. If anything, the world’s leading democratic nations have been slow to respond. Only one capital is responsible for what is unfolding in Hong Kong: Beijing. The demonstrators are responding to its efforts to exert ever more influence and control over what is supposed to be an autonomous region.

It is crucial to recognize that the dynamics that led to this crisis didn’t begin in Hong Kong and won’t end there. The turmoil is the result of Beijing’s systematic ratcheting up of its domestic oppression and its pursuit of hegemony abroad.

Years ago, it was reasonable to think that China’s rapid development and integration into the global economy might lead it to embrace prevailing international rules, that success would give Beijing a stake in the systems that uphold peace and prosperity. Now it is clear the Communist Party wants to write its own rules and impose them on others.

For evidence of China’s hunger for power, consider the fate of its other supposedly autonomous regions. In Tibet, Beijing’s brutal response to unrest in 1959 drove tens of thousands into exile and killed tens of thousands more. In Xinjiang, a mostly Muslim province, the state has displaced ethnic Uighur minorities through population transfers and established an elaborate architecture of social and political surveillance, including ethnic prison camps. Xinjiang is no autonomous region; it is a modern gulag. In both cases, Beijing spent decades methodically tightening its grip.

Beijing has sought to write a similar story in Hong Kong, albeit more subtly. But Hong Kongers are not cut off from the truth by China’s “Great Firewall.” They recognized a bill to allow extradition to the mainland as a significant threat to their legal and political autonomy. So China’s leaders now face a choice. Will they intensify pressure on Hong Kong, gambling that the rest of the world will look the other way? Or will Beijing conclude that further repression in Hong Kong would bring further consequences?

China’s trading partners, including the U.S., should make it clear that any crackdown would have real and painful costs. I wrote the Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, which extended special privileges to the region because of its unique status. This special access to the U.S. and other nations helped drive the investment and modernization that have enriched Hong Kong, and Beijing by extension. Beijing must know the Senate will reconsider that special relationship, among other steps, if Hong Kong’s autonomy is eroded.

I support extending and expanding the law’s reporting requirements to illuminate Beijing’s interference in Hong Kong. And the Senate will do more. I have asked Jim Risch, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, to examine Beijing’s actions in Hong Kong and its efforts to expand the Communist Party’s influence and surveillance across China and beyond. I am working with Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee for State and Foreign Operations, to fund democracy and human-rights programs across Asia. I will maintain our strong focus on rebuilding and modernizing the military, continuing the huge strides of the past 2½ years, so that our ability to project power and defend American interests keeps pace with this major competitor.

But it is not America’s task alone to address these threats. The world is awakening to China’s abusive and aggressive practices, from unfair trade actions to intellectual-property theft to offshore expansion. Now Hong Kong has plastered front pages with yet another cautionary tale about how the Chinese regime treats those within its envisioned sphere of influence and disregards international agreements that govern them.

Every trading nation and democracy that values individual liberty and privacy has a stake here. Their choice is not between the U.S. and China but between a free, fair international system and the internal oppression, surveillance and modern vassal system China seeks to impose.

The U.S., for its own interests, seeks international peace, a good relationship with China, and a mutually prosperous future for our peoples. Hong Kong is only one piece of the complex set of interests that makes up the U.S.-China relationship. But China’s treatment of the people of Hong Kong will shape how the U.S. approaches other key aspects of our relationship.

As Beijing grapples with growing domestic unrest and slowing economic growth, it should pause before threatening a key engine of its growth and provoking the international community. Beijing can step back from chaos to pursue freer and fairer trade and greater respect for sovereignty and human rights. These basic steps can ensure a more prosperous and peaceful future for all of our citizens.

Mr. McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, is U.S. Senate majority leader.

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Re: US Foreign Policy
« Reply #949 on: August 20, 2019, 07:53:24 PM »
The world retains its ability to suprise-- me too!