Author Topic: US Foreign Policy & Geopolitics  (Read 404061 times)

Crafty_Dog

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Re: US Foreign Policy & Geopolitics
« Reply #1550 on: January 29, 2024, 04:43:10 PM »
High quality piece there BBG.

Crafty_Dog

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Crafty_Dog

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George Friedman on Tucker-Putin
« Reply #1552 on: February 13, 2024, 07:33:42 AM »
February 13, 2024
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Putin’s Perspective on the Russia-Ukraine War
By: George Friedman
Russian President Vladimir Putin did something unprecedented last week: He held a two-hour press conference directed at the American public. It was not exactly a press conference, in the sense that Tucker Carlson, a talk show host perceived as sympathetic toward Russia, was the only reporter present. But neither was it, strictly speaking, an interview, as for most of the program, Putin held forth without the benefit of questions. In a sense, this made it more valuable because it allowed Putin to set out his views in an interesting and important way that might not have been possible had Carlson asked questions that were focused on an American perspective.

Instead, we got a genuine Russian perspective on the war in Ukraine, and Putin appeared to be a reasonable and thoughtful man. He made some very dubious claims, but every leader makes dubious claims while appearing statesmanlike, and Putin’s behavior drove home to an American audience that his position is not without some merit. He also made clear that he is a Russian patriot working for Russian interests, and it is in this spirit that we should take his claims. He did not want to appear like Stalin. He also seemed enormously knowledgeable, far beyond most politicians, though he did have the advantage of knowing what was to be said as well as a translator who always stood between him and his audience. But I believe this was Putin, helped by prepackaged questions, providing a sense of his broad knowledge. If this worked, then he showed that Russia was ruled by a sophisticated thinker. However, given the interview’s length and complexity, the American public may have given up early and not listened to the complete interview.

Still, the historical context, the targeting of an American audience, and the extraordinarily detailed description of Russia and Russian history seem to be setting the stage for negotiations. In defense of Russia’s attack, Putin charged the U.S. and NATO with dishonesty and duplicity in facing Russia, which was simply pursuing its historical imperative. This was no ordinary program, nor was it self-indulgent rambling; Putin’s emphasis on the failure of negotiations in Turkey early in the war makes this clear.

Putin’s central presentation concerned Russian history. He explained how Russia was formed many centuries ago and contrasted this with Eastern Europe’s formation. In this way he argued that Ukraine had always been part of Russia, physically and linguistically. Unstated but implicit in his argument, Ukraine is Russia, and the invasion of Ukraine simply represents the Russian world’s return to an older reality. This is why, according to Putin, Russia’s actions in Ukraine constitute a special military operation and not an act of war. He also spoke of Poland, hinting that Poland and Lithuania are renegades whose roots are inseparable from Russia. The discussion of Russian history was lengthy, but it was not merely academic. Putin’s argument was that history binds a place to its surroundings and its inhabitants and, in this case, gives Russia the right to make claims on foreign territory. I admired the way he slipped in his claims to the region in a way that might be dismissed or overlooked. He did, however, lay the foundation for Russian claims in Poland.

Some of what Putin said was confusing. For example, he asserted that the current Ukrainian government and its predecessors were Nazis and therefore were an enemy of Russia. He cited two men who had become Nazi collaborators before concluding that this made Ukraine a remnant of Nazi Germany and therefore hostile to Russia and other countries that had fought Hitler. This left me confused, as there is no country that was occupied by the Germans that didn’t have collaborators, from France to the Netherlands and so on. Some may have been ideologically Nazis, but all were seeking to survive or prosper. Putin made this argument from the beginning, but if followed logically it would compel Russia to invade most of Europe as a moral obligation. Putin showed himself to be highly sophisticated, so he must understand what he is saying and depend on the world to not understand his claims or take them seriously.

In another part, while expressing his readiness to negotiate, Putin said the United States was damaging itself by using the dollar to compel foreign powers to align with its worldview. He then claimed, in his most baffling remarks, that China’s economy dwarves America’s and that its economic future is bright. It is as if he has missed China’s reality in the two years since Ukraine was attacked. He said this in the context of claiming that a new economic order is emerging, and for that to happen, China must drive it. It is interesting that Putin’s seriously deep analysis of things, even if parts are debatable, concluded with obviously wrong assertions, but he was at it for a long time and was probably tired.

One other thing that struck me was his remarks about Russia’s intercontinental hypersonic missiles. The speed and maneuverability of hypersonics make defense against an attack – in the U.S. or elsewhere – very difficult. I advocated the development of intercontinental hypersonics in my book “The Future of War.” The U.S. has not yet fielded a hypersonic missile, nor do I have any evidence that it is developing an intercontinental version. If Russia’s intercontinental hypersonic missile is as capable as Putin suggested, then that may have been the most significant thing he said.

The rest of Putin’s remarks consisted of complaints about NATO and the United States and his insistence that the uprising in Kyiv in 2014 was the real beginning of the war. He left unexplained how Russia could have ignored such a terrible threat for so long.

Putin is the president of a modern nation-state, so he must explain his policies to his people and try to influence other governments and foreign publics. The goal is not to be truthful but persuasive in order to put other governments under carefully shaped pressure. What can be said is that Russia has stepped fully into modernity with an excellent presentation of truth and myths while allowing Carlson a few rebuttals. Putin saw him as friendly but a wild card, so few cards were dealt to him.



DougMacG

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US Foreign Policy & Geopolitics, Peace through DETERRENCE
« Reply #1554 on: March 05, 2024, 11:16:45 AM »
From a 'related link' in the Russia-China story:

"Russia must know that a nuclear war can never be won and must never be fought."
  - NATO General Secretary, Jens Stoltenberg

https://www.irishstar.com/news/us-news/vladimir-putin-nuclear-war-targets-32243272

Think about that. NATO leader (from Norway) admits it. The reason nuclear war, any war, would not be fought is deterrence.  Peace through strength.  If you attack you will regret it.

Meanwhile we neglect to replenish our munitions and modernize our fleets to meet the known risks, much less being ready to face the unknown unknowns.

NATO estimates that Norway will spend 1.7% of GDP on defense in 2023.
https://www.trade.gov/country-commercial-guides/norway-defense-and-aerospace-technologies
Oops, wasn't that supposed to be 2%.

May 2, 2023 - Norway aims to raise its defence spending to at least 2% of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2026, in line with a long-held goal among members of the NATO alliance, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said on Tuesday.

[Doug]  I thought Putin wasn't a threat. Are they afraid of Britain, Sweden?

Crafty_Dog

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Zeihan:
« Reply #1555 on: March 16, 2024, 07:16:28 PM »

Crafty_Dog

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Peace and Prosperity
« Reply #1556 on: March 19, 2024, 01:43:47 PM »
Uncle Sam’s Guide to Peace and Prosperity
American economic and military might can underwrite a new economic and security commons.
By Kevin Warsh
March 19, 2024 1:31 pm ET
WSJ

Economic and geopolitical instability are frequent bedfellows. That’s because policy errors are contagious. Absent the creation of a new American-led economic and security framework, it’s doubtful the U.S. can sustain prosperity and achieve a durable peace.

Massive government spending, surging debt burdens and bank rescues over the past several years have alarmed America’s allies and emboldened its adversaries. The surge in inflation has added considerable weight to America’s woes. It shocked central banks, knocked the economy, and prompted foreign adversaries to challenge America’s geopolitical standing.

The U.S. government is striving to mask the country’s economic and financial troubles. In the past several months, the Treasury Department has issued more short-term bills and fewer long-term notes than expected. Its machinations have lowered 10-year Treasury yields by nearly 1 percentage point, to about 4%. The Federal Reserve has gotten into the act, too. It pledged at its year-end press conference to deliver interest-rate cuts and other policy easing in the new year.

The immediate results include a melt-up in asset prices, a loosening of financial conditions, and higher and less stable prices. Hardworking Americans aren’t fooled. They see the country going down the wrong track. And they watch adversaries plotting to take advantage. Bad actors operating in the Black, Red and South China seas are undeterred. A foreign axis of resistance is unimpressed by the American economic engine, unintimidated by U.S. military might, and unconvinced Washington will rise to the geopolitical challenge. The axis seeks to divide our allies and, worse, to sow domestic discord. U.S. deterrence is flailing. American diplomats are being asked to carry too heavy a burden.

The relationship between the U.S. and the rest of the world is more fragile than it’s been in half a century. French statesman Georges Clemenceau (1841-1929) feared that peace might be no more than the interlude between wars. If he’s right, current prosperity will serve as a fleeting interval between economic shocks.

A powerful economic and security commons, in George Shultz’s original framing, was established in 1945. After the devastation of the Great Depression and two world wars, the U.S. fortified its economy and strengthened alliances in a dangerous world. Americans benefited enormously from a surge in economic growth and heightened well-being for decades. America’s leaders made clear that empire-building wasn’t the goal. Rather it was to make the U.S. safer and stronger by supporting allies who supported us.

American peace and prosperity grew shaky in the late 1970s. Economic malaise and runaway inflation, institutional dysfunction and cultural decay, and a weakened military posture caused Americans to lose faith in their country’s prospects. U.S. allies no longer trusted us, and adversaries scarcely feared us. Failed efforts to rescue American hostages held by the mullahs in Iran was illustrative. America’s hegemony risked eclipse.

Ronald Reagan changed all that. He vanquished the Soviet Union and debilitated its proxies. His administration rebuilt an economic and security commons suited to the times. With a bolstered military, the U.S. held close to its allies and deterred its adversaries, occasionally with force. Strong, noninflationary growth and higher standards of living became the norm. The peace dividend wasn’t only prosperity. It was peace, and it lasted for two decades.

The 21st century has brought new challenges: terrorist attacks on the homeland, wars in the Middle East, a financial crisis and a global pandemic. The American economy swings between booms and busts. People have lost faith in institutions. Moral confusion clouds debates about the nation’s history. Finally, a big runup in prices has harmed the least well-off. It’s surprising that populism isn’t more popular.

America’s leaders ought to build a new economic and security commons. The U.S. should act as a sturdy point in a turbulent world. Strong, unapologetic national-security policy begins with a prosperous, sustainable economy. The U.S. must demonstrate again the superiority of its economic system. Washington’s conduct of fiscal, monetary, regulatory and trade policy needs fixing so soft power can share the burden with hard power.

Outspending the nation’s capacity is dangerous. Absent a fiscal anchor, the list of buyers retreating from America’s debt markets won’t be limited to those who wish us trouble.

Monetary policy requires a revamped framework, too. Inflation isn’t caused by workers earning too much and living too well. It’s caused by the government living too well—spending, printing and borrowing too much.

Government-directed industrial policy, as currently practiced, is akin to the command-and-control dictates of foreign regimes. Better for the private sector to out-innovate, outgrow and outsmart the competition. Regulators should take heed of U.S. comparative advantages—including in the energy sector—and better respect the separation between the private sector and the government.

China is actively courting many U.S. trading partners, promising privileged access in exchange for allegiance to Beijing. A revamped economic and security commons should be at least as clear and formidable as sanctions policy with adversaries. Put plainly, if a country acts as a trusted security partner of the U.S. and treats American businesses and citizens as it treats its own, the U.S. will act reciprocally. If, however, foreign countries disfavor U.S. interests, they won’t gain the precious benefit of American protection or ready access to U.S. technology or markets. I prefer a new paradigm to bring allies and partners into closer collaboration. Adversaries would take notice, not comfort.

Neither peace nor prosperity are self-reinforcing. The U.S. margin for error is small. Establishing a new security and economic commons may be difficult, but it’s necessary and pressing.

Mr. Warsh, a former member of the Federal Reserve Board, is a distinguished visiting fellow in economics at the Hoover Institution.

Crafty_Dog

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Re: US Foreign Policy & Geopolitics
« Reply #1557 on: April 21, 2024, 05:16:30 AM »
I found this post by YA in the India thread very interesting and so paste it here:

=============================

I was impressed with the understanding of India by Alexander Dugin, a Russian thinker close to Putin. His understanding of things is very close to that of the Indian mind. Have not seen any other Western commentator, and definitely no American commentator with this level of accuracy. Dugin by the way says Russia should side with China!, which may be the correct response for Russia.

https://twitter.com/Agdchan/status/1781435242865123423

India Aims to Emulate Chinese Strategy

To the surprise of many, India currently boasts the fastest-growing economy in the world. In 2023, the country’s GDP grew by 8.4%. By 2027, it is projected to become the third-largest economy globally. If this trend continues, India might surpass the USA and even China in the 2030s.

India is also leading in demographics and the IT sector. The Indian diaspora now controls a significant segment of Silicon Valley, and the UK’s prime minister is Rishi Sunak, who is ethnically Indian, albeit with liberal-globalist views. Interestingly, a prominent conservative politician in the Republican Party, a staunch Trump supporter of Indian origin, Vivek Ramaswamy, represents a complete ideological antithesis to Sunak. In any case, Indians are advancing.

We are witnessing an entirely new phenomenon — the emergence of a new global centre right before our eyes. India owes these successes largely to a new turn in policy that coincided with the rise to power of the conservative Bharatiya Janata Party. Indeed, modern India was founded during decolonisation by a different party, the left-leaning and progressive Indian National Congress. Of course, the highest value for Indians after gaining independence was liberation from the impacts of colonialism, yet India remained a member of the post-colonial Commonwealth of Nations, where Britain dominated, and clung firmly to the democracy introduced by the British. Moreover, it even took pride in being ‘the largest democracy in the world’. The Congress was content that the country had achieved political independence from its former rulers but agreed to emulate the socio-political, economic, and cultural paradigm of the West.

For the first time, the Congress’s monopoly on power in India was challenged by the victory of an alternative right-conservative party — the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) — in the 1996 elections for the lower house of parliament (Lok Sabha). This party was founded based on the extremely conservative movement Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in 1980.

In 2014, Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister from this party and has held the position ever since. According to analysts, Modi has every reason to retain his post following the 2024 elections, which commence on 19 April and conclude on 1 June.

The rule of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Modi’s personal political charisma have fundamentally changed India. Interestingly, the official name of India under Modi was changed to its Sanskrit version — Bharat. This reflects that Modi relies on a completely different ideology than that of the Indian National Congress.

Initially, in the Indian struggle for independence from the British, there were two main approaches: one was gentle and pacifist, embodied by Mahatma Gandhi, who advocated non-violent resistance; the other was more militant and uncompromising, represented by figures such as the Indian traditionalist Bal Gangadhar Tilak, the founder of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Keshav Hedgewar, and the nationalist Vinayak Savarkar.

As the British departed from the country, they comfortably entrusted power in India to the Congress (having previously severed several territories populated by Muslims — Pakistan and Bangladesh — as well as Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and Nepal), believing that this party would keep India within the Anglo-Saxon sphere of influence and lead it along the path of modernisation and Westernisation (with regional specifics), thereby maintaining some form of colonial control.

In contrast, the main opponents of the Congress had believed from the very start of the struggle for independence that India was not just a country or a former colony but the territory of a mighty and distinct civilisation. Today, we refer to this concept as a ‘civilisation-state’. This idea was first articulated by Kanaiyalal Munshi and came to be known as Akhand Bharat, ‘Undivided India’, or ‘Greater India’.

In 2022, Narendra Modi declared the main goal to be the ‘decolonisation of the Indian mind’. Before us emerges an India we hardly knew — a right conservative India, a Vedic civilisation-state, and a Greater India on the path to total sovereignty.

Certainly, a superficial observer might notice a contradiction: India is geopolitically aligning more with the United States and Israel, becoming involved in an escalating border conflict with China (hence India’s participation in several regional anti-China blocs such as the QUAD), and relations are intensifying with the Islamic world — both within India and towards Pakistan. If Indian traditionalists are concerned with the ‘decolonisation of the Indian mind’ and combating Western material civilisation, what do they have in common with the US?

To resolve this ambiguity, one might look to the history of modern China’s rise. Representatives of the American Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), especially Henry Kissinger in the late 1970s, proposed a bilateral partnership to China against the USSR, aiming to ultimately dismantle the socialist bloc. China, under Deng Xiaoping, capitalised on this and gradually transformed over forty years from an economic client of the US into a powerful independent pole, with which the US is now competing and, essentially, engaged in a trade war. The escalating issues surrounding Taiwan suggest that this confrontation might soon enter a hot phase.

Now, the same globalist forces in the West have decided to support India — this time against China. Modi, considering the Chinese experience, has adopted this strategy. But just as China used globalisation for its purposes, strengthening rather than losing its sovereignty, so too does Greater India intend to act. Initially, considering the objective realities of international politics, to strengthen its power, raise the welfare of its vast population, expand domestic market volumes, military might, and technological potential, and then, at the opportune moment, emerge as a fully independent and sovereign pole.

The globalists understand this strategy best. For instance, George Soros and his Open Society Foundations — which is banned in the Russian Federation and openly aims to combat tradition, sovereignty, and independent cultures and societies — have declared war on Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party. In doing so, Soros not only supported the opposition Congress but also actively fomented social and ethnic strife in India, specifically calling for the Dalits (a widely prevalent caste of untouchables) to rise up against Modi. This represents another version of the ‘colour revolution’ that the globalists are orchestrating.

Russia needs to recognise the fundamental changes occurring in India. This is a completely different country from the one with which we had quite close relations during the Soviet period. Yes, Indians still regard Russians with great fondness and nostalgia. This applies not only to the leftists in the Congress (where, incidentally, under the influence of Soros, voices of Russophobia are becoming increasingly loud) but also to the right-wing traditionalists. In this case, the key factor is not inertia but a clear understanding that Russia itself declares itself as a civilisation-state, is a major force in building a multipolar world, and is also currently undergoing its own kind of ‘decolonisation of consciousness’. If India has certain conflictual issues — especially in border areas — with China, another civilisation-state and another pole of the multipolar world, nothing similar exists with Russia, even in the long term.

That said, we absolutely should not be moving closer to India by sacrificing our close strategic partnership with China. On the contrary, we are vitally interested in settling relations between these two great powers because if conflict breaks out between them (as the West is indeed pushing for), the prospects for a multipolar world will be indefinitely delayed. Russia is now defending its traditional values. Thus, we should better understand all those who are standing up to defend their own.

Then the energy partnership, strategic plans for the North-South transport corridor, processes of Eurasian integration, cooperation in high technology (with India currently being one of the global leaders in IT), and the financial sector will acquire a new ideological dimension: traditionalists, interested in civilisational sovereignty and in stopping the expansion of Western hegemony, will understand each other much better.

Translated by Constantin von Hoffmeister

===================

*India as a civilization state
*China
*Globalism (George Soros and Open Society Foundations openly aim to combat tradition, sovereignty, and independent cultures and societies)
*Russia Russia itself declares itself as a civilisation-state, is a major force in building a multipolar world,

Crafty_Dog

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Re: US Foreign Policy & Geopolitics
« Reply #1558 on: April 23, 2024, 08:12:26 AM »

Obviously, this is a pimple on an elephant's ass in the big picture of things, but it so clearly illustrates the cross civilization cultural issues described in the Russian piece that YA posted:

https://dailycaller.com/2024/04/22/biden-admin-trans-india-state/?utm_source=piano&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=rundown&pnespid=r_V6CiBdMvMT1_Pd_znqHc_DshCnUZgvcOjj37JspxZmJbcbehDzc1okH6Zcsd9Plv0EnXFT

Crafty_Dog

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GPF: Euro Views of US Global Posture
« Reply #1559 on: April 24, 2024, 04:41:13 AM »
April 24, 2024
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European Views on US Global Posture
Perceptions aren't consistent with reality.
By: Antonia Colibasanu

The notion that all countries operate within constraints is one of the main pillars of geopolitics. It came up repeatedly during my recent visit to the United States, where I attended several talks on European and Russian affairs. Though we at GPF try to stay out of the D.C. bubble, it’s nonetheless important for us to know what those in the bubble are saying, especially since Europe right now appears so consumed by what’s happening in Washington.

I traveled to the U.S. with a delegation of experts and policymakers from Romania. Analysts and officials from other parts of Europe, including Germany and Poland, were also in attendance. The main topics on the agenda were security and, of course, Ukraine. The event coincided with heated discussions in the U.S. Congress over aid packages for Ukraine and Israel. Though the situation in Israel is potentially hugely impactful for American politics, the conflict in Ukraine is the main focus for many policymakers in Europe. After all, the war there has shifted NATO’s containment line and transformed Eastern Europe into a literal battleground.

Considering that Kyiv is hugely dependent on military aid from Washington, European lawmakers are making concerted efforts to learn more about the constraints within which U.S. politics and politicians operate. Europeans typically have a narrow view of U.S. politics, mainly focusing on the presidency and the administration, which they perceive as ultimately responsible for maintaining the United States’ global leadership role and, by extension, the Western security structure.

That’s because the Europeans tend to believe the U.S. political system mirrors those in Europe, where foreign policies are forged by governments and primarily driven by urgent security threats to their borders. The Europeans thus get either nervous or excited every time another U.S. presidential election comes around, believing that a change in the presidency could alter how Washington interacts with the world. In doing so, they misjudge the way U.S. politics works, believing falsely that the presidency overrides every other institution in the United States, especially when it comes to strategy and foreign policy.

In fact, the U.S. president isn’t as powerful as many assume – and that’s by design. The nation's founders didn’t want to assign too much authority to one person in the political hierarchy. They instead built a system of checks and balances, splitting power among three branches of government: the legislative (Congress), the executive (the president) and the judiciary (the courts). This division of powers guarantees that no branch can overpower the others. Congress enacts legislation, which the president can veto, which Congress can in turn override with two-thirds majorities in both houses. Congress also controls the federal budget, and thus can limit funding for the president’s agenda. The president is commander-in-chief of the military but cannot declare war; that power belongs to Congress. The president also appoints federal judges and other officials, but the Senate must confirm the appointments. The courts, meanwhile, interpret laws and can strike down legislation that they rule unconstitutional. All this means that a president’s powers are limited by the legislative and judicial branches of government – even if his party holds a majority in Congress.

The president thus has a limited ability to wield power over U.S. foreign policy. Moreover, the United States’ global posture isn’t a product of its politics or policymaking to begin with. America's evolution as the leader of the Western world was largely driven by economic interests and the idea that global markets, mobility and interconnectivity would bring profit to U.S. businesses and drive economic growth and development. The role of the private sector – sometimes in coordination with the government – is central to the country’s global standing. Though interactions between companies and politicians are complex, one of the ways in which businesses influence foreign policy is by lobbying representatives in Congress to pursue policies that meet their interests abroad. This pressure resulted in legislation that made it possible for administrations to implement strategies that, over time, turned the U.S. into an economic leader and superpower. This role enabled the government to maintain domestic stability and pursue growth.

Still, the United States’ approach on Ukraine is often perceived in Europe as a reflection of the administration’s global priorities. During my visit to Washington, Congress was discussing a new Ukraine aid package, which was finally passed on Saturday. Many of the Europeans present at the talks tied the matter to America's leadership role in the world. To many Americans, however, aid for Ukraine is treated more as a matter of domestic politics than foreign affairs. Recent polls indicate Americans are equally split between thinking the U.S. is doing too much for Ukraine and wanting the U.S. to do more.

Another topic of discussion was the security situation around the Black Sea. In 2022, a bill was introduced in Congress that would authorize the National Security Council to direct an interagency strategy to increase coordination with NATO and the European Union, deepen economic ties, and strengthen the security and democratic resilience of partners in the Black Sea region in accordance with U.S. values and interests. The bill was passed in 2023 and has become of increasing interest to the business community in both the U.S. and the Black Sea region.

Western businesses increasingly see opportunities here, especially with the Ukraine war and sanctions on Russia disrupting more traditional routes through which they conduct trade around the world. The Danube has become an alternate trade route linking the so-called Middle Corridor (which connects Southeast Asia to Europe through Central Asia and Turkey instead of Russia) to Germany’s North Sea coast. New rail and road projects linking Romania’s port of Constanta to Gdansk in Poland also have been discussed to help integrate European markets and build a strong containment line in Eastern Europe.

The future of these and other infrastructure projects will depend on how states and businesses address the fallout of the war, its duration and the strategies of both Russia and Ukraine for rebuilding after its conclusion. Any investment plans in Ukraine will need to take into account Russia’s long-term strategy, announced in 2023, to counter Western influence around the world. Thus, the Black Sea region can’t be decoupled from the future of Ukraine – as some suggested during my trip to Washington. Should Ukraine be forced to negotiate ceding parts of its territory to Russia, Kyiv could fall under Russian influence in the longer term – which wouldn’t require a massive investment from Moscow considering the socio-economic realities in Ukraine today. The biggest risk many grappled with was that Ukraine could become a failed state, a black hole between Europe and Russia that Moscow could eventually control.

Crafty_Dog

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Nixon on the Shah
« Reply #1560 on: April 27, 2024, 06:44:11 AM »

ccp

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Re: US Foreign Policy & Geopolitics
« Reply #1561 on: April 27, 2024, 07:03:32 AM »
Nixon on the Shah
and the Jewish liberals who were against him
Are they happier with present regimes?

More fodder for me to be fed up.


Crafty_Dog

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Re: US Foreign Policy & Geopolitics
« Reply #1562 on: April 27, 2024, 07:34:52 AM »
Well, left out of that was discussion of Kissinger's machinations to enable the Shah to form and lead OPEC , , ,
(Working from memory here-- do I have this right?)

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DougMacG

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US Foreign Policy, 80% of Americans support Israel over Hamas
« Reply #1564 on: May 16, 2024, 07:07:12 AM »
"An overwhelming majority of Americans support Israel in its war against Hamas over the militant group running the Gaza Strip, according to a new poll.

The Harvard CAPS-Harris survey shared with The Hill showed 80 percent of registered voters said they support Israel more in the war, while 20 percent said they support Hamas more
."

https://thehill.com/policy/international/4629597-americans-israel-hamas-gaza-student-protests-poll/
-------------

[Doug]  As far as I know, Joe Biden has been a supporter of Israel his entire career. Yet he hedges on support of this operation, existential to Israel. How would we like it if some other power put constraints on our ability to fight our enemy in any of our conflicts, iraq, Afghanistan, even World War II?

Look at this politically since that's what President Biden is doing. 80% support Israel but the percentage that support this military operation is way smaller, a slight majority. Of the 20% that support hamas, let's assume all of them are Democrat or at least Left leaning.

That means 40 to 50% of the Democrat Party doesn't even support Israel to win, much less this military operation.

Politically, we look for 60/40 issues and keep finding 80/20 issues. Not to get off topic but 80% support some restriction on abortion and the Democratic party is pursuing no restrictions.  They obviously see this election as a base turnout election.

2.4% of the US is Jewish. 70% of those are Democrat. In rough numbers, 4% of Biden's base is Jewish. In a close election that is also a group he cannot afford to lose,

I wouldn't want to be Joe Biden right now or his advisors, deciding life and death and strategic policies based on which way the political winds are blowing, absent principles or convictions.

The majority of ardent Israel supporters in this country I believe are white, Christian, conservative voters who won't vote for Biden under any circumstances either.

Democrats invented this political box they live in and it has worked for them to some degree so far. Now they have to live with it. Support Israel and live with the media lies about the civilian casualties, or come to the rescue of Hamas and leave the Middle East In perpetual war.

Impossible decision if you have no backbone.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2024, 07:17:03 AM by DougMacG »

Crafty_Dog

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Re: US Foreign Policy & Geopolitics
« Reply #1565 on: May 16, 2024, 09:08:40 AM »
https://www.britannica.com/topic/Scylla-and-Charybdis

Some ancient history profs think this may be a mythic referall to the waters between Italy and Sicily.   IIRC these played a key role in denying the Spartacus uprising a move to Sicily.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2024, 09:17:20 AM by Crafty_Dog »

Crafty_Dog

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More Guns, Less Butter
« Reply #1566 on: May 19, 2024, 01:51:17 PM »
The ‘Uniparty’ Is Real—but It Isn’t What You Think
Democrats and Republicans aren’t overzealous about foreign intervention. They’re feckless about American leadership.
By Dalibor Rohac
May 19, 2024 3:43 pm ET


From Ralph Nader to Steve Bannon, self-styled populists and outsiders have disparaged Washington’s “uniparty.” When this critique turns to foreign policy, the uniparty is accused of groupthink and militarism—dragging the U.S. into unnecessary and endless wars while neglecting the concerns of regular Americans.

While the epithet is often overstated and used in bad faith, it contains a kernel of truth. Foreign-policy experts from both parties agree on a lot, and that consensus can lead to poor decisions. The wars in Gaza and Ukraine, as well as America’s geopolitical competition with China, expose a bipartisan problem of this sort that critics of U.S. foreign policy frequently miss.

Today’s uniparty isn’t defined by a zeal to export democracy and launch ill-advised wars against governments that don’t threaten us. Rather, it is defined, on both the Democratic and the Republican side, by a lack of initiative and an urge to do things on the cheap and halfheartedly, to manage crises instead of resolving them. It is also fundamentally dishonest, as it suggests that peace and security can be sustained without major sacrifices.

On Oct. 10, when it was perfectly clear that Israel could no longer tolerate living side by side with Hamas and that this terrorist organization would have to meet the same fate as ISIS, President Biden promised that he would “make sure Israel has what it needs to take care of its citizens, defend itself and respond to this attack.” Today, when support for the Jewish state has become a political liability for Mr. Biden in Michigan, his support for Israel is wobbly at best.

Ukraine is a similar story. Ukrainians are fully aware that “for as long as it takes” means until the end of 2024, when a new supplemental appropriation bill will be necessary. And whatever assistance the Biden administration has provided has come with strings attached. The U.S. is denying important weapons systems to Kyiv or restricting its use of them.

The problem is bipartisan. As Israel divides Democrats, Ukraine divides Republicans. Project 2025, the Heritage Foundation’s manifesto for the next Republican administration, admits as much, offering only the faint hope “that next conservative President” will seize “a generational opportunity to bring resolution to the foreign policy tensions within the movement.”

The list goes on. Unlike in the early 19th century, when the U.S. successfully defeated the Barbary pirates and their sponsors, freedom of navigation hasn’t been restored to the Red Sea, as Houthi rebels continue to control what is normally one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

Even on China, there are few signs that the sudden centrality of Beijing’s threat has been translated into effective action, or that it would be under a second Trump administration. As the China archhawk Elbridge Colby tweeted recently, “Americans are war-weary and more skeptical of military interventions. Taiwan matters a great deal to Americans. But it’s not existential and it’s remote to most.”

In short, as the world burns and new conflagrations loom, our uniparty pretends that business as usual is adequate—or, worse yet, that ignoring the world will somehow enable us to address problems at home. It is an illusion. If you’re concerned about the southern border, our asylum system being overrun, or about the fentanyl crisis, you have to care about the political stability and security of America’s neighbors to the south—a subject on which both political parties remain largely silent.

The U.S. needs to adjust to a more dangerous world. It is past time to prioritize hard power over other areas of government spending—in other words, more guns and less butter—and plug the holes left by decades of enjoying the “peace dividend.” Yet keeping the existing entitlement schemes intact even as they head for bankruptcy remains a central tenet of America’s uniparty—a rare point of domestic bipartisan consensus in a polarized time.

As the eras of World War II and the Cold War illustrate, the U.S. can lead the world. That requires political leadership capable of defeating the complacent, feckless, and shortsighted uniparty.

Mr. Rohac is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

DougMacG

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US Foreign Policy & Lessons from History, prevent WWIII
« Reply #1567 on: May 27, 2024, 08:30:02 AM »
A few interesting points in this. 
https://nationalinterest.org/feature/remembering-memorial-day-we-must-avoid-world-war-iii-211175
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[Doug] The article is about avoiding another world war today.  The passage below has to do with lessons from history.  I have asked on these pages and in discussions, what were the lessons of WWII?

My first answer (unfortunately) is intervene (against evil) earlier.
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From the article:
"As Churchill wrote subsequently in his history The Gathering Storm, “One day, President Roosevelt told me he was asking publicly for the suggestions about what the war should be called. I said it was ‘the Unnecessary War.’” Churchill then goes on to explain that “There never was a war more easy to stop than that which just wrecked what was left of the world form the previous struggle.” Had they only listened: when Hitler violated the terms of the Versailles Peace Treaty and remilitarized the Rhineland in 1936, Churchill called for Britain and France to send troops to enforce the peace. Had they done so, the German general staff would very likely have ousted Hitler, and World War II would never have happened."

[Doug]  (Churchill was not elected Prime Minister until 1940.)

How does this apply today to US China policy regarding South China Sea and the impending, threatened invasion of Taiwan?