25 Years Of Negotiations

We all know the back and forth of Trump and Kim….and in those months so much bullshit has been given ink on this subject……those of us that like diplomacy and those other dickheads that want to bomb everyone disagreeing with them into the Stone Age…..

All these people how many know the history of our negotiations with North Korea?  How Many?  (Pause to see if they let go of their wanker to read further)…….

Since I am some what of a student of foreign policy let me help…..

With the prospect of Donald Trump holding a summit with Kim Jong Un in the near future, it’s worth looking back at the history of American negotiations with North Korea over the past 25 years.

The conventional wisdom says that whenever any agreement has been reached, North Korea has cheated. But the reality is more complex. Not all negotiations have failed — and the collapse of agreements during that time has been as much the responsibility of Washington as of Pyongyang.

Start with the Agreed Framework of October 1994. North Korea agreed to freeze its reactor at Yongbyon. In return, the Clinton administration promised heavy fuel oil, support for the construction of proliferation-resistant light-water reactors, and a gradual overall improvement in relations.


This will go a long way to educate those fools that think they have all the damn answers…….at least it will help them if they are so inclined and most are not……



Death Of Soft Power

Soft and hard power….I know it sounds like some sort of add for miracle mattress….well Hell not this time…..soft power is a technique for handling world affairs…..a technique that is being lost especially with a Trump presidency……

The evidence is clear. Donald Trump’s presidency has eroded America’s soft power. Only 30% of people recently polled by Gallup in 134 countries held a favourable view of the United States under Trump’s leadership, a drop of almost 20 points since Barack Obama’s presidency. The Pew Research Center found that China, with 30% approval ratings, had reached near-parity with the US. And a British index, The Soft Power 30, showed America slipping from first place in 2016 to third place last year.

Trump’s defenders reply that soft power does not matter. Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, proclaimed a ‘hard power budget’ as he slashed funds for the State Department and the US Agency for International Development by 30%. For promoters of ‘America First’, what the rest of the world thinks ranks second. Are they right?


A country’s soft power comes primarily from three sources: its culture (when it is attractive to others), its political values such as democracy and human rights (when it lives up to them), and its policies (when they are seen as legitimate because they are framed with some humility and awareness of others’ interests). How a government behaves at home (for example, protecting a free press), in international institutions (consulting others and multilateralism) and in foreign policy (promoting development and human rights) can affect others by the influence of its example. In all of these areas, Trump has reversed attractive American policies.

Would you like to understand what “soft power” means?

“Soft power” is a term used to describe a nation’s use of co-operative programs and monetary aide to persuade other nations to ascribe to its policies. With U.S. State Department budget cuts likely in the wake of the August 2, 2011 debt ceiling deal, many observers expect soft-power programs to suffer.


Hard power makes more profit for the defense industry so it will be more attractive than soft power and will remain so until we find a way to make peace as attractive (profitable)  as war…..not any time soon.

Soft power……hard power…..whatever….the US needs to get back to basics…….

An especially pernicious idea regarding U.S. foreign policy was Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s assertion that the United States was the world’s “indispensable nation.” It would have been bad enough if that statement had been a content-less expression of national narcissism. However, that same arrogant assumption has been the guiding principle of Washington’s foreign policy since the end of World War II—and especially since the end of the Cold War. The belief led to strategic overextension, as the United States embraced security obligations, both explicit and implicit, around the world.


Military force is not the best foreign policy…..but since our diplomatic corps is in the crapper….it is all we have at this point in history.

This will be my last post until I can get the whole doctor experience for the day over with……hopefully it will be over soon……..

Rocket Man And The Dotard

Hey Stormy is NO longer front page news…..now we have the impromptu meeting between Li’l Kim and Trumpy……and as usual the speculation is running rampant……so I thought I would add a little to the conversation…..

Op-ed from the Lowy Institute……..

If the North Korean cheerleaders at the Olympics hadn’t snared enough global attention already, the prospect of a grip-and-grin meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un sure has captured headlines.

It seems, to borrow the military phrase, a sudden escalation in peaceful possibilities. Last year Trump was hurling “Rocket Man” and fire and fury tweets across the Pacific, while the North Korean regime fired back at the “dotard” in the White House, and the whole situation was worryingly tense. Malcolm Turnbull warned about prospect of invoking the ANZUS alliance should conflict errupt, and Trump was bragging about the size of his nuclear button.


The insults are silent……and the world will hold its breath praying for some sanity by the two leaders.

Let’s hope that this is more than a photo op…..let’s hope that these two realize the seriousness of this opportunity and they make the most out of the tie they have…..

The date of this meeting is said to be in “May”…..whatcha think….yes/no?

Closing Thought–28Feb18


Those tactics that is used in foreign policy to punish those interlopers on the world stage.

The news last week is that the US has issued strong sanctions against the regime in North Korea…..

The Trump administration is hitting more than 50 vessels, shipping companies, and trade businesses with sanctions in the latest bid to turn up the pressure on North Korea over its nuclear program, a senior administration official said Friday. President Trump was set to announce the action at the Conservative Political Action Conference in a Friday morning speech, followed by a public announcement from the Treasury Department, reports the AP. “Today I am announcing that we are launching the largest ever set of new sanctions on the North Korean regime,” Trump said in advance excerpts of his speech provided by the White House, per the Washington Post.

The 56 vessels and related businesses have conducted trade banned under UN sanctions, according to the White House. The announcement comes as South Korea hosts the Winter Olympics, an occasion the two Koreas have used as an opportunity to ease tensions and restart talks, though the move is not a huge surprise: It comes two weeks after Vice President Mike Pence, who attended the Olympics opening, promised the “toughest and most aggressive” economic sanctions against North Korea.

I am sure that most Americans will agree with this action…..NK has been trying to acquire the means to nuke its neighbors….something that is not acceptable to the world at large….

If the US has decided to sanction NK and the president has used it as some sort of win for the US….what happened to the sanctions against Russia?

President Trump signed legislation on Wednesday imposing sanctions on Russia and limiting his own authority to lift them, but asserted that the measure included “clearly unconstitutional provisions” and left open the possibility that he might choose not to enforce them as lawmakers intended.

(NY Times)

Monday’s deadline to release those reports was seen as a test of Trump’s willingness to clamp down on Russia. Critics blasted him for failing to announce any sanctions.

“The State Department claims that the mere threat of sanctions will deter Russia’s aggressive behavior. How do you deter an attack that happened two years ago, and another that’s already underway? It just doesn’t make sense,” said Representative Eliot Engel, the top Democrat on the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee.

“I’m fed up waiting for this Administration to protect our country and our elections,” he said in a statement.

It has been proven that Russia has interfered with our election process….confirmed by multiple agencies….then why is it not happening as quickly as those against North Korea?  Why is the president so reluctant?

Today and tomorrow are my days with the doctors and the nurses……I may not be as active as I am most times….you know how doctors are…”Hurry up and wait”…..

I must bow out….Be well, be safe…..until the morrow…….chuq

Coercive Diplomacy

Recently the US president, Donald Trump, has talked tough about North Korea….actually it more in the line of threats instead of talk……then after a couple of months of threats Trump went public and said that he is willing to talk with North Korea even went so far as to compliment the leader of People’s Republic of Korea, DPRK…..this was a type of diplomacy known as “Coercive Diplomacy”.

Coercive diplomacy is the diplomacy of threats. Rather than relying on negotiation, diplomats will sometimes threaten adverse consequences if a demand is not met. Sometimes this works; at other times, it does not. Factors that influence the success of coercive diplomacy are similar to the factors that influence the success of other types of threats: the threat must be credible, the adverse consequence must be severe enough that the potential recipient really wants to avoid that outcome, and the demand must be clear and possible to meet. Even when these factors are present however, coercive diplomacy is risky. As with other threats, it tends further damage relationships and lead to a potential backlash against the threat and/or the threatening country later on. Backlash can, at times, be limited if the threat is combined with more integrative or exchange-based approaches. If rewards for compliance are offered in addition to the threat for non-compliance, the chances of success may be greater; also if the threat is seen to be legitimate, the chances of success may also rise.

Trump is using this “type” of diplomacy….since there is no experienced diplomats left in his State Department….this is his only option……but a total farce as written in The American Conservative……

With his recent “my (nuclear) button is bigger than yours” taunt, Donald Trump’s rhetoric has fully descended into school yard braggadocio, with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un as a convenient foil. But his administration’s overwhelming reliance on military and economic pressure rather than on negotiations to influence North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ICBM programs is hardly new. It is merely a continuation of a well-established tradition of carrying out what the national security elite call “coercive diplomacy”.


This is NO way to carry out diplomatic missions…..but it is all that we have…..”A bully in the pulpit”.

Trump’s 2017 Foreign Policy Record

Short analysis….it sucks!

When Trump was running in 2016 I will admit that there were a few things that he said about international relations that I, a hard core progressive, could agree with…..But then he was elected president and everything he said went out the window…..let us be honest 2017 has been a dismal year for our foreign policy.  We have not enough diplomats and the president and his Tweeting thumbs are making a mockery of our state department and our place in the world.

But let’s take a good look at Trump’s foreign policy 2017 record……

The first year of the Trump administration saw much more than the continuity in U.S. foreign policy that many of us expected. Trump’s candidacy and then his election were greeted with alarm by almost everyone in the foreign policy establishment, with an overwhelming consensus that he stood for a so-called “isolationist” withdrawal from international affairs. This interpretation was a serious misreading of Trump’s rhetoric and led to the usual knee-jerk reflex to define anything that differed from post-Cold War foreign policy as an outright rejection of all international engagement. As Trump’s policies have shown, he is open to a kind of international engagement, but it is one that is heavily militarized and defined by zero-sum contests with adversaries and allies alike.


We can hope that Trump will tighten up and learn a thing or two about diplomacy and international relations…..but I think he will keep playing with his Twitter button and keep pushing the US further down the rabbit hole.

Trump is allowing Russia and China to assert themselves as a world leader because of his ignorance of international relations……Russia will be the one to watch…..

In 2017, Russia fought a bloody and indiscriminate war in support of a brutal Syrian regime, armed rebels occupying eastern Ukraine, and continued its propaganda campaign targeting elections in Western democracies—the same campaign that helped to put Donald Trump in the White House.

There’s no reason to believe 2018 will be any different. Ignoring Trump’s own personal fondness for Vladimir Putin and his autocratic regime, the Trump administration’s national security team in December named Russia as one of the top threats to American interests. But it’s unclear what the divided administration of a compromised president will actually do to confront a resurgent Russia.


Since Trump has a soft spot for Russia….how far will they go before the US steps in and reasserts ourselves as the world leader we should be?

New Years Day–2018

Welcome to the new year…..we still have a president that has no idea what he is doing…..and our state department is even less clueless…..

Relations between the United States and the rest of the world seem likely to suffer in the new year after the Trump administration lauded a $285 million cut to the 2018-2019 fiscal year United Nations budget.

U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley announced the “historic reduction” to the global body’s budget on Sunday. Emphasizing the role the United States played in the trimming, the ambassador’s office took aim at the U.N.’s “bloated management and support functions” and called for greater “accountability” from other countries.


Have good and safe day……be well…..chuq