The Trumpian Foreign Policy

I admit it…..foreign policy is one of the major areas that I use to pick which candidate will get my vote….

Trump has had some good moves in my opinion….wanting to bring our troops home is an excellent start to possibly ending our many wars. Then his withdrawal from most international treaties I do not agree with on any level……

To me he does not have a solid foreign policy…it is more like a hit and miss one…..a policy of uncertainty…..

I recently read a paper from a grad student that covers this uncertainty…..

Donald Trump’s foreign policy is a matter of continuous controversy and intense scrutiny. This interest stems from the fact that the arena of international relations and the field of American foreign policy are witnessing significant alterations as a consequence of the actions of the Trump administration. The objectives of this article are to identify the defining characteristics of Trump’s foreign policy and to assess their faithfulness to traditional and modern-era foreign policy schools. The analysis puts the nature of Pax-Americana and US exceptionalism face to face with the assumption of a post-American world. It also examines the ‘Trump Doctrine’ as what Trump himself described as a ‘brand new’ foreign policy (Curran). Thus, this article reflects on the extent to which Trump is establishing a new school of American foreign policy.

Trump’s Foreign Policy Doctrine of Uncertainty

While I do not agree with much in the Trumpian foreign policy…..I would like to give a look at what a Russian “research” has to say about this foreign policy……

Trump routinely talks up both sides of every issue, and the corporate media still judge him more by what he says (and tweets) than by his actual policies. So it isn’t surprising that he is still trying to confuse the public about his aggressive war policy. But Trump has been in office for nearly three and a half years, and he now has a record on war and peace that we can examine.

Such an examination makes one thing very clear: Trump has come closer to starting new wars with North Korea, Venezuela, and Iran than to ending any of the wars he inherited from Obama. His first-term record shows Trump to be just another warmonger in chief.

Trump’s Record on Foreign Policy: Lost Wars, New Conflicts and Broken Promises

I agree with the student that wrote about the uncertainty…..while some of his promises were good to hear….his actions do not give me confidence in his ability to deal with international situations.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

Closing Thought–06Aug20

I see the idiot Neocons are trying desperately to appear as if they are still relevant…..some in Congress demand that AJE register as a foreign agent…..

The Qatari-owned satellite news channel, Al Jazeera, is facing renewed pressure to register as a foreign agent in the US under a two-year-old law.

After a year-long push, the US Congress amended the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in 2018 requiring all foreign media outlets based in America to detail their ties to foreign governments.

The law is part of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), which was adopted in 1938 to identify Nazi propaganda outlets in the US.

They are required to include, “a description of the relationship of such outlet to the foreign principal of such outlet, including a description of the legal structure of such relationship and any funding that such outlet receives from such principal.”

The signatories include US Senators Tom Cotton, Chuck Grassley, John Cornyn, Todd Young, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz, and Representatives Mike Johnson and Lee Zeldin.

“Qatar’s officials have said that government-controlled media is a form of ‘soft power.’ As such, one can reasonably infer that Al Jazeera is a messaging tool for the Qatari government and on its behalf has engaged in inherently political activities and sought to influence public opinion in the US,” the lawmakers wrote.

Click here to read the letter: https://www.cotton.senate.gov/

(eurasia review)

Really?

Has AIPAC registered?

I wonder how much KSA and/or UAE paid these Congress members for their assistance?

Plus maybe those Congress people should also register as members of a foreign agency.

Now look at the names that signed on to this worthless endeavor…..not one is anything but a wind bag and a spineless Neocon.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Russia Returns To Afghanistan

Back in the 80s the old USSR had this war going on in Afghanistan…..and since it was the Cold War the US would send cash and weapons to the “rebels” that were fighting the Soviets.

Does any of this sound familiar?

In case you are too young to remember anything past the first Iphone….then this should help…..

Or read a history…….https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2014/08/the-soviet-war-in-afghanistan-1979-1989/100786/

In this conflict the US helped create the Taleban and the Northern Alliance to fight the Soviets….and today we, the US, are fighting the very same group we armed and paid in the past…..

I bring all this up because the Neocons are bitching about the Russians sending aid to the Taleban…..

Hardly a week seems to pass without some new crisis in Russian-American relations. The most recent was the revelation that U.S. President Donald Trump had ignored intelligence about bounties supposedly paid by Russian operatives to the Taliban in exchange for killing American soldiers. The veracity of this particular intelligence is questionable, in my view, but there is plausible evidence that Russia has been providing arms to the Taliban as Moscow seeks to play a more active role in Afghanistan. What to make of this? Some commentators in the U.S., including intelligence analysts and military commanders, see Russia’s policy as primarily aimed at pushing the U.S. out of what Moscow considers its neighborhood. Commenting on the most recent allegations, U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff suggested that Russia should be “pushed out of the community of nations.” For Schiff, Russia’s Afghanistan policy is further evidence of a consistent anti-American agenda. This kind of zero-sum thinking says more about the American foreign policy consensus regarding Russia than it does about Russia’s view of the region or of relations with Washington. Russia’s engagement with the Taliban is not, primarily, about punishing the U.S. or getting revenge for Washington’s support to the mujahedeen fighting Soviet troops in the 1980s. Rather, Moscow is pursuing a pragmatic policy aimed at securing stability and security in Central Asia. 

https://www.russiamatters.org/analysis/russian-moves-afghanistan-are-about-regional-stability-not-revenge-us

This is all so silly….the Neocons are all up in arms because Russia is aiding the Taleban……think about that for just a moment……

This illustrates the hypocrisy of American foreign policy….the arrogance….”we can do it but no one else can”

I wish that we could find a new foreign policy….but sadly little will change with the next election.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Egypt–WTF?

As a foreign policy geek I am always looking for situations that are a problem to our policies…..

Using Open Source intel….I have found a problem with our foreign policy and as a geek in international situations this worries me.

The country is a strong ally to the US right? Has been since Saddat was the leader.

As a friend they are entitled to certain perks…..like aid from the US…..in 2020 to the tune of $297.9 in economic aid in 2020 and $1.55 billion in military aid.

That much cash should give the US some pull on the actions of our ‘friends’, right?

To take a different track here…..the US is NO friend of Assad of Syria, right?  As a matter of fact we are trying everything we can short of all out invasion to end Assad’s rule of Syria, right?

Then why is a ‘friend’ sending troops to Syria to help Assad?

Egypt has reportedly sent 150 soldiers to fight alongside Bashar al-Assad‘s regime in a planned operation against against rebel forces in northwestern Syria.

Turkey’s Anadolu news agency on Thursday quoted “reliable military sources” claiming that the soldiers have been sent to Aleppo and Idlib provinces, in coordination with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC),

Iran has been a key backer of the Syrian regime since an uprising against Assad’s rule started in March 2011, sending client militias from around the world such as the Afghan Fatemiyoun and the Lebanese Hezbollah.

The Egyptian troops have been deployed to the Khan Al-Asal area of western Aleppo province and around the town of Saraqeb in southern Idlib province, the agency reported.

Saraqeb was captured by the regime in late 2019 and is on the frontline between regime and rebel forces.

The Syrian news agency Shahed also reported a Syrian opposition military source as saying that “Egyptian mercenaries had arrived to fight alongside regime forces and sectarian militias in northern Syria”.

https://english.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2020/7/30/egypt-sends-troops-to-syria-to-fight-for-assad

Basically, our taxpayer money is inadvertently being used to prop up Assad in Syria.

Just another case for a program to upgrade our foreign policy….but sadly that will not happen any time soon…..

Not to worry though……Egypt will spend cash with Russia for fighter planes……

Russia Today quoted military sources July 27 as saying that the Egyptian army will acquire the Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jet, a first for Egypt, after photos emerged of five of them heading to Egypt. Neither the Russian nor the Egyptian side has so far made any official comments on the alleged acquisition, while the United States objects to any such deals.

According to Russia Today, “The sources indicated that these heavy and long-range fighter jets would give the Egyptian army superiority in the regional sky, which is why the US strongly objected.”


Russia’s Top War website, which focuses on defense affairs, reported July 23 that the first batch of Su-35 fighters took off from the Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aviation Plant and headed to the European side of Russia, from where they will be delivered to Egypt.

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

04 August 1914–Guns Of August–Part One

On this day in history…….Germany invades Belgium causing Great Britain to declare war on Germany. Germany had declared war on France the day before.

This became known as the Guns Of August……

What could drive a world mad to the point of wasting so many lives?

We’ll start with the facts and work back: it may make it all the easier to understand how World War One actually happened.  The events of July and early August 1914 are a classic case of “one thing led to another” – otherwise known as the treaty alliance system.

The explosive that was World War One had been long in the stockpiling; the spark was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914.  (Click here to view film footage of Ferdinand arriving at Sarajevo’s Town Hall on 28 June 1914.)

Ferdinand’s death at the hands of the Black Hand, a Serbian nationalist secret society, set in train a mindlessly mechanical series of events that culminated in the world’s first global war.

Austria-Hungary’s Reaction

Austria-Hungary’s reaction to the death of their heir (who was in any case not greatly beloved by the Emperor, Franz Josef, or his government) was three weeks in coming.  Arguing that the Serbian government was implicated in the machinations of the Black Hand (whether she was or not remains unclear, but it appears unlikely), the Austro-Hungarians opted to take the opportunity to stamp its authority upon the Serbians, crushing the nationalist movement there and cementing Austria-Hungary’s influence in the Balkans.

It did so by issuing an ultimatum to Serbia which, in the extent of its demand that the assassins be brought to justice effectively nullified Serbia’s sovereignty.  Sir Edward Grey, the British Foreign Secretary, was moved to comment that he had “never before seen one State address to another independent State a document of so formidable a character.”

Austria-Hungary’s expectation was that Serbia would reject the remarkably severe terms of the ultimatum, thereby giving her a pretext for launching a limited war against Serbia.

https://www.firstworldwar.com/origins/causes.htm

A war that cost so many lives and accomplished very little in the end.

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

On The Border

I could go off on a tangent about the Trump Wall but in this case it is a conflict in the making in the Caucuses of Central Europe…… between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

History of the Caucasus - Wikipedia

There has always been an animosity between the two……Armenia is a Christian country while Azerbaijan is Muslim…..read about the two countries here (if interested)……

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-17398605

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-17043424

Years ago I wrote about this region as a possible linch pin event that could start a major world incident that may lead to a war…..FYI my post on the subject and region……https://lobotero.com/2013/06/13/looking-for-the-linchpin/

The war of words between Armenia/Azerbaijan has almost always been a part of the region’s history……but there have been several border clashes between the two and they are still readying themselves for the possibilities….

The senior adviser to Azerbaijan’s president said the situation at the border with Armenia reminded him of World War I between France and Germany, with heavily armed soldiers facing each other in border trenches. Hajiyev warned that any spark could lead to a full-blown conflict. He accused Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan of advancing a bellicose nationalist agenda despite claims when he was elected that he wanted to achieve peace with Azerbaijan.

Hajiyev said the threat by Azerbaijan to strike a civilian nuclear plant in Armenia had been made by a low-level military officer and did not reflect his country’s official stance. He went on to accuse Armenia of targeting civilian targets in his country.

He brushed aside claims that Turkey was the reason for the recent flare-up of tension and said that Baku was ready to address and resolve the long-standing conflict with Armenia. 

https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20200722-interview-adviser-to-azerbaijan-s-president-we-are-expecting-provocation-from-armenia-at-any-moment

Things are getting more and more heated between the two nations…..

The mid-July 2020 escalation on Armenia and Azerbaijan’s densely populated state border, which killed over a dozen people and sent women and children fleeing, should sound as a warning. Villagers on both sides of the 230km, trench-lined border have long lived in fear of clashes and landmines. Three decades after the 1992-1994 war over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, children go to schools behind ever-thicker cement walls, farmers shun fertile but mine-riddled fields and young people seek their future elsewhere. International mediation efforts have largely ignored the border regions, focused on untangling disagreements over Nagorno-Karabakh itself. But July’s violence shows how critical it is to pay attention to the safety of more than 150,000 civilians living there. Yerevan and Baku should keep channels open to find mutually beneficial ways to cooperate along the border. The shooting should not stop them from exploring collaboration on narrow initiatives to allow children to attend school, farmers to harvest crops, herders to put livestock to pasture, and water to flow to taps and fields.

For both sides, the potential cost in lives and property of violence is higher along the border than in other areas. Neither side has a clear military advantage in the border zone. Military positions and front-line trenches are so close in places that residents can shout to soldiers on the other side. The border is at the crossroads of the three post-Soviet states of the South Caucasus – Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. As such, it is criss-crossed by key roads, railways and pipelines pumping natural resources from Russia to the region or from Azerbaijan and the Caspian Sea to Europe. Both sides not only have an interest in avoiding disruptions to this infrastructure but also stand to benefit from repurposing and repairing sundered cross-border Soviet-era water supply networks

https://www.crisisgroup.org/europe-central-asia/caucasus/nagorno-karabakh-conflict/259-preventing-bloody-harvest-armenia-azerbaijan-state-border

I still believe that this region holds the key to a wider war……another region is the Pakistan/India/China in the Himalayas…..

I will be watching!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Is American Exceptionalism Dying?

American Exceptionalism?

Where on Earth did that term come from?

(Pause for the Google machine to engage)

It was first used 150 years ago by a Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville (“There is something about Americans that is exceptional”)…..

I too have written about this situation several times as well…..

https://lobotero.com/2015/03/06/the-real-american-exceptionalism-the-unz-review/

https://lobotero.com/2016/06/09/he-doesnt-believe-in-american-exceptionalism/

https://lobotero.com/2017/02/28/american-exceptionalism-and-the-beat-goes-on/

As a teacher I get to read grad students papers and I found a recent one interesting about the term American Exceptionalism…..

The romantic notion of American exceptionalism undermines the effectiveness of US foreign policy, and clinging to this outdated notion harms specific areas of international cooperation. It should by now be clear that we aren’t special, and if we run foreign policy on deluded notions and poorly-earned arrogance it will only cause harm to those forming useful coalitions and partnerships. For example, on climate change, hubris will make a new administration focus on shaming other countries, when a show of some level of stability and making real changes domestically would go a long way towards real leadership.

Alexis de Tocqueville coined the term for the U.S. over 150 years ago (“The position of the Americans is…quite exceptional”). In a much less oft quoted sentence in that same paragraph, de Tocqueville goes on to say, “Their strictly Puritanical origin, their exclusively commercial habits, even the country they inhabit…seems to divert their minds from the pursuit of science, literature, and the arts…” And yet this notion lingers, not only in political language and symbols, but at the core of foreign policy formulation

Opinion – Eulogy for American Exceptionalism

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

SecState Human Rights Report

Pompeo’s State Department has decided that they would cherry pick rights….proving that this admin does not believe in equality or in human rights for all…..

Human rights advocates denounced as “dangerous” a draft report released Thursday by the U.S. State Department’s controversial Commission on Unalienable Rights that paints property rights and religious liberty as “foremost among the unalienable rights that government is established to secure” while casting doubt on other liberties, including reproductive freedom.

“Make no mistake: this report was not designed with principles of equality, justice, and rights in mind. Instead, it serves as another stepping stone in the White House’s radical, isolationist, anti-rights, anti-scientific, religious agenda,” Serra Sippel, president of the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE), said in a statement.

“The Commission on Unalienable Rights is a thinly veiled religious fundamentalist panel, and the people on it should have absolutely no say about the human rights of people all over the world,” Sippel declared, calling the panel “a dangerous distraction from the fact that this administration does not believe that all people are equal and entitled to human rights.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/07/17/pompeo-panel-pushes-radical-isolationist-anti-rights-anti-scientific-religious

No should be surprised…..Pompeo is just echoing the crap he spread when he was in Congress….the only difference now is that he has a power to make some of these outdated manure into law of the land.

Even people that worked for him tried to change things……

A State Department whistleblower attempted to warn the agency’s Office of Legal Affairs about “questionable” activities involving Secretary Mike Pompeo but was “blocked” from doing so, according to the complaint.

McClatchy reported Sunday that the complaint, made public through a lawsuit filed by the watchdog group American Oversight, alleged the unnamed employee and other “eyewitnesses” were prevented from sharing concerns about Pompeo’s activities in the U.S. and abroad with superiors and legal authorities at the agency despite repeated attempts.

The State Department declined McClatchy’s request for comment on the whistleblower complaint. However, in explaining redactions made to the whistleblower complaint, the agency’s lawyers revealed that Pompeo still remains the target of at least one active investigation despite arranging the firing of the agency’s inspector general in May.

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/508050-whistleblower-alleges-repeated-attempts-were-made-to-report-pompeos

Pompeo has given all pretense of being the chief diplomat of the US and is acting as an agent for Trump’s agenda….not the country’s agenda.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s Commission on Unalienable Rights unveiled its long-anticipated report in Philadelphia, ahead of which Pompeo delivered a speech more fitting for a Trumpian candidate for president in 2024 than a person serving in the apolitical position of secretary of state. Pompeo also published an op-ed in the Washington Post in which he devoted far more space to slamming his fellow Americans for “outrageous efforts to erase American history by tearing down statues of our nation’s founders” than he did to the worst human rights abusers around the world.

In calling for a return to our founding principles, Pompeo’s Philadelphia speech acknowledged almost in passing that “at our nation’s founding our country fell far short of securing the rights of all. The evil institution of slavery was our nation’s gravest departure from these founding principles. We expelled Native Americans from their ancestral lands.” This was one step in the right direction. The United States is a stronger advocate for human rights around the world when we acknowledge our own shortcomings and invite other nations and peoples to join us striving to improve. To that end, Pompeo should also have mentioned that women were denied the right to vote until the 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920, or that two-tiered citizenship in the Jim Crow South ended only a full century after emancipation.

Mike Pompeo Has Given Up Being Secretary of State

We can only hope that come November these bigoted tools are replaced with someone with a bit of compassion and foresight.

We can make that happen but not if you do not VOTE!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Will There Be An “Asian Century”?

I have seen this question asked on several occasions…..first it was the rise of Japan and their buying up America….and now the same question only more about China…..

From time to time I get to see some amazing research completed by grad students from around the world…..

this one is especially interesting especially to anyone that is worried about the “World Order”…..

Asia has been increasing its influence in the world, largely, because of China’s exceptional economic growth. A creative study of the global economy’s center of gravity, which indicates the average location of economic activity across geographies, showcases that though, in 1980, that center of gravity was the mid-Atlantic, by 2008, it had moved to the east of Helsinki, and, by 2050, it is predicted to be located between India and China (Quah, 2011). This favorable economic prediction, combined with the arguable decline of the West, is propelling quite a few international relations scholars into advancing the argument that we are entering an “Asian Century”. Some of them go so far as to contend that China will rule the world. However, a strong economy is just one of the requisites for the “Century.” Luce (1941), who coined the term “American Century,” laid out the important factors needed to realize the American Century: the American economy, American ideals, and responsibility for leading the entire world. In addition to those three factors, most importantly, structural advantages within the US-led liberal international order enabled the American Century. Even if China had a preponderance of the total economic size over the US in the future, China could not create a China-led international order in which China and other states enjoy economic, political, and social prosperity due to China’s intrinsic political issues and external factors.

Are We Entering an “Asian Century?”: The Possibility of a New International Order

We can bitch about the things that China is doing….but we need to understand the policies behind the movement……without understanding then basically all you are doing is bitching for the sake of bitching.

For instance….china’s expansion into the African continent…….why is it important?

For a generation, China has expanded its economic outreach to the Middle East but has largely remained diplomatically neutral and militarily absent. Beijing, for example, maintains cordial diplomatic relations with Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. It often abstained on contentious UN Security Council resolution. And while Chinese Navy ships do make occasional port calls in the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas, but China’s non-combatant evacuation operation from Libya at the beginning of that country’s civil war was far less coordinated and effective than Chinese authorities claimed.

President Xi Jingping’s assertiveness may not be limited to China’ periphery, in Hong Kong, the South China Sea, and Ladakh. China, for example, not only established a military base in Djibouti within miles of the U.S. presence, but also has begun to interfere with U.S. pilots in the region.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/middle-east-watch/chinas-next-military-move-base-persian-gulf-164184

Is this a hostile move?  Or could it be a defensive one to protect their assets in Africa?

Any thoughts?

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Africa, The Land That Time Forgot

There is a line in the movie “Sahara” that perfectly describes the West’s view of Africa…..”It’s Africa….No one cares about Africa”…..

There is so much more going on in Africa that the news just glazes over if they mention it at all……Westerners do not realize how much we depend on Africa on so many levels…..oil…..minerals…..produce…..and yet we know very little about the countries or the people…..

I tried to help my readers out……https://lobotero.com/2019/01/11/africa-loves-china/

Few in the West knows just how much China is spending in Africa to control resources…….

A central element of palace diplomacy is lavishing African rulers with personal benefits, such as grand new workplaces that serve little purpose other than to curry favor with recipient governments. In a recently published report — which so irked the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs that its spokesman attacked it during a press conference — I explain how I found that since 1966, Chinese companies have built or renovated at least 186 African government buildings, including 24 offices or residences of heads of state. Of the 70 buildings for which I found financing information, the Chinese government or a Chinese company financed all but three, and Beijing partially or fully subsidized the construction costs for at least 45 of the 70 buildings.

African rulers do business with Beijing not only out of self-interest, of course. The continent needs wise infrastructure development, and China is sometimes the only willing lender. Certain cheap Chinese products, particularly technology such as smart phones, are hugely popular with African consumers, and Chinese firms have built most of the continent’s 3G and 4G telecoms networks. There is also a sense of developing world solidarity and the attendant mistrust of the developed world that accounts for some of the warmth in the official China-Africa relationship.

China’s Palace Diplomacy in Africa

China is using their money and expertise as their foreign policies for Africa….as opposed to the US that thinks the military path will win them more friends…..https://lobotero.com/2020/01/24/us-troops-in-west-africa/

While China is building infrastructure the US is building a strong counter-terrorism programs….this in my opinion does little to make more friends….drones killing civilians has a way to turning the population off…..

But we keep doing the same things over and over….

This successful counterterrorism operation highlights the invaluable role that the United States currently plays in helping its allies in West Africa battle al-Qaeda and the Islamic State’s fierce terrorist campaign that last year alone killed over 4,000 civilians and soldiers.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2020/06/24/west_africa_and_us_strategy_115408.html

(This article is by a pro military and pro M-IC site)

I believe that our ingenuity would go further to win over hearts and minds than drone attacks.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”