Amateurs Need Not Apply

For centuries we have had a professional politician running the country….and that is the why it should be….people with experience, rational, selfless and sane.

But when we slip the bounds of intelligence we wind up with amateurs running things….a government of dunces…..

When Russia ordered 755 Embassy employees to leave the country in retaliation for US sanctions…..some said…..

President Trump, perhaps taking the “glass-half-full” approach a little too far, thanked Vladimir Putin Thursday for his decision to expel hundreds of American diplomats in response to new sanctions on Russia. “I want to thank him because we’re trying to cut down our payroll, and as far as I’m concerned, I’m very thankful that he let go of a large number of people because now we have a smaller payroll,” Trump said at his Bedminster, NJ, golf club, per NPR. “There’s no real reason for them to go back,” Trump said. “I greatly appreciate the fact that we’ve been able to cut our payroll. … We’re going to save a lot of money.”

Putin has ordered the expulsion of 755 American diplomats and technical staffers, leaving a total of 455 people in US diplomatic missions in Russia. While it wasn’t clear whether Trump was being entirely serious, his remarks caused anger among the rank and file at the State Department, where Trump has proposed cutting the budget by 29%, Politico reports. “This is so incredibly demoralizing and disrespectful to people serving their country in harm’s way,” a senior diplomat says.

Apparently the president does not realize the Putin CANNOT fire an American employee of the Embassy.  They are not fired but rather will be reassigned.

Then the mash-up with North Korea….when he said “Fire and Fury” will rain down on NK……but then there is more….

President Trump issued one more provocative threat to North Korea Friday morning: “Military solutions are now fully in place,locked and loaded,should North Korea act unwisely,” he tweeted. “Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!” The tweet comes after a Chinese newspaper warned both countries to avoid a pre-emptive strike on the other. It also follows Trump’s meeting with national security officials on Thursday and a doubling down on his earlier “fire and fury” warning.

Will some one please tell this man that war is not a goddamn John Wayne movie or a episode of the Rambo trilogy that is fought with cute slogans.  In war people die….in war people are maimed….. the thought of war should be the last consideration of a president not the first damn thing that enters in his tiny mind.

A Better Plan

Yes I am talking about Afghanistan….again.

I have been bitch for over 10 years about how we got into yet another horrible war with NO plan to whether win or to go home.  Sounds all so familiar.

You know it is really not that hard for fight a war using the enemies game plan.

Say what?

That’s right….use their game plan against them.

When I was sent to Vietnam I was assigned to the LRRPs for the 9th Infantry Division….we spent a lot of our time in enemy territory and we needed to know what to expect….we all wer4e given a copy of North Vietnamese general’s book of guerilla warfare….People’s War, People’s Army by Gen. Giap.  It outlined the proper way to fight a guerilla war…tactics, logistics, everything they a soldier would need to know.

I bring this up because the same thing could have been done for our fight in Afghanistan.

Again…..say what?

That is right there is a game plan for Taleban fighters…..it is a book written 1995 by the fighters themselves entitled “Afghan Guerilla Warfare” by Ali Ahmad Jalali.  The book gives details on ambushes, logistics, weapons, bombs making, etc, etc….

Now would it nor have been  good idea to familiarize the troops with what to expect when fighting the Taleban?

Arrogance has doomed a many army in the past….and it is pulling the US military in too many directions to ever come out of the country with a win.

All The News Of North Korea

Since my Asian Desk is pretty sparse…I need to do lots of research to get up to speed ……maybe it will help my reader as well…..

The words of war are flying around the airways…..there are those that would like an attack on NK as a “must”…..but those mental midgets do not think beyond their own bravado….

As the rhetoric continues to pick up around North Korea, the talk of military options, or worse the “military solution” increasingly appears to center around the conceit that there is some possibility for a limited war, or some other way that the US could make a quick attack on North Korea and fix everything militarily.

Experts, however, broadly agree that’s simply not the case. North Korea has spent the last 60+ years worrying about a US attack, and preparing to retaliate with everything that they have. This retaliation, even before factoring in North Korea’s nuclear program would destroy much of South Korea, and likely kill upwards of a million people.

That threat of massively destructive retaliation was always the ace up North Korea’s sleeve that kept them from getting attacked in the first place, sort of a mutually-assured destruction build around conventional arms and the fact that the huge, and economically important, city of Seoul is so close by.

The theory that the US could precisely take out North Korea’s small nuclear arsenal and resolve the situation, then, is clearly preposterous on its face, as North Korea’s retaliatory capabilities are substantial and were built long before the nuclear program.

While pretty much any preemptive attack necessarily will provoke retaliation, a US strike on North Korea’s nuclear sites would certainly provoke an even bigger one, as the North Korean government could only interpret it as the start of an American war of regime change.

(antiwar.com)

The NK situation is far more complex than the simpletons in the Trump admin would have you believe.

There needs to be a place where the news of NK can come together and readers can have it all in one place and NO need for the Google button.

Maybe I can help……

Not all reporting follows the paradigm that the Pentagon, Trump and the MSM wants to get out to the public.

Further reading for those that have an inquiring mind….lots to read but it will,give the reader a better picture of the situation than by listening to the MSM and the alt-Right…..enjoy

Source: North Korea, Nukes and Negotiations – Geopolitics | Geopolitical Futures

Source: North Korea Leaves Us With Only One Good Option | World Affairs Journal

Source: Only Morons Believe What the US Government Says About North Korea

Source: Newsweek Exclusive: North Korean Missile Claims Are ‘a Hoax’

Source: Why a war with North Korea is unlikely | North Korea | Al Jazeera

All aspects of this volatile situation need to be presented so that NO wrong thinking can be invaded into to the process.

Closing Thought–11Aug17

Can You Hear That?

Ever read a news story that made you stop and think?

The one that caught my attention was the story of hearing loss by some American diplomats and some of Canada as well…..a fascinating thing indeed….

A duty station in Cuba could be hazardous to your hearing…..

The Canadian government said Thursday that at least one Canadian diplomat in Cuba has been treated for hearing loss, following disclosures that a group of American diplomats in Havana suffered the same. US officials believe they were caused by an advanced sonic device, per the AP. Global Affairs Canada spokeswoman Brianne Maxwell said Canadian officials “are aware of unusual symptoms affecting Canadian and US diplomatic personnel and their families in Havana” and were working to figure out the cause. In the fall of 2016, US diplomats began suffering unexplained losses of hearing, according to officials with knowledge of the investigation. Several were recent arrivals at the embassy, which reopened in 2015 as part of President Obama’s reestablishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba.

Some of the US diplomats’ symptoms were so severe that they were forced to cancel their tours early and return to the United States, officials said. After months of investigation, US officials concluded that the diplomats had been attacked with an advanced sonic weapon that operated outside the range of audible sound and had been deployed either inside or outside their residences. It was not immediately clear if the device was a weapon used in a deliberate attack, or had some other purpose. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the US retaliated by expelling two Cuban diplomats from their embassy in Washington on May 23. The Cuban government said that “Cuba has never permitted, nor will permit, that Cuban territory be used for any action against accredited diplomatic officials or their families, with no exception.”

Investigations on-going but how will they determine what the cause is or who is behind this attack?

Time to start the weekend….hope all my readers have a wonderful couple of days….chuq

North Korea–That Was The Week That Was

There has been a wealth of news on and about North Korea this week…..let me catch everyone up that was smart enough to ignore most of it…..but if you did not get enough speculation and innuendo then I can help out….

President Trump escalated his war of words with North Korea on Thursday by declaring that his provocative threat to rain down “fire and fury” might not have been harsh enough, as nuclear tensions between the two nations continued to crackle. – New York Times

With the United States and North Korea locked in an escalating exchange of threats, South Korea told its people on Friday that the White House had agreed not to do anything on the Korean Peninsula that would catch the South off guard. – New York Times

China won’t come to North Korea’s help if it launches missiles threatening U.S. soil and there is retaliation, a state-owned newspaper warned on Friday, but it would intervene if Washington strikes first. – Washington Post

North Korea’s vow to ignite an “enveloping fire” of test missiles near the American island of Guam is the first time it has specified a target with so much detail, escalating a showdown between Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, and President Trump. – New York Times

Some have urged President Trump to open negotiations with him. But it is unclear whether Mr. Kim is interested in talking, or what if anything he might demand in exchange for freezing or abandoning his nuclear program. He has made building a nuclear arsenal a top priority, arguing that it is the only way the North can guarantee its security and develop its economy. – New York Times

North Korea’s rapid progress toward a nuclear weapon that could strike the United States, and the escalating war rhetoric in both capitals, has raised fears of atomic annihilation — a sense of dread not experienced since the coldest days of the Cold War. But the nuclear standoff also carries the risk that future, smaller disputes with Pyongyang, however manageable in the past, will become far more consequential. – Washington Post

The CIA and other key U.S. intelligence agencies agree with the assessment that North Korea has miniaturized a nuclear weapon to place atop a ballistic missile, U.S. officials told NBC News. – NBC News

The United States and its allies have military options for confronting North Korea — including an all-out invasion, more limited air and missile strikes, cyberattacks or a covert effort to oust the regime of Kim Jong Un. But those scenarios carry enormous risks, including the possibilities of loss of life, loose nukes falling into terrorists’ hands or the conflict spreading to a wider Asian war. – Politico

The Trump administration is asking U.S. allies to cut back on the number of North Korean workers they allow in the country, in a bid to starve North Korea of money it uses to fund its weapons program. – Washington Examiner

Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice said Thursday that North Korea’s expanding nuclear weapons program marks a ‘failure’ on the part of the United States. – The Hill

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Thursday said President Trump doesn’t need congressional approval for a military strike against North Korea, but he urged his colleagues to give it “as a last resort.” – The Hill

South Korea has sought to damp down escalating tensions between North Korea and the US over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme, telling its northern neighbour that the door to dialogue is still open. – Financial Times

The escalating threat arising from nuclear-armed North Korea’s recent series of missile tests is prompting South Korea to beef up its military muscle and experts warn it could spur an arms buildup elsewhere in Northeast Asia. – Reuters

Interview: The Cipher Brief’s Mackenzie Weinger reached out to former Acting CIA Director John McLaughlin for his thoughts on the president’s comment and why he thinks resumed negotiations at some level are still worth a try. – The Cipher Brief

Michael Mazza writes: For too long, the regime has sown terror among its own people and wreaked havoc on the international stage. Bringing about its downfall and, potentially, peaceful unification with Seoul, is the best way to eliminate the North Korean threat once and for all while bringing freedom and prosperity to its long-suffering people. – Forbes

Patrick Cronin writes: The Korean Peninsula has been a dangerous flashpoint ever since the war resulted in an armistice just over sixty-four years ago. North Korea’s latest achievements in weapons of mass destruction make the situation even more dangerous and yet, as with the past, manageable. We have reached a culminating point, and we should brace ourselves for a new level of permanent crisis even if hot war never breaks out. – The National Interest

Kori Schake writes: Stock markets in the U.S., Asia, and Europe unsurprisingly registered their worry in retreat. What is surprising is how little alarm has been expressed so far by the governments of South Korea, Japan, and China. This suggests that governments are beginning to ignore the president’s statements. Disbelief of the president may be a stabilizing factor for foreign governments, but as Eliot Cohen points out, it will be a major liability if the president needs to persuade the American people to go to war against North Korea. – Defense One

Now if you still have your sanity then go out and enjoy your weekend…..if all this bummed you out…then welcome to the club.

Will There Be A Foreign Policy Crisis?

Since I am a foreign policy wonk I spend a lot of time reading reports and analyses about world affairs and what I have found is there is many “hot spots” in this world that could spill over into a major confrontation.

North Korea is on a slow boil……China in the South China Sea is sizzling….troop movements in around the Baltic states, both US and Russian….terrorist cells plotting…..Iran will soon be back in the headlines….and of course all the different armed conflicts that spread like a fungus…..so many opportunities for something to go horribly wrong.

I am concerned on the future because our president does not seem to care about all the situations as they build.  His State Department is woefully understaffed….the military is expanding faster than a irritating rash and the White House is full of factions fighting for dominance……and foreign policy is a couple of words that few know how to use.

It is only a matter of time before something breaks on the foreign policy front……

It is now six months into the Trump administration and, thankfully, the United States has not yet faced a foreign-policy crisis. In no other area does a president have more responsibility and power than in such a crisis. Any president, but particularly this one, must welcome and respect expert advice, choose quickly and wisely from a difficult set of options, consult with Congress and involve U.S. allies in the common cause. The United States must deal from a position of strength but be open to negotiations.

Unfortunately, we have seen much in Trump’s conduct as president that raises serious questions as to how he will respond when that inevitable crisis comes. Perhaps none more puzzling or concerning is his attitude toward Russia. Rebuilding cooperation with Russia where possible in areas such as antiterrorism and arms control is in the U.S. interest, but not at the expense of indifference to Russia’s actions in Ukraine and Syria or dismissing the investigations of Russian interference in recent U.S. elections.

Source: Trump and the Impending Foreign-Policy Crisis | The National Interest

It is time for this administration to settle down and get to work on the foreign policy….our State Department should be the spear point of our foreign policy and right now it is little more than a discussion group with NO direction.

Once we are confronted with a international crisis it will be too late to try and return the State Department to the forefront….basically as it is now our foreign policy is little more than a crap shoot.

Can you say….North Korea!

Trump Is No Realist

But what is meant by “Realist”?

If we are talking about it in the context of philosophy then……

a. The scholastic doctrine, opposed to nominalism, that universals exist independently of their being thought.
b. The modern philosophical doctrine, opposed to idealism, that physical objects exist independently of their being perceived.
But what if we are talking about the situation as it relates to International Relations……
A particular view of the world, or paradigm, defined by the following assumptions: the international realm is anarchic and consists of independent political units called states; states are the primary actors and inherently possess some offensive military capability or power which makes them potentially dangerous to each other; states can never be sure about the intentions of other states; the basic motive driving states is survival or the maintenance of sovereignty; states are instrumentally rational and think strategically about how to survive.
That brings us to Trump’s views on foreign policy……

In his speech in Riyadh, President Trump said his administration was adopting “Principled Realism”—capitalized in the official White House version of the speech, as if to make a statement that there is a distinct doctrine being followed, one worthy of the term realismSome commentaries seem to have taken him at his word, with the main reference point being a contrast with the two previous U.S. administrations, which, in very different ways, placed greater importance than Trump does on the extent to which liberal democratic values prevail abroad.  The contrast is based more broadly on Trump’s overall lack of concern for human rights overseas.

But slapping away any interest in democracy and human rights does not define realism.  And we certainly have enough experience now with Trump to realize that his declaring he is doing something may have little relationship to what he actually is doing.

Source: Trump Is No Realist « LobeLog

I Think that his ideas in foreign policy are unrealistic…..he disses diplomacy and embraces a larger more power military and he hugs and compliments petty dictators and monarchs……

President Donald Trump has failed to reassure members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) that the United States was fully committed to the alliance. When pressed about the importance of Article 5 of the NATO charter—which obliges members to ensure collective defence—Trump dithered. No clarity was possible. He wants NATO members to increase military spending. It is something the U.S. needs little prodding to do by itself.

Trump wants the U.S. to spend over $700 billion on its military, which is astronomically higher than any of the other NATO states. The U.S. expenditure is two-thirds of the total the 28 NATO states spent on their militaries. The U.S. spends 3.6 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on the military, almost twice the 2 per cent standard asked of NATO states. The U.S., by itself, is effectively the military arm of the NATO.

Source: Trump Believes in a World Order Based on Brute Force—and Much of Europe Is Surprisingly Willing to Go Along with It | Alternet

Trump has started the US  down a path that it does not need to travel…..and could very well end badly for the country.