The Long Run

I could do something popular and give you a You Tube of the Eagles song….but why it would not add anything to the post.

The US has been throwing money and equipment at Ukraine for about a year now…..Russia is said to be losing its hold on the country…..then we are told that ….well we are told a lot of things and some believe every word of it….I am not one of those mindless minions.

Some of us are asking ‘how will this end’?

I have seen and read many opinions on the Ukraine/Russia conflict….do not get me wrong I do not disqualify anyone’s thoughts on this conflict and there is a wealth of these….but few have any answers to the deeper questions.

My interest in international relations lets me read many report and white papers on different subjects…..so when I read a white paper issued by the RAND surprised me since this think tank is mostly funded by the M-IC…the study says something that seems to contradict all the promises made on this war.

The RAND Corporation issued a new report that warns against a “protracted conflict” in Ukraine and says a prolonged war is against US interests, breaking from the view of many hawks in Washington that the US should support the fight against Russia for the long term.

RAND is funded directly by the US military and often shapes US policies, including hawkish ones toward Moscow. A 2019 report titled “Extending Russia” examined the risks and benefits of ways the US could try to “extend” Russia, and many of those policies have been implemented, including the provision of “lethal aid” to Ukraine, sanctions on Russia, and “hindering” the country’s gas and oil exports.

The new report from RAND titled “Avoiding a Long War” examines the risks of the current conflict and acknowledges a protracted conflict heightens the risk of nuclear war.

A summary of the new report reads: “Discussion of the Russia-Ukraine war in Washington is increasingly dominated by the question of how it might end. To inform this discussion, this Perspective identifies ways in which the war could evolve and how alternative trajectories would affect US interests. The authors argue that, in addition to minimizing the risks of major escalation, US interests would be best served by avoiding a protracted conflict.”

The authors say the war in Ukraine makes it harder for the US to focus on its efforts to prepare for a future conflict with China. “The US ability to focus on its other global priorities — particularly, competition with China — will remain constrained as long as the war is absorbing senior policymakers’ time and US military resources,” the report reads.

The report says that the major risk of a long war in Ukraine is that there would be “a prolonged elevated risk of Russian nuclear use and a NATO-Russia war.” It says that “avoiding these two forms of escalation is the paramount US priority.”

When it comes to Ukraine retaking more of the territory that Russia captured, the report says this is only a “less significant benefit” and that “avoiding a long war is also a higher priority for the United States than facilitating significantly more Ukrainian territorial control.” It places “weakening Russia” as a greater benefit to the US than Ukrainian gains, but still not worth the risk of a long war.

The report recognizes that there is currently little hope for peace talks and suggests that the US could “condition future military aid on a Ukrainian commitment to negotiations.” Another suggestion to foster negotiations is for the US to establish conditions for sanctions relief for Russia. The authors acknowledge the Biden administration has made no effort to push the warring sides toward peace talks.

The conclusion says that due to the political situation in the US, a “dramatic shift” in US policy toward Ukraine is unlikely. But the authors say that “developing these instruments now and socializing them with Ukraine and with US allies might help catalyze the eventual start of a process that could bring this war to a negotiated end in a time frame that would serve US interests.”

(antiwar.com)

Will all the West’s support for Ukraine help end this event?

I say no it will not and I am not alone……

American and European officials now assess that time is on Russia’s side, according to the Wall Street Journal. Washington and its Western allies transferred billions in weapons to Kiev under the mistaken belief it would force Russian President Vladimir Putin to negotiate.

“Officials in some capitals now fear the Kremlin…could gain the upper hand in any lengthy war of attrition,” the outlet reported on Sunday. Adding, there is “a worry in some Western capitals that time might be on Russia’s side.”

The Journal spoke with Western officials who believed the massive military aid packages that members of the NATO alliance provided Kiev would break the Kremlin’s resolve. However, Moscow has weathered Western economic sanctions and a fall offensive by Ukrainian forces. Moreover, Russian soldiers are now on the offensive.

Questions.   There are always questions and as usual few answers.

The West sent aid then it sent artillery then it will be tanks and what will be next?

First artillery, then tanks, then warplanes, then what?

Next will be long range missiles (that should be a hoot)….

The US is preparing another major escalation of military aid to Ukraine as Reuters reports the next arms package will include rockets that have a range of 94 miles, almost double the range of the munitions Ukraine was provided for the HIMARS rocket systems.

Citing two unnamed US officials, Reuters said that the US will provide Ukraine with the longer-range Boeing-made Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB) for the first time as part of an over $2 billion arms package that could be announced as soon as this week.

(antiwar.com)

None of this sounds like there is any inclination to find a solution for this situation….

As the war in Ukraine nears the end of its first year, Americans are starting to believe Washington is sending too much support to Kiev. Pew Research conducted a poll in January and found the number of Republicans that are opposed to the current level of support for Ukraine is now 40%. The U.S. has pledged well over $100 billion in aid to Kiev, mostly in arms and military equipment.

In March 2022, Pew reported 49% of Republican voters believed the US was not giving enough aid to Ukraine and only 9% responded that Washington was sending too much support to Kiev. Those numbers have now nearly reversed with 40% saying there is too much support for Kiev, while only 17% said the Joe Biden administration is not doing enough for Ukraine.

Democratic voters have had a far slower, but a similar trend. In the early months of the war, only 5% of blue voters believed Washington was sending too much aid; that number has grown to 15%. However, Pew’s poll conducted in 2023 found nearly a quarter of Democrats want the White House to do more, up three percentage points from the September results.

The Pew results reflect polls conducted by Morning Consult and Concerned Veterans for America in September. The surveys found a growing number of Americans opposed to giving more aid to Ukraine, led by Republican voters.

(antiwar.com)

What’s next?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

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NATO In Asia?

I read this and immediately asked….”WTF?”

My question is why?

Stoltenberg will meet South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol during the four-day trip that begins in Seoul on Sunday, Yonhap News Agency reported, citing a presidential official. He will also meet Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo.

As well as Yoon, the Nato secretary general is expected to meet South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin and other senior officials while in Seoul. The Yonhap report said US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin would also visit South Korea next week.

Stoltenberg’s trip comes after the unprecedented attendance of the South Korean and Japanese leaders at a Nato summit in Madrid in June, when the military alliance labelled China as a “systemic challenge to Euro-Atlantic security” in a key strategy document.

Yoon and Kishida also met US President Joe Biden for a trilateral summit on the sidelines of the Madrid talks, the first time leaders of the three nations had met since 2017.

Both South Korea and Japan have sought to step up ties with Nato amid nuclear and missile threats from North Korea and growing tensions with China.

Choo Jae-woo, a professor of Chinese studies at Kyung Hee University in Seoul, said that during the trip Stoltenberg would likely discuss the countries’ goals in their Indo-Pacific strategy, with the conversation focusing largely on China.

He expected the talks to be “an icebreaker” that could see Stoltenberg planning for future dialogue on security and building communication channels with the two countries.

https://www.msn.com/en-xl/news/other/as-nato-chief-visits-south-korea-and-japan-china-will-be-high-on-agenda/ar-AA16S38S

If NATO is going to be the main international engine for war should it not be re-named something more appropriate?

Does the expansion into Asia violate something in the chart?

Let me see….the US pours billions into Asia to guard against North Korea and China should not these countries ban together and work on a strategy other than “let the US do it’?

When at what point does the American public realize just how stretched our forces and resources have become….after all most of our energy is going to Ukraine and our desire to confront Russia.

The words in Article 5 of the Charter reads thusly…..

The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

An attack on a European or North America…..now what part of Asia falls in either of those categories?

Or is this just talk to hedge the vote to keep the cash rolling in for the defense industry and the Pentagon?

When will we ever learn?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Irrationality Of The Debate

Yes I have written many posts on the Ukraine situation…..let me say here before some troll gets a hard on…..I oppose the invasion and the subsequent conflict that stared earlier this year when Russia invaded Ukraine.

With my posts have come many comments in support for Ukraine/NATO and the massive involvement in the conflict…..to me many of those are irrational because we Americans have given so much treasure in our many many wars and yet there is still some chest thumping……

When asked I usually get some snarky comments that have nothing to do with the issue at hand.

And the conversation continues with  o actually talking….

A Harvard professor has made some interesting observations on this very subject……

Because war is uncertain and reliable information is sparse, no one knows how the war in Ukraine will play out. Nor can any of us be completely certain what the optimal course of action is. We all have our own theories, hunches, beliefs, and hopes, but nobody’s crystal ball is 100 percent reliable in the middle of a war.
You might think that this situation would encourage observers to approach the whole issue with a certain humility and give alternative perspectives a fair hearing even when they disagree with one’s own. Instead, debates about responsibility for the war and the proper course of action to follow have been unusually nasty and intolerant, even by modern standards of social media vituperation. I’ve been trying to figure out why this is the case.
 
What I find especially striking is how liberal interventionists, unrepentant neoconservatives, and a handful of progressives who are all-in for Ukraine seem to have no doubts whatsoever about the origins of the conflict or the proper course of action to follow today. For them, Russian President Vladimir Putin is solely and totally responsible for the war, and the only mistakes others may have made in the past was to be too nice to Russia and too willing to buy its oil and gas. The only outcome they are willing to entertain is a complete Ukrainian victory, ideally accompanied by regime change in Moscow, the imposition of reparations to finance Ukrainian reconstruction, and war crimes trials for Putin and his associates. Convinced that anything less than this happy result will reward aggression, undermine deterrence, and place the current world order in jeopardy, their mantra is: “Whatever it takes for as long as it takes.”
 
This same group has also been extraordinarily critical of those who believe responsibility for the war is not confined to Russia’s president and who think these war aims might be desirable in the abstract but are unlikely to be achieved at an acceptable cost and risk. If you have the temerity to suggest that NATO enlargement (and the policies related to it) helped pave the road to war, if you believe the most likely outcome is a negotiated settlement and that getting there sooner rather than later would be desirable, and if you favor supporting Ukraine but think this goal should be weighed against other interests, you’re almost certain to be denounced as a pro-Putin stooge, an appeaser, an isolationist, or worse. Case in point: When a handful of progressive congressional representatives released a rather tepid statement calling for greater reliance on diplomacy a few weeks ago, it was buried under a hailstorm of criticism and quickly disavowed by its own sponsors.
 
Prof. Walt sums up my thoughts expertly….
 
What will it take for the tide to turn on this debate?
 
Just wondering.
 
On an unrelated topic…..US is considering  cluster bombs for Ukraine…..
 

According to a report from CNN, the Biden administration is considering a request from Ukraine to provide cluster bombs, munitions that are banned by over 100 countries under an international treaty due to the harm they cause to civilians.

Cluster munitions scatter small bombs over large areas, making them more indiscriminate than other munitions. The small bombs often don’t explode on impact, making them a huge danger to civilians who comes across them, similar to land mines.

The 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions that bans the weapons has 108 signatories, but the US, Russia, and Ukraine are not parties to the treaty. Since Russia launched its invasion in February, both Russian and Ukrainian forces have used cluster munitions, and Kyiv was accused of using the bombs in populated areas of Donestk back in 2014.

The last known time the US used cluster bombs was in Yemen in 2009. Before that, US forces used them in the early days of the Afghanistan war and in Iraq in 2003. The US has supplied cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia, which has used them in its war on Yemen.

The CNN report said that the Biden administration has been fielding a request from Ukraine for cluster munitions for months and has not rejected it outright. The administration hasn’t taken the option off the table if US stockpiles of other munitions become dangerously low.

(antiwar.com)

What happened to all that concern for civilians?

Personally I am sick of the pathetic excuses some Americans for this country pouring much needed cash into this war.

I Read, I Write, You Know
 
“lego ergo scribo”

Putin’s Future

I read this article and thought I would pass it on to my readers especially those that have no love for the criminal Putin.

People have envisioned all sorts of scenarios for the demise of Putin…..from being crazy to an internal revolution that would sideline him and his policies……

This article will be music to some of those ears…..

Vladimir Putin is reportedly set to “disappear” from his leadership position within the Kremlin because there is “clearly something wrong” with his health, RadarOnline.com has learned.

In a sudden development to come amid rumors and reports the 70-year-old Russian leader’s health is quickly deteriorating, intelligence officials have revealed Putin is preparing to step down as Russia’s leader.

The surprising revelation also comes as Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine is “going from bad to worse,” and Putin’s political career is “hanging in the balance” as his forces struggle to take the neighboring nation one year after first invading in February 2022.

“He’s probably faced with another call-up. That clearly is deeply unpopular in Russia,” Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6, recently said according to Daily Star. “There must be massive tensions within the leadership group inside the Kremlin, there must be massive tensions socially across Russia over this whole issue.”

“I just don’t think we can say if he will be deposed,” Dearlove continued. “I rashly predicted last year that on the grounds of probably his health, he gets shuffled off into a sanatorium and would disappear and then you would just have a probably a continuation of the same regime and in someone else’s hands.”

“I still think that that’s a possibility,” the former head of MI6 added. “There’s clearly something wrong with him. Physically, I think. I’m not a clinician but I know there are clinicians analyzing his movements. There’s something wrong with him and maybe that is affecting his political judgment as well.”

(radaronline.com)

I have not been able to verify this report…..so please take this prediction with a grain of salt….I know many of you are pulling for something to befall the Russian leader…..do not celebrate too soon….this may be just rumor….or another social media hoax.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

All Those Amazing Sanctions

The US is the master of issuing sanctions against our ‘enemies’…..we have them in place on Russia, North Korea, Iran, Cuba and god knows how many others.

Sanctions are nothing more than a feel good measure to make it appears that we are doing something when in reality it is mostly a waste of time and energy.

I have written many times about the uselessness of sanctions and all that goes with them.

Is Sanctions The Answer?

And now some others have seen just how flipping useless these actions are…..

The definition of insanity, it is often said, is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Yet that is exactly what U.S. and other Western policymakers have done in imposing broad economic sanctions against adversarial and otherwise problematic regimes.

The results have generally not been positive. Instead of persuading authoritarian and aggressive leaders to change their ways, broad sanctions have reinforced anti-democratic tendencies and incentivized nuclear and other proliferation. Meanwhile, ordinary citizens of these countries suffer in terms of declining standards of living and increased government repression, while a shrinking elite prospers from control over limited resources.

We have seen this movie over and over in places as distant and distinct as Venezuela and Iran, Cuba, Syria, and North Korea.

The latter country is a particularly depressing poster child for sanctions. Since it began developing and testing nuclear weapons — after the George W. Bush administration withdrew from a non-proliferation deal known as the Agreed Framework in 2002 — North Korea has been hit with wave after wave of sanctions and has become increasingly isolated. While there is no mass starvation of the sort that killed as many as two million people in the 1990s, there is serious food insecurity with many North Koreans eating only one meal a day, according to well-informed sources.

Using COVID-19 as an excuse, the government of Kim Jong-un has refused access to international aid agencies such as the World Food Program and made it more difficult for North Koreans to learn about the outside world or to escape as refugees. The China-North Korea border, which was once relatively porous, is now hermetically sealed, with, informed sources say, 169 watchtowers and two barbed-wire perimeters preventing North Koreans from reaching and crossing the Yalu River and eventually making their way to South Korea via third countries.

When will the US learn that sanctions don’t solve its problems?

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

American Hegemony

I guess the best place to start is to define the word ‘hegemony’ for those not sure of what it actually means…..

Hegemony comes from the Greek word hēgemonía, which means leadership and rule. In international relations, hegemony refers to the ability of an actor with overwhelming capability to shape the international system through both coercive and non-coercive means. Usually this actor is understood to be a single state, such as Great Britain in the 19th century or the United States in the 20th and 21st century. However, it could also refer to the dominance of a cohesive political community with external decision-making power, such as the European Union. Hegemony is distinct from Empire because a hegemonic power rules by influencing other states rather than by controlling them or their territory. Unipolarity refers to the distribution of military capabilities, whereas hegemony also refers to economic, social, and cultural power. The literature on hegemony tries to explain the United States’ role in the international system as a function of its privileged position within the system. Some scholars also see hegemony as an institutionalized coalition of powerful and wealthy states. Central questions to the debate are whether a hegemonic actor is well placed to shape the system, what strategies hegemonic powers use to define the system, if there are particular costs and benefits associated with exercising hegemonic influence, if other states gain or lose from hegemony, and under what conditions hegemonic powers endure.

With that in the rear-view mirror….let us continue…..

The US has been the main mover and shaker on the international scene since WW2 and the start of the “Red Menace”…..but recently that influence is starting to wane.

American hegemony is now on life support. Intensive care specialists are still scurrying about trying to resuscitate the patient. Family and friends are saying he’s still putting up a fight. However, the undertakers of this dying order have already arrived, and are standing just outside the door: one is named Russia, and the other China. When the obituary is read we will learn that the deceased is survived by an older cousin representing a different order – balance of power realism.

As John Mearsheimer observed, the unipolar moment after the fall of the former Soviet Union was an absolutely unique period of history. At that moment, and for the next 30 years, America was the only superpower left standing. Francis Fukuyama’s vision of democratizing the world proved to be an irresistible temptation for Western foreign policy elites. So, the evangelists of this new world order set out to spread democracy throughout Eastern Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.

They used the existing architecture of cold war institutions like the UN, NATO, the EC, the WB, IMF, and WTO to spread liberal values, and to “addict people to capitalism.” Blinded by their own idealism, they couldn’t imagine anyone would reject such a generous offer. After all, as President George W. Bush often boasted, “Freedom is in the heart of every individual.” In other words, given the opportunity everyone would naturally choose to be free. Of course, this idea is an echo from President Wilson’s dictum, “The world must be made safe for democracy [emphasis mine].”

American Hegemony and the Politics of Provocation

After WW2 the US and its allies wanted the world to be based on the ‘rule of law’….but since those ‘glory days’ the US has moved further and further away from that high and noble goal.

The piece begins with a brief recitation of the origins and importance of self-determination and state sovereignty to the international system. This is immediately followed by a claim on behalf of the “coalition of democracies” to a right to violate these principles more or less at will.

This coalition, Spencer-Churchill writes, has “legally and morally valid justifications for intervention in a foreign country” first, “when there is a dire security threat that emerges within its sphere of influence” and second, “because liberal democracies have an unprecedented understanding of the world population’s aspirations for human rights-based rule of law and innovation-based prosperity for middle-income countries.” The policies of liberal democracies, he asserts “are moving in concert with the broader direction of history.” The citation for this last statement is a link to a brief summary of Francis Fukuyama’s “End of History.”

Why US hegemony is incompatible with a ‘rules-based international order’

How will this slide in principles end?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

A DeSantis Foreign Policy

I know it is a little early and so far the only confirmed candidate is former president but the popular sentiment is that Florida’s governor will throw his hat into the fray for 2024.

If that is truly the case I would like to look at his possible stands on foreign policy……

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has become one of the main challengers to Donald Trump for leadership of the Republican Party in the wake of his landslide reelection victory last week over Democratic candidate Charlie Crist. 

While DeSantis is best known nationally for controversies over Covid and culture war battles, he has a foreign policy record from his years in Congress and even during his tenure as governor that also merits closer scrutiny. If he seeks the Republican nomination for president, as many now expect he will, voters should be aware of the foreign policy worldview that he brings with him. 

Before he left the House for Tallahassee, DeSantis established himself as a vocal critic of the Obama administration’s foreign policy with an emphasis on attacking U.S. diplomatic engagement with Iran and Cuba. His three terms in the House overlapped with Obama’s major initiatives of negotiating the nuclear deal with Iran and restoring normal relations with Cuba, and like the rest of his party DeSantis was hostile to both policies. 

The hardline positions that DeSantis has taken on issues relating to Iran, Cuba, and Venezuela are not surprising given Florida politics, and they have aligned him closely with Florida’s hawkish Sen. Marco Rubio and fellow Iraq war veteran Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas.

During the original debate over the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), DeSantis was an early and vocal opponent of an agreement with Iran. He co-authored a July 2015 op-ed in Time with Tom Cotton outlining the usual hawkish objections to the deal. Like most critics of the agreement, they misrepresented what it would do and exaggerated the benefits Iran would receive from sanctions relief. The op-ed was long on outrage and short on offering any serious alternative to diplomacy to resolve the nuclear issue. 

DeSantis and Cotton also indulged in rather hysterical threat inflation about Iran, saying, “They will stop at nothing to end our way of life.” 

What might a DeSantis foreign policy look like?

Typical GOP misinformation when it comes to foreign policy….

In essence DeSantis is a clone of Trump and if he is successful at winning the presidency we can expect nothing good to come out of his foreign policies.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Is Trust Eroding?

In this case the trust I am referring to is the trust of the American people for our military.

The Reagan Institute wanted to find out where our military stands with the population just before the last election….their findings listed below….

Americans’ trust and confidence in the military increased slightly over the past year, but remains near a five-year low, according to a new survey by the Ronald Reagan Institute

Conducted in early November after the U.S. midterm elections, the study found that 48 percent of the American public trusts and has confidence in the military, up from 45 percent last year but way down from 70 percent in 2018.

“No other public institution has seen this stark of a decline as we have seen for the U.S. military,” said Rachel Hoff, the institute’s policy director. “I’ll note that it does still rank at the top of the list of the institutions we poll.”

Why the decline? The perceived over-politicization of military leaders was cited by 62 percent of respondents as the top reason for their decline in confidence. And 59 percent cited “the performance and competence of presidents, as the Commander-In-Chief.”

Also of note: 57 percent of those surveyed said the U.S. “must continue to stand with Ukraine and oppose Russian aggression.” But 33 percent said that “America has enough problems at home and cannot afford to spend more on the conflict.” More Democrats favored continued support for Ukraine (73 percent) than Republicans (51 percent). Some 76 percent of respondents said they view Ukraine as an ally, up from 49 percent one year ago. And 82 percent view Russia as an enemy, up from 65 percent last year. Recall: in 2019, one in four surveyed viewed Russia as an ally of the United States.

Some 77 percent of those surveyed said they were concerned that Russia might use a nuclear weapon, while 74 percent said they were concerned the war in Ukraine might spill over into Eastern Europe and force the U.S. to get involved. And some 70 percent said they were concerned that the war in Ukraine is distracting U.S. policymakers “from the threat posed” by China.

“To me, the way I read it, despite these very real concerns, and the survey makes the respondents aware of those concerns, there’s still this continued support for Ukraine,” said Roger Zakheim, the institute’s Washington director. 

Some 71 percent of those surveyed said they are concerned that Russian aggression “will inspire other authoritarians to invade their democratic neighbors,” Hoff said. 

Finally, 54 percent of those surveyed said that the United States does not have a clear strategy for managing its relationship with China, while 27 percent said the U.S. does have a clear strategy. And 54 percent said they support efforts to reduce the amount of trade between the United States and China. Also: “a bipartisan majority of Americans support efforts to discourage a Chinese invasion of Taiwan.”

(defenseone.com)

At the same time another survey was taken of the American people on our involvement in world affairs…..

According to a new poll, perhaps not surprisingly, many Americans across party lines would like the U.S. to have a less interventionist and meddlesome foreign policy. 

The results of a Morning Consult survey show that there continues to be substantial public support for scaling back U.S. military entanglements. Large blocs of Republicans and Democrats are in favor of less involvement in the affairs of other countries in general, and a plurality of Americans supports decreasing overseas deployments and reducing involvement in foreign conflicts. 

While there were slight fluctuations over the course of the three-month survey, there were more voters that said they wanted a decreased military presence and a reduced role in foreign wars than chose the status quo or a larger role. The disconnect between what this plurality of voters wants and what the government is doing in different parts of the world is as big as it has ever been.

Unfortunately, the survey report frames these results in the crudest terms of “isolationism” vs. engagement. Morning Consult’s pejorative framing of this sentiment as support for “greater isolationism” seems likely to reinforce policymakers’ habits of dismissing public skepticism of U.S. entanglements out of hand. Calling something “isolationism” is never merely descriptive, and it is almost always inaccurate, so whenever it is deployed it is a sign of sloppiness or hostility, or both.

Survey: Americans want to scale back military entanglements

None of this means anything for us mere mortals are not listened to or given any considerations for our concerns.

The involvements will continue until all the profits have been milked out of the situations and then move on to the next sacred cow to be milked.

Your concerns mean NOTHING!

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Yet More Intervention?

The US spends way too much time trying to instigate war……it is bad enough that we are basically involved in wars in almost every continent and yet some US officials are urging more involvement…..

This time it is the small island nation of Haiti….

Some top Biden administration officials are pushing for an international military intervention in Haiti over concerns of a migration crisis, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.

The government of acting Prime Minister Ariel Henry has been under pressure over growing gang violence in the country and from demonstrators that are demanding Henry resign. Henry requested foreign military intervention last month to break a blockade of a key fuel terminal in Port-au-Prince, but the Haitian national police have since broken the blockade.

The US proposed a UN resolution calling for a foreign military force to enter Haiti after Henry’s request but has struggled to find a country willing to lead the intervention. The Times report said that while the Biden administration officials want to see military intervention in the country, they don’t want it to involve US troops.

US officials said that the deployment of 2,500 troops and police officers could be enough to secure key areas in Haiti. But countries the US has looked to lead the intervention are hesitant, including Canada and Brazil.

While Haitians are facing violence and food shortage, most people in the country are against the intervention due to the country’s dark history with foreign military occupations. The most recent UN peacekeeping deployment that ended in 2017 involved extensive human rights abuses, including the sexual assault of underage girls, and a cholera outbreak.

A report from NPR earlier in November found that most Haitians oppose foreign military intervention. “All they brought was kidnappings and rape and cholera,” a protest organizer told NPR of the UN peacekeeping deployment. “If the UN sends troops to Haiti, the fighting will get even more intense.”

Henry has little popular support as he was never elected. He was made the country’s acting leader following the 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, whose killing was never solved.

(antiwar.com)

Who do you think will be bankrolling this endeavor?

If you cannot think in monetary terms then how about Somalia or Lebanon from our past….ring any bells?

Here is an idea since our main object internationally is to involve this nation in wars both big and small maybe the Department of Defense should return to its original name, War Department…..makes more sense than the Defense Department since our objectives are armed conflict and not defense.

Thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Is China A Serious Threat?

We hear almost daily of what a growing problem China is becoming.

But is China a serious threat?

I realize that we need an enemy to keep the defense industry profitable…..I mean we have Russia right now but is that perceived threat going to last?

According to the MSM and the Pentagon China is just that.

Again I ask…Is it?

China’s recently concluded 20th Party Congress was highlighted visually by the Godfather-like scene of former president Hu Jintao being abruptly escorted off stage as an indifferent Xi Jinping mumbled a brief word to his predecessor and then let him depart. The results of the Congress were to consolidate control even further for Xi, as he prepares for a third five-year term in office with no signs of slowing down.  

Onlookers have understandably worried about a strengthening autocracy under Xi. Given that China has become more powerful during Xi’s reign, less tolerant of dissent at home, and more menacing to its neighbors as well, Xi’s strengthening position would seem to portend a more dangerous China in the years ahead. Together, these developments seem to support the Biden administration’s view, as expressed in its new National Security Strategy, that China represents America’s “most consequential strategic challenge” — even as it is Vladimir Putin’s Russia that rains down missiles and artillery on Ukraine, while driving up global energy and food prices and issuing nuclear threats to the world.

There is ample reason to worry about China, to be sure. The Pentagon has good cause to describe it as our “pacing challenge,” given that China’s military budget of some $250 billion to $350 billion is far and away the world’s second largest, its research and development efforts with national security relevance the second largest as well, and its manufacturing base easily the planet’s biggest. These realities combined with China’s avowed desire to absorb Taiwan back into the motherland as soon as possible, and its dangerous military activities in the western Pacific in general, give serious pause. 

But we need to approach the China threat with perspective. For all its potential seriousness, there remain at least three objective realities and structural restraints on China’s behavior to date. Factoring them into the equation should not make us lower our guard, or relent in the various kinds of economic and military efforts we are now making in the interest of vigilance. But our outlook should be tempered by a certain calm, especially in regard to handling crises that may occur in the western Pacific. China may now be the No. 1 strategic challenge to the United States, but it is not public enemy No. 1.

Just how ominous is the China threat?

All I am saying is that all aspects of the ‘threat’ needs to be looked at….we should not take the words from people and institutions that are on the payroll of the defense industry.

I am sure that there will be many more reports on the ‘seriousness’ of the Chinese threat….and we should make sure of the threat before we do anything stupid.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“kego ergo scribo”