Where Oh Where Did Foreign Policy Go?

No damn secret that I spend a lot of time read, researching and writing about our foreign policy mostly those policies that effect our direction in the Middle East.

I admit it…I have NO idea what the foreign policy of Pres. Trump is exactly……hard words for wars….hard words for foreign leaders…..the embrace of long time adversaries……and a general waffling on most policies.

I have become totally confused on his, Trump, intents around the world….what is this person doing to our foreign policy?

WHEN DONALD Trump delivered his first and only major foreign policy address of the 2016 campaign on April 27 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, he indicated that it was time for a fundamental change in America’s approach to both its allies and adversaries. Now that the 2020 presidential campaign has begun in earnest, it’s worth looking back at that speech to measure how far he has met the goals that he set. Has Trump profoundly altered the course of American foreign policy? Or has he been a study in inconsistency?

At the outset of his 2016 speech, he declared that it was time to “shake the rust off America’s foreign policy.” He proposed to remove it by pursuing a policy of America First that would usher in a shiny new nationalism. To be sure, Trump pointed to the Cold War as an era of American greatness. But he argued that the very triumphalism that had emerged after the fall of the Berlin Wall set the stage for the disasters that ensued in the Middle East, when the George W. Bush administration set out on a quixotic quest to transform the region overnight into a bastion of Western-style democracies. The problems were only compounded by President Barack Obama’s intervention in Libya. According to Trump, “each of these actions have helped to throw the region into chaos and gave isis the space it needs to grow and prosper. Very bad.” He also noted that these actions had created a vacuum that allowed Iran to expand its reach and influence.

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/has-trump-altered-course-american-foreign-policy-124101

Thanx to Trump we have a total disruption in our foreign policy and our national interests….but why?

Disagreement and conflict plague our foreign policy discussions in the same way confusion about the nature of justice makes it difficult to make ethically informed personal decisions. Foreign policy consensus is rare in America, just as moral consensus is the stuff of fairy tales. However, difficulty in reaching agreement is no excuse to succumb to relativism or blind fatalism. Government officials, military leaders, and diplomats must still make decisions and pursue foreign policy goals despite the lack of clear, unambiguous guidance. Indeed, many disagreements in the foreign policy community arise not from a lack of clear goals, but rather from their overabundance. Prioritizing them, deciding where to dedicate significant resources and which to abandon—these are the subjects of never-ending debate in public discourse.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2020/02/07/whose_national_interest_which_foreign_policy_115030.html

I am an old fart…..plus I am an aging antiwar activist and I see the only way out of this cycle of ignorance in our foreign policy can only be saved by the Millennial Generation……(if they are up to the task)…..

In mainstream media outlets, Millennials (a generation with shockingly little wealth) have spent the last decade on a multi-industry killing spree. Now Millennials, along with neighboring Gen X and Gen Z, are coming for your politics.

In both the 2016 and 2018 elections, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z have combined to cast more votes than Boomers and older generations. In the 2018 midterm elections, Millennial turnout nearly doubled from the prior 2014 midterm election. Still, Millennials haven’t taken over: while 42 percent of eligible Millennials voted, that still lags behind the 64 percent of Boomers who trekked to the polls.

But as Millennials and younger generations of Americans claim a larger share of the electoral pie, the issues on which they differ from older Americans become more salient. And there are many. As Pew says in their 2018 report, “The Generation Gap in American Politics”:

Can Millennials save U.S. foreign policy?

To illustrate the direction that young would travel in foreign policy look no further than those young reps in Congress……

The plan calls for the U.S. to cease the “go-it-alone” strategy that has dominated the country’s foreign policy for decades and to instead seek rapprochement with other countries and to prioritize human rights and other areas of global cooperation.

Path to PEACE includes seven pieces of legislation calling for Congressional approval of sanctions, the end of arms sales to human rights violators, and instituting policies aimed at protecting and promoting rights of children, among other issues. 

“The United States can be an agent of peace and end the global refugee crisis if we elect members of Congress who will make this a priority,” tweeted Jetpac executive director Mohammed Missouri.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/02/12/ilhan-omar-unveils-bold-proposal-us-foreign-policy-deeply-rooted-justice

For those interested in her plan for our foreign policy…..https://omar.house.gov/sites/omar.house.gov/files/wysiwyg_uploaded/OMARMN_067_xml.pdf

This plan will get my support…that is until they corporate owned Reps start “tweaking” the plan….and then I will withdraw my support…..

One last thought on Trump foreign policy……from the Orange County paper…..

President Trump campaigned on ending America’s endless wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan. Three years into his presidency, we’re not only engaged in the same dubious entanglements, but now at greater risk of conflict with Iran following the president’s killing of Iran’s Qassem Soleimani.

On Jan. 3, an American drone strike killed Soleimani, a top Iranian general, and others. Purportedly, according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the strike was necessary to prevent imminent Iranian attacks against the United States. While Trump administration officials have variously defined “imminent” as meaning attacks days or weeks away, some congressional Democrats, including Sen. Tom Udall, have cast doubt on the threat.

If Trump wants to end endless wars, he should stop stumbling into another one

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

2020 Dem Candidates On Foreign Policy

We have such a large field of Dem candidates for the 2020 election that it is hard to get to know the ones that the media wants to ignore or marginalize.

But thanx to the manipulation of the polls and the media the DCCC will allow only 10 of the candidates to participate in the next debate in Houston.

To my way of thinking is the foreign policy is the major issue that I use to judge the candidate…..so far in 2020 foreign policy does not seem to be that damn important even though we have our longest wars ever still raging and Americans are still dying.

More questions should be asked of ALL the candidates…….for there is more happening in foreign policy than troops in Afghanistan….

Of the Democratic presidential candidates, only Tulsi Gabbard and Pete Buttigieg have committed to withdrawing all U.S. troops from Afghanistan during their first year in office.

When the candidates were asked if there would be U.S. troops in Afghanistan at the end of their first term, Elizabeth Warren said, “No”; Bernie Sanders replied, “I suspect not”; Beto O’Rourke responded, “We have to begin to bring these wars to a close”; Kirsten Gillibrand said, “I believe that we need to bring our troops home from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria”; Cory Booker noted, “We cannot have forever wars in this nation”; Julian Castro replied, “We need to withdraw in a way that is orderly, that respects our allies”; Amy Klobuchar responded, “We have been there longer than some of our young people have been on this earth”; Andrew Yang opined, “It’s impossible to know that for sure, given that reality on the ground might lead us to have more people there”; Marianne Williamson said, “I would make no move in Afghanistan until first I spoke to Afghan women”; and Kamala Harris answered, “We need to have a presence there in terms of supporting what the leaders of Afghanistan want to do.”

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/08/19/foreign-policy-litmus-test-democrats-2020

So to help my readers out I try to find ways of comparing the candidates in one place so that the research is on me and the readers have an easier time learning about the candidates.

I found one such article in the 538 website…..sadly not all candidates are included but enough to give my reader a good idea about their stands.

The next Democratic president may be significantly more anti-war than Obama; that is, wary of deploying or increasing the number of American troops anywhere. That’s at least the general consensus on foreign policy and national security that emerged from the 15 Democratic presidential candidates (both from the party’s left and left-center wings) who responded to FiveThirtyEight’s eight-question survey on their foreign policy stances.1

Before we get to the results, a few brief notes on our questions. Obviously, it’s hard to confine foreign policy to eight questions, so we tried to avoid subjects in which we thought the candidates would all have the same answer. For example, virtually all Democratic candidates would reengage the U.S. in the Paris climate accord. We also tried to avoid topics for which we couldn’t come up with a fairly concise question. It’s a safe bet that any of the Democratic candidates, if elected president, would be more critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin than President Trump has been, but it’s hard to design a question that would illustrate the differences between the candidates on that subject. So there are some major foreign policy issues (like how the U.S. should deal with Russia) that are not represented.2

Here are the results:

Democratic Candidates Answer Yes-Or-No Questions About Foreign Policy

I do not agree with the conclusion of 538….that the next Dem president will be more antiwar than Obama…..that will depend on the Dem…..the ones that the MSM promotes daily will probably keep the status quo meaning they will waffle on ending the endless wars we now fight.

So far I am sticking with Tulsi Gabbard….no one comes close to her in foreign policy.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

VOTE!

“Lego ergo Scribo”

Foreign Policy Black Hole

The US has entered into a diplomatic black hole……

This black hole is the seemingly need to use military force in the nation’s foreign policy….

Sadly for years now the presence of US troops in other nations leads to their eventually use in some sort of military campaign.

Yet since the “end of history” and the dissipation of those threats in 1989, there has been no pull-back. Instead, the U.S. has been ever more sucked into places around the world. This expansion produces unnecessary tension with China, Russia, and the Islamic world. Worse, the U.S. now fights more often than it did during the Cold War. These interventions often take far longer than the public is led to expect. They kill far more people and cost far more money than admitted. At home, a massive national security state has emerged, confirming President Dwight Eisenhower’s famous warning of the “military-industrial complex”.

The policy response to this sprawl is some mix of retrenchment and restraint. A U.S. grand strategy of “offshore balancing” would husband American resources at home. Intervention would only occur when facing a genuine hegemonic challenger – most obviously China. But the “small wars” which have characterised U.S. intervention in recent decades would stop, for we now know that they do not stay small. Diplomacy would be properly funded; U.S. foreign policy would be de-militarised. Multilateralism and international organisations would be given a chance where the U.S. today disdains them.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2019/08/06/us_foreign_policy_restraint_without_retrenchment_114641.html

Surely there is some sort of reason behind our endless wars…this piece from a Neocon website but it still needs to be considered….

“Only the dead have seen the end of war.” Plato made that incisive observation a rather long time ago. Yet a surprising number of politicians, journalists and think tank denizens continue to affix bumper stickers to their Priuses (if they’re on the left) and SUVs (if they’re on the right) demanding an end to “endless wars.”

https://www.fdd.org/analysis/2019/08/07/why-endless-wars-cant-be-ended/

It seems like once we get entrenched in a region we are then drawn into a conflict and a conflict we cannot seemingly remove ourselves….why is that?

Time and again, the United States has attempted to redirect more of its attention and resources toward its competitions with Russia and China. But Washington’s other commitments around the world continues to undermine this effort. Since taking office, U.S. President Donald Trump has sought to address this problem by pressuring allies to commit more military resources to places like Syria (where the United States is trying to draw troop levels) and most recently, the Persian Gulf (where it now faces an increased risk of a military clash with Iran). 

But concerns over the direction of U.S. leadership has made even Washington’s strongest partners in Europe reticent to deploy more troops to these hot spots. This lack of trust — combined with the fact that many allies already have significant security commitments of their own — will likely leave the United States with little choice but to make do with the allied support it has in order to finish out its duties in the Middle East.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2019/08/06/why_the_us_will_struggle_to_reduce_its_military_commitments_abroad_114642.html

I will admit that at one point I was with Trumnp and some of his foreign policy stands in the beginning…but it did not take long for his true self to emerge from the cloak of the presidency.

And now us foreign policy wonks are waiting for the adults in foreign policy to step forward.

NO one is the photo below is an adult in foreign policy….just puppets of the M-IC…..they smile because they are getting away with their crimes and NO one seemingly gives a damn…..

Be Smart!

Do Not Buy The Hype!

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

What About China?

OMG!

The news is back and forth….China good….China a bad player….China this…..China That…….

We have a monarch that demonizes China when it suits him….and pretends he likes them when he needs something.

But cut through the BS….is China an enemy?

China has one-fifth of the planet’s population; the world’s second largest economy; a small but significant nuclear arsenal for deterrence; and an increasingly repressive government which combines elements of market economics with single-party totalitarianism, incredibly invasive surveillancemass internment camps; and a newly minted “president for life,” Xi Jinping. Should it also be the recipient of Washington’s antagonism?

https://thehill.com/opinion/international/457098-china-is-a-rival-not-an-enemy

A group of China experts here in the US has written a letter to the White House…..

An open letter from 100 well-known China experts in America, critical of Washington’s adversarial stance towards Beijing, has highlighted – and fuelled – the ongoing debate in the United States over how to deal with China.

The public pushback from moderates was prompted by concern over worsening US-China relations, amid a hardening anti-China line from Trump administration officials and a festering trade war that has spilled over to competition in technology and other arenas.

Their letter was addressed to President Donald Trump and members of Congress, and published in The Washington Post on Wednesday. Headlined “China is not an enemy”, it outlined the authors’ problems with the current US approach to China and laid out their tenets for a better foreign policy.

https://www.straitstimes.com/world/united-states/open-letter-to-trump-china-is-not-an-enemy

Think about it…have you heard from the MSM on this subject?  Probably not.

An article from 5 years ago about China and its role……

The rise of China as America’s chief rival on the international stage has long been a staple of our foreign policy pundits’ alleged wisdom. The Chinese, simply by virtue of their enormous population, have been deemed the inheritors of the earth. China, we are told, has been in the process of overtaking us in terms of virtually every metric imaginable: demographic, economic, and, most important of all, military. There’s just one problem with this Sinocentric view of the future: it’s based on nonsensical assumptions. And the central wrongheaded assumption – that China is a stable unitary country and will always remain so – is being disproved (once again) by the events now unfolding in Hong Kong.

China Is a Paper Tiger

This whole China thing is a mash up of policies that no one understands….especially analysts that must to have the national security at heart.

Time to bring Foreign Policy out of the black hole that Trump and Gang have put it into.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Foreign Policy Inexperience

I have been studying foreign policy, conflict resolution, history, etc so I keep a keen eye on the foreign policy of my country, the USA.

It is my belief that for way too long we have had the Neocons running our foreign policy.

Then Trump came to the throne……and the situation got much worse.

I admit that there were times that I agreed with Trump some of his promises pertaining to foreign policy……sadly most were just farts in the wind…..

I thought he would be smoking dope when he put a CEO of an oil company in at State…..but it only got more questionable.

When his DNI resigned and he nominated some guy named Ratcliffe I was concerned…the DNI is too important to give away to some “buddy” with zero experience.

Rep. John Ratcliffe got perhaps the biggest national exposure of his political career when he grilled Robert Mueller last week with a line of questioning that displayed his staunch support of President Trump. After the Mueller hearings, Ratcliffe got even more exposure when Trump announced that the Texas Republican was his pick to replace Dan Coats as director of national intelligence. The gist of coverage since then strongly suggests that Ratcliffe, 53, should not expect an easy confirmation. Details:

  • The criticism: In a story sussing this out, the Washington Post has this as its second paragraph: “Current and former intelligence officials also said Ratcliffe is the least-qualified person ever nominated to oversee the country’s intelligence agencies and questioned whether he would use the position to serve Trump’s political interests.” The story cites an op-ed by former defense officials Mike Vickers and Michael Morrell to that effect. They say he “would come to the job with by far the least experience in foreign policy and intelligence of any DNI in two decades.”
  • About that experience: ABC News is reporting that Ratcliffe has “misrepresented” his role in one big terrorism case involving Hamas. He claimed that he was appointed “special prosecutor” in 2008 and secured convictions in a money-funneling operation. But he actually had no direct role in that prosecution, according to all involved; instead he investigated issues related to a mistrial. “Because the investigation did not result in any charges, it would not be in accordance with Department of Justice policies to make further details public,” says a spokesperson.

Ratcliffe has since withdrawn his name as the DNI…..it was for the better but his next choice for DNI could be even less qualified.  He is looking for “yes” men and not qualified leaders.

Now Trump has nominated to replace Haley at the UN another unqualified ditz….the wife of a coal magnate…..

President Donald Trump’s recent choice of the relatively unknown Congressman John Ratcliffe for Director of National Intelligence and his elevation of Kelly Craft as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations—despite concerns about her inexperience—illustrates the power vacuum within Trump’s cabinet, and the opportunities this opens up for interventionists like National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The rash of remarkably unqualified and inexperienced candidates for top slots points to a presidency that values personal loyalty to Donald Trump above the ability to govern effectively. This atmosphere favors those with Washington insider status and the policy goals to bring it to fruition, say defense analysts who spoke to TAC. 

Trump is nominating people that are weak and unqualified and this will in turn give the Neocon war mongers a free hand with no push back on their war chest thumping.

We can expect more war drums and more macho rhetoric trying to get the president to authorize the use of military force against a wide range of countries…..Iran, Venezuela for a start.

Then there is the withering of our national security because the leaders are so damn inexperienced that we are becoming less safe by the day….

This essay examines two situational cases regarding how influence is used at the national level. The first case will focus on unified influence efforts. The United States employed unified influence from the end of World War II up through the Church-Pike Committee Hearings in 1975. After the Church Hearings, strategic influence was federated with Psychological Operations remaining with DoD and Covert Influence remaining with the Central Intelligence Agency.  Other aspects of influence, particularly psychological warfare and political warfare left the lexicon as the social and cultural environment latched on to the negative connotations associated with these terms, despite their utility. We remain in a federated system now. Our threat environment remains persistent, unified, and adaptive with emerging platforms and methods of power delivery.

https://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/withering-influence-national-security

Our national security is at stake….maybe we need professionals to lead us through the minefield the president is laying.

Nothing this president is doing is making Americans safer.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

North Korea And Nukes

While the mindless are focused on the so-called “Squad of Four” the world continues to suck….but that is alright we can start a new mindless chant.

We have all sorts of “good” news on North Korea at least according to Our Own Beloved Supreme Leader…..the most important thing that the Trump admin is thumping its chest over is the possibility that DPRK is that the nukes may soon be a thing of the past…….

The assumption that North Korea will never give up its nuclear weapons, no matter the security guarantees or economic incentives, may finally be put to the test according to a report that the Trump administration is considering a groundbreaking diplomatic proposal to end its decades-long commitment to maximum pressure.

Based on comments from an unidentified source in the White House close to the diplomatic effort, Yeonhap News reported on July 11 that the Trump administration is considering an offer of 12-18 months of sanctions relief on critical coal and textile industries in return for North Korea dismantling its main nuclear complex in Yongbyon and a continued freeze on nuclear weapons development. The administration is also said to be considering a declaration ending the Korean War if Kim Jong-un’s government agrees to this proposal.

Why North Korea May Relinquish Its Nukes

But Not So Fast!

Seems the rhetoric is the same.

North Korea on Tuesday suggested it might call off its 20-month suspension of nuclear and missile tests because of summertime US-South Korean military drills that the North calls preparation for an eventual invasion, the AP reports. The statement by the North’s Foreign Ministry comes during a general deadlock in nuclear talks, but after an extraordinary meeting of the US and North Korean leaders at the Korean border that raised hopes that negotiations would soon resume. The comments ramp up pressure on the United States ahead of any new talks. “It is crystal clear that it is an actual drill and a rehearsal of war aimed at militarily occupying our Republic by surprise attack and rapid dispatch of large-scale reinforcements,” the foreign ministry of North Korea said, per Business Insider.

North Korea has had longstanding antipathy toward US-South Korean military cooperation, which the allies call defensive and routine but the North sees as hostile. At the dramatic June 30 meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Trump, the leaders agreed to resume nuclear diplomacy that had been stalled since their failed second summit in Vietnam in February. Despite the seeming mini-breakthrough, there has been little public progress since. North Korea wants widespread relief from harsh US-led sanctions in return for pledging to give up parts of its weapons program, but the US is demanding greater steps toward disarmament before it agrees to relinquish the leverage provided by the sanctions.

NK’s new constitution seems to refute the notion that they would give up their nukes….

North Korea released an amended version of its constitution last Thursday, in which the preface continues to identify the country as a nuclear weapons state. This language indicates that Kim Jong Un’s true intent for nuclear negotiations is to preserve his nuclear arsenal despite U.S. demands for verifiable denuclearization.

North Korea’s legislature, the Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA), revised the constitution when it met in April, yet Pyongyang did not release the full text of the revised document until last week. One notable change to the constitution is Kim Jong Un’s new status as North Korea’s official head of state, a position previously held by a figurehead. The SPA also deleted multiple references to the Songun, or “military-first,” policy of Kim’s father, former leader Kim Jong Il. This may point toward a stronger emphasis in Pyongyang on economic reforms and strengthening the nation’s science and technology sectors. It would be a mistake, however, to infer that Kim Jong Un is shifting his objectives away from national militarization.

https://www.fdd.org/analysis/2019/07/15/amended-north-korean-constitution-reaffirms-kim-jong-uns-steadfast-faith-in-his-nuclear-arsenal/

Looks like Kim is trying to play Trump ….again.

It could work because this situation, the nukes and DPRK, is the only thing that he, Trump, has to offer the world as far as foreign policy goes.

The three key actors in the Korean Peninsula crisis are demonstrating why a solution should be anchored in an international coalition and international institutions. North Korea’s Kim Jong-un shows signs that he is ready to trade nuclear and ICBM capabilities for security and economic development. US President Donald Trump appears prepared to make a deal, but his advisors and political party oppose UN sanctions relief. And South Korean President Moon Jae-in has so far been unwilling to articulate and promote a deal that would attract Trump and Kim.

Time to internationalise diplomacy with North Korea

What Trump is doing with NK is not diplomacy but rather an ego trip…if it works I will be surprised and will give credit where credit is due.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Biden’s Our Man!

First, Not In My Book!

This is the slogan that the media is pushing on the voting public…..not by direct messaging but rather subtleties that cn be easily masked.

But is Biden the right person to lead the country?

OMG….IMHO…..NO.

Why?

He is a corporate stooge that will continue to let the corporations own DC……and keep the Middle Class floundering and make to a living…….

Being anti-Trump may be popular but it is not going to win the vote…..and his policies illustrate just how far in the pockets of the oligarchs……..

Let’s look at my favorite subject….foreign policy.

On the trail, Biden often speaks about his foreign policy credentials earned during his time in the Senate and the White House. Biden served as the highest-ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for 12 years, and dealt with foreign policy during his eight years serving as vice president to Barack Obama.

“The purpose of our foreign policy is to defend and advance the security of our people, their prosperity, and the democratic values that define the United States. Those are the North Stars that a Biden foreign policy would look to,” the Biden campaign official said.

Biden’s speech will focus on three main pillars: “Repairing and reinvigorating” U.S. democracy, while strengthening democracies around the world; helping the middle class succeed in a global economy with a “foreign policy for the middle class”; and taking a leadership role to coordinate global action on global threats unique to this century, including climate change, mass migration and nuclear threats.

Biden also would challenge private businesses to engage in the discussion, and charge tech and social media companies to “make their own commitments to make our democracy more resilient, and also to deal with the way technology is being abused in other countries — for surveillance states facilitating repression and censorship, spreading hate, spurring people to violence,” the official added.

(ABC News)

In other words we will continue the adventurism and interventionism of the past….wars will continue…..and corporations (M-IC) will continue to run the nation for their profits.

The problem is it comes up short in two big ways.

First, it lacks any specifics about what the former vice president would do to reverse Trump’s foreign policy. The roughly 100-second video effectively boils down to “Trump is bad” without offering why “Biden is good.” (Biden will hopefully offer a bit more detail on how he would conduct foreign affairs differently than Trump during his speech later on Thursday.)

Second, it conveniently overlooks some of Trump’s successes on the world stage. For example, his administration destroyed ISIS’s physical “caliphate,” improved ties with Israeli’s government (though angering Palestinians), began peace talks with the Taliban in Afghanistan that seem to be bearing (some) fruit, and renegotiated and updated the North American Free Trade Agreement known as NAFTA.

(vox.com)

In other words a vote for Joe Biden is a vote for the status quo….the rich will get richer and the poor will fight the wars of aggression…..and quite possibly die.

Not what I am looking for….there are several candidates that would be better for the workers and their families….

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

VOTE!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”