A Cold War Reboot?

I admit it I am old…..I lived through the original Cold War for most of my life and even witnessed the death of the old Soviet Union….when the USSR died it was hailed as a new beginning of a world that would be at peace and prosperous.

Well the world got more prosperous thanks in part to the advent of globalization….the peace part has yet to be achieved.

While we await the promise of peace the US is stirring the pot for a reboot of the policies of the Cold War.

This time the new ‘enemy’ is China…..

There has been lots of rhetoric around the ‘China Problem’…..and now the Senate has made it official that we are rebooting the Cold War….

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee announced a new piece of bipartisan legislation to confront China through prioritized military spending and more arms sales in the Indo-Pacific, sanctions, money for “democracy promotion” in Hong Kong, and other areas where the US seeks to counter Beijing.

The legislation still needs to go through the Committee before being introduced in the Senate, but a draft of the bill, titled the Strategic Competition Act of 2021, was released by Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), the Committee chairman. Menendez negotiated the bill with Committee Ranking Member Jim Risch (R-ID).

In a release on the Committee’s website, the 281-page bill was described as the “first major proposal to bring Democrats and Republicans together in laying out a strategic approach towards Beijing — and assuring that the United States is positioned to compete with China across all dimensions of national and international power for decades to come.” Menendez is convening a Committee meeting on April 14th for a vote on the legislation.

The bill calls for the US to strengthen military ties in the Indo-Pacific through arms sales. The bill reads: “The United States should design for export to Indo-Pacific allies and partners capabilities critical to maintaining a favorable military balance in the region, including long-range precision fires, air and missile defense systems, anti-ship cruise missiles, land attack cruise missiles, conventional hypersonic systems, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities, and command and control systems.”

Senate Unveils Sweeping Legislation to Confront China

The Cold War will be rebranded  as well as the reboot…..

When it comes to future conflicts or present-day war games, they have all the advantages and we have none! Or as Eric Edelman, a former undersecretary of defense for policy, told CNN recently, “Russia and China are playing a home game, we are playing an away game.” And mind you, we’re talking about a home game that could stretch from the Baltic Sea and the Arctic regions of Eurasia to the South China Sea. Those two “near-peer rivals” (as the U.S. military has taken to calling them) seem to have all the luck. I mean, count on one thing: imagined future flare points for conflict – “a fictional global crisis erupting on multiple fronts” in those war games – won’t be in the Caribbean, off New York City, or near the Baja Peninsula. As a result, the US will have to be fully prepared, at staggering expense, to deploy and support forces thousands of miles away for the future conflicts the Pentagon is now imagining.

Fortunately, that military is, it seems, planning ahead for just such a future. As CNN’s Barbara Starr recently reported, this summer it’s going to engage in highly classified computer war games with two near-peer enemies with fictional names. No one, however, should doubt for a second that they will be China and Russia. This will happen just as the next Pentagon budget is being set in place and, in a recent exercise gaming out a future conflict against such adversaries, an anonymous Defense Department official confirmed to Starr that “we found the Blue Team, the US and allies, kept losing.”

The Cold War, Rebooted and Rebranded

We are returning to the ‘good old days’ of the Cold War…..that will mean more and more taxpayer cash will flow into the Pentagon and the rest of the nation will suffer.

Time to invest in some form of diplomacy….and leave the weapons and threats aside……but sadly talk does not equate into profit for the defense industry….and we all know it is more about that than the good of the nation.

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“lego ergo scribo”

The “Quad”

What the Hell is the “Quad”?

The Quad – shorthand for the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue – said in the first of five points in the statement that: “We bring diverse perspectives and are united in a shared vision for the free and open Indo-Pacific. We strive for a region that is free, open, inclusive, healthy, anchored by democratic values, and unconstrained by coercion.”

“We support the rule of law, freedom of navigation and overflight, peaceful resolution of disputes, democratic values, and territorial integrity,” the statement says later.

“We will continue to prioritise the role of international law in the maritime domain, particularly as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and facilitate collaboration, including in maritime security, to meet challenges to the rules-based maritime order in the East and South China Seas,” they added.

https://www.msn.com/en-xl/news/other/quad-summit-backs-democratic-indo-pacific-region-cites-chinese-aggression/ar-BB1ewCTX

Let’s be real….this is all about China….they cm add all the flowery words to the mission statement but in the end it is about confrontation with China.

The summit not only issued a formal statement. Unusually also, Biden and the prime ministers of India, Australia and Japan—Narendra Modi, Scott Morrison and Yoshihide Suga respectively—put their names to an opinion piece published prominently in the Washington Post on Sunday. The comment is replete with cynical motherhood statements about their advocacy of democracy, action on climate change and COVID-19 vaccines, and commitment to “an Indo-Pacific region that is free, open, secure and prosperous.”

However, while China is not mentioned, it dominated the discussion at the summit. The pledges by the four leaders to pursue regional co-operation, partnership and engagement do not, of course, extend to Beijing. Buried in the various public statements were thinly-veiled references to Chinese coercion—from the US that has routinely waged war and ousted governments to advance its imperialist interests—and the need to uphold “freedom of navigation”—that is, for the US Navy to provocatively intrude into waters around Chinese-controlled islets in the South China Sea.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2021/03/16/quad-m16.html

No matter how flowery and forward thinking the statement may sound….make no mistake that it is all about China and the confrontation of the PRC.

Same old song!  Nothing changes!

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“lego ergo scribo”

What To Do In The Middle East

Most regulars know that my studies and career was rooted in the Middle East…..it is time I got back to watching the events in the region.

We have a new president and the question is….will there be an adjustment in the Middle East.

The Brookings Institution offers a few ideas for our new president……

For over a decade, the United States has sought to wind down the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, reduce its military footprint in the Middle East, and redirect scarce resources to Asia. Global and regional trends reinforced this American desire to reduce the priority of the Middle East in its global strategy, and the military “pivot” is well underway. The challenge for American policy is how to protect its remaining and still important interests in that region in an era of austerity and fierce power competition, both in the region and globally. The incoming Biden administration should not waste the window for a reset.

Gulf Arab partners, facing fiscal constraints from lower energy prices and the COVID-19-induced global recession, are more open to conflict resolution in the proxy wars they hagve been fighting across the region. But their relative penury will also impede their ability to invest in stabilizing weaker neighbors, including key states like Jordan and Egypt. Meanwhile, the Islamic Republic of Iran is sanctioned to the hilt, and used to wielding regional influence on the cheap. Thus the balance of power in the region may even favor the Iranians as the pandemic begins to recede. The Biden team must set aside the Trump administration’s fruitless “maximum pressure” in favor of the mix of intelligence cooperation, diplomacy, financial and military tools that can effectively deter or disrupt subversive Iranian activity while incentivizing Tehran’s return to the nuclear negotiating table. And the Pentagon must undertake a zero-based review of its force presence in the Persian Gulf region to ensure it is both efficient and effective in fulfilling its core missions there.

The United States must rebuild what has historically been its most effective tool in the Middle East: diplomacy, especially in advancing conflict resolution. In Yemen and Libya, there might now be opportunities to pull competing regional powers out of the fighting and negotiate power-sharing governments that promote stability and reduce freedom of action for Islamist terrorist movements. Washington cannot let Israelis and Palestinians stew in their stalemated conflict — but rather than trying to reconvene talks, it should take a long-term approach to rebuilding foundations for compromise between the two societies while insisting that they both abjure destabilizing unilateral actions, and work to improve freedom, security, and prosperity for those living with the conflict every day.

Finally, the Biden administration must reestablish clear boundaries in relationships that were deeply unbalanced by President Donald Trump’s careless approach. Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) all have questions about the extent and durability of American security commitments to their neighborhood, and all three prefer to keep the U.S. closely engaged. Washington can pursue necessary de-escalation and nuclear diplomacy with Iran while engaging these key partners about where American interests begin and end, and where partners’ own preferences and behaviors present real obstacles to closer cooperation. As in all healthy relationships, honest communication and clear boundaries are essential to maintain mutual respect and good feeling.

What to do – and what not to do – in the Middle East

I disagree with almost everything that is written by this think tank…..especially the statement on the Israeli/Palestinian problem…..”Washington cannot let Israelis and Palestinians stew in their stalemated conflict — but rather than trying to reconvene talks, it should take a long-term approach to rebuilding foundations for compromise between the two societies while insisting that they both abjure destabilizing unilateral actions, and work to improve freedom, security, and prosperity for those living with the conflict every day.”

Really?

If they want a long term solution then maybe the place to start is with Israel.  The theft of land, destruction of crops, the hijacking of humanitarian funds, the random of harassment and arrests and those damn settlements would be a good start.

None of that means a damn thing….for the Biden admin will do business as it has been done for 50 years….especially in the Middle East.

The Biden admin is change that will not change.

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“lego ergo scribo”

 

Play That Antisemitism Card

The ruling by the International Criminal Court has BiBi up in arms……

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned Friday’s ruling: “Today the ICC proved once again that it is a political body and not a judicial institution,” he said. “The ICC ignores the real war crimes and instead pursues the State of Israel, a state with a strong democratic government that sanctifies the rule of law, and is not a member of the ICC.

“In this decision,” Netanyahu added, “the ICC violated the right of democracies to defend themselves against terrorism, and played into the hands of those who undermine efforts to expand the circle of peace. We will continue to protect our citizens and soldiers in every way from legal persecution.”

https://www.france24.com/en/middle-east/20210205-icc-rules-it-has-jurisdiction-over-palestinian-territories-clears-way-for-probe-of-israeli-actions

“Pure anti-Semitism,” Netanyahu said, raising an argument likely to strike a chord with many Israelis who believe that criticism, especially in Europe, of Israeli policies toward the Palestinians has its roots in anti-Jewish sentiment.

Why is everything that does not go Israel’s way antisemitism?

Of course the US has to kiss Israel’s ass….so they oppose this action by ICC…..

In the US, State Department spokesman Ned Price said his office was still reviewing the decision. However, he clarified that the Biden administration has “serious concerns about the ICC’s attempts to exercise its jurisdiction over Israeli personnel.”

“We have always taken a position that the court’s jurisdiction should be reserved for countries that consent to or that are referred to by the UN Security Council,” Price added, hinting at US opposition to the decision, given that Israel is not a member of the ICC. The US is also not a member. The Palestinians joined the court in 2015.

There is a reason that Israel and the US has not singed on to the ICC.

The ICC is meant to serve as a court of last resort when countries’ own judicial systems are unable or unwilling to investigate and prosecute war crimes.

Has anyone else noticed that the countries that commit the worse offensives do not sign on?

Sorry but the destruction of crops, theft of land and extrajudicial raids and imprisonment without charge are all war crimes in my book.

Look at the BDS Movement…..a group that boycotts Israel until they start treating Palestinians humanely has been labelled ‘antisemitic’ by our Congress and admin……this is bullshit!

The Biden administration “embraces and champions” the so-called IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, a State Department official said on Monday.

Kara McDonald, deputy assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor, praised the definition “with its real-world examples” as “an invaluable tool” to “call hate by its proper name and take effective action,” according to the JTA news agency.

McDonald is serving temporarily as the Biden administration’s point person on the issue until it names a special envoy on anti-Semitism.

The IHRA definition has been promoted by Israel and its lobby groups.

It has been strongly opposed by civil libertarians and Palestinian and Jewish organizations which see it as a pretext to smear and censor supporters of Palestinian rights.

Its use as a tool of censorship has even been criticized by the definition’s original author.

My First Amendment rights….if Trump can use it then we all can.

Israel can kiss my old ass….call that what you may.

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Is There A Conflict Countdown?

In the last few years there seems to be a ever perpetuating story that our next “big” war will be with China…..it all started with Obama, at least in the media and gained ground with Trump and now with the incoming president Biden…..the military has been feeding this scenario as well as the intel community…..

And now a top military commander is throwing fuel on the war fire….

America’s military priority in the coming years? China, China, and China—or so says the top US military commander. Speaking at a Wall Street Journal summit Tuesday, Army Gen. Mark Milley said China is aiming to equal America’s military might by 2035 and be ready to win a war against the US by midcentury. “They are on a path to try to do that,” Milley said. “It is certainly a significant security challenge for the United States now and in the years to come.” He added that the “great-power competition” between China and the US should not “turn into a great-power war. That would be a disaster.” Seapower Magazine quotes him as saying the Pentagon can offset Chinese power—and in theory, avoid a war—with a “consistent, predictable” budget boost of roughly 3% to 5%.

But Milley isn’t hopeful: “I don’t see that as a realistic thing in the coming year,” he said. In fact, he foresees Pentagon budget cuts, and favors modernizing forces over keeping current forces up to snuff, mostly to offset a rising China, per ABC News. He also suggested making certain international troop placements—like those in Bahrain or South Korea—rotational or “selective,” in part because such permanent bases reflect an outdated strategy: “I think that is something that needs a hard, hard look,” he said. “Much of that is a derivative of where World War II ended.” He also feared that US noncombatants, like family members, could get trapped if war breaks out between the Koreas. “I have a problem with that,” he said.

Trump’s DNI had thrown fuel on the fire awhile back…..

The nation’s top intelligence official just unloaded on China in unusual fashion. “The People’s Republic of China poses the greatest threat to America today, and the greatest threat to democracy and freedom worldwide since World War II,” writes director of national intelligence John Ratcliffe in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. Beijing’s leaders, he asserts, aim to dominate the US and the rest of the world on everything from the military to the economy to technology, and they are “preparing for an open-ended period of confrontation with the US.” China, he adds, “should be America’s primary national security focus going forward.”

  • Rarity: It is “exceedingly rare for the head of the US intelligence community to make public accusations about a rival power,” writes Mike Allen at Axios. Such assessments are typically made to the president and lawmakers behind closed doors.
  • Why? It’s seen as part of a push by the Trump administration to ramp up the case against China before President Trump leaves office. As Bloomberg puts it, the administration wants to “lock in its policies and posture toward China” and make it more difficult for Joe Biden to unwind them. The Hill notes that US-China relations have soured on a number of fronts, including over COVID, trade, and the South China Sea.

Biden is no different…he also wants to keep this storyline active (at least for now)……

  • What Biden says: In an interview with the New York Times, Biden says he has no plans to immediately loosen tariffs put into place by Trump. First, he wants to consult with other nations. “The best China strategy, I think, is one which gets every one of our—or at least what used to be our—allies on the same page,” he says. “It’s going to be a major priority for me in the opening weeks of my presidency.”
  • No leverage: Biden also told the Times that dealing with China requires leverage, and “in my view, we don’t have it yet.” He says his goal will “be to pursue trade policies that actually produce progress on China’s abusive practices—that’s stealing intellectual property, dumping products, illegal subsidies to corporations,” etc.
  • Assessment: Biden’s comments suggest that he “is focused on picking his spots with Beijing, shoring up alliances and US national power first, rather than rushing to accommodate a Chinese government that seems to think the burden for detente lies entirely with Washington,” writes David Wertime at Politico. “Friends and allies concerned about a US over-correction on China must be feeling some relief.”

I wrote in the past about the possibilities of the next war…….https://lobotero.com/2020/09/22/could-the-us-lose-the-next-big-war/

The next question should be…..could the US win the next ‘big’ war without the use of nukes?

Any sensible discussion of what a hypothetical World War III might look like needs to begin with the sheer size and force of America’s military assets. For all that China and Russia are arming up on various measures, US commanders have the power to dominate escalating crises and counter opposing forces before they can be used.

Take missile warfare alone. The US Navy already has 4,000 Tomahawk cruise missiles, and the Navy and Air Force are currently taking delivery of 5,000 JASSM conventional cruise missiles with ranges from 200-600 miles. Barely visible to radar, these are designed to destroy “hardened” targets such as nuclear missile silos. Russia and China, by contrast, have nothing of equivalent quantity or quality with which to threaten the US mainland.

https://theconversation.com/could-the-us-win-world-war-iii-without-using-nuclear-weapons-94771

Will the China bashing continue with the new president?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

SCREW Pompeo!

I told the readers of IST back in2010 that Pompeo came to office on the crest of the Tea Party wave that he would be a bully and a thug….and so far I have NOT been mistaken.

His newest BS is the designate the BDS Movement illegal…..although the idea is far from new…..

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Thursday during his visit to Israel that the State Department will designate the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as “anti-Semitic.” BDS is an international campaign that calls on people to pressure Israel over its human rights violations through various boycotts.

“Today I want to make one announcement with respect to a decision by the State Department that we will regard the global anti-Israel BDS campaign as anti-Semitic,” Pompeo said while meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. “Look, we want to stand with all other nations that recognize the BDS movement for the cancer that it is, and we’re committed to combating it.”

It’s not clear what the label from the State Department would mean, but Pompeo said the US will “identify organizations” that engage in BDS and “withdraw US government support for such groups.” The comments suggest organizations that boycott Israel could lose government funding.

Thirty-two US states currently have anti-BDS laws on the books that deny state funds to those who advocate boycotting Israel. The laws require state contractors to sign oaths pledging not to boycott the Jewish state. Such unconstitutional laws were passed due to lavish lobbying campaigns from pro-Israel groups. Israeli officials have also promoted the laws.

“Whoever boycotts us will be boycotted,” Netanyahu said in a tweet in February. “In recent years, we have promoted laws in most US states, which determine that strong action is to be taken against whoever tries to boycott Israel.”

(antiwar.com)

My posts on this Movement…..https://lobotero.com/2016/04/08/non-violent-bds-should-be-welcomed-not-condemned/

First of all most Americans have not heard of the movement….and now they have……but what makes them so dangerous to Israel?

The BDS movement says its goal is to “pressure Israel to comply with international law” and sets out three fundamental aims:

  • Forcing Israel to end the occupation of Palestinian territories in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Included in this is dismantling the “apartheid wall” built by Israel that runs through the West Bank and ending the blockade and siege of Gaza.
  • Recognising the equal rights of the Palestinian citizens of Israel who make up one fifth of the population of Israel as established by the armistice line formed after the 1948 war.
  • Ensuring the right of return for Palestinian refugees to the homes and land they were forced to vacate during the 1948 war and in acts of displacement since.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/bds-israel-boycott-movement-campaign

Another one of my post on BDS……https://lobotero.com/2016/10/02/think-about-joining-the-bds/

One more time….Screw Pompeo and Screw Israel….stay out of my business……

So the government wants to decide what my priorities are on the international stage….Pompeo and Israel can go fuck themselves…..I make my own choices.

Enough said!

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International Challenges For Biden

We now have a new president-elect and he needs to set about repairing all the damage 4 years of Trump and his corruption have created.

And there are a few things he can begin with that would go a long way to re-establish the US as a serious partner in world affairs…..

Stop the war in Yemen: This years-long conflict, which benefits no one but the oil-rich rulers of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, has killed more than 100,000 people and caused the preventable deaths of 113,000 children. Biden could immediately freeze weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, forcing them to stop bombing civilians and withdraw their troops. It would be one step toward ending unpopular, endless wars.

Lift Trump’s unilateral oil blockade of Cuba and restore normal diplomatic relations: Trump has gone further to economically attack Cuba than any other President. He cut off much of Cuba’s oil supplies from Venezuela by applying sanctions against international shipping companies. This, combined with a halt in foreign tourism, has wrecked the Cuban economy. Public transport doesn’t have enough gasoline; trucks can’t bring produce from the countryside.

Rejoin the Iran nuclear accord: Trump unilaterally withdrew from the internationally binding Iran nuclear accord and imposed harsh economic sanctions on the Iranian people. This policy of “maximum pressure” has failed to change Iranian domestic or foreign policy. Biden should immediately rejoin the accord and lift all sanctions related to nuclear issues.

End attacks on China: Trump initiated a trade war against China. He tried to ban Chinese technology from being used in the US and even sought the arrest of a top Chinese corporate executive. But, of course, China retaliated. Trump’s policy against China has been a massive failure, with the US losing nearly 300,000 jobs as of September 2019.

(antiwar.com)

A good place to start the process of repair.

But speaking of China…..

Joe Biden said the US needs to work with its allies to counter China’s growing influence. Biden’s comments came after China signed a major trade deal with 14 other countries, known as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

The RCEP includes major US allies in the region, like Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand. Biden was asked if he would join the trade pact when in office but declined to answer, saying he hasn’t been sworn in yet and that “there’s only one president at a time.” Biden said the US and its allies should set the rules for global trade.

“We make up 25 percent … of the economy in the world,” the former vice president said. “We need to be aligned with the other democracies, another 25 percent or more so that we can set the rules of the road instead of having China and others dictate outcomes because they are the only game in town.”

President Trump withdrew from a trade deal for the region negotiated by the Obama administration in 2016. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was signed by 12 countries, including Asian and South American countries. It’s not clear if Biden would try to revive the TPP. In 2019, Biden said he would not “rejoin the TPP as it was initially put forward” but instead renegotiate parts of the deal to join the countries together to “to hold China accountable.”

(antiwar.com)

Biden’s challenges are massive…..and this could start the return of the US as a world partner.

Next he needs to work on domestic problems that Trump created……post to follow…..

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Biden And Foreign Policy

I have made my feelings known during his campaign for the presidency……

https://lobotero.com/2020/10/07/will-bidens-foreign-policy-make-a-difference/

https://lobotero.com/2020/09/02/bidens-foreign-policy-4/

Now that he has finally won the Electoral College and will be the next president I wanted to look at what will be his foreign policy approach.

I still stand with my analysis back in the days of the campaign…..he will be is typical Neocon and his policies will show this…..he will try to make some in roads with the treaty process but the intervention is NOT over.

While the 2020 election campaign understandably focused on domestic issues, Biden is a former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and reinforcing America’s geopolitical primacy will be high on his agenda.

He will bring a deeply experienced team of foreign and security policy advisers with him into government, many veterans of the Obama administration. Having worked alongside nearly all of them, I would say this might be the deepest initial bench any president has brought to the White House in the post-Vietnam era. Among them: Nicholas Burns, William Burns and Tony Blinken held top jobs at the State Department; Avril Haines and Michael Morell similarly helped guide the CIA; Michele Flournoy, Lisa Monaco and Jeh Johnson filled senior roles involving defense and homeland security; Susan Rice was ambassador to the United Nations and national security adviser.

Biden has signaled that he intends to take a relatively tough stance on China, for example. This will include continuing to address the pre-Covid basket of challenges the U.S. has with Beijing: claims of territoriality and construction of artificial islands in the South China Sea; trade and tariff imbalances; intellectual property theft; and shadowy conflicts in cybersecurity.

There will also be continuing pressure on various terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda, the so-called Islamic State, and Al Shabaab in East Africa. Likewise with economic and diplomatic pressure on the corrupt Nicolas Maduro regime in Venezuela. And the general idea of bringing home troops from “the forever wars” is likely, albeit at a more measured pace based on conditions on the ground.

(Nothing new from Trump)

There will, however, be a realignment within that budget to emphasize 21st-century tools of warfare: cybersecurity; unmanned vehicles (not just aerial drones, but also satellites, unmanned submarines and surface ships); Special Forces; hypersonic weapons; and artificial intelligence. This will come at the expense, probably, of troop levels and some number of very expensive large platforms (aircraft carriers and Army brigade combat teams). Modernization of the nation’s nuclear arsenal, begun under Obama, may be put on hold.

(Bloomberg.com)

All in all the adventurism and war will continue…treaties may get a revival…..anything he tries to do will be a bone of contention in both the House and the Senate.

I do not see much progress there…however Biden will have the Executive Order he may use and make the GOP whine and cry like babies missing their breast feeding schedule.

American foreign policy has been a disaster for at least two decades….and I do not see much improvement overall for the next four years….https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/11/06/u-s-foreign-policy-is-a-failure-whoevers-president/

I will be taking a closer look at the teams he puts together….

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Biden And NatSec

As usual the new president-elect will have to deal with the problems we face internationally and our National Security….continuing my series at the appearance of the Biden policies we all will have to live with for the next 4 years.

As a foreign policy/international relations geek I would like to take an early look at what Joe Biden may have planned for this policy…..

What better source to quote than that of the Military Times?

Biden, who was elected to the Senate exactly 48 years ago to the day he was named winner of the presidential election, is no stranger to international leadership and has a long track record on international relations and national security issues. Here are a few of his selected positions and how they differ from Trump.

The defense budget: Biden has said that Trump “abandoned all fiscal discipline when it comes to defense spending,” and while he doesn’t foresee major U.S. defense cuts if elected, he will be facing pressure from the left to scale back. To affordably deter Russia and China, Biden said he would shift investments from “legacy systems that won’t be relevant” to “smart investments in technologies and innovations — including in cyber, space, unmanned systems and artificial intelligence.” He also wants to boost neglected nonmilitary investments, such as “diplomacy, economic power, education, and science and technology.”

Personal relationship to the military: Biden, a Blue Star father whose son deployed to Iraq while he served alongside President Barack Obama, made national unity and international cooperation key tenets of his campaign, along with a vow to better handle the ongoing coronavirus pandemic which has killed more than 250,000 Americans. In recent weeks, he also promised better treatment and more respect for troops and veterans, arguing that Trump has dismissed and devalued their sacrifices through his actions in office.

(not to worry there is more….read more…..)

https://www.defensenews.com/pentagon/2020/11/07/where-president-elect-joe-biden-stands-on-national-security-issues/

I will be looking at Biden’s policies for his upcoming administration……this will let my readers know where he is standing and where his policies will lead this country.

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What Do Americans Want In Foreign Policy?

We have had our last debate for the 2020 presidential candidates…..it was pretty typical fare….lots of bullshit few specifics…..

There was little said about any of our foreign polices or our endless wars…..and I blame the moderator who was just playing the hand dealt to her by the owners of the news, the M-IC.

You would think that since Trump is getting some pretty positive feedback on his announcement of troop withdrawals that he would have found a way to insert that into his presentation….unless of course all his BS is just that BS….

We Americans deserve a debate where foreign policy is the only subject covered……

Foreign policy issues have barely made an appearance during the 2020 presidential campaign. The first presidential debate on Sept. 29 was wholly unsatisfying. While the 90-minute vice presidential debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris was a bit more civilized, the discussion was so general and superficial as to be virtually meaningless. Short of bumper-sticker phrases that are designed to win the news cycle, the American people have been left to wonder how a President Trump or President Biden would manage relations with some of Washington’s most significant adversaries; the circumstances with which each would use U.S. military force; which conflicts they believe are important enough to warrant U.S. involvement; and what specific concepts will help guide their decision-making. The last presidential debate offers both candidates the opportunity to provide the country with the foreign-policy conversation it deserves.

After two consecutive decades of U.S. overreach that has taken U.S. troops into countries as diverse as Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, the Philippines, and Niger—all on the backs of a tired, 19 year-old authorization for the use of military force—Americans are increasingly searching for leaders on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue who understand that a course correction is desperately overdue. Recent public opinion surveys portray an American population disillusioned with what can only be described as a whole-of-government fixation on a violent and dysfunctional Middle East—a region whose strategic value to the United States is dwindling. More than $6 trillion and the sacrifice of tens of thousands of U.S. casualties over 19 years have bought the United States little security benefit. The list of opportunity costs, however, have continued to grow. It is not a coincidence that China’s hard power, diplomatic influence, and wealth have improved while Washington was stuck in Iraq and Afghanistan taming multiple insurgencies.

https://www.realclearworld.com/2020/10/22/americans_deserve_a_debate_on_foreign_policy_581565.html

It looks like no matter which old fart wins the wars status quo will remain….

Forever-war advocates rest on the logic that because it is theoretically possible a negative outcome might result if we end unsuccessful wars, it is safer to continue supporting them; that the lowest cost is to maintain the status quo. When the actual conditions of each deployment are examined, however, it becomes quickly evident the significant costs we are enduring, right now, are inappropriate and unsustainable.

https://www.militarytimes.com/opinion/commentary/2020/10/23/risk-to-america-of-maintaining-forever-war-status-quo-dangerously-high/

My thought is since that we spend so much money on our endless wars then maybe we should hear what the candidates think and what they have planned…….and I am not alone…..

 a YouGov poll commissioned by the Charles Koch Institute and completed in the summer of 2020 found that 74 percent of Americans wanted to withdraw our troops from Iraq and 76 percent wanted to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan. The numbers from veteransthose who have done the fighting and dying over the past two decadeswas just as stark: 73 percent favored ending the war.

The trends are clear. Americans across the spectrum recognize with increasing clarity that the militaristic foreign policy of the past two decades has failed. More diplomacy, not militancy, is what the people want. Their rationale is as simple as it is reasonable: the people are tired of failure and are eager to try a new path that has a greater chance of success.

We are spending trillions (yes that is trillion with a “T”) I think that the candidates could spare 90 minutes to explain themselves and their foreign policies.

But sadly Biden’s foreign policy track record is not at all something I would wnat to continue…..

With some 44 years of collective government service as a U.S. senator and vice president, Joe Biden has amassed a substantial foreign and national security record. An examination of some of his key votes as senator and performance as vice president does not provide a ringing endorsement for his presidential candidacy. Instead, it raises serious questions about whether his votes and decisions detrimentally affected the U.S. economy, U.S. national security, and international peace and security.

https://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/522480-is-america-ready-to-return-to-the-obama-biden-foreign-policy

What I see is more the same endless wars and the conflicts that go unreported…..but at least Trump will be gone right?

Any thoughts?

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