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Thread: 2018 American Political Scene

  1. #1081
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mihais View Post
    W Europe had no love for Trump since he announced his candidacy is ideologically aligned with Trump’s base opponents and does not give 2sh!ts about Russia.
    The real question is which alliance is undermined and which influence is weakened?
    Mihais, we may see a shift in this. As more comes to light about interference in elections in Western Europe and political murder in Great Britain the older Western European countries will join the new Western Europe in their stance against a more aggressive Russia.

    Part of that resolve is those nation's committing troops to the Baltics.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NATO_E...rward_Presence
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  2. #1082
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    Russia shot down an airliner.If it was not clear who the culprit was,Dutch official investigation clarified all details.The silence from the WE was defeaning.
    As for the troops,they’re mostly from ABC nations.
    The good Colonel had a point years ago when he said NATO is ABCA.

    The division is not ok,but is not coming via US.It is entirely of Western Euro making.
    And is quite obvious ideologically related issues since 2017 increased the pace of the rift.

    The basic nature of the deal is that E Euros deal with US when it comes to defense and WE when it comes about economics.
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    eh...what was the cost of Iraq vs Libya?

    and there was, and is, no good solution for Syria. ditto with Ukraine, which was far more of a strategic disaster for Russia than it was for the United States. the Obama administration's main issue was that they were always thinking and reviewing, and never executing. that makes for generally mediocre foreign policy but on the other hand, avoids disasters like wanting to re-make the entire Middle East.
    If you're never going to execute, just shut up and never talk then. Don't state things like "regime change must occur". Don't state things like "the use of chemical weapons is a red line".

    That's rather overstating things. violating borders and frozen conflicts is not a new game for Russia; see Prague Spring, Russo-Georgia War, the Transnistria issue...
    All the frozen conflict areas - Russia has never annexed any of them. Crimea was the first. They may have assets there but they've never made them actual Russian territory like they did Crimea. Look at the world post-World War II. What do we have for hostile annexations? Vietnam, Saddam in Kuwait...

    As far as the frozen conflict zones, they only recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia. A place like Transnistria they don't even officially recognize it.
    Last edited by rj1; 20 Jul 18, at 15:20.

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    Transdniestria is a 'frozen conflict'; there are still Muscovite 'Peacekeepers' there although Moscow made a firm commitment to withdraw it forces from Moldova (to give it's real name although before that it was Ukraine) at the 1999 OSCE Summit in Istanbul/Constantinople.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    Transdniestria is a 'frozen conflict'; there are still Muscovite 'Peacekeepers' there although Moscow made a firm commitment to withdraw it forces from Moldova (to give it's real name although before that it was Ukraine) at the 1999 OSCE Summit in Istanbul/Constantinople.
    It is a frozen conflict. They don't officially recognize the state however.

  6. #1086
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    DE,



    yet Russia was overjoyed by the summit-- see the comments by Lavrov.

    for Putin, the fact that Trump made a complete and utter fool of himself was more important than any real agreement that the two Presidents came to. it weakens US influence as well as the alliance, both of which are top Russian strategic goals.
    You want to call it a PR win for Putin go ahead but its just that. Putin wants more and a time will come when he makes his own moves because Trump cannot deliver anything.

    I don't see the alliance weakening. Didn't parties agree to the 2% increase albeit by 2024. No cutbacks or retreats. I learnt about the four 30's

    30 ships, battalions, air squadrons in 30 days any where

    We will know when a contingency arises and how well NATO responds. Nothing like a crisis to concentrate the mind. Who will have cold feet.

    Should there be a crisis tomorrow do you really think NATO wouldn't be viable ? I think they will be
    Last edited by Double Edge; 20 Jul 18, at 16:52.

  7. #1087
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    there's a lot of stuff to unpack in this sentence.

    the sentence that "Russia closer to the US is better than a Russia closer to China" makes sense on the surface.

    but the question is at what cost.

    we don't need, or even want, Russia closer to the US...at the cost of weakening our current alliances.
    I don't think there will be any weakening because Congress has seen to it there will be no getting closer to Russia. There is a breakdown in WH - Congress relations which is going to make things difficult for international partners.

    The simple problem is a dominant power questioning the existing paradigm. A paradigm said power set up because it has served so well. Nobody knows how to deal with that !!!

    for that matter, it doesn't even follow that a pro-Russian US foreign policy would necessarily lead to a Russia that is closer to the US, because ideologically Russia fits far more closely with China. both Russia and China seek to weaken US power and to carve out spheres of influence, both of which is antithetical to the current US-led global order.
    All you need is Russia does not take China's side when it counts. Drive a wedge between the two. There are some good examples currently where Trump has already done this. Iran - India. GCC from qatar & Turkey

    finally, regarding "Trump's policy makes perfect sense", well, I'd say even under that narrow construct this is not strictly true. because Trump's -formal- policy in the National Defense Strategy lists Russia as a global strategic competitor...yet given the way he's conducted his pro-Russia behavior-- ie, in a very partisan sense-- he has also helped guarantee hatred of Putin's Russia as both a partisan and national security matter for Democrats.
    Trump's given a good response to this already

    Name:  pursue peace.JPG
Views: 88
Size:  99.0 KB

    This guy does not want to be seen as a war monger

    Check#1 : Kim
    Check#2 : Putin
    Check#3 : coming soon to a theatre near you

    If all politics is local, why does he care.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 20 Jul 18, at 19:45.

  8. #1088
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    In a fractious partisan toxic climate, President Trump has become a great unifier. 98-0 vote from both parties in the US Senate. http://www.msnbc.com/hardball/watch/...-1281472067543

    The EU has something that is an extradition agreement in all but name with Russia. The EU hasn't extradited one Russian National. I wasn't there, but I bet Putin used all the keywords Trump wanted to hear. Trump not really good at thinking things through, probably left the room totally played and thinking he was the smartest guy in the room

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    rj1,

    If you're never going to execute, just shut up and never talk then. Don't state things like "regime change must occur". Don't state things like "the use of chemical weapons is a red line".
    yes, i agree.

    on the other hand neither comment caused US allies to openly question US commitment, nor did it cost thousands of lives and trillions of dollars. moreover it was thought through. Obama very clearly said that he felt it was bad for a US President to be backed into one policy option on the mantle of credibility, and that there were other ways of addressing the credibility issue.

    something i disagreed with then (and disagree with now), but at least there was thought behind it.

    All the frozen conflict areas - Russia has never annexed any of them. Crimea was the first. They may have assets there but they've never made them actual Russian territory like they did Crimea. Look at the world post-World War II. What do we have for hostile annexations? Vietnam, Saddam in Kuwait...
    annexation of part of a very recently former puppet state was not something any US President was going to realistically deter. for that matter Ukraine was not in a position to do anything about it when Crimea happened, but was in a rather better position by the time of the Donbass crisis.
    Last edited by astralis; 20 Jul 18, at 19:07.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Should China chose to go in that direction steps will be taken to deal with it.

    There is no expansive revolutionary ideology with China like there was with the Soviets.
    China is smart, and potentially by far more powerfull than USSR was. And they learnt many lessons from the USSR, first: money is more important than ideology.

    They have an extremely favourable trade treaty with the west so they keep a low profile, they don't want any change. They are getting fatter and richer and they increase their global influence by trade and loans (including spreading their nationals all over the world as trade nexus, buying many foreign business with cheap loans from their public banks).

    For example, the country with more growth in space exploration at the moment is China. But chinese goverment don't want by any means a "space race" with the USA (probably NASA want it to increase their budget). They don't want the USA to put energy and resolve against them even in space exploration. They keep a low profile. They don't want to be seen as USA #1 competitor. This is why i see the anti russian paranoia very stupid and useless for the USA, just focus on your ONLY rival.

    A chinese nightmare would be US sanctions, like Russia now. With the US influence, EU, India and Japan might join the sanctions. They don't want financial and trade problems with those regions, so they keep a low profile. They don't want to be like Russia now, they want just to grow more and more. IMO in 2 or 3 decades we will see the real China in the global scene.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mihais View Post
    As for NATO,I have a better deal.If they want using broomsticks instead of MG's to save few$,they can always donate 0.1% to us and to Poland.No need for 2%.

    All the West needs to keep Russia at bay is a program for military assistance similar to what Israel gets in EE.10bln\year would be more than enough.Russia is only dangerous for us.
    I buy this.

    Why Europeans don't spend so much in the military? we don't see ourselves under danger. In the south we don't see the arabs (historical enemies after the fall of the roman empire) as an inmediate threat. We don't see Turkey as an inmediate threat too (except Greece, so greeks spend more), and with peace between major european countries, no need for more military spending is needed. And this is what we have right now.

    The only european country (yes they are europeans) apart from this is Russia, which is larger than other major european countries, and is the only country enough powerful in Europe to have an independent policy in the world. But they are "only" 145 million people, very little population for their landmass. We can't imagine russian armor in Warsaw or Berlin, it's absurd, so... just give military assistance to Ukraine (they are in a greek situation), of course after negotiations (including EU and Russia) we don't want any escalation, and just keep things calm.

  11. #1091
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    DE,

    You want to call it a PR win for Putin go ahead but its just that. Putin wants more and a time will come when he makes his own moves because Trump cannot deliver anything.

    I don't see the alliance weakening. Didn't parties agree to the 2% increase albeit by 2024. No cutbacks or retreats. I learnt about the four 30's

    30 ships, battalions, air squadrons in 30 days any where

    We will know when a contingency arises and how well NATO responds. Nothing like a crisis to concentrate the mind. Who will have cold feet.

    Should there be a crisis tomorrow do you really think NATO wouldn't be viable ? I think they will be
    i said weakening the alliance, not destroying the alliance. the NATO 2% target was established in 2014.

    the strength of an alliance can't be judged on countries hitting the 2% target alone. it also has to do with the willingness of the member countries to stand shoulder to shoulder, and it's hard to argue that Trump has made Europeans more willing to do this.

    for instance, take article 5, invoked once in the aftermath of 9-11. after Trump's hemming and hawing and barely grudging acceptance of that principle, I have some doubt now that the Europeans will jump to the side of the US so fast if there were another 9-11, god forbid.

    at the very minimum this does not help. Trump's international unpopularity makes it harder for other democratic nations to accede to Trump requests, particularly anything that would require a vote.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  12. #1092
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    the strength of an alliance can't be judged on countries hitting the 2% target alone. it also has to do with the willingness of the member countries to stand shoulder to shoulder, and it's hard to argue that Trump has made Europeans more willing to do this.

    for instance, take article 5, invoked once in the aftermath of 9-11. after Trump's hemming and hawing and barely grudging acceptance of that principle, I have some doubt now that the Europeans will jump to the side of the US so fast if there were another 9-11, god forbid.
    I can't imagine them not jumping in for historical reasons. You mean to tell me one meeting changed all that ? no way

    at the very minimum this does not help. Trump's international unpopularity makes it harder for other democratic nations to accede to Trump requests, particularly anything that would require a vote.
    This is going to play out over the next few months and years. The results won't be apparent for a while yet. That is what makes it hard to gauge. Just how much of a difference there will be. Whether he gets another term or not will make the difference.

  13. #1093
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    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles!

    Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it - Mark Twain!

  14. #1094
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pepe View Post
    China is smart, and potentially by far more powerfull than USSR was. And they learnt many lessons from the USSR, first: money is more important than ideology.

    They have an extremely favourable trade treaty with the west so they keep a low profile, they don't want any change. They are getting fatter and richer and they increase their global influence by trade and loans (including spreading their nationals all over the world as trade nexus, buying many foreign business with cheap loans from their public banks).

    For example, the country with more growth in space exploration at the moment is China. But chinese goverment don't want by any means a "space race" with the USA (probably NASA want it to increase their budget). They don't want the USA to put energy and resolve against them even in space exploration. They keep a low profile. They don't want to be seen as USA #1 competitor. This is why i see the anti russian paranoia very stupid and useless for the USA, just focus on your ONLY rival.

    A chinese nightmare would be US sanctions, like Russia now. With the US influence, EU, India and Japan might join the sanctions. They don't want financial and trade problems with those regions, so they keep a low profile. They don't want to be like Russia now, they want just to grow more and more. IMO in 2 or 3 decades we will see the real China in the global scene.



    I buy this.

    Why Europeans don't spend so much in the military? we don't see ourselves under danger. In the south we don't see the arabs (historical enemies after the fall of the roman empire) as an inmediate threat. We don't see Turkey as an inmediate threat too (except Greece, so greeks spend more), and with peace between major european countries, no need for more military spending is needed. And this is what we have right now.

    The only european country (yes they are europeans) apart from this is Russia, which is larger than other major european countries, and is the only country enough powerful in Europe to have an independent policy in the world. But they are "only" 145 million people, very little population for their landmass. We can't imagine russian armor in Warsaw or Berlin, it's absurd, so... just give military assistance to Ukraine (they are in a greek situation), of course after negotiations (including EU and Russia) we don't want any escalation, and just keep things calm.
    Aside from your obvious attempt to deflect the quite proper American fury with Putin’s blatant and undeniable direct interference in the US 2016 election and its aftermath, is there some logic to pointing fingers at a strong regional power — China — that is keeping a low profile? Do you advocate China taking a higher profile?
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  15. #1095
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pepe View Post
    China is smart, and potentially by far more powerfull than USSR was. And they learnt many lessons from the USSR, first: money is more important than ideology.

    They have an extremely favourable trade treaty with the west so they keep a low profile, they don't want any change. They are getting fatter and richer and they increase their global influence by trade and loans (including spreading their nationals all over the world as trade nexus, buying many foreign business with cheap loans from their public banks).

    For example, the country with more growth in space exploration at the moment is China. But chinese goverment don't want by any means a "space race" with the USA (probably NASA want it to increase their budget). They don't want the USA to put energy and resolve against them even in space exploration. They keep a low profile. They don't want to be seen as USA #1 competitor. This is why i see the anti russian paranoia very stupid and useless for the USA, just focus on your ONLY rival.

    A chinese nightmare would be US sanctions, like Russia now. With the US influence, EU, India and Japan might join the sanctions. They don't want financial and trade problems with those regions, so they keep a low profile. They don't want to be like Russia now, they want just to grow more and more. IMO in 2 or 3 decades we will see the real China in the global scene.
    Agree more or less. Could you please expand your points with sources? Like say newspaper links etc, as it would be helpful in clarifying things. And we're seeing China as it is with a military that is no match for the US, asserting itself. One doesn't have to wait for 2-3 decades, 15 years down the line from today is enough. Also, anti-Russian paranoia is not because of unnecessary things. Russia does stupid things from time to time, and US responds, which they should.

    I think Astralis posted a link or someone else, or I read somewhere, which stated that US/NATO waited for the Soviets for 20 years to march through the Fulda Gap, but they never came (good article, some other examples of US paranoia about the Russians). The point is not why the Soviets never came, the point right now is that the Russians are taking up much of US' time and energy. Russia is broke, and apart from interfering in US elections and doing silly things, they aren't much of a threat militarily or economically. This has been the case for 2 decades now. Russia is a threat alright, China is a big challenger. China got the money and building up on its military.

    President Trump probably knows, or he probably have been advised by his core team, or he is financially compromised in his business dealings, that it is better to have good relations with Russia in order to counter China. I think that is the way forward, although I am not a fanboy of communist countries. I might be wrong, so corrections are welcome.
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