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Thread: 2018 American Political Scene

  1. #1126
    Senior Contributor GVChamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    and the context matters. he just spent a week insulting NATO allies left and right, interfering with British politics, and now he's doing the I Am Best Buddies with Putin routine? at a summit that Trump pushed for, against the advice of his entire national security staff.

    he does this KNOWING FULL WELL that he would pay a political price for doing so, and yet he does this anyway.

    the question is: why?

    if it's "same old, same old" you wouldn't have even his GOP faithful blanching at this.



    bah, false equivalence.

    if you like, you can say what happened under previous administrations was like the Khobar Towers attack. now this is akin to 9-11, with the chief difference being that the US President decides to tell OBL that "you know what, both sides are at fault".

    these are completely different level of nightmares, and if one is a Russia hawk one should be outraged at the prospect of a US President basically agreeing with Putin on every major foreign policy issue.
    I don't agree with this because the same GOP faithful have been fuming at Trump over this particular topic for a while. They will close ranks when it comes to "Russian meddling proves that Trump is illegitimate," but they are defintiely not on board with Trump playing footsie with Putin. This has been an annoyance since day 1.

    Re: your 9/11 analogy, would you rather have a President who can cooly and calmly reflect on the actions of both sides of 9/11 or what we actually got? Dubya's "Freedom Tour" was pretty gosh-darn stupid. What we've gotten in Afghanistan and Iraq has been pretty shitty for the price we paid for it, and while you can blame Iraq on Dubya, Afghanistan is a bipartisan effort.

    Also I agree with the poster who said we haven't had any good FP Presidents in recent history. I'll actually go back as far as Nixon. Reagan was right about a couple of things completley on accident. HW was alright. The rest have largely sucked. Trump is the suckiest. The two-termers did improve by their 2nd terms, but their initial ideologies were all garbage. HRC might have a leg up because of her experience coming into the Oval Office, but we don't just vote on Presidents for FP alone.

    But I don't agree that the Russians would seriously consider doing a Crimea in a NATO country. The USA, regardless of what your great orange leader says, cannot afford to let NATO become a joke. They will come to the Baltic states' defense and will drag WE (kicking and screaming if need be) along with them. The Russians know it very well and would never attempt it for that reason.
    They might not try it under Trump but they might try it in the future, particularly if NATO continues to degrade and American attention is increasingly drawn elsewhere. IMO this is a solid reason to give Russia as many bloody noses as we possibly can in the near future, because future generations of Americans might look at Estonia the same way we look at Crimea today. I'd prefer Russia to look at Estonia to also look at the same way they look at Crimea, but remembering that Crimea brought them a bunch of angry Ukrainians that killed a whole crapload of Russians.
    Last edited by GVChamp; 24 Jul 18, at 16:56.
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  2. #1127
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    Can we setup a different thread and discuss war gaming the Baltics? I'm dead serious, because I question the will of certain countries presently allied with the Baltic states to defend them (not necessarily the Americans) even though the principle of collective defense would get cited. The scenario could potentially be a Rio Treaty-busting style moment for NATO and the EU.

    Go ahead and start it.

    Don't do it here...start in the International Defense & Geopolitics Discussion section under Europe & Russia,
    Ask and thou shalt receive.

  3. #1128
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GVChamp View Post
    Also I agree with the poster who said we haven't had any good FP Presidents in recent history. I'll actually go back as far as Nixon. Reagan was right about a couple of things completley on accident. HW was alright. The rest have largely sucked. Trump is the suckiest. The two-termers did improve by their 2nd terms, but their initial ideologies were all garbage. HRC might have a leg up because of her experience coming into the Oval Office, but we don't just vote on Presidents for FP alone.
    Is Foreign policy more a function of the secstate than president ? you can say the president green lights but the catalyst is the secstate.

    A Kissinger or Jim Baker don't come along very often

    Most consequential Secstates

  4. #1129
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    GVChamp,

    I don't agree with this because the same GOP faithful have been fuming at Trump over this particular topic for a while. They will close ranks when it comes to "Russian meddling proves that Trump is illegitimate," but they are defintiely not on board with Trump playing footsie with Putin. This has been an annoyance since day 1.
    "fuming" has resulted in what action, though? IE there's a slew of things that the congressional GOP -could- do on the very narrow topic of Russian meddling, which they have not done.

    forget the fawning House GOP; even within the Senate, outside of the usual GOP suspects who unfortunately won't be around for much longer (McCain, Corker, Flake), the rest can't even bring themselves to ineffectual harrumphing, which is what Senators do best.
    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

  5. #1130
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    Is Foreign policy more a function of the secstate than president ? you can say the president green lights but the catalyst is the secstate.
    No. President provides the grand strategy; SecState executes.

    that's part of the reason why no one respected Tillerson-- it was clear that SecState had no standing with the WH.
    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

  6. #1131
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    No. President provides the grand strategy; SecState executes.
    Ah! Exciting times ahead then

    Tally Ho : D

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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Is Foreign policy more a function of the secstate than president ? you can say the president green lights but the catalyst is the secstate.

    A Kissinger or Jim Baker don't come along very often

    Most consequential Secstates
    post-World War II Secretaries of State

    Roosevelt

    Stettinius 12/1/44 to 6/27/45
    Truman

    Byrnes 7/3/45 to 1/21/47
    Marshall 1/21/47 to 1/20/49
    Acheson 1/21/49 to 1/20/53
    Eisenhower

    Dulles 1/21/53 to 4/22/59
    Herter 4/22/59 to 1/20/61
    Kennedy

    Rusk 1/21/61 to 1/20/69 (Rusk served all of LBJ's presidency)
    Nixon

    Rogers 1/22/69 to 9/3/73
    Kissinger 9/22/73 to 1/20/77 (Kissinger served all of Ford's presidency)
    Carter

    Vance 1/23/77 to 4/28/80
    Muskie 5/8/80 to 1/20/81
    Reagan

    Haig 1/22/81 to 7/5/82
    Shultz 7/16/82 to 1/20/89
    G.H.W. Bush

    Baker 1/25/89 to 8/23/92
    Eagleburger 8/23/92 to 1/19/93
    Clinton

    Christopher 1/20/93 to 1/17/97
    Albright 1/23/97 to 1/20/01
    G.W. Bush

    Powell 1/20/01 to 1/26/05
    Rice 1/26/05 to 1/20/09
    Obama

    H. Clinton 1/21/09 to 2/1/13
    Kerry 2/1/13 to 1/20/17
    Trump

    Tillerson 2/1/17 to 3/31/18
    Pompeo 4/26/18 to current

  8. #1133
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    Ah! Exciting times ahead then
    to be fair, the SecState can advise. but of course it depends on how much the President is willing to listen to such advice...and it's pretty clear that Trump generally does not like to hear advice that goes against his ingrained preferences.
    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

  9. #1134
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    to be fair, the SecState can advise. but of course it depends on how much the President is willing to listen to such advice..
    It just comes as a surprise that Nixon wanted to go to China. I always figured it was Kissinger that put him up to it with persuasive arguments. I suppose that impression is created because Kissinger has spoken a lot about it. Not read Nixons memoirs so don't know.

    Executing matters a lot and that can only happen if the President is completely on board. Carter and Camp David and Baker with Madrid.

    .and it's pretty clear that Trump generally does not like to hear advice that goes against his ingrained preferences.
    He's gone along with Afghanistan thanks to Mathis
    Last edited by Double Edge; 24 Jul 18, at 22:16.

  10. #1135
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rj1 View Post
    post-World War II Secretaries of State

    Roosevelt



    Truman



    Eisenhower



    Kennedy



    Nixon



    Carter



    Reagan



    G.H.W. Bush



    Clinton



    G.W. Bush



    Obama



    Trump
    Very good, now tell us who you think the standout secstates were
    Last edited by Double Edge; 24 Jul 18, at 22:15.

  11. #1136
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Very good, now tell us who you think the standout secstates were
    Marshall gets high marks for the Marshall Plan of course. Acheson was maybe a Kissinger type of his day because he was a vehement anti-communist and his influence on American foreign policy lasted a long time afterward. Shultz and Baker have to be important for what their actions were in a rapidly changing world with the downfall of the Soviets and the American state as far as foreign policy handling things pretty well. I thought one of the best things George H.W. Bush did in his presidency was not seeing German reunification as a threat unlike some of the Europeans.

  12. #1137
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rj1 View Post
    Marshall gets high marks for the Marshall Plan of course. Acheson was maybe a Kissinger type of his day because he was a vehement anti-communist and his influence on American foreign policy lasted a long time afterward. Shultz and Baker have to be important for what their actions were in a rapidly changing world with the downfall of the Soviets and the American state as far as foreign policy handling things pretty well. I thought one of the best things George H.W. Bush did in his presidency was not seeing German reunification as a threat unlike some of the Europeans.
    Interesting and agree, i remember some one quoting Acheson's idea of diplomacy as more akin to gardening. Unlike the narrow, bilateral, transactional trend presently.

    They call it the Marshall plan even though Truman okayed it. This tendency for a secstate to be more visible than the president leading it.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 25 Jul 18, at 12:59.

  13. #1138
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    Re: your 9/11 analogy, would you rather have a President who can cooly and calmly reflect on the actions of both sides of 9/11 or what we actually got? Dubya's "Freedom Tour" was pretty gosh-darn stupid. What we've gotten in Afghanistan and Iraq has been pretty shitty for the price we paid for it, and while you can blame Iraq on Dubya, Afghanistan is a bipartisan effort.

    GVChamp

    Regarding Astan.

    We were making real progress in Astan in late 2002. We were hurting the Taliban & AQ and stabilizing the country. Then Cheney and the neocons got the focus shifted to Iraq and pulled resources away from Astan. How do I know? I was working as a warplanner for DA G4 and was like WTF? We had to shift units and equipment bound for Astan and ship to Kuwait.

    Iraq starved the war effort in Astan. In fact after autumn 02 NATO handled much of the effort for several years.

    We had hope for Astan but going to Iraq effed that up.

    And once the momentum was lost it was impossible to regain.
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  14. #1139
    Senior Contributor GVChamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    Re: your 9/11 analogy, would you rather have a President who can cooly and calmly reflect on the actions of both sides of 9/11 or what we actually got? Dubya's "Freedom Tour" was pretty gosh-darn stupid. What we've gotten in Afghanistan and Iraq has been pretty shitty for the price we paid for it, and while you can blame Iraq on Dubya, Afghanistan is a bipartisan effort.

    GVChamp

    Regarding Astan.

    We were making real progress in Astan in late 2002. We were hurting the Taliban & AQ and stabilizing the country. Then Cheney and the neocons got the focus shifted to Iraq and pulled resources away from Astan. How do I know? I was working as a warplanner for DA G4 and was like WTF? We had to shift units and equipment bound for Astan and ship to Kuwait.

    Iraq starved the war effort in Astan. In fact after autumn 02 NATO handled much of the effort for several years.

    We had hope for Astan but going to Iraq effed that up.

    And once the momentum was lost it was impossible to regain.
    How many additional troops and how much equipment did you need and in what time frame? Because from eye-balling the troop levels, the Bush admin continued to escalate forces throughout most of the time there, and the Obama admin really spiked the commitment. Throughout all of this, the Taliban has endured. So are you saying you needed 10k more guys to kill the Taliban in 2002? Because then you have to explain why the 100k guys Obama sent still haven't wiped them out. And if your argument is "well they were entrenched at that point," then that money we spent on the 100k guys there was wasted.
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

  15. #1140
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    Re: your 9/11 analogy, would you rather have a President who can cooly and calmly reflect on the actions of both sides of 9/11 or what we actually got? Dubya's "Freedom Tour" was pretty gosh-darn stupid. What we've gotten in Afghanistan and Iraq has been pretty shitty for the price we paid for it, and while you can blame Iraq on Dubya, Afghanistan is a bipartisan effort.

    GVChamp

    Regarding Astan.

    We were making real progress in Astan in late 2002. We were hurting the Taliban & AQ and stabilizing the country. Then Cheney and the neocons got the focus shifted to Iraq and pulled resources away from Astan. How do I know? I was working as a warplanner for DA G4 and was like WTF? We had to shift units and equipment bound for Astan and ship to Kuwait.

    Iraq starved the war effort in Astan. In fact after autumn 02 NATO handled much of the effort for several years.

    We had hope for Astan but going to Iraq effed that up.

    And once the momentum was lost it was impossible to regain.
    Sir,with respect,situation turned haywire around 2005-2006 thanks to our good friends the Pakistanis.While Iraq did no good to any of us,I think it's debatable how much the momentum of 2002 could have been kept until 2006.Keep the momentum to do precisely what?
    Those who know don't speak
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