Posts Tagged foreign policy

The Politicians Continue To Play Checkers In Foreign Policy

From SOFREP:

Incredibly, Secretary of State Blinken said that Chinese influence in Afghanistan could be a positive thing if China sought a “peaceful resolution of the conflict,” and a “truly representative and inclusive” government. Yet, China doesn’t have a government that could be called “representative and inclusive” by anyone. So, why would they work towards one in Afghanistan?

Yet, it’s not unlikely that the Taliban held meetings with the Chinese intelligence service that could have aided in Taliban planning and operations.

Anyone who understands diplomacy and espionage can do the math and see that the Taliban are solidly backed by China. This could have emboldened them to take back Afghanistan in true blitzkrieg style as they did.

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The World After Afghanistan

From Spiked Online:

While a new regime in Afghanistan offers opportunities, this is still the Taliban we’re talking about. It is still a brutal Islamist movement, committed to the rule of Sharia law. And, insofar as it backs and inspires other Islamists, the Taliban still poses a significant security threat to all those regional powers hoping to take advantage of its retaking of power.

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Chaos In Afghanistan Could Be A Positive For Gun Rights At Home

From The Truth About Guns:

Alan M. Gottlieb, the Second Amendment Foundation’s founder and executive vice president, says that out of the swirling chaos may come a silver lining for American gun owners.

“The silver lining might be that there’s such a mess going on, they won’t have time to put through their anti-gun agenda, because right now they have so much other stuff on their plate,” Gottlieb said Sunday night on Armed American Radio.

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Allies Question US Resolve After Afghanistan

From The Washington Post:

The Taliban’s stunningly swift advances across Afghanistan have sparked global alarm, reviving doubts about the credibility of U.S. foreign policy promises and drawing harsh criticisms even from some of the United States’ closest allies.

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Dr. Michael Scheuer on the Tragedy of Afghanistan That Didn’t Have To Be

From Non-intervention2.com:

There was never an easier military or diplomatic problem for the United States than post-9/11 Afghanistan. The answer to the problem was clear. With, as always, Marines in the lead, send a quarter-million man ground force with more than abundant aerial support to conduct a c. 15-month campaign of retribution. The job could have been done by early 2003.

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The China/Taiwan Problem

From War on the Rocks:

Changing circumstances merit fresh thinking about how to ensure peace between China and Taiwan going forward, but a decades-old policy framework restrains American flexibility in reacting to those changes. The result is a Taiwan Strait that edges ever closer to crisis while Washington tinkers with policies that may no longer be sufficient to avert catastrophe.

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US Increases Arms Sales To Republic of China (Taiwan)

From The Federalist:

“If concluded, this proposed sale will contribute to the modernization of Taiwan’s howitzer fleet, strengthening its self-defense capabilities to meet current and future threats,” a State Department official told CNN.

Taiwan’s foreign ministry welcomed the deal, saying the proposed sale would help the island nation “maintain a rock-solid self-defense” and “regional peace and stability.”

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Silicon Valley and China

From Foreign Policy:

In the U.S. system, laws are legitimate insofar as they are conceived by what Jean-Jacques Rousseau called “the general will” of the people, expressed through the workings of a democratic political system. Laws that are arbitrary or imposed by the will of a single person of authority are illegitimate. Yet the Chinese system rests on the idea that the sole source of legitimacy is the CCP, which represents—it claims—the will of the Chinese nation in its entirety and violently suppresses challenges to its authority. This sharp tension between the political value systems that prevail in the two countries is a primary cause of the spiraling bilateral competition. Tech companies confront this tension when they are tasked to comply with Chinese laws, by enabling the arrest of dissidents for “subversion of state power” or the mass surveillance of Uighurs, which are rightly viewed by most Americans as immoral and illegitimate.

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Tensions Increase Between China and Taiwan

From Al-Jazeera:

China has stepped up military activity around the island, where the losing nationalists set up their government at the end of the civil war in 1949, sending fighter jets and warships on exercises close to Taiwan. Communist-ruled China claims the island as its own and has not ruled out the use of force to assert its control.
Taiwan’s defence ministry, in a statement late on Thursday to accompany a video showing Taiwanese forces taking part in drills, said it was “expressing its stern attitude about recent Chinese Communist People’s Liberation Army military pressure acts”.

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What Is America’s Role?

From The Washington Examiner:

So how do we advance freedom and our other global interests if not through empire building or global policing? We do it through alliances.
Our most advantageous alliances are often the oldest. The “Five Eyes” intelligence cooperation between us and Australia, Britain, Canada, and New Zealand began in 1956. But even 63 years later, it continues to deliver the crown jewels of global counter-proliferation, counterterrorism, and counter-hostile state intelligence. We should never forget that the most important ingredient of intelligence is not the tools, or even the people; it is the trust and shared values between those people. That is why the alliance sustains and why it continues to deliver.

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Is The Gun Culture To Blame For America’s Foreign Policy?

Tyler Cowen seems to think so:

Gun possession breeds a certain kind of kick-ass mentality—”martial culture”—that doesn’t stop at the border’s edge, but spills “over there.” Therefore, if libertarians want to restrain America’s adventurism abroad, they will have to stop looking at guns from a narrow rights-based perspective, as is their wont, and start looking at them from the standpoint of the undesirable foreign policy consequences they produce—and so accept some gun regulation.

Reason’s reply:

As a naturalized American from India, I have always been both amused and bemused by the American romance with guns. I have also observed firsthand the destabilizing effect of America’s post-9/11 “martial interventions” near my native country. Thus, if there were a serious chance that restrictions on gun rights would help reduce Uncle Sam’s war mongering, I would consider it. But color me dubious.

Cowen’s argument is intriguing and original—not to mention refreshing in that it doesn’t put the religious faith that liberals do in gun control diminshing violence. It also has a certain intuitive plausibility. But does support for private gun rights actually generate a spirit of martial interventionism? Actually, as far as libertarians are concerned, the connection runs in the other direction.

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Condi Rice and Bob Gates on U.S., Russia Relations

From The Washington Post:

One can hear the disbelief in capitals from Washington to London to Berlin to Ankara and beyond. How can Vladimir Putin, with a sinking economy and a second-rate military, continually dictate the course of geopolitical events? Whether it’s in Ukraine or Syria, the Russian president seems always to have the upper hand.

The fact is that Putin is playing a weak hand extraordinarily well because he knows exactly what he wants to do. He is not stabilizing the situation according to our definition of stability. He is defending Russia’s interests by keeping Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in power. This is not about the Islamic State. Any insurgent group that opposes Russian interests is a terrorist organization to Moscow. We saw this behavior in Ukraine, and now we’re seeing it even more aggressively — with bombing runs and cruise missile strikes — in Syria.

 

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Allen West on Iran Deal

Former Congressman Allen West:

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Iran Trashes United States After Nuclear Deal

From Washington Free Beacon:

Iranian cleric Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Movahedi Kermani, who was handpicked by the Islamic Republic’s supreme leader to deliver the prayers, delivered a message of hostility toward the United States in the first official remarks since a final nuclear deal was signed between Iran and world powers in Vienna last week.

A Persian-language message on the podium declared, “We will trample upon America” while the English phrase “We Defeat the United States” can be seen underneath.

 

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World War II and the Origins of American Unease

World War II and the Origins of American Unease is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

By George Friedman

We are at the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe. That victory did not usher in an era of universal peace. Rather, it introduced a new constellation of powers and a complex balance among them. Europe’s great powers and empires declined, and the United States and the Soviet Union replaced them, performing an old dance to new musical instruments. Technology, geopolitics’ companion, evolved dramatically as nuclear weapons, satellites and the microchip — among myriad wonders and horrors — changed not only the rules of war but also the circumstances under which war was possible. But one thing remained constant: Geopolitics, technology and war remained inseparable comrades.

It is easy to say what World War II did not change, but what it did change is also important. The first thing that leaps to mind is the manner in which World War II began for the three great powers: the United States, the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom. For all three, the war started with a shock that redefined their view of the world. For the United States, it was the shock of Pearl Harbor. For the Soviet Union, it was the shock of the German invasion in June 1941. For the United Kingdom — and this was not really at the beginning of the war — it was shock at the speed with which France collapsed. Read the rest of this entry »

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