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Archive for the ‘Foreign Policy’ Category

Dick Cheney
Foreign Policy Journal: Opinion: Paul Craig Roberts: The Neoconservative Threat to International Order

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

This is going to sound somewhat partisan at least from a Neoconservative’s perspective and if that is the case you’re more than welcome to way in on this and attempt to contradict me. But then I’ll get to Europe where I believe there is a lot of common ground on both the Left and Right when it comes to foreign policy and national security.

The reason why we are dealing with all of these independent terrorists groups now that are free to flow everywhere in Africa, the Middle East and Eurasia is because of the 2003 War in Iraq. ISIS didn’t exist pre-Iraq and yes the War in Afghanistan was something we had to do because the Taliban in Afghanistan were subsidizing and protecting the terrorists who were responsible for 9/11. And even though it has taken a long time thanks to the War in Iraq and Afghan corruption that mission is starting to finally pay off. As that country is finally stabilizing and their economy is finally moving.

The Middle East was a fairly stable area pre-War in Iraq. And as horrible as the Saddam Regime was there and most people including myself are glad he’s no longer running that country and even dead, you didn’t have terrorists in Iraq killing Americans before the war. And you didn’t have terrorists occupying Northern Iraq and Northern Syria. Which would be ISIS today because the central government’s in both countries were strong enough to secure their countries even if they were horrible to their people.

You also didn’t have a jealous Vladimir Putin as President of Russia thinking who needed to make his own power play because of what America was doing to countries that were close to Russia. Part of President Putin’s justification for invading Ukraine has been that he doesn’t believe America should be the sole power in the world that can act unilaterally even in their own interests. The world was a much safer place in 2002 pre-Iraq when our main security threat was Al-Qaeda, a nuclear armed North Korea that still can’t even feed its people. And a potential terrorist state in Iran getting nuclear weapons.

Now where there I believe there is bipartisan agreement, lets look at Europe. Part of the rise of Russia has to do with the fall, or at least steep decline in Europe. Where only Germany as far as a large country in Europe has a healthy economy. But Europe is falling in population and young people and gaining in older people. Because they don’t take in many immigrants each year unlike America and as a result their social democratic economic systems are collapsing. Britain, France, Spain, Italy and Greece all drowning in high debt, and deficits, unemployment. Greece having to take a bailout package that is actually larger than their national economy to stay afloat. And have just elected a new socialist government that’s against austerity.

But if that is not bad enough for Europe, as their populations and economies continue to decline, so does their militaries. Where NATO is essentially just made up of America now as far as real military threat. And to a certain degree Britain, France and Germany to some extent. Europe is more than capable of responding to Russia in any way themselves at least as far as resources, but has chosen not to. Wouldn’t be great to go back to 2002 and far as the security situations for the Western world, but subtract George W. Bush for Al Gore and only be dealing with Afghanistan right now. But we of course can’t go back in time.

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Libya
RAND Corporation: Opinion: Christopher S. Chivvis: Libya, The Somalia on The Mediterranean

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Unlike the War in Iraq, America and Europe went into the Libya and knocked out the Gadaffi Regime and let the Libyan rebels take over to try to build their own government and society for the people. Iraq of course is much different where America by itself went in and knocked out the Hussein Regime and tried to establish a new state itself and then brought in the Iraqi people. The thing about Libya is that new government wasn’t prepared to govern and defend their own country. Plus the new government had Islamists authoritarian ties that moderate Libyans didn’t want to be part of and as a result a new civil war has broken out.

Libya as a failed state is not in the best interest of the United States, United Kingdom and European Union. Especially in that part of the world where ISIS is already in Libya. That country with only six-million people, but with a lot of land the size of Algeria and Saudi Arabia, a large country would be disaster for the Democratic West if it were allowed to become a terrorist state. Which means America, Europe and the Arab League should step up and try to reestablish order in that country and allow for the Libyan people to go in and try to establish a new state that will represent the Libyan people as a whole. Not just the Islamists or the Democrats, but the whole country.

Which is why I would be in favor of an international force involving the United States with NATO, the European Union and Arab League to go into that country with a peacekeeping force while Libyans with democratic and responsible intentions go in and either work with current Libyan Government in Tripoli and build a new Libyan state that can govern and defend the entire country, or replace the current regime with a more democratic oriented that will work to bring peace to the country. Instead of trying to eliminate the opposition. And you could send in people from the United Nations, European Union, Arab League and even U.S. Foreign Service to help Libya develop a government and state that represents and governs the whole country.

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American Military
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

If you truly believe in a strong American military and that it is essential for not only America to be safe, but for us to play our part in seeing that the rest of world has a shot at living in peace and you are not part of the anti-military far-left, or anti-military libertarian-right, or the America police the world Neoconservative Right, then you believe there are and has to be limits to what we put our military and our service people through in seeing that we accomplish those goals of a secure America and a safer world.

Theoretically any country that controls it’s own currency which is most of the world outside of the European Union can borrow and print money indefinitely to finance their military and other governmental operations. Well until their currency is so weak that it becomes essentially worthless. Borrowing money is just that and when you run up debt you have to pay that back even if it is a little bit at a time. Even if your national government doesn’t pay the debt back that debt gets passed down to its taxpayers in the form of higher interest rates. Everything that government does has costs including the military.

And based on this when countries figure out their national budgets every year they have to look at what they need to finance. The money available to finance those operations including the military and what they can afford to spend on those public investments. The military is always part of any national budget and the key word being budget. Even the United States has to budget it’s military and we simply can’t afford to police the world anymore based on previous debt we’ve already run up and the current shape of our military.

Which means other countries especially developed countries have to play their part in securing their own national defense. And I’m thinking of Europe, Saudi Arabia, Japan and Korea to use as examples. Which means American taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for the national defense for people who aren’t willing to pay for their own national defense. And I’m thinking of Europe especially, but Japan is another big one. And what we should be telling those countries is that “we still want to be your allies and work with you and even help you be able to defend yourself like with training and equipment. But those things aren’t free and you are going to have to compensate us for those resources”.

We should get our military out of Europe and Japan and even Saudi Arabia and Korea and perhaps have a fleet of ships in the water nearby in case there are some new developments and threats that emerge in those countries. That no one could see coming that would pay us to do for them. But America has its own problems and we need to be rebuilding America and getting our own economic and fiscal houses in order and demanding that countries that can afford to pay for their own national defense do exactly that.
Hill Center DC: Tom Ricks- U.S. Military Leadership in Decline

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Iraq

RAND Corporation: Opinion: Brian Michael Jenkins: Iraq Observations

I posted this a few days ago on this blog about then Senator Joe Biden proposing back in 2007-08 to partition Iraq which of course the Iraqi people would have to approve themselves. And how that may of seem radical then and even a few months ago when Iraq still look fairly stable. But now with the chaos going on in Iraq that 3-4 state solution inside of a Federal Republic of Iraq with a federalist system. Which each state having autonomy over their own domestic affairs now looks like a very reasonable approach.

It wouldn’t make much sense to propose that now especially in an ongoing civil war in Iraq. Some level of security would have to be retained first that leaves the country as one. Without the North breaking away from Baghdad and the South and West remaining part of the Federal Republic as well. But assuming the Federal Government and Iraq with their military can regain control of the country at least to the point that the country is still officially one country, then maybe the partition idea would make a lot of sense.

The partition idea would have to have a responsible government in the Province of Baghdad where Baghdad City is also located which in the Central West of the country. A responsible government in the West where the Sunnis would govern. A responsible government in the North where the Kurds would govern. And a responsible government in the South where the Shia would government. Meaning the terrorists in each of these areas would have to be defeated first. Which is no small order considering the current Federal Government in Iraq.

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Contra Corner: Opinion: Michael Krieger: Conflagration in Iraq is all the Proof You Need to Know

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger 

Whatever you think of the War in Iraq from 2003 to 2011 when it officially ended with American troops pulling out the “mission has already been accomplished”. If you look at what the original neoconservative goals from the Bush Administration and outside of the Bush Administration were and what they wanted to accomplish in Iraq they’ve already been accomplished. “A peaceful democratic state in Iraq with a functioning government that can defend itself”. Yes they meaning the Maliki Administration and the Iraqi defense forces lost Northern Iraq. But it was there’s to lose and they were the ones to lose it.

Governing and defending Iraq is not an American responsibility especially if the country is not in danger of going under and being replaced by some type of fringe authoritarian rule. And Iraq doesn’t want us there. It would be one thing if Iraq was being invaded by another power private or another nation and they weren’t in position to defeat that force similar to Britain being under attacked by Nazi Germany during World War II. Then at the request of the Iraqi Government we would then be put into a position of whether we should help them or not.

But that is not the situation in Iraq now. Parts of Northern Iraq are under the control by Islāmic terrorists that seek to create an Islāmic state in Iraq. And it looks like they may be going through the early stages of an Iraqi civil war that the Iraqi people are going to have to figure out for themselves. This is not the business of Americans and our soldiers and our broke taxpayers that one way or the other would have to fund any involvement in Iraq. This is the business of the Iraqi people.

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I got a crazy idea that may just have people running to the North Pole to escape the summer weather. How about instead of paying Europeans to defend themselves, we have them pay us for their defense? Or here’s a crazier idea, how about Europeans invest in their own defense and national security which would be a big boost to their economies. God knows they need that type of economic growth now. And they could even buy their defense equipment and other resources from the United States.
I mention these things for a few reasons.
1. Europe or at least the countries we are still responsible for defending are made up of developed democracies. Countries that can afford to take care of themselves. Or work together to defend Greater Europe in coalition. The reasons why Europe’s defense budgets are so much smaller than the United States at least as far as percentage of Gross National Product has to do with the fact that they rely on America for their national defense.
2. Another big reason for President George W. Bush’s National Security Council vision of creating democracy or building democracy in Arabia comes from the vision for Europe with NATO and building democracy in those countries and have an international defense force largely funded by American tax payers to defend democracy in Europe from Russia. A big difference being that America had European allies to help sustain that security including Europeans themselves. Arabia especially with Iraq has been much different where America for the most part has been responsible for the development and security of Iraq.
In case the latest developments in Eurasia in Ukraine and in Arabia with Syria and Iraq and of course the seventeen-trillion-dollar national debt in the United States aren’t obvious enough. There’s a limit to what America can do by itself financially and militarily which means countries that can afford to defend themselves need to do that. And then we need to work with them instead trying to police the world ourself to make the world as safe as it possibly can.

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Republicans Block Kucinich Proposal For Libya Withdrawal. Boehner: It Would Be Wrong To Pull Out | Crooks and Liars.

I supported American Military Operations in Libya, the No Fly Zone there. That we are part of along with our NATO Ally’s. To end the slaughter there of innocent Libyan Citizens by their own government. But that was over two months ago, with the War Powers Act, the President has the authority to send American Troops into combat. But after two months must get Congressional Approval for our actions there. We’ve been involved there for over two months now, so now its time that the President get approval from Congress, both the House and Senate. And if the President doesn’t officially request it from Congress, then the House should pass one of their own. Either granting President Obama the authority to continue our role in the No Fly Zone there or not. And then send that resolution over to the Senate. Its called Checks and Balances, the President can’t unilaterally commit American Troops into a Foreign War. And keep them there indefinitely on their own, Congress has a role in this and they should step up to the plate on this. If the President doesn’t do so himself.

The President is of course the Commander in Chief and makes the final decisions once we are involved in Military Operations. But Congress has a role in deciding whether we get involved in the First Place or not. And can either fund the operations or cut off funding at any point.

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