Category Archives: Foreign Policy

‘War, War And War Some More’ For Some Time

Donald Trump, Foreign Policy, Middle East, Military, Neoconservatism, War

Do we have a president “whose words and actions are untethered to principle,” as Andrew J. Bacevich contends?

Consider the range of issues where President Trump has backed away from actions that as a candidate he had vowed to take, more often than not on ‘day one’ of his presidency. The US remains fully committed to the Nato alliance that Trump previously denounced as ‘obsolete’. The ‘One China’ policy of previous administrations remains intact, as does the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by his predecessor. That Trump will abrogate the North American Free Trade Agreement appears about as likely as Mexico paying for any ‘wall’ along the American border. The US embassy in Israel has not moved to Jerusalem and is unlikely to do so any time soon. Trump’s ‘secret plan’ to defeat Isis differs little from Obama’s plan, apart from more bombs and a handful of additional US troops. And Trump’s longed-for friendship with Vladimir Putin has yet to bloom. The Trump administration neither acknowledges nor provides any rationale for these shifts. Over the course of a single news cycle, positions once said to represent the President’s considered view simply become inoperative. Without explanation, the gunboat sent to Agadir weighs anchor and goes home, leaving behind bewilderment and relief.
In other circumstances, we might chalk up the disparity between what a president says while a candidate and then does on the job to mere politics. Or see it as evidence of an individual sobered by responsibility and ‘growing’ in office. Yet such explanations do not apply here. …
Like Wilhelm II, Trump is given to bluster and to striking poses. His compulsion to look tough is apparent. So too is his need to command attention and his affinity for military pomp. He loves generals.

We know of Syria, because the offensive there was launched, today, to great fanfare. But, says a Spectator writer, there’s been “War, war and war some more” for some time. This reality has been concealed by the Russia parallel reality created by Fake News media.

It’s often said that the Trump administration is ‘isolationist’. This is not true. In fact, we are now witnessing a dramatic escalation in the militarisation of US foreign policy in the Middle East, Africa and Afghanistan. This has not been announced but it is happening, and much of it without consultation with Nato or other key allies, or any debate in Congress or the media.
A few weeks ago, US aircraft carried out over 30 air strikes against Islamic militants in Yemen — almost the same as the number carried out there all last year. In Iraq and Syria there have been many reports of civilian casualties in US raids. As many as 200 are thought to have been killed in air strikes on Mosul, although Iraqi authorities dispute that.
Meanwhile, some 400 US troops are going to Syria to set up an artillery base to retake Raqqa. Another 1,000 may soon be sent to Kuwait as a reserve force. Another 400 have gone to Iraq and some 8,000 will go to Afghanistan.
Quite an active policy, for someone with no interest in it. A closer look at Trump’s senior aides helps to explain — they’re often from the military. The State Department may be downgraded but the military has never had a stronger influence on a president. …

UPDATED: What’s Jared Kushner Up To?

Donald Trump, Ethics, Family, Foreign Policy, War

Initially, is my guess, Jared Kushner was in IT to ensure that Princess Ivanka’s position in high society was not damaged by the antics of father Donald Trump. Jared’s own father, Charles Kushner, lost his standing in society. Son Jared could not allow the same to happen to his young family. Kushner’s psychological makeup is such that he’s exerting influence, to nudge President Trump toward mainstream positions, wherein lie acceptability and respectability.

But Kushner soon got carried away. Now he’s in the thick of the Trump Administration, allegedly at war with OUR MAN STEVE BANNON.

Had President Trump not flouted rules against nepotism, the Kushner controversy might have been averted. Via Vanity Fair:

… A 1967 law bans presidents from appointing family members to government jobs and Cabinet positions. (Shortly after his election in 1960, John Kennedy appointed his younger brother Bobby as attorney general.) And while Kushner’s proximity to the president raises all sorts of ethical questions, the more pressing curiosity is why Kushner is enduring all this tumult in the first place. Why would a mild-mannered Jewish kid from an establishment Democratic family, particularly one who enjoys a charmed life in Manhattan, defy what would seem to be his interests, his scruples, and his easy existence? …

Instead, “Jared Kushner[‘s] … national security portfolio—China, Mexico, even Iraq, where was he photographed last week flying over Baghdad in a helicopter—has been expanding at a breathtaking rate.”

Alarming indeed.

UPDATES:

No war in Syria!

Kushner couple Holding court.

Humanitarian wars bring society women together. Sick.

If true, why is Trump letting this woman run wild?

I said Tulsi.

More than we bargained for in Jared?

The orientation I care about is no wars for naught.

Make Syria Great Again? Is that it?

McCain: his daughter, dumber than dad, is on the Fox News Channel.

Demoting the Don.

Show me the evidence, but even that doesn’t justify war according to War Powers doctrine and Constitution:

A new deadly troika:

TRUMP News Round-Up (March 26 – April 5)

Donald Trump, Economy, Foreign Policy, Free Markets, Gender, Healthcare, IMMIGRATION, Labor, Multiculturalism, Russia

As Steve Bannon Goes, So Goes the Promise of …

Is the foreign policy promised on the way out: America First?

Surveillance:

Ivanka milking the equal-pay nonsense:

Let’s have more of Melania, less of busybody Ivanka:

Yes to Dana Rohrabacher:

Job numbers are looking good, but not to our mad-hatter media:

No wonder DC dislikes Putin; he likes Russia just the way she is:

ForeignAffairs.com is getting religion on immigration restriction.

Julian Assange: They used him.

MICHAEL FLYNN: throwing him under the bus was probably WRONG, don’t you think?

Democrats in healthcare? Is this why we gave Trump the presidency and both chambers?

Robert Redford: The actor believes his own hype.

The best people are NOT in the Trump admin: Michele Bachmann, Phil Haney, Kris Kobach.

Ivanka’s office is way too close.

The CIA, America’s political police:

Leave Deep Space to the private sector:

Keeping bad company: Condoleezza Rice:

Supply and Demand is immutable, natural law, but … but …

Freedom Caucus: Thanks!

UPDATED (3/15): Things That Haven’t #MAGA, So Far

Business, Donald Trump, Foreign Policy, Political Philosophy, Politics, Republicans, Russia, UN

Foreign Policy:

We’re peace-keeping on Syria. Policing the world doesn’t make America or the world great again. I thought President Trump promised we wouldn’t be enabling the UN’s ineptitude any longer.

President Trump has hired individuals who do not articulate the principles he ran on. Gov. Nikki Haley, for one. When the rest open their mouths to speak, too many sound nothing like what was promised. The generals scare me. America First? Where? In Yemen? Hiring different perspectives in business could well be a strength. But it’s not a strength when it comes to politics and policy. In politics you want a team that shares a political philosophy.

It’s a mistake to allow Russia mania to ramp-up without decisively and repeatedly articulating the need to get along with powers which share mutual, non-neocon interests.

UPDATE (3/15): The swamp is still swampy.