Category Archives: Foreign Policy

UPDATE III (1/18): In US Government, Error That Could’ve Triggered Attack On North Korea Goes Unpunished. Oh, Well.

Foreign Policy, Government, Homeland Security, Technology, The State, War

“Temporarily reassigned” to other duties. That’s the fate—the punishment—of a government employee who, by mistake, “activated a missile launch warning” that “stirred panic across Hawaii over the weekend.”

Preparedness never killed anyone, but what if the US had annihilated North Korea based on a false emergency alert of a ballistic missile headed for Hawaii?

Yet an error that could have triggered a deadly attack on North Korea goes unpunished. In the private sector; you’d be fired.

There is little accountability in government, because it is a body that writes the rules it applies to itself.

And so many Americans want more government control!

Name, shame and fire the responsible government employee at the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.

… The error occurred when, in the midst of a drill during a shift change at the agency, an employee made the wrong selection from a “drop-down” computer menu, choosing to activate a missile launch warning instead of the option for generating an internal test alert … The employee, believing the correct selection had been made, then went ahead and clicked “yes” when the system’s computer prompt asked whether to proceed …

MORE.

UPDATE I: In reply to Facebook thread: What would we do without the statist voice of reason?! It’s not like the US didn’t destroy Iraq after Colon (sic) Powell’s slide show at the UN. Then Libya. But it’s all “ridiculous story telling” to the statist incapable of learning to distrust the US State.

UPDATE II (1/15):  You know those countries on which America drops bombs—only ever for their own good? Ever thought of what their citizens experience just before such a “righteous” payload is dropped? In Hawaii, Americans got a taste of that. But maybe not, since no lessons or learning curve is ever cultivated.

UPDATE III (1/18): Readers thought the comment above was “the only decent take I’ve heard.” Agree, not because it’s me.

Israel Maintains An Oil Pipeline With Iran, While Urging The US To Aggress Against The Islamic Republic

Foreign Policy, Iran, Israel, Neoconservatism, Trade

My-my. Israel maintains an oil pipeline with Iran. It is alleged that “Iranian oil no longer flows through the pipeline.” What’s not in dispute is that Israel urges the US to aggress against Iran, while it keeps its options open.

Trade is excellent always. It forestalls war (something that makes neocons like Mad Max Boot a very sad boy). Israel should trade with regional powers. It should just refrain from hypocrisy—getting the US to fight battles Israel itself is trying to admirably avert via trade.

There is great secrecy, not least a gag order, involved in the dealings of the Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline Co (EAPC) a joint venture with Iran, set up in 1968.

Israel, worried about national security, maintains tight control over EAPC, to the extent that articles about its business dealings must pass through the military censor.

Instead of renewing EAPC’s concession, which came up this year, Israel formed a new company with the same initials, the Europe Asia Pipeline Co, owned by the government. It will take over the original EAPC’s responsibilities by September, with an option to extend the handover period an additional six months.

Parliament’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee said in a statement on Sunday that it had extended the gag order on EAPC for five more years and broadened it to include the new company, known as EAPC-B, as well.

MORE.

Troops In Niger And Norway Now Cheered, As Neoconservatism Is Normalized

Conservatism, Donald Trump, Foreign Policy, Left-Liberalism, Neoconservatism, Republicans, War

Have you noticed that it’s now quite acceptable, on the so-called Left and phony Right, to casually quip about our troops in Niger and Norway? There is hardly any debate, disagreement or daylight, for that matter, on this dangerously united front between the brain-addled, muddled political factions at all.

This is the gift President Trump has given the neoconservatives, which now comfortably encompass neoliberals and all of Conservatism Inc.

Via Military.com (as everyone cheers for war or considers it inevitable if we want to flex our muscle):

VAERNES GARRISON, Norway — The stated goals of the Marine Corps’ newest rotational force in Norway are to enhance partnerships with European allies and improve the service’s ability to fight in cold weather.

But on a brief visit to the 300-member unit ahead of Christmas, the commandant and the sergeant major of the Marine Corps both described the strategic role the small unit fills — and the fact that a peacetime mission can be preface to combat if circumstances change.

The Norwegian Home Guard base near Trondheim that houses the Marine rotational force was the first stop on Gen. Robert Neller’s annual Christmas tour. …

… The stop was a new one for the tour. The first Norway rotation, from 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines, deployed in January and was replaced by a new unit from 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, in late August.

Neller emphasized to the Marines that they should remain ready to fight at all times, predicting a “big-ass fight” on the horizon.

NEOCONSERVATISM HAS BEEN NORMALIZED.

‘Trump’s National Security Strategy is Decidedly Non-Trumpian’

Donald Trump, Foreign Policy, IMMIGRATION

Well of course. Trump’s National Security Strategy is largely neoconservative.

Strategically, the Trump administration’s NSS “is thematically consistent with many previous administration’s strategies,” the official who’s read the full draft said. “In fact, it even shares many similarities with” the Obama administration’s 2015 Strategy. … [recognizing] that promoting economic prosperity is core to sustained U.S. global leadership; both highlight the value of preserving an open and liberal international order that has often times benefited the United States; and both underscore the importance of preserving core American principles and values. “What’s most striking is how disconnected the Trump NSS is from the words and actions of the president himself …
… the United States will always stand with those who seek freedom … [and] continue to lead in championing human rights. …
“the United States must continue to attract the innovative and the inventive…[and] create easier paths for the flow of scientists, engineers, and technologists into and out of public service.” [The last sentence is commensurate with Trumpism as it’s vague. What does it means? Who? Immigrants? Hi-tech immigrants must go into government? WTF!?]

“The draft NSS does contain a few uniquely ‘Trumpian’ themes, including multiple references to ‘sovereignty.’”

It states that “the United States affirms its sovereign right to determine who should enter the country and under what circumstances.” It also discusses physical border security, such as through “a border wall, the use of multilayered technology, the deployment of additional personnel” and through the use of “enhanced vetting of prospective immigrants, refugees, and other foreign visitors.”

Another classically ‘Trumpian’ theme is the idea that, while the liberal international order has helped advance U.S. interests in some cases, it has also hurt the United States. The NSS’s second pillar, “Advancing American Prosperity,” notes that “we oppose protectionism, but take the view that globalism and multilateralism have gone substantially too far to the point that they are hurting U.S. and global growth. Our partners and international institutions can and should do more to address economic and trade imbalances, including overcapacity in industrial sectors.”