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20 December 2010

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YT

Mr. Richardson,

"It was a bipolar international system and this would've been akin to Rome becoming a stable ally of Carthage or vice versa."

Well played, sir. But am I under the a$$umption that the U.S. is now havin' substantially warmer ties with Ivan?

Chris Taus

Any change to the treaty text would require both countries to return to the negotiating table
and Moscow made it clear that senators had to accept the treaty or reject it as it is, without amendments.

Charles I

The question is too long:

Is there a reasonable way to see Republican opposition. . . as other than purely political partisanship? Period.

Neil Richardson

Dear YT:

"But am I under the a$$umption that the U.S. is now havin' substantially warmer ties with Ivan?"

I agree that the current international environment offers the United States a different set of strategic opportunities. In fact I'm of the view that the United States faces a favorable environment IFF we can 1) internally sort out our domestic dysfunction and concentrate on what Waltz called "internal balancing" and 2) reorient our strategic mindset to what core interests are important (by this I mean something like the X Article and even NSC-68). Obviously the fact that we are entering a multipolar environment means that we would need some hard soul searching in order to work out the moral dimensions of our foreign policy.

The reason why I feel that the international environment could be favorable to the United States is that 1) there are core and emerging "periphery" states (historical sense) with dynamic economic base which could be transformed into national power. Security considerations place the United States in a favorable situation mainly because we do not have proximate potential adversaries while other rising powers do. The case in point indeed is Russia as they have enough to worry in the Far East not to mention Central Asia. Same for India as well as Japan who now view China as a potential adversary. Although things are far more complicated today than in September 1945, I feel we can be an offshore balancer mainly because we can afford to cut back overseas commitment. The power vacuum will be filled by these economically dynamic states who will compete against each other despite the wishes of "economic liberals." While I'm not a Mackinder adherent, I strongly believe the security requirements of a state don't change very often. IMHO states calculate and assess threats based on not only intentions but mostly on capabilities over time. Thankfully we don't share a border with India or Russia. That is why if we have to resort to a containment policy against China, we're in a better situation than we were five years ago.

confusedponderer

Rick Perry At Southern Republican Leadership Conference Urges Republicans To Say 'No'

NEW ORLEANS — Texas Gov. Rick Perry says Republican congressional candidates must say "no" – no to President Barack Obama, and no to anything that makes Washington relevant to the American people.

Perry is among a flock of potential GOP presidential candidates addressing the three-day Southern Republican Leadership Conference. He bills himself as a principled, small-government conservative.

Perry did not tip his hand about 2012, but had this to say Friday about November's congressional elections: "It's going to take men and women going to Washington, D.C., and saying no."

He said GOP candidates should tell voters, "Elect me and I'm going to Washington, D.C, and will try to make it as inconsequential on your life as I can make it."

Gorgeous, a republican Nero. Will he play fiddle, too?

William

So the next time a big hurricane takes out Galveston, or another Gulf oil spill turns Texas beaches into greasepits, the rest of the US can tell Perry and Texans they're on their own? Me, I'm planning on making Texas as inconsequential on my life as I can make it.

Charles I

Credit where credit is do its done and signed,

Stephanie

Defeating START would have been nice but at this point it would have been gravy for the GOP. They won where it mattered (e.g., where fiscal matters were concerned). Repeal of DADT was the tradeoff for that and now the GOP can say it's bipartisan again. GOP senators in liberal states were able to protect their left flank. This session has had some genuine good news for the Democrats, but the GOP got what it wanted where it counted, no question.

confusedponderer

Stefanie,
out of curiosity, how would defeating START have been nice? What would have been beneficial about it, and for whom?

Fred

Stephanie,
How is adding close to $1 trillion to the national debt winning 'where fiscal it matters are concerned'?

different clue

Fred,

The Republican Party is following Grover Norquist's
Prime "starve the beast" Directive. Adding another trillion to the national debt brings our government a trillion dollars closer to being forced to either service the debt or pay for "social programs" like USDA meat inspectors and FDA drug safety inspectors . . . but not both.
They also consider Social Security to be a separate beast which must be separately starved so as to become weak enough to abolish. Obama shares their belief. That is why Obama worked with them to get the payroll tax "holiday" into the "compromise".

I believe Obama could best be understood as a partial Norquist Democrat.

Stephanie

Fred and confusedponderer, my post was written from the point of view of the GOP, as it were. Sorry if that was unclear.

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