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30 May 2014

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William R. Cumming

PL! A brilliant post IMO! Perhaps one reason the USA over its history [with a number of exceptions--Hawaii e.g.] has always left after its involvement in non-contiguous areas to the USA mainland. Sometimes it took decades but we did leave. Perhaps the Peter Sellars movie THE MOUSE THAT ROARED somewhat more instructive than Dustin Hoffman in WAG THE DOG!

Personally I believe that the largely US led defense posture of Japan and Germany will end. The struggle for dominance on the Eurasian continent seems well underway. But we could easily see additional states this century from say Cuba or Northern Mexico!

And Viet Nam could well be a principal ally of the USA in the S. China sea.

Interesting times no doubt but perhaps "interesting times" as a Chinese curse?

jon

Col., I agree with you generally, but think your view is a bit too sanguine. I do share the relief that Obama seems to have turned away from idealism and magical thinking. Generally, I think he appreciates the substantial limits to US power, and is trying to conserve power and to enhance future strategic posture.

However, Obama campaigned on Iraq being the wrong war, and Afghanistan the right war. He has been very consistent in carrying that out, despite the entire lack of evidence that Afghanistan had any inclination to move into western orbit. He listened far too attentively to too many generals promising too ambitious progress.

Obama also has moved very slowly to take advantage of nascent democracies like Myanmar, and has not encouraged progress and moderation among our allies like Thailand, which have led to deteriorating conditions.

He seems to permit too much scope among various factions within the State Department and other agencies, leading to conflicting policies being advanced simultaneously and in conflict with each other. Having a clearly articulated foreign policy and tighter managerial administration would have gone a long way to improving outcomes. The US was almost entirely flatfooted during the Arab Spring, for example, and shows no likelihood for that to change.

Still, Obama managed to not commit any feet on the ground to Libya during its revolution, and despite diplomatic gymnastics has very little fingerprints of meddling in the Ukraine debacle. And all this with John Kerry's performance seemingly single minded in making Hilary Clinton look like Metternicht.

turcopolier

jon

Nitpicking. In the main you seem to agree with my thesis. pl

VietnamVet

Colonel,

Even though your predictions are always on the mark, I pray to God that this one is correct.

I listened to John Kerry interview on NewsHour last night. I can’t believe I voted for him. Old age sure takes a toll. He said he is a Realist. He is clearly delusional. Supporting the Israel First policy of the overthrow of the Assad Regime with moderate Jihadists is crazy; there are no moderate Wahhabi warriors fighting for the true god.

Happily supporting the neo-conservative facist coup and then blaming Russia for the peoples of the Eastern Provinces fighting Right Sector goons and mercenaries rampaging through their land is crazy. We are on the fast track to a nuclear war with Russia.

Today may be too late to start the negotiations for a peaceful settlement of Ukraine Crisis. Too much blood may have already been spilled on both sides for them to back down.

shepherd

Well said. I've often wondered if Obama started reading SST around the time of Libya.

turcopolier

shepherd

It is tempting to think that might be true. pl

Fred

Hi Barrack! (Sorry, somebody had to say that.). Hopefully that doesn't mean the valley will now be besieged by Yankee tourists does it? Though he and Michelle should take the time to visit.

Imagine

Passionate, inspired career arcs are driven by "meaning & purpose".

Adreas's excellent historical comic book "Addicted to War" brings home the reality that we currently have a professional military-industrial complex dedicated to exporting war without end; it is their raison d'etre. At present I see little to block nor counterbalance this force, Pres. Obama's wishes notwithstanding. Also, surprisingly, I'm seeing a distinction between the professional warfighters, who astoundingly this decade are coming out AGAINST grand adventures (as it's their lives that are on the line), vs. the War Party and profiteers (to whom it's Someone Else's Problem, there is no downside to burning cannon fodder).

But peace is more profitable than war. Nations who remain at peace for decades are able to reap a "peace dividend" that grows exponentially, as value invested in infrastructure and education comes round to create tenfold increase. A growth in golden talents. Whereas, nations who invest all they have in war, consisting yes of employment but mostly of burned consumables: energy/food/fireworks/life-times--have sunk their talents into literal holes in the ground. It is bad stewardship. "What little you have, will be taken away and given to the one who actually took care of things."

How to shift the meaning & purpose of the military-industrial complex so that it derives meaning/value/profit/enjoyment from peace?


Jack

Thanks Col.

It looks like there is still hope for our republic. What is your opinion of how this new policy will play if Japan or Taiwan get in a shooting match with China?

William Herschel

This is an outrage.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2014/05/30/us/politics/ap-us-obama-europe.html

Imagine

recall from April: Ray McGovern of VIPS
"Killing the Putin-Obama ‘Trust’" [is biggest fallout]
http://original.antiwar.com/mcgovern/2014/04/28/killing-the-putin-obama-trust/
Still "Needed: Obama-Putin Summit on Ukraine"
http://consortiumnews.com/2014/05/04/needed-obama-putin-summit-on-ukraine/

If Pres. Obama is REALLY smart, the public disparagements of Russia are a smokescreen, and he'll hold a discreet and very private meeting with Putin on the sidelines that we won't hear about for six months. Without Kerry or Nuland.

International relations must be treated like a very-long-term marriage relationship. Your wife is highly intelligent, you wouldn't want to treat her like crap because you're going to have to live beside her for the rest of your life. Why in the world would you want to do this to Russia? Different cultures /always/ have different viewpoints and different reality tunnels, adults gotta sit down and work it out /together/.

bth

Col. at the time of the Afghan surge and the Iraq withdrawal it was pretty easy, real time to estimate the flow. Namely it cost around twice as much to put a soldier in Afghanistan vs Iraq. If the overall budget couldn't go up politically and DoD, Congress and the primes really didn't want defense spending to go down much, that meant that for every soldier leaving Iraq, about 0.5 could be added to Afghanistan. That is the way it went.

LJ

"President Obama's policy speech at West Point announces the end of jacobin imperialist dominated policy in Washington."

Disagree. Although this speech would certainly give the impression there will be a new direction in foreign policy, next to nothing will change. Obama makes speeches; then he carries out the wishes of the enduring, unelected government. Then he will make more speeches.

I say the jacobin imperialist dominated policy will continue. BTW, I hope very much you are right.

William Herschel

A comment from The Vineyard of the Saker (unfortunately translated from the Russian):

"This is an attempt to translate from Russian. The link to original post:
Website PRAVOSUDIYA.NET : http://pravosudija.net/article/sgovor

Conspiracy
I already reported that after the elections Poroshenko met with strange American delegation headed by the Director of the National Service of covert operations Frank Archibald , which included a former CIA chief in Ukraine Jeffrey Egan , the current - Raymond Mark Davidson , Mark Buggy ( CIA , Istanbul) Andrzej Derlatka , a CIA agent in the Polish intelligence Agency , CIA, and member of CIA Kevin Duffin who working as senior vice president of the insurance company Brower .

Poroshenko and Archibald signed (as they say in Odessa , you'll laugh ) paper entitled , no more no less , as " an agreement on military cooperation between the U.S. and Ukraine."

Strange part of the U.S. delegation is explained by the fact that the professional diplomats would not understand at all what it was about, and by the fact that the U.S. Congress would not authorize the usual military cooperation agreement which involves sending military trainers and direct participation of American troops in the armed conflict in Ukraine.

However, the National Service of covert operations includes service operations paramilitary operations. Thus the CIA bypass Congress may exercise full international cooperation in the military industry. Except that instead of the instructors in the form of the U.S. armed forces taking direct part in hostilities - mercenaries of private military companies will be involved.

Now it's official, though a semi-secret (or at least , will not be published), bypassing normal (legitimate and well-controlled by Congress) ways to finance military operations in Ukraine it will be done through channels such as private insurance company Brower, belonging to the CIA.

N-V

31 May, 2014 11:12"

Alba Etie

Jack
And what would Russia do if the 'guns begin to shoot ' between the PRC and the ASEAN countries- ,in the South China Sea ? These United States are obligated by treaty to defend Japan anyway yes ?

oofda

Excellent piece, Colonel. Thanks.

PS

I have a hard time looking at the WaPo editorial page when Krauthammer appears there of late. Against my better judgment, I read his recent piece on the "turn to Asia." To summarize his thesis: China, Japan, etc. don't believe the turn to Asia because the U.S. isn't leaving tens of thousands of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Hello! China would love nothing more than to see the U.S. waste its treasure and blood on the sand of the ME.

LJ

And now we have the "European Reassurance Initiative?" How is that not more of the same?

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