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23 July 2016

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Poul

His policy views has it's merits.

Take the South China Sea border conflicts.

The Philippines told the US to pack up and leave but now with the pressure from China, they come running back. The question is what American interests are served by taking on the expends of defending Philippine border claims. A relevant discussion for sure.

http://www.nytimes.com/1991/12/28/world/philippines-orders-us-to-leave-strategic-navy-base-at-subic-bay.html

http://thehill.com/policy/defense/231257-philippines-re-opens-military-bases-to-us-forces-

David Lentini

Well said, Colonel. I'd add that Trump's speeches may also be a signal of an attitude and weltschauung that a specific plan to "re-neogitate" every treaty. But treaties and deals are re-negotiated in word and deed all the time. I think at the very least, Trump's message is: I get that we as a nation have been played.

And yes, if Trump really can follow through with his views the Borg will see their wings clipped. At least for awhile.

hans

What Mr. Trump proposes is to make present U.S. hegemony into explicit empire. It will be interesting to watch the tumult as vassal states decide to either bend and cough up their tribute or re-arm so as to be able to go it alone.

On one hand the neocons and Wilsonians will shriek and deploy against Trump, on the other, pragmatists in the arms trades may see great advantage in it. Trump has, perhaps inadvertently, divided his foes against each other.

If the treaty entanglements that pitched the globe into the first world war been subjected to debate as their provisions began to be invoked what a different world we'd have had.

eakens

If the constitution is negotiable, then certainly a treaty is too.

Kutte

Colonel,

You said: "This is amusing since so many of the Borgians are now godless heathen." I think, that's not quite accurate. It's not that they are godless, they simply think that they themselves are god! As far as the US allies are concerned, it may be painful to pay more for their defence, on the other hand, they then could face the US with a bit more self-confidence. At present, they resent being dependent on the US, but they don't want the cost of (relative) independence either.


Jack

Sir

You've hit the nail on the head. The Borgist payola racket is under threat. And they're freaking out. I'm loving it.

Its high time we stopped meddling in others affairs when there is no national interest. In particular the Middle East. Let the Saudis, Turks, Iranians and Israelis fight it out. We should have no dog in that fight. I am also in agreement with Trump that NATO is obsolete and there is no reason why we can't have friendly and cooperative relationship with Russia.

Degringolade

Clausula rebus sic stantibus

Not holding up your end of the treaty might apply.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clausula_rebus_sic_stantibus

JLCG

In order to command one has to pay. If the USA wants to be the hegemon of NATO it has to support it materially. If other countries have to pay for NATO then they will want to have a voice. The patriarch is a patriarch because it owns the herds and the land and supports with them his family.
Hegemons eventually become ruined by the expense of keeping their status.

b

"his commitment to automatically defend NATO allies if they are attacked,"

I do not know who invented such a commitment. The borg make that up from the hot air they breathe out of their a**es?

It ain't in the NATO statutes. Article 5 comes with several caveats and each NATO nations could easily skip out of any "automatically defend" allusions. It could decide to do nothing or to do much, much less than send its army. More than "we promise we'll think about it" is simply not there.

J

Colonel,

I'm watching CNN which I normally don't do, and am seeing Ms. Hillary nominating as her VP running-mate your state's Senator in the Congress Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA).

Kaine just cited that one of his children his son Nat who Kaine says is in the Military, a Marine who Kaine says is set to deploy to Europe in just a few days. It appears that Nat graduated Marine ROTC at George Washington University

My question, how has Tim Kaine represented your state Virginia as both Governor and now Senator?

I'm like you, I'm can't bring myself to vote for either the GOP or DEM prez/vp nominees, HOWEVER to "prevent" Hillary from waltzing into the Oval Office (which my lovely wife pointed out to me if I don't vote for Trump), I'm forced to vote for Trump as a split vote opens the door to Hillary. My youngest son suggested I look at the alternate candidates out there. I don't quite know at this point.

What's your take on Kaine?

HankP

That is a great version of "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy."

There are two problems with Trump - the first is that he obviously hasn't thought much about any issues other than property development and brand licensing deals. That is, everything seems to be based on gut instincts and ignorance, which can work sometimes but are a dangerous way to make policy. His "analysis" doesn't seem to include any consideration of drawbacks or other side effects.

The second is that what he says today has little to no relation to what he'll say tomorrow, or next week, or even later today. He will say whatever appears to be best for him at that moment. Once again, that's a dangerous way to make policy.

turcopolier

HankP

I agree about Trump and will not vote for him, but my main reason is that having been a corporate executive for ten years after leaving the government I do not think such people should run the government. they don't understand that government is not business. OTOH I know HC personally and I think her to be a brain without a heart. I will not vote for her either. pl

turcopolier

b

"The key section of the treaty is Article 5. Its commitment clause defines the casus foederis. It commits each member state to consider an armed attack against one member state, in Europe or North America, to be an armed attack against them all." Wiki n NAT. We have been through this before you and I. I guess you interpret that quote as not being binding? Is this because you refuse to believe that Germany is or ever was actually protected? BTW, I was looking at the Saker's view of the Turkey "coup." IMO it is filled with unwarranted, and unsupported assumptions. pl

irf520

Not much of a brain either if she thinks there will be any winners from a war with Russia.

jsn

Our choices appear to be an unprincipled opportunist who is a realist and one who is an idealist. I doubt I'll bring myself to vote for either, but survival odds are probably better under the former.

turcopolier

jsn

which is which? pl

Tyler

Hank,

You Borgists need another line of attack. He's released a dozen plans and you're the supporter of a dynasty accusing Trump of only being interested in his name brand? Lmfbo.

Progs always lie, always project, and always double down on their lies.

turcopolier

J

A well meaning churchy non-entity. pl

Walter

Col, it is refreshing to me to hear you and others recognize the need to shake up the foreign policy governmental apparatus that we have that probably exists more from inertia and a reluctance to cut budgets .... But I think our government needs to be more like a business which has to cut occasionally to survive and be strong... Just like trees benefit from pruning and forests benefit from forest fires ... Both of our political parties are frightened of cutting and slashing the government, why is that ? I personally love hearing Trump talk about renegotiating treaties and relationships.

Kutte

Colonel,

You said: "This is amusing since so many of the Borgians are now godless heathen." I think, that's not quite accurate. It's not that they are godless, they simply think that they themselves are god! As far as the US allies are concerned, it may be painful to pay more for their defence, on the other hand, they then could face the US with a bit more self-confidence. At present, they resent being dependent on the US, but they don't want the cost of (relative) independence either.


Jack

Hank

If you're a voter who votes for the duopoly then your choice is a) Trump who hasn't thought much about these issues but seems to have a good instinct as reflected in his interview with Pravda on the Hudson and his RNC speech or b) Hillary, who has thought a lot about the issues but has come to a wrong conclusion each and every time with disastrous results, demonstrating a track record of poor judgment.

Many will take a novice with good instincts compared to a seasoned "pro" of demonstrated poor judgment. IMO, you can't be persuaded about Trump as Tyler can't about Hillary. Everyone is pretty locked in by their biases. I live in a state that only votes Democrat. My county was one of the few in my state which Sanders won in the primary. I was at a local craft brewpub last night that gets a lot of blue collar folks. There was a lot of discussion about Trump's speech. Most were impressed and felt he was talking about them. Hillary comes across as elitist to them. To me that is a big tell that even in a Democrat partisan area a demographic segment feel an affinity towards Trump. Unlike previous elections people are engaged, and IMO it is because of Trump. This election will depend on who can turn out their voters in Nevada, Ohio, Florida and Virginia. Maybe Pennsylvania and North Carolina. At this juncture it's an even race, but considering the massive institutional backing for Hillary, Trump running a maverick campaign is doing really well.

ISL

Tyler,

I always assumed that Trump would set the agenda (he does have plans, but they are sketchy) and then bring in experts to bring him up to speed quickly and flesh out the details while considering the latest information. That is how CEOs tend to operate when brought into a new company to turn it around.

One could argue that of the two candidates, Trump's policies are more progressive, but one would have to look at what he said rather than the media broad brush name calling. Nothing is more progressive than good paying jobs - not (the soon to be automated) burger flipping for $15/hr) that provide a product / service worth a decent salary.

Fortunately, here in California, I can vote at 1930 PM, after the election has been called, and my vote will count for absolutely naught.

morgan

Granted, both candidates are terrible but consider the Supreme Court. Trump has listed his list of choices. Madame deFarge--Hillary--would pack the court with Justices that would make the old Warren Court seem a bastion of conservatism. Her court choices could easily steer the court way leftward for a couple of decades. To me, this a hold your nose no brainer.

VietnamVet

Colonel,

With Donald Trump you get what you see a Reality TV Star Businessman plus a Christian First VP. With Hillary Clinton you get a War First Neo-Conservative and a 100% Status Quo Corporatist. I can’t vote for either ticket. The Green Party apparently will be on the Maryland ballot. Right now, I’d vote for Jill Stein to aid in the rise of a progressive party and Democrats Chris Van Hollen and Steny Hoyer in the hope of protecting my government pension.


The outcome of the election depends if votes of the Losers in the global economy in the USA outnumber the Cosmopolitan Winners and if the corporate media propaganda campaign falls flat on its face as I expect it will. It is not happenstance that the political leaders in the West are all incredibly incompetent.

David Habakkuk

All,

Oh God, this takes me back.

In his December 1988 speech to the UN, Gorbachev publicly renounced the ‘Brezhnev doctrine’.

In February 1989, I and a colleague, interviewing for a BBC Radio programme, asked officials in Moscow what would happen if an Eastern European country tried to leave the Warsaw Pact. We were told – nothing.

When we went on to Washington and told a State Department official about this – oh the condescension. It would all be different, when the ‘movers and shakers’ entered the room.

I thought to myself: You people know nothing about imperial management. The ultimate sanction is always the possibility of ruthless force: read Kipling. Anyone who publicly renounces the use of such force has either gone bonkers, or has decided that maintaining the empire is not worth the candle.

One basic fact was also clear. The change in Moscow was not essentially due to Gorbachev being intimidated by the Reagan military build-up, the oil price collapse, the Afghan war, etc.

This man was not a ruthless power politician. Somehow, a naïve utopian idealist had ended up as general secretary of the CPSU.

And the people to whom he was listening were officials and intellectuals who had – quite genuinely – swallowed the ‘common security’ talk of the Palme Commission.

At that time, Georgi Arbatov, who had been a member of the Palme Commission, famously remarked that ‘We are going to do something terrible to you. You will no longer have an enemy.’

(See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/politics-obituaries/8132697/Georgi-Arbatov.html .)

But of course, people in London and Washington quickly rallied round, confronted by this dastardly sneak attack.

When one tried to explain that the world had irrevocably changed to people in either place, they talked knowingly about ‘reversibility’.

Sometimes I thought that if they had been present at the execution of Louis XVI, even after the guillotine had fallen, they would have told you that his head could very well pop back onto his shoulders.

I tried making jokes, suggesting an article by Marshal Akhromeyev might appear in ‘Pravda’: ‘Marxism-Leninism: an idea whose time has gone.’

Eventually I realised it was no conceivable use.

Too many people loved their Cold War, and did not want to have it taken away from them.

Whatever his faults – which are clearly many – Trump at least holds out the promise of some ‘new thinking’ on the Western side.

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