Foreign Policy Wrap Up

2006/12/24



Europe:

We should reengage Europe, western, northern and central
Europe. The part of
Europe that is Western in orientation, democratic, and politically settled. We should have the Dollar and Euro move toward a fixed rate of exchange, allowing country’s to opt out of the Euro. There should be more cooperation and standardization of law, currency, military and diplomatic enterprises.
 


Russia:

Russia must be treated as a partner, but not an ally. We both have a need to check Chinese hegemony. And in concert with America’s allies, Russia and
India that should be doable. Russian Balkans or
Scandinavia.
 

 

The
Americas:
Central America, the Caribbean, the Colombia, and
Venezuela are bordering or near bordering states in which we have an interest. We have no need to accept hostile regimes, but we also have no need to interfere in internal development. American investors should not be able to call on the power of the Federal Government to insure their investments. As long as American investors receive equal or superior protection compared with other foreign investors we should keep our hands off. We should prevent any foreign power from outside the region from establishing bases of any kind in these territories. But these countries must be allowed to determine their own social and economic order, as any democratic and self a ware people must.
 

The further states of
South America have the wherewithal to develop their own economies and power. This is no threat to the U.S. Strong; stable states are in our interests, but beyond our ability to manufacture.
 


Africa:

North Africa, like the Balkans is not worth the effort of intervention. Although they should be prevented form exporting their domestic political and cultural problems abroad. 

Sub-Saharan
Africa is such a tragedy. Western interference has destroyed the olds way and replaces them with nothing. It is the great misfortune of Africans that their continent contains minerals prized abroad. They need both a macro and micro solution. The micro solution is to further break down the artificial and nonsensical boundaries of those nations into more ethnically homogenous and territorially compact areas. The macro solution is for an All Africa Mineral Resource authority to be the agent for all sales of African resources. Accounting transparency, wealth sharing, and protection in law are vital.
Africa needs roads, bridges, tunnels, canal, sea ports, railways, education, industry, agriculture, and health care, paid police and civil bureaucrats for the modern world. They could use the mineral wealth that is so richly and unevenly distributed toward rational progress and development. They need the internal and external dynamics of their political situation to change.


Hindsight and Incompetence

2006/11/24

It is distressing to see, time and again, that hindsight is not 20 20. There are principles of human behavior that transcend ‘will’ and ‘purpose.’ No country can be relied upon to fight indefinitely when not in their interest, no matter what commitment was given prior: such as the U.S. in Indochina. No country can be relied upon to roll over, when national interest is perceived to be threatened when means exist to fight, no matter that they have given way on peripheral issues: such as Britain standing up for Poland.
 
The tragedy of  the personal incompetence of President Bush is that it will leave behind the opportunity to believe that the outcome in Iraq could have been otherwise: when interventions will always fail in their goals. I try to explain that, but beliefs will challenged, and you may have to unlearn them. And man, is that hard.


Britain and the U.S.A.

2006/11/24

Britain won’t regain the preeminence it once enjoyed, neither will the USA. The USA’s bizarre and counter productive military efforts beginning with Vietnam have served to hasten its own decline. Ceaseless repetition of the same actions with the expectation of differing results is not rational.

Both countries would do well to cease chasing the divergent and irrational dreams of global hegemony not called hegemony, and free trade that is not free. They should combine with each other and other closely related countries to regain hegemony over their own domestic economies.

The militarization of foreign policy will lead to further economic decline and finally military defeat. The truth is neither country faces grave external foes, they are primarily domestic.


Ordnance Orgy

2006/11/24

I’d just like to point out the obvious: we have been spending hugely unnecessary sums on military ordnance for years. Replacement of this unnecessary burden will further indebtedness and undermine the
US economy. We didn’t make the
USSR implode, they did it to themselves. As are we know, and with far less cause. I wonder will our government ever be run by people who live in the real world of thought and evidence.
 

Including the deaths of 911, 80 times as many people have died just from largely avoidable car wrecks. There is no enemy about to overwhelm us from outside. All our enemies are inside, stealing jobs and pensions through financial manipulation, and hounding us with their lunatic religious beliefs.


What I Would Do Now: Foreign Policy Four

2006/10/30

Russia 

It bears repeating that we should have diplomatic contact with every country with which we have interests, and the “liking or disliking” a given country is juvenile and pointless. 


Russia in its dealings with other Western nations has been fairly consistent through Czarist, Soviet and present times. They have historically feared invasion, because they have been invaded so many times. Most recently by Germany, but prior to that, France, Turkey, Poland, Sweden and more, had a go at Russia, and lost. Soviet Military Doctrine had as received wisdom until 1988, that the West would attack them, they let go each opportunity to attack the West themselves. Finally they realized that NATO’s de facto mission was to keep Europeans from fighting each other, and that an alliance of over a dozen countries couldn’t actually organize a sneak attack. 

Generally the Russians have not started grandiose wars of conquest as have others: Ukraine and
Central Asia not withstanding. They have aggrandized territory, and bullied neighbors but cautiously without great risk. Their troops have gone home after their wars. They have in turn occupied Paris after defeating Napoleon and
Berlin after defeating Hitler, and have left. Though they stayed 40 years in Germany and took a chunk of East Prussia, they did leave without warfare, and they didn’t start the war that ended with their possession of
Berlin.
 

Speaking of Berlin, we should remember the Soviet/Russian state that conquered
Berlin in April 1945, had in March 1918 signed a humiliating peace treaty after abject defeat and collapse. The country went completely to pieces, with civil war, starvation, territorial transgressions by foreign army’s (ours included), and yet, 27 years later not only defeated but destroyed the state that had most tormented it.
 

We’ve lost ten solid years when we should have treated
Russia with due dignity and respect, and built credibility. We should have shown our goodwill toward Russia by acknowledging in the midst of their terrible times in the 90’s, that our two countries could reach a useful understanding, with an eye toward
Russia strength over time, rather than a 1995 snapshot. We should have made it clear that we recognized that Russia, Ukraine, Belorussia and
Kazakhstan were in their bailiwick. Treating
Russia with greater respect while they were temporarily in difficulties would have served our interests in the long run, and would have been of great use right now.
 

What we can do now is to not oppose Russia’s internal reorganization and their dealings with Ukraine, Belorussia and
Kazakhstan. Let’s face it, should
Russia decide to reacquire any of these bordering states they view as integral, we won’t really go to war over it, so there is no point in interfering there. Sanctimonious moralizing is poor statecraft, so too is robbing them when they are only temporarily weak.
 

China can be usefully contained by a ring of nations: Russia in the north and west, India in the south, Japan, Taiwan and Korea in the east, and the
U.S. generally, as I began describing in previous essays.
There is a lengthy list of reasons why Russia and
America have more to gain than to lose by cooperation, our strengths are complementary.
 

Why o why do we have such an inept and venal government. When, I think of our government, its manifold failures and missed opportunities, I sometimes recall the book ‘March of Folly’ by Barbara Tuchman, especially the piece about the Catholic Church and its last six Popes prior to the Reformation. It took a series of unparalleled catastrophes before the church righted itself, never regaining all that had been lost, both tangible and intangible. And all that through an avoidable and willful disregard of their duty, and their own self interest.  

It is impossibility that
America can regain its post 1945 preeminence without another colossal victory. Our position after the war wasn’t so much elevated as the other great nations were laid low. Those glory days are gone. Let’s live in the real world. We likely will need a new government for that to happen.


What I Would Do Now: Foreign Policy Three

2006/10/19

Central Asia, Indian Ocean

In an effort to eradicate a plague we helped release for short term gain and at our own long term cost, the northern third of the so called arc of instability needs to be addressed. We have to eschew the juvenile and parochial notions that we are the super power and must get our way and that dislike of a given government requires action on our part. We can work with any government as long as the other nation works from self interest and not spite.

India is a democracy, respects trade and property and has assets that combined with the U.S. are formidable. I do not care about the non-aligned movement and all the rest of the claptrap that has kept the U.S. and India from working together. Unlike most of its neighbors, India progresses, its neighbors are largely poorly governed, poor, and undesirable. However the arc of instability passes to the northwest of India and thru what was until 1947 considered Indian territory.

By way of background Bangladesh is an interesting example or model of how Indian intervention succeeded and a model we could have followed at various times. Bangladesh used to be East Pakistan, oppressed by co-religionists of different nationality from West Pakistan they were desirous of independence. In 1971 Pakistan and India came to blows. In a brilliant campaign the Indian Forces out-thought and out-maneuvered the Pakistani Forces, with aid from Bangladeshi insurgents. East Pakistan fell and the new country of Bangladesh arose.

Well there are other peoples oppressed in the same fashion, who could benefit form a similar resolution. The key was in the rapid military phase, conquest and withdrawal. The Indians turned over the country to its own people quickly. The two governments have normal relations with both success and tension. Yet, there is no hostility, no fruitless occupation and no lasting enmity. The same could be done for other nations.

There are many, many nationalities throughout the so called arc, and most are under the thumb of some other nationality. Policies to bring “stability” to any region that depend on the peaceful subordination of one nationality to another are pipe dreams. We have to break things down further where necessary. The various ethnic groups of Kashmir, Pakistan and Afghanistan need to be allowed independence. Truly people of these counties don’t see themselves as Pakistanis or Afghani’s but as Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, Aimak, Turkmen, Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashtun (Pathan), Baloch and more! They should have their own countries, until they do there will no peace without extermination.

India and the U.S. have the power to wreck the oppressive states and free these ethnicities. We don’t have the power to administer, occupy or dictate to these nationalities. Occupying a country until it is ready for independence is a phony pretext to dominate it, and it never works anyway because of human nature. We can cut their shackles but then it is entirely up to them to succeed or fail. But with this exercise of power we eliminate intractable oppressive problematic states. Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, can be considered based upon actual prior success. We must reassert the Tom Doctrine that we will recognize any government that is indigenously generated.

But to enact policies like these that look to a goal, and are informed by evidence instead of ideology, we will surely need a new government.


What I would Do Now: Foreign Policy Two

2006/10/19

The Northeastern Asia and the Pacific North:

The irritating distraction that is North Korea can be addressed, but first we have to know what our own goals are. I’d suggest that our goals generally should be to bind the three nations that are Western friendly, elective in government and prosperous, to us thru alliance and trade. They are Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea.

We should do this for both positive and negative reasons. Individually these countries cannot stand up to China. In conjunction with the U.S. the four deploy enough strength to become for all practical purposes not worth attacking. The U.S. can lead all three, but none of the three can lead the other two. Without the U.S. they will be divided and politically neutralized in detail by China. This will help extend and defend the nations that are Western oriented elected governments. These are self generated democracies and worth defending. This is incidentally the way to expand democracy. One nation cannot crash into another and make them democratic, but should a nation do so itself, we can lend our power to prevent democracy from being overturned from outside.

Once we have a four nation alliance of strength, purpose and unity I would a) recognize Taiwan as a sovereign and independent nation, b) recognize North Korea, and sign a peace treaty & non-aggression pact. I would stipulate no conditions beyond those contained in the non-aggression pact. And then I would aim North Korea at the Chinese and Russians, advising the North Korean government that the U.S. would recognize North Korea’s right to sovereignty over areas controlled by China and Russia that are currently or historically populated by Koreans, something like 25% of Koreans worldwide live in China or Russia.

Subsequently, I would try to move this alliance toward a rationalized system of trading regimes and a fixed currency exchange mechanism to our mutual benefit, and as part of my policy to bind together like-minded nations with the U.S. as the leading member but not the hegemon. Isolation and hegemony fail over time consistently, and sometimes quite dramatically. An organic agglomeration of free, peaceful, and prosperous nations that combine mutual respect for internal sovereignty with coordinated external policy will be unassailable by conventional means. They will have to be vigilant to guard against internally generated, self destructive policies enacted out of fear or greed, or for short term gain..

The current set of buffoons who run things, may possibly be replaced by a new set of buffoons, yet the systemic problems remain. We really need a new government.