For America the pivot to Russia will be about security.

Mick Mac

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One of the key moves of President-elect Trump appears to be a new relationship with Russia We are all supposed to now consider the pivot towards Russia in terms of 4Chan's Pissgate but there are other reasons why this reordering of American Foreign Policy could be on the cards and represents a strategic choice and one likely to anger some actors.

America is obsessed with energy security. So is every single country in the world including Ireland. Ever since the oil crises of the 70s its become an imperative to keep on the right side of the middle east countries and keep the oil flowing. Fake dossiers were created to go to war to secure oil reserves, support given to jihadist armies in Syria to eventually secure a pipe line into Russia and so on. Its a long list and its not a very glorious one.

The problem is the suppliers of the oil have not only gone off the ranch, but they have gone off their trolley. They are funding islamist armies in several countries including Al Qaida in Syria and the Taliban in Afghanistan. Both entities which America was supposed to be enemies of. The 28 pages report detailed links between Prince Bandar, former head of Saudi Intelligence, and 9-11. Bandar Bush as he was known was good enough to be head of intelligence but not good enough to know who his wife was doling out money to.

Further Saudi Arabia is now being stated as a threat to democracies like Germany. The German Foreign Minister making so bold as to point out their involvement in terrorism.

Sigmar Gabriel said that the Saudi regime is funding extremist mosques and communities that pose a danger to public security. “We have to make clear to the Saudis that the time of looking away is over,” Mr Gabriel told Bild am Sonntag newspaper in an interview. He added: “Wahhabi mosques all over the world are financed by Saudi Arabia. Many Islamists who are a threat to public safety come from these communities in Germany.” The charge that Saudi Arabia has funded mosques with links to Islamist terrorism in the West is not new.
For Americans the recent efforts to destroy the shale industry by refusing to cut production may have been the final straw. Saudi Arabia is an unreliable ally and is involved in anti-western activities all across the west. In other words its everything Russia is supposed to be.

Russia was previously the enemy and Saudi the friend.
"That’s why America purchased a lot of oil from Saudi Arabia and very little from Russia. For the period 1973-2005, America’s oil imports from the Saudi kingdom remained steady, in the range of one to 1.5 million barrels per day. Over the same period, America’s oil imports from Russia fluctuated widely, rising from next to nothing in the 1970s and 1980s to a couple of hundred thousand barrels a day in the early 2000s, before falling back to less 38 thousand in 2015."
America only gets a small portion of oil from the Saudis. But there is a different angle and its the supply of oil to allies.

Critics also point to the rise in US oil production as evidence that the US-Saudi alliance has outlived its purpose,” says Gregory Gause III in «The Future of US-Saudi Relations,» published in the July/August 2016 issue of Foreign Affairs. “But the ties between the two countries have never been about American access to Saudi hydrocarbons. In fact, when the relationship began in the early decades of the Cold War, the United States did not import a drop of oil from the Arabian Peninsula. What has always undergirded the relationship is the importance of Saudi (and the rest of the region’s) oil to the global market. The Persian Gulf still produces 30 percent of the world’s oil, with Saudi Arabia accounting for over a third of that output. Disruptions in the Gulf thus continue to reverberate worldwide.
Back in the day it was about supplying Europe and Japan with oil but now the troops in the gulf are keeping open an alternative oil supply line for China which is not an American ally. President Obama knew that and President Trump does as well.

Russia is now the largest supplier of oil in the world and has the largest gas reserves in the world. The lifting of sanctions and allowing the big oil exploration deal to go ahead could make them the largest oil reserves since some estimates of the siberian fields size them at 100 billion barrels.

So the question for Trump seems to be do you stick with an anti-western, volatile, prone to military adventures oil supplier that probably helped get the George Bushs elected (Bandar Bush) and likely tried to get Hillary elected since certainly its donation of between USD10-25 million to the Clinton foundation wasnt because it values child education and the environment or do you replace that with a country called anti-western, adventurist, and unpredictable who happens to be a major oil supplier and probably helped get you elected.

This then is a question of strategic choices. Its a major pivot and it goes against the presumed interests of those people like the Bush family who are as compromised as Trump is alleged to be with Russia. That explains the opposition since politicians compromised by foreign oil money hasnt been an issue before.


Forbes discusses this topic


Mick
 


Ardillaun

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Of the three great military powers, Russia is the most unstable with a collapsed economy and no proper rules of succession. Russian communism post-Stalin made sure no one person got too big for his boots. The threat Putin's Russia poses to the world dwarfs anything in the Middle East.
 

stopdoingstuff

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It might be the reverse-Kissinger. He played the Chinese off against the Russians. Perhaps now the reverse will be the case.
 

sadcitizen

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Well we already know what Trump thinks about Saudi royals and their wealth from oil




And we already know what he thinks about intervention in Syria which is obviously related to energy supply.

I guess the question I really would like answered is, is it possible for a US president to have any substantial effect on their foreign policy one way or another, following on from their predecessor.
 

Erudite Caveman

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Pivot is the sort of thing that geopolitical strategists come up with. Trump is not from that world. He is a novice that will be handed diplomatic setbacks repeatedly, until he learns the rules, over the likes of his amateurish courting of Putin.
 

Mick Mac

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Of the three great military powers, Russia is the most unstable with a collapsed economy and no proper rules of succession. Russian communism post-Stalin made sure no one person got too big for his boots. The threat Putin's Russia poses to the world dwarfs anything in the Middle East.
Certainly true but Saudi Arabia is involved in multiple wars, may have provided logistical support for the 9-11 air crews, has bought influence with all the major countries, and is an absolute monarchy that despises 10% of its population while living in Versailles like wealth and all this in a part of the world thats marked by war and revolution.

Russia compares well and its no saint.

Mick
 

Mick Mac

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Pivot is the sort of thing that geopolitical strategists come up with. Trump is not from that world. He is a novice that will be handed diplomatic setbacks repeatedly, until he learns the rules, over the likes of his amateurish courting of Putin.
Its true but Obama didnt come up with the idea of the pivot to Asia and everyone in the state dept. go hey thats a really clever idea. Kissinger could and likely enough others.

Mark
 

gleeful

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Of the three great military powers, Russia is the most unstable with a collapsed economy and no proper rules of succession. Russian communism post-Stalin made sure no one person got too big for his boots. The threat Putin's Russia poses to the world dwarfs anything in the Middle East.
This is untrue. The Russian economy is growing at 1.3% annually, which in the UK the Brexiteers tells us is a 'boom'.
 

GDPR

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Pivot is the sort of thing that geopolitical strategists come up with. Trump is not from that world. He is a novice that will be handed diplomatic setbacks repeatedly, until he learns the rules, over the likes of his amateurish courting of Putin.

If I were Putin, the last man or woman I would want as US President favourably disposed to my country would be the
Pussy-Grabber and Twitter-Flame-Warrior-in-Chief.

"Signed Anasty Onatopova"
 

gleeful

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Growth from what base? The Russian economy is tiny.
The Russian economy is worth 2 trillion USD making around the same size as India. In PPP terms, Russia is 6th in the world, ahead of the UK, France and Brazil.
 

GDPR

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The Russian economy is worth 2 trillion USD making around the same size as India. In PPP terms, Russia is 6th in the world, ahead of the UK, France and Brazil.
World Bank data shows that Russian GDP was 1.3 trillion USD in 2015. That is right in between Australia and Spain and places Russia at spot 13. The United Kingdom, France and India hold the fifth, sixth and seventh spots respectively.

http://databank.worldbank.org/data/download/GDP.pdf
 

gleeful

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World Bank data shows that Russian GDP was 1.3 trillion USD in 2015. That is right in between Australia and Spain and places Russia at spot 13. The United Kingdom, France and India hold the fifth, sixth and seventh spots respectively.

http://databank.worldbank.org/data/download/GDP.pdf
Exchange rates are subject to change. Since 2015 the UK has fallen to 7th. Gdp in USD Ppp is the more accurate way of measuring an economy.
 

GDPR

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Exchange rates are subject to change. Since 2015 the UK has fallen to 7th. Gdp in USD Ppp is the more accurate way of measuring an economy.
I don't dispute the second sentence of the post I was responding to, merely the first - hence I spoke of GDP instead of GDP PPP.
 

tsarbomb

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Russia is not a potential rival of the US anymore. Whichever way you want to measure it Russia's economy is substantially smaller than that of the US and without serious economic reforms there its performance will be sluggish at best over the next few years. It does though maintain a very powerful military, but without major economic expansion it is probably now at the most capable that it can be. Any further big increase in military spending will probably result in either taking money from other services (which would obviously erode the government's popularity) or a lot of borrowing.

China on the other hand is a different case and is a potential rival to the US. Even though the doom merchants are constantly predicting economic collapse there its not likely to happen any time soon. Before I moved there in the early 2000s there were plenty of predictions for either a major slowdown of the economy or in some cases a ull scale economic and political collapse, but this never happened. China's economy will probably continue to expand over the next few years, though at a more modest rate than previous years. Given this, one can reasonably expect China to overtake the US as being the world's richest country by a few metrics in the next couple of decades, and from there who knows. Because of this they can afford to expand their military to a point where they will be the most powerful country in eastern Asia, and likely by quite some distance. And because they have no major military deployments around the world as western countries do they'll be able to concentrate the bulk their military in one region which is widely thought to be the most important in the world.

Trump is right to get Russia on board in order to balance against China. I remember he also talked about reaching out to North Korea during the campaign, so its not impossible that they might even be brought in on this. NK-China relations have been growing more and more frosty over the past few years.
 

parentheses

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F William Engdahl. He argues Trump is implementing a strategy of Henry Kissinger. Arguably Kissinger was the man who won the cold War by his rapprochement with China. Now Kissinger wants to implement another winning strategy-namely to open a rapprochement with Russia, thereby cleaving Russia away from China and once again splitting the great powers of Eurasia.

Kissinger has been associated with the Rockefellers, who dominated US Republican party foreign policy before the rise of the neocons.

The more we look under the rocks and at the key foreign policy choices of neophyte Trump, we find the pawprints of Henry A. Kissinger.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/billionaires-to-key-cabinet-positions-is-donald-trump-the-back-door-man-for-henry-a-kissinger-co/5567490
 

GDPR

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1) The Russian Ambassador acknowledged that the Kremlin was in touch with the Trump campaign from the time he was nominated. 2) The new frontrunner for Secretary of State is the CEO of Exxon Mobil who wants to lift the sanctions on his $500 billion oil deal with Putin. 3) Mitch McConnell stopped the bipartisan Congressional response to the Russian hacking after the CIA briefing, and guess what? His wife now has a cabinet post.

Thats your pivot.
 

Ardillaun

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Exchange rates are subject to change. Since 2015 the UK has fallen to 7th. Gdp in USD Ppp is the more accurate way of measuring an economy.
You can measure it in all sorts of ways but it's not anywhere near that of the US, and the GDP per capita (which matters more to ordinary citizens) is very mediocre. Putin should be putting his energy into making a very talented workforce more productive rather than frightening the neighbours.
 

Mick Mac

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Tsarbomb, I see Exxon have a big stake near your neck of the woods in the Kara Sea.

http://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2016/12/14/13940866/trump-rex-tillerson-sanctions-russia
If that holds the oil people think it might then it means Saudi can be dumped. Really if the west can deal with all the things Saudi does then Russia isnt even in harms way with its recent actions. They could even go further and it wouldnt be a break.

Its the interests of those who are well funded to keep Saudi Arabia as the link versus those who think Russia can do the job better. In the context of Trumps push back against islamist extremism that means Saudi is an enemy. Currently its a Frenemy.

Mick
 


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