Trump Foreign Policy thread

owedtojoy

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Good article.

Trump has gotten rid of the "adults" and is becoming Trump Unleashed, trusting to his deal making skills over military action. Now he realizes how stupid war with Iran would be - but the Iranians have noticed his fear, so will not let him off lightly.

Bolton will probably depart, as Trump has set his face against that brand of overseas bullying. The problem is that the deals Trump will bring home (like a nuclear freeze with North Korea, or a revised deal with Iran) are ones that Trump and Republicans would have hammered Obama or Clinton over.

Leaving NATO or leaving the WTO may come back into Trump's thinking. It was clear that the G20 that Trump does not give a **** for any democratic state, and sees the US future in alliance with authoritarian powers like Saudi Arabia, Russia, or North Korea. Relations with China will be problematic.
 


owedtojoy

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A racist in the White House diminishes US "soft power" abroad.

There is a stark difference between America's reputation abroad under the last two Democratic Presidents, and the two Republicans who held office since 1992, Bush II and Trump.
 

owedtojoy

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Dame_Enda

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Trump admin moving ahead with $8bn sale of 66 F16s to Taiwan, according to lawmakers.


A positive step in containing the PRC.
 

truthisfree

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Trump admin moving ahead with $8bn sale of 66 F16s to Taiwan, according to lawmakers.


A positive step in containing the PRC.
$8-$10 billion being spent by Taiwan there...MAGA in full flight...Trump is a business man, not a politician.
 

owedtojoy

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$8-$10 billion being spent by Taiwan there...MAGA in full flight...Trump is a business man, not a politician.
Well, at least, if the Far East goes up in flames, Trump will still have delivered excellent shareholder value. The big Wall Street donors will be rubbing their hands.
 

Nebuchadnezzar

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Well, at least, if the Far East goes up in flames, Trump will still have delivered excellent shareholder value. The big Wall Street donors will be rubbing their hands.
Taiwan’s military capability relative to China has been rapidly weakening, partly due to China’s increasing capabilities but also significantly due to Taiwan’s difficulty in obtaining modern weaponry. Taiwan’s military capabilities are obviously defensive in nature. Does an increasing disparity between China’s offensive capability and Taiwan’s defensive make war more or less likely? I think the former. China’s military options are becoming more viable. IMO bolstering Taiwan’s capabilities reduces that possibility.
 

owedtojoy

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Taiwan’s military capability relative to China has been rapidly weakening, partly due to China’s increasing capabilities but also significantly due to Taiwan’s difficulty in obtaining modern weaponry. Taiwan’s military capabilities are obviously defensive in nature. Does an increasing disparity between China’s offensive capability and Taiwan’s defensive make war more or less likely? I think the former. China’s military options are becoming more viable. IMO bolstering Taiwan’s capabilities reduces that possibility.
Trump is making contradictory signals - selling arms to Taiwan suggests a "forward" policy of being bold, and willing to defend allies in the region.

But, at the same time, Trump is being indulgent to the North Koreans, and has no problem with their short-range missile testing that threatens South Korea and Japan. Kim is blaming South Korea for the recent joint exercises, and end the detente that opened up opportunity for Trump has ended abruptedly.

China could conclude that Trump is just rattling its cage to gain a few points in the Trade War, while making a quick buck. They may evaluate him as a weak leader who will not stand up to aggression, but can still do damage.

The main failing of Trump's policy is its incoherence. It is not the Nixon-Kissinger "madman" policy, where Kissinger would present himself as the only one who could save the world from Richard Nixon. At least that was thought through.

The problem with the Trump "madman" theory is that Trump is lazy, unsystematic and inconsistent, not mad. So even the Kissinger figure, poor hapless Pompeo, does not know what he will decide from one day to the next.
 

Paddyc

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I'm going to have to admit that Eduardo 'Ted'Cruz was prescient about something that I never saw coming.

[QUOTE“I mean, we’re liable to wake up one morning and Donald, if he were president, would have nuked Denmark. That’s not the temperament of a leader to keep this country safe.” ][/QUOTE]

This morning we wake up to

Trump cancels Denmark visit amid spat over sale of Greenland
Okay, he hasn't nuked Denmark yet and some cynics allege that he cancelled the trip to Denmark because Obama is giving a speech at a university there and he didn't want a smaller crowd than the black man, but credit to Ted, he saw the Denmark thing coming and the rest of us didn't.
 

pablabel12

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He said himself on several occasions that his father was a Presbyterian and his mother also. This article gives the dominant religion in the Garman area where his grandfather was born as being Lutheran.

If he is lying about his religion, why has no one called him on it? Seems to me you have Trump Derangement Syndrome
Religion!!! The guy is a three times married serial fornicator and with porn models to boot. He has spent his entire life scamming people that had the misfortune to work for him out of their earnings. He has been bankrupt six times, resulting in his creditors loosing millions. The is a narcissist and only believes in what makes him feel and appear good to his brainless followers.
So where does religion come into any of this.??
 

owedtojoy

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I'm going to have to admit that Eduardo 'Ted'Cruz was prescient about something that I never saw coming.

I mean, we’re liable to wake up one morning and Donald, if he were president, would have nuked Denmark. That’s not the temperament of a leader to keep this country safe.”

This morning we wake up to

Okay, he hasn't nuked Denmark yet and some cynics allege that he cancelled the trip to Denmark because Obama is giving a speech at a university there and he didn't want a smaller crowd than the black man, but credit to Ted, he saw the Denmark thing coming and the rest of us didn't.
Even the Danish right-wing, who were eager enough to see the guy, are totally insulted.

 

O'Sullivan Bere

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Even the Danish right-wing, who were eager enough to see the guy, are totally insulted.

Indeed. FOX tactically brought on the friendlier choice of Rasmus Jarlov of the Conservative People's Party for a mild and charitable delivery and explanation of Denmark's disgust and bewilderment at Trump's antics.

FOX tried to come out of it with a pro-Trump softball question to Jarlov but it finished with him giving a WTF expression when the host Martha MacCallum ended with the following: "... thanks for joining us from absolutely beautiful Copenhagen where it is still sunny at 1:30 in the morning..." Umm...no.
@4:25.
 
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owedtojoy

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This is a case of "The USA has always wanted to annex Greenland!"


This is a classic example of how, in certain sorts of political systems, the Leader’s bizarre insomniac whim on Monday can become Official State Policy by Thursday.
 

owedtojoy

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Normally, a rift between two key allies would be the kind of dispute that American diplomats would be working hard to fix.

The US position in East Asia is surely endangered by a growing gap between Japan and South Korea. Obama-era diplomats brokered a deal here a few years ago, but the Trump-era White House is hardly interested.

This is surely causing great delight in China and North Korea. Trump was publicly resentful of the "cost" of US-South Korea joint exercises, Kim-Jong-Un is launching missiles that bring its neighbours into range, and the North-South detente has collapsed.


It is hard to credit that the US cares more about relations with brutal Communist North Korea, than with its democratic neighbours.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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Margrethe II of Denmark probably had a few choice words to say about Donny OzWand.

Interesting lady. Designs her own clothes, and is definitely talented in that direction.

She entered a competition years back under an assumed name, to design costumes for the Royal Ballet and I think their plan to do Swan Lake. She won.

Think she has been bullied into ceasing smoking, at least in public. She was regularly seen out the back of the Amelienborg Palace by Copehageners, having a fag with the staff.
 

owedtojoy

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Can anyone make sense of Trump's Afghanisatn policy ...

It seems to have done like this ....
  1. Zalmay Khalilzad, US chief negotiator in Afghanistan, reached a final agreement with the Taliban a week ago.
  2. Trump, agog with a bona-fide foreign policy win, invited the Afghan government and the Taliban to Camp David to settle the details. He seems to have done this only out of his own vanity, as it would more easily have been done elsewhere. All his advisers were against it.
  3. (The shocking picture of Islamic terrorists & killers of American troops praying to Allah while staying at the residence of the President of the USA, being entertained at the expense of the American taxpayer, almost 18 years to the day after 9/11, seems to have passed by the President).
  4. There was a car-bomb in Kabul, which killed an American soldier and responsibility was admitted by the Taliban .
  5. Trump cancelled the meeting, and announced the cancellation (presumably, before it was leaked).
  6. Now, it seems the whole Talks-with-the-Taliban strategy has collapsed, and Trump's Afghanistan strategy has come to nothing.

 

owedtojoy

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From Foreign Policy:

What’s Next for Afghanistan?
Camp David meeting cancelled.
President Donald Trump on Saturday night revealed he had scrapped a secret meeting at Camp David with the Taliban and Afghan leaders, scuttling hopes to secure a deal to end the 18-year war.
The deal reportedly came together and fell apart over the course of about a week, but the final straw was a deadly attack in Kabul on Thursday that killed 12 people, including an American soldier.

Khalilzad recalled. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took to the airwaves on Sunday, defending the planned meeting on all five morning shows. But he acknowledged that the talks are dead “for the time being,” noting that Trump had recalled Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. envoy for Afghanistan reconciliation.

Internal divisions. The decision to host Taliban leaders at the presidential retreat in Maryland exposed the deep divisions among Trump’s advisers, the Washington Post reports. Trump himself appears to have been the driving force behind the deal, with National Security Adviser John Bolton and Vice President Mike Pence opposed.

Afghans brace for violence.
The U.S. administration and the Taliban left the door open for a resumption of talks, but the scrapped meeting raises serious questions about the prospects for a peace agreement. In the meantime, Afghans are bracing for a bloody prelude to national elections slated for Sept. 28. The Taliban said the cancelled meeting would lead to more American deaths in Afghanistan, and iIf there was a sense that the Taliban were holding back, now they have more of an incentive to incite violence, writes the New York Times.​

What next?

Mr. Trump now faces a difficult choice: He can go ahead without a negotiated agreement and reduce the number of American forces in Afghanistan from the current 14,000 to about 8,600 — the bare minimum the Pentagon has said is necessary to maintain enough of an intelligence-gathering presence to detect threats to the United States. But he then risks forfeiting negotiating power in future talks with the Taliban by withdrawing troops without first securing concessions for peace.
Best Dealmaker in the world, they said. Or rather, he said, and his cheerleaders have been repeating it more and more desperately as the evidence for it diminishes to 0.

 

middleground

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Foreign country plants listening devices in vicinity of White House … but it is okay if they are our friends!

Based on a detailed forensic analysis, the FBI and other agencies working on the case felt confident that Israeli agents had placed the devices, according to the former officials, several of whom served in top intelligence and national security posts.

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/09/12/israel-white-house-spying-devices-1491351

The U.S. government concluded within the past two years that Israel was most likely behind the placement of cellphone surveillance devices that were found near the White House and other sensitive locations around Washington, according to three former senior U.S. officials with knowledge of the matter.

But unlike most other occasions when flagrant incidents of foreign spying have been discovered on American soil, the Trump administration did not rebuke the Israeli government, and there were no consequences for Israel’s behaviour, one of the former officials said.

The miniature surveillance devices, colloquially known as “StingRays,” mimic regular cell towers to fool cellphones into giving them their locations and identity information. Formally called international mobile subscriber identity-catchers or IMSI-catchers, they also can capture the contents of calls and data use.

The devices were likely intended to spy on President Donald Trump, one of the former officials said, as well as his top aides and closest associates — though it’s not clear whether the Israeli efforts were successful.

Trump is reputed to be lax in observing White House security protocols. POLITICO reported in May 2018 that the president often used an insufficiently secured cellphone to communicate with friends and confidants. The New York Times subsequently reported in October 2018 that “Chinese spies are often listening” to Trump’s cellphone calls, prompting the president to slam the story as “so incorrect I do not have time here to correct it.” (A former official said
Trump has had his cellphone hardened against intrusion.)
 

owedtojoy

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Is this really in the US' interests? Is it really in Israel's interests?

You could foresee a situation where Israel gets involved in a war with Iran and Syria, who are in alliance with Russia (and probably China).

It could hamper Israel's freedom of action to defend itself, or (worse) turn a local border conflict into a global standoff.

Or maybe this is just Trump grandstanding to the Christian Zionist lobby that he will keep their boy in office. Just a simple prostituting of American foreign policy for political gain.
 

owedtojoy

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Unknown-674x1024.jpg

You have to hand it to the US Republican Party - twice in 20 years it got a President elected who wreaked havoc with America's global position. This time, there may not be an Obama to stitch it back together.

Unraveling the American alliance network by undermining confidence in Washington is probably the worst way to implement an America First policy. It undercuts a major source of American strength without gaining the benefits that might follow from strategic retrenchment — that is, of making deliberate decisions about what commitments are key to American security and which can be shed, while taking steps to ensure that unwinding those commitments don’t harm vital interests and alliances
 


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