Sunday, May 8, 2016

Three quick fixes to America's lunatic foreign policy.

America's foreign policy is reckless and dangerous and every step we take takes us further and further down a dead end road. We have lost our way in a major way and are a threat to the peace ourselves. No sensible purpose to our policy is discernible. We are clearly stuck on stupid.

Here's David Stockman's take on three aspects of our foreign policy that are costing us dearly, namely, our strange urge to demonize and confront Russia, our stupid and unconstitutional involvement in Syria, and our grossly one-sided involvement in the NATO alliance:

The key to a global Peace Deal is [1] renunciation of Washington’s encroachment on Russia’s backyard in Ukraine and the former Warsaw Pact nations; and [2] a Russian/Washington/Shiite alliance to encircle the Islamic state and enable Muslim fighters from Syria, Iran, Iraq and Hezbollah to finish off the butchers of the mutant Sunni Caliphate.

[3] The NATO renunciation part of the deal is already in Trump’s wheelhouse because he thinks he can make a deal with Putin anyway, and has had the common sense to see that NATO is obsolete. What he needs to further understand is that Russia is incapable of threatening Europe and has no designs to do so.

Moreover, it is Washington, not the Europeans, who insisted on the pointless expansion of NATO. And it was Washington which betrayed George HW Bush’s sensible promise to Gorbachev in 1989 that in return for his acquiescence to the reunification of Germany NATO would “not be expanded by a single inch”.[1]

All excellent ideas.

Alas, Mr. Stockman's off target when he talks elsewhere in his article about the Shah of Iran's "savage repression" and Washington's "false claims that [Iran] is hell-bent on nuclear weapons." I don't doubt the Shah repressed opponents but I'll hazard that his record does not compare to what the Mullahs did after they took over. And if the Iranians aren't madly working on nuclear weapons in their little labs deep underground -- all nuclear labs have to be underneath a mile of reinforced concrete as anybody knows -- I am a monkey's uncle. (The opinion of readers is not solicited on this point.)

Also, he calls for "a drastic demobilization of the 2.3 million troops in the regular armed forces and national guards" as part of any "Peace Deal," which, pardon me for saying, is the usual sophomoric proposal that seems to roll of the tongues of otherwise sensible people. A pulling back of our military from around the world is worth debating seriously and is most assuredly exactly the right thing for the U.S. to do. To go full swords-into-plough-shares is, however, absurd. What makes otherwise sensible people say stupid stuff like that? Does playing junior strategic analyst exhaust the brain?

If my characterization of NATO as an unnecessary military alliance seems facile one, I can only make the same point on this matter as I do about the impressive militaries of Europe. Some of their weapons can harness the very power of the sun but they are apparently helpless to stop invaders arriving in rubber rafts and walking on rubber shoes. Why spend the money?

NATO did successfully deter the Soviet Union from attacking W. Europe but, where Muslims and Africans arriving by boat and foot are concerned, NATO has done precisely nothing to defend Europe, which is now awash foreigners who hate Europeans and will relentlessly work to reduce Europe to the status of a garbage dump with halal restaurants and high-speed internet. Since NATO did nothing to prevent this deadly invasion, just what purpose does it serve?

It's time Europeans started figuring out what threats they need to concern themselves with and pay the freight on whatever military forces need to be maintained to meet those threats. They've been shucking and jiving for decades and it's time for this exploitation of U.S. good will to come to a speedy halt.

[1] "Trumped! Why It Happened And What Comes Next, Part 2 (The Peace Deal)." By David Stockman, Stockman's Corner, 5/5/16.

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