Author Topic: Grand Strategy for a Divided America  (Read 250307 times)

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Offline QV

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Re: Grand Strategy for a Divided America
« Reply #650 on: December 19, 2017, 08:43:23 »
But “Canada’s back!”

Some say the US’s influence in the world is dropping.... I suggest it is Canada’s.


Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: Grand Strategy for a Divided America
« Reply #651 on: December 19, 2017, 08:58:41 »
IMHO these extracts are the exact opposite of the Trudeau government position.

              3. "A nation that is not prepared to win a war is a nation not capable of preventing a war".
           


Hmmmmmmm! Where have I seen this before???

Oh yes! That's been around for about 1600 years: Flavus Vegetius Renatus' famous quote from his De re Militari:

"Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum" (Therefore, whoever desires peace, let them prepare for war)

which of course has been bastardized through the years into the adage: Si vis pacem, para bellum.

Such depth of knowledge in that president.  ;D

Online MarkOttawa

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Re: Grand Strategy for a Divided America
« Reply #652 on: April 02, 2018, 15:12:09 »
Someone tweeted about this piece: 

Quote
Just needs a Thucydides reference for good measure
https://twitter.com/joshjonsmith/status/980641684559085568

The start:

Quote
Strategies of Attainment
C. Lee Shea
April 1, 2018

In this era of disruption, the accelerating pace of change is propelling the world towards a historic inflection point. The liberal international order is in crisis, as geopolitics has returned with a vengeance. Not since the end of the Cold War have we faced a more complex and daunting set of foreign policy challenges — including the resurgence of great power competition with Russia and China, a 30 Years War engulfing the Middle East, the rise of populist movements across the West, the persistence of the terrorist threat, and the economic and social challenges created by inequality and the uncertain future of globalization.

Alarmingly, the United States today fundamentally lacks a comprehensive strategy to deal with the transformative forces surging across the globe. The approach taken across multiple administrations has been largely tactical and reactive, and focused on the urgent rather than the important. Simply put, our leaders can’t see the forest for the trees. What is needed is a new, whole of government approach that bridges our partisan political divide and responds to the challenges of the moment. To do this, however, it is vital for America to draw from its own best traditions and rediscover the lost art of statecraft.

Such an approach must begin with a critical appraisal both of today’s global environment and the American response to it. Though the strategic imperative could scarcely be more pressing, too often the tyranny of the inbox crowds out the mindshare necessary for truly innovative thinking. Policymakers must change course. As a first step, we can begin by stepping back and asking ourselves: What problem are we trying to solve?

The Middle East is a case in point. Still absorbing the reverberations from the breakup of the Ottoman Empire, the arbitrary Sykes-Picot borders are proving untenable in numerous corners of the region. While the full significance of the upheaval now taking place will take decades to be understood, some things are apparent. For starters, American leaders need to recognize that our power to dictate the internal evolution of foreign societies is limited. The truth is that democracy is about more than elections, and liberal institutions do not emerge overnight. At the same time, history teaches us that American inaction can have consequences that are as grave as U.S. action. In the meantime, the lack of a comprehensive strategy for the broader region that links means to ends is apparent from the deserts of Libya to the mountains of Afghanistan. While there is no military solution to the conflicts roiling this region and we must be careful not to repeat the mistakes of the past, it is past time for Washington to redouble our efforts to stabilize the Middle East. This, in turn, requires that we set priorities. All too often in this part of the world, it seems, we are playing checkers while our adversaries are playing chess.

The same is true for Russia...

C. Lee Shea served in senior strategic planning roles at the State Department, National Security Council and Pentagon, and is president of the Center for Advanced Strategic Policy Initiatives.
https://warontherocks.com/2018/04/strategies-of-attainment/

 ;)

Mark
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Offline Journeyman

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Re: Grand Strategy for a Divided America
« Reply #653 on: April 03, 2018, 08:20:52 »
Strategies of Attainment
C. Lee Shea

I would have provided the article's conclusion with the portion that you quoted.  After highlighting the requirements -- a steady hand... visionary... bipartisan... strategic -- sorely needed today, concluding "that is why there is simply no substitute for American leadership."

Well, not only has American leadership been withdrawn, it has gone past mere inaction to demonstrating actively failing strategic leadership. The 'shining city on a hill' is globally shunned, mocked, ignored... while appealing only to "the base" -- a fitting but sadly ironic term.

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: Grand Strategy for a Divided America
« Reply #654 on: April 04, 2018, 10:41:53 »
Someone tweeted about this piece: 

The start:

 ;)

Mark
Ottawa

Read the article - twice because it is pure bumf. It's been a long time since I have seen so many clichés and buzzwords wrapped together into an load of incomprehensible drivel using pseudo-intellectual prose.    Then I noticed the date of the article and couldn't help but wonder ....  ;)

BTW, for those who would like the short version, in plain language, the whole article can be resumed as follows: "We are screwing up international relations. We have to put our house in order, do our homework and do better."

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Grand Strategy for a Divided America
« Reply #655 on: April 13, 2018, 12:35:23 »
More and more American millennials have expressed open admiration and desire to embrace Socialism (despite the very clear examples of the results of Socialism in Fascist Italy, National Socialist Germany, Communist Russia, Maoist China, Pol Pot's Cambodia, Venezuela....). Here is what they can look forward to:

https://nypost.com/2018/04/11/science-proves-communism-makes-nations-poorer-and-less-healthy/?utm_source=facebook_sitebuttons&utm_medium=site%20buttons&utm_campaign=site%20buttons

Quote
Science proves communism makes nations poorer and less healthy
By Alain Tolhurst, The Sun April 11, 2018 | 11:54am | Updated

Living under communism makes countries poorer and less healthy for decades, according to a landmark new study.

Researchers testing historical connections between cultures found that whether a country had been under communism was the biggest factor for those with lower health, income and educational levels.

In the first undertaking of its kind, they analyzed the fortunes of 44 countries across Europe and Asia and looked at geography, religion, systems of government and a more intangible quality called “deep cultural ancestry.”

Writing in the journal Royal Society Open Science, they matched these factors against where they ranked on the United Nations Human Development Index, which measures per-capita income, life expectancy at birth and the number of years its citizens spend in education.

Most of the issues they looked at appeared to have little or no effect on the disparities between the countries, except for Islamic countries scoring a little worse on education.

Instead, the single strongest predictor for a country’s health, and the second-strongest for its wealth, turned out to be whether its rulers had embraced communism.

The study said that after World War II, economic growth in Communist Eastern Europe was slower than in the West, but despite the Soviet Union’s collapse almost 30 years ago, the effects are still being felt.


The study says that communism was also behind the stagnation of life expectancy behind the Iron Curtain during the 1970s and 1980s, which has set those countries back even today.

The researchers say: “The proximate causes for this low life expectancy are complex, but high alcohol consumption, smoking and poor workplace safety, as well as low-quality diet and living conditions associated with lower income levels are implicated.”

Instapundit notes that the true cause of the damage is the destruction of social capital and trust:

Quote
Communism destroys social trust — communist governments do this by design — and that does longterm damage.

While not stating Communism is the cause, Francis Fukuyama's book "Trust" also examines the differences between "high trust" and "low trust" societies.

If America is to survive as a country, much less a world leader, then the erosion of social capital needs to be reversed and the sorts of values which lead to a high trust society need to be championed again (Interestingly enough, Samuel Huntington's last book "Who Are We?" deals with that very subject)
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Online AbdullahD

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Re: Grand Strategy for a Divided America
« Reply #656 on: May 19, 2019, 01:12:51 »
A youtuber I follow (right winger if that matters), had a discussion about the issue found in this interview... basically how if you do not agree with everything someone believes they must be a "right winger" or a "leftist" or what have you. Instead of realizing you can lean in similar directions on most subjects and still disagree..

Basically the fact we are not realizing the world is not black and white in public or private dialogue. Something I at times am guilty of too.

Neat interview. Ben has made some good arguments on some subjects in the past, but in this interview he does not look very well.

https://youtu.be/e82PJiY8RIY

Very interesting due to the following he has etc.
Abdullah

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Re: Grand Strategy for a Divided America
« Reply #657 on: May 19, 2019, 08:23:45 »
Instead of realizing you can lean in similar directions on most subjects and still disagree..

They certainly lean in different directions in terms of race, age and religion.

In their Midterm election six months ago,

9% of Blacks voted Republican

29% of Hispanics voted Republican

23% of Asians voted Republican

Age,

32% of ages 18-29 voted Republican

and Religion,

17% of Jewish voters voted Republican

while 75% of white born again / evangelical Christians voted Republican.

Offline Journeyman

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Re: Grand Strategy for a Divided America
« Reply #658 on: May 19, 2019, 08:47:49 »
Well, if JFK said anything to worth considering ....

"Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past - let us accept our own responsibility for the future."
(Loyola College Alumni Banquet, Baltimore, Maryland, 18 February, 1958)

Of course, he also said "... we must face the fact that the United States is neither omnipotent or omniscient - that we are only six percent of the world's population - that we cannot impose our will upon the other ninety-four percent of mankind - that we cannot right every wrong or reverse each adversity"... so what did he know.
(Address in Seattle at the University of Washington's 100th Anniversary Program (473)," November 16, 1961)

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Grand Strategy for a Divided America
« Reply #659 on: May 19, 2019, 09:16:14 »

"It is better to be alone than in bad company.” ― George Washington.

“If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”
― George Washington

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: Grand Strategy for a Divided America
« Reply #660 on: May 19, 2019, 09:36:06 »
So this is going to be a Presidential quotes thread now? Alright then:

"We begin bombing in five minutes" - Ronald Reagan

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Grand Strategy for a Divided America
« Reply #661 on: May 19, 2019, 09:49:59 »
Reagan has a number of good quotes. But maybe you would prefer a Canadian ?

I don't read the newspapers, I don't watch the news. I figure, if something important happens, someone will tell me. Justin Trudeau  ;D

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Re: Grand Strategy for a Divided America
« Reply #662 on: May 19, 2019, 10:57:52 »
Reagan has a number of good quotes. But maybe you would prefer a Canadian ?

I don't read the newspapers, I don't watch the news. I figure, if something important happens, someone will tell me. Justin Trudeau  ;D

Ah Uh um - Justin Trudeau

^^ i deserve to have this post deleted lol

Offline RomeoJuliet

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Re: Grand Strategy for a Divided America
« Reply #663 on: May 19, 2019, 11:04:02 »
Reagan has a number of good quotes. But maybe you would prefer a Canadian ?

I don't read the newspapers, I don't watch the news. I figure, if something important happens, someone will tell me. Justin Trudeau  ;D
He was 29 yo when he said that in 2001. Very typical comment of someone from that generation at that time. Probably even more so now.


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Offline Journeyman

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Re: Grand Strategy for a Divided America
« Reply #664 on: May 19, 2019, 12:34:10 »
For anyone interested, it may be worth going back to page 1 of this thread and reading the article that started this discussion a dozen years ago:  Charles A. Kupchan and Peter L. Trubowitz, "Grand Strategy for a Divided America," Foreign Affairs,  July/August 2007.

I would argue that our discussion here has devolved just as much as America's "Grand Strategy" in the intervening years  -- old Presidential quotes (regardless of relevance... or even making reference to America) seem fitting in a time of 'strategy' reduced to 140 characters, and a long-range vision that barely reaches out to the next news cycle or Op Ed article.


An interesting view included in that post, however:
….as Prof Pan Wei of Peking University wrote (Harvard International Review), Under this poor leadership  [provided by President Bush], a previously “benign hegemon” is becoming an oppressive tyrant that suffers opposition almost everywhere in the world.  Prof. Pan worried that vis à vis China President Bush’s foreign policy ” will ultimately cause the decline of US power, and it may not succeed in precluding China’s emergence from a new decade of political reform. Instead, belligerent confrontation will only lead to an escalation of tensions.”  It is, in my view, likely to do the same with India, Europe and much of the rest of the world, too.
..... suggests that President Bush's tenure, circa 2007, were 'the good old days.'

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: Grand Strategy for a Divided America
« Reply #665 on: May 19, 2019, 13:25:44 »
I, for one, did not mean to quote president Reagan with a negative purpose. To my generation, he will always be the president who finished off the Soviets. And contrary to a certain current president who shall remain nameless, Reagan was NOT "all speech (140 characters of it at a time ;D) - no action".

Reagan backed up his rhetoric against the "evil empire" with deeds: From actually funding "Star Wars", rebuilding the USAF, calling for and actually financing and building the "600 ship Navy", together with the Secretary of the Navy "I cannot envisage a situation with the Soviets where we would not put at least two carrier battle groups in the North Sea".

Today's People may not remember this but the US, by the end of the Reagan mandates, had fifteen active aircraft carrier battle groups.

The current president is all puffery on twitter and claims to have solved all sorts of problems (North Korea nukes, Iran, etc.) but in practice, flusters, then forgets about doing anything as soon as the news cycle is over, while in reality nothing has changed and the threats are still fully there.

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Grand Strategy for a Divided America
« Reply #666 on: May 19, 2019, 14:06:59 »
America is divided because on the one hand we have progressives/socialists, then we have older more conservative folks. There is very little middle ground. The Democrats use a playbook that could have been used by either the communist party or communists. They are not the same party as JFK or LBJ. I could support that.

Offline Underway

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Re: Grand Strategy for a Divided America
« Reply #667 on: May 19, 2019, 15:14:55 »
America is divided because like in the 30's the electorate is re-aligning itself. Happens every so often 70-90 years or so.  Before that was the civil war.

For example Republican's are not normally the party against trade or pro union, but they captured the anti-trade and pro-union vote last time.  Also apparently Hispanics that are legally in the US are just as pro wall as others.  Many pro trade Republicans voted Democrat last election.   Its exacerbated by the new media.  I give it about 15 years and then the new alignments will be stabilized.  Might take a major issue to crystalize the alignments though.

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Re: Grand Strategy for a Divided America
« Reply #668 on: May 19, 2019, 16:29:38 »
America is divided because on the one hand we have progressives/socialists, then we have older more conservative folks. There is very little middle ground. The Democrats use a playbook that could have been used by either the communist party or communists. They are not the same party as JFK or LBJ. I could support that.
So it’s the Democrats fault? It takes two sides to tango...


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Offline Underway

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Re: Grand Strategy for a Divided America
« Reply #669 on: May 19, 2019, 16:55:26 »
America is divided because on the one hand we have progressives/socialists, then we have older more conservative folks. There is very little middle ground. The Democrats use a playbook that could have been used by either the communist party or communists.

No true to both comments given the data at hand.  Perhaps you could point out the exact communist playbook you are talking about?

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Re: Grand Strategy for a Divided America
« Reply #670 on: May 19, 2019, 18:07:03 »
To my generation, he will always be the president who finished off the Soviets. And contrary to a certain current president who shall remain nameless, Reagan was NOT "all speech (140 characters of it at a time ;D) - no action".

To me, and I am sure many others of our generation, President Reagan appealed to our best hopes. Not our worst fears.

The Democrats use a playbook that could have been used by either the communist party or communists.

Perhaps you could point out the exact communist playbook you are talking about?

Yes. Please do.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2019, 20:15:35 by mariomike »

Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: Grand Strategy for a Divided America
« Reply #671 on: May 20, 2019, 09:16:49 »
I, for one, did not mean to quote president Reagan with a negative purpose. To my generation, he will always be the president who finished off the Soviets. And contrary to a certain current president who shall remain nameless, Reagan was NOT "all speech (140 characters of it at a time ;D) - no action".

Reagan backed up his rhetoric against the "evil empire" with deeds: From actually funding "Star Wars", rebuilding the USAF, calling for and actually financing and building the "600 ship Navy", together with the Secretary of the Navy "I cannot envisage a situation with the Soviets where we would not put at least two carrier battle groups in the North Sea".

Today's People may not remember this but the US, by the end of the Reagan mandates, had fifteen active aircraft carrier battle groups.

The current president is all puffery on twitter and claims to have solved all sorts of problems (North Korea nukes, Iran, etc.) but in practice, flusters, then forgets about doing anything as soon as the news cycle is over, while in reality nothing has changed and the threats are still fully there.


Interesting ... in my mind it was President Harry S Truman, acting on George Kennan's "long telegram" who put the Soviet Union on the path to failure. He saw, quite clearly, that the US-led West would "win" by not fighting but, rather, by containing the USSR. The resulting Cold War was long but, again in my idiosyncratic opinion, it was "won" in 1959 ... at a trade fair in Moscow when then Vice-President Nixon confronted Nikita Kruschov at a display featuring a fairly typical middle-class US kitchen ... thousands of Russians saw that and they told millions that Eisenhower's adaptation of the Truman doctrine which said butter, not guns, was working for the American working class. The rest was just ~ in my opinion ~ the icing on the cake.
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: Grand Strategy for a Divided America
« Reply #672 on: May 20, 2019, 09:33:23 »
Quote from: Oldgateboatdriver

The current president is all puffery on twitter and claims to have solved all sorts of problems (North Korea nukes, Iran, etc.) but in practice, flusters, then forgets about doing anything as soon as the news cycle is over, while in reality nothing has changed and the threats are still fully there.

Is this not a reflection of the American society at large?
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Re: Grand Strategy for a Divided America
« Reply #673 on: May 20, 2019, 11:16:35 »

Interesting ... in my mind it was President Harry S Truman, acting on George Kennan's "long telegram" who put the Soviet Union on the path to failure. He saw, quite clearly, that the US-led West would "win" by not fighting but, rather, by containing the USSR. The resulting Cold War was long but, again in my idiosyncratic opinion, it was "won" in 1959 ... at a trade fair in Moscow when then Vice-President Nixon confronted Nikita Kruschov at a display featuring a fairly typical middle-class US kitchen ... thousands of Russians saw that and they told millions that Eisenhower's adaptation of the Truman doctrine which said butter, not guns, was working for the American working class. The rest was just ~ in my opinion ~ the icing on the cake.

True. But, the thing with Reagan, in my opinion, was his likability. I believe the "likability factor" can not be overestimated.


Offline Blackadder1916

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Re: Grand Strategy for a Divided America
« Reply #674 on: May 20, 2019, 13:24:55 »

Interesting ... in my mind it was President Harry S Truman, acting on George Kennan's "long telegram" who put the Soviet Union on the path to failure. He saw, quite clearly, that the US-led West would "win" by not fighting but, rather, by containing the USSR. The resulting Cold War was long but, again in my idiosyncratic opinion, it was "won" in 1959 ... at a trade fair in Moscow when then Vice-President Nixon confronted Nikita Kruschov at a display featuring a fairly typical middle-class US kitchen ... thousands of Russians saw that and they told millions that Eisenhower's adaptation of the Truman doctrine which said butter, not guns, was working for the American working class. The rest was just ~ in my opinion ~ the icing on the cake.

An interesting premise.  Granted, President Truman is probably given less credit than he is due for the long fight against the Soviet Union, but if we are assigning arbitrary dates to when the Cold War was "won", let's try February 1963 (think about it for a few minutes and see if you can guess the chain of events that I'm thinking about).

I had never thought of the "Kitchen Debates" as having that effect on the Soviet people, probably because I began with the notion that very little of the American exhibition was presented by the Soviet media and while Voice of America (and similar Western radio networks) boomed loud into the Eastern Bloc, TV images of everyday luxuries were not quite that available.  But the Kitchen Debates did provide a demonstration of Nixon's foreign relations expertise and may have cemented his nominations in his failed 1960 presidential run and his subsequent 1968 successful bid for the office.  Without Nixon and the aftermath of his time in office there might not have been a Reagan presidency.  So maybe there is a connection between the Kitchen Debates and the end of the Cold War.

February 1963.  What happened that eventually resonated back in the USSR?  The Beatles.  More specifically it was the start of their first US tour and appearance on the Ed Sullivan Shoe that moved them from a very successful UK group to world wide pop icon status.  And that icon status combined with an official Soviet effort to deny Russian youth the same access to fun as western youth was probably a factor in the disaffection of the population that led to the fall of the system in the 1990s.  The parents of the 1950s/60s may have longed for a nicer kitchen (or even an apartment that had a kitchen) but their memory of the Great Patriotic War was personal and they knew firsthand that their lives were paid for with privation and so there was acceptance of a long difficult struggle.  Their children, just like the children in the West, wanted more and wanted it quicker.
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