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US Foreign Policy from Crisis to Crisis

by Oui Thu May 31st, 2018 at 11:59:37 AM EST

h/t Cat @EuroTrib

The Imperial Logic of U.S. Foreign Policy

How can U.S. foreign policy of the past several decades be explained in a systematic and rational way? The following chart - based on a model developed by political science professors David Sylvan and Stephen Majeski - reveals the imperial logic behind U.S. diplomatic and military interventions around the globe.

 « click for more info »

The American Empire and its Media

Largely unbeknownst to the general public, executives and top journalists of almost all major US news outlets have long been members of the influential Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

Established in 1921 as a private, bipartisan organization to "awaken America to its worldwide responsibilities", the CFR and its close to 5000 elite members have for decades shaped U.S. foreign policy and public discourse about it. As a well-known Council member once explained, the goal has indeed been to establish a global Empire, albeit a "benevolent" one.

Continued below the fold ...

Based on official membership rosters, the following illustration for the first time depicts the extensive media network of the CFR and its two main international affiliate organizations: the Bilderberg Group (covering mainly the U.S. and Europe) and the Trilateral Commission (covering North America, Europe and East Asia), both established by Council leaders to foster elite cooperation at the international level.

Secret Wings of World War II: Nazi Technology and the Allied Arms Race
The Bilderberg Group - Role played by prins Bernhard von Lippe Biesterfeld

The Council on Foreign Relations-- Is It a Club? Seminar? Presidium? `Invisible Government'? | New York Times - 1971 |

ON March 26, 1969, eleven places were set for lunch at the oval table in the Council on Foreign Relations' stately meeting room overlooking Park Avenue. The guest list was not quite so distin guished as some from the past, judging by the photographs hanging on the black walnut paneling: Harold Macmillan chatting with Henry Wriston; John Foster Dulles wedged stiffly between John J. McCloy and Averell Harriman; John W. Davis towering over the King of Siam. But for a weekday working lunch, it was an impressive assemblage.

There was Cyrus Vance, recently returned deputy negotiator at the Paris peace talks ...

In an administration that often regards New York's elite with dis trust, a direct policy proposal may fall on deaf ears. For despite the dark suspicions of those who see the Council as an "invisible government" secretly dictating the nation's foreign relations, there is little evidence that the Council as an institution can dictate to anyone in Washington these days, if indeed ever could.

But if one rejects the simple minded model of power relation ships in the Eastern Establishment, then one must also recognize that influence flows as well through more intricate channels: the personal ties forged among men whose paths have crossed time and again in locker rooms, officers' messes, faculty clubs, embassy conference rooms, garden parties, squash courts and board rooms. If the Council has influence--and the evidence suggests that it does--then it is the influence its members bring to bear through such channels.

In an age when most traditional institutions are being challenged, the network of influence the Council symbolizes is increasingly coming under attack. Critics, within and without, are asking whether America can any longer afford such cozy, clubby approach to the making of foreign policy. In recent months, the attack has focused on the appointment of William Bundy-- a leading member of the "club," but also a prime implementer of a discredited Vietnam policy--as editor of the Council's journal, Foreign Af fairs.

In times of increase fascism across the globe, this corporate influence on the media is simply propaganda from imperial powers. The result of the US declaring itself the leader of a unipolar world cutting ties with multilateralsism in the 21st century. A shame the Democrats see no other option but to go along with Republicans to extend an abhorrant foreign policy.  

Global military spending remains high at $1.7 trillion | SIPRI - May 2018 |

China's military expenditure rose again in 2017, continuing an upward trend in spending that has lasted for more than two decades. Russia's military spending fell for the first time since 1998, while spending by the United States remained constant for the second successive year. The comprehensive annual update of the SIPRI Military Expenditure Database is accessible from today at sipri.org.

`Continuing high world military expenditure is a cause for serious concern,' said Ambassador Jan Eliasson, Chair of the SIPRI Governing Board. `It undermines the search for peaceful solutions to conflicts around the world.'

After 13 consecutive years of increases from 1999 to 2011 and relatively unchanged spending from 2012 to 2016, total global military expenditure rose again in 2017.* Military spending in 2017 represented 2.2 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP) or $230 per person.

Saudi Arabia world's 4th largest military spender: report | PressTV - April 2015 |

The Persian Gulf Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has emerged as the world's fourth largest military spender in 2014 with a whopping 17-percent increase in its military budget, the largest of all top spenders worldwide.

As the global military expenditure totaled $1.8 trillion in 2014, the United States remained the largest spender despite a 6.5 percent reduction of its defense budget followed by "next three highest spenders - China, Russia and Saudi Arabia," which "substantially" increased their military expenditure, according to a press release issued by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) citing its annual report on "Trends In World Military Expenditure, 2014."

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Ukraine crisis impacts spending in Eastern Europe

The report further points out that the political and military crisis in Ukraine has prompted many European governments to boost their military spending.

"The Ukraine crisis has fundamentally altered the security situation in Europe, but so far the impact on military spending is mostly apparent in countries bordering Russia," said the SIPRI report, quoting one of its authors, Sam Perlo-Freeman.

Geez ... I too have plenty of old stuff in the attic!

First print "Wealth of Nations" found in collection Dutch Parliamant

The Wealth of Nations, is the magnum opus of the Scottish economist and moral philosopher Adam Smith. First published in 1776, the book offers one of the world's first collected descriptions of what builds nations' wealth, and is today a fundamental work in classical economics. By reflecting upon the economics at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the book touches upon such broad topics as the division of labour, productivity, and free markets.

It is the second most cited book in the social sciences published before 1950, behind Karl Marx's Capital.

Capitalism and Why It Ultimately Outlasts Socialism and Communism | Homeland Security Mag |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu May 31st, 2018 at 12:42:16 PM EST
Routine Maintenance: Japan
Japan desperate to add hardline agenda to North Korea-US summit
The reason the Japanese government has leapt into action on various fronts prior to the North Korea-US summit is because the issue of the abductees and the North Korean threat have turned Abe into a leading right-wing politician. After the abductee issue blew up following the visit to Pyongyang by former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in Sept. 2002, Abe gained considerable popularity by riding a wave of popular indignation that brought him to power for the first time (Sept. 2006-Sept. 2007).
Another factor is the election of the president of the Liberal Democratic Party, which will be taking place in September. Amid escalating scandals over a private school, Abe finds himself in a position where his reelection is no longer a sure thing. What he needs at such a time is North Korean misbehavior - missile launches and nuclear tests.
Abe politically feeble as shadows extend over defense policy
"Abe's two likely challengers are former defense minister Shigeru Ishiba and former foreign minister Fumio Kishida, who leads a large faction in the LDP. Ishiba, a defense hawk, would not likely change Abe's policy agenda toward constitutional reform," said [Johns Hopkins ACADEMIC WILLIAM] Brooks. "Kishida, who comes from the dovish wing of the LDP and represents Hiroshima, is not as committed to changing Article 9 to allow explicit mention of the SDF as the nation's army as is ... Abe."
"Client State" DISCLAIMER:Western leaders back in Russia as tensions appear to ease
Three major Western leaders - German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe - visited Russia during the period since May 18, mainly to attend the St Petersburg Economic Forum. ...Of course, the three Western leaders who traveled to Russia were not acting in concert. Merkel, Macron, Abe - each had a specific agenda

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu May 31st, 2018 at 06:31:18 PM EST
Unfortunately, there's no place for nations in Africa in the legend attached to this architecture diagram. As it happens, however, Ann Garrison recently posted an interview with Boniface Musavuli which incisively describes application of AFRICOM "logic" to destruction of the DRC by means of client states UGANDA, RWANDA. NODE 11 check We've seen this play several times before in different regions over the past 15 years.
Divide and Rule: Balkanizing the Democratic Republic of Congo

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu May 31st, 2018 at 06:47:02 PM EST
Out-classed: The greatest impediment to NATO's "progress" in dominating the continent continues to be bad interior topographical intel from which flows unreliable SIGINT and "client" controls.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu May 31st, 2018 at 06:58:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree in general with the flow chart, but I don't think it explains Libya or (to a lesser degree) Syria. Both these states were under Bush the lesser becoming clients. Doing Americas torture, collaborating with keeping refugees out of Europe in exchange for (at least in Libya's case) surveillance tech and money (some of which returned as kick-backs). Liberalising the economy, sending the leader's sons to London for education etc.

So according to the chart they were at "J", were you end up if you are neither a client nor an enemy, and is being groomed as a client. At some point they were kicked over to "R" (with a bit of "Q"). And to get there you need to be an enemy. So at some point, budding clients were shuffled over to the enemy column, through no apparent action from the clients. With the "successful" result in Libya being a perfectly predictable (given Afghanistan and Iraq) end result of prolonged civil war with the economic collapse, refugee crisis and assorted horrors.

And that is where I get stuck. Is destruction of these states an intended goal? But that is nuts from an imperial perspective. Why would any paranoid leader trust the US henceforth? If selling out doesn't earn a retreat in Monaco, a fat Swiss bank account and a dynasty for the kids, but instead you and yours are hunted down, then why sell out?

Of course, incompetence is always a possibility, but both of these happened mainly during the rather competent Obama administration.

Competing government factions is also a possibility, but I have not found much indication of competition on whether to attack, only on how.

There's always arms sales and the need for conflict for promotions etc. And of course wacky political theories within the establishment, like domino theories.

But still, it's hard to see the logic here. The flow chart illustrates this by not really representing such an illogic move.

by fjallstrom on Fri Jun 1st, 2018 at 11:36:59 AM EST
The diagram isn't intended to explain any one client state's policy formulation. It isn't intended to represent or evaluate any one client state's sovereign competencies.

It is a simplified "decision tree" model of US rules to evaluate any foreign event dependency on US imperial cooperation. Conditional tests (boolean results, Y/N) prescribe US action at any given point in time. But all event "branching" begins with one question (Is the country a client state?) and terminates at the US desired outcome: That is control of a state's domestic and foreign policies to serve "American Empire" (pink boxes).

Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Angola are all children of the US "enemy state" branch of so-called clients. All have entertained communist domestic and foreign policies since WWII. They didn't "move." US/NATO Cold War aggression repeated "foreign policy" events.

NODE N: Angola 1975, Afghanistan 1979-91, Syria 2011, (US) "support of insurgent forces"
NODE R: Afghanistan 2001 +17, Libya 2011 +7, Syria 2014 +4, (US) "aid to armed opposition forces"

All of them have attempted over the period to avert destruction --or appease the US-- by varying degrees of bribery, occupation, ingratiation, and "collaboration"  and have failed. a/o today. What's odd isn't US-designated "dictator" paranoia, it's the number of so-called clients like Lebanon that are missing.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Jun 2nd, 2018 at 06:13:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NODE 7D: Columbia 2000,"Advising role" | 7E: Liberia 1992, "Military support (if possible)
NATO Comes to South America: Colombia Becomes Alliance's Official Partner 2018
Colombia joins Afghanistan, Australia, Iraq, Japan, South Korea, Mongolia, New Zealand, and Pakistan -- other nations also listed as "partners across the globe" or "global partners," but none of them in Latin America. The areas for cooperation include improvements to the combat capabilities of the Colombian military, good governance, military education and training, the security of sea lanes, cyber security, and ways to combat terrorism and organized crime. A partnership agreement with NATO was reached a year ago (May 2017) after the Colombian government concluded a peace accord with FARC, a former terrorist group that has since become a respectable political party.
There is a backstory to the announcement about Bogota being granted official NATO status. Last month, six South American states, including Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia, suspended their memberships in UNASUR, the anti-US bloc, to express their dissatisfaction with Bolivia's leadership, thus rendering the SADC irrelevant.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Jun 2nd, 2018 at 06:33:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Living from crisis to crisis is a symptom of an addictive system.  Global capitalism has almost always been unapologetically addicted to war.

Solar IS Civil Defense
by gmoke on Fri Jun 1st, 2018 at 07:33:17 PM EST
Babchenko Stunt Torpedoes Western Media
Kiev* is just one of many unreliable allies ["client states"] scattered across the multiple conflicts and crises NATO presides over. Many of these ["client states"] have proven themselves to be more of a liability than an asset to NATO and its global agenda.Because of this, those faithfully working within the system NATO represents - like Anne Applebaum of the Washington Post - find themselves cleaning up after messes like the one recently made by Kiev.
Peace Is a Cliché: When the West Cannot Control the World Unopposed It Means War
Peace is when the business interests of the West are not endangered, even if tens of millions of non-white human beings would vanish in the process.

Peace is when the West can, unopposed, control the world, politically, economically, ideologically and `culturally'.

"War" is when there is rebellion. War is when the people of plundered countries say "No!". War is when they suddenly refuse to be raped, robbed, indoctrinated and murdered.

* MIA in "The Imperial Logic of US Foreign Policy"

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Jun 3rd, 2018 at 06:29:34 PM EST

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