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The Trump foreign policy thread

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Re: The Trump foreign policy thread

Post by Defiant » Tue Jan 29, 2019 2:47 pm

A new American intelligence assessment of global threats has concluded that North Korea is “unlikely to give up” all of its nuclear stockpiles, and that Iran is not “currently undertaking the key nuclear weapons-development activity” needed to make a bomb, directly contradicting two top tenets of President Trump’s foreign policy.
Much of the new assessment, as well as testimony at Tuesday’s hearing, focused on cyberthreats against the United States from China and Russia. For the first time, the report concluded that China is now positioned to conduct effective cyberattacks against American infrastructure, specifically citing Beijing’s ability to cut off natural gas pipelines, at least briefly.

The assessment also argues that while Russia’s ability to conduct cyberespionage and influence campaigns is similar to the one it ran in the 2016 American presidential election, the bigger concern is that “Moscow is now staging cyberattack assets to allow it to disrupt or damage U.S. civilian and military infrastructure during a crisis.”

It specifically noted the Russian planting of malware in the United States electricity grid. Russia already has the ability to bring the grid down “for at least a few hours,” the assessment concluded, but is “mapping our critical infrastructure with the long-term goal of being able to cause substantial damage.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/29/us/p ... eats-.html

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Re: The Trump foreign policy thread

Post by pr0ner » Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:16 am

Oh man, Trump was at it this morning.









Hodor.

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Re: The Trump foreign policy thread

Post by Holman » Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:38 am

pr0ner wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:16 am
"There economy is now crashing."

Yup. Back to school.
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Re: The Trump foreign policy thread

Post by Kraken » Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:02 pm

Remember when Dan Quayle misspelled "potatoe"?

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Re: The Trump foreign policy thread

Post by YellowKing » Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:04 pm

I love how he knows more than the intelligence community. Sure dude.

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Re: The Trump foreign policy thread

Post by Max Peck » Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:07 pm

Holman wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:38 am
"There economy is now crashing."

Yup. Back to school.
Cut him some slack. Anyone can forget that, when translating from Russian to English, you need to add definite/indefinite articles as appropriate. Obviously, his handler wanted him to say "There the economy is now crashing."
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Re: The Trump foreign policy thread

Post by Zarathud » Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:36 pm

Stupidity and self-delusion.
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Re: The Trump foreign policy thread

Post by LawBeefaroni » Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:48 pm

Zarathud wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:36 pm
Stupidity and self-delusion.
And yet he's still our president. Are we all just stupid and self-deluded?

WRT to the thread, he is still shaping foreign policy. Not like a master Stateman. More like how a toddler does with playdough. But he's still shaping it nonetheless and we are going to have to live with the results for the rest of our lives.

And yet he's still our president.
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Re: The Trump foreign policy thread

Post by LordMortis » Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:57 pm

LawBeefaroni wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:48 pm
we are going to have to live with the results for the rest of our lives.

And yet he's still our president.
Truth. We don't get to pretend 45 is our version of the Kurds and if we could, I can't see the international community accepting our pretend.

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Re: The Trump foreign policy thread

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:54 pm

CNN
A growing number of Republicans are openly scoffing at President Donald Trump's handling of national security issues, with the Senate's number two Republican bashing Trump's criticism on Wednesday of the heads of the US intelligence community ahead of a vote on a measure disapproving Trump's Middle East policy.

The rebuke from Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the Senate majority whip, came as the GOP-led chamber prepared to vote on an amendment breaking with Trump's plans to pull the US military away from Syria and Afghanistan.
...
The same day Trump's intelligence appointees appeared before the Senate, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced an amendment rebuking the President's push to withdraw troops from the Middle East.
...
Asked about the amendment, Thune said, "I think it reflects ... that we want to trust our military leaders when it comes to some of these decisions."
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Re: The Trump foreign policy thread

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:36 pm

WaPo
The vast majority of Senate Republicans backed Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday in a rebuke of President Trump’s rationale for withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria and Afghanistan, voting to declare that the Islamic State’s continued operations in both countries poses a serious threat to the United States.

The measure was presented as an amendment to a greater Middle East policy bill that has yet to pass the Senate and will face challenges in the House, particularly due to a provision regarding Israel-focused boycotts. But the vote is nonetheless an unmistakable sign of Republicans’ growing frustrations with the president, particularly when it comes to some of the decisions he has made as commander in chief.
..
The backlash from Republicans was immediate and has remained consistent, as even some of the president’s closest allies have warned him against the dangers of withdrawing from battlefields where the United States has made gains, but by no means has expunged al-Qaeda, ISIS and their affiliates.
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Re: The Trump foreign policy thread

Post by Isgrimnur » Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:59 pm

CNN
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Friday that the US is suspending the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, a key pact with Russia that has been a centerpiece of European security since the Cold War.

"For years, Russia has violated the terms of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty without remorse," Pompeo said, speaking from the State Department. "Russia's violations put millions of Europeans and Americans at greater risk."

"It is our duty to respond appropriately," Pompeo said, adding that the US had provided "ample time" for Russia to return to compliance.

The long-expected suspension, which has raised concerns about a renewed arms race with Moscow and put European allies on edge, goes into effect on Saturday. Pompeo's announcement starts a 180-day clock to complete withdrawal unless Russia returns to compliance with the 1987 agreement.

President Donald Trump and his senior officials had been signaling for months that they were ready to pull out of the INF treaty, which the US accuses Moscow of violating since 2014.
...
The ground-based nuclear tipped cruise missiles covered by the bilateral agreement can fly between 310 to 3,100 miles, making them a threat to Europe, where officials have unanimously backed the US decision, even as they consider their next steps and admit having little to no optimism that the treaty can be saved.

In a statement, NATO said America's allies "fully support" the US decision because of Russia's threat to Euro-Atlantic security and its refusal to provide any credible response or take any steps towards full and verifiable compliance.

NATO urged Russia to use the next six months to "return to full and verifiable compliance to preserve the INF Treaty."
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Re: The Trump foreign policy thread

Post by Paingod » Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:43 pm

Max Peck wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:33 am
It's fortunate that the USA has a steady hand at the tiller and won't be drifting into a new nuclear arms race.
It's hard to call it a race when your only competitor is face down in the mud, throwing a tantrum because the organizers didn't stock grape soda.
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Re: The Trump foreign policy thread

Post by Kraken » Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:36 pm

By my imperfect understanding of limited reading, the Russians really are violating the treaty. Ripping it up is an appropriate last resort if Moscow refuses to acknowledge the breach, never mind remedy it. It's possible that my sources were biased since I haven't dug deep into this one.

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Re: The Trump foreign policy thread

Post by Paingod » Fri Feb 01, 2019 4:31 pm

Kraken wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:36 pm
By my imperfect understanding of limited reading, the Russians really are violating the treaty. Ripping it up is an appropriate last resort if Moscow refuses to acknowledge the breach, never mind remedy it. It's possible that my sources were biased since I haven't dug deep into this one.
NPR was uncertain, but they said it was pretty dubious when Russia invited the press (civilians) to come and look at missile tubes, like they could tell the difference between treaty-violating ones and others.
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Re: The Trump foreign policy thread

Post by GreenGoo » Fri Feb 01, 2019 4:47 pm

Let me ask you this. What's the difference between a Russia in violation of the treaty and one that isn't?

The existence of the treaty.

Tearing it up let's them off the hook for their behaviour. It's hardly a punishment and unless the US has plans to pursue these missiles themselves, this seems like a net positive for Russia.

I'm open to being educated as to why I'm wrong.

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Re: The Trump foreign policy thread

Post by malchior » Fri Feb 01, 2019 4:55 pm

Withdrawing from the treaty is more about our side saying get back into compliance in the specified time range or we will now be unconstrained as well. That practically necessitates us to build out a new capability to counter the Russian threat eventually too but it doesn't mean the treaty ends today. It is a process and Russia can pause it if they want to get back in compliance. In this case, I can't help but feel Putin wants this 'escalation'.

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Re: The Trump foreign policy thread

Post by Holman » Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:32 pm

This could all be Kabuki theater.

In a few weeks, it'll be announced that Trump and Putin are entering into talks for a new treaty, just the greatest treaty, so much Better than the old INF which was a Fail that Cost us Billions as other countries Took Advantage of us.

It just might happen that this treaty allows Russia to do everything they want while apparently constraining them from doing things they can't afford and don't want.

(If this seems far-fetched, note that news came out recently that Russia tried to intervene in the NK negotiations in order to help hand Trump an apparent foreign-policy victory.)
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Re: The Trump foreign policy thread

Post by Jaymann » Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:44 pm

When he leaves office we need a Trumpxit and pretend like he never happened.
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Re: The Trump foreign policy thread

Post by Alefroth » Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:01 pm

Jaymann wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:44 pm
When he leaves office we need a Trumpxit and pretend like he never happened.
The most beautiful retcon ever.

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Re: The Trump foreign policy thread

Post by Z-Corn » Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:24 pm

Alefroth wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:01 pm
Jaymann wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:44 pm
When he leaves office we need a Trumpxit and pretend like he never happened.
The most beautiful retcon ever.
Yeah...I agree...I'm probably gonna look into seeing if Jaymann has a newsletter...

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Re: The Trump foreign policy thread

Post by Kraken » Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:23 pm

malchior wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 4:55 pm
Withdrawing from the treaty is more about our side saying get back into compliance in the specified time range or we will now be unconstrained as well. That practically necessitates us to build out a new capability to counter the Russian threat eventually too but it doesn't mean the treaty ends today. It is a process and Russia can pause it if they want to get back in compliance. In this case, I can't help but feel Putin wants this 'escalation'.
First we need to know if the Russians are really cheating, or if this is fake news like the Iran treaty or the climate treaty (or the southern border invasion, for that matter). Trump has cried wolf at least twice already.

Assuming that it's real, what are the odds that the Trump admin will pay to develop intermediate-range missiles to defend Europe? Even if the US were willing to do so, what are the odds they could convince European nations to host them? Slight, and slightly less slight, I'd say.

These missiles give Putin a first-strike capability that we could only counter with ICBMs. Europe has no corresponding medium-range capability that we know of. I think he's quite content with that.

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Re: The Trump foreign policy thread

Post by Zarathud » Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:48 pm

This is a way for Trump to appear tough on Russia while giving Putin an opportunity to further destabilize NATO. Trump is incapable of saving this part of Reagan's legacy, which should infuriate the GOP.
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Re: The Trump foreign policy thread

Post by malchior » Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:29 pm

Kraken wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:23 pm
malchior wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 4:55 pm
Withdrawing from the treaty is more about our side saying get back into compliance in the specified time range or we will now be unconstrained as well. That practically necessitates us to build out a new capability to counter the Russian threat eventually too but it doesn't mean the treaty ends today. It is a process and Russia can pause it if they want to get back in compliance. In this case, I can't help but feel Putin wants this 'escalation'.
First we need to know if the Russians are really cheating, or if this is fake news like the Iran treaty or the climate treaty (or the southern border invasion, for that matter). Trump has cried wolf at least twice already.

Assuming that it's real, what are the odds that the Trump admin will pay to develop intermediate-range missiles to defend Europe? Even if the US were willing to do so, what are the odds they could convince European nations to host them? Slight, and slightly less slight, I'd say.

These missiles give Putin a first-strike capability that we could only counter with ICBMs. Europe has no corresponding medium-range capability that we know of. I think he's quite content with that.
IIRC Obama considered exiting the INF treaty too due to purported violations. I don't think this is new. It was just lingering. Still I strongly suspect Putin gets something for this. In any case, I doubt Trump even understands what is going on or why it matters.

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Re: The Trump foreign policy thread

Post by Unagi » Sat Feb 02, 2019 10:58 am

Zarathud wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:48 pm
This is a way for Trump to appear tough on Russia while giving Putin an opportunity to further destabilize NATO.
It's exactly this.

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Re: The Trump foreign policy thread

Post by malchior » Sat Feb 02, 2019 5:01 pm

I'm in good company - Ornstein is on the same wavelength.


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Re: The Trump foreign policy thread

Post by hepcat » Sat Feb 02, 2019 10:54 pm

Welp, looks like we’re gonna get a Fallout world after all.
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Re: The Trump foreign policy thread

Post by YellowKing » Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:21 pm

The thing that angers me more than Trump's incompetence, racism, idiot remarks, pathological lying, etc. is the fact that he is openly aiding and abetting one of our chief adversaries and the GOP is allowing it to happen. Trump is in direct violation (on multiple fronts) of failing to uphold the oath of the office.

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Re: The Trump foreign policy thread

Post by Paingod » Mon Feb 04, 2019 2:53 pm

YellowKing wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:21 pm
oath of the office.
I do solemnly swear to do whatever the hell I please, especially if it benefits my family and people I want to suck up to. So help me God.
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Re: The Trump foreign policy thread

Post by Kraken » Mon Feb 18, 2019 4:09 pm

The rift between Europe and Trump is now open and angry.
MUNICH — European leaders have long been alarmed that President Trump’s words and Twitter messages could undo a trans-Atlantic alliance that had grown stronger over seven decades. They had clung to the hope that those ties would bear up under the strain.

But in the last few days of a prestigious annual security conference in Munich, the rift between Europe and the Trump administration became open, angry, and concrete, diplomats and analysts say.

A senior German official, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak on such matters, shrugged his shoulders and said: “No one any longer believes that Trump cares about the views or interests of the allies. It’s broken.”

The most immediate danger, diplomats and intelligence officials warned, is that the trans-Atlantic fissures now risk being exploited by Russia and China.

Even the normally gloomy Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, happily noted the strains, remarking that the Euro-Atlantic relationship had become increasingly “tense.”

“We see new cracks forming, and old cracks deepening,” Lavrov said.

The Europeans no longer believe that Washington will change, not when Trump sees traditional allies as economic rivals and leadership as diktat. His distaste for multilateralism and international cooperation is a challenge to the very heart of what Europe is and needs to be in order to have an impact in the world.

But beyond the Trump administration, an increasing number of Europeans say they believe that relations with the United States will never be the same again.
It goes on from there.

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Re: The Trump foreign policy thread

Post by LordMortis » Mon Feb 18, 2019 4:19 pm

But beyond the Trump administration, an increasing number of Europeans say they believe that relations with the United States will never be the same again.
Can you blame them? I wonder what percentage of US voters think the rule of law in the US will never be the same again. MAGA. Of course, I really blame McConnell. Trump couldn't have shit the bed if Congress didn't let him and McConnell has been rudder all along.

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Re: The Trump foreign policy thread

Post by GreenGoo » Mon Feb 18, 2019 4:56 pm

On the plus side the world doesn't come to an end if the US retreats into itself. It'll keep on keeping on, just like it always has.

Was a good run for the US though. I certainly enjoyed the benefits while they lasted.

We all know everything each administration does is irreversible, so clearly there is no solution to be had.

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Re: The Trump foreign policy thread

Post by Zarathud » Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:04 pm

Hillary was right. It doesn't matter if you hated her guts, her party or her vagina. SHE. WAS. GODDAMN. RIGHT. ABOUT. TRUMP. AND. FOREIGN. POLICY.
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Re: The Trump foreign policy thread

Post by LawBeefaroni » Tue Feb 19, 2019 7:43 am

Zarathud wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:04 pm
Hillary was right. It doesn't matter if you hated her guts, her party or her vagina. SHE. WAS. GODDAMN. RIGHT. ABOUT. TRUMP. AND. FOREIGN. POLICY.
It's not like it was a well hidden secret. She doesn't hold a monopoly on being right about him.
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Re: The Trump foreign policy thread

Post by LordMortis » Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:40 am

In many regards I don't mind "the retreat" but not this way and not BREXIT way. Power abhors a vacuum or some such thing... and then there's the shock of losing entire sectors of jobs so quickly... But then, today's "disruptive" sense for what it means to make a living, we're going to have to adapt anyway, so who knows...

I don't mind the idea of the US "exceptionalism" going gracefully in to that good night, but I don't think we've been all that graceful and I don't think the shift in economic muscle flexing is good for anyone but those who can afford to enough influence to identify as citizens of the world.

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Re: The Trump foreign policy thread

Post by Kraken » Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:18 pm

LawBeefaroni wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 7:43 am
Zarathud wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:04 pm
Hillary was right. It doesn't matter if you hated her guts, her party or her vagina. SHE. WAS. GODDAMN. RIGHT. ABOUT. TRUMP. AND. FOREIGN. POLICY.
It's not like it was a well hidden secret. She doesn't hold a monopoly on being right about him.
And hawkish Hillary brought her own set of reservations. Her foreign policy would certainly have been competent, but perhaps more muscular than we would have liked. (What-If is always a fun game.)

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Re: The Trump foreign policy thread

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:52 pm

NPR
The Trump administration sought to rush the transfer of American nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia in potential violation of the law, a new report from the House Oversight and Reform Committee alleges.

Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings' staff issued an "interim staff" report Tuesday, citing "multiple whistleblowers" who raised ethical and legal concerns about the process.
...
The committee's report alleges that the major drivers behind the effort to transfer U.S. nuclear technology were retired Gen. Michael Flynn, who served as the president's national security adviser, and Thomas Barrack, who chaired Trump's inauguration committee. Flynn was fired in February 2017 for lying about conversations with the Russian ambassador to Vice President Pence and the FBI.

For about seven months in 2016, including during the presidential transition, Flynn served as an adviser to IP3 International, a private company seeking to build nuclear plants in Saudi Arabia.

The whistleblowers told the committee that Flynn continued to advocate for IP3's plan even after he joined the White House as the president's national security adviser in 2017.

The Atomic Energy Act requires that Congress approve any transfer of nuclear technology to a foreign country. The committee's report states that a senior director at the National Security Council (NSC), Derek Harvey, "reportedly ignored ... warnings and insisted that the decision to transfer nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia had already been made."
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Re: The Trump foreign policy thread

Post by Alefroth » Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:49 pm

Ffs man, it just never ends.

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Re: The Trump foreign policy thread

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Feb 19, 2019 6:03 pm

Does anyone want him to take less executive time? Show of hands?
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Re: The Trump foreign policy thread

Post by Holman » Tue Feb 19, 2019 6:15 pm

From The Guardian:
The report notes a complex financial connection between Kushner and the plan to build nuclear power plants in Saudi Arabia. Brookfield Asset Management, the company that eased a financial crunch for Kushner’s family by taking over a troubled Manhattan property, has acquired Westinghouse Electric, the bankrupt nuclear services company that is one of the firms participating in the Saudi nuclear deal.
Last summer Brookfield took out a 99-year $1.1 billion lease on 666 Fifth Avenue, the financial albatross that was threatening to drown the Kushner real-estate business in debt. What a coincidence that the Saudi nuclear deal enrich them in turn!
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