Tag Archives: US foreign policy

US, South Korean regimes to resume saber rattling after Olympics

Source: Military.com

“The U.S. and South Korea will go ahead with joint military drills after the Paralympics, both of them confirmed Tuesday, despite the exercises always infuriating Pyongyang and the Olympics having driven a rapprochement on the peninsula. Washington previously agreed to a request from Seoul to delay the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercises — which usually begin in late February or early March — until after the Pyeongchang Games in the South, to try to avoid stoking tensions. The Olympics have since seen a charm offensive by Pyongyang, which dispatched athletes, cheerleaders and its leader’s sister Kim Yo Jong to attend the Games.” (02/20/18)


Will the US go to war with China over Taiwan?

Source: The American Conservative
by Ted Galen Carpenter

“While America’s attention has been focused on the North Korea crisis, diverted occasionally to developments in the South China Sea, another volatile East Asia confrontation has reemerged. China is adopting a growing number of measures to intimidate Taiwan, including emphasizing that any hopes the Taiwanese people and government have to perpetuate the island’s de facto independence are unrealistic and unacceptable. Hostile actions include a renewed effort to cajole and bribe the small number of nations that still maintain diplomatic relations with Taipei to switch ties to Beijing, extremely explicit warnings that China will use force if necessary to prevent any ‘separatist’ moves by Taiwan, and a sharp increase in the number and scope of military exercises in the Taiwan Strait and other nearby areas.” (02/20/18)


America v. Russia: Blundering into a hot war

Source: spiked
by Tim Black

“ISIS may have retreated to the insurgent fringes of Syrian life, but the chaos and the conflict in Syria show no sign of approaching a resolution. If anything, it looks more chaotic now than before, when ISIS, as the enemy of both Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian government and the US-led coalition, provided a common enemy. And now? The conflict still rages, but more chaotically, more confusingly. Yet it’s a chaos with definite shapes emerging, a chaos out of which is emerging ever clearer and often overlapping lines of conflict, between proxy forces, and between their international backers, sometimes alongside each other, sometimes against each other. The fatally internationalised nature of the Syrian conflict, dragging myriad external actors into play, is no longer latent; it is manifest, and it is dangerous, lacking geopolitical coherence (what is the US doing there?), making it even more unpredictable.” (02/20/18)


US regime pushes Europe to commit to reneging on Iran nuclear deal

Source: Antiwar.com

“The Trump Administration is once again setting up an ultimatum for the US staying in the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran, this time pushing on EU participants to commit to the idea of changing the deal by May, the next time Trump could withdraw sanctions relief. President Trump has long opposed the Iran deal, and demands massive changes to the already signed pact, despite everyone else agreeing the terms are final and no renegotiation is needed. US officials suggest the only way to keep them on board is to commit to unspecified future changes.” (02/18/18)


Syria could be Washington’s next big foreign policy failure

Source: Cato Institute
by Doug Bandow

“President Donald Trump criticized candidate Hillary Clinton for her interventionist tendencies. Now he plans to maintain U.S. forces amid battling Kurds, Turks, Russians, Iranians and contending Syrian factions. Washington’s policy is frankly mad. Having attained its primary objective, defeating the Islamic State, or ISIS, the Trump administration should wrap up American operations in Syria.” (02/16/18)


Expanding the military budget is wasteful and unnecessary

Source: The American Conservative
by Daniel Larison

“Support for expanding an already bloated, excessive military budget is broad and bipartisan, but it is also profoundly misguided. For one thing, much of this spending has had and will have little or nothing to do with actually defending the United States or its allies, and most of it isn’t necessary for that purpose. The U.S. spends this much on a military this large in order to police and attack other parts of the world, and the only reason to increase that spending for an even larger military is to do more of those things. We should call it military spending or hegemony spending or imperial spending, but we should stop the bad habit of referring to it as spending on defense.” (02/16/18)


Russian Foreign Ministry: Five Russians killed in US Syria strike

Source: Washington Post

“The Russian Foreign Ministry says five Russians have been killed in a U.S. strike in Syria, the first official recognition of Russian deaths in the incident that has threatened to further strain Russia-U.S. ties. … Until Thursday, both Russian and U.S. officials said they had no information on Russian losses in the clash, which came when pro-government forces attacked positions of the U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish fighters and faced a ferocious U.S. counterattack.” (02/15/18)


Afghanistan: Taliban issues open letter calling for peace talks with US

Source: Antiwar.com

“Late last month, President Trump announced the US is unwilling to engage in any peace talks with the Afghan Taliban. The Taliban, however, has now issued an open letter on the matter saying that they do want peace talks, and see the war needing to be resolved through peaceful dialogue. If President Trump’s disavowal of talks marked a big change, the Taliban’s position is even moreso, as top Taliban officials have long spurned the idea of talks without US withdrawal as a precondition, and have repeatedly denied that the talks that have happened amount to peace talks.” (02/15/18)


How to win a great power competition

Source: Cobden Centre
by Benn Steil

“‘The United States is confronted with a condition in the world which is at direct variance with the assumptions upon which [our foreign] policies were predicated,’ wrote a State Department official. ‘Instead of unity among the great powers … there is complete disunity.’ The secretary of state concluded that the Russians were ‘doing everything possible to achieve a complete breakdown.’ The president called for unilateral action to counter U.S. adversaries. ‘If we falter in our leadership,’ he told Congress, ‘[we will] surely endanger the welfare of this nation.’ These precise words were spoken in 1947, by Russia specialist Chip Bohlen, Secretary of State George C. Marshall, and President Harry S. Truman. But they are being echoed today by a new U.S. administration, heralding another era of great-power competition in which adversaries jostle for global influence.” (02/14/18)


A dangerous turn in US foreign policy

Source: CounterPunch
by Conn Hallinan

“The Trump administration’s new National Defense Strategy is being touted as a sea change in U.S. foreign policy, a shift from the ‘war on terrorism’ to ‘great power competition,’ a line that would not be out of place in the years leading up to World War I. But is the shift really a major course change, or a re-statement of policies followed by the last four administrations? … Certainly the verbiage about Russia and China is alarming. Russia is routinely described as ‘aggressive,’ ‘revisionist,’ and ‘expansionist.’ In a recent attack on China, US Defense Secretary Rex Tillerson described China’s trade with Latin America as ‘imperial.’ But in 1914 there were several powerful and evenly matched empires at odds. That is not the case today.” (02/14/18)