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View Diary: Why is the "West" so bad at strategy? (244 comments)

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  •  Jerome's expertise in the areas of energy and int (4+ / 0-)

    I hesitate to speak in response to those of you in the field of international relations, but I will be bold and just speak from my own peculiar perspective as an individual.

    Your analysis and suggestions are quite reasonable from a perspective of determining a basis for our foreign policy as a whole.  I believe Jerome's focus on energy being a determiner comes from  his expertise in the areas of energy and international economy.  He sees that energy/oil has been the basis for the value of our currency and a most significant source of all trade and commerce.  

    If we were not dependent on oil--and I don't just mean dependent on other countries--I mean dependent on it for having a way of making money, how would we accumulate wealth?  If we only had to finance the establishment of wind and solar energy for an electric future and pay to maintain it, if energy came from nature and didn't have to be drilled for, produced refined transported sold--where would all those people be employed?  If we didn't have to fight wars to obtain it, where would the soldiers work, and those employed by the military-industrial complex?

    What would we have for an economy if we didn't have oil as our energy base?

    I know I'm oversimplifying here, but this is such a complex subject.  Our whole culture, our lifestyle, economy, and political structure is facing radical change.

    Another thought from left field...
    If we need to change out our economy from oil to something else that can continue to grow, stimulate our economy, and our scientific and human outreach, then I believe Space might be the answer.  Not for the short term, of course.  Here and now we must develop renewables together in a cooperative effort with the rest of the world.  Then we could proceed on to space exploration, building orbital solar energy capacity, mining asteroids, the moon...and further, using solar wind ships to explore and expand into the rest of the solar system for whatever purposes we envision and design.  This could be the new role of our energy giants--this is where they could begin to invest all those remaining profits from the high price of oil.

    Yes, I know I can go way out beyond the theme of the moment--but that's just me--thanks for reading...

    Finding your own Voice -- The personal is political!

    by In her own Voice on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 11:33:49 AM PDT

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    •  energy is the theme of the moment... (1+ / 0-)
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      In her own Voice

      and yes, it's of immediate importance for all the reasons you describe, but it's only one issue. Terrorism and what looks to be a resurgent Russian Bear are others of immediate importance.

      Your idea about space exploration actually has some merit, though. I don't know about exploiting lunar mines however. But it captures the imagination, and does so globally. So it does carry along a certain amount of weight in the international relations equation.

      "The cure for bullshit is fieldwork."
      --Robert Bates, Department of Government; Harvard University

      by papicek on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 11:45:08 AM PDT

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      •  Soothing the Russian Bear (0+ / 0-)

        Terrorism and what looks to be a resurgent Russian Bear are others of immediate importance.

        That will require an administration change and some leadership here in the US and in the rest of the pro-US "West".  Leadership with diplomacy and focus on global cooperation.  Energy, global warming, economy--a good focus I think for pulling together that sort of cooperation.

        I believe Russia is mainly antagonized by the arrogance of the U.S. and its NATO allies.  Yes, they have some nationalistic pride and some need to re-establish themselves as an power in the international community, but I believe they also have a wish to be included.  Our current policy has been 180* out of sync with that.

        The wounds and ire of the Russian Bear shouldn't be so hard to soothe.  Terrorists--that's another story, but that is another focus upon which global community of purpose could be built.

        Have you seen:

        This briefing from the Brookings Institution?

        Finding your own Voice -- The personal is political!

        by In her own Voice on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 12:22:37 PM PDT

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        •  your comment about NATO... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          In her own Voice

          is exactly right. It's one of the reasons Russia invaded, and in that respect, what's going on now is a diplomatic shoving match between Russia and NATO over the location of the borders of everyone's sphere of influence.

          The other thing is that historically, Russia has always had trouble with the smaller, weaker states on it's borders. With such an open, vulnerable border as Russia has always been cursed with the internal unrest in those states spilling over onto Russian territory. For these two reasons, Russia insists on an iron grip on both the internal and external policies of its neighbors, and has done so for half a millenia.

          For Georgia, the real trouble began when Russia claimed that Chechen rebels had taken refuge in Georgia's Pankisi Gorge and conducting ops from bases there. Two things to note in this connection:

          1. Bush made the exact same claim about the Pankisi Gorge, only the culprits that time were Al Queda
          2. the exact same situation exists for us in the Provincially Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan.

          Russia wanted to go in and clear that area out, but Georgia demurred, asking the US for help instead. Which infuriated the Russians. Had that decision, right there, been made differently, we wouldn't have this NATO-Russian pissing contest now.

          "The cure for bullshit is fieldwork."
          --Robert Bates, Department of Government; Harvard University

          by papicek on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 01:17:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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