• Sunday, June 24, 2018

American junta becoming a reality in Washington DC

Discussion in 'World Affairs' started by TaiShang, Mar 14, 2018.

  1. TaiShang

    TaiShang ELITE MEMBER

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    Opinion: American junta

    2018-03-14

    Junta is a Spanish word that the Western media is fond of using to describe authoritarian military regimes in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and a few Latin American countries in the 1970s, which all used to be ruled by a coalition of military generals.

    Today, it is becoming a reality in Washington DC.

    With the firing of Rex Tillerson, to be replaced by former CIA director, Mike Pompeo, the four most important positions in the White House are now occupied by former generals or a key intelligence officer. John Kelly, the chief of staff is a four-star Marine Corps general, and so is Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis. Herbert McMaster, the National Security Adviser, is a former three-star Army lieutenant general. The new Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, served in the Army for five years, before later heading the two important intelligence organizations, the National Security Agency (NSA) and the CIA. And there are also other lower level key positions taken by former generals, e.g. Navy Adm. Michael Rogers as the director of the National Security Agency.

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    Mike Pompeo arrives in the House chamber for President Donald Trump's State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Jan. 30, 2018. /VCG File Photo

    The fact that a US President is so closely surrounded by a predominance of military officers is unprecedented in American history. As early as November 2016, Phillip Carter and Loren DeJonge Schulman wrote a thundering op-ed piece in Washington Post, convincingly arguing the detriment to democracy of the militarization of the White House. Their arguments mostly center on America’s tradition of civilian control of the military as enshrined in the constitution, and the institutional integrity of the military as an apolitical force in American politics. However, these are things that people in China probably could not care less about. But let me venture to postulate the implications of this Pompeo appointment from a foreign policy angle, which should raise plenty of alarm in Beijing and many other capitals around the world.

    We know there is the usual contention or competition between national security concerns and economic concerns in foreign policy analysis. Even within the academic community, disagreement abounds when it comes to attaching a dollar sign on geopolitics against the real dollar sign. How does this issue pan out through the lenses of generals? Take the Sino-US relationship as an example, how does the thriving 800 billion US dollar bilateral trade weigh against the US 7th fleet’s so-called freedom of navigation right in the South China Sea? Will the little reefs there spark the innate passion of former Marine Corps generals, whose entire previous life is all about establishing beachhead? These questions are particularly relevant at a time when China appears to be actively cooperating with the White House to increase American exports to China by a 100 billion US dollars within a year in an overall effort to re-balance trade.

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    The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) transits the South China Sea, April 11, 2017. /VCG Photo

    Second, history has shown that people coming from military backgrounds tend to value information collected from intelligence activities more than advice from foreign relations scholars. Little pieces of facts or perception of facts, due to their privileged nature, often speak louder than strategic analysis by policy experts in the context of broad scheme of things. In that regard, I still have a vivid memory of that famous United Nations speech in 2003 by the then-Secretary of State, Colin Powell – who is also a former Army general, five-star Army general in fact. At the time, the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq looked so convincing, as Powell meticulously showcased satellite photographs, tapes of intercepted conversations between Iraqi military officers, and information from Iraqi defectors and people seized in Afghanistan and elsewhere since 9/11. We now know the rest is history.

    Pompeo has an extensive background in intelligence in addition to military experiences. While being a ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, he told Congress in 2013 that all Muslim leaders across the US who fail to condemn terror attacks are “potentially complicit in these acts, and more importantly still, in those that may well follow.” How much of this blind accusation stems from his access to privileged information?

    The third reason I am wary of generals in foreign policy is their simplistic straightforward approach to complicated issues due to many years of living an order-obey lifestyle in the military. In fact, this is best summarized by Jim Mattis himself in his own book, “Warriors and Citizens,” in which he said, “military leaders often try to leech the politics out of political decision making in order to better analyze problems and develop strategy; this can lead to ‘perfect’ solutions impractical for consideration by elected officials whose portfolios are broader than the military mandate alone.”

    Taking all of the above into consideration, now you can imagine how the generals will behave under a guy whose most frequently used phrase in life is: You're fired!
     
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  2. Hamartia Antidote

    Hamartia Antidote ELITE MEMBER

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  3. scope

    scope FULL MEMBER

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    Stop deflecting. America is a fascist regime that wants to subjugate the world under its jackboots.

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    Americas Deadliest Export Democracy
     
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  4. khansaheeb

    khansaheeb FULL MEMBER

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    Soldiers follow orders that's why they are so popular.
     
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  5. powastick

    powastick FULL MEMBER

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    CIA and generals as replacement, looks like US is going to start WW3. US had been underestimating China for very long time.
     
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  6. gambit

    gambit PROFESSIONAL

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    Hilarious considering the Chinese government is filled with former generals. And many SEOs are run by former generals. And the US is a 'junta'? :lol:
     
  7. Avicenna

    Avicenna FULL MEMBER

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    Not a junta but the constant stream of people in and out of positions in this administration is a point of concern.
     
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  8. gambit

    gambit PROFESSIONAL

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    I do not see the current situation as a point of 'concern'. Let us take the removal of Rex Tillerson as SecState for example.

    True, The Orange One is a political oddity, but at worst, what is happening is that he is adjusting his political inexperience. He is learning that while it is important to have different points of views regarding an issue, when it comes to representing the US on the international stage, the SecState and the President must share the same foundational perspective on that issue. Tillerson maybe a capable diplomat, but he is too divergent from The Orange One. His selection as SecState can now be seen as a mistake by Trump. As long as Trump is consistent with selecting people who do have experience and are smarter than him, not unusual for any CEO, the ship of state will be fine.

    But hey...Just because we have a few former generals while China have hundreds, the US is a 'junta'. :lol:
     
  9. Avicenna

    Avicenna FULL MEMBER

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    The US has become a laughing stock. Putin and Netanyahoo are playing Trump internationally. And the domestic special interest agendas of many are being furthered because "the orange one" is a man with no principles.

    IMO, historians will look back at this time period as the acceleration of the decline of the United States.
     
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  10. Dalit

    Dalit SENIOR MEMBER

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    [​IMG]

    They say a picture speaks a thousand words. Looks like this mofo has won the lottery. Look at that grin on his fat face.
     
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  11. ARMalik

    ARMalik FULL MEMBER

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    Look at all these posters from Yankee-land. They think there is democracy is US, and that US is not controlled by a blood thirsty Junta since at least early 1900s. News flash - you people are slaves in your own country thanks to animals like the Rockefell.er and other barbarians. Keep living the Dream -- good luck.
     
  12. Avicenna

    Avicenna FULL MEMBER

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    What are you talking about? Do you think Australia is any different?
     
  13. Shah_G

    Shah_G FULL MEMBER

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    I liked Tillerson, he looks more presidential than trump.
     
  14. Avicenna

    Avicenna FULL MEMBER

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    He does. But thats not saying much. I didn't like the fact that he refused to host an Eid event. But he certainly is more learned and aware of the world than "the orange one."
     
  15. T-Rex

    T-Rex ELITE MEMBER

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    What really matters is the implication of this change in the trump administration. I think initially the US has opted for a military clash with Iran and eventually it will clash with China and Russia too. Look at them, they are all warmongers and robbers in trump's administration.