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Posted:  7/8/2014 8:42 AM #42278
CTD Blogger

Joined: 7/14/2009
Posts: 10828
Last Post: 8/20/2014
Subject: The Inevitability of Foreign Entanglements
By George Friedman-The Fourth of July weekend gave me time to consider events in Iraq and Ukraine, U.S.-German relations and the Mexican borderland and immigration. I did so in the context of the founding of the United States, asking myself if America has strayed from the founders' intent with regard to foreign policy. Many people note Thomas Jefferson's warning that the United States should pursue "peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations -- entangling alliances with none," taking that as the defining strategy of the founders. I think it is better to say that was the defining wish of the founders but not one that they practiced to extremes.

As we know, U.S. President Barack Obama has said he wants to decrease U.S. entanglements in the world. Ironically, many on the right want to do the same. There is a common longing for an America that takes advantage of its distance from the rest of the world to avoid excessive involvement in the outside world. Whether Jefferson's wish can constitute a strategy for the United States today is a worthy question for a July 4, but there is a profounder issue: Did his wish ever constitute American strategy?

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Posted:  7/8/2014 4:02 PM #42284

Joined: 5/2/2012
Posts: 2063
Last Post: 9/30/2014
Our foreign entanglements should be founded on a very few conditions. Nations we entangle with ought to 1. Possess raw materials we do not, 2. are strategically located, 3. are sufficiently developed to engage in profitable commerce, 4. are politically compatible, 5. are enemies of our enemies. The other countries - those that lack needed natural resources, don't control strategic areas of land or sea, are too poor to buy our products or manufacture products we need or want, are ideologically objectionable, or are allied with our enemies, may be ignored. Nothing other than polite, correct, diplomatic relations need be maintained with them. Nations are not created equal, and we should not treat nations as equals, not even as peers unless such consideration is strictly in our interest or profit to do so. We should never risk blood or treasure to protect nations not important to our continuing success - what happens between them should be of no interest to the USA. If Shangli-La invades Utopia - so what? Unless we have important self-interest in one or the other, it's not our problem. I foresee such a policy ultimately resulting in a close alliance between the USA and a couple of dozen other countries, excluding all others, and possessing in the collective, everything each of us needs to prosper and grow, and taken all together of sufficient size and population to resist any aggression. As for the rest of the world - those nations and peoples not included in our exclusive club - they may either reform themselves and become worthy of membership, or be left to their own devices. I have no doubt that the rest of the world, denied access to our technology, our culture, our markets, our aid, and everything else our little cluster of allied states would possess, would soon devolve into primitivism, tribalism, clanism, false religions, dictatorships, war and corruption of every kind...and we wouldn't have to care.

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