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RE: OT:USMC junks their tanks (smart breath edition)

 
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RE: OT:USMC junks their tanks (smart breath edition) - 10/2/2020 5:12:04 PM   
Alfred

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alamander

quote:

ORIGINAL: Alfred


IIRC, Kissinger's doctoral thesis, and if it wasn't that, it was certainly the theme of his main scholarly book (which I read so many years ago I've forgotten its title) was the interplay of an uneven number of Great Powers. Which meant Europe primarily in the 1700s. It was the balancing act between them which most exercised Kissinger's mind.

Alfred


His book was based on his dissertation and an edited, more focused version of the dissertation, focused only the reconstruction of a European order after the Napoleonic wars, if I recall correctly.

There was a flurry of academic work on the Congress of Vienna and the "Concert of Europe" following World War II in academia. The best study of this period, however, remains Ferraro's The Reconstruction of Europe, https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.176462/page/n1/mode/2up, which was my required reading on the subject for my candidacy exams. No one thought much of Kissinger's work, or at least, I don't recall anyone mentioning it. Of course, I didn't go to Harvard... lol, and my advisors in European history were from the Sorbonne and UC Santa Barbara... so they weren't Harvard folk either.


It was my tedious task as an undergraduate to have to write a paper on Kissinger's view on diplomacy. That entailed reading his book (the one based on his doctoral dissertation). Thankfully I didn't have to read any other subsequent work focused on the European order after the Napoleonic wars. That probably explains our different recollections.

C18th century had 4 strong great powers (Great Britain, France (Spain), Austria and Russia. The fifth, and clearly much weaker 5th Great Power being Prussia. It was the interplay of how the Balance of Power (with particular emphasis on how Prussia survived) was played which occupied Kissingner's mind. That isn't actually the same thing as Realpolitick..

By comparison most of the C19th was not really an European Balance of Power exercise. For a couple of reasons. One being France not being the same powerhouse it had been. Remember in the C18th France, due to the dynastic connection, was often able to control the still significant Spanish assets to greatly augment its own power projection. The loss of the south
American colonies greatly reduced the potential French power in the C19th. Plus the industrial revolution was not kind to French power. Nor was it kind to Austrian power, or Prussia until it was able to convert itself into a united Germany.

The bottom line was the long peace of the C19th didn't really excite Kissinger. It was the constant maneuvering of the C18th and their wars which interested Kissinger in terms of how to apply it to international relations in the Cold War with all the proxy wars. Being charitable however, one could credit Kissinger with having the foresight of seeing the potential of the Cold War turning into a multipolar Cold War rather than the duopoly which it effectively was when he was a major player in international politics.

I do recall not being impressed at the time by Kissinger's writings. As a historical work it was adequate but as a political science treatise I found nothing novel, certainly nothing worthy of conferring a doctorate. However as a mere undergraduate, I was probably missing the big picture for there had to be some merit in the work to justify it being set as a study document.

Alfred

(in reply to Alamander)
Post #: 61
RE: OT:USMC junks their tanks (smart breath edition) - 10/2/2020 6:08:41 PM   
Lowpe


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alamander
However, I am not certain that those capable of doing so will ever occupy the positions that direct the country.


You ask a lot! Statesmanship would interfere with their economic self interest.

(in reply to Alamander)
Post #: 62
RE: OT:USMC junks their tanks (smart breath edition) - 10/2/2020 6:53:22 PM   
Alamander

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lowpe

You ask a lot! Statesmanship would interfere with their economic self interest.




This is sort of my point with regard to the Dulles brothers and their legacy at CIA and the State Department. They effectively made the intelligence gathering of the CIA and the American embassy system an extension of Wall Street (which is really what is meant by those using the term "Deep State" today). In place of Realpolitik, in the U.S. national interest, or a "Concert-of-Vienna-style" orchestration of global stability, structured around balancing the national interests of the various powers in the pax-Americana, they placed a system that pursued the interests of Wall-Street financiers seeking to create multi-national economic fiefdoms. The corruption that you see today at the State Department and in places such as Ukraine is a direct legacy of giving malicious Wall-Street operators control of American foreign policy.

I don't think Kissinger was overly influenced by financial gain. I think he was motivated to be what he claimed to want to be: a modern Talleyrand or Metternich. He lacked the classical education and breadth of mind necessary to emulate his idols, however (for example, to begin to understand Metternich or Talleyrand one must be well educated in the classics, starting with Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War).

So, this is the second problem. When there were those who tried to orchestrate American foreign policy who were not merely the lackies of robber barons, these were 2nd-rate people at best.

I agree with Alfred that occupying a few island chains without the ability to project any force beyond a 100 km or so is not very helpful in any Asian conflict and is overly focused on a few very specific scenarios that may or may not ever arise. It reflects a lack of geo-strategic thinking and failure to address the reality that the Pax-Americana depends upon the ability to confront, with ground forces if necessary, minor regional flare-ups that threaten global trade.

< Message edited by Alamander -- 10/2/2020 6:56:04 PM >

(in reply to Lowpe)
Post #: 63
RE: OT:USMC junks their tanks (smart breath edition) - 10/2/2020 7:15:06 PM   
Lokasenna


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From: Iowan in MD/DC
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alfred


quote:

ORIGINAL: Lokasenna

...We're not broke, though.

Sovereign nation finances are not analogous to household finances. I know that's hard for nearly everyone to understand, but it's the simple truth.


There are other valid arguments for not fighting overseas (just as there are valid arguments to do so), but "we are broke" doesn't hold water.


Do you think it is really wise to introduce Modern Monetary Theory to the "debate". Doing so will just short the brain electrics of you know who.

Alfred


It's not even MMT! It's just a rational, "what tools do we have in the toolbox right now" look at numbers like inflation, interest rates, and level of need for social spending.

On MMT I think my conclusion is that I don't think it's all that novel or any more effective than what we already knew. It is, after all, basically just Keynesianism. Which is proven correct time and time again - not that any of the nincompoops care about such empirical reality.

(in reply to Alfred)
Post #: 64
RE: OT:USMC junks their tanks (smart breath edition) - 10/2/2020 7:20:45 PM   
Lokasenna


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From: Iowan in MD/DC
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alfred


quote:

ORIGINAL: Alamander

quote:

ORIGINAL: DesertWolf101


I think garrison is the wrong word for it because it denotes passivity. The idea is still to have a powerful and flexible USMC that is highly proficient in network centric warfare. It's just that the focus is increasingly on a strategic defensive posture oriented around great power competition conflict. The U.S. can afford to take the strategic defensive since China is the revisionist power while the U.S. is the status quo power. Operationally speaking, it means to avoid the need for costly break in operations against the Chinese anti-access arsenal by reinforcing the forward presence (largely along the first island chain, and increasingly northern Australia and other Pacific Island nations), and a survivable one at that (which increasingly means dispersed).

As to the actual geostrategy.... well, there is no unified geostrategic outlook besides the consensus that China is the benchmark adversary and to a degree a strategy of containment is being pursued. IMO, there is a real dearth of geostrategic thinking in the U.S right now, and it didn't help that a number of great thinkers like Andy Marshall of the ONA have passed or moved on. You touch upon this with some of your comments, but basically a huge part of this is the serious dysfunction and lack of unity between the two parties - good luck trying to come up with a serious long-term strategic plan when there is little continuity and the focus could shift when the next President assumes power. That is why I laugh when I read that the Navy's upcoming force structure review will call for 534 ships. Not that I blame the Navy, we just have to be realistic about the lack of stability right now which really impacts on long term planning and geostrategic policy implementation.


In my opinion, there has been a lack of serious geostrategic thinking, based upon Realpolitik, in the upper echelons of the U.S. government since World War II. Far too often, nefarious operatives more interested in their Wall-Street business partners and clients, such as the Dulles brothers, have carved out their own private imperial provinces (at the State Department and CIA) and directed foreign policy for the benefit of their multinational clients in place of serious thinking based upon Realpolitik and the national interest. At other times, second-rate legacy graduates from Harvard (which seems to have some special connection to Washington), such as McNamara, have led the nation's foreign policy into disasters based upon simple-minded foolishness.

No one, in my opinion, did more damage to American foreign policy, however, than Kissinger (another Harvard fellow) who promoted what he called Realpolitik, but fundamentally misunderstood what Realpolitik was for 19th-century Germany and what it implied for America's global position during the Cold War period.

When we speak of "globalization," what we are really speaking about is "westernization." This must be clear before we can approach geo-strategic issues from the perspective of Realpolitik, and this is where Kissinger went wrong. Realpolitik is the strategic use the power of the state in a pragmatic manner to promote Enlightenment thinking so far as possible within the constraints of the real world. Maintaining open sealanes, free of piracy and other dangers, for example, would be a goal of Realpolitik, and one that the U.S. has pursued successfully.

Unfortunately, instead of the values of the Enlightenment, Kissinger viewed consensus as the ultimate basis for global stability. He felt if he could build consensus between China, Russia, The U.S. and Western Europe, then even the Communist nations would somehow, by magic maybe, conform themselves to Enlightenment, liberal ideas. This is why he pursued detante with Communist Russia and naively thought that he could open Communist China to free trade. He thought that by building consensus, he was building long-term stability. He wanted to be the Metternich of his age, but his was not the age of Metternich, and no long-term consensus can be built between nations that pursue free trade and open sea lanes and Communist nations that view all forms of commerce as inherently illicit.

The lesson of the first two world wars was that colonial mercantilism and the unrestrained national competition for resources leads to global wars. The alternative was a system of exchange in an international marketplace rather than in walled-off colonial fiefdoms. While the U.S. has done an excellent job after the Second World War of securing international trade routes and incorporating former colonial rivals, such as England, Japan, and Germany, into a Pax-Americana market, they have never successfully incorporated China or Russia into that order.

With Russia, the opportunity was there to do so in 1989, but again there was little or no geo-strategic thinking. Kissinger's detente (which then would have been appropriate for Russia in terms of Realpolitik) was replaced with neo-con, Wall-Street-style imperialism, ala Dulles. Russia was looted by Wall-Street financiers and their friends in Russia (whom the media now refers to as "oligarchs")and never properly incorporated into the Pax-Americana.

As a result of Kissinger's desperation for consensus at all costs, China now has converted itself into a modern mercantile nation that has rejected the lessons of the first two world wars and seeks to gain access to ever more resources to fuel its domestic industry. Such mercantile ambitions cannot be checked by a mere policy of containment, and as more and more nations are transformed into resource colonies for China, what little stability there is globally will shatter.

You are right. The U.S. is in desperate need of some serious geo-strategic thinking based on Realpolitik. However, I am not certain that those capable of doing so will ever occupy the positions that direct the country.


Disagree with your assessment of Kissinger wanting concensus.

IIRC, Kissinger's doctoral thesis, and if it wasn't that, it was certainly the theme of his main scholarly book (which I read so many years ago I've forgotten its title) was the interplay of an uneven number of Great Powers. Which meant Europe primarily in the 1700s. It was the balancing act between them which most exercised Kissinger's mind.

Alfred

quote:

a


"Kissinger" and "consensus" don't belong in the same sentence. Kissinger was a textbook example of the realpolitik exercise of power.



Back on topic, I also think that the Marines are divesting themselves of tanks because of a change in doctrine. It's what makes the most sense.

(in reply to Alfred)
Post #: 65
RE: OT:USMC junks their tanks (smart breath edition) - 10/2/2020 8:50:59 PM   
Alpha77

 

Posts: 1823
Joined: 9/24/2010
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"PEACE IN EUROPE" here a documentation from - not the congress of Vienna - but in fact the one in Westphalia (which is btw. where I live). This worked out great as we know:

5 Minutes of history:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-WO73Dh7rY

()

< Message edited by Alpha77 -- 10/2/2020 8:53:29 PM >

(in reply to Lokasenna)
Post #: 66
RE: OT:USMC junks their tanks (smart breath edition) - 10/2/2020 9:03:54 PM   
Rusty1961

 

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Joined: 2/4/2010
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lowpe


quote:

ORIGINAL: Rusty1961


So he expended 90 minutes to 200 minutes composing a college level paper trying-in vain-to prove me wrong. It took me all of 10 seconds to type the words I typed-words that drove him apoplectic- and he still failed to refute my point.


I'm living rent-free inside his head and loving every minute of it.





Rusty, you presuppose you are the intended target of the essay.



He quoted me, thus I was the target. I typed a sentence of words-my opinion-and he over-reacted with a dissertation.


(in reply to Lowpe)
Post #: 67
RE: OT:USMC junks their tanks (smart breath edition) - 10/12/2020 2:20:46 PM   
Rusty1961

 

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https://www.zerohedge.com/technology/astonishingly-powerful-us-army-receive-all-electric-robot-tank

10 tons.

(in reply to Rusty1961)
Post #: 68
RE: OT:USMC junks their tanks (smart breath edition) - 10/12/2020 3:51:59 PM   
RangerJoe


Posts: 8532
Joined: 11/16/2015
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rusty1961

https://www.zerohedge.com/technology/astonishingly-powerful-us-army-receive-all-electric-robot-tank

10 tons.


Nothing new about remote vehicles, Komrade.

Sieg Heil!

< Message edited by RangerJoe -- 10/12/2020 3:55:27 PM >


_____________________________

Seek peace but keep your gun handy.

I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are missing!

“Illegitemus non carborundum est (“Don’t let the bastards grind you down”).”
― Julia Child


(in reply to Rusty1961)
Post #: 69
RE: OT:USMC junks their tanks (smart breath edition) - 10/13/2020 12:54:22 PM   
Lowpe


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Joined: 2/25/2013
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Talking about Kissinger, when I was in college in the 80's the young Republican Club got Kissinger to come and give a talk. A fraternity then hosted a wine and cheese reception afterward and one of the slightly (?) inebriated frat brothers asked him in all seriousness that only a drunk frat boy possesses "Are you Jewish?" Boy did he laugh.


(in reply to RangerJoe)
Post #: 70
RE: OT:USMC junks their tanks (smart breath edition) - 10/13/2020 12:57:12 PM   
Lowpe


Posts: 20068
Joined: 2/25/2013
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rusty1961


quote:

ORIGINAL: Lowpe


quote:

ORIGINAL: Rusty1961


So he expended 90 minutes to 200 minutes composing a college level paper trying-in vain-to prove me wrong. It took me all of 10 seconds to type the words I typed-words that drove him apoplectic- and he still failed to refute my point.


I'm living rent-free inside his head and loving every minute of it.





Rusty, you presuppose you are the intended target of the essay.



He quoted me, thus I was the target. I typed a sentence of words-my opinion-and he over-reacted with a dissertation.




For no particular reason:







Attachment (1)

(in reply to Rusty1961)
Post #: 71
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