Our escalating tensions with North Korea are harming South Korea financially. As we put pressure on South Korea to install the THAAD systems, we have alienated China, who sees the missiles as a threat to them. South Korea paid for that decision when China imposed all sorts of sanctions on imports from South Korea. Perhaps South Korea will decide that our presence isn’t worth it any more.(0 comment)

“Xinhua gushes about "powerful positive energy" after US president showed he is capable of making all the right diplomatic noises” I’m not sure how this comes out. There are many in the Trump administration that want huge trade wars with China. There are many who want to have China as a military adversary. I do know that it can’t hurt for two of the three most powerful countries to meet and get to know each other. With all of the troubles in the world, we could learn a lot about how to conduct foreign policy from China.(0 comment)

Russia is not actually interested in undermining American “democracy”. In fact, the United States isn’t particularly concerned either. But Russiagate continues to give mainstream media a narrative that it can sell to its dwindling core audience. However, when it comes to the real linchpin of American power, the almighty Dollar, things are very different. Since it typically takes millions of Dollars at minimum, to even enter major US elections, it is clear that the American electoral system, like just about everything in the US, is as tied in to the power of the Dollar as any other institution. The entire contrived narrative about Russia is really a thinly placed mask which hides the real worry in the US about Russia’s latest geo-strategic moves. Today, Russia’s Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister took part in an official visit to China where both countries signed agreements to expand bilateral trade in national currencies, as opposed to using the US Dollar as the standard transaction currency. … (1 comment)

The US seems to be stuck in the Cold War. We see the only way to make allies is to pick a side in a country and arm and train them to defeat the other side. As has been our model for decades we pick someone to lead these countries and of course it’s usually someone that has been educated in the west and is someone we like as opposed to someone that the people of the country like. It has never worked out well. The fall of the Soviet Union taught a lot of lessons to our foes around the world. We defeated them by bankrupting them. Our adversaries realized that “investing” in military hardware was not a bright idea. Fast forward to 2017. Our former adversaries have been concentrating on economic growth. They had discovered that it is easier and more profitable to gain geopolitical influence with economic power than military power. For those who question the concept of trade as a weapon, you just need to look at South Korea and China. South Korea exports a lot of goods to China. When we forced the South Koreans to install the Thaad system in their country, China saw it as a threat. Oddly enough, South Korea’s exports to China were turned off. Huge economic impact on South Korea.…

This is an amazing three part series. All three parts are linked below. When the Cold War ended, America stood at a cross roads. Many hailed the resultant “peace dividend”. The notion was that with the end of high defense spending during the Cold War, we could use that money for other internal purposes (of course no politician put forth the notion of giving the money back to the taxpayers). Aside from economic changes, the US faced no major military threats for the first time in a long time. What an opportunity. Of course the opportunity was turned into America becoming an empire, just like the old British empire. It’s ending the same way. We had a long period where we could impose our way pretty much at will. In the absence of an economic or military adversary, we become the bullies of the world. Then Russia and China caught up. We stood a good chance of becoming one of the three “super powers”, sharing influence with the Russians and the Chinese. Right now we face the very real possibility of falling behind China and Russia. This is a very sobering series.

The “what” of North Korea’s nuclear weapons is a known thing. It’s a copy of a 1960’s Polaris missile. An old US design. This design was copied by Israel, France, Russia and China; probably even India. It is also the Israeli Jericho 2 design, copied from the Polaris A1 design. The UK also had it in their older nuclear submarines. The good news is that the warhead does not separate from the missiles’ main body, so it’s easy to intercept. The re-entry platform is quite crude. The bad news is that with 150kt yield, it’s still dangerous. What puzzles most analysts is how fast North Korea got from rudimentary designs to this latest improved version. In other words, who has been helping them. The notion that it’s Iran is pretty bizarre. Iran doesn’t have a nuclear bomb. It seem to make more sense to look at who does have them and see who would have an interest in North Korea having one too. This site below makes a strong argument that it’s China. This is the part of the post that drops down from knowledge to mere information. It’s a good argument, but for now I don’t know. You would think our zillion dollar intelligence agencies would have an answer. If you are a conspiracy minded person, you might be inclined to believe that they do know.

Foreign policy in this country has sadly fallen to the purview of the defense department, not the state department. This isn’t anything new, and has been this way since the end of the cold war. We conduct foreign policy at the end of a gun, sending drones, rockets and missiles at those who we disagree with. Some of this is a function of the fact that we were the only super power left at the end of the cold war. We could bully countries with ease and there was little that they could do to stop us. We damaged and destroyed a lot of countries, but have little to show for it. The tide shifted when we decided to mess with countries that had powerful allies that weren’t intimidated. Syria is the perfect example, where the Russians came to Syria’s aid. We’re reaping the seeds that have been sown in decades of intimidation and it’s not working. North Korea presents a lot of issues. Ignoring how we got to this situation in North Korea is foolish, but going forward in the face of “lack of cooperation” in our process from China, Russia and South Korea is a disaster waiting to happen. North Korea currently has no capability to hurt America. Sure they would like to, but they can't. China has consistently stated that if North Korea starts a war, they would be on our side, but if we started it, they would be on North Korea’s side. Are the neos that crazy that they would want to start WWIII?

There is a saying that the only constant in life is change. The US used to value innovation. We no longer lead the world in innovation. As our deep state got larger, the sheer inertia of moving large corporations into change has caused us to protect the old instead of looking for the new. China is embracing change and rewarding innovation. Government can create a culture of innovation often by just getting out of the way.