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MattC86
01-03-2008, 04:59 AM
Wondering if any of you all have been reading the Foreign Affairs articles written (read: ghost-written) by the various presidential candidates. Nothing wildly exciting, but a few head turners, such as Giuliani's article, which ran on and on about the importance of fighting terrorism and such, and then announced we need new submarines for the Navy and a new manned bomber. Where the hell did that come from? Apparently Gen. Moseley and the wild blue have already found their guy. . .

Anyway, I figured it might be interesting to see what any of you out there think about this group running for President. . .

Matt

Granite_State
01-03-2008, 05:28 AM
Good thread. I have to admit I've mostly read others' summaries of the articles, not the full things themselves. That being said, most of what I've seen ran from the banal to the moronic, i.e. usual rhetorical BS about a "caliphate," "Islamofascism," etc. Huckabee, for his many faults, seemed to make a lot more sense than the rest, both in acknowledging the errors of the past few years and in talking sense about Iran. Ironic from the guy who was a bit late on the NIE.

Watcher In The Middle
01-03-2008, 05:30 AM
...Primarily, because we really don't know what most of them really think, and right about now, they are all catering to their specific special interests (read: Contributors, or more likely, "Contribution Assemblers").

Right about now, they'll all say just about anything to get primary votes. And honestly, this isn't really a "hot button" topic for either party in their primary races, so why go there and run the risk of alienating potential primary voters if you don't have to.

I see that the exceptions to this would be McCain and Dodd. There's history on both those guys - about what they really think. I actually think McCain (if elected) will be a lot harder on both the Navy and Air Force (he's really not a fancy toy type of guy), and probably more friendly to both the Army and the USMC. He was and is (and has made no secret of it) of being highly impressed with the current military leadership in Iraq, and honestly, they've made him look good with what has happened so far in Iraq.

Evidence is that Dodd would probably be more supportive of Navy interests (being from CT), and somewhat to USAF (Dover AFB, even though it is located in DE), plus GE aircraft business interests in CT.

Funny thing is, you are probably going to get the most truth out of the second tier candidates, most, if not all, are going to be out of the race within 3-4 weeks. They've got little to lose, so they'll be closer to telling the truth.

Obama, Rudy, Hill, Romney, Edwards - who really knows.:confused:

Beelzebubalicious
01-03-2008, 10:33 AM
It's funny that the topic is foreign affairs, but the discussion is more narrowly about US military and fighting terrorism. Frankly, I think this is part of the problem. We've missed the fact that current foreign policy has isolated the US and exacerbated tensions between the US and foreign countries.

What I think the US needs to do is to SHOW the world that we have a vision and a plan for solving international problems, including but not just limited to extremism and terrorism. We need to show this through our direct actions and then we need a much better approach to and implementation of international public diplomacy and public relations.

Beating the drum is easy and it wins votes, but it's not a very effective approach to foreign relations. Hard power is important and needed and the US can't let up on some of these countries and entities (AQ, etc.), but it needs to be balanced with more effective soft power. The two need to be consistent, not counteractive.

What I see is Republican candidates pushing the hard power w/out addressing soft power and the Democrats pushing soft power while not showing they know how to manage hard power. I don't see anyone who has a vision for doing both effectively.

Tom Odom
01-03-2008, 01:40 PM
It's funny that the topic is foreign affairs, but the discussion is more narrowly about US military and fighting terrorism. Frankly, I think this is part of the problem. We've missed the fact that current foreign policy has isolated the US and exacerbated tensions between the US and foreign countries.

What I think the US needs to do is to SHOW the world that we have a vision and a plan for solving international problems, including but not just limited to extremism and terrorism. We need to show this through our direct actions and then we need a much better approach to and implementation of international public diplomacy and public relations.

Beating the drum is easy and it wins votes, but it's not a very effective approach to foreign relations. Hard power is important and needed and the US can't let up on some of these countries and entities (AQ, etc.), but it needs to be balanced with more effective soft power. The two need to be consistent, not counteractive.

What I see is Republican candidates pushing the hard power w/out addressing soft power and the Democrats pushing soft power while not showing they know how to manage hard power. I don't see anyone who has a vision for doing both effectively.

Good points. I would say in regard to the last that what we see is what they feel will draw support from their party base, ergo soft for Democrats and hard for Republicans. It is simplistic thinking at best but we are in the 15 second sound byte mode until the election. Maybe some clarity will emerge as they move forward through the primaries. Maybe frogs will sprout wings as well.

Besides it has electrolytes..:D

Tom

Beelzebubalicious
01-03-2008, 02:13 PM
4 eyes maybe, not not wings...

http://www.sendcoffee.com/monkey-man/yesno.jpg (http://www.sendcoffee.com/monkey-man/)

Edited by administrator at request of image creator:
The source of the image above is: http://www.sendcoffee.com/monkey-man/ (http://www.sendcoffee.com/monkey-man/)

MattC86
01-03-2008, 11:00 PM
It's funny that the topic is foreign affairs, but the discussion is more narrowly about US military and fighting terrorism. Frankly, I think this is part of the problem. We've missed the fact that current foreign policy has isolated the US and exacerbated tensions between the US and foreign countries.



I disagree with some of what you said, but this is absolutely spot on. Giuliani and Romney just basically wrote, "terrorism, terrorism, terrorism, 9/11, islamo-facist, terrorism, terrorism, war in iraq." Giuliani, for instance, wrote "there are, however, other important challenges, like the rise of China."

Two sentences later, he was back on terrorism. It's like their version of "Arabic" in Team America; dirka dirka dirka muhammad jihad.

The one I liked most so far was McCain - mainly because he seems to do the least pandering anyway. Obama's was good (so was Clinton's, frankly - my problems with her have less to do with her ideas and more to do with her being a canniving political hack with no real practical experience) as well, but McCain's showed a strong understanding of the military issue as it fits in with our foreign policy as a whole.

When a Republican is the one who writes, "to be a great leader, America must first be a great ally," you know you've found someone who gets it. He has some serious shortcomings in how he views Iraq/Afghanistan/Pakistan, but overall I really enjoyed his article. Check it out.

Shows you how little I care about anything domestic - the two guys I'd vote for are McCain and Obama.

Matt

Beelzebubalicious
01-04-2008, 08:37 AM
Something like this?...

Penta
01-04-2008, 08:28 PM
That would be absolutely kickass.

Seriously, it would be. Which is why it will never ever happen.

Jedburgh
01-07-2008, 02:27 PM
The Insider Brief, 6 Jan 08: Obama Requests to Meet Pakistani Officials (http://www.pakintel.com/2008/01/06/beltway-brief-obama-requests-to-meet-pakistani-officials/)

Sources are indicating that Senator Barack Obama has requested to meet with Pakistani officials to discuss (read: learn about) the political situation in Pakistan and specifically, all matters pertaining to the Bhutto assassination.

Obama has taken some rather hardline stances in the past when it has come to Pakistan. Heís stated in the past that:

- The US should unilaterally send troops into Pakistan (http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSN0132206420070801) if there is actionable intelligence re: high value terrorist targets. (He later revisited (http://www.siouxcityjournal.com/articles/2007/08/07/news/top/8d9e96c628c098008625732f008341f5.txt) this statement.)

- US Vice President, Dick Cheney, who currently manages US policy towards Pakistan, should visit Pakistan and ask President Musharraf to step down (http://www.boston.com/news/politics/politicalintelligence/2008/01/biden_hits_riva.html).

- Pakistan has many problems (http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2007/12/27/535827.aspx) ó including an anti-democratic president and an Islamist extremist movement that operates freely between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Without having made substantive statements with regard to Pakistan since his botched comment over invading Pakistan (see above), itís clear that Obama doesnít have a detailed Pakistan policy the way Senator Joe Biden did. In fact, now that Sen. Biden has quit his election bid for president, there are few, if any remaining candidates, with legitimate Pakistan related policies.....

Presley Cannady
01-09-2008, 03:16 PM
Here's my rough score-card on the candidates 2007 plans on expanding Army and Marine Corps end strength.

1. John McCain: ~900,000 (+150,000 from FY 2007 Defense Authorization)
2. Mike Huckabee: ~750,000 (0)
3. Mitt Romney: ~758,000 (+8,000)
4. Rudy Giuliani: ~640,000 to 780,000 (-160,000 to +30,000, was unclear whether this was over actual end strength or authorized)
5. Barack Obama: ~750,000 (0)
6. Hilary Clinton: (didn't commit to numbers in her FA article, but did vote for FY 2007 DA)
7. John Edwards: (unknown, but rejected the 92,000 increase in end strength)

Adam L
01-10-2008, 06:15 AM
That would be absolutely kickass.

Seriously, it would be. Which is why it will never ever happen.
Why not McCain/Biden (prior to his taking up the party line.)

Personally, I don't trust Obama for ten seconds and I find him obnoxious. I also find it amazing how he speechifies fo 40 minutes, says nothing (no content) and no one notices. (no offense intended)

Here are few McCain combinations that would be intersting:
McCain/D'amato (talk about abbrasive) {being from NY I was hoping one day we would get a D'amatto/Koch or Koch/D'amatto ticket. 2 tough New Yorkers. LOL!}
McCain/Haig (this ones just for fun :) )
McCain/Lieberman (please G-d, NO!)

Note: The Following is a rant!

This race depresses me. The only real conservative (sort of) (Thompson) has been moving towards the right in order to be more popular. Conservatism is now something completely alien from the conservativism we had with Goldwater, Nixon, etc. (not that I am saying they apidimized the concept, but they came very close) I am always reminded of what Goldwater said to Bob Dole in 1996, "We're the new liberals of the Republican Party. Can you imagine that?"

Adam L

Penta
01-10-2008, 09:04 PM
Because Biden plagiarizes speeches wholesale.

Meanwhile...Thing is, I'm hardly a conservative. Or a liberal. I am a deeply determined centrist.

Adam L
01-10-2008, 11:37 PM
Because Biden plagiarizes speeches wholesale.

Meanwhile...Thing is, I'm hardly a conservative. Or a liberal. I am a deeply determined centrist.
You have a point about the speaches.

I don't consider myself conservative or a liberal. I don't fit anywhere on the spectrum. I just want to know where center is these days. LOL! :) Are the two sides moving apart at equal rates? If they are different rates, where has center moved to? LOL! :)

Personally, I hate classifications. (Also, that Phil Ochs would find todays "liberals" to be too far out even for his tastes.) On different issues I lean one way or another but normally for identical reasons that are apolitical. I find it most rritating that everything is a package deal these days.

Adam L