Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

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Simon_Jester
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-05-16 10:45am

I mean yes, it would, but to have that we need a Congress dominated by people who agree that keeping the lights turned on is more important than plunging their rivals into darkness. When you have an entire presidential administration in which either a sufficient minority or a majority was in firm territory of "always, always choose 'defect' in the prisoner's dilemma, in hopes of fucking over the other prisoner really hard," a lot of bad long-term decisions are going to get made in the name of short-term expedience.

It's only partly the fault of the people who make those bad long-term choices. Because they're being presented with an extremely unpalatable situation by someone who's specifically willing to sabotage the mechanisms of government in order to undermine them personally.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Gandalf » 2018-05-16 06:52pm

Patroklos wrote:
2018-05-16 03:16am
bilateralrope wrote:
2018-05-16 12:46am
If the US was officially at war in those cases, would it have behaved any differently in any of them ?
Absolutely. It should be obvious that if you are exercising war powers entirely through the authority of one branch of government, that provides for a very different character of management and oversight than if its done via the authority of two branches of government.

But the real thing here is that if you had to get Congress to vote on it, to unambiguously have representatives and senators sign their name to vote where they can't weasel words their way out of their responsibility for doing so when the body bags start arriving in their district, you are going to get a lot more scrutiny of military actions up front.
And to look at it from a different angle, think of all if the things that the US government has done in wartime during the 20th century completely legally. Then give those powers to Nixon.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Ralin » 2018-05-16 10:53pm

Seems like a moot point given that so long as the president 1) is Commander-in-Chief and can order the military to go to any particular place and do things on his own authority and 2) Congress either can not or will not impeach the president for doing so it's not possible to require any of those things. Regardless of what the Constitution says, this is how our government works.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by LaCroix » 2018-05-17 07:29am

How to win a trade war as sitting president...

1. Impose trade restrictions against a nation that endanger their large companies.
2. Said nation invests a couple of billion in a project you profit directly.
3. Tell your Commerce Department to lift restrictions.

Lifting those sanctions isn't a bad thing, per se, as the US could benefit long-term if China does not cut itself off US tech suppliers, but the timing is somewhat fishy...
A minute's thought suggests that the very idea of this is stupid. A more detailed examination raises the possibility that it might be an answer to the question "how could the Germans win the war after the US gets involved?" - Captain Seafort, in a thread proposing a 1942 'D-Day' in Quiberon Bay

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by mr friendly guy » 2018-05-17 07:38am

LaCroix wrote:
2018-05-17 07:29am
How to win a trade war as sitting president...

1. Impose trade restrictions against a nation that endanger their large companies.
2. Said nation invests a couple of billion in a project you profit directly.
3. Tell your Commerce Department to lift restrictions.

Lifting those sanctions isn't a bad thing, per se, as the US could benefit long-term if China does not cut itself off US tech suppliers, but the timing is somewhat fishy...
In the long term, this just forces China to speed up development for crucial tech so that they don't become dependent on the US, because its quite clear the US administration is willing to fuck over its own companies just to give the finger to Chinese ones, or at least play chicken in this regard. Its not like the US tech bans cough Obama restricts Intel chips cough didn't force the Chinese to build the world's fastest supercomputer using their own chips. In the short term this deal benefits Donald Trump. Long term, it will be whoever can provide a non US source of tech to Chinese companies, where its other Chinese companies or foreign companies which aren't US based.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-05-17 08:18am

Ralin wrote:
2018-05-16 10:53pm
Seems like a moot point given that so long as the president 1) is Commander-in-Chief and can order the military to go to any particular place and do things on his own authority and 2) Congress either can not or will not impeach the president for doing so it's not possible to require any of those things. Regardless of what the Constitution says, this is how our government works.
See, there's a tacit assumption that Congress (or the cabinet, under the 25th Amendment) would act if the president just randomly woke up on the wrong side of the bed and said "as commander in chief, I'm ordering the military to invade Brazil" and refused to back down when all his subordinate generals said "WTF are you insane."

Whether or not this tacit assumption is true is a whole different question.

That said... It bears pointing out that in something like 16 months in office, Trump hasn't actually invaded anybody or launched much in the way of military attacks except for areas we were already attacking under Obama. He's bullying other countries, not mugging them. It's honestly unclear to me what would happen if Trump decided to do something that was far outside the Overton window of consensus among the military-security-political complex (like invading Brazil). Or what would happen if a more competent evil president (e.g. Nixon) did the same.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-05-17 10:02am

Either way, the Overton window would shift with the actions of the President in question, as it did when a previous administration sanctioned(and either the Renquhist or the Roberts Court approved) "enhanced interrogation " techniques for unlawful enemy combatants.
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