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Old 12-13-2007, 03:40 PM   #181
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well, if that's all there is, and all you can do is point to pundits and not policy makers in a lame attempt to backpedal while at the same time failing to grasp that facts aren't any good when all they are is arranged to support whatever sweepingly inaccurate conclusion you've already drawn, then i think it's safe to simply declare victory, again, and depart this thread with the following positive development, and hopefully the way forward for the US:



[q]Led by the military, war-weary US awakens to 'soft power'

by Jim MannionThu Dec 13, 11:51 AM ET

After six hard years of war, the United States is awakening to the idea that "soft power" is a better way to regain influence and clout in a world bubbling with instability.

And nowhere is the change in thinking more advanced than in the US military, which is pushing for greater diplomacy, economic aid, civic action and civilian capabilities to prevent new wars and win the peace in Iraq and Afghanistan.

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates caught the spirit in a much praised speech at Kansas State University last month, calling for a dramatic increase in spending on civilian instruments of power.

Such an appeal would have been unthinkable not long ago, as Gates himself acknowledged, saying it was a "man bites dog" story.

"I think having stubbed our toe badly on Iraq, people are realizing that we weren't doing that well, and it's time for a change," said Joseph Nye, a Harvard professor and former senior Pentagon official.

Nye popularized the term "soft power" in books and essays which argue that a key source of US clout is its ability to attract friends and allies by investing in the international good.

"Since 9/11, the United States has been exporting fear and anger rather than the more traditional values of hope and optimism," a report by a commission Nye co-chaired with Richard Armitage, the former deputy secretary of state, warned last month. As a result, it said, "Suspicions of American power have run deep."

The United States needs to pursue a positive vision that goes beyond the war on terrorism, it said.

The response of the Bush administration has been "a mixed bag," Nye said.

"But I do think that the view that we have not had smart power in terms of combining the various instruments we have, that we have underinvested in soft power, is represented in the Gates' remarks," he said.

Gates pointed to the huge disparity between the Pentagon's half trillion dollar budget and the State Department's 37 billion dollars.

Its 6,600 diplomats amount to the crew of a single US aircraft carrier, he said.

The US Agency for International Development has been slashed from 15,000 to 3,000 people, and the US Information Agency was dismantled, he said.

Underfunded and undermanned, US civilian agencies have not kept up with the demand for experts in war zones, leading to bitter complaints from US military officers that they have been left holding the bag.

General James Conway, the Marine Corps commandant, recalled recently that after the march on Baghdad in 2003, his marines were sent to stabilize southern Iraq.

"We were told to expect local governance teams and governance support teams which would help us with those functions and many, many more," he said. "Those teams did not arrive."

Marines have to be prepared to perform those tasks in future conflicts, he said.

But the right answer is to fund agencies "that we know are going to be players with this soft power (so) that they could develop sort of an expeditionary mentality and people who are anxious to get overseas and get their hands dirty," Conway said.

The State Department is seeking funding for a deployable corps of civilian experts.

But it is the military that has taken the lead in thinking about ways to harness civilian expertise to create security, raising fears in some quarters of a more militarized foreign policy.

The model is a new Africa Command that the Pentagon is establishing to help strengthen security in a troubled continent.

It is supposed to have a senior State Department official as its deputy and components from other civilian agencies.

"The risk is that it may end up being overly military and not enough of the others in part because of money and bodies. State for example is very worried about it for that reason," said Robert Hunter, a former US ambassador to NATO.

The military wants civilian agencies to do more to prevent wars, but is not waiting for them to get their act together, analysts say.

Instead, it has stepped up thinking and planning for what it calls "phase zero," military jargon for conflict prevention.

"I think they've come to the conclusion that insurgencies are really hard to fight. And so it would be better if they could not have the conflict in the first place," said Robert Perito, an expert at the US Institute of Peace.

"In conflict prevention, of course, there is very little military component to that. It's mostly all political and economic. That's the other thing that is going on," he said.[/q]
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Old 12-13-2007, 04:18 PM   #182
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Why Iran? Because they are unwilling to accept responsibility for the traumatic harm they reaped on its people, and react to anger on the part of Iranians and attempts to protect themselves as undue aggression. Any fair assessment would realize that at least part of what Iran is doing is perfectly rational.

Also, Bush is a hypocritical, simple-minded bigot who seeks to destroy anyone who does not cleave unto his will. This is what happens when you elect exclusive bullies and there's no one to reign them in.
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Old 12-13-2007, 04:19 PM   #183
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Quote:
Originally posted by Muldfeld
Why Iran? Because they are unwilling to accept responsibility for the traumatic harm they reaped on its people, and react to anger on the part of Iranians and attempts to protect themselves as undue aggression. Any fair assessment would realize that at least part of what Iran is doing is perfectly rational.

Also, Bush is a hypocritical, simple-minded bigot who seeks to destroy anyone who does not cleave unto his will. This is what happens when you elect exclusive bullies and there's no one to reign them in.
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Old 12-13-2007, 04:39 PM   #184
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Quote:
Originally posted by Muldfeld
Why Iran? Because they are unwilling to accept responsibility for the traumatic harm they reaped on its people, and react to anger on the part of Iranians and attempts to protect themselves as undue aggression. Any fair assessment would realize that at least part of what Iran is doing is perfectly rational.

Also, Bush is a hypocritical, simple-minded bigot who seeks to destroy anyone who does not cleave unto his will. This is what happens when you elect exclusive bullies and there's no one to reign them in.


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Old 12-13-2007, 06:13 PM   #185
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Originally posted by ntalwar


How about Bushehr, and the three to four other reactors planned? Sure, it's not operational yet, but it's supposedly near completion.
Really, thats interesting considering the Russians were contracted to build it for them like 15 years ago. Will it be operational, next year, 2 years from now, or another 15 years? Who cares, just as long as it helps convince a gullible public that Iran has no interest in developing nuclear weapons. How many years has Iran been enriching uranium for non-existent, or non-operational reactors?
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Old 12-13-2007, 06:37 PM   #186
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Originally posted by Irvine511
well, if that's all there is, and all you can do is point to pundits and not policy makers in a lame attempt to backpedal while at the same time failing to grasp that facts aren't any good when all they are is arranged to support whatever sweepingly inaccurate conclusion you've already drawn, then i think it's safe to simply declare victory, again, and depart this thread with the following positive development, and hopefully the way forward for the US:

q]
The policy makers, in this case the leading Democratic candidates, tend to be a little more responsible with their claims and ideas than the people I was speaking of, including many of the posters in here.

I happen to agree with a lot of what the article said, although its not really any sort of a wake up call for the US military as the article tends to suggest. The US military has had extensive experience prior to Afghanistan and Iraq with the the wars in Bosnia and Kosovo. Diplomacy, economic aid, and civil affairs were key in helping stablize those regions after US troops deployed on the ground. In addition, such non-military means were extensively used during the Cold War to help contain the Soviet Union and other communist expansion. So this is nothing new, although I do agree the current levels of funding for the State Department, USAID and other civilian agencies should have been heavily increased long ago.

Unfortunately, the article does not point out that it was under the Clinton administration that the US information agency was dismantled and when many of the cuts in the US agency for international development took place. Sorry to disapoint you if you thought this took place under the "evil pukey" George Bush.
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Old 12-13-2007, 07:00 PM   #187
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Quote:
Originally posted by Muldfeld
Why Iran? Because they are unwilling to accept responsibility for the traumatic harm they reaped on its people, and react to anger on the part of Iranians and attempts to protect themselves as undue aggression. Any fair assessment would realize that at least part of what Iran is doing is perfectly rational.

Also, Bush is a hypocritical, simple-minded bigot who seeks to destroy anyone who does not cleave unto his will. This is what happens when you elect exclusive bullies and there's no one to reign them in.
Is it rational to submit the people of your country to global interational sanctions in order to allegedly develop nuclear power for energy in a country that has plenty of other natural resources for energy? Is it rational to supply weapons and armaments to terrorist organization such as Humas and Hezbollah in order to target and murder innocent civilians in a country less than 10% the size of your own? Is it rational to send weapons to militia's, terrorist in Iraq and Afghanistan that are attempting to destablize both countries? If Iran would stop engaging in such harmful activities, they might be able to do something about their country's pitiful standard of living.
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Old 12-13-2007, 07:02 PM   #188
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Quote:
Originally posted by Strongbow


Really, thats interesting considering the Russians were contracted to build it for them like 15 years ago. Will it be operational, next year, 2 years from now, or another 15 years? Who cares, just as long as it helps convince a gullible public that Iran has no interest in developing nuclear weapons. How many years has Iran been enriching uranium for non-existent, or non-operational reactors?
They will probably need nuclear power sooner or later, as their oil infrastructure is aging. Perhaps the Russians delayed work due to political pressure. It seems that the Russians providing nuclear fuel is also controversial. The BBC reports that a schedule for completion of the reactor has been worked out, and details will be announced soon:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7142117.stm

More and more countries around the world have plans for nuclear plants.
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Old 12-13-2007, 10:00 PM   #189
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Originally posted by ntalwar


They will probably need nuclear power sooner or later, as their oil infrastructure is aging. Perhaps the Russians delayed work due to political pressure. It seems that the Russians providing nuclear fuel is also controversial. The BBC reports that a schedule for completion of the reactor has been worked out, and details will be announced soon:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7142117.stm

More and more countries around the world have plans for nuclear plants.
True, but how many of those countries are already enriching uranium without actually having a reactor, have some of the worlds largest reserves of oil, natural gas, as well as abundent hydroelectric power, are also a known state sponsor of terrorism, are attempting to build long range ballistic missiles, and have now had several UN security council resolutions passed against it authorizing sanctions because of their nuclear activities?
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Old 12-13-2007, 10:06 PM   #190
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And how many countries consider that an "imminent threat?"

They have potential right now. That's it. With potential, you watch it. Closely. You continue to communicate diplomatically. You don't throw the words "World War III" and "imminent threat."

Lucky for us, Bush and Cheney are no George Creel.
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Old 12-13-2007, 10:13 PM   #191
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Originally posted by phillyfan26
And how many countries consider that an "imminent threat?"

They have potential right now. That's it. With potential, you watch it. Closely. You continue to communicate diplomatically. You don't throw the words "World War III" and "imminent threat."

Lucky for us, Bush and Cheney are no George Creel.


The World War III statement used by Bush refered to a situation where Iran actually obtained nuclear weapons, which Barak Obama has actually mentioned as well using the words, "nuclear flashpoint". Both Bush and most candidates for President believe that situation should be prevented.
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Old 12-13-2007, 10:37 PM   #192
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Quote:
Originally posted by Strongbow

True, but how many of those countries are already enriching uranium without actually having a reactor, have some of the worlds largest reserves of oil, natural gas, as well as abundent hydroelectric power, are also a known state sponsor of terrorism, are attempting to build long range ballistic missiles, and have now had several UN security council resolutions passed against it authorizing sanctions because of their nuclear activities?
Libya is oil-rich, yet France signed a nuclear agreement with them. All of these oil-rich countries will need a source of energy when their oil runs out. Also, the NNPT allows countries which have signed it to enrich uranium.
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Old 12-13-2007, 11:10 PM   #193
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Quote:
Originally posted by Strongbow




The World War III statement used by Bush refered to a situation where Iran actually obtained nuclear weapons, which Barak Obama has actually mentioned as well using the words, "nuclear flashpoint". Both Bush and most candidates for President believe that situation should be prevented.
Nuclear flashpoint ≠ World War III
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Old 01-07-2008, 02:38 PM   #194
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Bush just said in his speech that the U.S. should expand and do research on nuclear energy and eventually start using it as a replacement to oil. A bit hypocritical. Why can't Iran research nuclear energy? Why can't Iran diversify away from oil and use nuclear energy. They should be able to do all the nuclear research they want, use all the nuclear energy they want, and create all the nuclear bombs they want. America should get the fuck out of their business.
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Old 01-07-2008, 02:56 PM   #195
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Given the area Iran resides in, its neighbors and even its own provocative tendencies, I don't think it's a good idea for Iran to create all the nuclear bombs they want.
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