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President Trump and the Future of Europe

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Arkolon
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President Trump and the Future of Europe

Postby Arkolon » Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:18 pm

With the American election upon us and the polls so tight, the prospect of a Trump victory is looming. Trump would no doubt be an outlier in the history of American Presidents, with a discourse so radically out-of-line the paradigm of American foreign policy. For us Europeans, it is in many ways the foreign policy of the next President that matters most to us. For all of Hillary's critics bashing her over her interventionist foreign policy, it's worth reminding that Trump represents a foreign policy that is far more dangerous for the future of Europe: isolationism. Trump represents the 'closed world' politics that hits back against interdependence, interconnectedness and so-called 'globalism' - in many ways the illiberal antithesis of the vision of the Western establishment in the postwar era. It is this 'closed world' type of politics that is equally pushed by the likes of Le Pen, Wilders, Brexit and AfD. So what kind of consequences would a Trump presidency have for Europe?

I can identify three major question marks that may occur following Trump's possible inauguration, all with varying degrees of possibility.

The first of these comes from the questionable relationship between Russia and the Republican candidate, and Russia's interest in seeing him win this Tuesday. Already we know that Russia has been interfering with the American election with the goal of discrediting American democracy. A revenge against Clinton (who in 2011 discredited Russian democracy) perhaps, or maybe a tactic to satisfy Russian interests in Europe. Trump has made clear his foreign policy is one of total non-intervention, hinting at refusing to defend fellow NATO member-states in the case of an attack. Russia, already subsidising and supporting the isolationists across the European continent, has interests in proving that it is not, as Obama said, a declining "regional power" and to keep pursuing an aggressive foreign policy in the European border states. While an all-out conventional war is no doubt unlikely (Putin is not one to play anything by the book), Putin may be more comfortable with expanding his 'non-linear warfare' by funding and arming rebels in the Baltic states, much as he did in Ukraine. A test for the continent, for sure, and one a President Trump is likely to ignore, probably even denying Russian involvement. That is a near-future scenario, but who knows where that may lead in the years ahead. Putin may not stop himself there, using any Russian minority rebellion in the Baltic states as a case for fully-fledged intervention. Again, real sweat for the brows of Europe's leaders, but a test Trump may further ignore.

The second question mark is one that is less political, but more material. It's well-anticipated that a Trump victory would signal a Brexit-type financial scare, sending the S&P falling and bond prices rising and yields tumbling. We've already seen the S&P lose ground as Clinton's poll ratings slid since Mr Comey's revelation last week, and a Trump victory would no doubt worsen this. A weaker dollar may prove beneficial for American exporters, but it's the last thing Europe (and Japan, for that matter) needs right now. A stronger euro would further reduce chances at export-led growth in the continent, and falling yields would add to the existing deflation expectations that is hampering economic growth. More years of stagnation would only exacerbate social and political unrest in Europe, slowing the process of the integration of migrants as job and growth prospects dry up. I could hope for EU-wide solutions to EU-wide problems, but if the last 9 years have taught me anything, it's that I shouldn't hold my breath.

This brings me onto the third question mark. With added social unrest and a clear victory for 'closed world' politics, we have a recipe for further electoral gains in favour of Europe's own anti-establishment isolationists. With Brexit, the perceived ineptitude of the political class and now Trump, this could be a good omen for eurosceptics participating in the elections taking place next year. Although a blowout is unlikely, it would only take one victory for the entire continent to be further destabilised and the entire European project put at serious risk. Coupled with this any possible Russian aggression and a refusal from our ally across the Atlantic to help out, disaffected voters can easily be swayed into electing a populist of their own. And that would only be a further victory for Russia, who would now have completely-free reign over a fractured continent - with Montenegro claiming Russian rebels plotted a coup of the country, Bulgaria suggesting Russia is interfering in its political affairs, and it being now undeniable that Russia has been involved in Ukraine from the start, who knows what Russia is capable of in front of a balkanised continent with an unresponsive military alliance.

Ironically, the safest place to go live in the case of a Trump victory is in America itself. I live a decent way away from the would-be front-lines of any feud that could take place between Russia and a weakened Eastern Europe, but the future of the European Union and the European project would be at an even more alarming level of risk in the case of a Trump victory. I don't have enough faith in Europe's current leaders to show any brinksmanship towards an even more hostile Russia, and neither do I have enough faith in fellow European voters to keep eurosceptics out of power. I believe in 'open world' politics as a European liberal that seems to be a rare breed these days, so I have all the reasons in the world to be rooting for Hillary. But in the case of a Trump win, which is looking more likely than ever, it's important to assess all the likely scenarios for the future of our continent. So, NSG, what do you think?
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The Liberated Territories
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Postby The Liberated Territories » Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:19 pm

Foreign policy for the most part is one of the areas in which Trump isn’t truly terrible in, in fact I am surprised why there isn’t more support on part of Europeans since Europe usually gets the brunt of American military adventurism. But I think I know why: other countries have been selfishly taking advantage of American military dominance by basically having their military subsidized, meanwhile appreciating fuck-all for what it is worth. Only five of 28 countries in NATO meet the defense spending goal. Yet Europeans are unappreciative of this and instead prefer to sling insults at Americans while mooching off what basically amounts of a subsidized defense, perhaps so they can build their barely sustainable welfare states. Although I am voting for Gary Johnson, I would at least appreciate it if Trump took us down the path of “isolationism” and abandoned the crumbling infrastructure known as the “West.” I don’t care what Russia does, he’s your neighbor not ours (Alaska disregarding). All I want is an end to the warmongering that Bush, Obama, and perhaps Clinton will continue while destroying possibilities for markets and radicalizing Islamic terrorism everywhere. Both Europe and America would benefit, I think, in the long run.
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Esternial
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Postby Esternial » Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:19 pm

We'll manage. Frankly we've got enough problems at home, like Paul bloody Magnette, but we'll manage.
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Sanctissima
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Postby Sanctissima » Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:30 pm

To be frank, the only major problem I see for Europe with a Trump election is NATO. He probably would push the 2% GDP thing, which to be frank, wouldn't be all that bad. Germany in particular would finally have to start actually maintaining a military that isn't the laughing stock of the EU.

The Putin bromance would inevitably be a thing, but I wouldn't be all too concerned about it. It's not like Russia would take advantage of the opportunity to invade half of Europe. Hell, it's not like it even has the capability to do that anymore. This isn't back in the old glory days of the USSR, after all.

Ukraine, however, would probably be bullied around quite a bit more. Then again, who cares, it's Ukraine.

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Postby Yorkers » Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:35 pm

Good.
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The Forsworn Knights
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Postby The Forsworn Knights » Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:40 pm

Sanctissima wrote:To be frank, the only major problem I see for Europe with a Trump election is NATO. He probably would push the 2% GDP thing, which to be frank, wouldn't be all that bad. Germany in particular would finally have to start actually maintaining a military that isn't the laughing stock of the EU.

The Putin bromance would inevitably be a thing, but I wouldn't be all too concerned about it. It's not like Russia would take advantage of the opportunity to invade half of Europe. Hell, it's not like it even has the capability to do that anymore. This isn't back in the old glory days of the USSR, after all.

Ukraine, however, would probably be bullied around quite a bit more. Then again, who cares, it's Ukraine.

This pretty much. He would severely mess up America, but Europe would not get the massive invasion from the East everyone expects.
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Dushan
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Postby Dushan » Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:42 pm

A Victory for MAGA would swap across the Atlantic Ocean towards Europe and turn into MEGA here.

Make Europe Great Again.

It would be Time and I'd say that with all my Eurotrash Deluxe® pride. 8)

I am by no means an Eurosceptic, I love Europe. Europe is our Fatherland and it is Time that the ruling liberal establishment GTFO.

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Commonwealth of Hank the Cat
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Postby Commonwealth of Hank the Cat » Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:42 pm

Sanctissima wrote:To be frank, the only major problem I see for Europe with a Trump election is NATO. He probably would push the 2% GDP thing, which to be frank, wouldn't be all that bad. Germany in particular would finally have to start actually maintaining a military that isn't the laughing stock of the EU.

The Putin bromance would inevitably be a thing, but I wouldn't be all too concerned about it. It's not like Russia would take advantage of the opportunity to invade half of Europe. Hell, it's not like it even has the capability to do that anymore. This isn't back in the old glory days of the USSR, after all.

Ukraine, however, would probably be bullied around quite a bit more. Then again, who cares, it's Ukraine.


"Then again, who cares, it's Ukraine." Is this seriously how selfish and absurd modern politics has begun? This is it? We seriously don't care about people in other countries fighting for their freedom? I mean, Jesus Christ. This is sick. Really, really sick.

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Arkolon
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Postby Arkolon » Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:43 pm

Sanctissima wrote:The Putin bromance would inevitably be a thing, but I wouldn't be all too concerned about it. It's not like Russia would take advantage of the opportunity to invade half of Europe. Hell, it's not like it even has the capability to do that anymore. This isn't back in the old glory days of the USSR, after all.

The word "bromance" here is far too strong. Putin has no interest in caring any more about Trump's character as he does Le Pen's, Farage's or Wilders'. Trump can only be a 'useful idiot', to quote the FT, whose politics will play right into the hands of Russia's interests. It's no secret that Russia has obvious interest in supporting isolationists across Europe, as a disunited Europe would be favourable ground for Russian action. Of course, to "invade half of Europe" is a total exaggeration, and I never even suggested something of that order. Rather, Russia would be very capable of "pulling a Ukraine", if you will, in the Baltics - and when Trump refuses to budge, Putin could secure the Russian rebels' victory with some more formal assistance. It would be a test for Trump that he would not even think of responding to, and it would signal the end of NATO as a meaningful alliance.
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Nikolai the Russian Guy
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Postby Nikolai the Russian Guy » Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:44 pm

Except Trump won't win so we have nothing to worry about.

He's too simply awful and lacks the proper support.
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The Derpy Democratic Republic Of Herp
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Postby The Derpy Democratic Republic Of Herp » Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:44 pm

Nikolai the Russian Guy wrote:Except Trump won't win so we have nothing to worry about.

He's too simply awful and lacks the proper support.


What he said.

Most models show Hillary having more electoral votes.
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The Liberated Territories
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Postby The Liberated Territories » Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:45 pm

Dushan wrote:A Victory for MAGA would swap across the Atlantic Ocean towards Europe and turn into MEGA here.

Make Europe Great Again.

It would be Time and I'd say that with all my Eurotrash Deluxe® pride. 8)

I am by no means an Eurosceptic, I love Europe. Europe is our Fatherland and it is Time that the ruling liberal establishment GTFO.


You are my favorite piece of Eurotrash, you know that? :p

(Although stuff that is coming out of Germany is usually of good caliber)
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Arkolon
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Postby Arkolon » Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:48 pm

The Derpy Democratic Republic Of Herp wrote:
Nikolai the Russian Guy wrote:Except Trump won't win so we have nothing to worry about.

He's too simply awful and lacks the proper support.


What he said.

Most models show Hillary having more electoral votes.

I can't see into the future just yet (I'm working on it), so this thread is obviously about hypothetical scenarios surrounding a hypothetical Trump victory.
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Dushan
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Postby Dushan » Sun Nov 06, 2016 5:00 pm

The Liberated Territories wrote:
Dushan wrote:A Victory for MAGA would swap across the Atlantic Ocean towards Europe and turn into MEGA here.

Make Europe Great Again.

It would be Time and I'd say that with all my Eurotrash Deluxe® pride. 8)

I am by no means an Eurosceptic, I love Europe. Europe is our Fatherland and it is Time that the ruling liberal establishment GTFO.


You are my favorite piece of Eurotrash, you know that? :p

(Although stuff that is coming out of Germany is usually of good caliber)


No.. no.. I didn knew that! :blush:

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German efficiency so to speak. ^^

At least thats how I like to pretend it is because it is cool. <.<
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Longweather
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Postby Longweather » Sun Nov 06, 2016 5:04 pm

I'm still waiting for evidence that Russia is interfering with the election and names of people to confirm it outside of "former officials" and "government insiders." That could mean literally anybody or not even be true.
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Freefall11111
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Postby Freefall11111 » Sun Nov 06, 2016 5:06 pm

I agree with your assessment for the most part. Before I say anything else, I'm going to copy-paste into a spoiler a post I've made in the past about geopolitics & Trump, so that people understand where I'm coming from.

Let's be clear: There's no choice to be made in this election. Third party candidates are irrelevant due to the USA's electoral system, so there are only two candidates worth discussing: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Only one of those will pursue American geopolitical interests, and it's not Trump.

Q: What are American geopolitical interests?

A: The overarching theme of American geopolitical interests originated in the same place the Cold War did. It could be argued, then, that that current American geopolitical interests were born in 1946, either in February when George F Kennan released his Long Telegram, or in September, when Secretary of State James F Byrnes delivered a speech in Germany warning the USSR that the US intended to maintain a military presence on the European continent indefinitely. At the latest, it could be argued that the formation of the Cominform in September 1947 was the origin of current American geopolitical interests. So what are current American geopolitical interests? To maintain the USA's spot as the number one power in the world, with no competition coming close to threatening that position. But why? Why does the USA care about being number one? Most countries don't have such an aim.

The answer is that the USA learned from the past. For much of recorded history, the world existed in a multi-polar distribution of power, which can be defined as a world in which at least four, or more, nation-states have nearly equal amounts of power (and power can be said to include military, cultural, and/or economic influence). From the Three Kingdoms period, to the Thirty Years War, to World War I, multipolarity allowed states to wage war against those of near equal power in order to gain the upper hand. This changed after World War II ended when Europe, then in control of much of the world, was left devastated and unable to maintain its empires. Suddenly the USA and USSR were far stronger than anyone else. They maintained armies and industrial bases far above what the rest of the world had. The world was their playground. This was the beginning of bipolarity, the USA (and by extension NATO) versus the USSR (and by extension the Warsaw Pact).

Of course, we know how that story ends. The USA won. The USSR collapsed. Now the USA was the only one left with the ability to go wherever and do whatever it wants. The USSR's collapse led to unipolarity, a state in which one country is so far above the rest in power that they're effectively a hegemon. Make no mistake, the USA is and has been effectively the world's hegemon since the USSR's collapse. The US holds unprecedented military, cultural, and economic influence over every country in existence. Just because others hold some influence over the US does not negate this fact.

This is where modern American geopolitical interests really come into shape. Since the USSR's collapse, US geopolitical interests went from working hard to achieve the number one spot in competition with the USSR and its allies, to maintaining the unipolarity of the world. By being at the top, nobody can threaten the USA as a nation-state or its people. This is the ultimate goal of every foreign policy decision made by the USA, in one form or another.

Q: Why should I care?

A: Because American hegemony has been stable. Despite popular perception that the world is getting more dangerous, it isn't. In fact, the world has reached an unprecedented level of peace. Ever since the end of World War II, and especially since the end of the Cold War, deaths caused by violent conflicts have plummeted. What changed? It could be argued, and is argued by many, that the polarity of the world shifting is to blame. It is no coincidence that after millennia of multipolarity, deaths drop sharply as bipolarity is introduced, and then drop significantly further as unipolarity is introduced. In the study of international relations, this theory is called the HST, the hegemonic stability theory.

It doesn't take a genius to understand why having one state so far ahead of the rest leads to stability. Firstly, if you're a nation-state that isn't the hegemon, you must always consider how your actions are viewed by the hegemon. If the hegemon views them as unstable, you risk intervention, and intervention spells doom for whatever geopolitical interests you may have (because, again, the hegemon is so much more powerful). At the core of every nation-state's geopolitical interests is survival, even in states considered "insane" or "maniacal" such as North Korea. After all, North Korea has nuclear weapons. Why haven't they used them on South Korea to finally end the Korean War? Because North Korea, as an entity, is a rational actor, even if it doesn't seem that way. North Korea's leaders want to ensure the state continues to survive, and the threat of American retaliation is far too great to ever risk conflict. In other words, stability is achieved.

Secondly, the hegemon often intervenes in situations that would lead to instability without intervention. For example, natural disasters sometimes lead to widespread violent crime, and in extreme cases the state risks collapsing, allowing rogue elements (such as crime syndicates or terrorist groups) to act freely. This causes instability, and that is why you'll often find the USA's emergency teams one of the first on the scene in nearly every natural disaster on the planet, even in countries that aren't considered "friendly". An unfriendly state is better for stability than a failed state. The same logic can be applied to civil wars. Why does the US often finance rebels, or coups, or oppressive states? Because they're aiming for stability, and oppressive stability is generally regarded as better than an anarchy. It's not ideal, but it works.

Now, does the hegemon intervene perfectly? No. Policy is, after all, driven by humans in the end, and there have been foreign policy disasters both in the bipolar and unipolar states of the world. But as we've already demonstrated, these are outliers, not the norm. The trend is that the world is more peaceful than ever, even if it doesn't seem like it at times.

Q: Okay, fine, the world is more stable and people are dying less, but what do we care? There haven't been wars on US soil for a long time.

A: You're assuming, of course, that fact won't change if the USA gave up on maintaining its hegemony. But okay, let's say for a moment that the evidence suggested that there was no possibility of an attack on American soil even if multi-polarity were re-introduced. There's still a strong reasoning for American hegemony, and that reason is to ensure the flow of trade. Make no mistake, the USA is reliant on countries all around the globe to maintain its current standards of living. The USA exports around $2.3 trillion a year, and imports about $2.7 trillion a year. On top of that, foreign direct investment in the USA totals about $3 trillion a year. All three of these figures can be taken at face value and compared to GDP, but you must remember that they all have domino effects. A company may import $100 worth of goods, but produce $300 worth of goods for domestic consumption. Imports, exports, and foreign investment drive the US economy, there is no question about that. Self-sufficient nation-states simply do not exist. Even North Korea is reliant on the outside world.

Q: Sounds nice. For Americans. I'm from *insert country*, and I don't care about American standards of living!

A: First, that's not a question. Second, the US Navy is one of the most important players in the global economy. It cannot be understated how reliant the global economy is on shipping lanes populated by container ships, and it cannot be understated how reliant these lanes are on the US Navy's protection (and yes, other navies do help, but the USN does a lot of the heavy lifting) from both piracy and rogue states. Global trade is the lifeblood of the global economy. The global economy's GDP is roughly $77.6 trillion at the moment, and global trade is measured at $12.4 trillion exports per year and $12.3 imports per year (why the discrepancy? Purchasing power, but that's a story for another time). Even those figures alone should be mind-blowing, but, again, consider the domino effect.

Make no mistake: Standards of living have risen dramatically globally ever since America set out to make global trade safe, and they've been rising even faster since the USSR got knocked out of the picture. The number of people living in extreme poverty has dropped by over half from 1990, the global under-5 mortality rate has dropped by almost two-thirds since 1990, child labour has fallen by a third since 2000, and global illiteracy has been cut in half since 1990. It's not open to discussion: People everywhere are better off by wide margins. Every year, the world gets a little bit better for all of us, and a whole lot better for those at the bottom.

Q: Wasn't this about the election?

A: Yes.

Q: ...so why's Trump so bad for American geopolitical interests?

A: Because he has no experience or education in foreign policy and it shows. It shows a lot. His foreign policy views are wildly inconsistent, but consistently terrible for maintaining stability. Here's an example of an interview he gave. In it, he advocates that other states develop nuclear weapons, including Japan, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia. Never mind that he's advocating that other nation-states take a large step towards closing the gap with America's position as hegemon (nuclear weapons are significantly more effective at this than any conventional weapons), this would lead to incredible instability regardless. One need only look at North Korea and Iran, whose pursuit of nuclear weapons frightened half a dozen neighbours each. Adding more nuclear weapons to the mix won't make the situation less tense, but more, and the tenser the situation, the more likely it is that someone will make a fatal mistake. On top of that, encouraging more countries to pursue nuclear weapons gives them incredible influence over their non-nuclear neighbours (who, knowing this, could also pursue nuclear weapons. It was, and to a lesser extent still is, speculated that Saudi Arabia was, and possibly still is, aiming to develop nuclear weapons just in case Iran does. You'll notice that domino effects are very common in both geopolitics and economics).

Another example from another interview, where Trump says he would not protect a NATO ally if they are invaded and have not "fulfilled their obligations to us". Again, this would lead to both incredible instability and nation-states closing the gap. Russia may not be the USSR, and they're not the USA's big bad mortal enemy, but Russia and the USA have conflicting geopolitical interests. Russia's main interest is not stability, but securing excess land as buffer zones with all of their neighbours, friendly or not. Here's a video for more details. We've seen this in action. Russia has spent the last two decades either propping up ex-USSR states or annexing territory to create buffer-zones. That's why they invaded Georgia, that's why they invaded Crimea and supplied the Ukrainian rebels with arms and men, that's why they have formed various "Eurasian" institutions such as the Eurasian Economic Union and Collective Security Treaty Organisation. These actions have caused instability and in some cases directly led to conflict, harming global trade. This is the exact opposite of what American interests are. That's why the USA, in many cases but not all, is on "the other side" of Russia in violent or nonviolent conflicts. It's not ideology, it's a matter of different priorities.

So why is NATO important? Because most of NATO's members are militarily far, far behind Russia. It doesn't matter if they fulfill their obligations or not, it's a simple case of difference in size. It doesn't matter how much money, say, the Baltic states spend on their militaries, they would inevitably be taken over by Russia if Russia could afford to invade. Thanks to NATO and the risk of American retaliation, it cannot, and as such stability is ensured in the Baltic states. That's why NATO continues to exist, and that's why Trump's proposal to simply ignore NATO's unconditional mutual defense agreement is asinine from a geopolitical point of view.

Another example from far earlier in the campaign, where he says that the US has to stop giving aid to people. Again, instability is the only result of such a proposal. Ignoring the direct effects of aid, which help build militaries to defeat terrorists, which prevent famine, which are used in reconstruction efforts, aid in any form is used as leverage by the USA to ensure that other nation-states absolutely must take into account American interests when considering their actions, or they risk the aid being revoked, even if no military intervention from the US is expected.

Another example would be literally anything to do with his ISIS strategy, if you could call it that. Ignoring the moral dilemmas of torture (which isn't effective in the first place) and killing the families of terrorists, his utter disregard for generals who know about the situation tells you a lot. He seems to be under the belief that the current strategy against ISIS is insufficient, when it couldn't be less true. ISIS is losing, and it's losing hard. If you prefer something more visual, here's a live map that you can explore, dating all the way back to January of 2015.

Another example would be literally anything to do with his Iran strategy, or lack thereof. Let's ignore the most recent development in which he'd risk war over basically nothing. That's self-explanatory as to why it's unstable. What about the Iran deal, which he has pledged to "renegotiate"? Well, it's working, or at least that's what the director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey thinks. If you're wondering why Iran would give up its nuclear ambitions, it's because the sanctions worked. The Iranian economy turned out to be very reliant on the international community, and while nuclear weapons are very appealing for any nation-state, you have to remember that the number one priority of any nation-state is to survive. A failed economy is a far greater risk than not having nuclear weapons, and so Iran's leaders acted rationally and gave up on nuclear weapons in exchange for economic stability. After all, starving people are more likely to revolt, and win, than pro-nuclear policy wonks.

Q: Alright, we get it. But what about HRC? Would she serve American geopolitical interests?

A: Yes. She already has. Remember that Iran deal we just discussed that worked incredibly well? She was the one who orchestrated it. She brought Russia and China to the table, and then she lobbied Congress. She also lobbied for the bin Laden raid. There's also the fact that she brokered a ceasefire in Israel, a ceasefire which successfully lasted for two years. Of course, it was eventually broken, but a ceasefire isn't a peace agreement. It should also be noted that, for the most part, favourability ratings of the US increased during her tenure in office, arguably partially driven by the fact that she traveled for over a year during her term, visiting a total of 112 countries, surpassing every US Secretary of State ever.

All of her actions as Secretary of State were driven by American geopolitical interests. They were clearly aimed at, and in many cases succeeded in, bringing stability to the world. Is her record perfect? No, and over the coming decades it may change for better or worse (for example, it's not clear yet if limited intervention in Libya was too much, insufficient, or correct. It takes time to see the full effects). But her actions have a purpose, a clear goal that aligns with American geopolitical interests, and we've already established that American geopolitical interests have benefits to many Americans and non-Americans.

Q: So TL;DR?

A: On the one hand, we have Hillary Clinton, who will pursue American geopolitical interests aggressively, with both allies, and in some cases "enemies", to bring stability to the world. On the other, we have Donald Trump, a businessman who has no experience or education in anything remotely connected to foreign policy. All of his plans and proposals, if you could call them that, are either nonsensical or antithesis to American interests. To conclude, I have a question for you: Who would you rather be in charge of the strongest military in all of history, an experienced stateswoman, or a businessman with no plan?


So, now that that's over, let's focus specifically on Europe. Let's be very clear: Unless Trump is some kind of mastermind who faked his entire campaign, he's going to be an unmitigated disaster for the continent. NATO will be dead. If we're lucky, the EU will replace it, but that's not guaranteed even if the EU is stable, it will take time regardless to reorganise Europe's armed forces, and the loss of US military power could not be compensated for any time soon. Even if the EU creates a NATO-like alliance extremely quickly, the death of NATO could be enough opportunity for Russia to invade parts of, or all of, the Baltic states, something they're clearly interested in as explained in the spoiler above (and there have been hints on the ground and in the air that they're interested, in the form of border and airspace violations more extreme than the norm). Russia could also opt to interfere in Moldova (or, more specifically, Transnistria), turning a frozen conflict into a hot war. No doubt, Russia's intervention in Ukraine will expand without the threat of NATO and with an unstable EU. Kosovo could be another hot spot if Serbia decided to invade without NATO threatening another bombing campaign, though a Russian intervention is significantly less likely there.

But even if Russia doesn't take advantage of the opportunities afforded to them by the death of NATO, relations will be severely strained between European nations. It's not likely to be enough to lead to any substantial violence in the near future, but it's entirely possible that it could be the end of whatever hope people had for a united Europe (not helped by the looming threat of the UK leaving the EU and pretending it now lives in the middle of the Atlantic), and it's impossible to say what the long-term ramifications of the end of such a dream are.

And finally, the economic damage is the most obvious and indisputable. Europe's extremely slow recovery (on average) could easily slip into a recession very quickly.

TL;DR Trump = the Trans-Atlantic Relationship is dead. This is bad for Europe and the US, good for Russia (and both Russian people & gov't aware, that's why Russia is one of the only countries who like him)
Last edited by Freefall11111 on Sun Nov 06, 2016 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Costa Fierro
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Postby Costa Fierro » Sun Nov 06, 2016 5:13 pm

A Trump presidency would have greater ramifications for the whole world, not just Europe. God knows what will happen with him and China.

The Liberated Territories wrote:Foreign policy for the most part is one of the areas in which Trump isn’t truly terrible in, in fact I am surprised why there isn’t more support on part of Europeans since Europe usually gets the brunt of American military adventurism. But I think I know why: other countries have been selfishly taking advantage of American military dominance by basically having their military subsidized, meanwhile appreciating fuck-all for what it is worth. Only five of 28 countries in NATO meet the defense spending goal. Yet Europeans are unappreciative of this and instead prefer to sling insults at Americans while mooching off what basically amounts of a subsidized defense, perhaps so they can build their barely sustainable welfare states. Although I am voting for Gary Johnson, I would at least appreciate it if Trump took us down the path of “isolationism” and abandoned the crumbling infrastructure known as the “West.” I don’t care what Russia does, he’s your neighbor not ours (Alaska disregarding). All I want is an end to the warmongering that Bush, Obama, and perhaps Clinton will continue while destroying possibilities for markets and radicalizing Islamic terrorism everywhere. Both Europe and America would benefit, I think, in the long run.


This whole "subsidized defense" thing is utter bullshit. The two percent of GDP for defense spending is a goal, not a requirement. If member states were required to spend two percent of GDP on defense, then you would have an argument but they don't, ergo you do not either. But let's break this down into little bits:

selfishly taking advantage of American military dominance


In what respect have European countries been taking advantage of "American military dominance"? I mean countries outside of Europe that are major non-NATO partners like Israel have been using American military and political might to get away with gross human rights violations for decades and somehow you think that countries in Europe have essentially been leaching off America's bloated defense spending?

Yet Europeans are unappreciative of this


Because the United States ropes them into conflicts that breed the kinds of terrorists that go into Europe and kill their citizens. Why should Europe thank the United States for ISIS? Should France thank America for the Paris and Nice attacks? Belgium for the attacks earlier this year? Great Britain for the 7/7 bombings? What is there to be appreciative of a military power that completely fucked things up and, under Trump, is only going to get worse?

perhaps so they can build their barely sustainable welfare states.


And yet somehow, the majority of them are all more prosperous than the United States is. For those who can't be bothered clicking the link, 13 European countries rank ahead of the United States. America sits at a lowly 17th place.

I would at least appreciate it if Trump took us down the path of “isolationism” and abandoned the crumbling infrastructure known as the “West.”


Except America cannot do this. It is too heavily invested not only in Europe but globally also. The whole reason why Russia and China are kept in check is American military power. You can't back away from this and say "sorry, not our problem" because it is. That would be more disasterous than anything that Trump could think of, and that's basically turning the entire Arabian peninsular into a giant steaming crater.
"Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist." - George Carlin

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Wine-loving Chimps
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Postby Wine-loving Chimps » Sun Nov 06, 2016 5:20 pm

Freefall11111 wrote:
I agree with your assessment for the most part. Before I say anything else, I'm going to copy-paste into a spoiler a post I've made in the past about geopolitics & Trump, so that people understand where I'm coming from.

[spoiler]Let's be clear: There's no choice to be made in this election. Third party candidates are irrelevant due to the USA's electoral system, so there are only two candidates worth discussing: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Only one of those will pursue American geopolitical interests, and it's not Trump.

Q: What are American geopolitical interests?

A: The overarching theme of American geopolitical interests originated in the same place the Cold War did. It could be argued, then, that that current American geopolitical interests were born in 1946, either in February when George F Kennan released his Long Telegram, or in September, when Secretary of State James F Byrnes delivered a speech in Germany warning the USSR that the US intended to maintain a military presence on the European continent indefinitely. At the latest, it could be argued that the formation of the Cominform in September 1947 was the origin of current American geopolitical interests. So what are current American geopolitical interests? To maintain the USA's spot as the number one power in the world, with no competition coming close to threatening that position. But why? Why does the USA care about being number one? Most countries don't have such an aim.

The answer is that the USA learned from the past. For much of recorded history, the world existed in a multi-polar distribution of power, which can be defined as a world in which at least four, or more, nation-states have nearly equal amounts of power (and power can be said to include military, cultural, and/or economic influence). From the Three Kingdoms period, to the Thirty Years War, to World War I, multipolarity allowed states to wage war against those of near equal power in order to gain the upper hand. This changed after World War II ended when Europe, then in control of much of the world, was left devastated and unable to maintain its empires. Suddenly the USA and USSR were far stronger than anyone else. They maintained armies and industrial bases far above what the rest of the world had. The world was their playground. This was the beginning of bipolarity, the USA (and by extension NATO) versus the USSR (and by extension the Warsaw Pact).

Of course, we know how that story ends. The USA won. The USSR collapsed. Now the USA was the only one left with the ability to go wherever and do whatever it wants. The USSR's collapse led to unipolarity, a state in which one country is so far above the rest in power that they're effectively a hegemon. Make no mistake, the USA is and has been effectively the world's hegemon since the USSR's collapse. The US holds unprecedented military, cultural, and economic influence over every country in existence. Just because others hold some influence over the US does not negate this fact.

This is where modern American geopolitical interests really come into shape. Since the USSR's collapse, US geopolitical interests went from working hard to achieve the number one spot in competition with the USSR and its allies, to maintaining the unipolarity of the world. By being at the top, nobody can threaten the USA as a nation-state or its people. This is the ultimate goal of every foreign policy decision made by the USA, in one form or another.

Q: Why should I care?

A: Because American hegemony has been stable. Despite popular perception that the world is getting more dangerous, it isn't. In fact, the world has reached an unprecedented level of peace. Ever since the end of World War II, and especially since the end of the Cold War, deaths caused by violent conflicts have plummeted. What changed? It could be argued, and is argued by many, that the polarity of the world shifting is to blame. It is no coincidence that after millennia of multipolarity, deaths drop sharply as bipolarity is introduced, and then drop significantly further as unipolarity is introduced. In the study of international relations, this theory is called the HST, the hegemonic stability theory.

It doesn't take a genius to understand why having one state so far ahead of the rest leads to stability. Firstly, if you're a nation-state that isn't the hegemon, you must always consider how your actions are viewed by the hegemon. If the hegemon views them as unstable, you risk intervention, and intervention spells doom for whatever geopolitical interests you may have (because, again, the hegemon is so much more powerful). At the core of every nation-state's geopolitical interests is survival, even in states considered "insane" or "maniacal" such as North Korea. After all, North Korea has nuclear weapons. Why haven't they used them on South Korea to finally end the Korean War? Because North Korea, as an entity, is a rational actor, even if it doesn't seem that way. North Korea's leaders want to ensure the state continues to survive, and the threat of American retaliation is far too great to ever risk conflict. In other words, stability is achieved.

Secondly, the hegemon often intervenes in situations that would lead to instability without intervention. For example, natural disasters sometimes lead to widespread violent crime, and in extreme cases the state risks collapsing, allowing rogue elements (such as crime syndicates or terrorist groups) to act freely. This causes instability, and that is why you'll often find the USA's emergency teams one of the first on the scene in nearly every natural disaster on the planet, even in countries that aren't considered "friendly". An unfriendly state is better for stability than a failed state. The same logic can be applied to civil wars. Why does the US often finance rebels, or coups, or oppressive states? Because they're aiming for stability, and oppressive stability is generally regarded as better than an anarchy. It's not ideal, but it works.

Now, does the hegemon intervene perfectly? No. Policy is, after all, driven by humans in the end, and there have been foreign policy disasters both in the bipolar and unipolar states of the world. But as we've already demonstrated, these are outliers, not the norm. The trend is that the world is more peaceful than ever, even if it doesn't seem like it at times.

Q: Okay, fine, the world is more stable and people are dying less, but what do we care? There haven't been wars on US soil for a long time.

A: You're assuming, of course, that fact won't change if the USA gave up on maintaining its hegemony. But okay, let's say for a moment that the evidence suggested that there was no possibility of an attack on American soil even if multi-polarity were re-introduced. There's still a strong reasoning for American hegemony, and that reason is to ensure the flow of trade. Make no mistake, the USA is reliant on countries all around the globe to maintain its current standards of living. The USA exports around $2.3 trillion a year, and imports about $2.7 trillion a year. On top of that, foreign direct investment in the USA totals about $3 trillion a year. All three of these figures can be taken at face value and compared to GDP, but you must remember that they all have domino effects. A company may import $100 worth of goods, but produce $300 worth of goods for domestic consumption. Imports, exports, and foreign investment drive the US economy, there is no question about that. Self-sufficient nation-states simply do not exist. Even North Korea is reliant on the outside world.

Q: Sounds nice. For Americans. I'm from *insert country*, and I don't care about American standards of living!

A: First, that's not a question. Second, the US Navy is one of the most important players in the global economy. It cannot be understated how reliant the global economy is on shipping lanes populated by container ships, and it cannot be understated how reliant these lanes are on the US Navy's protection (and yes, other navies do help, but the USN does a lot of the heavy lifting) from both piracy and rogue states. Global trade is the lifeblood of the global economy. The global economy's GDP is roughly $77.6 trillion at the moment, and global trade is measured at $12.4 trillion exports per year and $12.3 imports per year (why the discrepancy? Purchasing power, but that's a story for another time). Even those figures alone should be mind-blowing, but, again, consider the domino effect.

Make no mistake: Standards of living have risen dramatically globally ever since America set out to make global trade safe, and they've been rising even faster since the USSR got knocked out of the picture. The number of people living in extreme poverty has dropped by over half from 1990, the global under-5 mortality rate has dropped by almost two-thirds since 1990, child labour has fallen by a third since 2000, and global illiteracy has been cut in half since 1990. It's not open to discussion: People everywhere are better off by wide margins. Every year, the world gets a little bit better for all of us, and a whole lot better for those at the bottom.

Q: Wasn't this about the election?

A: Yes.

Q: ...so why's Trump so bad for American geopolitical interests?

A: Because he has no experience or education in foreign policy and it shows. It shows a lot. His foreign policy views are wildly inconsistent, but consistently terrible for maintaining stability. Here's an example of an interview he gave. In it, he advocates that other states develop nuclear weapons, including Japan, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia. Never mind that he's advocating that other nation-states take a large step towards closing the gap with America's position as hegemon (nuclear weapons are significantly more effective at this than any conventional weapons), this would lead to incredible instability regardless. One need only look at North Korea and Iran, whose pursuit of nuclear weapons frightened half a dozen neighbours each. Adding more nuclear weapons to the mix won't make the situation less tense, but more, and the tenser the situation, the more likely it is that someone will make a fatal mistake. On top of that, encouraging more countries to pursue nuclear weapons gives them incredible influence over their non-nuclear neighbours (who, knowing this, could also pursue nuclear weapons. It was, and to a lesser extent still is, speculated that Saudi Arabia was, and possibly still is, aiming to develop nuclear weapons just in case Iran does. You'll notice that domino effects are very common in both geopolitics and economics).

Another example from another interview, where Trump says he would not protect a NATO ally if they are invaded and have not "fulfilled their obligations to us". Again, this would lead to both incredible instability and nation-states closing the gap. Russia may not be the USSR, and they're not the USA's big bad mortal enemy, but Russia and the USA have conflicting geopolitical interests. Russia's main interest is not stability, but securing excess land as buffer zones with all of their neighbours, friendly or not. Here's a video for more details. We've seen this in action. Russia has spent the last two decades either propping up ex-USSR states or annexing territory to create buffer-zones. That's why they invaded Georgia, that's why they invaded Crimea and supplied the Ukrainian rebels with arms and men, that's why they have formed various "Eurasian" institutions such as the Eurasian Economic Union and Collective Security Treaty Organisation. These actions have caused instability and in some cases directly led to conflict, harming global trade. This is the exact opposite of what American interests are. That's why the USA, in many cases but not all, is on "the other side" of Russia in violent or nonviolent conflicts. It's not ideology, it's a matter of different priorities.

So why is NATO important? Because most of NATO's members are militarily far, far behind Russia. It doesn't matter if they fulfill their obligations or not, it's a simple case of difference in size. It doesn't matter how much money, say, the Baltic states spend on their militaries, they would inevitably be taken over by Russia if Russia could afford to invade. Thanks to NATO and the risk of American retaliation, it cannot, and as such stability is ensured in the Baltic states. That's why NATO continues to exist, and that's why Trump's proposal to simply ignore NATO's unconditional mutual defense agreement is asinine from a geopolitical point of view.

Another example from far earlier in the campaign, where he says that the US has to stop giving aid to people. Again, instability is the only result of such a proposal. Ignoring the direct effects of aid, which help build militaries to defeat terrorists, which prevent famine, which are used in reconstruction efforts, aid in any form is used as leverage by the USA to ensure that other nation-states absolutely must take into account American interests when considering their actions, or they risk the aid being revoked, even if no military intervention from the US is expected.

Another example would be literally anything to do with his ISIS strategy, if you could call it that. Ignoring the moral dilemmas of torture (which isn't effective in the first place) and killing the families of terrorists, his utter disregard for generals who know about the situation tells you a lot. He seems to be under the belief that the current strategy against ISIS is insufficient, when it couldn't be less true. ISIS is losing, and it's losing hard. If you prefer something more visual, here's a live map that you can explore, dating all the way back to January of 2015.

Another example would be literally anything to do with his Iran strategy, or lack thereof. Let's ignore the most recent development in which he'd risk war over basically nothing. That's self-explanatory as to why it's unstable. What about the Iran deal, which he has pledged to "renegotiate"? Well, it's working, or at least that's what the director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey thinks. If you're wondering why Iran would give up its nuclear ambitions, it's because the sanctions worked. The Iranian economy turned out to be very reliant on the international community, and while nuclear weapons are very appealing for any nation-state, you have to remember that the number one priority of any nation-state is to survive. A failed economy is a far greater risk than not having nuclear weapons, and so Iran's leaders acted rationally and gave up on nuclear weapons in exchange for economic stability. After all, starving people are more likely to revolt, and win, than pro-nuclear policy wonks.

Q: Alright, we get it. But what about HRC? Would she serve American geopolitical interests?

A: Yes. She already has. Remember that Iran deal we just discussed that worked incredibly well? She was the one who orchestrated it. She brought Russia and China to the table, and then she lobbied Congress. She also lobbied for the bin Laden raid. There's also the fact that she brokered a ceasefire in Israel, a ceasefire which successfully lasted for two years. Of course, it was eventually broken, but a ceasefire isn't a peace agreement. It should also be noted that, for the most part, favourability ratings of the US increased during her tenure in office, arguably partially driven by the fact that she traveled for over a year during her term, visiting a total of 112 countries, surpassing every US Secretary of State ever.

All of her actions as Secretary of State were driven by American geopolitical interests. They were clearly aimed at, and in many cases succeeded in, bringing stability to the world. Is her record perfect? No, and over the coming decades it may change for better or worse (for example, it's not clear yet if limited intervention in Libya was too much, insufficient, or correct. It takes time to see the full effects). But her actions have a purpose, a clear goal that aligns with American geopolitical interests, and we've already established that American geopolitical interests have benefits to many Americans and non-Americans.

Q: So TL;DR?

A: On the one hand, we have Hillary Clinton, who will pursue American geopolitical interests aggressively, with both allies, and in some cases "enemies", to bring stability to the world. On the other, we have Donald Trump, a businessman who has no experience or education in anything remotely connected to foreign policy. All of his plans and proposals, if you could call them that, are either nonsensical or antithesis to American interests. To conclude, I have a question for you: Who would you rather be in charge of the strongest military in all of history, an experienced stateswoman, or a businessman with no plan?


So, now that that's over, let's focus specifically on Europe. Let's be very clear: Unless Trump is some kind of mastermind who faked his entire campaign, he's going to be an unmitigated disaster for the continent. NATO will be dead. If we're lucky, the EU will replace it, but that's not guaranteed even if the EU is stable, it will take time regardless to reorganise Europe's armed forces, and the loss of US military power could not be compensated for any time soon. Even if the EU creates a NATO-like alliance extremely quickly, the death of NATO could be enough opportunity for Russia to invade parts of, or all of, the Baltic states, something they're clearly interested in as explained in the spoiler above (and there have been hints on the ground and in the air that they're interested, in the form of border and airspace violations more extreme than the norm). Russia could also opt to interfere in Moldova (or, more specifically, Transnistria), turning a frozen conflict into a hot war. No doubt, Russia's intervention in Ukraine will expand without the threat of NATO and with an unstable EU. Kosovo could be another hot spot if Serbia decided to invade without NATO threatening another bombing campaign, though a Russian intervention is significantly less likely there.

But even if Russia doesn't take advantage of the opportunities afforded to them by the death of NATO, relations will be severely strained between European nations. It's not likely to be enough to lead to any substantial violence in the near future, but it's entirely possible that it could be the end of whatever hope people had for a united Europe (not helped by the looming threat of the UK leaving the EU and pretending it now lives in the middle of the Atlantic), and it's impossible to say what the long-term ramifications of the end of such a dream are.

And finally, the economic damage is the most obvious and indisputable. Europe's extremely slow recovery (on average) could easily slip into a recession very quickly.

TL;DR Trump = the Trans-Atlantic Relationship is dead. This is bad for Europe and the US, good for Russia (and both Russian people & gov't aware, that's why Russia is one of the only countries who like him)[/spoiler]


That's the most comprehensive thing I've read yet. Sigged.
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Freefall11111
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Ex-Nation

Postby Freefall11111 » Sun Nov 06, 2016 5:22 pm

Wine-loving Chimps wrote:That's the most comprehensive thing I've read yet. Sigged.

Thank you, I appreciate it.

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Nordic Saxony
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Postby Nordic Saxony » Sun Nov 06, 2016 5:25 pm

The Liberated Territories wrote:Foreign policy for the most part is one of the areas in which Trump isn’t truly terrible in, in fact I am surprised why there isn’t more support on part of Europeans since Europe usually gets the brunt of American military adventurism. But I think I know why: other countries have been selfishly taking advantage of American military dominance by basically having their military subsidized, meanwhile appreciating fuck-all for what it is worth. Only five of 28 countries in NATO meet the defense spending goal. Yet Europeans are unappreciative of this and instead prefer to sling insults at Americans while mooching off what basically amounts of a subsidized defense, perhaps so they can build their barely sustainable welfare states. Although I am voting for Gary Johnson, I would at least appreciate it if Trump took us down the path of “isolationism” and abandoned the crumbling infrastructure known as the “West.” I don’t care what Russia does, he’s your neighbor not ours (Alaska disregarding). All I want is an end to the warmongering that Bush, Obama, and perhaps Clinton will continue while destroying possibilities for markets and radicalizing Islamic terrorism everywhere. Both Europe and America would benefit, I think, in the long run.



I've read up on his policies that haven't been trampled on by left-wing propaganda.. they're actually pretty good.

Considering Clinton's only real policies are to "strengthen alliances".. with Israel.. who are oppressing Palestine...

source: https://www.politiplatform.com/trump
source 2: https://www.politiplatform.com/clinton

Apart from that, my favourite Trump policy is his wanting to make relations with Russia better. Hopefully that means pulling out of Syria.

As a man of Muslim heritage myself, I know what Trump wants to do and quite frankly.. with ISIS preteding to Muslims.. it's probably for the best..

Plus, if I'm right in saying.. doesn't everything Trump wants to do have to go through Congress anyway before it even happens??...
Last edited by Nordic Saxony on Sun Nov 06, 2016 5:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Baltenstein
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Postby Baltenstein » Sun Nov 06, 2016 5:42 pm

selfishly taking advantage of American military dominance


Well to be honest, the countries that do depend on American military protection (like Poland and the Baltics) usually don't complain about America's military shenanigans. Those countries that do (like France, Germany, Italy and the like) do not rely on American military presence. A president Trump could withdraw all US troops from them overnight and it wouldn't really affect them.
Last edited by Baltenstein on Sun Nov 06, 2016 5:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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IceBuddha
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Postby IceBuddha » Sun Nov 06, 2016 5:53 pm

Trump would be an unmitigated disaster for transatlantic relations. He approaches foreign policy with a bad temperament and no experience, lacks basic knowledge about the world at large, and doesn't appear to take advice too well.

Here's a small collection of some of the stupid, disqualifying shit he's said.

TRUMP WHEN ASKED ABOUT WHO HE CONSULTS ON FOREIGN POLICY: I'm speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I've said a lot of things. In fact, in my book, in 2000, I talk about Osama bin Laden, and I do remember someone putting the book in front of Joe, and Joe saying, No way he talked about it, no he wrote about Osama bin Laden before the World Trade Center came down, and they said, No, he really did. And I remember Joe looking at the book saying, I don't believe it, that's amazing, OK? So I know what I'm doing, and I listen to a lot of people, I talk to a lot of people, and at the appropriate time I'll tell you who the people are, but I speak to a lot of people. But my primary consultant is myself, and I have a good instinct for this stuff


TRUMP: If we cannot be properly reimbursed for the tremendous cost of our military protecting other countries, and in many cases the countries I’m talking about are extremely rich. Then if we cannot make a deal, which I believe we will be able to, and which I would prefer being able to, but if we cannot make a deal, I would like you to say, I would prefer being able to, some people, the one thing they took out of your last story, you know, some people, the fools and the haters, they said, “Oh, Trump doesn’t want to protect you.” I would prefer that we be able to continue, but if we are not going to be reasonably reimbursed for the tremendous cost of protecting these massive nations with tremendous wealth — you have the tape going on?

SANGER: We do.

HABERMAN: We both do.

TRUMP: With massive wealth. Massive wealth. We’re talking about countries that are doing very well. Then yes, I would be absolutely prepared to tell those countries, “Congratulations, you will be defending yourself.”


HEWITT: Mr. Trump…

… Dr. Carson just referenced the single most important job of the president, the command, the control and the care of our nuclear forces. And he mentioned the triad. The B-52s are older than I am. The missiles are old. The submarines are aging out. It’s an executive order. It’s a commander-in-chief decision.

What’s your priority among our nuclear triad?

TRUMP: Well, first of all, I think we need somebody absolutely that we can trust, who is totally responsible; who really knows what he or she is doing. That is so powerful and so important. And one of the things that I’m frankly most proud of is that in 2003, 2004, I was totally against going into Iraq because you’re going to destabilize the Middle East. I called it. I called it very strongly. And it was very important.

But we have to be extremely vigilant and extremely careful when it comes to nuclear. Nuclear changes the whole ball game. Frankly, I would have said get out of Syria; get out — if we didn’t have the power of weaponry today. The power is so massive that we can’t just leave areas that 50 years ago or 75 years ago we wouldn’t care. It was hand-to-hand combat.

The biggest problem this world has today is not President Obama with global warming, which is inconceivable, this is what he’s saying. The biggest problem we have is nuclear — nuclear proliferation and having some maniac, having some madman go out and get a nuclear weapon.

That’s in my opinion, that is the single biggest problem that our country faces right now.

HEWITT: Of the three legs of the triad, though, do you have a priority? I want to go to Senator Rubio after that and ask him.

TRUMP: I think — I think, for me, nuclear is just the power, the devastation is very important to me.


TRUMP: "I know more about ISIS than the generals do. Believe me. I would bomb the [ bleep ] out of them. (Applause) I would just bomb those suckers. And, that's right, I'd blow up the pipe, I'd blow up the re -- I'd blow up every single inch. There would be nothing left. And do you know what? You will get Exxon to come in there in two months. They will rebuild that sucker brand new, it will be beautiful ... and then I would take the oil."


BLITZER: But — but you’re ready to let Japan and South Korea become nuclear powers?

TRUMP: I am prepared to — if they’re not going to take care of us properly, we cannot afford to be the military and the police for the world. We are, right now, the police for the entire world. We are policing the entire world.

You know, when people look at our military and they say, “Oh, wow, that’s fantastic,” they have many, many times — you know, we spend many times what any other country spends on the military. But it’s not really for us. We’re defending other countries.

So all I’m saying is this: they have to pay.

And you know what? I’m prepared to walk, and if they have to defend themselves against North Korea, where you have a maniac over there, in my opinion, if they don’t — if they don’t take care of us properly, if they don’t respect us enough to take care of us properly, then you know what’s going to have to happen, Wolf?

It’s very simple. They’re going to have to defend themselves.
Last edited by IceBuddha on Sun Nov 06, 2016 5:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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The Conez Imperium
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Postby The Conez Imperium » Sun Nov 06, 2016 6:22 pm

Baltenstein wrote:
selfishly taking advantage of American military dominance


Well to be honest, the countries that do depend on American military protection (like Poland and the Baltics) usually don't complain about America's military shenanigans. Those countries that do (like France, Germany, Italy and the like) do not rely on American military presence. A president Trump could withdraw all US troops from them overnight and it wouldn't really affect them.


The amount of times this argument is propagated makes it seem like a myth. If we are talking about "saving American money", then overseas military bases or overseas deployment or whatever the term is called, only represent a small percentage of military funding. If I can recall from an article correctly, something less than 2%. I mean if you just axe your joint strike fighter program (over $10 billion or something) you'd probably save more money and international grief.

The argument is very silly when made from a knee-jerk reaction of the US is too compassionate and needs to look after itself economically. In fact, I might even add that most people who make the argument aren't conscience of realpolitik.
Last edited by The Conez Imperium on Sun Nov 06, 2016 6:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Arkolon
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Postby Arkolon » Mon Nov 07, 2016 4:52 pm

A question to liven the topic up. Could there be a 'Trump effect' on the German and French elections next year, and if so in what way? Or would the 'Trump effect' be drowned out by a 'Russia effect' following Putin's more likely more aggressive foreign policy after Trump's inauguration?
"Revisionism is nothing else than a theoretic generalisation made from the angle of the isolated capitalist. Where does this viewpoint belong theoretically if not in vulgar bourgeois economics?"
Rosa Luxemburg

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The Conez Imperium
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Postby The Conez Imperium » Mon Nov 07, 2016 5:07 pm

Arkolon wrote:A question to liven the topic up. Could there be a 'Trump effect' on the German and French elections next year, and if so in what way? Or would the 'Trump effect' be drowned out by a 'Russia effect' following Putin's more likely more aggressive foreign policy after Trump's inauguration?


I think it would be heavy handed to compare the problems of the US to the problems of Germany and France and judge it as one effect. It would take an expert in all those countries to evaluate that claim.

Moreover, could you define your "trump effect" and the "Russia effect". I can't really comment on your argument if I don't know your argument.
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