United States Foreign Policy And International Affairs

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What Should Trump Do?

  • Maintain the Status Quo (such as it is)

    Votes: 2 8.7%
  • Bomb the Shit Out of Iran But No Invasion

    Votes: 3 13.0%
  • Invade Their Asses

    Votes: 1 4.3%
  • Call in Sweden to Mediate a Diplomatic Solution

    Votes: 2 8.7%
  • Get the Fuck Out of the Middle East

    Votes: 10 43.5%
  • Invade Canada as a Warning

    Votes: 2 8.7%
  • Hillary Did it!

    Votes: 3 13.0%

  • Total voters
    23
  • Poll closed .

King Stannis

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Well, there you go.

Not even Trump's own SECDEF is willing to lie to cover the fact that he ordered the killing Soleimani out of sheer pique and without considering the consequences. And then covered it up, as usual. The "four embassies" story is yet another attempt by the Administration to justify an action after the fact and paint it as part of some plan that never existed.

This is exactly the fear any sane person has regarding a man that is so emotionally fragile and is reckless.

He is a poster child for why the Founding Fathers left war-making powers with Congress, and not POTUS.

SECDEF Esper Says he "Didn't See" Specific Evidence Showing Iranian Threat to 4 U.S. Embassies

Washington — Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said he "didn't see" specific evidence that top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani was planning attacks on four U.S. embassies, but said he believed such attacks would have occurred.

"The president didn't cite a specific piece of evidence. What he said was he believed," Esper said Sunday on "Face the Nation." "I didn't see one, with regard to four embassies. What I'm saying is that I shared the president's view that probably — my expectation was they were going to go after our embassies. The embassies are the most prominent display of American presence in a country."

The president and his top officials have said the strike that killed Soleimani, the leader of Iran's elite Quds Force, was justified because there was an "imminent" threat to American service members and diplomats. Members of Congress, however, have raised questions as to the nature of the threat following briefings on the strike that the administration conducted with all members of the House and Senate.

Congressional Democrats have argued the intelligence they were presented did not demonstrate there was an "imminent" threat to U.S. personnel in the region, while some Republicans said the Trump administration was justified in killing Soleimani.

Mr. Trump told Fox News in an interview Friday that "it would've been four embassies" that were attacked, seemingly revealing more information about the nature of the threat.

Esper said he agreed that the embassies probably would've been targeted by Soleimani.

"What the president said was he believed that it probably and could've been attacks against additional embassies," he said. "I shared that view. I know other members of the national security team shared that view. That's why I deployed thousands of American paratroopers to the Middle East to reinforce our embassy in Baghdad and other sites throughout the region."

Esper said the U.S. had information that an attack would occur "within a matter of days that would be broad in scale, in other words more than one country, and that it would be bigger than previous attacks, likely going to take us into open hostilities with Iran."

Esper also pushed back on frustrations from Senators Mike Lee, a Republican from Utah, and Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, who said after an all-Senate briefing Wednesday that Esper and other administration officials who briefed them on the Soleimani attack suggested they tamp down on debate and discussion regarding further military action in Iran.

"For every member that didn't like the brief, there were members who thought it was the greatest brief ever*," he said. "That was never said, that they should not have debate, that they should not have a discussion."

Esper said he urged lawmakers to "be conscious of the messaging particularly to our troops because they are looking for messages — do they have the support of the American people while they are in harm's way?"**

*Please.

**Now we know why he got the job. He is little more than a toadie. Do your job, Esper.


https://www.cbsnews.com/news/mark-esper-says-he-didnt-see-specific-piece-of-evidence-showing-iranian-threat-to-4-us-embassies-on-face-the-nation/
 

King Stannis

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Surprised no one mentioned this.

Combined with Esper saying Trump doesn't need Congressional authorization, or the AUMF, it seems to foretell a complete dismissal of the notion that Congress is a co-equal branch of government.

Of course we already knew that, with the impeachment proceedings.

And I thought I would never see the day when even GOP Congressfolks ceded their power so meekly and are very happy with being a rubber-stamp.

Irrevocably tied to Trump for all things. We need leaders, not toadies. Enjoy November.

State Department Cancels Two Classified Congressional Briefings on Iran, Embassy Security

State Department cancels two classified congressional briefings on Iran, embassy security

© Getty Images
The State Department’s cancellation of two classified congressional briefings to address embassy security and Iran policy sparked lawmakers’ ire in Wednesday, according to Politico.

“This briefing is required by law every month, and today's was the most important we've had scheduled in a long time," a House aide told the publication. "The State Department has given us no explanation whatsoever."

Several senior Foggy Bottom officials — including Brian Hook, special envoy for Iran, and David Schenker, assistant secretary of State for the Middle East — were scheduled to brief the Senate Foreign Relations Committee prior to the cancellation, Politico reported, citing a Senate aide.

Initially the embassy security briefing was to address conditions in the East African nation of Burundi, but the topic was broadened to general facility security amid U.S./Iran tensions following the U.S. killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike.

The White House initially claimed the strike was in response to an unspecified imminent threat posed by Soleimani, but President Trumplater told Fox News host Laura Ingraham that Soleimani was plotting attacks on four U.S. embassies, which contradicted a briefing that administration officials gave lawmakers in the aftermath of the strike. Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Sunday conceded that he had not seen intelligence showing an imminent embassy attack.

Staffers had hoped to ask for clarification on the changing explanations in the meeting, according to Politico, as well as receive a global threat assessment for U.S diplomats.

The briefing was also to be the first since House Democrats released communications in which Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal lawyer, appears to suggest that then-Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was under surveillance.
The Hill has reached out to the State Department for comment.
 

King Stannis

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Meanwhile, in the UK, another example of Putin's handiwork bearing fruit. He just keeps winning.

Dear Britain, you deserve everything that is about to happen to you. Enjoy the recession and I hope not liking Muslims was worth throwing away the leading role in Europe.

Outcast, impotent and isolated. Wee Britain indeed.
 

Seiklis

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Meanwhile, in the UK, another example of Putin's handiwork bearing fruit. He just keeps winning.

Dear Britain, you deserve everything that is about to happen to you. Enjoy the recession and I hope not liking Muslims was worth throwing away the leading role in Europe.

Outcast, impotent and isolated. Wee Britain indeed.
Was more about Pols than Muslims I thought
 

Jack Brickman

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Meanwhile, in the UK, another example of Putin's handiwork bearing fruit. He just keeps winning.

Dear Britain, you deserve everything that is about to happen to you. Enjoy the recession and I hope not liking Muslims was worth throwing away the leading role in Europe.

Outcast, impotent and isolated. Wee Britain indeed.
 

jking948

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King Stannis

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I hesitated posting this... but I just wrote an op-ed that went on NBC News Think. It's based on research I've done with the Cato Institute. It's about arms sales and the new travel ban.

Cato?

You are such a liberal evil-doer!

Brilliant as usual!
 

King Stannis

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In all seriousness, we are exceptionally lucky to have you posting here.

All the other Cleveland sports sites have no political discussion whatsoever, and we have professional policy experts, military officers and political types with subject matter expertise on many of the topics we talk about.

RCF is truly blessed with many smart and experienced subject matter experts amongst its ranks. We are afforded insights in all manner of topics that other places could only dream about.

Take THAT, Fear the Sword!
 

Seiklis

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In all seriousness, we are exceptionally lucky to have you posting here.

All the other Cleveland sports sites have no political discussion whatsoever, and we have professional policy experts, military officers and political types with subject matter expertise on many of the topics we talk about.

RCF is truly blessed with many smart and experienced subject matter experts amongst its ranks. We are afforded insights in all manner of topics that other places could only dream about.

Take THAT, Fear the Sword!
Hey...beating Erie like a pinata counts damnit!


(OBR hid theirs for a reason...it's pretty awful. But again it's like the rest of OBR, they're too chickenshit to moderate to make it a decent board)
 

pr26

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Blink

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I hesitated posting this... but I just wrote an op-ed that went on NBC News Think. It's based on research I've done with the Cato Institute. It's about arms sales and the new travel ban.

Nigeria is an interesting example to me. Is the Nigerian government unstable/notably corrupt/infiltrated? I have not heard anything about the Nigerian government committing atrocities. My impression has been that there is a clear cut good guy/bad guy situation wrt Boko Haram.

Also, have we begun selling arms to new countries that are unstable, or have we continued to sell to countries who are getting worse? The first seems like an obvious mistake. The second is probably the right move lest we appear, to other countries, to be an unreliable partner in a crisis.
 

jking948

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Nigeria is an interesting example to me. Is the Nigerian government unstable/notably corrupt/infiltrated? I have not heard anything about the Nigerian government committing atrocities. My impression has been that there is a clear cut good guy/bad guy situation wrt Boko Haram.

Also, have we begun selling arms to new countries that are unstable, or have we continued to sell to countries who are getting worse? The first seems like an obvious mistake. The second is probably the right move lest we appear, to other countries, to be an unreliable partner in a crisis.
Nigeria is an interesting example to me. Is the Nigerian government unstable/notably corrupt/infiltrated? I have not heard anything about the Nigerian government committing atrocities. My impression has been that there is a clear cut good guy/bad guy situation wrt Boko Haram.

Also, have we begun selling arms to new countries that are unstable, or have we continued to sell to countries who are getting worse? The first seems like an obvious mistake. The second is probably the right move lest we appear, to other countries, to be an unreliable partner in a crisis.
The US has sold to 169 countries since 2002. Not many more to sell to.

And Nigeria has a ton of human rights violations and lets weapons slip into the hands of bad guys. It’s quite common.
 

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