The Israeli-Saudi Proxy War Against Iran as Hamiltonian Concentration of Force in Practice

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Considering the location of America’s embassy in Israel is symbolism, and symbolism detached from substance is childishness, it was to be expected the children pretending to be foreign policy analysts obsessed over the embassy.

Continue reading “The Israeli-Saudi Proxy War Against Iran as Hamiltonian Concentration of Force in Practice”

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Keeping the Collusion Hallucination Alive

Uncle Joe showed us all that a good show trial ought to be entertaining.

Sadly for those few of us looking for interesting stories to talk about, the dreary, gray, meandering, show trial Mueller is putting on to amuse the giggling idiots of the anti-Trump elite is amusing only to them, not non-gigglers and non-idiots.

As I have maintained since May of this year, Russiagate has been all process crimes unrelated to an underlying “collusion” (?) crime

Whatever crimes happened involving Trump advisers are most likely isolated to those advisers and unrelated to the campaign.  Most likely these are tax and regulatory reporting irregularities, many of them occurring years before Trump began his campaign in mid-2015.

Comey’s strategy was a variant taken from the playbook of his mentor and friend, Patrick Fitzgerald.  The Fitzgerald strategy is to spend years kindling a media firestorm with limited, but carefully selected, leaks about a major investigation into the supposed crimes of a Republican White House, but only to end up nailing a few suspects on investigative crimes unrelated to the major felony the media was yearning for.

This was Fitzgerald’s approach to the bogus Valerie Plame “outing”; I believe it was Comey’s strategy in the bogus election investigation.

But with modifications.

Instead of being satisfied with exonerating the White House for the underlying crime but nailing advisers on unrelated charges as Fitzgerald did in “Plamegate“, Comey hoped to bring down Trump on an obstruction of justice charge; charges that could either leave his Presidency sandbagged with a large scandal or actually lead to impeachment.

Comey’s reported actions are consistent with passive-aggressive attempts to anger Trump in order to get him to make statements that could be construed as interfering with the investigation.

The indictment of Michael Flynn in no way deviates from this script of prosecutorial malpractice:  The indictment alleges only that Flynn made false statements to the FBI about diplomatic communications Flynn held with Russia during the Presidential transition.

It does not allege there was anything illegal about contacting the Russians (the Presidential transition teams of both Reagan and Carter made important diplomatic communications before inauguration day) or that Flynn committed crimes during the campaign.

The only hope anti-Trump has for actual collusion being uncovered is if Flynn provides information in the future that is not already in the released documents.

Anti-Trump refuses to believe what Mueller has in his Flynn plea agreement is not what he Mueller end up with.  Their rationale goes that Mueller would not have given Flynn a slap on the wrist unless Flynn was going to promise to reveal collusion evidence at a later date when a new plea agreement will be magically pulled out of a hat.

Unfortunately for anti-Trump, this is just not how plea agreements work.

Continue reading “Keeping the Collusion Hallucination Alive”

A Russia-China Axis is a Hallucination of The Western Confederacy of Dunce Pundits

neumann

In the very, very, rare corners of the internet where informative discussions are taking place, one topic gaining momentum is the supposed risk of Russia and China forming an axis based on the ideological promotion of what might be termed Universal Nationalism.

This supposed ideology might be defined along lines described by this article (although its focus centers around China by itself, not the durability of a Russia-China partnership which is the focus of my article) –

In some respects, China resembles the old, defunct Soviet Union, as both a great power and ideological rival of the West. But China is something the world hasn’t seen since the end of World War II: a dictatorial, anti-democratic power that is, unlike the Soviet Union, an economic powerhouse. And it has used its diplomatic strength to weaken the efforts of the liberal democratic countries to promote human rights while defending and protecting authoritarian practices throughout the globe.

 

Elsewhere, there is discussion of Russia joining China in this effort to promote Universal Nationalism.

Continue reading “A Russia-China Axis is a Hallucination of The Western Confederacy of Dunce Pundits”

A North Korean Defector Indirectly Confirms a Coup is Possible

In lieu of a North Korean defector’s recent statements and the collapse of the North’s primary nuclear testing site, my assessment of the North Korea crisis deserves additional commentary.

Using game theory I explained the objective of Kim’s quest for ICBMs has always been to deter America from intervening against him (and not for the sake using them in a suicidal nuclear war with the United States) and to domestically reinforce regime credibility –

At this stage the US and Kim are very close war. To understand why we look at each side’s goals and risk & reward incentive structures.

Kim does not want a war. If he wanted one he would have already used his existing arsenal to start it. Kim sees an ICBM as a deterrent that minimizes the risk his hostile actions invite American attacks by increasing the risk of retaliation for America. Shielded by the deterrent power of future ICBMs Kim can then afford to act more aggressively than ever before even if he never intends to commit suicide by launching a preemptive nuclear attack against America: ICBMs open opportunities for nuclear blackmail against the US, Japan and South Korea in exchange for military and economic concessions and agreements to look the other way at the North’s black market criminal activities.

 

I have also argued on game theory grounds the more the crisis escalates, the less likely Kim would be to back down for fear of giving an impression of weakness that would invite a military coup

…a new possibility comes into play:  Kim’s generals are incentivized to mount a coup (even if Kim at this point has backed himself too far into a corner to back down)  the more likely war becomes.

Previously, North Korean generals were hugely dissuaded  from mounting a coup against the ruling dynasty by a prisoner’s dilemma – even if their best collective option was to cooperate and plot an overthrow, the great individual risks and uncertainty to each general of getting caught (How would a sincere plotter know there are no informants within the small circle of coup plotters?  How would a sincere plotter know another sincere plotter wouldn’t be caught or change their mind at a key moment?) greatly discouraged such cooperation.

Now that they face a real chance of a nuclear war that will destroy them the risk of organizing a coup becomes more less risky, though by no means a statistical certainty.

 

My analysis was confirmed by recent statements made by a former North Korean diplomat who defected, Thae Yong Ho.

According to him, the ICBM program is meant primarily to deter America from ever attacking North Korea –

Kim also set forth a policy focused on achieving simultaneous development of the country’s weapons programs and the economy, a way to achieve visible results without engaging in risky economic reforms.

When Kim first took power, he toured the military units along the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). “What he learned was (there was a) lack of preparedness for a possible war and (a lack of) high spirit, corruption, and obsolete conventional weapons,” Thae revealed, explaining that the nuclear and ballistic missile programs served as motivators for an unenthusiastic army. Thae suggested that an idle army is dangerous, exposing Kim to the threat of a military coup.

More importantly, though, Kim watched what happened in Libya, recognizing the risk of humanitarian intervention in the North Korean regime. He observed closely the Arab Spring incidents, as well as the fall of Muammar Gaddafi. “This had a strong influence on Kim Jong Un,” Thae suggested.

If there were an uprising in North Korea, “there is no doubt that Kim Jong Un would stamp it out mercilessly with his forces, with his tanks,” but that could trigger a response from the U.S. and South Korea. “If Kim is equipped with ICBM tipped with nuclear (warheads) then he can prevent that kind of humanitarian intervention,” Thae explained.

 

Thae also confirmed my point that Kim’s policies of instilling great fear into his own commanders in order to ward off a coup is deeply dependent on the success of his ICBM program.  The necessity of completing an ICBM program to Kim’s strategy for regime survival makes it very unlikely Kim will agree to nuclear disarmament since he equates disarmament with the destruction of his regime, either at the hands of his generals or by the American military.

Kim learned quickly that while he held the title of leader, many did not see him as the true head of the North Korean state. This realization, coupled with a budding paranoia and distrust, led to a serious change in the young dictator’s political thinking. He purged officials who were considered a threat, including members of his own family, and those that knew and leaked the details of his family history. Kim also targeted officials who lacked enthusiasm for the country’s future.

“He learned that whenever he convened a meeting … maybe 80 or 90 percent of the audience would sleep. So he learned that there was no enthusiasm – even in the elite group – on policy discussions.” Kim reportedly had a senior official executed last year for dozing off during a meeting.

Thae described the purges, which were brutal, as “unprecedented” in North Korean history.

The North Korean leader solidified his rule through a “reign of terror,” as Thae described it. The weapons program is a sign of strength for the regime.

 

The only item I find surprising is that as recently as 2016 there were still senior North Korean officials willing to nap during Kim’s meetings.  This just proves it is nearly impossible for millenials to be taken seriously, even when the millenial in question is a 32 year old dictator who routinely assassinates his own family members while threatening to plunge Northeast Asia into a nuclear winter.

The last bit of news is no less important.

During the collapse of North Korea’s primary nuclear testing site, 200 North Korean workers were killed.  The site remains a danger because if more of the now-destabilized mountain collapses radiation leaking from the site would spread across Northeast Asia.

It may be the threat of radioactive contamination poisoning Beijing’s already toxic-enough air that prompted China to further tighten its sanctions on North Korea.

The broader implication of this shift is that China may now be reassessing its risk-reward assumptions about the benefits of keeping North Korea as a balance to American power and the risk of further nuclear tests or war causing even greater environmental damage around China’s borders.

If the benefits of supporting North Korea are becoming outweighed by the risks, expect China to shift further against Kim.

Hamiltonian Diplomacy & The End of Muslim Democracy

Publicly available facts about the recent purges within the Saudi Royal family are too few and far between for me to form a judgment about what is happening in the Gulf.

What is certain is –

  • The Saudi King has purged top figures within his House.
  • Trump appears to have been, if not actively coordinating the purge with the King, at least aware of the King’s plans and fully approves of them.

The best educated guess that broadly explains these two data points is that the House of Saud, with the full support of Trump, is purging royals who are too favorable to Islamic terrorism for the Trump administration’s liking.

If this is the reason (it is not yet certain) then Trump is pushing Hamiltonian diplomacy like a pro by setting aside whatever moral qualms we may have about a foreign tyrant’s repressive tendencies at home and joining hands with him in a common strategic objective.

And in no other environment is it more necessary for America to ally with compliant dictators than in the Islamic world because the evidence is overwhelming that Islamic Democracies are more dangerous than Islamic dictatorships.

That record is so bleak that American foreign policy should officially be changed to endorse Islamic dictatorship over Islamic democracies on the condition the dictatorship in question does not threaten American strategic interests in the Middle East.  If a Muslim tyrant insists on threatening American interests excessively then the Hamiltonian approach should follow the tradition of the Eisenhower Doctrine by replacing a non-compliant Islamic dictator for a compliant dictator – but not a Democracy – as Eisenhower himself did by overthrowing Mossadeq and replacing him with the Shah –

The Eisenhower Doctrine was a policy enunciated by Dwight D. Eisenhower on January 5, 1957, within a “Special Message to the Congress on the Situation in the Middle East”. Under the Eisenhower Doctrine, a Middle Eastern country could request American economic assistance or aid from U.S. military forces if it was being threatened by armed aggression.  Eisenhower singled out the Soviet threat in his doctrine by authorizing the commitment of U.S. forces “to secure and protect the territorial integrity and political independence of such nations, requesting such aid against overt armed aggression from any nation controlled by international communism”. The phrase “international communism” made the doctrine much broader than simply responding to Soviet military action. A danger that could be linked to communists of any nation could conceivably invoke the doctrine.

 

The list of Democratic failures on Muslim soil thoroughly justifies a formal American embrace of cooperative Muslim dictatorship regardless of how brutal they may be to their own people –

  • Egypt –  The Egyptian military junta headed by Hosni Mubarak which had for years been a reliable American ally was temporarily overthrown by the Muslim Brotherhood and with the assistance of the pro-Islamic terrorism Obama administration.  The Brotherhood would have seized total power over Egypt and turned the country into a major sponsor of Islamic terrorism had the Egyptian military not overthrown the Democratically elected Brotherhood.
  • Libya –  One of the greatest American foreign policy disasters of all time.  Ghadafi agreed to surrender his nuclear program and no longer support terrorism against the West in exchange for recognition of his regime.  By overthrowing Ghadafi the Obama administration not only handed Libya to the control of ISIS and Al Qaeda warlords, he also taught North Korea and all tyrants with nuclear aspirations that surrendering their nuclear program for peace with America is suicidal for their regimes.
  • Iraq –  Although Saddam had been an American adversary since his 1990 invasion of Kuwait, the best American strategy would have been to try to flip him to America’s side, continue a containment policy, or replace him with another Iraqi strongman who willing to restore ties with America.  Iraqi Democracy was always a pipedream that could only end in utter failure, and so it has.  The elected Iraqi government has proven itself weak, unable to defend its own territory against Muslim insurgents, and is almost certainly doomed to eventual collapse. America should support a military coup against Iraq’s Democratic government that will install a new Iraqi tyrant who will bring enough order to allow us to withdraw more of our forces
  • Syria –  The country that almost became Libya.  Acquiescing to Assad’s rule while insisting Assad not use his WMDs has been one of Trump’s finest policies.  The collapse of Assad’s government would have been a replay of Libya where ISIS and other Muslim warlords seized Syrian and Syrian WMD stockpiles, exterminated the religious minorities who were allied with Assad, and turned the whole of Syria a MadMax arena of Islamic terrorism, genocidal anarchy, and international crime.
  • Turkey – Perhaps the saddest loss of all.  Turkey was our most consistently reliable Muslim ally during the Cold War.  The thanks for that partnership goes to the Turkish military that has been reigned in by an increasingly anti-Western Erdogan.  The greater concern for America is that Erdogan, as vile as he is, is not close to the worst ruler Turkey can produce.  If Turkey isn’t to slip into an anti-American stance the hope for preventing it lies with a revival of the anti-Democratic Turkish military.

China Policy From The Perspective of Hamiltonian Regionalism

Imperial Energy asks

It would be good to see you do a piece on China given this:

http://www.realclearworld.com/articles/2017/10/31/chinas_expansionist_view_of_geopolitics_112609.html

http://www.realclearworld.com/articles/2017/10/19/who_controls_americas_china_policy_112590.html

And this:

http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2017/10/delaying-chinese-global-dominance.html

A great challenge!

So, if you were Trump’s NSA what would advise?

 

The only advice to give is one compatible with America’s type of world power.

America is the world’s first Regionalist world power, a unique power system defined as –

  • A Realist strategy where a great Capitalistic power uses regional alliances with other Capitalistic states to check any threat from a hostile power to either the physical security or commercial interests of the allied Capitalists. Minor powers  have the option of being part of this alliance, neutral outside of it, or hostile. Regardless whether minor powers join or not, the great power is able to exercise this strategy so long as other advanced powers agreed to the system.

 

The Regionalist response to any Chinese expansionism is suitable to the task because the major advantages of Regionalism are applicable as part of a deterrence posture by America and, if necessary, direct conflict.

Those deterrent advantages are leveraging our regional alliances in the Asia-Pacific to keep them well enough armed to at least make China hesitate before making aggressive moves, deploying our own forces in a reserve posture, and holding logistical hubs and military bases scattered across allied territory so our forces can be moved and supplied wherever needed.

Continue reading “China Policy From The Perspective of Hamiltonian Regionalism”

Mueller – Putin Meeting With Trump is Illegal! Putin Bribing Hillary for American Uranium is Patriotism!

As I mentioned a number of times, Mueller had nothing on Paul Manafort except alleged tax and regulatory violations – arguably based on flimsy evidence –  that preceded Manafort joining the Trump campaign.

Disappointed in the Manafort indictment, the Left’s hope for collusion evidence quickly turned to a former campaign adviser, George Papadopoulus.  Whatever information Mueller got from Papadopoulus may be assumed to be inadequate to prove collusion with Russia, even if he wore a wire from July of this year to October:  By July every Trump advisor was advised by both the White House and their own personal attorneys not to discuss the case with outside sources.  If any useful information was provided by Papadopoulus, Mueller would certainly have included that evidence as part of his Manafort indictment.

Mueller’s indictments were almost certainly moved forward in small part because of last week’s breaking news about the role of Clinton-Russia collusion over uranium-for-bribes and Comey’s possibly illegal use of the Fusion GPS dossier to justify intelligence gathering on Trump’s campaign.  Uranium One particularly is a threat to Mueller because he was Director of the FBI until 2013 when the FBI was performing a bribery investigation into Russian donations to the Clinton Foundation that led to the approval of the uranium sale.

Mueller’s dirty collaboration with Hillary to keep Congress in the dark about the FBI’s Uranium One bribery investigation is sufficient grounds for his dismissal as special counsel, if not justification for a criminal investigation into Mueller himself.

Given the absurd defenses of Hillary’s role in Uranium One constructed by the Left so far, we can’t blame Mueller for moving early to distract from this news.

Because Uranium One has all the makings of a persuasion disaster for Hillary and Mueller.

Some defenses of Hillary have even downplayed the notion there is any danger at all in Putin gaining access to our uranium stockpiles.

“Objections to Uranium One are simple jingoism”, they say.

Americans may like to think American uranium is patriotic, Constitutional uranium, freedom loving & flag waving uranium, the uranium girl scout cookies are made of, the kind of uranium that stands for the national anthem at any and all sporting events.  But to collusion hallucinators, uranium is all negotiable up to the last Russian ruble.

And what does it matter that Russia has a little extra uranium anyway?  Don’t they already have many hundreds of nuclear weapons already?

Of course, this is weak persuasion and weak logic.  Selling Russia any amount of our uranium falls under the category of “not worth the risk” because –

  • Uranium is a dangerous substance can be used for a variety of nefarious purposes as well as benign purposes – even if we’re not sure ahead of time what the Russians might have wanted the extra uranium for.
  • IF it was necessary to have a foreign power control 20% of American uranium at all, there were and are numerous allies who we handed control over to who we could be confident would not use it for nefarious purposes.

Putin could be the using the extra uranium to cure cancer.  He might also be using it to upgrade his own nuclear weapons if there is something unsatisfactory about Russia’s native uranium stockpiles, sabotaging the American uranium he now owns so that it is not usable for our nuclear weapons, giving it to other hostile powers, or who knows what.

The potential mischief Putin could use uranium for is enough reason to not to give it to him in the first place even though it is possible he is not using it against our interests, especially when there were much more trustworthy nations to sell it to.

If someone has the option of having 20% of their stock profile controlled by financial advisers with good reputations or financial advisers who have been convicted of tax fraud one should, just on grounds of trustworthiness, always opt for advisers without criminal records.  Not because one knows in advance whether a disreputable adviser will handle one’s finances wisely or badly, but because their reputation and the fact they may cause all sorts of problems for their clients if they mishandle the money is grounds to automatically cross them off a list of potential advisers.

This is exactly the same problem of trustworthiness with handing American uranium to Russia, a problem the Left is happily willing to ignore so long as Russia is colluding with Democrats, not meeting with Republicans.