Allies and Adversaries

onedomino

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Here’s a chance to give your geopolitical opinion about America’s most significant allies and adversaries. Also a question about the most dangerous countries. My choices follow the questions.

Name America’s five most significant allies in order of importance.
1. Japan
2. UK
3. Australia
4. Poland
5. Israel
Next in line: India; not sure if Canada makes the top ten.

Name America’s five most significant adversaries in order of importance.
1. China
2. Russia, the new Soviets
3. Iran
4. North Korea
5. France
Next in line: Germany

Name the World’s two most dangerous countries.
1. Iran
2. Pakistan
 

Gunny

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Name America’s five most significant allies in order of importance.
1. UK
2. Israel
3. Japan
4. Australia
5.

Name America’s five most significant adversaries in order of importance.
1. Iran
2. Illegal immigration
3. everybody else
4.
5.

Name the World’s two most dangerous countries.
1. Iran
2. China
 

actsnoblemartin

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Name America’s five most significant allies in order of importance.
1. UK
2. Israel
3. Japan
4. Australia
5. Poland


Name America’s five most significant adversaries in order of importance.
1. Iran
2. China
3. Iran
4. North Korea
5. France


Name the World’s two most dangerous countries.
1. Iran
2. Pakistan[/QUOTE]
 
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onedomino

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Name America’s five most significant allies in order of importance.
1. UK
2. Israel
3. Japan
4. Australia
5.

Name America’s five most significant adversaries in order of importance.
1. Iran
2. Illegal immigration
3. everybody else
4.
5.

Name the World’s two most dangerous countries.
1. Iran
2. China
Thanks for your response. However there does not seem to be much interest in these questions. The answers point toward how America should focus its foreign policy and its participation in free trade agreements. We might consider attempts to further integrate our economy with our most significant allies while restricting integration with adversaries. Why, for example, do we provide virtually unlimited US market access to our number one adversary China? Thereby giving them the financial capacity to build their military and oppose US foreign policy efforts in places like Sudan and Iran. China is using resources obtained from access to the US market to ink billions worth of oil and natural gas contracts (including infrastructure development) with Iran. Then the Mullahs use thereby derived financial gain to fund Hezbollah and develop nuclear weapons. American foreign policy should be closely linked to trade agreements that suppress terror activities and nuclear proliferation. Some make the argument that integrating out economy with those of our adversaries makes them more compliant with our foreign policy objectives. Clearly, that approach is not working.
 

Diuretic

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Thanks for your response. However there does not seem to be much interest in these questions. The answers point toward how America should focus its foreign policy and its participation in free trade agreements. We might consider attempts to further integrate our economy with our most significant allies while restricting integration with adversaries. Why, for example, do we provide virtually unlimited US market access to our number one adversary China? Thereby giving them the financial capacity to build their military and oppose US foreign policy efforts in places like Sudan and Iran. China is using resources obtained from access to the US market to ink billions worth of oil and natural gas contracts (including infrastructure development) with Iran. Then the Mullahs use thereby derived financial gain to fund Hezbollah and develop nuclear weapons. American foreign policy should be closely linked to trade agreements that suppress terror activities and nuclear proliferation. Some make the argument that integrating out economy with those of our adversaries makes them more compliant with our foreign policy objectives. Clearly, that approach is not working.
I've been reading with interest but since I'm not American a response from me would skew your poll. But if I can I'd like to comment on your points in this commentary.

Capitalism, as Marx pointed out, has within it the seeds of its own destruction. In our world now the corporation is more powerful than the state. The US is the pre-eminent free market economy in the world. The corporations which dominate the free market demand freedom to operate so that they can maximise profit. Regulation of any type is anathema to the free marketer and the corporation. A corporation or an interest-grouping will devote much time and money to stop regulation of its activities. A corporation would trade with Satan if it meant a profit. As has been pointed out elsewhere - http://www.thecorporation.com/ - the corporation has no conscience.

So the first conundrum appears. In a free market should the government prohibit trading with a state that represents a threat to it? I say it should, no question of that. The free marketer says no, the market must be untrammelled. So the corporation is free to trade with the threatening state, blind to the potential threat to its own existence. Its own greed threatens its existence. But since a corporation isn't a human it has no residual survival instinct, it's only driver is greed.

The upshot of this is that if the free market is allowed to operate without hindrance then the threatening states will take advantage of trade and build up its own hostile potential and perhaps may unleash it if the right circumstances arise.

So, should foreign policy and trade policy be aligned? I think in the interests of national security it's necessary.
 
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onedomino

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I've been reading with interest but since I'm not American a response from me would skew your poll. But if I can I'd like to comment on your points in this commentary.

Capitalism, as Marx pointed out, has within it the seeds of its own destruction. In our world now the corporation is more powerful than the state. The US is the pre-eminent free market economy in the world. The corporations which dominate the free market demand freedom to operate so that they can maximise profit. Regulation of any type is anathema to the free marketer and the corporation. A corporation or an interest-grouping will devote much time and money to stop regulation of its activities. A corporation would trade with Satan if it meant a profit. As has been pointed out elsewhere - http://www.thecorporation.com/ - the corporation has no conscience.

So the first conundrum appears. In a free market should the government prohibit trading with a state that represents a threat to it? I say it should, no question of that. The free marketer says no, the market must be untrammelled. So the corporation is free to trade with the threatening state, blind to the potential threat to its own existence. Its own greed threatens its existence. But since a corporation isn't a human it has no residual survival instinct, it's only driver is greed.

The upshot of this is that if the free market is allowed to operate without hindrance then the threatening states will take advantage of trade and build up its own hostile potential and perhaps may unleash it if the right circumstances arise.

So, should foreign policy and trade policy be aligned? I think in the interests of national security it's necessary.
It would be interesting to see your non-American perspective on the list of American allies and adversaries. Maybe an Australian list, or both. I do not believe that capitalism contains the seeds of its own destruction. I believe that effective leadership and education can prevent that. I am for free trade. I am not for lining the pockets of our adversaries. I do not think that those positions must be mutually exclusive. For example, I would support a zero restriction trade policy with Australia and Japan. Even including our most advanced technology, military and otherwise. I would also support increased consumer prices, if that was the result of restricted trade with an adversary such as China. I think that many Americans (and maybe Australians also) do not understand the linkage between buying cheap consumer items at Wal-Mart (or similar stores), a modernized Chinese military, and nuclear weapons development in Iran (outlined above). But I think that many would adapt their consumer choices if there was effective leadership and education. Clearly, the media has little interest in such education because in the short-term it would probably translate into reduced advertising revenue.
 

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From the bottom right hand side of the Mercator projection:

Name America’s five most significant allies in order of importance - this is based on alliances for strategic military and not trade purposes.

1. Canda
2. UK
3. Germany
4. Saudi Arabia
5. Australia

Threats

1. China
2. N. Korea
3. Iran
4. Russia
5.

Two most dangerous countries

1. China
2. N. Korea
 

Gunny

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From the bottom right hand side of the Mercator projection:

Name America’s five most significant allies in order of importance - this is based on alliances for strategic military and not trade purposes.

1. Canda
2. UK
3. Germany
4. Saudi Arabia
5. Australia

Threats

1. China
2. N. Korea
3. Iran
4. Russia
5.

Two most dangerous countries

1. China
2. N. Korea
I have to disagree with your allies list.

Canada is a laibility and rides our coattails.

Germany's too "iffy," and Saudi Arabia could as easily be on the other list.
 

Annie

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Here’s a chance to give your geopolitical opinion about America’s most significant allies and adversaries. Also a question about the most dangerous countries. My choices follow the questions.

Name America’s five most significant allies in order of importance.
1. UK
2. Australia
3. Japan
4. Poland
5. Israel
Next in line: Czechoslovakia; not sure if Canada makes the top ten.

Name America’s five most significant adversaries in order of importance.
1. China
2. Iran
3. Russia, the new Soviets
4. North Korea
5. Saudi Arabia
Next in line: Pakistan

Name the World’s two most dangerous countries.
1. Iran
2. Pakistan
These are what I see for friend and foe.
 

Diuretic

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I have to disagree with your allies list.

Canada is a laibility and rides our coattails.

Germany's too "iffy," and Saudi Arabia could as easily be on the other list.
Fair enough, but as I indicated, I see this from waaaay down there on the bottom right of the map.

I keep hearing about Canada riding on the US's coattails but I don't see it. Now, let me clarify that. Canada can't do anything about her location but I think if she could, she'd skeedadle out of North America and take her massive land mass ...oh...perhaps closer to Europe. But then there are so many snowbirds up there that they might slide over into the Pacific and end up somewhere between Easter Island and Australia. But they can't.

In the Golden Horshoe they're very aware that New York isn't that far and if a nuke goes up in New York and the wind's blowing the wrong way, then the Leafs have got more to worry about than their recent shitty season on the ice.

So Canada is stuck with the US. I suppose they make the best of it. I think they're part of NORAD? So they are part of the defensive shield for North America. Well, that makes sense - it's only neighbourly. So they do their bit.

I do hear that Americans piss and moan about Canada taking shelter from attack (conventional) by somehow relying on the US military for help. First point, who the hell wants to attack Canada? Even with wingnut Harper in Ottawa they are stil the most reasonable nation in the world.

Besides, what would happen to the world's supply of Bear Claws?

Canada isn't a liability to the US, the US is a liability to Canada.

Germany is solid. They have a conservative Chancellor and she seems to be doing a pretty good job. Granted, Bush made a complete fool of himself by doing the squeezing of the shoulders thing but the Germans realise that sometimes the frat boy can't help himself. Heck you should have seen the Brit press foaming at the gills when our PM some years ago dared to actually touch the Queen when guiding her through an obstacle course at some big do somewhere. I won't repeat some of the insults directed at us, after all, the US was a colony of Britain once and I would think the barbs would resonate there as much as they did here (except we gave them the finger for drinking warm beer and got on with guzzling cold lager).

Saudi Arabia - wellllllllllllll - what can I say? If foreign relations were the World Series then Saudi Arabia would be the greatest switch hitters the world has seen.
 
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onedomino

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From the bottom right hand side of the Mercator projection:

Name America’s five most significant allies in order of importance - this is based on alliances for strategic military and not trade purposes.

1. Canda
2. UK
3. Germany
4. Saudi Arabia
5. Australia

Threats

1. China
2. N. Korea
3. Iran
4. Russia
5.

Two most dangerous countries

1. China
2. N. Korea
Very interesting. Now, if you would, please give us the Australian lists.

I think that Germany should not be on the list of US allies. They are at best somewhere between an ally and an adversary. I took some graduate courses in Munich. And I saw first hand how much young Germans hate us. The German media is rabidly anti-American. Not just anti-Bush, but intrinsically anti-American, like the French. It was the Germans after all, that jump-started the Iranian nuke program. Even though they opted out after being threatened with US economic reprisals. The Germans have an amoral "mercantile" foreign policy similar to the Chinese. In Afghanistan, German troops, on the order of their government, hide in uncontested areas doing guard duty, along with the French. The southern Afghanistan fighting and dying against the Taliban is left to the nations with character and belief in their ideals such as the Australians, British, Canadians, Danes, and Americans.

In central Europe, America’s best ally is Poland, and the Czechs are not far behind. They remember oppression better than any of us. Hopefully they will be able to help hold the line against Putin and the new Soviets.
 

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Very interesting. Now, if you would, please give us the Australian lists.

I think that Germany should not be on the list of US allies. They are at best somewhere between an ally and an adversary. I took some graduate courses in Munich. And I saw first hand how much young Germans hate us. The German media is rabidly anti-American. Not just anti-Bush, but intrinsically anti-American, like the French. It was the Germans after all, that jump-started the Iranian nuke program. Even though they opted out after being threatened with US economic reprisals. The Germans have an amoral "mercantile" foreign policy similar to the Chinese. In Afghanistan, German troops, on the order of their government, hide in uncontested areas doing guard duty, along with the French. The southern Afghanistan fighting and dying against the Taliban is left to the nations with character and belief in their ideals such as the Australians, British, Canadians, Danes, and Americans.

In central Europe, America’s best ally is Poland, and the Czechs are not far behind. They remember oppression better than any of us. Hopefully they will be able to help hold the line against Putin and the new Soviets.

My list is below. On Germany. As you’d be aware foreign policy isn’t determined by a vox pop. Germany voted out a leftish government and replaced it with a rightish government. Regardless of the anti-Americanism of the people in your sample, the German government is pro-American. I don’t know if the French are anti-American or they simply don’t care, that indifference (they do it so well) might annoy the average American but hey the French couldn’t care anyway. Same goes for their government. They’re not slavishly pro-American, even the Gaullists, but, so far so good. Perhaps they just called America’s bluff?

Poland, let’s not forget Poland. The Twins. Don’t count on Poland. People are going to get ticked off with the Twins in a while, note it, get back to me.

The Czech Republic. Seriously good beer. Next?

The Russians. Everyone thought Gorbachev made them disappear didn’t they? But they’re baaaaaaack. Boy did Bush read Putin wrong.

Now, to my insignificant little country.

Name Australia’s five most significant allies in order of importance - this is based on alliances for strategic military and not trade purposes:

1. United States
2. United States
3. United States
4. United States
5. United States

No, that’s not a typo. It’s my view. Our incredibly incompetent government has put its strategic eggs in one basket.


Threats:

1. United States
2. Indonesia
3. China
4. India
5. Anyone else that notices the US doesn’t really give a shit about us.

Two most dangerous countries

1. China
2. N. Korea
 
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onedomino

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Threats:
5. Anyone else that notices the US doesn’t really give a shit about us.
Funny, but that is not true. America does care about what happens to Australia...a lot. Yeah, you have less people on an entire continent then there are in Southern California, but that makes you sane, not insignificant. I have traveled in Australia and it is an extraordinary place. The people are friendly and seem to actually like Americans. Outside of Vancouver, Sydney is the most beautiful city I have ever seen. America would defend Australia; on that you can be sure.
 

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Funny, but that is not true. America does care about what happens to Australia...a lot. Yeah, you have less people on an entire continent then there are in Southern California, but that makes you sane, not insignificant. I have traveled in Australia and it is an extraordinary place. The people are friendly and seem to actually like Americans. Outside of Vancouver, Sydney is the most beautiful city I have ever seen. America would defend Australia; on that you can be sure.
I appreciate the sentiment and I can return it (when I got to Bend, OR I thought I could really live there). But I wasn't being an incredible prick, I was really thinking in economic terms. For example, as soon as the US completed the invasion phase of Iraq we lost our wheat contracts with Iraq. Now, granted our government and the stupidly corrupt AWB (Australian Wheat Board - ask me about agrarian socialism in Australia, it disgusts me) were up to no bloody good trading with Saddam in contravention of UN limitations. The US has made sure its farmers are meeting those wheat contracts. Over here there was bedlam. But, hello, what did they expect???
Sheesh. Foreign policy is is about national self-interest, not altruism.

So, when it comes to trade competitition, from my point of view we might have cornered the market in kangaroo scrotums (they are a souvenir item here) but for everything else, we have to face up to the open market.

Vancouver is lovely though ;) (shame about the downtown by the sin strip there getting a bit seedy).
 
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onedomino

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Threats:
4. India
Why does Australia view India as a threat? They are, after all, the world's largest democracy. Yeah, I know you cannot kiss in public. I think that India, America, Japan, Indonesia, and Australia have a common interest in keeping the totalitarians in China contained. I lived in Shanghai for almost a year while studying at Fu Dan University. The Chinese I met are more ardent capitalists than many citizens of "Western" countries. But their government...they will shoot their own. Who rules China? The people with the most guns. There are more than 1.3 billion Chinese that have never voted for anything in their lives. They are taught in schools that Tibet has "always" been a part of China. I often asked my fellow students what would happen if we could throw a switch and there was democracy in China tomorrow? To a person they said that the place would explode. I think they underestimate themselves. We hear all the time about the new modern China. And yes, for the 200 million that live in the major cities there is an emerging modern China. But for the 1.1 billion that still live in the countryside it is business (er, totalitatianism...oppression) as usual. If you are a Chinese person living in the countryside and you want to go to one of the major cities to find work...good luck getting by the military roadblocks.
 
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onedomino

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These are what I see for friend and foe.
Point well taken about the Saudis. They might be economic allies...sort of. Soon, we will be replaced by the Chinese. Why? Because totalitarians flock together. The Chinese will not bother them with insignificant details like women's rights. The Saudis are our ideological foes in the extreme. Supposedly, they now fight Al Qaeda. For human rights? No, to save their own undemocratic, women suppressing necks.
 
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onedomino

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I spent some time reading about the history of the ANZUS Treaty. It seems to have worked fairly well between the US and Australia, but I was surprised to read the US had suspended its treaty obligations to NZ, due to the fact that USN ships are forbidden to enter NZ ports. This is because NZ declared itself a “nuclear free zone.” Let’s hope the UN passes a resolution that no one can shoot at NZ. Although, why would anyone waste a missile on Hobbiton? From what I have read, US diplomats, and certainly the military, consider the US-NZ component of the ANZUS Treaty dead. Moreover, the US refuses to consider a free trade agreement with NZ because of its anti USN stance. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/feature/story.cfm?c_id=1501174&objectid=10430512

Unlike NZ, Australia seem to be a country that wants to defend itself. But the US has made the bonehead decision not to sell the F-22A Raptor to Australia, even though it was requested. Now Japan and Israel both are insisting that they should be able to purchase the fighter. http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21602809-2703,00.html I hope that the Raptor is made available to all three countries. The US is using the lame excuse that Raptors in the hands of these three countries will change the balance of power in their regions. Sounds good to me. I think the real reason that the US does not want to sell Raptors is that such sales will blow up the financing of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, which Australia in particular has an investment. But F-35s are years down the road and Australia needs a new fighter now. It is reluctant, and understably so, to settle for current generation F-18s as a stopgap until the F-35 is available. Even when the F-35 is available, the F-22 will still be vastly superior. Australia, Japan, and Israel want the best fighter, and in my opinion, they should get it. But they should be careful what they wish for. Right now, the total R&D plus production cost for each of a planned 184 USAF Raptors is “about” $335 million each! http://usmessageboard.com/showthread.php?t=48232 The USAF wants a lot more than 184 aircraft, but is having trouble getting the cash. We have come a long way. I remember reading that Spitfires cost about $50,000 each. Anyway, the R&D is already paid and the current fly away cost of a Raptor is $137 million each. http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/2007/04/f22-raptor-procurement-events-updated/index.php Maybe in exchange for agreeing to sell the F-22, the three interested countries could ante up a few dollars on the R&D. Even if the did not want to do that, America should still provide the plane. These guys are our best allies. They should get the Raptor if they want it.
 

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Why does Australia view India as a threat? They are, after all, the world's largest democracy. Yeah, I know you cannot kiss in public. I think that India, America, Japan, Indonesia, and Australia have a common interest in keeping the totalitarians in China contained. I lived in Shanghai for almost a year while studying at Fu Dan University. The Chinese I met are more ardent capitalists than many citizens of "Western" countries. But their government...they will shoot their own. Who rules China? The people with the most guns. There are more than 1.3 billion Chinese that have never voted for anything in their lives. They are taught in schools that Tibet has "always" been a part of China. I often asked my fellow students what would happen if we could throw a switch and there was democracy in China tomorrow? To a person they said that the place would explode. I think they underestimate themselves. We hear all the time about the new modern China. And yes, for the 200 million that live in the major cities there is an emerging modern China. But for the 1.1 billion that still live in the countryside it is business (er, totalitatianism...oppression) as usual. If you are a Chinese person living in the countryside and you want to go to one of the major cities to find work...good luck getting by the military roadblocks.
It's only my take. And I base it on our trade interests. We have a very smal economy that relies primarily on exporting our natural resources. We have a very small manufacturing sector and it's getting smaller. Our IT industry, because of our federal government which has never really understood the place of IT in the modern international economy, is on its knees. India will become a bigger economy than China and will be able to dictate to us, just out of the sheer size of its economy, how we do things.

China needs a revolution (again). My revulsion for its totalitarian government knows no bounds.
 

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