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Security Policy Implications Of A Trump Presidency


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#1 BansheeOne

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 0534 AM

Now this is going to be lots of speculation because like in so many other fields, Trump has made only cloudy and often contradictory statements during his campaign. A lot has been made of him suggesting that Article 5 of the NATO Treaty is more of a rough guideline, his friendly words for Putin and other strongmen, that he wants to make allies pay more for US protection while at the same time improving US military capabilities, but there has been no substance.

 

As always the question is how much campaign talk is going to translate into actual policy; Trump's acceptance speech about uniting, working with allies and even warm words for Hillary Clinton would indicate "not much", but just like campaign talk is supposed to be crass, acceptance speeches are supposed to be conciliatory, and neither might mean much. Of course the more you incite your base in an campaign the harder it is to backtrack, but the normative power of the factual is strong, and reality tends to be unyielding. The main worry is that Trump has little idea of security politics, so far has not even a discernible team, and is a rash character lacking the most valuable property in the field, predictability. As I have quipped before, he might wreck NATO on Monday, sell Eastern Europe down the river to his pal Putin on Tuesday, and nuke Moscow over some perceived slight by said pal on Wednesday.

 

Locally it has been stated for some time that no matter who won the election, either Trump or Clinton were going to demand their allies to contribute more to common security, but for Trump it has of course been an actual identifyable plank. I guess everybody here would agree that individual NATO members spending more is a good thing, too; though some expectations you can sense from the Trump camp are far removed from reality, not least because while the US has been pulling a far disproportionate share of the expense for common security, it was never purely altruistic - that common security includes America's, too, and overseas bases and deployments are also serving its very national interests. For many allies, the day-to-day worth of US protection also tends to be overstated by Americans; Eastern and Western Europeans have completely different outlooks on this, for example.

 

Still, a reduction of US engagement in NATO and Europe is possible, which casts some doubt even on recently-initiated measures like American deployments to Eastern Europe. It has also been pointed out here that this would put additional responsibilities in leadership and support on Germany as the strongest European country in particular - something we are neither mentally nor materially prepared for, and I'm not sure others are politically prepared to accept it, either.



#2 rmgill

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 0542 AM

Really depends on who he gets for advisors. 

He made some of the right noises vis a vis a come to jesus talk with NATO members about pulling their own weight and the problems with the UN. Best thing for the UN is river front Condos. 

I can HOPE he goes through the bullshit slow procurement process at the DOD and cuts it to the bone on the byzantine money wasting mess that it is. 

But, he has ZERO record for government activity that we can look at to judge him by, so he's a gigantic

 

?


Edited by rmgill, 09 November 2016 - 0542 AM.


#3 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 0544 AM

I mean no disrespect to Germany, but they are completely unsuited to take a military leadership role for the defence of Europe. Only the French are a realistic alternative because they have their own nuclear capability, and sat at the other end of Europe they are unlikely to regard Eastern European concerns with sympathy.

 

My own view, without active American leadership, NATO is doomed. The alternative is accepting British leadership, which is going to be unacceptable to Europeans for all sorts of political reasons.



#4 JasonJ

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 0554 AM

The thing with Trump's comments towards US allies that I find concerning is that I don't think they were even necessary to pull jabs, hooks, and upper cuts on Clinton. Out of all the candidates, democrat and republican, he's the only one that spoke poorly about them and did so from a position of apparent complete lack of understanding, including the complete lack of recognition that, as mentioned in the first post, US dominance also serves US interest and US security.

 

If Trump buddies up with Russia and forsakes the allies with ridiculous requirements such as local governments needing to pay full amount of US troops in Japan and the RoK, the US may no longer be seen as reliable.

 

So in a new multi-polar world, the US will have a temporary short lived but rosy relation with Russia. But I can't imagine it lasting, so separately they will be listed.

 

EU

Russia

US

China

West Pacific rim (Japan-Taiwan-the Philippines-Vietnam-India-Australia)

 

I guess Great Britain would have a decision to pick either the US or the EU. South Korea may have to stomach Japan to get itself in the west pacific rim or risk being dominated by China via North Korea.

 

But surely there are a lot of US military leaders, think tanks, and politicians, that all see the value of US's close relations with Europe on the one hand and with Japan, RoK, etc on the other hand.


Edited by JasonJ, 09 November 2016 - 0559 AM.


#5 urbanoid

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 0602 AM

And what would that British 'leadership' look like? Can you deploy a brigade to Central Europe on a short notice? And what if 3 or 4 are needed?

 

I kinda agree about the French and with Banshee about the Germans - especially the 'mentally unprepared' bit.

 

IMHO there is no country that could fill in for the US.



#6 JasonJ

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 0604 AM

Poland might actually be the best for the security leadership role, after the US.


Edited by JasonJ, 09 November 2016 - 0604 AM.


#7 urbanoid

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 0605 AM

This idea is actually even more laughable. :)



#8 JasonJ

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 0606 AM

:lol:

 

Ah, well, what do I know about the Euro people.



#9 sunday

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 0618 AM

Now this is going to be lots of speculation because like in so many other fields, Trump has made only cloudy and often contradictory statements during his campaign. A lot has been made of him suggesting that Article 5 of the NATO Treaty is more of a rough guideline, his friendly words for Putin and other strongmen, that he wants to make allies pay more for US protection while at the same time improving US military capabilities, but there has been no substance.

(...)

 

 

Axel, allow me to disagree with your main premise.

 

Scott Adams (that one that despite being a *tool* was of the few persons to predict the result of the election), wrote this on Trump's predictability:

 

 

Do you remember the time someone insulted Donald Trump and then Trump punched him in the nose?

Neither do I. Because nothing like that has ever happened.

Instead, people attack Donald Trump with words (often) and he attacks them back with words. See if the following pattern looks familiar:

1. Person A insults Trump with words. Trump insults back with words.

2. Person B mentions some sort of scandal about Trump. Trump mentions some sort of scandal about Person B.

3. Person C endorses Trump (even if they publicly feuded before) and Trump immediately says something nice about Person C. The feud is instantly over.

See the pattern? 

Consider how many times you have seen the pattern repeat with Trump. It seems endless. And consistent. Trump replies to critics with proportional force. His reaction is as predictable as night following day.

The exceptions are his jokey comments about roughing up protesters at his rallies. The rally-goers recognize it as entertainment. I won’t defend his jokes at rallies except to say that it isn’t a temperament problem when you say something as a joke and people recognize it as such. (We see his rally joke-comments out of context on news coverage so they look worse.)

What we have in Trump is the world’s most consistent pattern of behavior. For starters, he only responds to the professional critics, such as the media and other politicians. When Trump responded to the Khan family and to Miss Universe’s attacks, they had entered the political arena. As far as I know, private citizens – even those critical of Trump – have never experienced a personal counter-attack. Trump limits his attacks to the folks in the cage fight with him. 

And when Trump counter-attacks, he always responds with equal measure. Words are met with words and scandal mentions are met with scandal mentions. (And maybe a few words.) But always proportionate and immediate.

Does any of that sound dangerous? 

What if Trump acted this way to our allies and our adversaries? What then?

Answer: Nothing

Our allies won’t insult Trump, and they won’t publicly mention any his alleged scandals. They will respect the office of the President of the United States no matter what they think of Trump. If Trump’s past behavior predicts his future, he will get along great with allies. Our allies have been fine with every president so far, and they haven’t all been perfect humans. The worst case scenario is that Trump calls some prime minister goofy. We’ll all be used to it by then, including the prime minister in question.

 

http://blog.dilbert....ial-temperament

I suggest reading his blog entries about Trump. They offer another perspective.


Edited by sunday, 09 November 2016 - 0620 AM.


#10 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 0623 AM

And what would that British 'leadership' look like? Can you deploy a brigade to Central Europe on a short notice? And what if 3 or 4 are needed?

 

I kinda agree about the French and with Banshee about the Germans - especially the 'mentally unprepared' bit.

 

IMHO there is no country that could fill in for the US.

Until very recently, yes we could. It was only the inherent stupidity of David Cameron and his cost cutting groupies that pulled the British Army back from Europe at just the moment when it was needed there for the first time in 25 years. We can still deploy 16th Air Assault on short notice, and we can still deploy 3 commando brigade a bit longer notice (probably rather easier when we gravitate the Commando Regiments to Plymouth which is underway). I suspect the argument about an armoured Brigade taking about a month to deploy still holds true. But we are already one of the lead nations committing one full battlegroup to Estonia, and part of one to Poland. So its not as if we aren't half of the way there already. If 3 or 4 are needed Its hardly as if Poland wont be doing the heavy lifting by that point anyway.

 

Its not that Britain is strong in one particular area. Its just a range of capabilities that other European nations dont have, or are every likely to have. Nuclear submarines, how many have those? Cruise missiles, ditto. 2 Giant Aircraft Carriers, sigint capability, Ampbibious capability, world Class special forces,etc etc etc.

 

Look, im not going to play the jingoistic flag, other than to say whatever the flaws with our nation and our military, we tend to be on the side of success more often than not, and when we commit, very likely we drag America in with us. Can France say the same? Not really. Politically its incapable of committing full time to anything that isnt in its own direct immediate self interest. Britain isnt like that. We proved it in Iraq and Afghanistan if nothing else. That and 50 years of parking an armoured corp in West German should count for something in the European corporate memory dont you think?

 

Its not a perfect fill in. In terms of capability it would mean the Europeans have to do much more heavy lifting. But for the range of capabilities AND the political will to actually use them, there is only one nation directly suited to take the lead over from NATO. In actual fact, whom do you think was the founding nation of NATO? It wasnt the US.

https://en.wikipedia...aty_of_Brussels

 

As for Poland as a nuclear power, ask the Donald. He will make it rain plutonium candy for you. :)


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 09 November 2016 - 0626 AM.


#11 urbanoid

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 0706 AM

Wasn't this presence already symbolic when Cameron came to power?

 

IIRC UK deployed more than 50 thousand men for Iraq 1990 and 40 thousand men for Iraq 2003. And those were 'heavy' conventional forces that are largely gone by now. Royal Navy is all nice (minus the fitted for but not with part), but it won't be the navy that decides the outcome in potential conflict with Russia. Cruise missiles are nice as well, but do you have enough? Nuclear capability is also great, as a deterrent, not really practical in conventional conflict. In case SHTF we would need substantial support on the ground as well, I think a lot more than the UK could provide.

 

The UK punched well above its weight since late 1940s to early 2000s, no argument here. The problem is that the conflict we're talking about will have to be fought with what's available at the moment, not with what could (and should) be. Not that I wouldn't welcome BAON/BAOV, because I surely would, I just doubt it would be half as impressive as BAOR was. And w/out the US even BAOR probably wouldn't be enough.



#12 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 0729 AM

Wasn't this presence already symbolic when Cameron came to power?

 

IIRC UK deployed more than 50 thousand men for Iraq 1990 and 40 thousand men for Iraq 2003. And those were 'heavy' conventional forces that are largely gone by now. Royal Navy is all nice (minus the fitted for but not with part), but it won't be the navy that decides the outcome in potential conflict with Russia. Cruise missiles are nice as well, but do you have enough? Nuclear capability is also great, as a deterrent, not really practical in conventional conflict. In case SHTF we would need substantial support on the ground as well, I think a lot more than the UK could provide.

 

The UK punched well above its weight since late 1940s to early 2000s, no argument here. The problem is that the conflict we're talking about will have to be fought with what's available at the moment, not with what could (and should) be. Not that I wouldn't welcome BAON/BAOV, because I surely would, I just doubt it would be half as impressive as BAOR was. And w/out the US even BAOR probably wouldn't be enough.

Not entirely. We still had 2 Mechanised (we call them armoured infantry) brigades there when Cameron decided to fucked everything up. And whilst it werent in exceptional shape, they were probably no worse than the European average.

 

We still have the capability to deploy a Division. It would just take us a bit longer now is all. As far as a composite capability as we deployed in Iraq in 2003, that capability still exists. In actual fact,t here is some recent evidence that we are trying to enhance deployment capabilities by closing old and rather out the way army bases, and consolidating in a superbarracks. The efficacy of which we shall see, but it will certainly free up more money to invest in other areas.

 

My view, you need a leader with a nuclear stockpile. Unless Germany or Poland wants to develop a capability, you really have only 2 games in town. Unless we want Pakistan or Russia to join of course. :) Personally, I think NATO is done for, and the only game in town is going to be a European Security alliance. We wont be party to that, and frankly I'm very dubious about that working out. Such an organisation will need US backing, as its the US backing that is currently in question, I cant see it working. Personally,  I dont see alliance without  France AND Britain being 2 of the pillars surviving. I sorry, I just dont. Its going to mean relying on one nation with a certain record of supporting its own interests for it to work. For example, Iraq 2003. Own interests to the contrary best interests of Europe and the Atlantic alliance. You can look forward to more of that with just France on the tiller.


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 09 November 2016 - 0733 AM.


#13 BansheeOne

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 0731 AM

Axel, allow me to disagree with your main premise.

 

Scott Adams (that one that despite being a *tool* was of the few persons to predict the result of the election), wrote this on Trump's predictability:

 

http://blog.dilbert....ial-temperament

I suggest reading his blog entries about Trump. They offer another perspective.

 

Well, a cartoonist's requirements for predictability may be slightly different from a government's looking for a base of relationships with a major ally to build common security on.

 

Here's one of the few somewhat substantial pieces on possible Trump defense policy:

 

Top Trump Military Advisers Detail GOP Candidate's Defense Plan

 
By: Christopher P. Cavas and Joe Gould, October 30, 2016
 
The 2016 presidential election campaigns have not focused deeply on issues, certainly not on defense. While there is agreement that the restrictions of the Budget Control Act — the sequester — should be lifted, both sides have made rather general references to military policies, Clinton more on the policy side, Trump more on rebuilding what he claims is a “disaster” of a military. But details have been few and far between. 
 
Now, with just a week to go, two top Republican advisers on the military to the Trump campaign provide some insight into what a Trump election might mean for defense. Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has been widely mentioned as the leading candidate to become secretary of defense should Trump win. Rep. Randy Forbes of Virginia, chairman of the House Seapower Subcommittee, will be out of a job in January, having been defeated in his primary election. But Forbes is widely respected for his knowledge of naval affairs and could be a contender to become secretary of the Navy. 
 
Both men spoke Friday with Defense News about Trump’s plans for the Pentagon. 
 
What are the key points of the plan you would be implementing on inauguration day next year? 
 
Sessions: Trump's views are that the United States should advance peace through strength. He believes that the military has been degraded. It needs to be rebuilt. That the sequester has done the damage. That means that you have to place American national interests first. 
 
We should focus on core national interests that includes rebuilding our alliances, and new friends and a more realistic foreign policy that does not seek to achieve things that won’t work, and end up making things worse, and costing lives, and treasure. That is kind of a philosophy that I appreciate. I think we have attempted a lot of things at great cost that haven’t benefited us or the people we tried to help. 
 
Trump’s first commitment militarily is the destruction of ISIS. He said he would have his military produce a plan within 30 days. It would involve military action, cyber, financial, ideological and diplomatic efforts to focus on the destruction of ISIS. Because ISIS represents a direct threat to the United States. They have announced that unequivocally, and have said they intend to attack us. They celebrate people who do attack us. They are an enemy that just has got to be confronted and defeated. 
 
He indicates and has said repeatedly he is proud of the American way. He will not apologize for that around the world, but will celebrate our achievements. He said that immigration is a part of national security, and that we will not bring in persons into the country who might present threats to the United States. 
 
He said that we should expand our production of American energy, which not only creates jobs and keeps wealth at home, it also reduces our dependence on dangerous areas of the globe. 
 
Now, he is specifically committed to fixing our cyber capabilities or improving them. We have got to both have a defensive plan and an offensive plan. You simply can’t allow yourself to be vulnerable all of the time to cyber-attacks and not have a response. 
 
Specifically with the Defense Department, he has dealt with the major categories of expenditures in discussion. He proposes an increase in the Army. We now have about 480,000 troops. He proposes that the Army should be sustained at 540,000 troops.
 
Why is that? 
 
Sessions: Well, I was not ready to talk about that. But the Navy, I think, had the most significant shot in the arm in improvements from where we are probably on a percentage basis. He just believes that we should have a Navy that is capable of providing American presence in different areas of the globe. Randy, did you want to comment on that? 
 
Forbes: There was a little bit of a flaw in your question. But you said ‘what is the plan he would implement on day one when he was elected?’ 
 
That is just the whole thing. The president of the United States can’t just implement a plan. The president of the United States has to be able to work with Congress and policy makers to put forth a plan. Why that is so important is this: if you listen to Ms. Clinton, she is saying basically she likes the direction that Obama has gone, and she’ll continue that with just some minor tweaks. 
 
But I think that with a President Trump, you’ll see him coming out literally within the first few days saying that we are going to have an international defense strategy that is driven by the Pentagon and not by the political National Security Council. That’s a clear game changer. Because if you look around the globe, over the last eight years, the National Security Council has been writing that. And find one country anywhere that we are better off than we were eight years [ago], you cannot find it. 
 
The second thing is that whoever the president is, they will not create the military strategy. Short of President Eisenhower, we have not had a president in office that could do that. But you are going to find that whoever the next president is, they’re going to be confronted with a crisis and threats probably that we cannot even perceive or predict today. The key for that president is having a strategy presented to them by the Pentagon to give them options. 
 
The big difference between a President Trump and a President Clinton is that President Trump is going to return the direction on our capacity and capability so that president has more options. If you take Ms. Clinton at her word where she said she is going to basically continue what President Obama has done, then I ask you this -- do we really want to continue in a situation where we have gone from, in 2007, meeting ninety percent of the needs our combatant commanders had for ships of the Navy, until this year where we will meet 42 percent of our needs? Do we really want the oldest and smallest Air Force in our country's history, which is what we have had? Do we really want the Army carried down to the direction it is headed to 450,000 troops? And do we want the Marine Corps headed to where they’re going? 
 
What we do know is a President Trump has committed as the senator pointed out, to rebuilding that capacity and capability. 
 
We need to move to about 346 to 350 ships. That will be a huge direction. Because by increasing that capacity and capability the next president is going to have more options on the table for threats, which means we have a better chance of not just being successful but of protecting American lives. 
 
Sessions: We’re already down to 180,000 of Marines, and Trump proposes to go to 200,000. I think at this point in history with the credibility of president of the United States eroded, were they to suspect that the United States is abandoning its defense spending. It takes more than a speech to turn this around. 
 
Trump's plans are actually to build more ships and maintain a higher number of troops and aircraft. It will go a lot further than words to convince the world that we remain strong. It will help us to maintain the peace. 
 
[...]
 
There appears to be a contradiction in there. You call for a more robust military. But also there is a less aggressive posture towards, say, Russia, and an emphasis on allies doing more. Would a President Trump support the Pacific pivot? 
 
Sessions: The situation with Russia has deteriorated dramatically under this administration and during the time Hillary Clinton was secretary of state. This is a colossal disaster. Can it be turned around? I don’t know. But we need to attempt to, because Russia – if you look at it in a realist approach. Look at it according to what our national interests are. The United States and Russia should be able to be far more harmonious than we are today. But things have really deteriorated. China is also asserting itself dramatically. The Japanese have been having to launch aircraft to intercept Chinese aircraft. They are very close to Japan on a regular basis at record levels. The major world powers also are causing great concern. 
 
I think the defense increase in preparing for whatever threat might be out there – as I’ve gotten older, it does appear that whenever we anticipate one threat, it’s another one that arises. It is not the one that we so much anticipated. And I feel very strongly that our allies around the world do need to pay more of their share. It is not easy to say exactly what they should spend their money on, but it’s hugely important. We’ve only got five of the NATO nations at two percent on gross domestic product on defense, while we are 3.6 percent – and this might take it higher than that. 
 
We have every right to end this pleading with them and begging them. We really need to have a serious discussion. Donald Trump knows how to do that. We sit down and say we need it, you need to contribute more. That could help us get the job done and not all of it come out of our budgets. 
 
Forbes: We need to realize there is absolutely no conflict between those two points. Because one of the things Mr. Trump realizes is you don’t build your national defense on what you think the other players' intent might be. Intent can change in 48 hours. You build it on capacity and capability. 
 
This is not just Mr. Trump saying it. We have the chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the previous chairman of the Joint Chiefs and previous chairmen of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees. They specifically referenced a tipping point – when the United States continued to reduce its capacity and capabilities it actually encouraged countries like Russia and China to spend more on national defense because they felt they could then catch us. I think Mr. Trump's positions are exactly harmonious with each other – a strong defense and more capacity and capability actually makes for not only a more harmonious world but it actually keeps our competitors from spending more on national defense. 
 
Sessions: Another issue is the nuclear arsenal. By reducing it too dramatically, you can always encourage other nations to believe they could be a feared competitor of the United States. I was worried about that and I think some of that has been proven to being true. The world needs to know that we are not going to be a second-rate military power. You are not going to surpass us. I think that kind of strength allows us to do a better job of maintaining peace in the world. 
 
I have got to tell you, Donald Trump does not believe in war. He sees war as bad, destructive, death and a wealth destruction. You see what has happened to the people in Syria, the people in Libya. Egypt has not yet recovered from the Muslim Brotherhood and all of that instability. Iraq was just beginning to come back. And Hillary Clinton, they pulled out all of the troops against the military's advice. And now they’re struggling to try to take back their own territory when they were a peaceful nation with an elected government in 2011, when we pulled all of the troops out. 
 
You’ve not answered the question about the Pacific pivot. Would you stop the rebalance of forces from the Atlantic to the Pacific theater? 
 
Sessions: I think we are going to have a Pacific pivot. That may not be the best word anymore, but in general that concept of a strengthened position in the Pacific, I would support. Randy, I know you’ve studied that more than I. 
 
Forbes: Even the administration started changing their nomenclature on that. This wasn’t really a new policy. This was something that was developing. You simply cannot look at a section of the world where we have probably two-thirds of all of the trade in the world going through there for the next 10 years. Where we have major navies and major armies in the world focused on that. 
 
But what this administration missed was, they felt they would be able to simply refocus to the Asia-Pacific area. And they were not going to have to be players in the mideast anymore or other places around the globe. What Mr. Trump realizes is the fact that the United States can’t just put all of its eggs in one basket. You have got to have the capability and capacity to be able to defend around the world. 
 
We’re still going to have to huge strength in the Asia-Pacific area, but, you can’t do that and draw down all of your capacity and capability from the rest of the world. We just do not get that option. 
 
One of the pieces of this is nuclear modernization. Would a President Trump want to recapitalize the nuclear triad  –  the ballistic missile submarine, the intercontinental ballistic missile, the bomber? What about the nuclear cruise missile? How does that square with the less aggressive posture towards Russia? Some of these programs are aimed at keeping Russia in check. You are talking about having better relations. 
 
Sessions: Well I will just say that with regard to Russia. I mean, they are doing civil defense exercises on how to survive a nuclear attack. They are building more modern nuclear weapons and have it in their actual war plan. They use them. This is a very dangerous and troubling relationship. They need to know that we are going to absolutely modernize our nuclear weapons. 
 
The Obama administration recognized that, and they have testified on this issue. But we just have not done it. We have not put in enough money to get it done. We are going to have to modernize our nuclear weapons. We have still got nuclear weapons with vacuum tubes in them. This is a critical action. 
 
Mr. Trump says he wants a state-of-the-art missile defense system. What does that mean? What would he replace? 
 
Sessions: Well, we are going to need to continue our ballistic missile defense system. We already have the technology to put in a much better guidance system for those missiles. We will have to continue to complete the development of that and put that on the existing missiles. 
 
We’ll have to decide if we need an East Coast site. I am inclined to think we do. We certainly need an East Coast radar site. I would say we will need to continue that. But with the technology developing the way it is I think we will be in a position to keep ahead of our adversaries. The cost is not that dramatic. But you have got to make sure you maintain steady appropriations so you do not lose momentum in any of these new systems. 
 
What would you do with North Korea? They continue to develop weapons. They continue to develop a capability to strike, certainly South Korea, and certainly Japan, and eventually the United States. Would you put more missile defenses in South Korea and in Japan? 
 
Sessions: We need to work with our allies in the Pacific to make sure that we partner, and I think they need to contribute substantially to our missile defense umbrella for Japan and South Korea. I think Trump has repeatedly said China has to do more to help us confront the dangerous situation in North Korea. 
 
I am going to say one more thing at a philosophical level, that you may think is politics, but I think is the truth. The situation with Korea is much worse than it was when Obama took office. The situation with China is worse. The situation with Russia is exceedingly worse. Pakistan, worse. Iran is worse. Libya is worse. The military says [we] do not involve ourselves in Libya. Hillary Clinton prevailed in that internal debate. We have toppled that government. We have chaos in Libya. Refugees in Libya trying to get to Europe. Syria is just a colossal situation. Iraq is now finding they are regaining territory. We are lucky that the military was able to intervene and get a new election in Egypt. But it is fragile. It is much worse than it was. The Obama administration and Hillary Clinton as secretary of state did little to help that situation. ISIS is on the loose. In virtually every area of the globe we are challenged. 
 
I think it would be a mistake for Donald Trump to start laying out details about how he intends to respond to any of these right now. A lot of milk is spilt and we are going to have to figure out a way to restore our credibility and world stability. 
 
[...]

 

http://www.defensene...e-plan-detailed

 

Meanwhile some reactions to the election result:

 

Vladimir Putin congratulates US President Donald Trump as Russian leaders celebrate

 
'I congratulate all of you on this' leading Russian MP tells applauding Kremlin chamber
 
PETER WALKER 49 minutes  ago
 
Russian leader Vladimir Putin has congratulated newly-elected US President Donald Trump upon his emphatic shock victory.

 

The Kremlin president has officially extended his well wishes to the 70-year-old.

 
The State Duma in the former Soviet Union also reportedly broke into thunderous applause upon news of Hillary Clinton's defeat on Wednesday morning.
 
Mr Putin sent the former The Apprentice icon and property mogul a congratulatory telegram - according to PA.In a brief statement, the Kremlin said Mr Putin expressed "his hope to work together for removing Russian-American relations from their crisis state".
 
Mr Putin also said he had confidence in "building a constructive dialogue between Moscow and Washington that is based on principles of equality, mutual respect and a real accounting of each other's positions, in the interests of our peoples and the world community".
 
Clapping and cheering in the lower house of parliament muffled an announcement by Vyacheslav Nikonov, chairman of the country's parliamentary committee on education and foreign affairs committee member, that Trump had triumphed - according to state news agency RIA-Novosti and Russian website Interfax.com.
 
"Three minutes ago, Hillary Clinton acknowledged her defeat in the US presidential elections and just seconds ago, Trump began his speech as president-elect. I congratulate all of you on this," said Mr Nikonov.
 
[...]

 

http://www.independe...6-a7406741.html

 

Date 09.11.2016

 
Author Ben Knight

 

Merkel congratulates Trump as politicians express shock

 
Merkel has congratulated Donald Trump on his win in the US presidential election. She reminded the Republican of their countries' shared values, while German politicians of all stripes lined up to express their shock.
 
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has congratulated Donald Trump on his win in the US presidential election, before underlining the importance of their countries' relationship and reminding the president-elect of their shared values.
 
"Whoever the American people elect as their president in free and fair elections, that has a significance far beyond the USA," the chancellor said in Berlin on Wednesday.
 
"Germany and America are bound by their values: democracy, freedom, the respect for the law and the dignity of human beings, independent of their origin, skin color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political position," she added. "On the basis of these values I offer the future president of the United States, Donald Trump, close cooperation."
 
The initial cooperation between the two countries is likely to be tense. At one point in his election campaign, Trump described Merkel's immigration policy as "a total disaster," and the immediate reaction to his victory across Germany's political spectrum was shock and uncertainty.
 
Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen put a brave face on as she became the first senior member of Merkel's government to offer her comments. Trump's win, she said, was a "heavy shock."
 
"Of course, we Europeans know as NATO partners that Donald Trump will ask himself what we are contributing to the alliance," the conservative member of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) told TV network ARD. "But we will also be asking, what is your position on the alliance? Many questions are open. A responsible and open America is in our interests.
 
"I also think that Donald Trump knows that this wasn't an election for him, but against Washington, against the establishment," von der Leyen added.
 
There was similar concern from Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. "Nothing will be easier, a lot will be more difficult. We don't know how Donald Trump will govern America," he told the DPA news agency on Wednesday. "But we have to accept the result and we will accept it."
 
[...]

 

http://www.dw.com/en...hock/a-36318866


Edited by BansheeOne, 09 November 2016 - 0736 AM.


#14 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 0738 AM

Europe is as much to blame for this as America is. Have you ever wondered how Iraq would have shook down if Europe instead of offering bile, had offered support in 2003? Sure, it would have been as messy. But American prestige would not have been so damaged, the Military so threadbare, and isolationism wouldn't be so strong. Europe (or at least Central Europe) paved the way for this.  Even now we act with shock that America might not stand by the agreements that we all happily took for granted as we slagged them off for trying to keep the world in order.

 

You get the America we deserve is my view on it.



#15 sunday

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 0751 AM

Sorry, I thought this was more a discussion on character instead of a detailed one on hardware outlines. No one should doubt very much about Trump's capability for building teams of competent advisors, after all, and I thought also that the main issue was fact-based predictability.

 

And Adams states that facts do not matter. Impressions do, thus addressing these concerns of yours:
 

 

 

Of course the more you incite your base in an campaign the harder it is to backtrack, but the normative power of the factual is strong, and reality tends to be unyielding. The main worry is that Trump has little idea of security politics, so far has not even a discernible team, and is a rash character lacking the most valuable property in the field, predictability.

Actually, Adams takes most of the boldest Trump declarations not as actual facts, but only like possible goals, extreme, maximum-reach goals, whose scope should be reduced in order to find a practical solution for the real world. Like setting the terms of a negotiation.

 

That reminds me of the Brexit thread, and the different meanings the word "no" has in different countries. 


Edited by sunday, 09 November 2016 - 0752 AM.


#16 JasonJ

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 0827 AM

In fashion to above, an Abe congratulations. Big article, the lesser relevant parts in spoilers.

 

Spoiler

 

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also congratulated Trump on his victory, describing Japan and the United States as “unwavering allies” despite concerns of a potential rift in the two countries’ alliance.

“I look forward to working closely with President-elect Trump to further strengthen the bonds of the Japan-U.S. alliance and to together play a leadership role in ensuring peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region,” Abe said in a statement shortly after Trump declared victory in Tuesday’s tight election.

“Japan and the United States are unwavering allies, firmly bound by the bonds of our universal values — freedom, democracy, basic human rights and the rule of law,” Abe said.

“The stability of the Asia-Pacific region, which is the driving force behind the world economy, provides the United States with peace and prosperity,” he added.

Trump’s victory over Clinton was widely viewed as presenting challenges for Japan-U.S. relations.

During his campaign, Trump painted Japan as a trade rival to the United States, called the Japan-U.S. security treaty unfair and expressed opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement, which Abe has pushed to ratify as soon as possible.

Shortly before Trump declared victory, the Japanese government’s top spokesman said Tokyo would continue to work to bring the TPP into force. Japan, the United States and 10 other Pacific Rim nations inked the deal in February but are yet to ratify it.

“All 12 leaders (of the TPP signatories) agreed in November last year that they will aim to bring the TPP into force quickly, and Japan wants to take the lead based on that (agreement), as the global economy itself heads in the direction of protectionism,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference.

Current U.S. President Barack Obama has pledged to get the TPP ratified by the United States before his term comes to an end in January.

“There is no change to the fact that the Japan-U.S. alliance is the cornerstone of Japanese diplomacy,” Suga added.

“(The Japanese government) has made various preparations up to today in order to be able to have a proper relationship of trust with the next U.S. president, just as before,” he said.

Government sources said Japan’s Foreign Ministry had predicted Clinton was more likely to win than Trump. And senior ministry officials were reportedly shocked by the surprise result.

But sources close to Abe said the prime minister had been considering of the possibility of Trump’s victory in recent days. Abe did not look particularly shocked or surprised as media outlets were reporting Trump was leading the race.

“Now, (people) may want a politician who says something in a decisive manner,” Abe was quoted as saying by one of the sources.

Also Wednesday, Abe officially ordered Katsuyuki Kawai, a special adviser on security issues to the prime minister, to visit the United States to meet people close to Trump.

Speaking to reporters later in the day, Kawai stressed that Abe had asked him about a month ago to visit the U.S. soon after the presidential election, whoever the eventual winner was.

“First we need to build uprelations of trust between the top leaders of the two countries,” Kawai said.

Observers say the victory of Trump, who had earlier called on Japan to shoulder a large share of the financial burden for the stationing of U.S. troops in the country, would deal a hard blow to Abe’s diplomatic push.

But on Wednesday, senior government officials at the Prime Minister’s Office rushed to play down any expected negative impact from Trump’s election, emphasizing to reporters that the basic framework of the U.S.-Japan military alliance will not be affected.

“There may be some issues over specific policies, but the basic relations of the two countries won’t be changed,” a high-ranking government official insisted.

Spoiler

 

http://www.japantime...t/#.WCMhsS197cs


Edited by JasonJ, 09 November 2016 - 0828 AM.


#17 Josh

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 1017 AM

I have a email circle that's offline from all the other usual noise that specializes in foreign policy (specializing in this case just in the sense of focus, not necessarily expertise). I was asked this exact basic question and I'll give you this basic answer: the Trump presidency's repercussions cannot be predicted because Trump hasn't made up his foreign policy yet. When he gets around to it, we'll predict how damaged the world will be. But I've heard that all the economic deals will be huge.



#18 Panzermann

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 1048 AM

I think we did not have this interview linked on this here great site yet:

"Top Trump Military Advisers Detail GOP Candidates Defense Plan"
http://www.defensene...e-plan-detailed

from 2016/10/30

Edited by Panzermann, 09 November 2016 - 1049 AM.


#19 Josh

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 1108 AM

I'll wait to see what actually takes place. Trump quite literally considers lying and misleading a good business practice and has all but come out and said so. I think it is safe to say all alliances will suffer and in particular Duterte will find it bad timing to deal with China unless he's all in for the long haul and doesn't really care about that dashed line.


Edited by Josh, 09 November 2016 - 1109 AM.


#20 JasonJ

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 1121 AM

I think we did not have this interview linked on this here great site yet:

"Top Trump Military Advisers Detail GOP Candidates Defense Plan"
http://www.defensene...e-plan-detailed

from 2016/10/30

 

So good, needed it twice in the thread :P






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