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Bloomberg Foreign Policy Q&A

Undoubtedly, Bloomberg  will be forced to expand on many of the foreign policy issues but my reaction to the Q&A in the link below, very briefly, is the following, the agreements, and the disagreements:

https://www.isidewith.com/candidates/michael-bloomberg/policies/foreign-policy

Disagreements

NATO: He favors NATO I do not. It is an artifact of the past and serves only to exacerbate relations with Russia. As Macron so succinctly put it, “it is brain dead”! The EU countries are of two minds with regard to NATO and Russia. Most EU/NATO countries favour and have reasonably friendly relations with Russia, the exception being the UK that follows faithfully US foreign policy and those in East Europe with the possible exception of Hungary. The value of NATO to the United States is not as a bulwark against a potential Russian threat, it is merely to serve as a critical element of US hegemonic interests.

Ukraine: He favors military assistance to Ukraine which would increase the tensions in that area. He talks about Russian intervention changing the global balance of power. This is nonsense. Ukraine is not and never has been critical to the global balance of power. Ukraine wants to join NATO which is a direct threat to Russia sitting on Russia’s western border, so Russia understandably has intervened to prevent this just as the US countered Russia’s move to do this in Cuba in the early 1960s. No one looks at this from the point of view of Russia’s national interest that is just as valid as the national interest of the United States. Also, there is never any news coverage of the prominent and influential  Ukrainian right-wing political parties such as Pravy Sektor and the Azov battalion, both neo-Nazi parties. The western Donbas region of Ukraine is the industrial heart of Ukraine and predominantly Russian-speaking. Eastern Ukraine has very little industrial base and is predominantly Ukrainian speaking. This argues strongly for the partitioning of Ukraine along ethnic lines. A partitioning and a pro-Russian Eastern Ukraine would also serve as a buffer for Russia against a pro-Western pro-NATO Western Ukraine.

US Military Service: He is opposed to national conscription and I disagree. Two-year national conscription should be reimplemented for all. If the US were to have national conscription there would be few if any wars. Two years in military service would give 18-year-olds the discipline they are no longer getting at home or school.

Should the United States pull all military troops out of Afghanistan: He says no, I say yes. That never-ending war is just that. It will never be won by the US. Afghanistan wallows or played a critical role in the so-called great game of the 19 century a Battlefield between the UK and Russia. But a reluctance to withdraw all military forces even in the long-term is not so much due to the threat of the Taliban as it is to serve as a counter to Chinese and Iranian influence in that region. Next door Pakistan is an ally of China and to the east lies Iran. In fact, many have endeavored to conquer Afghanistan without success. In fact, many have tried to conquer Afghanistan but few have succeeded, the most recent being the Mughals under Timur (Tamerlane)

Should the U.S. continue NSA surveillance of its allies? He says yes I say no. Would he favor surveillance of the US by US allies? NSA surveillance of its allies is just another example of US meddling in other countries’ affairs.

Should the military fly drones over foreign countries to gain intelligence and kill suspected terrorists? He says yes, but surely some clarification is needed here. I can’t believe he favours taking out terrorists with drones in any country including those of allies.

Agreements

Iran and North Korea: I agree there should be no military intervention,  A diplomatic resolution is the only solution. 

Should it be illegal to join a boycott of Israel? No,  I agree, boycotts of Israel should be permitted

Influence other countries Elections: No, he says. Agreed, there should be no attempts to influence other countries’ elections as the US has done and continues to do.

Decrease US Military Spend: Agreed. Decrease the bloated Defence budget of $791 billion. That money could better be spent elsewhere: medical research, healthcare, education. 

Should the U.S. prevent Russia from conducting airstrikes in Syria? No, he says and I agree, the US should coordinate airstrikes with Russia
Should Jerusalem be recognized as the capital of Israel? No, I agree. Trump’s policy regarding Israel and the Palestinians should be reversed.
Should the government provide assistance to protesters in Iran? No, and I agree, doing this would merely exacerbate tensions with Iran
Do you support President Obama’s move to lift the trade and travel embargo on Cuba? Yes is his position and I agree.

Judging from the answers to the questions above, I guess I would say my reaction is mixed, perhaps 60/40. However, there were no questions put to him about the trade war, technology nor about relations with China, a huge omission!

There you are, my early read on Bloomberg’s foreign policy.

Anyway, I don’t expect a sea change in foreign policy even if any of the democratic candidates, including Bloomberg, are put forward and elected. The problem in the US lies in many ways more with the bipartisan Warhawk Congress. 

 

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