Iran (so far away)

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thoreau
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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by thoreau »

Hugh Akston wrote:
13 Jan 2020, 11:26
dead_elvis wrote:
13 Jan 2020, 00:29
Hugh Akston wrote:
12 Jan 2020, 20:36
The 34th Rule of Acquisition notwithstanding.
I think you're underestimating how much cognitive dissonance your notwithstanding can support.
Are there really that many people out there on the side of the defense contractors and private security firms?
Framed that way, no. But there are a whole lot of people on the side of "Freedom isn't free" and "America, Fuck Yeah!" They think those phrases mean that we wave flags in support of fresh-faced PFC Jimmy Smith from Anytown USA. The defense contractors benefit from that misunderstanding.
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Hugh Akston
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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by Hugh Akston »

This country can't burn down fast enough.
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thoreau
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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by thoreau »

JasonL wrote:
13 Jan 2020, 11:28
Hugh Akston wrote:
13 Jan 2020, 11:26
dead_elvis wrote:
13 Jan 2020, 00:29
Hugh Akston wrote:
12 Jan 2020, 20:36
The 34th Rule of Acquisition notwithstanding.
I think you're underestimating how much cognitive dissonance your notwithstanding can support.
Are there really that many people out there on the side of the defense contractors and private security firms?
Yes. I'd argue that possibly the largest political factor in the military industrial complex is the jobs and wages it provides and people will defend those to the death. The only thing they will defend more strongly is the value of their homes.
Sure, but these things are massive wealth transfers, and the rest of the public supports these transfers far more strongly than they support most other wealth transfers. And one big reason is "U-S-A! U-S-A!" and "Freedom isn't free."

Another reason is 9/11 forever.
" Columbus wasn’t a profile in courage or brilliance despite the odds, he was a dumb motherfucker that got lucky. Oddly, that makes him the perfect talisman for the Trump era."
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JasonL
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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by JasonL »

Remember that other thread where I said something about the greatest political lie ever digested in the US is that social security isn't a welfare program, how the narrative of it came to be accepted and placed it on a different plane than other government programs because of that narrative?

I think something operates similarly in the MIC. You are right that it is a set of transfers and people keep supporting it while opposing other transfers. Something something strength, post war order, 9/11, USA USA - yep all those things.

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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by thoreau »

There are a whole lot of people on the right (and even in the libertarian camp) who don't think of the military as being Big Government. There are a whole lot of people who can spout conspiracy theories about The Government oppressing Christians while thinking that The Troops and cops are the finest Americans.

Honestly, part of the problem might be the idea that a "night watchman" state is legitimate while the rest of it isn't. The illegitimate part is Big Government, including the cheap parts. The legitimate part isn't Big Government, no matter how expensive it might be.

I mean, we have a political party that's spent 40 years offering a platform of "cut taxes, raise military spending, and balance the budget by going after shit like NPR." That party has held the White House for 24 of those 40 years, and held the House for 20 of those 40 years. So we all pretend that that party is no less crazy than the other one.
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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by Hugh Akston »

I mean have the Democrats ever had a crazy policy? Not that I can think of.
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Re: Iran (so far away)

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If we wanted to have a primarily advisory/training plus "keep the oil flowing" presence it would look completely different than what we had now. It would have a smaller infantry/cavalry presence and be a primarily naval presence with supporting air assets. A lot of our presence there is circular logic, "We need lots of troops in the region because the troops we keep in the region get attacked by proxies because the people don't want us there." How much of the military buildup and heat in the region is because of American presence. Would KSA be so aggressive with the Iranians and their proxies without the US backing them up? Would Iran puff itself so much because it's no longer dealing with American backed troops? This is like the whole Batman thing leads to street thugs turning into super villains. Leave the neighborhood, but ensure the sea lanes are clear for commerce and have a credible stick to be able to ensure no one is dominant.
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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by Hugh Akston »

Mo wrote:
13 Jan 2020, 12:11
Leave the neighborhood, but ensure the sea lanes are clear for commerce and have a credible stick to be able to ensure no one is dominant.
And this could be done with a NATO coalition fleet (or even one including locals), rather than America being the World Police.
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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by Mo »

JasonL wrote:
13 Jan 2020, 11:42
Remember that other thread where I said something about the greatest political lie ever digested in the US is that social security isn't a welfare program, how the narrative of it came to be accepted and placed it on a different plane than other government programs because of that narrative?

I think something operates similarly in the MIC. You are right that it is a set of transfers and people keep supporting it while opposing other transfers. Something something strength, post war order, 9/11, USA USA - yep all those things.
There's a reason why defense contractors build everything in about 300 districts instead of in a more logical or organic setup.
his voice is so soothing, but why do conspiracy nuts always sound like Batman and Robin solving one of Riddler's puzzles out loud? - fod

no one ever yells worldstar when a pet gets fucked up - dhex

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Shem
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Re: Iran (so far away)

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JasonL wrote:
13 Jan 2020, 11:16
That whole thing is an issue, especially when dealing with, as the man said, habitual line-steppers. There's a kind of incremental aggression that can be employed to significant effect while maintaining the argument that it is never ever worth doing anything about it. Not at the first increment and not at the Nth increment. I worry about how to deal with that for all I recognize it may actually not be worth it for a very long time.
This becomes a lot less compelling when the faction pushing for a kinetic response was responsible for the end of the treaty that was keeping the potential nuclear state from making progress on their bomb.
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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by Aresen »

Shem wrote:
13 Jan 2020, 13:34
JasonL wrote:
13 Jan 2020, 11:16
That whole thing is an issue, especially when dealing with, as the man said, habitual line-steppers. There's a kind of incremental aggression that can be employed to significant effect while maintaining the argument that it is never ever worth doing anything about it. Not at the first increment and not at the Nth increment. I worry about how to deal with that for all I recognize it may actually not be worth it for a very long time.
This becomes a lot less compelling when the faction pushing for a kinetic response was responsible for the end of the treaty that was keeping the potential nuclear state from making progress on their bomb.
After the last two weeks, the Iranians (at least the Imams and Ayatollahs) have probably decided that nukes are their only real security.
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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by JasonL »

Shem wrote:
13 Jan 2020, 13:34
JasonL wrote:
13 Jan 2020, 11:16
That whole thing is an issue, especially when dealing with, as the man said, habitual line-steppers. There's a kind of incremental aggression that can be employed to significant effect while maintaining the argument that it is never ever worth doing anything about it. Not at the first increment and not at the Nth increment. I worry about how to deal with that for all I recognize it may actually not be worth it for a very long time.
This becomes a lot less compelling when the faction pushing for a kinetic response was responsible for the end of the treaty that was keeping the potential nuclear state from making progress on their bomb.
The argument is to me compelling regardless of what those advocating policies at various times happened to say. Just ... conceptually. The world has a nuclear deterrent that operates at a threshold so high we probably won’t see it anytime soon. Underneath that... there isn’t much. I think for example Putin could take ground piecemeal all the way to Poland and nobody would really do shit if he did it right. You have to somewhat give a shit about your populace for economic deterrents to matter. I’m not at all sure what the equilibrium would be in the ME if people didn’t see the US as a tripwire. That is, yes they may hate us for our bases but that may be primarily because they want freedom of action. Not a reason to keep them there, but the 100% deterrent-less world makes me feel less comfy than the most optimistic views would suggest.

ETA - I think the terms of nuclear deals are overblown. As far as I can tell parties seeking admission to the world stage and are willing to becomes nonshitheads abandon programs and do those things, but the essential incentive for shitheads with no intention of changing is to lie and cheat those programs.

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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by Kolohe »

Mo wrote:
13 Jan 2020, 12:11
Leave the neighborhood, but ensure the sea lanes are clear for commerce and have a credible stick to be able to ensure no one is dominant.
Can't really do both.
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex

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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by Shem »

Hugh Akston wrote:
13 Jan 2020, 11:26
dead_elvis wrote:
13 Jan 2020, 00:29
Hugh Akston wrote:
12 Jan 2020, 20:36
The 34th Rule of Acquisition notwithstanding.
I think you're underestimating how much cognitive dissonance your notwithstanding can support.
Are there really that many people out there on the side of the defense contractors and private security firms?
There's actually a very compelling argument that the US has a welfare state as thoroughly-developed as any European nation; it's just focused on providing jobs instead of benefits. The government pays huge amounts to maintain the military, education, prison, and medical systems so that those sectors will employ people.
"VOTE SHEMOCRACY! You will only have to do it once!" -Loyalty Officer Aresen

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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by Shem »

Kolohe wrote:
13 Jan 2020, 14:05
Mo wrote:
13 Jan 2020, 12:11
Leave the neighborhood, but ensure the sea lanes are clear for commerce and have a credible stick to be able to ensure no one is dominant.
Can't really do both.
Think that means "stop sending anyone deeper inland than a Naval base as long as the spice continues to flow." That is, genuinely not caring who's in charge provided commerce continues, rather than protecting Our SOB.
"VOTE SHEMOCRACY! You will only have to do it once!" -Loyalty Officer Aresen

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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by dead_elvis »

JasonL wrote:
13 Jan 2020, 11:28
Hugh Akston wrote:
13 Jan 2020, 11:26
dead_elvis wrote:
13 Jan 2020, 00:29
Hugh Akston wrote:
12 Jan 2020, 20:36
The 34th Rule of Acquisition notwithstanding.
I think you're underestimating how much cognitive dissonance your notwithstanding can support.
Are there really that many people out there on the side of the defense contractors and private security firms?
Yes. I'd argue that possibly the largest political factor in the military industrial complex is the jobs and wages it provides and people will defend those to the death. The only thing they will defend more strongly is the value of their homes.
And in the case of being in somewhat of a company town (San Diego), the value of our home and rental is at one with military staffing and spending. I feel keenly aware every election that by voting against forever war candidates, I'm voting against my own economic self interest even though we don't work for the military or its contractors.
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thoreau
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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by thoreau »

Shem wrote:
13 Jan 2020, 14:24
Kolohe wrote:
13 Jan 2020, 14:05
Mo wrote:
13 Jan 2020, 12:11
Leave the neighborhood, but ensure the sea lanes are clear for commerce and have a credible stick to be able to ensure no one is dominant.
Can't really do both.
Think that means "stop sending anyone deeper inland than a Naval base as long as the spice continues to flow." That is, genuinely not caring who's in charge provided commerce continues, rather than protecting Our SOB.
I can co-sign this. And it's not like there's a shortage of examples of countries keeping coastal presences abroad while the inland is hostile. Guantanamo and Gibraltar both come to mind. Spain has exclaves on the Moroccan coast, and while they aren't currently large naval bases, they have been used for that purpose before and could be used as such again.

If the US wants to be a global shipping lane cop, then focus on securing strategic islands and coastal locations, not trying to run inland affairs.
Shem wrote:
13 Jan 2020, 14:21
Hugh Akston wrote:
13 Jan 2020, 11:26
dead_elvis wrote:
13 Jan 2020, 00:29
Hugh Akston wrote:
12 Jan 2020, 20:36
The 34th Rule of Acquisition notwithstanding.
I think you're underestimating how much cognitive dissonance your notwithstanding can support.
Are there really that many people out there on the side of the defense contractors and private security firms?
There's actually a very compelling argument that the US has a welfare state as thoroughly-developed as any European nation; it's just focused on providing jobs instead of benefits. The government pays huge amounts to maintain the military, education, prison, and medical systems so that those sectors will employ people.
So, basically, socialism with more social engineering than a Western European welfare state.
" Columbus wasn’t a profile in courage or brilliance despite the odds, he was a dumb motherfucker that got lucky. Oddly, that makes him the perfect talisman for the Trump era."
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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by Jasper »

Warren wrote:
12 Jan 2020, 10:39
By contrast this weeks 5th Col. (ep 167) with guest Noah Rothman, was a highly intelligent and well informed back and forth on Iran. At least for the first hour, until Moynihan showed up when it instantly went to shit.
Totes agree. Rothman's arguments gave my a lot to mull over.
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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by Mo »

Kolohe wrote:
13 Jan 2020, 14:05
Mo wrote:
13 Jan 2020, 12:11
Leave the neighborhood, but ensure the sea lanes are clear for commerce and have a credible stick to be able to ensure no one is dominant.
Can't really do both.
Isn’t that what we did, for the most part, up until the end of the first Iraq war? We had some base presence there, but it was much lighter then.
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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by Kolohe »

Most of our current footprint in the Middle East is primarily dedicated to keep the sea lanes open. The second (and former majority) part of the footprint was and is the self-licking ice cream cones of Iraq and Afghanistan (and now Syria). A very small portion of the force is exclusively dick waving at Iran, and most of that is shit Trump has added in the past year.

And don't get me wrong, since we've said fuck you to the Hubbert's peak in the past 10 years, we can say fuck you all to the Persian/Arabian Gulf or whatever they feel like calling it.
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex

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Re: Iran (so far away)

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Many to most of the socialist democracies do both. We do more employment by prison, but erryone does employment through direct and indirect largesse. One way of viewing the European model is fundamental support and protection for primary players in major industries in exchange for labor agreements to keep voters happy. If you look at Boeing and Airbus for example, yeah Boeing is govt contract central but hahaha look at what France does for Airbus.

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Re: Iran (so far away)

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JasonL wrote:
13 Jan 2020, 19:30
Many to most of the socialist democracies do both. We do more employment by prison, but erryone does employment through direct and indirect largesse. One way of viewing the European model is fundamental support and protection for primary players in major industries in exchange for labor agreements to keep voters happy. If you look at Boeing and Airbus for example, yeah Boeing is govt contract central but hahaha look at what France does for Airbus.
Does France give the Israeli military 3.1 billion dollars every single year, and the Egyptian military 1.3 billion dollars every single year, with the requirement that at least 80% of it be spent with Airbus or other French companies? Because the US does. And that's over and above all the protections they give, and the contracts they hand out. And nobody is upset by the amounts; when Trump wanted to boost the amount put into the military equivalent of giving your coworker money to buy your kid's Girl Scout cookies to make it look like they were selling, the only outrage was that they were relaxing the percentages required to be spent on US companies.

But it goes so much deeper than just workfare. Every person incarcerated is someone who doesn't require a job while they're locked up. Every teenager going straight to college despite not knowing what they want to do is a teenager the system doesn't have to absorb some other way. The only other industrialized country where the creation and elimination of jobs plays into government policy to this extent is Japan, and they're trying to pave the entire place under as a result.
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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by Mo »

JasonL wrote:
13 Jan 2020, 19:30
Many to most of the socialist democracies do both. We do more employment by prison, but erryone does employment through direct and indirect largesse. One way of viewing the European model is fundamental support and protection for primary players in major industries in exchange for labor agreements to keep voters happy. If you look at Boeing and Airbus for example, yeah Boeing is govt contract central but hahaha look at what France does for Airbus.
Boeing gets a ton of direct subsidies too. I mean Boeing lost a WTO dispute just about their direct subsidies.
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Re: Iran (so far away)

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The Washington State tax break is the only subsidy found in the WTO case against Boeing. Airbus received north of $20 billion in direct funds from 4 national governments. The A330 was funded almost entirely from direct government funds. The relationship between Germany and VW is similarly interesting. Ikea and Sweden. Switzerland and the big banks.

I think the US is an outlier in total defense spending and an outlier in prison population, but I'm not sure the particular idea of workfare by subsidy is something we do and others don't.

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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by Aresen »

JasonL wrote:
14 Jan 2020, 09:20
The Washington State tax break is the only subsidy found in the WTO case against Boeing. Airbus received north of $20 billion in direct funds from 4 national governments. The A330 was funded almost entirely from direct government funds. The relationship between Germany and VW is similarly interesting. Ikea and Sweden. Switzerland and the big banks.

I think the US is an outlier in total defense spending and an outlier in prison population, but I'm not sure the particular idea of workfare by subsidy is something we do and others don't.
I think almost all countries have subsidies to one industry or another. The sole advantage the US has is that the subsidy to any particular industry tends to be a smaller fraction of GDP (with the exception of the MIC).
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