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The New York Times
By Jr.
Published: May 11, 2012

WASHINGTON —Mitt Romney’s recent declaration that Russia is America’s top geopolitical adversary drew raised eyebrows and worse from many Democrats, some Republicans and the Russians themselves, all of whom suggested that Mr. Romney was misguidedly stuck in a cold war mind-set.

But his statement was not off the cuff — and it was not the first time Mr. Romney had stirred debate over his hawkish views on Russia. Interviews with Republican foreign policy experts close to his campaign and his writings on the subject show that his stance toward Russia reflects a broader foreign policy view that gives great weight to economic power and control of natural resources. It also exhibits Mr. Romney’s confidence that his private-sector experience would make him a better negotiator on national security issues than President Obama has been.

Mr. Romney’s views on Russia have set off disagreements among some of his foreign policy advisers. They put him in sync with the more conservative members of his party in Congress, who have similarly criticized Mr. Obama as being too accommodating to Russia, and generally reflect the posture of some neoconservatives.

But they have frequently put him at odds with members of the Republican foreign policy establishment, like Senator Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, who was defeated in a primary this week, and the party’s shrinking band of foreign policy “realists” — those who advocate a less ideological and more pragmatic view of relations with rival powers.

The Romney campaign has been critical of Mr. Obama’s record and positions on a variety of national security issues, including containing Iran’s nuclear ambitions and confronting China’s rise. But many of the positions taken by Mr. Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, have either been vague or not fundamentally different from those of the administration.

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Time Swampland

By Michael Crowley | @CrowleyTIME | March 27, 2012

For months now, Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign has overwhelmingly focused on the economy.  But as he geared up his candidacy a couple of years ago, Romney opened with an argument heavy on foreign policy. In March 2010, for instance, he published No Apology: The Case for American Greatness, a campaign stage-setter largely based on the idea that Barack Obama was allowing America to slip into decline while bowing and caving to global rivals like China, Russia and Iran. It wasn’t until the recovery sputtered and Obama scored a string of foreign policy successes that Romney adopted a monomaniacal focus on the jobs picture.

But some Republicans remain convinced that they can score points against Obama on foreign policy. And now, in the wake of Obama’s open-mic comment to Russian president Dmitri Medvedev that he can show “more flexibility” on missile defense and other issues after the November election, Romney seems to be reviving his earlier line of attack. Romney pounced on the comment Monday, calling it “an alarming and troubling development” that suggests Obama is “not telling us what he’s intending to do” on various key foreign policy matters. Later in the day he delivered a surprisingly harsh assessment of Russia as “without question our number one geopolitical foe,” a perhaps defensible position when you consider questions like U.N. Security Council vetoes, but still a tough one to square with his past remarks about Iran. (For example: “Right now, the greatest danger that America faces and the world faces is a nuclear Iran.”)

Read more: http://swampland.time.com/2012/03/27/romneys-well-rehearsed-case-against-obama-and-the-russians/#ixzz1qMQxp4UM

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The good news is that Obama has canceled his trip to Australia to address the ongoing Health Care fiasco.

The bad news is that Hillary is in Moscow talking to Pootie about Russia’s plan to complete a nuclear power plant in Iran.

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The End of Influence: What Happens When Other Countries Have America’s Money

America finds itself cash poor, and to a great extent, power follows money. A new book explores the grave consequences this loss will have for America’s place in the world.
February 11, 2010 |

Editor’s Note: America’s leading role in the international economy is waning as other world powers find themselves holding onto trillions in U.S. debt. Recently, former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson’s claimed in his new book that Russian officials encouraged the Chinese to ditch their Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bonds in 2008 in an attempt to make the United States bail out the troubled mortgage giants. (Russia that year sold all of the bonds it had in both public firms.) And then a few days later came news that Chinese military officers have proposed that their country sell some U.S. bonds to punish Washington for its latest round of arms sales to Taiwan. Power follows money, and Stephen S. Cohen and J. Bradford DeLong’s new book The End of Influence: What Happens When Other Countries Have the Money (excerpted below) explores what will happen in this new world, where other countries have America’s money.

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For more than a quarter century now the countries of the world have been dreaming the neoliberals’ dream. They have been trying to shrink their states back to their core competencies to promote economic efficiency, global economic integration, and growth, and to slash through red tape, rent-seeking, and simple corruption. They have been actively privatizing state holdings. They have hugely reduced their ownership and their active involvement in “national champion” companies. They have cut back on interventions to affect market outcomes and on regulation to scrutinize and control market players.

But now they are waking up. And the neoliberals’ dream is at an end.

To understand why, we need to journey back to the mid-20th century. The coming of World War II ensured that whatever money still remained in Britain left quickly. Franklin Delano Roosevelt ruled an isolationist country that he wished to cajole into engaging in the war with Hitler as early and as completely as he could. But part of Roosevelt’s strategy (and a not-altogether unwelcome consequence, for many who worked in the State, War, and Navy Building-a Victorian-era structure just west of the White House that looked like a French brothel) was to make Britain broke before American taxpayers’ money was committed in any way to the fight against Hitler. Only after Britain had sold off the family silver to pay for the nozzle would America “lend” Britain its garden hose to fight the Hitlerian fire.

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by Christopher Cooper |  CommonDreams.org, May 28, 2009

I woke Monday morning to the sound of BBC radio hyperventilating over North Korea’s latest underground test of a nuclear bomb. This concern was extended and amplified as the day progressed: radio, television, Internet and newspaper reports and discussion settled on pretty much the same two points: This is bad. Very bad. And it will not stand unanswered.

Well, Ok, fine. There is no good reason North Korea should test or build or own nuclear weapons. It is a foolishness as preposterous as to allow the public to carry loaded concealed weapons in our national parks. But of course the motivation is the same and explains the nukes as nicely as the Smith and Wessons: We are afraid. Very afraid.

Oh, yes, and just a touch crazy, too, of course. Kim Jong Il and his dad Kim Il-sung before him (“Great Leader” and “Dear Leader” respectively) do not inspire the confidence we have come to expect from our conventionally coifed and suited Western presidents and prime ministers. We prefer the dull and somnolent, the plodding, cautious, reflective and slow-speaking. Donald Rumsfeld looked about right. And his calm assurances that we must and should bull ahead on the course he recommended was very reassuring. Wrong, of course. But comforting.

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As if Things Weren’t Bad Enough, Russian Professor Predicts End of U.S.

In Moscow, Igor Panarin’s Forecasts Are All the Rage; America ‘Disintegrates’ in 2010

The Wall Street Journal

DECEMBER 29, 2008

MOSCOW — For a decade, Russian academic Igor Panarin has been predicting the U.S. will fall apart in 2010. For most of that time, he admits, few took his argument — that an economic and moral collapse will trigger a civil war and the eventual breakup of the U.S. — very seriously. Now he’s found an eager audience: Russian state media.

In recent weeks, he’s been interviewed as much as twice a day about his predictions. “It’s a record,” says Prof. Panarin. “But I think the attention is going to grow even stronger.”

Prof. Panarin, 50 years old, is not a fringe figure. A former KGB analyst, he is dean of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s academy for future diplomats. He is invited to Kremlin receptions, lectures students, publishes books, and appears in the media as an expert on U.S.-Russia relations.

But it’s his bleak forecast for the U.S. that is music to the ears of the Kremlin, which in recent years has blamed Washington for everything from instability in the Middle East to the global financial crisis. Mr. Panarin’s views also fit neatly with the Kremlin’s narrative that Russia is returning to its rightful place on the world stage after the weakness of the 1990s, when many feared that the country would go economically and politically bankrupt and break into separate territories.

A polite and cheerful man with a buzz cut, Mr. Panarin insists he does not dislike Americans. But he warns that the outlook for them is dire.

“There’s a 55-45% chance right now that disintegration will occur,” he says. “One could rejoice in that process,” he adds, poker-faced. “But if we’re talking reasonably, it’s not the best scenario — for Russia.” Though Russia would become more powerful on the global stage, he says, its economy would suffer because it currently depends heavily on the dollar and on trade with the U.S.

Mr. Panarin posits, in brief, that mass immigration, economic decline, and moral degradation will trigger a civil war next fall and the collapse of the dollar. Around the end of June 2010, or early July, he says, the U.S. will break into six pieces — with Alaska reverting to Russian control.

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