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Steve_S last won the day on November 13 2013

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About Steve_S

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  • Birthday 10/29/1980

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    Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

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  1. I'm not confident that will happen. Russia has all the oil they could ever use and they don't ignore it, neither do most other powerful nations.
  2. I agree that this was true in the past. However, as of now the US has more recoverable oil than either russia or saudia arabia (260+ barrels on the last estimate). Note, this is at current levels of technology and includes shale exploitation, which is more expensive, but not prohibitively so any longer. Shale exploitation in the US caused the oil market to nearly collapse in the past few years. As technology advances, the amount of recoverable oil in the US will increase drastically, as there is probably over a trillion barrels here in currently unrecoverable shale.
  3. I don't know if I'd call a lot of what the US has done bullying insofar as if you go back an actual 40 years, a lot of that was more geared towards trying to keep communism from blowing up. Whether or not you agree with the actions taken to do that (and I don't in a lot of cases), I don't think the reasoning is bad on a larger scale. One could say the same thing about europe in the 40s and 50s - The US could've totally pulled out of Europe in 46 and it's almost certain that a very large part of what never became part of the eastern bloc would've been conquered. Staying there in the way we did was certainly interventionist, but it was not necessarily bad policy, even if we did step on toes on more than one occasion. I think that modern interventionism has its roots in the matriculation of that ideology. It is very difficult to get out of a mindset, even when the time for the mindset has well passed. I don't think things are so simple vis-a-vis bullies versus not bullies. One could call the US interventionist and overstepping of its bounds, sure, but I think that relativity matters. We talk about north korea a lot, about their rhetoric, etc. They very rarely actually act on their rhetoric. Give them a military and resource glut like the US has though, different story. The same goes for most tin-pot dictatorship type places. It is not so much a lack of will to conquer and pillage, but a lack of means in most of those cases. The US, post wwII, had the means to basically *take* anything it wanted, even the soviet union, as there was a period where nobody else had nuclear weapons and we did. Very, very few powerful nations (i don't think any), historically, would've sat on their haunches having developed that sort of strategic advantage and done virtually nothing with it. One could make the same argument now. The US may get in the business of others too often and may go to far in other ways as well (call it bullying if you must, but i don't view it that way). The US right now has the ability to take basically anything it wants from anyone it wants to take it from, and that has not been used at all. For a global power on the scale of the US, I personally take that as a victory. You can argue that "war hawks" are wrong, but most of the ones I have met do view the nations that they want dealt with as a legitimate threat. It is hard for me to fault someone who actually believes a nation is a threat for wanting to preempt them, even if i disagree with them that the nation is a threat.
  4. That is understandable. As far as the war hawks thing, some people think that action is a better course than inaction. I tend to personally think that if the US prosecuted its wars far differently than it has since world war II, that it would be highly likely that there would be a lot more hawks than there are now. Most of the wars the US has engaged in, particularly since the first gulf war, have started with massive destruction of an enemy military. However, unlike the gulf war, the two recent conflicts in iraq and afghanistan looked a lot more like vietnam in the longer term. Iraq was incredibly popular when it started, i think 68-72 percent approval, and held that for several months, possibly over a year? Afghanistan was probably in the 90 percent range (understandably so). Had the US military simply wrecked Iraq's military and infrastructure, I'm fairly confident that it would be looked upon in a positive light right now, even if saddam were still in power or even if an ISIS style government had taken over. It is the long, drawn out, battles for the "peace" and "hearts and minds" that people simply cannot stomach, and rightfully so. Historically speaking the only way to bring a culture around to your way of thinking was to colonize it and then "romanize it" (I use this term in a very broad sense to include more than the roman empire) or to eradicate it entirely after the failure of romanization. Simply putting what basically equates to a garrison somewhere to indefinitely fight a guerrilla war has never worked for anyone, ever. The only time non-colonial occupation ever works is if the countries that are occupied have simply given up, with the understanding that the occupying forces would have no problem erasing their culture through any means necessary if it came to that. Japan is a 20th century example of this. The occupation there was fairly smooth as far as occupations go, but then again the US had shown a willingness to indiscriminately kill people there for the past three years, culminating with the use of nuclear weapons in advance of what would've probably been the largest invasion fleet ever assembled in the history of humanity. Completely decapitating a weaker nation's command and control. destroying their military in 84 hours, and then rolling up in there and acting like you own the joint is never going to work, particularly in islamic nations, but it really wouldn't work anywhere else I can think of. My real point with all of this is that trump could find success with military interventions if he did so in a measured manner that featured very high initial destruction with very low long-range involvement. I'm not advocating this at all and I certainly think north korea, for instance, would be more complicated than that, but it is possible. I'm not sure george w. bush would've limited himself to a few cruise missiles and some special forces in syria, for instance. i will say this, though. As I mentioned in my previous post, pretense matters. If north korea were to do something foolish like fire a cruise missile at an aircraft carrier, all bets could be off on that front.
  5. I don't necessarily accept this as true. How would this work? A mandatory two year term for everyone in the 18-20 year age bracket? This would probably be the most common template for that sort of thing. So you have about 7 to 8 millionish people in that age group at any given time. Probably fair to assume that in the vicinity of 15 to 20 percent of these would be medically disqualified from service, so we can take a million away and we're left with 6 million or so. This would leave us with a military that has 9 to 10 million at any given time. Our military right now has around 2 million, including reserves. I say 9 to 10 million because you'd have to greatly, greatly expand training capabilities and retain a far larger number of experienced non-commissioned officers for that purpose. You'd also have to vastly, vastly expand the officer corps itself in the long term, just to facilitate the constant matriculation of new recruits in and out of the military every year. You'd have to provide at least four times as much equipment as is currently provided, at least four times as much living space, at least four times as much food, water, electricity, etc. etc. etc. Firstly, this would be incredibly costly. The current defense budget is around 600 billion and about a quarter of that is manpower, so you could add another 450-550 billion on top of the defense budget right away just to cover that. If you went with a reserve template you could probably reduce that by 2/3, so the very best case would be 150-200 billion more for personnel. Equipment maintenance and procurement is another 250 billion currently, but to be fair a large chunk of that goes to hardware like aircraft carriers and planes, etc. Still, though, more equipment would have to be bought and maintained if you are going to increase the size of the military 4 or 5 fold, so it would not be unreasonable to expect that number to, at least, double. Off the bat you are adding 400 billion onto the defense budget on the low end, probably realistically 550 billion, at most 700-800 billion (and at most is never an impossibility when you are talking about expenditures). This is unfeasible for this reason alone. However, I must say that I disagree with you philosophically. We spent nearly a decade in vietnam in spite of this possibility. The problem, in my estimation, has a lot more to do with the fact that older men run countries, while younger men fight wars. The simple fact of the matter is that the men who send people to war in modern democracies are never going to be in any real danger of having to go themselves. My fear with an expanded military would be that it would be seen by some as a means to drastically, drastically increase our military presence outside of US borders - "Well, we have 8 million soldiers instead of two million? We can afford 200,000 in south korea as opposed to 30,000!" You could make an argument that fear of losing reelection may mitigate that a bit, but I don't think that it would mitigate it nearly as much as either you or I would like in such a scenario. All that is necessary for war in a democracy is pretense. I don't think that would change in any scenario, no matter whether your military is volunteer or totally compulsory or some hybrid of the two. If a person who happens to be running a country gets the proper pretense, everything after that is simple.
  6. This is one of those situations where the politics don't matter. The president has to act in a way that he believes serves the best interests of the US public, whether that be doing nothing, seeking a diplomatic solution, showing force regularly, or attacking. I agree the political situation is untenable, but that comes with the territory. This is one of those things that presidents are elected for.
  7. I'm not an advocate for military intervention in North Korea, far from it. However, if you have an active developmental nuclear program and you routinely speak of your intent to use nuclear weapons on a world power, it's not unreasonable to expect that one day they may decide to take you seriously and drop the hammer.
  8. I think what really matters is how "rogue nation" is used in daily vernacular. It generally means a nation that is unwilling to adhere to the normatives that the international community believes it should adhere to. Whether or not this is right or fair is a different question. The international community in general does not want north korea to have nuclear weapons, so they are sanctioned and isolated as a result. In that way they fall into the category of rogue nation. The international community may also not wish for russia or the united states to have nuclear weapons, but are generally unwilling to attempt to totally isolate or sanction those two nations, probably primarily because those two nations have teeth. It's really all pretty relativistic at the end of the day. Russia pretty much invaded and annexed part of ukraine and basically got a wrist slap by the EU and US (the UN couldn't because of an what would have been an obvious veto by Russia itself lol). If North Korea attempted to invade and annex part of south korea it would result in a very violent, but probably quick, all out war, probably involving multiple nations who have no real national interests in anything to do with the korean peninsula.
  9. International law is really just something cooked up in the past century that allows powerful nations to tell other nations what to do. It's not really binding on anyone who has the strength to defy it. I don't really view it as any sort of thing to look at as far as what is going to happen or what is happening, insofar as nations will defy it if it suits them and they think that some other powerful nation will not attack them as an 'enforcement' of the law.
  10. Well, there have been times when the US was probably at least partially justified in doing so. Sitting here thinking off the top of my head, I can recall no nation that has attained power comparable to the US that hasn't went totally imperialist. Imagine if the US behaved like rome? This would be an entirely different conversation. While there is an argument as to whether or not the US is meddling or whether or not north korea is a valid threat - if the US were at all imperial minded, it would've likely used nuclear weapons on china when they entered the korean war and everything on probably the whole korean peninsula would be a vassal state or a province.
  11. I'm not really sure there's a time in history where this hasn't applied though.
  12. After reading through all of this, I'd take a middle ground sort of position. I don't see why we don't just stick some AEGIS cruisers off the korean peninsula and start using their test missiles as target practice.
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