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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Foreign Policy

Ukraine, Snizhne: The Russian T-64 tanks entered the city | June 12, 2014.

Iraq seems to be flaring up again, and it's beginning to look like there might be war in the Ukraine, which got me to wondering just what the foreign policy of the United States of America is. I found this on the Department of State's website:
Department Mission Statement
Shape and sustain a peaceful, prosperous, just, and democratic world and foster conditions for stability and progress for the benefit of the American people and people everywhere.
          --From the FY 2013 Agency Financial Report,
         released December 2013
That's very nice, but it's awfully vague. It's not giving me any indication of how we might react to any actual situation. So I pull up the next item on the menu. It's the  
The Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR): Leading Through Civilian Power

The QDDR provides a blueprint for elevating American "civilian power" to better advance our national interests and to be a better partner to the U.S. military. Leading through civilian power means directing and coordinating the resources of all America's civilian agencies to prevent and resolve conflicts; help countries lift themselves out of poverty into prosperous, stable, and democratic states; and build global coalitions to address global problems.
I don't quite know how I feel about this. The goals in the second sentence sound fine, but once again it is extremely vague. The part about being a "better partner to the U.S. military" is just flat out confusing.
    After that it's all about organization and issues. Did not find any kind of overview that might explain just what in the hell we are trying to accomplish, but maybe that is too much to ask for.

Video via Posthip Scott. That tank is awfully noisy, and if it's really a T-64 like the caption says, it's really old. Russia's current tank is the T-90.

Update September 2017 replaced missing video.

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