Friday, July 27, 2007

America’s Angel & Demon Ops

There are two schools of thoughts emanating in Washington D.C. on how to cope up with corporate America’s economic down plunge and how they should handle the military industrial complex scope of engagement especially in the Middle East.
Think tank groups have been giving several reports and strategic advices to the U.S. government on how to tackle or handle its foreign policy and suggested ways on how to unite a cynical and divided America.
According to Charles A. Kupchan, professor at the Georgetown University and a senior fellow at the CFR (Council on Foreign Relations) and Peter L. Trubowitz, assistant professor of government at the University of Texas, there’s a growing divisions at home about the nature of the U.S. engagement with the world which threatens to produce failed leadership abroad which could isolate America in the process. They said that the U.S. commitments overseas must be scaled back to a more politically sustainable level to the U.S. foreign policy and firm up its global leadership. (Foreign Affairs, July-August, 2007)
Both Kupchan and Turbowitz believe that the U.S. is in the midst of a polarized and bruising debate about the nature and scope of its engagement with the world.
Political pundits believe that since U.S.A.’s rise as a global power, it’s only now that the American people and its think tank and foundations are starting to scrutinize the costs and benefits of its foreign ambition.
Just like Kupchan and Turbowitz, the chicken hawks should heed their advice.
In 1943, Walter Lippman believed that it was the political solvency of the U.S. foreign policy that counts most and not the adequacy of the U.S. material resources (translation - armaments). Lippman warned that if the American people from within will be divided as to the conduct of its foreign relations, it will be dangerous to the republic especially if it’s unable to agree as to the true interest of its leadership. The country will be unable to prepare adequately for war.
Charles and Peter cited that in World War II and during the Cold War, the Americans were united in its cause. In their opinion, Lippman’s strategy is relevant again after 911 and the war in Iraq.
Both concluded that the U.S. bipartisan consensus on foreign policy has collapsed and continues to disintegrate.
What went wrong? This was the usual questions asked by the American people nowadays. Most speculate that it could be due to corruptions at the top level, controlling contracts especially military by the few, among others.
Both experts adviced that Washington should be sincere in dealing with nations. Everytime the U.S. use “carrots”, nation states questions the real motive or agenda of America.
Most of the American people believe that President George Bush, Jr. has been a polarizing President due to its policy of bullying and engaging into so many perceived unnecessary conflicts. Most of his controversial occupation are troubled.
Kupchan and Turbowitz said that Bush and his cohorts should learn from history. President Theodore Roosevelt’s imperialist adventure in the Philippines outstripped the U.S. appetite for foreign ambition. William Taft tried the “dollar diplomacy”, preferring to pursue Washington’s objectives abroad through what he called “peaceful and economic” means. During that time, the democrats reacted and viewed Taft’s strategy as a capitulation of the big business interests.
Woodrow Wilson embraced collective security and supported the creation of the League of Nations (U.N.) through a partnership that eased the costs of the U.S. engagement in the world. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s greatest achievement was World War II.
It’s very clear that friendship with America can be achieved better through its citizenry and not with its leaders whose interests is dictated by the elites.
As the saying goes, “there’s no permanent friendship but common interest”.
In the local scene, will Gen. Jun Esperon, AFP Chief of Staff leave a living legacy of a united military or a balkanized Mindanao? Just like the advice of former President Fidel V. Ramos to President GMA is that she should consult and reactivate LEDAC (Legislative & Executive Development. Advisory Council) especially during troubled times, Esperon needs a council of elders from the AGFO (Association of Generals and Flag Officers) and other military and strategic organizations to avert the implosion in the offing. He should be careful in getting the advice of our “foreign” friends which could lead to more trouble. Some of them are doing an “angel & demon operation” to divide and rule us. A potential successor like Major General Ferdinand Bocobo could be a better strategist who could help him. He’s an expert in foreign intelligence.

Dr. Erick San Juan, DLitt.

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