Author Topic: DeSantis Calls U.S. Support of Ukraine Distraction From More Vital Interests  (Read 1056 times)

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Offline Maj. Bill Martin

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DeSantis Calls U.S. Support of Ukraine Distraction From More Vital Interests

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a likely 2024 Republican presidential candidate, said Monday evening the U.S. shouldn’t necessarily help defend Ukraine against Russia’s invasion and instead focus its resources on issues closer to home.

“While the U.S. has many vital national interests—securing our borders, addressing the crisis of readiness within our military, achieving energy security and independence, and checking the economic, cultural, and military power of the Chinese Communist Party—becoming further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them,” Mr. DeSantis said in a statement broadcast on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” on Fox News.

The statement was in response to a questionnaire Mr. Carlson’s show sent to all major prospective GOP presidential candidates.

“We cannot prioritize intervention in an escalating foreign war over the defense of our own homeland, especially as tens of thousands of Americans are dying every year from narcotics smuggled across our open border and our weapons arsenals critical for our own security are rapidly being depleted,” Mr. DeSantis said.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/desantis-calls-u-s-support-of-ukraine-distraction-from-more-vital-interests-2f3cc0ea

For me personally, this a deal breaker.  I won't vote for anyone who wants to abandon Ukraine to the Russians, in either the primary or the general election.  I'd just leave that race blank.

So looks like I'm on the rather hopeless Team Pompeo at this point.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2023, 03:40:36 am by Maj. Bill Martin »

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Yeah, it's a pretty stupid, pandering statement by DeSantis.
aka "nasty degenerate SOB," "worst of the worst at Free Republic," "Garbage Troll," "Neocon Warmonger," "Filthy Piece of Trash," "damn $#%$#@!," and "Silly f'er"

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He's right. We get ourselves sucked in up to our necks in Ukraine, then China has a cakewalk into Taiwan and controls the world chip supply because we can no longer fight a two front war.
We are two countries now.

Go with the army you got.

We have wandered into the territory of dictatorship.

Offline mountaineer

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The statement was in response to a questionnaire Mr. Carlson’s show sent to all major prospective GOP presidential candidates.
Here's what they said:

https://twitter.com/TuckerCarlson/status/1635442071073955841
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Offline Maj. Bill Martin

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He's right. We get ourselves sucked in up to our necks in Ukraine, then China has a cakewalk into Taiwan and controls the world chip supply because we can no longer fight a two front war.

If someone finds Ukraine to be not a "vital U.S. interest", I think there's less than a 1% chance they'd find little 'ol Taiwan to be a vital U.S. interest either.  Especially since while supporting Ukraine requires only that we provide them with weapons/ammo, supporting Taiwan in a military action against China would require the lives of American sailors, airmen, and troops.

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I know this topic splits Briefers, but I am with DeSantis 100% on this. When you look at:

1. Pending economic collapse, we are $32T in debt,, and may have a banking collapse soon,
2. Porous Southern Border
3. Fentanyl poisoning in epidmemic proportions
4. Absolute idiots running this country
5. What just happened in Afghan withdrawal, do we need more military action with idiots in the Pentagon like now?
6. Drawing down our defense systems vs. a building Chicom threat?
7. Further escalation of geo-political war around hydrocarbon resources
8. Fact, NATO and EU are not pulling their full load in the matter, though for security reason they have more to lose.
9. No accounting or figuring out how much of this Ukraine grift is going to their politicans vs. their war effort.
10. We can't even get relief to an Ohio rail derailment disaster, and we at the same time are sending big funds to what has become another in a long series of proxy wars.

That's just 10 off the top of my head.  Yes Mr. DeSantis, I wholeheartedly support your position, and your candidacy
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If someone finds Ukraine to be not a "vital U.S. interest", I think there's less than a 1% chance they'd find little 'ol Taiwan to be a vital U.S. interest either.  Especially since while supporting Ukraine requires only that we provide them with weapons/ammo, supporting Taiwan in a military action against China would require the lives of American sailors, airmen, and troops.

We have treaties with Taiwan.  Last I saw Ukraine was not in NATO.
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Offline Maj. Bill Martin

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Here's the full text of his response to Tucker.  I would have posted it instead of the WSJ-paywall article but I hadn't yet see it.

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Florida Governor
@RonDeSantisFL
 answers our Ukraine questionnaire:

“While the U.S. has many vital national interests – securing our borders, addressing the crisis of readiness within our military, achieving energy security and independence, and checking the economic, cultural, and military power of the Chinese Communist Party – becoming further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them. The Biden administration’s virtual “blank check” funding of this conflict for “as long as it takes,” without any defined objectives or accountability, distracts from our country’s most pressing challenges.

Without question, peace should be the objective. The U.S. should not provide assistance that could require the deployment of American troops or enable Ukraine to engage in offensive operations beyond its borders.  F-16s and long-range missiles should therefore be off the table. These moves would risk explicitly drawing the United States into the conflict and drawing us closer to a hot war between the world’s two largest nuclear powers. That risk is unacceptable.

A policy of “regime change” in Russia (no doubt popular among the DC foreign policy interventionists) would greatly increase the stakes of the conflict, making the use of nuclear weapons more likely.  Such a policy would neither stop the death and destruction of the war, nor produce a pro-American, Madisonian constitutionalist in the Kremlin. History indicates that Putin’s successor, in this hypothetical, would likely be even more ruthless.  The costs to achieve such a dubious outcome could become astronomical.   

The Biden administration’s policies have driven Russia into a de facto alliance with China. Because China has not and will not abide by the embargo, Russia has increased its foreign revenues while China benefits from cheaper fuel. Coupled with his intentional depletion of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and support for the Left’s Green New Deal, Biden has further empowered Russia’s energy-dominated economy and Putin’s war machine at Americans’ expense.

Our citizens are also entitled to know how the billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars are being utilized in Ukraine. 

We cannot prioritize intervention in an escalating foreign war over the defense of our own homeland, especially as tens of thousands of Americans are dying every year from narcotics smuggled across our open border and our weapons arsenals critical for our own security are rapidly being depleted."

One thing that is truly disappointing about this statement is that it is rather weaselly, which is something I never before associated with DeSantis who generally is very clear about where he stands.  He specifically says "F-16's and long-range missiles should therefore be off the table", which implies that other things are on the table.  But what, exactly?  His statement is full of things he says we shouldn't do, but nowhere does he state clearly what we should do.   Honestly, it reads to me like he's pandering to isolationist "America First" voters, but trying to leave some wiggle room so nobody can accuse him of just cutting off all aid to Ukraine.  I really dislike that.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2023, 02:08:47 pm by Maj. Bill Martin »

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I know this topic splits Briefers, but I am with DeSantis 100% on this. When you look at:

1. Pending economic collapse, we are $32T in debt,, and may have a banking collapse soon,
2. Porous Southern Border
3. Fentanyl poisoning in epidmemic proportions
4. Absolute idiots running this country
5. What just happened in Afghan withdrawal, do we need more military action with idiots in the Pentagon like now?
6. Drawing down our defense systems vs. a building Chicom threat?
7. Further escalation of geo-political war around hydrocarbon resources
8. Fact, NATO and EU are not pulling their full load in the matter, though for security reason they have more to lose.
9. No accounting or figuring out how much of this Ukraine grift is going to their politicans vs. their war effort.
10. We can't even get relief to an Ohio rail derailment disaster, and we at the same time are sending big funds to what has become another in a long series of proxy wars.

That's just 10 off the top of my head.  Yes Mr. DeSantis, I wholeheartedly support your position, and your candidacy

Although I support sending weapons to help Ukraine expel the Russians from their country, that’s not a dealbreaker for me when it comes to a candidate.

For me, it’s spending, spending, and spending which results in the expansion and growth of the federal government

If DeSantis throws his hat in the ring, I will listen to what he has to say. But I am not committed to voting for him and won’t if he wants to continue the Obama/Trump/Biden spending

With Trump going to the left on spending, I worry that may force the other republican candidates to follow suit in order to get his supporters on board with them.
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Offline Maj. Bill Martin

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We have treaties with Taiwan.  Last I saw Ukraine was not in NATO.

The mutual-defense treaty with Taiwan was cancelled by Jimmy Carter in 1980.  That abandonment of our obligation to come to Taiwan's assistance in the event of an invasion was the impetus for Reagan's "No more Taiwans" slogan.  After that treaty was cancelled, Congress passed the Taiwan Relations Act that said a lot of nice things, but did not and does not contain a provision requiring direct U.S. military assistance in the event Taiwan is attacked by China.  Furthermore, our avowed policy of "strategic ambiguity" means that we have refused to say publicly whether we'd come to Taiwan's defense or not.

One huge justification for alliances is deterrence -- that an enemy who may be willing to go to war against a weak neighbor might not be willing to start a war if that weak neighbor has powerful allies publicly committed to defend it. But no such public commitment exists for Taiwan, which means we're not talking about just promising to defend Taiwan -- we're talking about joining an actual China-Taiwan war after it already has started. 

The bottom line is that Taiwan is in no different position relative to us than was Ukraine.  And if we're not willing to provide weapons only -- no U.S. lives -- to help Ukraine, I can't see any of those same politicians willing to have a direct military confrontation with China over Taiwan, to which we'd have no direct land access and would be in a far more vulnerable military position.   

We let Ukraine die, and the writing is on the wall for the Chinese on where we stand with respect to Taiwan.   Adios, muchachos!  And every single other country around the world that lacks a formal defense pact with us is going to see the writing on the wall as well.  It's handing hegemony to China.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2023, 02:25:59 pm by Maj. Bill Martin »

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Here's the full text of his response to Tucker.  I would have posted it instead of the WSJ-paywall article but I hadn't yet see it.

One thing that is truly disappointing about this statement is that it is rather weaselly, which is something I never before associated with DeSantis who generally is very clear about where he stands.  He specifically says "F-16's and long-range missiles should therefore be off the table", which implies that other things are on the table.  But what, exactly?  His statement is full of things he says we shouldn't do, but nowhere does he state clearly what we should do.   Honestly, it reads to me like he's pandering to isolationist "America First" voters, but trying to leave some wiggle room so nobody can accuse him of just cutting off all aid to Ukraine.  I really dislike that.

I took more of a "read between the lines approach" That vagueness is actually pretty smart, especially when given the stance, (1) Conditions in a geo-political situation can change.  I could even support Ukraine aid, if I saw evidence that there was a more immient threat to the U.S. (2) What may be interpreted as wiggle room, in my mind is flexbility based on (1).  Example?  If Russia gets the upper hand and assembles a 500K army at the Polish border?  Hell yeah, my position would change.  And until we see some addtional level of urgency on this matter from the members of NATO and EU, why should the U.S. shoulder the burden the expense this early in? 

And as far as what he "should do"?  He's so far, really fighting the woke battle nationwide right now, pretty much as a one man (with Noem) crusader. He's got to set the ideological creds first, and don't forget....   Technically he hasn't even declared for office, so commenting on specific national issues on how the Federal Government is run, is almost moot at this point.
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The mutual-defense treaty with Taiwan was cancelled by Jimmy Carter in 1980.  That abandonment of our obligation to come to Taiwan's assistance in the event of an invasion was the impetus for Reagan's "No more Taiwans" slogan.  After that treaty was cancelled, Congress passed the Taiwan Relations Act that said a lot of nice things, but did not and does not contain a provision requiring direct U.S. military assistance in the event Taiwan is attacked by China.  Furthermore, our avowed policy of "strategic ambiguity" means that we have refused to say publicly whether we'd come to Taiwan's defense or not.

The bottom line is that Taiwan is in no different position relative to us than was Ukraine.  One huge justification for alliances is deterrence -- that an enemy who may be willing to go to war against a weak neighbor might not be willing to start a war if that weak neighbor has powerful allies publicly committed to defend it. But no such public commitment exists for Taiwan, which means we're not talking about just promising to defend Taiwan -- we're talking about joining an actual China-Taiwan war after it already has started.  And if we're not willing to provide weapons only -- no U.S. lives -- to help Ukraine, I can't see any of those same politicians willing to have a direct military confrontation with China over Taiwan, to which we'd have no direct land access and would be in a far more vulnerable military position.   

We let Ukraine die, and the writing is on the wall for the Chinese on where we stand with respect to Taiwan.   Adios, muchachos!

Last I looked Russia was 11th in world GDP, and dropping like a rock.  Chicoms OTOH, are an economic and military  powerhouse, and at least from my perspective would I would prefer keeing our funds and weaponry intact to prepare for conflict with this more formidable foe than weakening ourselves in particpating in a regional proxy war.  NATO and EU by themselves should be able to keep Russia at bay.

This recent Russia-China alliance had intentions that I don't think many Americans really understand.
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Tucker Carlson remains on the cutting edge of news reporting and analysis. His reporting is a gold standard by which to measure other news outlets.

Instead of reading candidates’ positions filtered through anonymous sources at the New York Times, MSNBC or CNN, Mr. Carlson goes directly to the source for a quote; something that was standard practice in bygone days and part of every newspaper style book. 

As for Gov. DeSantis, he’s still young.  I hope he can keep his powder dry until 2028.  But, if he declares now I’m afraid it could damage his political future and any hope for another America First presidency following up PDJT.

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I took more of a "read between the lines approach" That vagueness is actually pretty smart, especially when given the stance, (1) Conditions in a geo-political situation can change.  I could even support Ukraine aid, if I saw evidence that there was a more immient threat to the U.S. (2) What may be interpreted as wiggle room, in my mind is flexbility based on (1).  Example?  If Russia gets the upper hand and assembles a 500K army at the Polish border?  Hell yeah, my position would change.  And until we see some addtional level of urgency on this matter from the members of NATO and EU, why should the U.S. shoulder the burden the expense this early in?

Vagueness as to how long that support might last in the future is understandable, because things might change.  But there also is the here and now -- known facts on the ground and the reality of today.  Does DeSantis support continuing to provide Ukraine -- even in the short term -- with everything but F-16's and long range missiles, or not?   I shouldn't have to guess at that, but I do.  And that...sucks.

Quote
And as far as what he "should do"?  He's so far, really fighting the woke battle nationwide right now, pretty much as a one man (with Noem) crusader. He's got to set the ideological creds first, and don't forget....   Technically he hasn't even declared for office, so commenting on specific national issues on how the Federal Government is run, is almost moot at this point.

Better to say nothing and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.  And I'm not saying DeSantis is a fool, but if he chooses to make a statement, then it is perfectly fair to judge him on that statement even if he didn't "need" to make it in the first place.

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Tucker Carlson remains on the cutting edge of news reporting and analysis. His reporting is a gold standard by which to measure other news outlets.



Agree, but it sure looks like Murdoch clipped his wings on the J6 expose', and this had to be terribly embarassing for him.

After this I expect Tucker to bolt elsewhere to someone like Substack at his next contract.
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Offline Maj. Bill Martin

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Tucker Carlson remains on the cutting edge of news reporting and analysis. His reporting is a gold standard by which to measure other news outlets.

Instead of reading candidates’ positions filtered through anonymous sources at the New York Times, MSNBC or CNN, Mr. Carlson goes directly to the source for a quote; something that was standard practice in bygone days and part of every newspaper style book. 

As for Gov. DeSantis, he’s still young.  I hope he can keep his powder dry until 2028.  But, if he declares now I’m afraid it could damage his political future and any hope for another America First presidency following up PDJT.

I think the questionnaires are good. 

I also think Tucker sucks.  His coverage of the war in Ukraine was ridiculously one-sided right from the start, with his patented furrowed-brow look of him just "not understanding" the arguments on the other side.  And he loves saying "I'm not saying 'x'", and then going on to heavily imply the exact thing he's claiming he's not really saying, as if he's just laying out objective facts for the viewer to judge on his/her own.  Except the facts are never objective, but always ridiculously one-sided.

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Vagueness as to how long that support might last in the future is understandable, because things might change.  But there also is the here and now -- known facts on the ground and the reality of today.  Does DeSantis support continuing to provide Ukraine -- even in the short term -- with everything but F-16's and long range missiles, or not?   I shouldn't have to guess at that, but I do.  And that...sucks.

Better to say nothing and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.  And I'm not saying DeSantis is a fool, but if he chooses to make a statement, then it is perfectly fair to judge him on that statement even if he didn't "need" to make it in the first place.

The political junkie I was, I remember in the late '70's Reagan being very vague in his  interviews with WFB, pretty much saying I've been Governenor, and being pretty devoid of specifics as it applied to being POTUS.  As much as I like Tucker, maybe the worst things you can do your best candidates is tying them down to hyptheticals.  Especially responding to what might be going on in Ukriane January 2025.

Hell, this place might look like us in 1930, or 2008 Zimbawe, or 1923 Wiermar Republic by then
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Offline Maj. Bill Martin

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Last I looked Russia was 11th in world GDP, and dropping like a rock.  Chicoms OTOH, are an economic and military  powerhouse, and at least from my perspective would I would prefer keeing our funds and weaponry intact to prepare for conflict with this more formidable foe than weakening ourselves in particpating in a regional proxy war.  NATO and EU by themselves should be able to keep Russia at bay.

This recent Russia-China alliance had intentions that I don't think many Americans really understand.

So let's say that tomorrow, China started air and missile strikes on Taiwan, had its navy sail out, and warned us of "catastrophic consequences for the world" if we started sending ships and troops there.

Would you support us shooting back with whatever stuff we happened to have on station, and then sending our ships into waters that close to Chinese land-based aircraft and anti-ship missiles?  Loaded with troops vulnerable to Chinese submarines?

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I think the questionnaires are good. 

I also think Tucker sucks.  His coverage of the war in Ukraine was ridiculously one-sided right from the start, with his patented furrowed-brow look of him just "not understanding" the arguments on the other side.  And he loves saying "I'm not saying 'x'", and then going on to heavily imply the exact thing he's claiming he's not really saying, as if he's just laying out objective facts for the viewer to judge on his/her own.  Except the facts are never objective, but always ridiculously one-sided.

In the universe of Fox, MSNBC, and CNN.....Can you really name one op-ed Cable News Talking Head that isn't in this mode? 

Idelogically I align with TC closer than the rest, but again, we are all different, and have our preferences.   But.... if ratings are decent gauge of competency, I think he's done a pretty good job.
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Offline Maj. Bill Martin

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The political junkie I was, I remember in the late '70's Reagan being very vague in his  interviews with WFB, pretty much saying I've been Governenor, and being pretty devoid of specifics as it applied to being POTUS.  As much as I like Tucker, maybe the worst things you can do your best candidates is tying them down to hyptheticals.  Especially responding to what might be going on in Ukriane January 2025.

Hell, this place might look like us in 1930, or 2008 Zimbawe, or 1923 Wiermar Republic by then

It's not Tucker's fault for asking.  The fault lies entirely on those who chose to out themselves down with responses.

Look, I have no problem with a candidate refusing to be tied down to unlimited support for Ukraine into the indefinite future.  I wouldn't commit to that either. But that's not really the issue we're faced with right now.  What we're faced with is what we're going to do today, this week, or this month.  Continue to support Ukraine, or not?  And like I said, DeSantis' statement is full of things he says he won't do, but conspicuously lacks the very simple statement of "I support continuing to supply Ukraine with the weaponry we are currently providing."  Very easy statement to make...and he didn't make it.

Boo.  Hiss.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2023, 03:11:40 pm by Maj. Bill Martin »

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So let's say that tomorrow, China started air and missile strikes on Taiwan, had its navy sail out, and warned us of "catastrophic consequences for the world" if we started sending ships and troops there.

Would you support us shooting back with whatever stuff we happened to have on station, and then sending our ships into waters that close to Chinese land-based aircraft and anti-ship missiles?  Loaded with troops vulnerable to Chinese submarines?

Good question.  And same question that has been around since October 1962 that no one can comfortably answer. 

Would you?  And if you blinked at Taiwan, would you at the Australian invasian?
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Offline Maj. Bill Martin

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In the universe of Fox, MSNBC, and CNN.....Can you really name one op-ed Cable News Talking Head that isn't in this mode? 

Idelogically I align with TC closer than the rest, but again, we are all different, and have our preferences.   But.... if ratings are decent gauge of competency, I think he's done a pretty good job.

Given the fracturing of the viewing public, and the multitude of sources out there, you can be highly successful in the current market by having strong appeal to even 5% of the viewing public.

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Given the fracturing of the viewing public, and the multitude of sources out there, you can be highly successful in the current market by having strong appeal to even 5% of the viewing public.

Which is why we often hear that Rogan is the most influential media person in the world. Eyeballs matter.
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Offline Maj. Bill Martin

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Good question.  And same question that has been around since October 1962 that no one can comfortably answer. 

Would you?  And if you blinked at Taiwan, would you at the Australian invasian?

In fairness, @catfish1957 , you were the guy who said Taiwan was "different" than Ukraine because we had a treaty, and I was just pointing out that it really isn't different because the treaty with Taiwan doesn't obligate us to provide military support.  That's how this particular discussion started.

But to answer your question, right now I'd say no to Taiwan because I think it would be extremely difficult to defend successfully.  I'd say yes to Australia because I think Chinese power projection would suck, and we'd win.  Also, we do have a formal, public defense treaty with Australia.

However, all that overlooks that our real goal is deterrence.  The more likely it is that China believes we'd defend Taiwan, the less likely they are to attack.  And that's why Ukraine and Taiwan really being in the same boat is so important.  Because if we're seen as unwilling even to just spend money to defend Ukraine, without committing any of our own troops, how are the Chinese likely to view our willingness to engage in an actual shooting war over Taiwan and spend not just money, but many American lives? And again, it's worth pointing out that Taiwan would be an air/naval battle, while Ukraine is a land war.  So the argument for military stocks to defend Taiwan being depleted in Ukraine is pretty weak.

I also believe that a major factor in deterring China from attacking Taiwan is the economic consequences.  How are Europe and the U.S. likely to react to a Chinese invasion?  Short-term sanctions, followed by a return to normalcy after a face-saving period because our rich lifestyles are too important to us?  Or are we nasty, vindictive SOB's willing to suffer economically ourselves to defeat naked aggression?  If the Chinese see us doing the latter for Ukraine, they may think twice about the possibility of destroying their own economy by invading Taiwan.  But if they see us fold like cheap suits over Ukraine, they'll likely assume we'd do the same over Taiwan.

This is why I personally view defense of Ukraine and deterrence of Chinese aggression as inextricably linked, and why it truly bothers me when the people we're talking about electing don't see that.



 
« Last Edit: March 14, 2023, 03:14:04 pm by Maj. Bill Martin »

Offline Maj. Bill Martin

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Which is why we often hear that Rogan is the most influential media person in the world. Eyeballs matter.

Agree.  And generally, Rogan actually is pretty unbiased in terms of who he has on his show, and his willingness to let them express their POV without rudeness or interruption on his part.