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To much had "we had to destroy the city to save it" results. The one big success - dissolution of the eastern block - is very much the result of soft power.

Couldn't agree more. This is why I think it was folly to push Ukraine to the brink. The only way to imagine that February 2014 would stand was if Russia respected the distinction between soft and hard power. Russia may be trying, even with some success, to do soft power, but it never bought the 'military power is obsolete' or that it is 'uncivilized', etc.

The only sensible approach was to have left Yanukovich in power and not to have gotten involved in November '13. But that would imply that foreign policy is based on national interests. Here I agree with TBG. I think it is, but only in the sense that national interests, so far as they extend to the nation and people as a whole, have been hijacked and conflated with the interests of the elite wealth extraction crowd to whom the importance of maintaining their control over the domestic population far exceeds any other concern. This is true about the USA, Great Britain, Germany and France if in differing degrees.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 12:18:50 PM EST
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This concern with appearances has led easily to a 'politics begins at the border' approach to foreign policy issues, where they become important mostly for the way they can be used to manipulate the population. In the USA this  goes back to the 'who lost China' nonsense which was instrumental in JFK's initial steps in Vietnam and, especially, in LBJ's escalation. I hated it then and hate it now.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 12:25:53 PM EST
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