Inside the Trilateral Commission: Power elites grapple with China’s rise

Inside the Trilateral Commission: Power elites grapple with China’s rise (original)

Each new candidate for Commission membership is carefully scrutinized before being allowed entry. As a rule, members who take up positions in their national governments — which is uncannily common — give up their Trilateral Commission membership while in public service. Those include U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Jake Sullivan, the U.S. national security adviser, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

This revolving door between the commission and senior government ranks has always been fodder for conspiracy theorists. Its first director in 1973, Zbigniew Brzezinski, later became U.S. President Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser. The very existence of the commission, meanwhile, seems predicated on the question of whether governing should be left to the people. It is a question the commission itself has tackled head-on since 1975: Is democracy functioning? Or does someone need to guide it?

That year, three scholars — Michel Crozier, Samuel Huntington and Joji Watanuki — wrote a report for The Trilateral Commission titled “The Crisis of Democracy.” In it, Huntington wrote that some of the problems of governance in the U.S. stem from an “excess of democracy.”

Related:

The Crisis of Democracy – Trilateral Commission – 1975

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The Biden Zelensky Relationship: Who to Trust?

The Biden Zelensky Relationship: Who to Trust?

Is it destructive enough to shake Washington’s trust in Zelensky? Five days after the missile strike, former Australian ambassador to Poland and Cambodia Tony Kevin claimed that “There were unmistakeable signs this week of growing Western war-weariness and irritation with Zelensky’s endless demands for more weapons and money.” Then, echoing and amplifying Thomas Friedman’s report that “privately, U.S. officials are a lot more concerned about Ukraine’s leadership than they are letting on,” Kevin added that “There is growing speculation that Zelensky’s position as leader may be weakening. Washington may be considering replacing him, but it remains very unclear how and to what end.”

Donald Trump’s Claims About Filling The SPR Are Not True

Last week, as expected, former President Donald Trump announced he is throwing his hat in the ring for the 2024 presidential election. The move was widely expected, and as he is prone to do, Trump made a number of questionable claims in the speech announcing his candidacy.

Donald Trump’s Claims About Filling The SPR Are Not True

Related:

No, Former President Trump Did Not Fill The Strategic Petroleum Reserve

[3-8-22] Trump Calls Out ‘Fake News’ Over Reports He Did Nothing for Ukraine

Trump Calls Out ‘Fake News’ Over Reports He Did Nothing for Ukraine

“The fake news media refuses to report that I was the one who, very early and strongly, gave the anti-tank busters (Javelins) to Ukraine, while Obama/Biden was giving blankets, to great and open complaints,” Trump said in a statement Tuesday.

“Then [President Joe] Biden came in, and canceled the remaining military equipment that was packed, loaded, and ready to be shipped. Now the fake news media is trying to say that Trump gave Ukraine nothing, and it was Biden who is their great friend and gave them weaponry. The dishonesty is so unbelievable. All I can do is report it!”

“When Trump was elected, the first thing they did was send in the Javelin,” U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Policy Jim Townsend said at the time. “It wasn’t exactly high-end, but we were very happy, and they built on a very firm foundation.”

Related:

Trump Says Russia-Ukraine Tensions ‘Would Never Have Happened’ Under His Presidency:

The Russian Embassy in Washington said if the U.S. was “truly committed to diplomatic efforts to resolve the internal Ukrainian conflict” it would “abandon plans to supply new batches of weapons for the Armed Forces of Ukraine.”

On the claim that Obama didn’t send military weapons to Ukraine (supposedly he just didn’t send Javelins)

U.S. officials were concerned that providing the Javelins to Ukraine would escalate their conflict with Russia. Key allies, including Germany, were not keen on sending weapons into the conflict zone, said Michael Kofman, an expert on Russia and senior research scientist at the CNA Corporation.

The 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, which became law in November 2015, called for “lethal assistance such as anti-armor weapon systems, mortars, crew-served weapons and ammunition, grenade launchers and ammunition, and small arms and ammunition.”

Macron rejects ‘confrontation’ as he relaunches Asia strategy

Macron rejects ‘confrontation’ as he relaunches Asia strategy

“We don’t believe in hegemony, we don’t believe in confrontation, we believe in stability,” Macron said.

Macron said a coordinated response was needed to tackle the overlapping crises facing the international community — from climate change to economic turmoil triggered by Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Our Indo-Pacific strategy is how to provide dynamic balance in this environment,” he said.

“How to provide precisely a sort of stability and equilibrium which could not be the hegemony of one of those, could not be the confrontation of the two major powers.”

The Indo-Pacific Strategy doesn’t sound as innocent as Macron makes it out to be:

The new US Indo-Pacific Strategy document released in February has two interesting components, one overt and one covert. The document overtly declares the US is an “Indo-Pacific power.” Covertly, its aim is to “tighten the noose around China.” Arguably, minus the military might, China’s nearly a decade-long “Belt and Road Initiative” cannot be perceived as a grand national strategy aimed at controlling Eurasia or the Asia Pacific or any region for that matter. Yet the BRI is mythologized into such a geostrategic game-changer that it has rattled the US and its allies in the Asia Pacific. The BRI, at best, is nothing more than a mere geopolitical overland and maritime “chessboard” based on trade and investment.

BRI and the ‘Indo-Pacific’ Strategy: Geopolitical vs. Geostrategic