The Democratic Party and the War Machine – Vijay Prashad

The roots of the Democratic Party’s foreign policy are found in WWII, the atomic bombing of Japan and militarization during the Cold War. Biden supported the Iraq War but fought for the nuclear agreement with Iran. What should we expect from his administration? Vijay Prashad joins Paul Jay on podcast.

My concern with Trump’s team of generals

My issue with having a foreign policy Cabinet consisting of general officers and Goldman Sachs alums

All of the public opinion data shows that as public trust in institutions has waned, trust in the military has remained high. And this, in turn, has led to the militarization of foreign policy.

.. because of the gap in trust, the Pentagon commands an ever-growing share of the foreign affairs budget. This means it exercises operational control over a large swath of activities that heretofore were probably not thought of as being under the purview of the Defense Department.

.. In the long term, it is dangerous to signal that the best way to become secretary of state is to have achieved the rank of a general officer. There are a lot of other dimensions of foreign policy that go beyond military statecraft. Maybe, just maybe, it’s not a coincidence that the best secretaries of state over the past 40 years — George P. Shultz and James A. Baker — were originally secretaries of the Treasury 

.. A team of generals might be talented, but it’s also one-dimensional.

.. appointing general officers to Cabinet-level positions could be a way to restore faith in government. And maybe they will do a great job and, like Washington or Cincinnatus, ride off into the sunset. Or it could just convince the public and the politicians that the only route to a policy principal position is not just service, but a lifelong career in the military.

.. the most talented former general would be serving an unpredictable, dangerous gasbag of a president. Failure is likely. In which case, Trump will have proven to be a true egalitarian, and have eviscerated public faith in the last outsized institution in America.