Friday, January 22, 2010

The Nudge Factor--and Ukraine Again

Brian Whitmore has an interesting take on the Obama administration and foreign policy one year on: the nudge strategy. As he puts it, an incremental approach designed to create "structural incentives that the White House hopes will "nudge" troublesome states like Iran, Russia, and China toward greater cooperation with -- or less resistance to -- the United States."

Also, the Ukraine That Might Have Been.

It is somewhat unclear how this "nudge" strategy was going to work, given that the "structural incentives" the President offered the 3 "troublesome" states identified consisted entirely of words. Of course, in Massachusetts, the sharp decline in the youth vote between 2008 and now indicates that offering vast inducements to banksters, the insurance industry, and Republicans while stiffing "the base" in every sense but the rhetorical indicates that he's got the same problem in domestic politics too.

That's quite a tale about Ukraine too. The only problem with it is that it would have failed too. You see, if the last ~15 years show anything, it is that Ukraine cannot keep it together without massive subsidy. Yes, the West is not prepared to write checks on the scale required. Therefore, the alternatives are a Ukraine that aligns herself with her Russian "Sugar Daddy", or spirals down into something resembling her present state, requiring >2,000 basis points to get a credit default swap.
Why are Americans supposed to care if Ukraine veers toward Moscow -- toward which, incidentally, it has a helluva more cultural, historical, linguistic and geographical affinity than it ever will to Washingon DC? Hell, DC can't even manage its own country all that well any more, let alone its recent imperial adventures. You think it has any competence to dabble in Ukrainian affairs?!?! Are you taking acid?

I came here via the **genuinely** realist "Stiftung Leo Strauss" site. This one looks like more of the same old delusional Beltway Caesarism. Boring, and rather distasteful.
-- sglover
Regarding the last set of comments, the author of this blog is prone to being more enlightened than many establishment types.

I agree that he periodically takes a mainstreaming role which takes the form of uncritically lauding some otherwise questionable establishment views. Then again, note his comment suggesting that it'd be positive to see the Russian naval fleet in Crimea removed. That's a partisan thought, going against how many in Russia and Ukraine see that situation. A more neutral view is open to the idea that Russia and Ukraine might reach a mutual agreement for a new lease, after the current one expires in 2017.
33 Million on foostamps, 47 million with no medical coverage but working in low wage jobs, 16 million unemployed, yet the Government still pursuing the same course it did in 1991.

Franco would have been better than these guys (Democrat or Republican don't matter)
Nice piece on Ukraine, though one shouldn't underestimate how precarious its state is, despite the departure of poor Mr. Yuschenko. His crowd in Ukraine and friends in the U.S. are crazy enough to cause much trouble. Making an enemy of Russia as well as of a half of Ukraine has been a point of their policies, not a byproduct. They will rather die than see Ukraine in peace with itself and its neighbours. But if they fail, yes, that would be a whole new Ukraine, a normal country, finally able to move.
Perhaps it is the arrogance of the "Nudge" strategy that is its structural downfall. It is predicated on the notion that the administration knows what will improve the "Health, Wealth, and Happiness" of others as individuals and as a collective people. It is the ideology of people like Thaler and Sustein that terrifies those who value sovereignty.
Anonymous' point on Ukraine relates to Yushchenko's recent move to formally make Stepan Bandera a hero of Ukraine.
Well, why not? After all, Hitler was England's "bulwark against Bolshevism", until he did that deal with Stalin...
Hello ... just wanted to tell about the new link directory which was released just over a week ago.


have a nice weekend
/ / Rickard

** Please feel free to link to me **
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?