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More evidence that US diplomats are not as smart as they think

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thanks for the Andrei Martyanov To refer to a recent opinion article by Peter Van Buren, a retired diplomatic corps officer who worked for the US State Department. US Foreign Service officers pride themselves on believing they are highly intelligent. How do they know? They pass the Foreign Service Examination. If you haven’t taken and passed this exam, then you are, by definition, not as smart as a foreign service officer. I am not exaggerating.

I’ve worked alongside some of these people for four years and can attest to the arrogance and air of self-importance that bestows the typical FSO on as they parade around the State Department aka Main State. While there are some exceptions (for example, regular people you might enjoy sitting with as a dinner guest or bar companion), FSOs are an odd group produced through years of self-selection. One of my former classmates, a gent named Tony, was a devout Christian scholar who had a perpetual case of the common cold. I found it funny. He was always sick. He did not appreciate the sarcasm.

Anyway, back to Mr. Van Buren. Peter seemed to break with the stereotype. He’s a big fat guy and doesn’t seem to have a testosterone deficiency. Low testosterone in the main state. It’s a metro sex paradise. FSOs are also known to be somewhat reserved personalities. They usually shy away from getting attention unless there is a promotion on the line. It seems that Peter was not afraid boat rock Go to where the event was:

Van Buren served at US Department of State For 24 years, including a year in Iraq As a team leader for two Provincial Reconstruction Teams (Reconstruction teams).[1]

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after writing Well Meant: How You Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi Peoplepublished in 2012, Van Buren claims to have been subjected to a series of escalating negative actions.[2][3] His former employer, the United States Department of State, claimed that Van Buren had not properly authorized his book for publication under department rules, and that the book contained unauthorized disclosures of classified material.

I haven’t read his book. We meant wellBut I can commend him for his recognition of the impotence of the US imperialist adventure that cost the Iraqis a lot of blood and money.

Having said that, I was shocked by his article on the American Conservative Party. It begins with this, in the words of Brother Martyanov:

From the moment Russian forces crossed into Ukraine, there were only two possible outcomes. Ukraine could come up with a diplomatic solution that resets its physical eastern borders (for example, Russia annexes much of eastern Ukraine to the Dnieper River, establishing a land bridge to Crimea), thus re-establishing its geopolitical role as a buffer state between NATO and Russia. Or, after losses on the battlefield and diplomacy, Russia could retreat to its original starting point in February, and Ukraine would aggressively restore its geopolitical role as a buffer state between NATO and Russia.

“Only two possible outcomes?” I can think of at least one other possible outcome – Russia demilitarizes and disarms Ukraine and ensures that the new government in Ukraine is not beholden to the United States and NATO. Peter, why didn’t you even consider this possibility? Russia, by virtue of its size and technologically advanced military (for example, it has a fully integrated electronic warfare capability that NATO lacks) and arsenal of high-precision hypersonic missiles and tanks entered the “special military operation” with some clear advantages.

Peter also makes this strange claim:

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For Putin, this problem has become ever more acute as NATO builds up its power in Poland.

One of Peter’s friends needs to step in and tell him that NATO has run out of weapons to send Ukraine and that Poland’s army is bigger than England and Germany combined. In short, NATO is counting on Poland to supply it with cannon fodder, or I mean troops, to give NATO a credible force. NATO is, in fact, a ghostly force with few strikes. Consider these numbers:

British. As of 2022, the British Army consists of 79,380 full-time regular personnel, 4,090 Gurkhas, and 28,330 volunteer reservists. (https://www.army.mod.uk/)

As of January 2022, the German Army numbered 62,766 soldiers. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Army)

As of 2020, the French Army has employed 118,600 personnel (including the Foreign Legion and the Paris Fire Brigade). In addition, the reserve component of the French Army consisted of 22,750 personnel.

As of 2022, Poland has 150,000 active duty personnel and 32,000 Territorial Defense Forces.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_Armed_Forces)

A diplomat of Mr. Van Buren’s ancestry would surely know that Russia has just finished mobilizing more than 300,000 military reservists. This force alone is larger than the standing armies of the United Kingdom, Germany, and France combined. Let that fact sink in for a moment. Russia has an active army of 1 million men and reserves of over 2 million soldiers. I don’t think NATO leaders are very good at math.

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I’m not sure why Peter Van Buren wrote this article the way he did. For a man who hasn’t been keen to defer to the hierarchy of the US State Department, he certainly bends his knee in front of the neoconservatives, for example, “Russia is militarily inferior”, “Russia is running out of missiles” and “Putin wants to revive the Soviet Union”. However, he concludes his article with a bit of reason:

Treating the invasion of Ukraine as a small unit exercise says a lot. None of this is any big secret. The ramp in Ukraine, as a result of diplomacy, is clear enough to Washington. The Biden administration seems content, shamefully, not to push hard for a diplomatic effort but instead to screw the Russians up as if this were 1980’s Afghanistan all over again, while appearing ruthless and absorbing any bipartisan electoral positivity over bogus “wartime” President Joe Biden. As with Afghanistan in 1980, the United States appears poised to fight to the last domestic fall (by supplying them with enough weapons to avoid losing) before meeting the inevitable negotiated end, a position shameful then and shameful now.

I agree with Peter that the US strategy is shameful. But he forgot to discuss a basic fact – Russia will dictate the terms. Russia does not bleed men and gear. Ukraine. Russia has the resources in military defense production plants and personnel that can resupply and maintain operations. Ukraine, now, is totally dependent on Western handouts. So much for Mr. Van Buren’s “only two possible outcomes.”



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Like-smiling trans daughter arrested for her father’s murder

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The suspect is Nikki Secondino

Reported expert portal regarding the killing of 61-year-old Carlo Scandino in his Brooklyn apartment Thursday in an incident that police initially indicated was a home invasion.

Sources at The New York Post indicated that the killer may have been closer to home, suggesting Secondino’s trans daughter may have been involved.

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Carlo’s 22-year-old transgender daughter Nikki Scandino has been accused of killing her father.

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Nikki smirked for the cameras as she was escorted out of the NYPD police station.

Photo: Facebook screenshot/Carlo Secondino

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The New York Post reported:

Nikki Scandino has been charged with murder and other crimes after police initially believed her father, Carlo Secondino, had been stabbed to death during an early morning home invasion at their Bensonhurst home.

Sources told The Post earlier Thursday that Nicki is suspected of making up a fake break-in story to cover up her brutal crime.

But the tale quickly unraveled and the alleged killer was also charged with attempted murder and criminal possession of a weapon in connection with the horrific attack in which her 19-year-old sister was stabbed.

The younger sister was taken to Maimonides Hospital in critical condition.

Nikki smiled, but ignored reporters’ questions, as investigators led her out of Brooklyn’s 62nd Precinct Thursday night.

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A neighbor of Secondinos also said she heard Nikki Make a phone call in the hallway after the murder, claiming that the family was robbed by home invaders, who also stabbed them.



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Trump’s tax returns released by House Democrats

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The release of former President Donald J. Trump’s private tax documents comes amid questions about why the IRS failed to fully audit him during his presidency.

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Bolsonaro rules out military intervention in Brazil, “I have no support from other institutions to act against Lula!”

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JUST IN: Bolsonaro rules out military intervention in Brazil, “I have no support from other institutions to act against Lula!”


















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