Washington's "maximum pressure" foreign-policy strategy continues to backfire

The Trump administration's policy of all-stick/no-carrot continues to fail.
This time with Iran.

In effect, Trump and Pompeo have argued for Iran to give up its sovereignty to appease the fears of Netanyahu in Israel, and they have steadfastly told Bibi and The Donald to go pound sand...
China and Iran just inked a 25-year, game-changing strategic deal covering everything from oil sales, contract bids and massive upgrades to Iran’s anti-air capabilities as well as its domestic air force.

China gets access to cheap oil for decades, while Iran gets a sanctions proof customer and revenue to build up air defenses against Israel. That's not what Pompeo intended.
Russia, China, and Iran have very little in common culturally.
But they do have a common enemy and this is pushed them together.

At the same time Washington's no compromise strategy is dividing our allies in Europe.
The Nord Stream 2 construction is about to restart, and this is causing Washington to make a fatal mistake.

Germany is preparing to strike back against the U.S. if President Donald Trump follows through on his threat to kill off the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline with additional sanctions.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration is considering pressing for coordinated European Union action, according to two German officials familiar with the discussions. An economy ministry paper seen by Bloomberg News said such measures by the U.S. would be new and could hit significantly more German and European companies and banks as well as state agencies.
...The new German strategy adds the possibility of further escalation between the transatlantic allies, with the U.S. this week announcing potential tariffs on $3.1 billion of products from Germany and other European countries. Trump has also reiterated his intention to cut the number of U.S. troops in Germany and renewed a threat to hit the German auto industry with a new set of levies.

Interestingly Treasury Secretary Mnuchin warned the Trump administration of this very thing and was ignored.

As Bolton makes clear, he sees sanctions as a key means to coerce other nations into doing what the U.S. wants -- even though withering sanctions regimes against Iran, Venezuela and Russia haven’t brought the changes the U.S. sought.

“Mnuchin argued that the constant use of sanctions, and the pressure we put on the international financial system would result over time in the tool’s being weakened as states impacted by the sanctions sought to evade them,” Bolton says.

I hate to say it but Mnuchin was right.

28 users have voted.



Neither Moscow nor New Delhi would want to let go of a relationship that has yielded massive dividends in the past. The two countries have few bilateral discords, with ties dependent on governmental cooperation, with little private sector involvement. The political equation and trust between the two countries are exemplary too. There is a convergence on global issues, coupled with Indian dependence on Russian technology—from help in setting up India’s nuclear power plants to supplying a large part of Indian military hardware.


The Soviet Union and then the Russian Federation long maintained a strict policy of not selling weapons to Pakistan. The Pakistani military then became dependent on Western and Chinese military weapons, but in 2014, Pakistan and Russia finally reached an agreement on cooperation in the field of defense and the purchase of military equipment.

The continued cooperation between the US and India in a series of important agreements in the field of defense have resulted in Moscow and Islamabad going forward with more defense cooperation and weapons trade. Islamabad also wants to develop its defense and strategic military ties with Russia, in addition to buying arms.

13 users have voted.

From Israel to Palestine to Mexico, China, Germany, France, Iran, Syria, Korea, Brazil well the list is endless. Why is that? Could it be that Russia is an honest broker, can make and keep an agreements, and doesn't impose sanctions and continuously try to overthrow your government? The extreme West- US, Canada, UK and a few Eastern European nations represent less than 1/2 billion people. The rest of the world, 7 Billion people get along fine with Russia.

It's revolting that the NY Times can generate so much Russophobia by publishing a fake story about Russian bounties on US soldiers in Afghanistan. I saw some of the polls about attitudes of Americans towards Russia after the fake story was published. Americans are well conditioned to hate Russia. This is incredibly stupid and dangerous. Many Congressional critters were screaming for more sanctions on Russia. This is just pathetic.

Germany is under huge pressure to shut down Nord Stream II. This would be a huge coup for the US. Russia and many EU partners will have wasted billions of Rubles and Europe would have to turn to the US for expensive, dangerous fracked gas. The US will cut off your LNG in a heartbeat if they want to punish you. Russia never uses energy as a political tool. The US strategy after WWII was to convert every European nation to oil, because the US was the biggest exporter at the time and could use that as a political tool. This was stated US policy at the time. There is no way in hell that Germany will give in, no matter what the US comes up with for sanctions. The EU will fight back and it will be ugly. The comparison is Russian, inexpensive, reliable gas in a pipeline shipped from Europe to Europe, to US Fracked gas, expensive, unreliable and shipped as LNG across an ocean. But Europe is supposed to hate Russia, right?

14 users have voted.

Capitalism has always been the rule of the people by the oligarchs. You only have two choices, eliminate them or restrict their power.

@The Wizard In the sanction regime against Russia, the EU has suffered while the US has not been affected. I have even saw a taped clip from the anti-Russian Atlantic Council with some German reps saying that they have taken the brunt of the blow back from counter sanctions by Russia--and that cannot continue. Talk about hurt, closing down Nord Stream 2 is a grand pappy of them for all of Western Europe.

But sanctions will continue and even get worse. When the latest propaganda victory of the deep state on bounties, expect things like trying to kick the Russians off SWIFT. But it does seem that both the Russians and Chinese have plans in place to counter any harsh sanctions.

7 users have voted.

@MrWebster but does it more competently than the Orange Buffoon. Now, the amusing day will come when NATO decides they don't need us anymore and kicks us out. (That might even give Ukraine enough cover to join, but perhaps not?) They would keep Canada and invite Mexico to rub it in our plague-nation faces (though Mexico has its own serious COVID-19 situation). The clincher would come when Cuba joins an America-free NATO.

I would never stop laughing.

6 users have voted.

live in some sadistic lunatic world, where you just kick people and they then cower and comply. They have no understanding of human nature, thinking those in their daily life who toady to them are doing it from fear, and not from calculation of their own advantages from acting subservient.

7 users have voted.

Orwell: Where's the omelette?

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@jim p Anyone who behaves like that is an Üntermensch in the truest sense.

Osama's looking more and more like a visionary....

3 users have voted.

In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

To paraphrase Jodie Foster: Human is not something to aspire to, it's something to get away from.