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The Top Six Global Threats the Presidential Candidates Are Never Asked About


The Top Six Global Threats the Presidential Candidates Are Never Asked About

Andrew Bacevich

To judge by the early returns, the presidential race of 2016 is shaping up as the most disheartening in recent memory. Other than as a form of low entertainment, the speeches, debates, campaign events, and slick TV ads already inundating the public sphere offer little of value. Rather than exhibiting the vitality of American democracy, they testify to its hollowness.


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Strong start, and then brings us back to square one, which is nowhere.
Using "socialist" as an epithet (otherwise why use it?) makes it clear that Bacevich doesn't like Sanders.
But then he doesn't like some others either. So, do any of the candidates address the concerns here, sir?
If so, who might he/she be? If there are none, what's to be done? The answer to that won't be found here.


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If Trump is causing dis-ease amongst the GOP (the way that the latter causes it for Americans), then that's all for the good. I like Bacevich as a writer but, if memory serves, he's a Republican, so...will he disavow his party?
That's a question as important as the quite legitimate issues he raises here.


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I can't think of a person other than Bacevich who should become the next SecDef. He would relentlessly cut through the Pentagon BS and its minions with cauliflower on their caps. Moreover, he should serve dual roles, be the SecState as well, simultaneously.


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7.. Corporate globalization as exemplified by US-dominated organizations like the IMF and WTO and "free trade" deals like NAFTA, TPP, TTIP, and TISA. That is huge global threat.


8.. Billionaires.


Blech. Just meaningless words of another imperialist advancing that same frame of Militarism and the nonsense that is " American vital interests"

Putin a bully?

What does that make the USA?


Agreed. It not more than empirespeak.


You should read more Bacevich. He's published two of his books through The American Empire Project. There's absolutely nothing disingenuous about his work. His expertise and analyses are crucial to a full and complete understanding of how we got here from there.


Bacevich uses the term "Democtaic Socialist to describe Sanders. Sanders uses the same term. The point is that a bonafide Democratic Socialist wouldn't be working hard to exploit out-of-control military spending. He should be trying to stop it.

Bacevich is just pointing the reality of the state of Presidential politics concerning the issues he raises. What is to be done is up to you.


the 19-Trillion National Debt:

Dems: ''Deficits don't matter''
Repubs: ''Deficits matter'' (but we don't care)


The banksters love making profits by lending money
to the Feds.

Only Lincoln and Kennedy by-passed the banksters
to issue currency from the treasury and pay the bills
without increasing the National Debt.


This was one of Bacevich's better pieces although I do feel that his characterization of the televised campaign spectacle mostly spoke to the comments and behaviors of Hillary and the Republican clown team, not Mr. Sanders or O'Malley, for that matter.

And when Bachevich discusses the Carter Doctrine and the fact that the U.S. has its own oil production now, no mention was made of cleaner energy as the path away from fossil fuel usage.

These were surprisingly truthful and apt insights:

"In the hierarchy of challenges facing the United States today, ISIS ranks about on a par with Sicily back in 1943."

"Among the matters deserving critical scrutiny is Washington’s persistent bipartisan belief in military might as an all-purpose problem solver." (I call that Mars rules.)

"Much as the Christian faith derives from a belief in a Trinity consisting of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, so nuclear theology has its own Triad, comprised of manned bombers, intercontinental ballistic missiles, and submarine-launched missiles. To question the existence of such a holy threesome constitutes rank heresy. It’s just not done." (More Mars rules.)

This is very important:

"And as drone technology proliferates, shouldn’t they also contemplate the prospect of others -- say, Russians, Chinese, and Iranians -- following America’s lead and turning assassination into a global practice?"

In my view, this is naïve. It takes the cover story for the real motive behind the operations:

"When it comes to armaments, they prefer to be free riders and Washington indulges that choice. So even today, seven decades after World War II ended, U.S. forces continue to garrison Europe and America’s obligation to defend 26 countries on the far side of the Atlantic remains intact."

I would argue that the blowback from climate chaos will outweigh the not exactly balanced budget in terms of threat thresholds in years to come (although the debt, and mostly, the Wall St. derivatives-based casino house of cards is a gigantic fraud that will threaten much of the global economy... and already is doing so).


This illustrates that foreign and public policy can be likened to a hard drive badly in need of defragging.


Wow. This piece seems like a tiny bit of wisdom mixed in with a whole lotta ignorance and denial with a fair amount of

To think of threats and not even mention climate catastrophe...what kind of insane idiot do you have to be?

Real Threats to global security:

  1. Climate catastrophe and the larger ecological crisis, which doesn't get mentioned nearly enough. When it does it's denied, minimized, and lied about. I have never once heard an assessment of the threat in corporate media that's even remotely close to being accurately dire. Even Gore's An Inconvenient Truth dramatically underplayed the threat and the required radicalness of the solutions.

  2. US militarism This includes Bacevich's assassination threat as a minor part. Torture is part, ranging from the US prison system to Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and all the black sites. The militarism of US police and federal agencies and the law is also a part of this.

  3. Climate Catastrophe. Whatever problem or threat you see in the US and the world, the degradation of the Earth makes it far worse and far more likely.

  4. Nuclear weapons, the use of which is made much more likely by climate catastrophe and US militarism.

  5. Climate Catastrophe. Just in case you had forgotten it was there.

  6. Energy transition, or more accurately, failure to partake thereof. To mention energy security of the US, assume it will remain dependent on fossil fuels and not even mention clean safe renewable energy is insane. And stupid. And unstrategic, which above all Bacevich shouldn't be. How come he is, and so egregiously, here? We need to power the lives of entire world with clean safe renewable energy, and however much it costs, it's our responsibility to pay it.

  7. Climate Catastrophe. which if not solved in the next 15 years or less will lead to incredibly rapid escalation of the risk of ending civilization, causing the extinction of millions, rather than the mere tens of thousands that are already virtually guaranteed to be wiped out before this is over.

  8. Destruction of democracy, the Constitution and the rule of law in the US.

Other threats: overeating of meat, deforestation, food insecurity across the world including fishery depletion, overuse of antibiotics (largely for livestock) leading to potentially unstoppable pandemics... and whatever your favorite one is. Population growth is mostly taking care of itself so isn't really on a par with these, but it does make solving everything else harder so if we could dump the US right wing and encourage equality, empowerment and education of all especially women, and security in sickness, old age and hard times and access to contraception, we could solve it faster and that would help.


Agreed. Shades of Gates bemoaning the current crop of GOP "presidential" candidates.

Man, what a crock.


Admire you greatly, Andrew, and am waiting for your endorsement of Bernie!

And like others, disagree that you couldn't bring the "verboten" topics into the debates. If some people go off their rocker over it, so much the better. they will be seen for what they are.