The first answer I wrote was to the question, “What are the diplomatic tools that are available to US foreign policy & defense policy-makers.?”
This was my answer:
Richard Nixon used something called political theater. You often hear politicians use the term. You never hear them explain what that term means. I wrote a blog post about political theater a while back. Here it is...crap. I tried to paste it into this reply box and it didn't work. Here's a link the article:In retrospect, at this time, my government was turning me into a fan of Richard Nixon, probably because they wanted to make 2011 a repeat of his administration. At the time, Gideon Rose had just published a book called, “How Wars End: Why We Always Fight the Last Battle” and had been arguing that America should end the war in Afghanistan the same way it ended the war in Vietnam.
Perhaps Obama took his advice. In 1973, we had an oil shock due to the Yom Kippur War. In 2011, we had an oil shock due to the war in Libya. In both cases, Japan used the oil shock to move closer to China.