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Take the Oil
Rosneft Makes Hay Amid Russia’s Middle East Push
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  • ——————————

    “it turns out those sanctions ultimately left Rosneft more determined to find other foreign partners.”

    No one thought of that? It’s human nature 101. Did they think Rosneft would just pout about it?

    “The world is a more complicated place than that.”

    Actually it’s not if you simply look at it through the actions of basic human nature, not through the prism of college degrees and other academic nonsense….

    • Andrew Allison

      The only effect of the sanctions has been to make life a little more miserable for the Russian people; there’s not a snowflake’s chance in hell of Crimea being returned to Ukraine. The absolute best that can be hoped for is an end to the frozen conflict in eastern Ukraine in exchange for lifting sanctions. “Crimea must be returned” is simply meaningless virtue signalling.

    • f1b0nacc1

      The idea that our ‘opponents’ would simply look at our countermeasures, shrug, and accept their punishment is typical of the modern foreign policy establishment. They have been taught to treat other actors (friendly and unfriendly) simply as game pieces, not as independent entities with wills of their own.

      • ——————————

        Most foreign policy has to do with answering to voters, political posturing, keeping up appearances, spurious concern, and other dissimulative behavior….

        • f1b0nacc1

          I have to disagree with you. In my experience with the foreign policy establishment, they hold the voters in complete and breathtaking contempt (they wouldn’t consider answering to them for even a moment, that is a job for the politicians to do, and they are held at a level of contempt only SLIGHTLY higher than the voters), they don’t ‘do’ political posturing (once again, a job for the politicians), they have concerns only for ‘serious’ issues…so it is never spurious (in their minds, at least), and the rest of their behavior is yes….quite dissimulative….

          As for the politicians (and I know a few), they simply play the game…and adhere to whatever posture has been crafted for them by their handlers. They don’t think about foreign policy, unless it is directly related to that public posture, and then they leave the details to their handlers, or the policy establishment (see above).

          An outstanding way to look at this is the character of Sir Humphrey in “Yes, Minister”….though it is a British series, it captures the attitude (which I suspect is universal among such groups) perfectly.

          • ——————————

            Thanks for the clarification f1b. It’s nice to get a perspective from someone a little more on the inside than the average Joe. I didn’t realize that the foreign policy establishment was so separate from the political one. I thought they were more closely intertwined.

            “Breath taking contempt”, “handlers”, etc…I wish I could walk those circles, in your shoes, for a period of time, just to see how it all works. I am sure I would be quite tight-lipped, and quite red-faced during the experience….

          • f1b0nacc1

            Thank you for the kind response, it is probably more than I deserved!

            Teddy Roosevelt once said that “There are two things one should never watch being made….one is sausage, and the other is legislation” (I typically add software to that list, but Teddy wouldn’t have known about that!). Looking at the way any real policy gets implemented is a good way to destroy any faith you would otherwise have in government….sigh….

          • ——————————

            Well, I have no faith in our government, so no problem there…but Teddy is right!…I really don’t want to know what hot dogs are made of….

          • f1b0nacc1

            Having watched hot dogs, legislation, and (participated in) software, being made I can say with some degree of certainty that software is the ugliest.

            If you knew how the software (often upon which your life depends) was made, I can assure you, you would never leave you house again!

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