Thursday, December 18, 2014

Another Cold War Foe Becomes a Trading Partner

With President Obama’s announcement of normalization of relations with Cuba, another previous Cold War foe becomes a trading partner.

In 2014 there are only five communist countries left in the world – China, Cuba, Laos, North Korea, and Vietnam. All but North Korea are now trading partners. 

North Korea is the only hostile one left and they just won the first salvo in open cyber warfare with their attack on Sony.

First it was, “Only Nixon”, who could go to China to start relations with that country. Look where we are now in regards to a trade deficit with China, the end of the Cold War in 1991 started commerce investments in Russia, Vietnam now makes furniture for US manufacturers, and Laos makes t-shirts and other apparel for export to the US. They could not beat us on the battlefield so they are getting us in job losses.

Yes, Putin has been rattling sabers lately with all the moves in 2014 but they are way too dependent on foreign purchases of their oil to truly threaten Cold War 2.0. They have plenty of oil that they need partners to purchase. Conquered nations are not trading partners; they are dependents like the Eastern Block and Cuba were until not too long ago. President Putin is only pushing the West to see how far he can go before we push back harder than minor sanctions and banking restrictions.

Back to Cuba - what will they bring to the trading party besides cheap labor, cigars, rum, and old automobiles? I’m not sure how the US Labor Unions are going to like that cheap labor part but Obama has them in his back pocket so I don’t think they will give him much grief. My guess is that Cuba will once again go to the pre-Communism days and become a tourism and gambling destination for US citizens just like in the ‘50s. 

You know, it is an island with plenty of beaches. Our old Soviet adversaries would go there for R & R after patrolling the East coast of America. I know this firsthand, we shadowed them when I was serving in the Navy. I forget how many trips I made to GITMO in those years.

The Castro brothers sure know what they are doing when it comes to manipulating other leaders. Earlier this summer, they got President Putin to relieve them of 90% of their debt to Russia, and now they got President Obama to open trade relations with them, without Congressional approval. All of this and they did not give up much. They look like pretty smart old guys.

Kim Jung-un should take a cue from the Castro brothers and court President Obama versus threatening the United States. He could invite the President to come play a little one-on-one B-Ball with Dennis Rodman in an exhibition match. The winner gets whatever he wants and the loser gives up their Nukes!

After all, President Obama needs some kind of legacy to be remembered by. Getting the last Communist hold-out to become a trading partner just may win the President another Nobel Peace Prize.

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Where did you serve? Military or Civilian? Stateside or Overseas. Fulda Gap? Berlin? NATO? CIA? State Department? The Dew Line? On a Missile Battery? Down in a Silo? At Sea? Under the Sea? In the Air? According to the VA over 26 million Vets are still alive. I'd bet that most served in the 1945-1991 time frame and I'd like to share your story on this blog. As long as it isn't still classified, email me with your story and I will post it here.