Friday, October 16, 2015

Foreign Policy Nerd Quiz

I cannot resist most Facebook quizzes, so, of course, I wanted to answer the 15 questions Joshua Keating would want asked for a "more interesting debate."  In this case, interesting means watching politicians fumble and flail.  As an IR expert, I am not able to answer all of these myself, so I can only imagine what the candidates would do.  Anyhow, my answers with the questions below in italics:

1. What is your stance on the Scottish independence referendum? (Follow-up question: If you could pick one U.S. state to leave the union, which would it be?)
I have long argued that secession should be only those facing significant repression as the costs in most democracies are usually greater than the benefits, despite how much the separatists like to downplay the costs.  So, nay.  Which state?  Texas.  Been there, done that, would love for those GOP electoral votes (at least in the near term) to go away. 

2. Do you believe the prosecution of former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed is politically motivated?
No idea
3. Nagorno-Karabakh. Thoughts?
Before Crimea, the one successful irredentist effort (tis a key case in For Kin or Country).  It has been bad for both Armenia and Azerbaijan as the two countries can justify whatever repression and stalled progress domestically based on the on-going semi-war there.  Plus it gives Russia opportunities to play each off the other.  All those proposals about making Jerusalem an internationally governed territory might apply here, although one should ask Stacie Goddard about indivisibility of this territory.
4. Who will be the first to put a human on Mars: the U.S., China, Russia, or Red Bull?
Probably none of the above--a private actor maybe? 
5.   Is the U.S. obligated by article 5 of the 1960 Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security to go to war to protect Japan’s island claims? Even Okinotorishima?
Not sure, and not sure.
6. Falklands or Malvinas?
Falklands.  Winners get to name the place.  And for the US, UK always > Argentina.
7. Macedonia or FYROM?
Macedonia, easily.  Why suck up to the Greeks when they are sucking up to the Russians anyway? 
8. Is Joyce Banda a genuine reformer? 
No idea
9. What are your thoughts on Ollanta Humala‘s political evolution? (No, gentlemen. We will not remind you what countries these are the leaders of.)
No idea.
10. Given our military presence in Diego Garcia, does the U.S. have an obligation to help resolve the Chagos archipelago dispute?
11. Do you have any concerns about the global potash supply?
Double whuck?
12. Is there any reason for Belgium to exist?
One could say the same for many countries.  But I have one good one: great beer.

13. Japan is about to replace China as America’s biggest creditor. Could you please offer us some meaningless bluster about "getting tough with Tokyo?"
Um, has anyone seen that Michael Douglas movie?
14. Who is America’s most embarrassing ally? 
Worst ally is Pakistan, perhaps most embarassing is Saudi Arabia with all of that crucifying and head chopping.
15. Who would you call if you wanted to call Europe? 
Chancellor of Germany.

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