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US Strategy in Reflection of the Cyprus Seizure
This is my site Written by Neil Palmquist on March 28, 2013 – 8:50 am

I’ve been avoiding commenting on Cyprus out of concern that the discussions would turn more political than strategic in nature… and I wish to keep my commentary focused on strategy.  I do, however, feel it is important to weigh in on all the discussions and comments I hear and read that discount the possibility that such a seizure of savings (wealth) isn’t possible here in the United States.  It very simply is… and I feel that if I don’t state as much, it is tantamount to approval.  More importantly than that, however, is how the United States will have concerning strategic options that Cyprus does not… and not pointing out such paths would also feel tantamount to approval.

First things first, however…  If somebody can achieve something, then someone else has the ability to learn and achieve that exact same something… and if an event can happen in one part of the world, then it’s a very real possibility that it could someday happen in another, ANY other.  It is nonsensical to suggest that such an occurrence could never happen here in the States, simply because we are the United States.  Are we not already following the same ill-gotten path that Cyprus did?  If we, as a government, were truly above such unethical administrative and financial mismanagement, shouldn’t we, the United States, have already been above and therefore not fallen victim to even starting down such a path?  Pride and patriotism are wonderful, but for proper strategic assessment you cannot let them cloud your judgment.

The total bailout given to save the government of Cyprus is comparable to what the United States adds to our own national debt EVERY day.  One day, one of the following WILL happen:  Either, 1) interest rates could stay low, but we’ll have so much debt that we won’t be able to borrow any more money,  OR, 2) interest rates will rise, making it so we can’t even keep up with our interest payments and, again, we won’t be able to borrow money.  …A day of reckoning akin to Cyprus.

Please note, however, a country that can’t borrow or raise funds any more has TWO general strategic paths to follow, one that either “takes” or “sacrifices” to attain the resources it needs.  I note this because there are many more examples in history of countries that have thrived through “taking” than those that “sacrifice”.  Those that don’t have the means to “take”, like Cyprus, only have the alternative to “sacrifice”; arguably “taking” from their own.  The United States, on the other hand, has both the means and power to “take” or to “sacrifice”… and there are a plethora of resource rich countries seemingly hell-bent on pushing the buttons of war with the United States.  So, the big question is, which path do you think our politicians will stomach as more “politically” viable, when our own Cyprus-day-of-reckoning arrives?

I see BIG strategic discussions down the road… and not fun ones at that.  What are your thoughts?

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