Thursday, July 21, 2016

Trump Sends Shockwave Across The Atlantic To Europe

Donald Trump's rhetoric has entertained us all on both sides of the Atlantic for several months, but his latest comments sent a shockwave  throughout America and  across the Atlantic. As the Financial Times puts it,  he "has sparked a wave of alarm across Europe"  after warning that the US might not come to the defense of an alliance ally under attack from Russia if that country had not fulfilled its obligations to America.

The Trump statement  was delivered in a  New York Times interview quoted below, in which the Republican presidential candidate was asked whether he would defend the Baltic states in the face of Russian aggression if he were president. “If they fulfil their obligations to us, the answer is yes,” Mr Trump said.
SANGER: I was just in the Baltic States. They are very concerned obviously about this new Russian activism, they are seeing submarines off their coasts, they are seeing airplanes they haven’t seen since the Cold War coming, bombers doing test runs. If Russia came over the border into Estonia or Latvia, Lithuania, places that Americans don’t think about all that often, would you come to their immediate military aid?

TRUMP: I don’t want to tell you what I’d do because I don’t want Putin to know what I’d do. I have a serious chance of becoming president and I’m not like Obama, that every time they send some troops into Iraq or anyplace else, he has a news conference to announce it.

SANGER: They are NATO members, and we are treaty-obligated ——

TRUMP: We have many NATO members that aren’t paying their bills.

SANGER: That’s true, but we are treaty-obligated under NATO, forget the bills part.

TRUMP: You can’t forget the bills. They have an obligation to make payments. Many NATO nations are not making payments, are not making what they’re supposed to make. That’s a big thing. You can’t say forget that.

SANGER: My point here is, Can the members of NATO, including the new members in the Baltics, count on the United States to come to their military aid if they were attacked by Russia? And count on us fulfilling our obligations ——

TRUMP: Have they fulfilled their obligations to us? If they fulfill their obligations to us, the answer is yes.
Trump's statement also attracted criticism from military staff and diplomats for suggesting NATO is merely a "protection racket". NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg  said that while he did not wish to interfere with the US election campaign, "solidarity among allies is a key value for Nato." (he would say that, if NATO folds he's out of a job.) He added that “This is good for European security and good for US security. We defend one another. We have seen this in Afghanistan, where tens of thousands of European, Canadian and partner nation troops have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with US soldiers.”

“Two world wars have shown that peace in Europe is also important to the security of the United States,” Mr Stoltenberg added.
The Obama administration shot back just as quickly. “There should be no mistake or miscalculation made about this country’s commitment” to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Thursday in response to Trump’s remarks in a New York Times interview. “The U.S. commitment to that pledge is ironclad.”

Retired U.S. Army General Wesley K. Clark, a former NATO supreme allied commander who sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004, criticized Trump for stopping short of fully guaranteeing the security of all alliance members.  “When Mr. Trump says he’ll only consider action, he is joining a long list of failed statesmen and leaders from decades ago, whose ‎hesitancy, wavering, and lack of resolve was their downfall” Clark said in a statement. “Mr. Trump may know something about buildings and real estate - but he has a lot to learn about how the world really works.”

We are by no meant experts in military matters but it seems to us The Donald is being very resolute in sticking to the line that nations should look after their own affairs. Mutual defence treaties are one thing, but NATO has become yet another supra - national gravy train providing jobs for the boys who trading on their experience in military bureaucracy get paid big fat salaries for dreaming up  imaginary threats to national security.

Trump's stance on what a US-NATO relationship should look like is hardly new, as Trump has previously stated that he deems it unfair that the US shoulders a disproportionate amount of NATO's funding costs and has been urging to reduce US involvement in foreign affairs.  Trump’s readiness to reject a decades-long commitment to defend allies deepens his criticism of NATO after he called it “obsolete” in April while campaigning for the nomination. The billionaire’s comments come less than two weeks after the NATO leaders agreed at their Warsaw summit to enhance deployment of forces in Poland, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia as a deterrent following Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, a move that was intended to be provocative to Russia and has enabled NATO bureaucrats to talk up the Russian threat once more.

American Trump
Will Trump create an American Oligarchy
America Warmongering
America EU split
Obama tries to bully Russia
Obama doctrine failure
Ukraine, USA and Germany
Syria biggest US blunder ever
USA proxy war in Syria

The Difference In Voting For Hillbillary or Trump Is Only One Promises War With Russia

Essential reading for our American readers who must soon decide who they want as their next president. Important too for non Americans who cannot influence the outcome of the election but are entitled to know why their arses might be blown from here to eternity sometime in the next few years.

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After Yugoslavia NATO changed from a mutual defence alliance to an organisation for military aggression
Propaganda War: US Officials Working to Keep Russia, Europe at Odds

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