July 12, 2018

NATO Summit

We're officially on Insta! Did I throw on a blazer at 5 am for all you lovely people? You bet I did!

(which is low), but are also delinquent for many years in payments that have not been made. Will they reimburse the U.S.?” (Twitter)

Moreover, “Trump

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The left is concerned that Trump’s harsh rhetoric will further alienate our closest allies.

“The issues of defense spending and natural gas supplies from Russia merited discussion in the sessions, but this public rebuke, with television cameras rolling, was not aimed at solving the problems but at magnifying the message.”


The president has consistently described NATO spending inaccurately, reflecting blatant ignorance about the way the alliance works. He harped on the issue at a time when the pact’s 29 member states, including Germany, have been significantly increasing defense investments, something that ought to be celebrated.”

Washington Post

While the 2% goal has been in place since 2006, “at the NATO summit of 2014, each member declared that it would try to spend 2 percent of its GDP on defense by 2024. This was a goal, not a ‘commitment’; and it was to be fulfilled

if possible) over a period of 10 years, not enforced now… [Moreover] it is absurd to demand that countries falling short of 2 percent should ‘reimburse the U.S.’ This is not how NATO or any military alliance works.”


Furthermore, “The [NATO] alliance helped guarantee US dominance over the Soviet Union in the Cold War and in the globalized world afterward. But it also has the collective security guarantee of Article 5, under which an attack on one member can be declared an attack on all. Only one country has called upon that clause in its history, and that is the United States following the terror attacks on September 11, 2001.”


It’s worth noting that “Germany isn’t any more dependent on Russian gas than it was during the Cold War, when no one doubted its loyalty to U.S. interests… [Germany] participates in U.S.-led military operations, such as the one in Afghanistan, where it makes a substantial contribution. Germany also bears a much higher economic cost than the U.S. as a result of Western sanctions on Russia.”


Counterpoint: “Russia poses basically zero military threat to larger NATO members like France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. The far larger threat to Europe is ideological. It’s rising authoritarianism… the [defense] money would be better spent on humanitarian assistance and diplomacy… What American liberals should be saying is not that Germany’s defense spending is too low but that America’s is too high.”

The Atlantic

The right is generally supportive of Trump’s approach.

The right is generally supportive of Trump’s approach.

Trump’s grievances about NATO are not his, not new, and definitely not influenced by the 2016 election or Russia. European military capability atrophied due to complacency about American cavalry, when their own cash funds finer aspects of life and ever-increasing social welfare.”

The Federalist

“This president is not the first to push the Europeans to contribute more to their defense, but his ‘madman’ approach has yielded better results than the previous American presidents’ slightly exasperated pontifications about European free riding.”

National Review

Sen. Tom Cotton

R-AR) stated, “Nord Stream 2 strikes at heart of NATO unity. The pipeline gets cheap Russian gas to Germany while bypassing smaller Eastern European nations, allowing Russia to pressure them while Germany is held harmless.”


Furthermore, “former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder got a golden parachute from public service from Putin-controlled Gazprom years ago, and that seems to be paying off with friendly policies in Berlin.”

Hot Air

“Although the alliance has been quite good at adapting to the changing security environment around the world, it is not obvious that its success will last forever – especially if Europeans and Americans no longer share the same understanding of security threats and global rivalries… in order to remain relevant in the 21st century, it will have to change.”

American Enterprise Institute

Some even suggest that “NATO – created in 1949 – has become obsolete… NATO was formed to defend against the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies. But the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact died in 1991 – and NATO’s original mission died then as well. Soviet tanks are no longer primed to head into Europe to conquer our NATO partners. NATO is now a world-class military alliance looking for a mission.”

Fox News

Counterpoint: “The need for American involvement and leadership remains. America’s goals regarding Europe are long-term… because of the cold political reality that the world can be a dangerous place and the Europeans will be America’s best friends. For my entire life this has been regarded as a universal truth. And yet the ones who are leaving it are the Americans.”

National Review

A libertarian's take

“The scoop reflects poorly on Trump, who willfully misled the public for a decade in hopes of fraudulently representing himself as a man with a Midas touch. But he could not have succeeded without the assistance of many Americans, some mercenary, others over-credulous, who helped to spread the deceit and deception, generating countless newspaper articles, magazine stories, and TV segments that misinformed the public about the publicity hound’s record in business. New evidence of his staggering losses in that decade therefore provides an apt occasion to reflect on the media’s complicity in Trump’s brazen deceit and deception… Let [this] be a lesson for today’s tabloids, gossip columnists, over-credulous or mercenary journalists, and reality-television producers.”
Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic

On the bright side...

Worth watching: epic lipsync video by the Norfolk Police Department. All in one take!

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