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Thread: NATO summit

  1. #16
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    troung,

    They needed to be cried out and shamed;
    and that has accomplished what, exactly?
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  2. #17
    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
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    If Germany decides to walk, and not rely on our protection, then good or if man up and decide to live up to their treaty commitments also good. Let her put her big boy pants on, man up, and double her defense spending. The idea that we should continue walking on egg shells dealing with people who don't take our defense commitment or their own defense establishments seriously is insulting.

    The fact mentioning the 2 percent is somehow offensive makes it suggest that the old Article 5 commitment to protect the EU from Russia is expected by the locals to be one sided and open ended.

    Op-Ed: US should focus on the economy and skip irrelevant talking forums
    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/28/op-ed...ng-forums.html
    Trade deficits matter, Ivanovitch says
    Trump needs his tax cuts and infrastructure spending first
    Mid-term election in 2018 seen make-or-break for Trump policies

    Dr. Michael Ivanovitch | @msiglobal9
    2 Hours AgoCNBC.com
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. President Donald Trump arrive for the group photo at the G7 Taormina summit on the island of Sicily on May 26, 2017 in Taormina, Italy.
    Getty Images
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. President Donald Trump arrive for the group photo at the G7 Taormina summit on the island of Sicily on May 26, 2017 in Taormina, Italy.

    Seeking to cut $610 billion from health care for the poor, and $192 billion from food assistance to 43 million Americans struggling to make ends meet, while spending millions of dollars on European jamborees will probably strike most people as an example of bad and insensitive public policy.

    Given the vacuity of last week's European meetings, one may question why was it necessary for the U.S. president to spend four days and all that money to repeat for the nth time to people who took $165 billion net out of their U.S. trade in 2016 what he has been telling them over the last two years.

    No European leader has been in any doubt for quite some time that (a) trillions of dollars in U.S. trade deficits and a soaring net foreign debt of $8.1 trillion could not continue, (b) trade policies would be reviewed with particular attention to countries running systematic and large trade surpluses with the U.S., (c) the treaty on global warming would be closely scrutinized and (d) U.S. would insist on all member countries honoring their financial obligations to the NATO alliance.

    All these issues have been explained in bilateral and multilateral forums and constantly amplified by the European media.

    The White House should have taken a cue from Italy's former (and most probably future) Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. Outraged by do-nothing summits in Brussels, he scolded the spendthrift Eurocrats for squandering public money and precious time on matters where a simple SMS could have taken care of their trivial agenda.

    Yes, tweeting would have saved a lot of money and an embarrassing French and German media portrayal of a "confused and isolated America."
    German push-back lectures

    That would have also spared Washington the German G-7 lecture about the virtues of free trade.

    Lacking no chutzpah, the German chancellor Angela Merkel told President Trump last week that the U.S. should not complain about trade deficits with Germany. Why? Simple, she said: Germany is a big investor in the U.S. creating thousands of jobs.

    There was no repartee from the U.S. side because our trade experts failed to slip a note to the president to tell him that these investments were financed with the money we gave them to buy German goods.

    Running large trade deficits with Germany enables German companies to recycle their dollar earnings in the U.S., killing whatever is left of jobs and incomes in our manufacturing – Detroit automakers being one of the prominent cases in point. Yes, we are giving them the rope … and the German chancellor apparently wanted more of it.

    Thanks in large part to these kinds of trade policies we now have the stock of human and physical capital that sets the limits to potential (and noninflationary) growth rate at a miserable 1.5 percent.

    Undeterred, our free-traders insist that we should focus on services, leave the manufacturing sector to Germans and the Chinese, keep piling on foreign debt and still think that we can make the country safe and secure, maybe even run the world on the side.

    A wonderful picture, isn't it? Hospitality industries, Silicon Valley and Hollywood will be our big money spinners.

    Maybe. But that's not the public policy platform that won the presidency last year. So, let's see what the vox populi says during the all-important mid-term Congressional elections in November 2018. These elections could seal the fate of this administration and of the legislative control by the Republican Party.
    Killed by imports

    The U.S. has to pursue a coherent economic growth strategy and growth-supporting foreign trade policies that directly drive one-third of the economy. The impact of changes in the external trade sector (technically called the multiplier effect of net exports) rips through the entire economic system and sets activity trends in manufacturing and services.

    [...]
    Last edited by troung; 29 May 17, at 04:41.
    To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway

  3. #18
    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    Funny guys these Germans.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/business-30977714

    Germany has warned the new Greek government that it must live up to its commitments to its creditors.
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

  4. #19
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by troung View Post
    If Germany decides to walk, and not rely on our protection, then good or if man up and decide to live up to their treaty commitments also good. Let her put her big boy pants on, man up, and double her defense spending. The idea that we should continue walking on egg shells dealing with people who don't take our defense commitment or their own defense establishments seriously is insulting.
    Perhaps they will, with the current state of affairs in the world and US foreign policy under a Trump Administration.

    If they do, you probably won't like a Germany and EU conducting a foreign and military policy completely independent to the United States either, ceasing to defer at all to US wishes, refusing to combine diplomatic and sanctions efforts with the US, ceasing to host US military forces, and kicking us out of air, naval and ground forces bases.

    It may very well turn out to be the case that if these countries decide to double their defense commitments -- they may just decide they might as well go all in, and walk away from a formal alliance with the US.

    It may turn out to be the case that we cannot have our cake, and eat it too - the Euros may come to the conclusion that in the aftermath of doubling their defense spending, that being allied to the US is more of a liability than an asset. Being under the US security umbrella makes NATO an asset in their calculations - if the Euros do what Trump wants in having their own sufficient capability to act against and deter threats, an alliance with the US may at that point cross the ledger from asset and become a liability.

    If you're an isolationist who wishes to see the US have a vastly reduced capability to act globally, perhaps this would be a good thing, from your perspective.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 29 May 17, at 17:30.

  5. #20
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    Just for a small interjection, which i'll give whenever at least two people start mentioning that:

    There is no treaty commitment to spend 2%. There is a commitment to try to increase defense budgets towards 2% by 2024. Even if we raise our defense budget by only 0.0001% compared to 2014 over a decade from then (read: if we cut our spending from the current budget by around 10-15%) the commitment agreed upon is still held onto.

    That's the German position. Trump of course has a different position. One that people at best laugh about. At least people who didn't vote for Trump.

    Reiterating it though, it's really intereresting to look just whose visits Merkel's receiving on the heel of Trump. It's not just Li on wednesday and thursday, but also Modi today and tomorrow. Putin meanwhile? Hosted by Mr Handshake Macron today.

  6. #21
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    Hypothetically suppose Putin did have some hold over Trump. What do you suppose Putin might ask him to do? Seems to have done precisely what Putin may have asked... coincidence no doubt.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    Just for a small interjection, which i'll give whenever at least two people start mentioning that:

    There is no treaty commitment to spend 2%. There is a commitment to try to increase defense budgets towards 2% by 2024. Even if we raise our defense budget by only 0.0001% compared to 2014 over a decade from then (read: if we cut our spending from the current budget by around 10-15%) the commitment agreed upon is still held onto.

    That's the German position. .
    Typical German duplicity. German defense spending increases are not even keeping pace with inflation or GDP growth. Over time German defense spending it set to fall not increase as a percentage of GDP.


    snapper
    Hypothetically suppose Putin did have some hold over Trump. What do you suppose Putin might ask him to do? Seems to have done precisely what Putin may have asked... coincidence no doubt.
    So let me get this straight. You think that Putin hacked the US elections to get DT elected so that DT would push NATO to spend more on defense which would then act as a direct block to Russian ambitions....

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    So let me get this straight. You think that Putin hacked the US elections to get DT elected so that DT would push NATO to spend more on defense which would then act as a direct block to Russian ambitions....
    Or to break the Transatlantic alliance. I fully agree that the Europeans should and must pay their way in NATO but Merkels comments were in respect of Trump not entirely endorsing the US commitment to Article 5. It was blindingly obvious the take away that would follow. Nor do I think it right for Merkel to have made such comments publicly; it is all very well to think such things privately and discuss options behind closed doors but telling the world and it's Wife is not altogether wise. It is no excuse to say "she is on campaign mode". She should have said publicly that she fully intended to raise defence spending and had every confidence that the US would honour it's treaty obligations - no matter what she may be thinking privately - which I can guess at; a 'European army'.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    Or to break the Transatlantic alliance. I fully agree that the Europeans should and must pay their way in NATO but Merkels comments were in respect of Trump not entirely endorsing the US commitment to Article 5. It was blindingly obvious the take away that would follow. Nor do I think it right for Merkel to have made such comments publicly; it is all very well to think such things privately and discuss options behind closed doors but telling the world and it's Wife is not altogether wise. It is no excuse to say "she is on campaign mode". She should have said publicly that she fully intended to raise defence spending and had every confidence that the US would honour it's treaty obligations - no matter what she may be thinking privately - which I can guess at; a 'European army'.
    Its not fair to expect the US to commit itself to national extinction to safe guard a continent that wont defend itself. Europe has 2 choices be a US or Russian vassal.

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    It is your President that appears to be the Muscovite vassal. We chose neither but freedom with allies who committed themselves willingly for the benefit of both Europe and the US. Macron today told Putin to his face that RT and Sputnik were disinformation propaganda and that he had invaded Ukraine; nothing particularly outrageous in itself - both are true and well known facts. Why hasn't the US President condemned Muscovite interference in your election?
    Last edited by snapper; 29 May 17, at 21:02.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    It is your President that appears to be the Muscovite vassal. We chose neither but freedom with allies who committed themselves willingly for the benefit of both Europe and the US. Macron today told Putin to his face that RT and Sputnik were disinformation propaganda and that he had invaded Ukraine; nothing particularly outrageous in itself - both are true and well known facts. Why hasn't the US President condemned Muscovite interference in your election?
    Maybe becuase there is zero proof Russia actually did so. 10 month investigation and zero proof. There might be proof if the DNC had handed over the computers when requested but they didn't. Its fake, made up out of whole cloth by a Leftist establishment desperate to explain away the loss of the most corrupt politician in US history despite their stacking the deck for her.

  12. #27
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    Certainly you must have a very deep understanding and knowledge of what occurred - deeper and more thorough than all your security agencies who all agree that there was a an attempt by Moscow to influence the election in Trump's favour. For myself, having met some of your security people, I will take their word over yours.
    Last edited by snapper; 29 May 17, at 21:33.

  13. #28
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    For Heavens sake,Sara,you know very well contacts are nothing.Everybody talks to everyone and back channels are the means to do it.Plus,you have plenty of internal infighting and intrigues.
    So no,just because some guys said officialy about Russian involvement is not relevant unless you have a political stake in the fight.Yes,of course Russia tries to influence elections.But guess what,everybody does the same.If they cannot do that,they try to influence the actual policies.Will you hold Israel ,Poland or Korea to the same standards?
    Insisting on this only serves as A.problems dealing with US and B. excuses for internal failures.
    Those who know don't speak
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  14. #29
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    If any colleague of mine approached a Muscovite Ambassador and asked to use their communications systems as a 'back channel' I would have him (or her) arrested and interrogated as soon as I found out. Most importantly I would want to know who or what motive prompted such potentially treasonous action. Even it transpired there was an honest and appropriate reason for this extraordinary behaviour I would never trust that person again. That is not normal. Sure we all "know people who know people" who can deliver a message if required - though I have never seen fit to do so personally and usually it is not my call to make - but what Kushner is alleged to have done; that is offering to commit treason as in the first place it compromises the person making the request.
    Last edited by snapper; 29 May 17, at 22:45.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    She should have said publicly that she fully intended to raise defence spending and had every confidence that the US would honour it's treaty obligations - no matter what she may be thinking privately
    Why exactly, on both accounts? To make NATO look strong, and to make her look like a Blairist poodle? NATO no longer holds the status in western continental Europe that it holds in other places or times. It's a nice to have, but not nice to get involved in too much thing, especially since the US in particular turned it into a coalition framework to project their geostrategic policies beyond NATO territory. It's not even Trump that's the key in disliking it there; Trump is at best confirmation of NATO being dead as a security guarantee.

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