Archive for the ‘NATO’ Category

IS TRUMP’S UNORTHODOXY BECOMING ORTHODOX ?

Friday, February 21st, 2020

 

REAL CLEAR POLITICS

Is Trump’s Unorthodoxy Becoming Orthodox?

By Victor Davis Hanson
February 2020

When candidate Donald Trump campaigned on calling China to account for its trade piracy, observers thought he was either crazy or dangerous.

Conventional Washington wisdom had assumed that an ascendant Beijing was almost preordained to world hegemony. Trump’s tariffs and polarization of China were considered about the worst thing an American president could do.

The accepted bipartisan strategy was to accommodate, not oppose, China’s growing power. The hope was that its newfound wealth and global influence would liberalize the ruling communist government.

Four years later, only a naif believes that. Instead, there is an emerging consensus that China’s cutthroat violations of international norms were long ago overdue for an accounting.

China’s re-education camps, its Orwellian internal surveillance, its crackdown on Hong Kong democracy activists and its secrecy about the deadly coronavirus outbreak have all convinced the world that China has now become a dangerous international outlier.

Trump courted moderate Arab nations in forming an anti-Iranian coalition opposed to Iran’s terrorist and nuclear agendas. His policies utterly reversed the Obama administration’s estrangement from Israel and outreach to Tehran.

Last week, Trump nonchalantly offered the Palestinians a take-it-or-leave-it independent state on the West Bank, but without believing that a West Bank settlement was the key to peace in the entire Middle East.

Trump’s cancellation of the Iran deal, in particular, was met with international outrage. More global anger followed after the targeted killing of Iranian terrorist leader Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

In short, Trump’s Middle East recalibrations won few supporters among the bipartisan establishment.

But recently, Europeans have privately started to agree that more sanctions are needed on Iran, that the world is better off with Soleimani gone, and that the West Bank is not central to regional peace.

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EUROPEANS TRY TO HAVE IT BOTH WAYS

Thursday, February 20th, 2020

 

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Europeans Try to Have It Both Ways

They expect American protection but aren’t prepared to defend their own countries.

By Walter Russell Mead     February 18, 2020

How solid is the West? At last weekend’s Munich Security Conference, the world’s largest gathering of security policy makers and officials, the theme was “Westlessness,” referring to the sense of disorientation that many Europeans feel in this age of America First.

Since the 1940s, U.S. leadership in the service of a united and secure Europe has been the one unchanging feature in the Continental landscape. For generations, the U.S. committed to protect Europe from Russia, maintain bases in Germany to prevent it from threatening its neighbors, and promote European integration. Now Europeans don’t know where they stand, and a mixture of bafflement, anger, disappointment and fear fills the atmosphere at conferences like the one in Munich.

There’s little doubt that Trump administration policies, ranging from trade wars to toughness on Iran, have tested trans-Atlantic relations to the breaking point. But to understand the growing weakness of the Western alliance, Europeans need to spend less time deploring Donald Trump and more time looking in the mirror. A good place to begin is with a Pew poll released earlier this month on the state of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

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GERMANY- VICTIM OF ITS OWN GREEN POLICIES

Sunday, January 26th, 2020

 

Because of Germany’s delusional  green policies, it now finds itself in a self made box of being dependent for its energy from totalitarian  and unreliable energy sources from  Russia and the Middle East.  Thankfully, the United States is now energy independent because of our common sense energy policies.  For many years, the oil  money flowing into the Middle East has fueled terrorism around the world.  How wonderful it is not to have to depend on the Middle East for our energy needs anymore .  Drill baby drill !!!!  Nancy 

Energy Paradoxes Put Europe in a Precarious Position

By Victor Davis Hanson   January 26, 2020

Despite its cool Green parties and ambitious wind and solar agendas, Europe remains by far the world’s largest importer of oil and natural gas.

Oil output in the North Sea and off the coast of Norway is declining, and the European Union is quietly looking for fossil fuel energy anywhere it can find it.

Europe itself is naturally rich in fossil fuels. It likely has more reserves of shale gas than the United States, currently the world’s largest producer of both oil and natural gas. Yet in most European countries, horizontal drilling and fracking to extract gas and oil are either illegal or face so many court challenges and popular protests that they are neither culturally nor economically feasible.

The result is that Europe is almost entirely dependent on Russian, Middle Eastern, and African sources of energy.

The American-Iranian standoff in the Middle East, coupled with radical drop-offs in Iranian and Venezuelan oil production, has terrified Europe — and for understandable reasons.

The European Union has almost no ability to guarantee the delivery of critical oil and gas supplies from the Middle East should Iran close the Strait of Hormuz or harass ships in the Persian Gulf.

Europe’s only maritime security is the NATO fleet — a synonym for the U.S. Navy.

Vladimir Putin’s Russia supplies an estimated 30 percent of Europe’s oil needs. In times of crisis, Putin could exercise de facto control over the European economy.

In other words, Europe refuses to develop its own gas and oil reserves, and won’t fund the necessary military power to ensure that it can safely import energy from problematic or even hostile sources.

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BRITISH NAVY – TRUMP TO THE RESCUE !

Saturday, August 17th, 2019

 

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Uncle Trump to the Naval Rescue

Europe claims it can’t rely on the U.S., but look who’s protecting ships.

By the Editorial Board   August 9, 2019
Well, well, look who’s coming to the rescue of the British and shipping in the Middle East. None other than the Trump Administration that is supposed to be an unreliable ally. The Brits now say they’re joining a U.S.-led coalition to protect merchant shipping after they failed to get help from the rest of Europe.

The Royal Navy will join the effort organized by the U.S. Central Command after Iran seized a third ship this week. On July 19 the HMS Montrose frigate was patrolling near the Strait of Hormuz but was too far away to stop Iranian forces from taking a British-flagged tanker and crew that Tehran still hasn’t released.

Britain needs help because nearly half of its frigates and destroyers are undergoing major repairs or upgrades. The Royal Navy has around 80 ships, down from more than 130 during the 1982 Falklands War. The country is without a deployable aircraft carrier, though it has plans for two. London spent more than 2% of gross domestic product on defense in 2018, fulfilling its NATO requirement. But former Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood admitted after the tanker seizure that “our Royal Navy is too small to manage our interests across the globe.”

Germany refused to help, perhaps because it doesn’t want to offend Iran and might lose a naval engagement. While the Deutsche Marine has helped fight piracy in East Africa, it struggles to meet basic NATO commitments. At one point in 2018 its entire U-Boat fleet—six submarines—was stuck in dry dock. The surface fleet has held up better, though it’s aging fast.

Berlin spent only 1.2% of GDP on defense in 2018. Chancellor Angela Merkel ’s heir apparent, Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, called for Germany to meet its 2% commitment during her recent swearing-in ceremony. Her fellow lawmakers responded with boos.

The French would have had a limited benefit to a patrol mission, perhaps because La Royale has only a single aircraft carrier after cancelling plans for a second years ago.

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