Here’s Donald Trump decrying Germany’s willingness make itself dependent on Russian energy supplies by pushing for Nordstream 2, which will mean that Germany will get 60% of its natural gas from Russia, to go with the 40% of its oil imports that already are from Russia. Aside from becoming so dependent on an enemy for its energy, Germany will be paying Russia billions of euros for the privilege.
I have to say, I think it’s very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia, where you’re supposed to be guarding against Russia, and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia.
This, via Stratfor, illustrate the level of commitment and its nature of NATO member nations toward their own defense. The first shows the breakdown of expenditures of those monies aimed at each member’s commitment to spend 2% of GDP on defense.
Notice who’s spending the most on equipment—that actual teeth of defense. Most of the nations spending the most are right across the fence from the Russian Bear.
This graph shows which nations actually are meeting their 2% commitment.
In case the note is unreadable, the asterisk for Bulgaria notes that its figure does “not include persons.”
Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, the main governing body of the European Union, says
Dear America, appreciate your allies, you don’t have that many[.]
That’s true enough; we certainly don’t have that many who aren’t demanding to freeload off American blood and treasure for their defense while being unwilling to contribute much of their own to their defense.
Tusk tweeted soon after,
US doesn’t have and won’t have a better ally than EU. We spend on defense much more than Russia and as much as China.
The People’s Republic of China’s government is in a tizzy because some international airlines, on their flight schedules, still don’t refer to “Taiwan” as a part of the PRC. And, like José Jiménez, they don’t want to talk about it.
China has rebuffed a US request for talks about China’s demand for international airlines to start referring to Taiwan as part of China[.]
There’s nothing to discuss, and we shouldn’t be trying.
The Republic of China is a sovereign and independent nation.
The People’s Republic of China did this to our aircraft in Africa, too. And, yes, it’s the PRC. No one else, save us and possibly Russia, have this capability. Russia isn’t in the East China Sea.
Lasers have targeted pilots of American military aircraft operating over the western Pacific Ocean more than 20 times in recent months….
Officials said all of the incidents occurred in and around the East China Sea, typically where the Chinese military or other Chinese civilians operate. The laser signals directed at American aircraft appeared to be coming from fishing boats operating in the area and from shore….
As the People’s Republic of China responds to President Donald Trump’s tariffs, motivated in part by the PRC’s cyber-theft of American technology and proprietary information and the PRC’s extortion of the same and its demand for backdoors into foreign business’ (including especially American) core software as a condition of doing business in the PRC, buckle up, indeed, as the article at the link above suggests.
The PRC will do far more than this, though, as it attempts to coerce the US in the pursuit of its Warring States strategy.
President Donald Trump often decries Europe’s NATO nations for their lack of seriousness about their defense, and he zealously insists that they honor their commitment to spend 2% of their national GDP on defense. It’s arguable that Trump could ease off (a little bit) and acknowledge the progress he’s made in getting Europe’s NATO members to boost their spending.
But only a little bit because those nations don’t appear to be stepping up in any serious way, as these numbers from a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed demonstrate.
Overall inflation-adjusted military spending by every NATO member excluding America grew 1.8% in 2015, 3.1% in 2016, and 4.8% last year.
Norway is asking us to double the number of troops we have stationed there and to move them closer to its border with Russia. It’s a pittance—700 Marines vs the 330 we have there now—but we need to work with Norway very seriously to figure out how to do this.
Norway said the invitation was about NATO training and improving winter fighting capability.
“Allies get better at training together,” Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen told reporters.
Yewbetcha. And joint training is especially important in the face of demonstrated Russian aggression and its stationing of nuclear weapons in Kaliningrad.
The members of the Group of Seven, just met in Canada last week, were invited to form a tariff-free trade zone by President Donald Trump.
no tariffs, no barriers…and no subsidies.
International trade doesn’t get much freer than that.
Will anyone in the G-7 have the courage to take Trump up on his offer—or to call his bluff, if that’s what they think it is?
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas thinks President Donald Trump is “consciously accepting” that things like our withdrawal from Iran’s nuclear weapons deal is hurting our allies in Europe and the Middle East. Deutsche Welle cited him as saying that
We cannot look away. He knows that what he is doing is of direct detriment to Europe.
No, what is acting to the direct detriment of Europe (and to our Middle East allies and friends) is Europe’s insistence on preserving a nuclear weapons deal that allows Iran to obtain nuclear weapons. The extent to which European nations are consciously accepting of this destructive deal is the extent to which we have to act unilaterally.