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Posts Tagged ‘NATO’

Trump Leaves NATO Summit After Video Flap

Posted by hkarner - 6. Dezember 2019

Date: 05‑12‑2019

Source: The Wall Street Journal

U.S. president calls Canada’s Justin Trudeau ‘two‑faced’

LONDON—President Trump called Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “two‑faced” after a video emerged of a group of NATO leaders discussing the U.S. leader without him present, rattling a summit to mark the 70th anniversary of the alliance.

The bickering among Mr. Trump and U.S. allies has become a common motif of international summits as NATO members have grown increasingly divided on a host of issues, including Mr. Trump’s demand that allies lift their military spending to meet NATO’s recommendation of 2% of GDP. That is a longstanding source of tension between Washington and European capitals, many of which argue that a single figure doesn’t capture the extent of their contributions to the alliance.

The video, which was taken at a reception at Buckingham Palace Tuesday evening, captures U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson asking President Emmanuel Macron of France why he was late to the reception. Mr. Macron had come from a meeting with Mr. Trump who earlier in the day had held impromptu news conferences on the margins of his bilateral meetings with the Canadian and French leaders.

Mr. Trudeau chimed in, saying: “He was late because he takes a 40‑minute press conference.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The future of the EU

Posted by hkarner - 8. November 2019

Date: 07-11-2019
Source: The Economist

Emmanuel Macron warns Europe: NATO is brain-dead

America is turning its back on the European project.
Time to wake up, the French president tells The Economist

EMMANUEL MACRON, the French president, has warned European countries that they can no longer rely on America to defend NATO allies. “What we are currently experiencing is the brain death of NATO,” Mr Macron declares in a blunt interview with The Economist. Europe stands on “the edge of a precipice”, he says, and needs to start thinking of itself strategically as a geopolitical power; otherwise we will “no longer be in control of our destiny.”

During the hour-long interview, conducted in his gilt-decorated office at the Elysée Palace in Paris on October 21st, the president argues that it is high time for Europe to “wake up”. He was asked whether he believed in the effectiveness of Article Five, the idea that if one NATO member is attacked all would come to its aid, which many analysts think underpins the alliance’s deterrent effect. “I don’t know,” he replies, “but what will Article Five mean tomorrow?” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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How Trump Killed the Atlantic Alliance

Posted by hkarner - 27. Februar 2019

Date: 26-02-2019
Source: Foreign Affairs By Philip H. Gordon and Jeremy Shapiro

And How the Next President Can Restore It

The Atlantic alliance as we know it is dead. The end of the Cold War, the United States’ growing weariness of global burdens, and a preoccupation with domestic affairs on both sides of the ocean had already weakened transatlantic bonds when the presidency of Donald Trump inflicted the deathblow.

A future U.S. administration, even one that is more sympathetic to the idea of alliances, will be unable to restore the old alliance. If a new alliance is to emerge from the ashes of the past, it must be one based on a more realistic bargain between Europe and the United States, and one that better addresses the needs of both partners. The alliance is dead; long live the alliance.

AUTOPSY Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Russia’s growing threat to north Europe

Posted by hkarner - 4. Oktober 2018

Date: 03-10-2018
Source: The Economist

Sweden hugs its friends closer, but will it tie the knot with NATO?

SOME states soothe their citizens in troubled times. Others prefer not to sugar-coat things. “A larger European conflict could start with an attack on Sweden,” warned the most recent report of the country’s defence commission. Electricity would be limited. Calorie intake would fall. Tens of thousands might be wounded. This was not idle talk: in June, all 22,000 Swedish volunteer soldiers were called up for the largest surprise exercise since 1975. For the first time in almost 30 years, the government has written to millions of households exhorting them to prepare for the worst. “We will never give up,” warned leaflets decorated with vivid tableaux of burning buildings and rolling tanks.

Sweden’s aim is to hold out for three months, until help arrives. These twin tasks—becoming “indigestible to Russia”, as one analyst puts it, and ensuring that the cavalry shows up—will be high on the agenda of whichever government emerges from the hung parliament produced by the election of September 9th. Sweden may not be a member of NATO. But under Stefan Lofven, Sweden’s Social Democratic prime minister for the past four years, it has manoeuvred as close to the alliance as it is possible to get from the outside. By deferring the question of outright membership, anathema to the left, he created political space to tighten Sweden’s triple embrace of America, NATO and its neighbours. A landmark “host nation” agreement with NATO was steered through parliament in 2016. America’s potential wartime role in Sweden was once a state secret; now contingency plans can be made openly. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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What Trump Gets Wrong About EU Defense

Posted by hkarner - 20. Juli 2018

Javier Solana was EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, Secretary-General of NATO, and Foreign Minister of Spain. He is currently President of the ESADE Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics, Distinguished Fellow at the Brookings Institution, and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Europe.

Donald Trump is not the first US president to demand that European countries spend more on their own defense, but he is the first to ignore the value of America’s alliances. In fact, with NATO’s European pillar recently strengthened, the US will have an even more reliable defense partner.

MADRID – The annual NATO summit this month was the latest installment in a long series of disagreements between US President Donald Trump and America’s European allies. At last year’s summit, Trump refused to affirm the principle of collective defense under Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty – the keystone of the transatlantic alliance. And, after derailing a G7 summit last month, Trump added further tensions this week by refusing to utter even the mildest criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin at their Helsinki meeting.

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The End of NATO?

Posted by hkarner - 19. Juli 2018

Carl Bildt was Sweden’s foreign minister from 2006 to October 2014 and Prime Minister from 1991 to 1994, when he negotiated Sweden’s EU accession. A renowned international diplomat, he served as EU Special Envoy to the Former Yugoslavia, High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, UN Special Envoy to the Balkans, and Co-Chairman of the Dayton Peace Conference. He is Chair of the Global Commission on Internet Governance and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Europe.

US President Donald Trump escalated his war on US alliances and multilateral institutions at NATO’s summit in Brussels and then at his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. There is now little doubt that Trump’s strange affinity for Putin represents a serious threat to European security.

STOCKHOLM – What is left of NATO and the transatlantic order after US President Donald Trump’s tumultuous week in Brussels, the United Kingdom, and Helsinki, where he defended Russian President Vladimir Putin against accusations of cyber warfare by America’s own intelligence agencies?

Watching events unfold through rose-tinted glasses, one might think that the West’s most important strategic alliance is more or less okay, or even growing stronger. In fact, NATO is in peril, and its fate now lies in Trump’s contemptuous hands.

Prior to and during the NATO summit, there was much hand-wringing over member states’ military spending as a share of GDP. Each member is expected to increase its spending to 2% of GDP by 2024, but Trump seems to think that this already should have been done. And at the summit last week, he suddenly called for a new target of 4% of GDP – which is more than even the United States spends. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Posted by hkarner - 19. Juli 2018

FURCHE-Kolumne 245, Wilfried Stadler

Die theatralischen Drohgebärden des amerikanischen Präsidenten und seine durchschaubare Taktik, entgegen aller diplomatischen Gepflogenheiten immer gleich zum groben Keil zu greifen, zeitigen im wahrsten Sinn des Wortes durchschlagende Erfolge. Am Ende des letztwöchigen NATO-Gipfels, an dessen Beginn aggressive Tiraden gegen die deutsche Bundeskanzlerin und Austrittsdrohungen der USA aus dem Militärbündnis standen, verpflichteten sich alle Teilnehmerstaaten gehorsam zur zügigen Aufstockung ihrer Militärbudgets auf zwei Prozent der nationalen Wirtschaftsleistung – eine Zielgröße, auf die man sich allerdings schon 2014 geeinigt hatte.

Jens Stoltenberg, der Generalsekretär des Sicherheitsbündnisses, lobte Donald Trump ob seines Engagements für höhere Rüstungsausgaben. Kanada und die europäischen Mitgliedsstaaten hätten seit seinem Amtsantritt schon über 40 Milliarden zusätzlich investiert. Am Ende der Tagung brachte der US-Präsident sogar eine künftige Größenordnung von vier Prozent ins Spiel.
Nun sei durchaus zugegeben, dass es einem Österreicher nicht gut ansteht, in dieser Diskussion überhaupt Position zu beziehen. Denn als Trittbrettfahrer jenes Verteidigungsbündnisses, dem wir nicht zuletzt die Ostöffnung zu verdanken haben, versuchen wir ja, mit einem unterkritisch niedrigen Bundesheer-Budget von nur 0,65 Prozent des Bruttosozialprodukts davon zu kommen. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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NATO Needs New Thinking, Not New Money

Posted by hkarner - 18. Juli 2018

Date: 17-07-2018
Source: YaleGlobal by Jolyon Howorth

Donald Trump’s rough-and-tumble diplomacy in Europe overshadowed more pressing concerns for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Trump harangued allies to spend more on defense even though NATO members had already agreed in 2014 to strive for spending 2 percent of GDP on defense by 2024. “NATO’s European members already spend more than enough money given the relatively limited objectives they set themselves – deterring a weak and declining Russia; countering terrorist groups; engaging in limited crisis management missions mainly in Africa; and cyber defense,” explains Jolyon Howorth, visiting professor with the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. Nations confront a range of security threats and Russia has devised new attacks against the Western alliance, including election meddling with the Brexit referendum and the 2016 US presidential election. Howorth urges reform: “NATO needs to be radically re-thought because it fails to reflect the necessary reconfiguration of European and American forces in a world of rapid power transition.” Excessive military spending without adequate thought could cripple economies. – YaleGlobal Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Trump and the Russia Pipeline

Posted by hkarner - 13. Juli 2018

Date: 12-07-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal By The Editorial Board

He’s right about Berlin’s energy dependence on Vladimir Putin.

President Trump is so prone to rhetorical excess that he sometimes hurts his own case even when he’s right. A case in point is his shellacking of Germany Wednesday for supporting a new Russian gas pipeline.

“Well, 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,” Mr. Trump said during a breakfast with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

“And the former Chancellor of Germany is the head of the pipeline company that’s supplying the gas. . . . So you tell me, is that appropriate? [B]ecause I think it’s not, and I think it’s a very bad thing for NATO and I don’t think it should have happened. And I think we have to talk to Germany about it.”

While he then went over the top in saying “Germany is totally controlled by Russia,” Mr. Trump’s rant is an accurate summary of Berlin’s role in the Nord Stream 2 project. The pipeline would link Russia and Germany via the Baltic Sea, doubling the capacity of the existing pipeline in that corridor, and bypassing other pipelines through Ukraine and central and eastern Europe. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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And again the bastard is lying

Posted by hkarner - 13. Juli 2018

Date: 12-07-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Subject: NATO Members Defend Military Contributions Amid Trump’s Demands

Germany says sole focus on spending is misplaced as U.S. president presses allies to target to 4%

BRUSSELS—President Donald Trump’s demand at the NATO summit for members to double military-spending commitments has reignited a debate among allies about what constitutes contributions to the alliance.

At the start of two days of meeting with NATO leaders, Mr. Trump signaled he would push the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to raise its defense-spending target—currently obliging members to spend 2% of economic output on defense—to as high as 4%. Only the U.S. spends more than 3%, with seven other countries above or near the 2% level.

In a tweet Thursday morning, Mr. Trump reiterated his new target.

But Germany, which has been in Mr. Trump’s crosshairs for spending only 1.24% of its gross domestic product on defense, said the sole focus on military spending is misplaced.

“I would like to see the businessman Donald Trump…not only look at the balance sheet, but also look at the output,” German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said on the sidelines of the alliance gathering.

Germany, she said, is the second-largest troop contributor to NATO and the second-largest net payer into the alliance. Germany pays 14% of NATO’s annual budget, behind only the U.S., which finances 22%. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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