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  1. #1
    Senior Member Airbornesapper07's Avatar
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    Aug 2018

    NATO in Crisis

    NATO in Crisis

    Europe is starting to look like an unexploded bomb -- an ideological and cultural bomb created by weak-minded politicians who are destroying their own cultures and the well-being of their increasingly angry citizens.

    April 12, 2019
    By Frank Hawkins

    In 1949, with the debris of WWII still clogging German cities, Western nations led by the United States and Great Britain formed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The primary purpose of the alliance was to provide a multinational shield against Soviet aggression.
    Today the alliance itself is threatened, with President Trump rightly accusing Germany and other members of not living up to their pledges to support the pact. Of the 28 members of NATO, only seven are paying the required 2% of GDP to support the alliance. The United States weighs in with a hefty 3.39% while Germany, the second largest economy in the alliance, is only contributing 1.36%.

    After being called out by Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel promised that Germany would begin increasing its defense contributions reaching an initial plateau of 1.5% by 2024.

    But it’s not working out that way. German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz threw the target into doubt with the new German federal budget that suggests their percentage is actually going to shrink to 1.23%. What’s going on?
    In a recent issue of Foreign Affairs, Robert Kagan addressed the issue in an article titled, “The New German Question, What Happens When Europe Comes Apart?
    Kagan’s article opens as a thoughtful overview until it becomes obvious he's just another ideological #NeverTrumper. He covers the grand sweep of German history and the country's historic position in Europe before dissolving into shameless Trump bashing.
    There has always been something ironic about the American complaint that Europeans don’t spend enough on defense. They don’t because the world seems relatively peaceful and secure to them. When the world is no longer peaceful and secure, they probably will rearm, but not in ways that will benefit Americans. If one were devising a formula to drive Europe and Germany back to some new version of their past, one could hardly do a better job than what U.S. President Donald Trump is doing now.

    Appropriately, Trump has challenged the status quo with Germany and other members of NATO along with unfair balances of trade that have strongly favored Germany.

    Immediately after WWII, subsidizing the balance of trade was the enlightened thing for America to do. It helped the Germans get back on their feet, ultimately creating a more stable society and a more stable Europe. But that was then.
    NATO contributions are not the only reason for Trump’s criticism of Germany. Last year he observed that mass migration into Europe has created a “total mess” on the continent.
    Kagan doesn’t quite see it that way.
    Even today, a right-wing nationalist party, Alternative for Germany, holds the third-largest number of seats in the Bundestag. The party is guided by ideologues... tired of the (cult of guilt), who blame the influx of foreigners on German politicians they call... ‘puppets of the victor power of the Second World War.’

    Notice how Kagan glosses over the gorilla in the room: the aggressive, overwhelming surge of Third-World refugees into Europe. More specifically, he makes no mention of the rapid growth of Islam openly challenging the traditional Christian-based cultural heritage and the homogeneous makeup of these countries with "no-go zones" as well as increased criminal activity such as stabbings and rape gangs. This was accelerated by Merkel’s 2015 decision to not only allow one million immigrants, mostly Muslims, into Germany, but also to subsidize them. This opened the floodgates for massive rushes of both Middle Eastern and African immigrants into Southern Europe hoping to get to Germany, Scandinavia, or France. More than anything (certainly the cult of guilt) this relentless invasion (which Merkel herself later acknowledged was a mistake and which has now has cost her the leadership of Germany), is the driving force in the growth of Europe’s right-wing parties, not just in Germany, but also in France, Holland, Denmark, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and other countries. It has nothing to do with guilt over WWII.
    How can Kagan be so obtuse? The people of these countries are sick of seeing their traditional cultures stolen in front of them by third-world outsiders being given special privileges and financial subsidies. This has nothing to do with Trump. It has everything to do with weak-spined politicians selling out their constituencies in the name of "human rights." When your small town in Germany is suddenly taken over by rough black African or Middle Eastern Muslims gangs, you have to ask: how does this support the human rights of the native people who live in those villages?
    Ironically, it is Der Spiegel, a leading left-wing German political magazine, that exposes the shallowness of Kagan’s attack on Trump.
    At the heart of Europe, the Germans are recklessly jeopardizing the future of the alliance that has guaranteed their freedom and security for 70 years. At three successive summits since 2014, the German government has promised its allies that it would increase defense spending to get it closer to the agreed upon 2 percent of GDP…
    The goal of spending 2 percent of a country's GDP on defense... first agreed upon by country leaders at the NATO summit in Wales and... later confirmed at the Warsaw and Brussels summits in 2016 and 2018, was intended to ensure that NATO countries have the high-quality troops they need to fulfill missions, including the commitments they made to the Eastern Europeans.
    Instead the Germans have failed to fulfill their promises. The German Army was scheduled to have eight fully equipped brigades by 2031. Now Der Spiegel says this goal will not be achieved.
    Why? Der Spiegel names Rolf Mützenich, a little known SPD backbencher in the German parliament in charge of Germany’s foreign and defense portfolio and empowered by a badly weakened Merkel/CDU led parliament. He blasts Trump saying, "The alliance is not being undermined by Germany, but by Trump casting doubt on NATO's legitimacy as well as whether the U.S. will follow through on its security guarantees."
    The left-wing SPD party sees a winning election issue in keeping Merkel’s CDU from fulfilling its NATO pledges by calling her a “lapdog” of Trump. Because of the weak leadership of both the CDU and the SPD, Mützenich holds a strong hand, apparently too strong for the lame duck Merkel to deal with.
    “As long as Mützenich is more or less calling the shots in the coalition, the Germans will have a hard time with their allies. In the run-up to this week's meeting of foreign ministers in Washington, the Americans made it clear… that the celebrations surrounding the 70th anniversary of the alliance could get rather uncomfortable for them.”
    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told Congress that NATO members as a whole are on track to increase defense spending by up to $100 billion, saying President Trump’s “message is having a real impact."
    Kagan ends his essay on this note.
    "Across Germany, there are still thousands of unexploded bombs dropped by the Allies during World War II. One blew up in Göttingen a few years ago, killing the three men trying to defuse it. Think of Europe today as an unexploded bomb, its detonator intact and functional, its explosives still live. If this is an apt analogy, then Trump is a child with a hammer, gleefully and heedlessly pounding away. What could go wrong?"
    He got the bomb part right, but not in the way he means. Europe is indeed starting to look like an unexploded bomb. But it's an ideological and cultural bomb created by weak-minded politicians who are destroying their own cultures and the well-being of their increasingly angry citizens, something that has nothing to do with Trump. The children with the hammers are their own shortsighted political leaders.

    Frank Hawkins is a former U.S. Army intelligence officer, Associated Press foreign correspondent, international businessman, senior newspaper company executive, founder and owner of several marketing companies, and published novelist.
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  2. #2
    Moderator Beezer's Avatar
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    Apr 2016
    We also "subsidize" the REST of the world's lower drug prices!

    We have been the doormat for the entire world.


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