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Thread: Russian government news speaks on Trump and NATO

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  1. #1
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    Russian government news speaks on Trump and NATO

    Sputnik is the international voice of the Russian Federation government replacing RIA Novosti who originates from the days of the Soviet Union. These articles address Trump's opinions on NATO:

    Obsolete Alliance: Why It is Time for US to Withdraw From NATO

    19:22 29.03.2016(updated 19:23 29.03.2016)

    Evidence is mounting that the US commitment to NATO does not truly serve America's best interests in the twenty-first century, Ted Galen Carpenter notes; he asks whether it is time for the United States to withdraw from the alliance.

    While NATO is preparing to celebrate its sixty-seventh anniversary in April, the time has come to question whether the alliance's policies really comply with America's national interests.

    The bloc was created in 1949 during the Cold War between the US and the USSR. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the entire security environment changed. However, Washington and its allies continue to push ahead with NATO's expansion, citing a wide range of real and phantom threats.

    "The European security environment has changed in another significant way since NATO's creation. During the early decades of the alliance, Washington's goal was to preserve the security of major players, such as West Germany, Italy, France and Britain. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, though, US leaders have pushed for the expansion of the alliance into Central and even Eastern Europe, adding marginal allies with the casual attitude that some people add Facebook friends," Ted Galen Carpenter, an American author and senior fellow at the Cato Institute, wrote in his Op-Ed for The National Interest.

    But NATO membership is no fun, he stresses. Its Article 5 obligates all NATO members to defend any ally in the event of attack. According to Carpenter, this commitment may "easily entangle the United States in an armed conflict that has little or nothing to do with America's own security."

    On the other hand, he argues, new NATO members, like Montenegro, for instance, add nothing to America's security and the alliance's military might.

    He points out that NATO's initial role as a bastion of major European powers in the Cold War era has degraded into that of a protector of a "collection of tiny players" in Eastern Europe.

    As a result, "the buildup of US forces on Russia's western frontier has contributed significantly to the deterioration of bilateral relations."

    Remarkably, Carpenter fails to mention NATO member Turkey's treacherous attack against a Russian Su-24 bomber in Syrian airspace on November 24, 2015. The irresponsible move threatened to escalate into a serious conflict between the alliance and Russia. Thus unsurprisingly, some US military experts offered to kick Turkey out of NATO, following the attack.

    "America's NATO policy is increasingly failing the most basic tests of relevance and prudence. It is well past time to conduct a comprehensive review and consider even the most drastic option: US withdrawal from the alliance," Carpenter stresses.

    "NATO is obsolete and must be changed to additionally focus on terrorism as well as some of the things it is currently focused on!" Trump Tweeted on March 24.

    "NATO was set up at a different time. NATO was set up when we were a richer country. We're not a rich country. We're borrowing, we're borrowing all of this money," Trump said during his meeting with the Washington Post's editorial board.

    Although the presidential candidate does not want the US to leave the alliance, he believes that the organization should be reformed. He also believes that NATO members must shoulder Washington's financial burden.

    "NATO is costing us a fortune and yes, we're protecting Europe but we're spending a lot of money. Number 1, I think the distribution of costs has to be changed," he said.

    At the same time, European analysts express doubts that NATO really protects the EU from modern-day menaces.

    Referring to the recent Brussels terror attacks, French journalist and founder of the Agora Erasmus movement Karel Vereycken told Sputnik that NATO has obviously failed to mitigate the threat posed by Daesh, al-Qaeda and other Islamist organizations to Europe.

    "NATO's secret wars created, not only the breeding ground for the evil terrorism, but also the chaos of the refugee crisis. So the policies that were promoted by our leaders yesterday, willfully or by our submission, are now backfiring as a boomerang and hitting us with full force in the face," Agora Erasmus' official statement reads.

    The Pentagon and NATO officials' claim that Russia represents a serious challenge to the US and its allies does not hold water, the journalist added, stressing that the EU will win "from detente, entente and cooperation with Vladimir Putin's Russia."

    Why Trump's 'America First' Doctrine Could Actually Save Planet From WWIII

    19:26 29.03.2016(updated 19:45 29.03.2016)

    Last week, Donald Trump expanded on his views on foreign policy, including America's role in NATO, suggesting that it's time for the US to adapt the alliance to focus on terrorism, and renegotiate defense deals with its allies. For his part, veteran commentator Pat Buchanan says Trump's position has another advantage: preventing a nuclear war.

    On Friday, The New York Times conducted an extensive, 100-minute interview with Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, getting him to explain his views on foreign policy, from the use of American troops abroad to US engagement in the Middle East, to the drama in the Korean peninsula and on the South China Sea.

    But the policy position which garnered the most talk, and the most criticism from domestic pundits, was his position on NATO, and his views on Washington's military commitments abroad in general.

    In the interview, Trump emphasized that he believed that NATO was 'obsolete', because it was "formed many decades ago [when] we were a different country," and "there was a different threat," in the form of the Soviet Union, which no longer exists.

    "The point is the world is a much different place right now," Trump noted, adding that in his mind, the biggest threat to the world today, and one which NATO has been unsuccessful in combating, is terrorism.

    The defense bloc, he suggested, "has to be changed" to include counterterrorism, and "from the standpoint of cost, because the United States bears far too much of the cost of NATO." The US, Trump said, can no longer afford to be "ripped off" paying for the security of its allies in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

    Trump's exposition on foreign policy has led to criticisms from all the usual suspects, from the neocons to the liberal interventionists. NYT columnist Roger Cohen offered one of the most strongly worded critiques, worryingly suggesting that a Trump presidency would mean the end of Pax Americana and the ushering in of a 'New World Disorder'.

    In an op-ed piece written with apocalyptic overtones, Cohen suggested that Trump's outlook is exactly what power-hungry Russia and China want, i.e. to challenge the global peace and stability supposedly guaranteed by the United States since the post-WWII era.

    "…His version of 'America First' – which interestingly converges with the view of many on the left who are convinced that the United States should stop policing the world – looks like a recipe for cataclysm," the columnist suggested.

    But not everyone is pessimistic. In an op-ed which has since gained widespread circulation in alternative media, paleo-conservative commentator Pat Buchanan proposed that far from being dangerous, Trump's nascent 'America First' doctrine may just be the key to keeping America and the world safe in the 21st century.

    "Beltway media may be transfixed with Twitter wars over wives and alleged infidelities. But the ideas Trump aired should ignite a national debate over US overseas commitments – especially NATO," Buchanan suggests.

    Making a foray into the post-WWII history of US foreign policy, the commentator remembered NATO's first supreme commander, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who "said in February 1951 of the alliance: 'if in 10 years, all American troops stationed in Europe for national defense purposes have not been returned to the United States, then this whole project will have failed.'"

    "As JFK biographer Richard Reeves relates, President Eisenhower, a decade later, admonished the president-elect on NATO. 'Eisenhower told his successor it was time to start bringing the troops home from Europe. 'America is carrying far more than her share of free world defense,' he said. It was time for other nations of NATO to take on more of the costs of their own defense.'"

    Unfortunately, Buchanan notes, "no Cold War president followed Ike's counsel."

    "…When the Cold War ended with the collapse of the Soviet Empire, the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, and the breakup of the Soviet Union into 15 nations, a new debate erupted. The conservative coalition that had united in the Cold War fractured. Some of us argued that when the Russian troops went home from Europe, the American troops should come home from Europe."

    "Time for a populous, prosperous Europe to start defending itself," the logic went. "Instead, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush began handing out NATO memberships, i.e., war guarantees, to all ex-Warsaw Pact nations and even Baltic republics that had been part of the Soviet Union."

    In the 25+ years since the end of the Cold War, Buchanan notes, "the US [has] moved its 'red line' for war with Russia from the Elbe River in Germany to the Estonian-Russian border, a few miles from St. Petersburg."

    The significance of this "historical provocation" is difficult to measure, the commentator suggests. "No Cold War president ever considered issuing a war guarantee of this magnitude, putting our homeland at risk of nuclear war, to defend Latvia and Estonia."

    "Yet here was George W. Bush declaring that any Russian move against Latvia or Estonia meant war with the United States. John McCain wanted to extend US war guarantees to Georgia and Ukraine. This was madness born of hubris."

    "And among those who warned against moving NATO onto Russia's front porch was America's greatest geo-strategist, the author of containment, George Kennan [who wrote]: 'expanding NATO would be the most fateful error of American policy in the post-Cold War era. Such a decision may be expected to impel Russian foreign policy in directions decidedly not to our liking."

    "Kennan," Buchanan notes, "was proven right. By refusing to treat Russia as we treated other nations that repudiated Leninism, we created the Russia we feared, a rearming nation bristling with resentment. The Russian people, having extended a hand in friendship and seen it slapped away, cheered the ouster of the accommodating Boris Yeltsin," and the rise of Vladimir Putin, "who would make Russia respected again."

    Ultimately, Buchanan notes, the national debate which Trump has reignited over foreign policy should focus not on the cost of the US's NATO commitments, but on "the risks we are taking," which are of a kind "no Cold War president ever dared to take."

    "Why should America fight Russia over who rules in the Baltic States or Romania and Bulgaria? When did the sovereignty of these nations become so vital we would risk a military clash with Moscow that could escalate into nuclear war?"

    More broadly, Buchanan asks, "why are we still committed to fight for scores of nations on five continents?"

    "Trump," Buchanan notes, "is challenging the mindset of a foreign policy elite whose thinking is frozen in a world that disappeared around 1991. He is suggesting a new foreign policy where the United States is committed to war only when we are attacked or US vital interests are imperiled. And when we agree to defend other nations, they will bear a full share of the cost of their own defense. The era of the free rider is over."

    "Trump's phrase, 'America First!' has a nice ring to it," the commentator concludes.

    A veteran political commentator, columnist and writer, Pat Buchanan is also the former White House Communications Director for the Reagan Administration, and a former Republican presidential candidate.
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  2. #2
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    Perceptive. I tend to agree with Buchanan, and I think Trump is open to some serious rethinking. Islamist uprisings have been a plague all through the twentieth century into today----and it's really hard to have any kind of unilateral strategy with them. It needs to be multilateral--and we better figure out how to get along with the countries that we possibly can, in order to have resources to deal with emergencies generated by Islamist movements. This is where the Neo-Cons are not doing us much of a favor----and I think we need to have a reinvigorated relationship with the UN; where member nations are encouraged to carry more of the load, perhaps with the US just supplying expertise, but keeping our own service people out of danger. When George Bush Sr. spoke of a "new world order" ( a catch phrase of the times) it mainly referred to what is known as Regional Security Initiatives.This is what is going on with the African Union's attempts to control Islamist movements. They can handle most of this themselves. There may be need for US cooperation---such as in the recent airstrike on AL-Shabbab on the Somali-Kenyan border---but in that case the ground effort was turned over to African Union troops.

    Regional Security Initiatives don't necessarily mean "Global Governance" so the religious neo cons worried about a one world government don't need to fret. The UN will never dominate any of the super powers---it's just too small. So anti US sentiment can largely be ignored, but at the same time there are valuable resources that the UN has that could be put to work. Another area where a Regional Security Initiative needs to organize is in SE Asia, because China is obviously making efforts to dominate that area. Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Phillipines should be working together to deny China expansion into the South China Sea. I would rather see a new president deal with China---maybe via economic sanctions---than continually bicker with a power we might actually be able to cooperate with like Russia.

    A stronger UN relationship could also address small weapons trafficking, because this is what keeps getting into the hands of these terror groups and Islamist groups. Obviously, they are not supposed to have fully automatic AK-47's outside the militaries----but millions of these circulate through private hands or keep getting turned out in factories in Asia. Who is going to put a stop to this? It has to be an internationally coordinated effort. I respect Ted Cruz, but I don't think he is quite enough of an internationalist to do all of this right.
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