Tag Archives: NATO/North American Treaty Organization

Trump announces the US will fully back NATO’s Article 5….

Told Ya So….

Donald Trump just up and let everyone know what those in NATO knew all along by listening to Defense Sec Mattis…

America has NOT changed it’s policy of FULLY supporting the North American Treaty Organization…Money or Not from its member countries….

It is NEVER what Trump says…

It is what he does in the end…

President Donald Trump stunned both his own aides and the leaders of America’s closest allies in late May when he departed from his prepared remarks and cut a sentence explicitly saying he was committed to the mutual defense provision at the heart of the NATO military alliance.

On Friday he went off-script again — but this time to casually say that he was, in fact, committed to Article 5 of the NATO charter. That completed a stunning transformation for Trump, who began his campaign for the presidency by trashing NATO as obsolete only to now say he sees it as a capable military partner and would come to the defense of any member nation attacked by Russia.

“I’m committing the United States — and have committed — but I’m committing the United States to Article 5,” Trump said in a press conference alongside visiting Romanian president, Klaus Iohannis.

NATO allies — and Trump’s own staff — would be forgiven for feeling a sense of whiplash after Trump’s changes of mind on the alliance’s relevance over the past two years.

Still, they are surely glad the president of the United States has come around to fully endorse NATO’s main reason for being…..

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Trump to NATO Maybe…Depends on if you guys bring the check….

While White House aides peddled the line that President Trump would echo the pledge of EVERY President since the North American Treaty Organization was born ….To back the organization regardless….

Donald Trump has gone back on his campaign feeling that the America wants the countries to shoulder more of the money ….(At least 2% of their GDP which would give the organization more than $100 Billion more in spending)

Image result for Trump at NATO

Several countries  have spent more…Most have not…

Trump’s failure to strongly back NATO can only be looked at with smiles by the Russians and worry by the Europeans who are NOT happy with Trump’s position…

Mr. Trump’s refusal to say he supports NATO’s common defense provision, known as Article 5, left European diplomats dismayed. Mr. Trump spoke Thursday at the dedication of a NATO memorial devoted to Article 5. He previously raised questions about the U.S. commitment to the provision during his campaign.

Mr. Trump Thursday said allies “owed massive amounts of money” for past years and they have failed to live up to the alliance spending guideline of 2% of gross domestic product.

“We have to make up for many years lost,” Mr. Trump said. ”If NATO countries made their full and complete contributions, then NATO would be even stronger than it is today.”

Had all NATO members spent 2% on defense last year, the alliance would have another $119 billion…..

While European allies regard the NATO guideline as a rough goal to move toward, the U.S. under Mr. Trump has considered it a much firmer requirement.

“2% is the bare minimum for confronting today’s very real and very vicious threats,” Mr. Trump said.

He said 23 of NATO’s 28 members are below the 2% level.

While Mr. Trump didn’t voice unequivocal support for NATO’s common defense provision, he did say the U.S. wouldn’t forsake its allies….

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image..thegatewaypundit.com

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Trump National Security Council reportedly want’s to send up to 50,000 troops BACK to Afghanistan…

The General ‘s(Led by National Security Advisor McMaster)  running the Defense side for Donald Trump have seen the work they did in uniform slip back to the Taliban because the Afghan’s simply cannot hold ground….

Others have followed the Russian and  Obama actions of packing up and leaving the place….Fighting in Afghanistan is an unforgiving endeavor ….

The word is Trump isn’t happy with the idea….

Image result for the war in Afghanistan

U.S. intelligence and national security officials familiar with the assessment tell me that it was drafted in April, and that it provided estimates of necessary troop strengths for various strategic options. But it found that if an ambitious war plan approved by the National Security Council’s principals committee got a green light from the president — a big if — more than 50,000 U.S. troops would be needed.

That proposed strategy would place the U.S. on a new war footing and in a deeper partnership with the Afghan government in its current campaign against the Taliban. It would also remove arbitrary timelines for withdrawal set by President Barack Obama.

One reason the new war strategy would require more troops is that it envisions using U.S. forces in a support role that until now has relied on outside contractors. Using contractors for functions like vehicle maintenance and other logistical aid have meant that U.S. forces deployed to Syria and Iraq have largely focused on war fighting and training locals. This has kept the total number of U.S. troops artificially low, while increasing the overall cost of the U.S. presence….

Trump has signaled he is in no mood to escalate America’s longest war. Indeed, he has complained to close aides in the last month about how great powers throughout history — from Alexander’s Macedonians to the British Empire — have failed to pacify the country.

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The NATO angle……

NATO’s military leaders are laying the groundwork to send thousands of additional troops to Afghanistan and Iraq to train local forces locked in fierce battles with militants. The move comes as alliance leaders shape and debate a multi-year plan to protect combat gains in those countries and eliminate safe havens where extremist groups might plan attacks against the West.

“I think what we’ll see is that NATO will continue with a fairly modest contribution in the near term and that political leadership in the coming months will discuss the potential for NATOassuming a greater responsibility in Iraq,” Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford told reporters Wednesday after a day of meetings at the alliance’s headquarters.

Dunford said specific troop levels were not discussed during the meetings, which took place one week before NATO heads of state meet here.

“What I just want to do is try to find a way for each country to optimize the contribution they could make,” he said.

NATO leaders hope to know how many additional U.S. troops will be sent to Afghanistan by month’s end, allowing the alliance to deploy troops to meet the uptick in fighting that comes with warmer weather. U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to make a decision after next week’s overseas trip to NATO and the Middle East, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster said last week.

At the same time, NATO generals appears to have a consensus that the alliance should take on more responsibility in Iraq…..

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Another Trump change in directions…He NOW Supports NATO….

You KNEW this was coming ….

I pointed out early on that Trump would cahnge his tune when he hired on the ‘General’s’ to run his Defense/National Securoty shop……..

A few  of them have served a stint with NATO ….

Trump for expanding NATO. Not leavin it

Source…..

Note….

Defense Sec mattis WAS  the head of the US Supreme Allied Commander of Transformation which was part of the US military link to NATO for 2 years….

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Pence backs NATO stance AGAINST Russia…

ANOTHER back tracking from a Donald Trump expressed point of view….

Incoming Donald Trump makes a positive comment about the North American Treaty Association /NATO after his boss has been steadily knocking  the organization following an established pattern where Donald Trump says something without knowing WTF he’s talking about and someone has to follow up with something sensible…

Get used to it folks….

Oh, and Pence also made clear that HE see’s Russia looking at America as a ‘rival’ …Something that sounds like it came from breifing ‘s Pence has been receiving from the intelligence community….

Is the Russian/Trump romance wanning?…….

NATO will remain a check on Russian power under the Trump administration, Vice President-elect Mike Pence said Wednesday.

Pence’s comments come days after President-elect Donald Trump said the post-war alliance was “obsolete.”

“That historic mission of NATO will go forward. I’m confident,” Pence told NBC’s Chuck Todd when pressed on whether the organization will remain a counterweight to Russia.

Pence, though, defended some of Trump’s criticisms of the alliance. Pence said NATO members needed to increase their defense spending and widen their focus to include more aggressive action against terrorism.

“NATO needs to refocus its mission on confronting radical Islamic terrorism, the threat of ISIS, and the threat that that poses to member nations,” Pence said.

Pence noted, as Trump repeatedly has, that the majority of NATO members do not spend the required minimum 2 percent of GDP on defense. The U.S. spends about 3.3 percent of GDP on defense.

Pence also said Russia’s election-hacking showed a lack of respect for the U.S.

“Well, there’s no question that they view us as a rival,” Pence said of Russia. “But there’s also no question that the actions of Russia, which the president-elect confirmed last week, disseminating information, hacking in the last election, show a fundamental lack of respect for the United States of America.”…

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The Majority GOP US Senate is fine with NATO….

While candidate Donald Trump ranted AGAINST NATO?

The US Senate is moving ahead in supporting the Organization…..

His Defense and Intelligence incoming staff almost all have experence in working with NATO in one way or another also….

A President Trump will surely go along with keeping up support for the organization…..

Thus ANOTHER example of how running on Policy has little to do with what someone will do once they become President….

Senate Foreign Relations Chair Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) presided over a unanimous vote Tuesday ratifying a treaty to accept Montenegro as the latest member of NATO. Backers want the Senate to take up the measure later this week, when two-thirds of senators would need to approve it in order for Montenegro to be on its way to becoming the 29th member of the alliance.

Corker said in a statement that members of the committee “welcome Montenegro as NATO’s newest member,” before noting that once in NATO, the small Balkan nation – like other members – should be prepared to pull its weight in the alliance.

….

Since winning the election, Trump has tempered his rhetoric on NATO, to the extent that even outgoing President Obama said he was confident Trump would maintain U.S. obligations to the alliance after meeting with the president-elect.

The admission of Montenegro is likely to anger Russia, which has sought to pull the state off its course toward closer alliance with the West. This fall, Montenegrin authorities accused Moscow of trying to plot a botched coup during the country’s parliamentary elections.

That might not sit well with Trump, who has advocated warmer relations with Moscow, despite protestations from many within his own party that he and his aides are too close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Trump has not specifically weighed in on the prospect of Montenegro joining NATO. After a years-long application process, Montenegro’s pending membership was approved by members’ foreign ministers in May, and the White House asked Congress to ratify the agreement in June….

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Little Montenegro will join NATO….

…from Defense One….

There are six reasons Americans should feel good that Montenegro — a tiny state of little over 600,000 inhabitants with a military of about 2,000 — will become the 29th NATO ally, as ratified by alliance foreign ministers earlier this month.

First, and most obvious: with tension between Russia and the West at center stage, NATO and Montenegro are denying Russia a veto over their policy. We are standing strong in the face of Russian intimidation. Last fall, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov declared NATO’s expansion to include Montenegro “a mistake, even a provocation” and an “irresponsible policy.” And after Russia invaded Ukraine, when Montenegrin Prime Minister Djukanovic visited Washington and took a public stand with the United States and European Union, Russian officials poured vitriol on him personally, while offering bribes for military access to Montenegro’s ports, providing financial and other support to opposition groups against NATO membership, and imposing counter-sanctions on Montenegrin agricultural products. Last week, Russia declared that they would cancel cooperative “projects” with Montenegro; it is unclear what Moscow meant since the two governments have no current notable joint projects.

But Montenegro is standing firm…..

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NATO does a military Exercise across East Europe in Russia’s face…

Russian President Putin has been picking away at the Ukraine and other former Soviel Union ‘satellite’ countries….Even holding large military drill’s themselves….

This time the countries of NATO are at it…

Putin has indicated that he’s NOT at all happy with this….

(Isn’t that what he said he was doing before jumping off into the Ukraine?)

Reminding us of the Russian etrenal worry about islation by the West……..

And the mention of nuclear weapons may scare many, but if Putin was to resort to that things would get out of hand, something one would venture not even Russian Putin would want to risk….

A lot of this just plays for internal Russian Domestic consumption….But One can understand East Europeans being wary of a rebirth of the Russian “Bear’….

NATO countries are staging massive air, land and sea exercises across Russia’s northern borders this month in response to warnings from the Kremlin and strategic analysts that President Vladimir Putin’s threats to use nuclear weapons are more than bluster.

The exercises in Estonia, Lithuania and Norway involve more than 21,000 troops and state-of-the-art military hardware. Coupled with U.S. training of Ukrainian forces and the recent activation of a 3,000-strong rapid-reaction force to defend Eastern Europe, they appear intended to send a message to Moscow that the alliance is ready to defend its new members in Russia’s backyard.

Troops, trainers and readiness testers of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization have been bolstering defenses along what Eastern Europeans call the new Iron Curtain. Although it still divides East from West, this time there are former Soviet subjects on the western side of the ideological border…..

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Note….

Up to this point the Europeans have been reluctant to flex against the Russian’s….

We’ll check back on this in the future….

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Is Putin quietly out foxing NATO and the EU?

A Washington Post piece focuses on Russian President Vladimir Putin and his below the radar efforts to undermine NATO and President Obama in the Ukraine and other Baltic States……

Almost unnoticed in America, several countries that now have decades of life AWAY from Russia are  quietly backing away from sanction s that The European Union has tried to marshal up and turned their back on rhetoric from NATO , which several of these countries belong to , and let it be known that they do NOT want to make  the Russian ‘Bear’ annoyed at their friendships with the West….

Is the Russian President going about a snatch grab in plain sight as US troops exit Europe in downsizing and politicians in those Baltic countries get nervous ?

Energy and Commerce are Putin’s ‘soft power’ trump cards it would appear and the lastly the treat of military action…

To grasp how Vladi­mir Putin is progressing in his campaign to overturn the post-Cold War order in Europe, it’s worth looking beyond eastern Ukraine, where the Kremlin is busy consolidating a breakaway puppet state. After all, Ukraine, as President Obama likes to point out, is not a member of NATO — which has extended Western security and democratic governance to a dozen nations that had been dominated by Soviet dictatorship.

So let’s consider Hungary, a NATO member whose prime minister recently named Putin’s Russia as a political model to be emulated. Or NATO member Slovakia, whose leftist prime minister likened the possible deployment of NATO troops in his country to the Soviet invasion of 1968. Or NATO member Czech Republic, where the defense minister made a similar comparison and where the government joined Slovakia and Hungary in fighting the European Union’s sanctions against Russia. Or Serbia, a member of NATO’s “partnership for peace” that has invited Putin to visit Belgrade this month for a military parade to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Red Army’s “liberation” of the city.

Then there is Poland, which until recently was leading the effort within NATO and the European Union to support Ukraine’s beleaguered pro-Western government and punish Putin’s aggression. This month its new prime minister, Ewa Kopacz, ordered her new foreign minister to urgently revise its policy. As the Wall Street Journal reported, she told parliament she was concerned about “an isolation of Poland” within Europe that could come from setting “unrealistic goals” in Ukraine.

Obama has been congratulating himself on leading a “unified response” by the West that, he claims, has isolated Putin. In reality, a big chunk of the NATO alliance has quietly begun to lean toward Moscow. These governments do so in part for economic reasons: Dependent on Russia for energy as well as export markets, they fear the consequences of escalating sanctions.

But some also seem to be hedging their security and ideological bets. They figure it’s not worth testing whether Putin’s reported threat to invade former Soviet-bloc countries was really in jest — or whether a NATO led by Obama would really come to their defense….

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The sad truth maybe that just like in the Middle East?

Political vacuums last for fleecing seconds ….

There is ALWAYS a group looking to conqueer another ……

Democracy is the first thing to go in those cases….

And the one with the BIGGEST gun rules….

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Has Putin given NATO a new reason to exist?

American is busy trying to pack up and leave the Middle East….

While increasing its presence in Africa by small measure, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and President Obama have been trying to focus on the Pacific and the Chinese Military , which despite its civilian ties to America and the West is pushing its military into what could be a confrontation with other Asian countries or ultimately America….

All of this has played out while Russian President Putin has already grabbed the Crimea from the Ukraine and has shipped its special ops people into other sections of the East Ukraine to cause trouble there….

The North American Treaty Organization , was formed to place a united MILITARY front against Russia  by Europe….

In addition, When the old Soviet Union fell apart several old Soviet satellite countries rushed to sign up NATO….But several others did NOT…Going on their own….

We now find NATO having to flex it muscles AGAINST a Russia, that it’s economies are dependent on…..

From annexing Crimea to collecting separatist petitions in Moldova to handing out passports to compatriots in the Baltics, Putin has spent recent weeks focused on neighboring countries, many of which have substantial ethnic Russian minorities.

The strategy puts Russia on a collision course with the NATO defense alliance, because two of its members — Estonia and Latvia — have significant Russian-speaking minorities that have long complained of discrimination. NATO has boosted air patrols over the Baltic states and sent troops to do exercises on the ground. Russia this month unleashed missile tests and massive war exercises, including along the border with Latvia and Estonia.

The new efforts have helped rocket Putin’s domestic approval ratings to ­multiyear heights, and they have also inspired some ethnic Russians and Russian speakers abroad. Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine this past week asked to join their region to Russia. Days earlier, a top Russian official traveled to the breakaway Transnistria region of Moldova, where he collected what he said were more than 30,000 signatures in favor of unity with Russia.

The swift moves complicate efforts to bring stability to roiling Ukraine, which will vote this week on a new president to replace pro-Kremlin Viktor Yanukovych, who was ousted in February. Although Putin’s ambitions appear to fall far short of rebuilding the Soviet Union, the newly nationalist tone is boosting the cohesiveness of Russian-speaking populations in Russia’s neighbors and inside Russia itself. Even if Putin refrains from military action, his efforts are likely to create pressure points that can be used against neighboring countries that displease Russia, security officials and analysts say…..

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Putin causes some serious rethinking in the West….

A few weeks ago the US was talking about cutting it’s military….

Europe had been thinking the same….

Valdimer Putin has caused some to halt in their tracks…(and the Chienese HAVE to be watching all this …Thinking….What can THEY grab?)

The new thought that all military action in the future would be NOT be old Cold War nation state stuff….

It would be Asymetrical fights against militant terrorist groups…..

Well they ARE still out there…

But so is Russia….

And as I’ve pointed out here…

A LOT of people are worried about the next show from Putin who see’s the grabbing of Crimea as his duty to ‘liberate’ Russian speaking people’s from the ‘fascist’ West….

While there is talk of economic actions….

That doesn’t seem to be a problem with a country who has Europe buying their oil….

While the Ukrainians ask for military assets for their country….

Germany and the rest of Europe worry about a retaliatory economic strike by Moscow….

All this while Russian’s have taken to streets to denounce their own President’s actions….

the North American Treaty Organization was formed back in the day to handle this sort of situation…

But it appears like the US …..The Money and Commerce weapon has been used brokered successfullly against the West…..

And China could follow the SAME script in the Pacific…

With uncertainty about Russia’s aims in eastern and southern Ukraine, the administration and its allies must be willing to suffer the “short-term pain” of possible international economic upheaval — amid the likelihood that Crimea is already lost to Moscow — if only to make the point, said the former official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to maintain contacts within the administration.

Sanctions that would affect companies such as Gazprom and Rosneft, Russia’s gas monopoly and the country’s biggest oil firm, respectively, could have an immediate impact on the Russian economy and affect future investment. But the intertwined nature of global trade may give the administration pause as it considers such options.

Rosneft, for example, gave Exxon Mobil a leading role in exploring for oil and gas in Russia’s Arctic in exchange for Exxon’s agreement that Rosneft would acquire a 30 percent interest in 20 exploration blocks in the federally leased deep-water areas of the Gulf of Mexico.

In addition, Rosneft, the world’s largest publicly traded oil company when measured in production, has announced plans to buy Morgan Stanley’s unit for storing and trading petroleum products. The acquisition is subject to U.S. government approval.

But the United States “can’t play this game being so self-deterred,” the former official said. “You’re talking about shaping the international environment.”

For a leader committed to dialogue and multilateralism, President Obama is “suddenly having to deal with problems that people weren’t factoring into the game plan . . . for the second term, let alone the next decade,” said Andrew Weiss, vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a top Russia expert in the George H.W. Bush and Clinton administrations.

Even as the United States has steadily drawn down its military presence in Europe, it has extended defense guarantees to new NATO members in the east — guarantees that were “premised on there not being this kind of monolithic threat to security that Russia might represent,” Weiss said.

“Countries in the immediate neighborhood are really panicked by what Putin has done,” he said. “The process of thinking through options and reassuring them is going to take some time.”

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Yea?

How much time with Russia having THOUSANDS of troops on its Southern Borders?

Note….

The US has sent additional Fighter aircraft to Poland and Lithuania….

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