Tuesday, 20 November, 2018


Trump to open trip by meeting with nervous NATO leaders

The giant glass structure opened two years late and massively over-budget The giant glass structure opened two years late and massively over-budgetDAN KITWOOD AFP GETTY IMAGES
Bennie Garza | 10 July, 2018, 18:40

And it could help promote acceptance of Trump's accurate assertion that the United States and the West must deal with reemergent Russia-despite the prevailing narrative that Trump is Putin's lapdog, which the mainstream media use to try driving Trump from office. "I've said that many times for many years, so we'll see". According to an analysis last month, the USA share of NATO's total civil and military budget is 22 per cent, or about one-fifth of the total, compared with 10 per cent for the United Kingdom and France and less than 15 per cent for Germany and the rest from other alliance members. Of course, deploying North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces in Central Europe and making other preparations for possible conflict are also useful for reassuring allies of the indispensable American commitment, but they essentially serve as a tripwire and are ancillary to United States fealty to Article 5. Auditors say the true picture is even worse.

Diplomats are quoted as predicting that Trump will threaten to pull U.S. troops out of Ukraine, and ultimately out of Europe in general over the spending demands.

Tusk also sought to "dispel" the argument that the USA alone protects Europe, noting that Europe was the first to respond on a large scale when the US was attacked on September 11, 2001 and has lost 870 soldiers in the ensuing war in Afghanistan.

President Donald Trump says he "can't say right now" if Russian President Vladimir Putin is a friend or foe.

"Frankly, Putin may be the easiest of all", he said as he boarded Marine One on his way to Europe. "Dear Europe spend more on your defence because everyone expects an ally that is well-prepared and equipped", Tusk said. In March he criticised the U.S. president's claim that "trade wars are good and easy to win", countering that "they are bad and easy to lose". "It's very clear, and he's been very direct about the Europeans needing to do more for their own security".

"Secretary of Defense [James] Mattis is supportive of NATO, the U.S. Ambassador to NATO, Kay Bailey Hutchison, is very supportive".

"We protect Europe (which is good) at great financial loss, and then get unfairly clobbered on Trade".

Putin complained to Trump about the people who tried to stop the two men from talking, reporter Julie Hirschfeld Davis found. He called Putin a "competitor".

On another front, Trump has connected the defense issue with trade, criticizing Europe for a $150 billion trade surplus (though it can also be calculated as $100 billion) and trade barriers. But plans for a full-fledged summit had been delayed amid the Federal Bureau of Investigation and congressional probes into whether Trump campaign aides coordinated with Russian Federation to help Trump win the election.

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