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Opinion Harry Kazianis: NATO should die if allies won’t increase defense spending as Trump wants

17:46  04 december  2019
17:46  04 december  2019 Source:   foxnews.com

NATO Offers Trump a Budget Bonbon as Summit Nears

  NATO Offers Trump a Budget Bonbon as Summit Nears BRUSSELS — In another gesture to President Trump, NATO announced on Thursday that it had agreed to reduce the United States’ contribution to the alliance’s relatively small central budget, a move aimed at ensuring a calm leaders’ meeting next week in London. The military alliance’s own budget, which covers its headquarters and staff and some small joint military operations, is about $2.5 billion a year, compared with more than $700 billion for the Pentagon. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

WASHINGTON — President Trump has written sharply worded letters to the leaders of several NATO allies — including Germany, Belgium, Norway and Canada — taking them to task for spending too little on their own defense and warning that the United States is losing patience with what he said was

U.S. President Donald Trump told NATO leaders on Wednesday they should increase their defense The United States, the world's biggest military power, spent some 3.57 percent on defense last " Trump wants to see our allies share more of the burden and at a very minimum meet their

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: Reaction and analysis from former State Department senior adviser Christian Whiton.© FoxNews.com Reaction and analysis from former State Department senior adviser Christian Whiton.

The NATO summit continued for its second and final day in London Wednesday, after President Trump renewed his necessary and reasonable call for all NATO members to recommit to spending at least 2 percent of their gross domestic product for defense.

Trump has been criticized by European nations for demanding that NATO members pay their fair share of defense spending, rather than simply relying on the U.S. to pick up a hugely disproportionate share of the costs.

NATO countries boost defense spending ahead of summit showdown with Trump

  NATO countries boost defense spending ahead of summit showdown with Trump Bulgaria joins the top-level spending club — at least for one year.The top-tier spending club — with at least 2 percent of annual gross domestic product allocated for defense — expanded by one country and now includes Bulgaria, according to figures released by the military alliance.

Reiterated his call for European partners to increase defense spending — calling out Germany in particular for falling short. He said NATO should not only be concerned about funding, but Trump also defended his decision to pull US troops out of northern Syria and voiced his support of Turkish

Attending his first NATO summit in 2017, Trump scolded allies for not spending enough on their own defense . At the time only five of the then 28 Among other issues expected to be raised at the summit, Trump wants to drive home the need to push back against China’s increasing influence in

The president should make clear to our NATO allies that they need to spend more on their defense to keep NATO relevant, or else NATO needs to die. Making that point so bluntly won’t please our allies, but you can bet it will get results.

Nations like Germany – which are among the richest on the planet and can surely defend themselves against Russia – need to meet such an obligation. If they can’t – or if they simply won’t – America has the right to reconsider its commitments to NATO, and whether NATO needs to exist.

Open any history book and one fact becomes clear rather quickly: no alliance between nations, let alone a grouping of nations, lasts forever.

Either the threat that brought the alliance together disappears, or the shared advantage of the alliance simply ends. That’s Geopolitics 101.

Exclusive: U.S. troop drawdowns in Afghanistan 'not necessarily' tied to Taliban deal - Esper

  Exclusive: U.S. troop drawdowns in Afghanistan 'not necessarily' tied to Taliban deal - Esper Exclusive: U.S. troop drawdowns in Afghanistan 'not necessarily' tied to Taliban deal - EsperLONDON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Monday that any future troop drawdowns in Afghanistan were "not necessarily" linked to a deal with Taliban insurgents, suggesting some lowering of force levels may happen irrespective of the ongoing peace push.

Attending his first NATO summit in 2017, Trump scolded allies for not spending enough on their own defense . At the time only five of the then 28 Among other issues expected to be raised at the summit, Trump wants to drive home the need to push back against China’s increasing influence in

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the leaders of the 29-member military alliance in London on Wednesday, as the uneasy allies met to celebrate the organization 's 70th anniversary. Trump had tended to lump trade between US allies with how much Washington spends on defense .

NATO was created 70 years ago to defend Western Europe against the powerful Soviet Union, which at the time exercised control over satellite nations in Eastern Europe and posed a real threat to nations further west.

But just because NATO was needed in decades past doesn’t mean it is needed now and will be needed far into the future. The Soviet Union no longer exists and has been replaced by a much weaker Russia and smaller independent nations on its border. In fact, parts of the Soviet empire are now NATO members, firmly aligned with the West.

Russia remains a threat to the U.S. and the collective European continent, and there is no denying that. Moscow has enough nuclear firepower to destroy the entire planet and end civilization.

Russia is modernizing its conventional armed forces and specializing in things like information warfare, cyber technology and electronic warfare to gain key asymmetric advantages over the West.

Turkey to oppose NATO plan if it fails to recognize terrorism threats: Erdogan

  Turkey to oppose NATO plan if it fails to recognize terrorism threats: Erdogan Turkey to oppose NATO plan if it fails to recognize terrorism threats: ErdoganRelations between Turkey and its NATO allies have been strained over a host of issues, ranging from Ankara's decision to procure Russian air defense systems to Syria policy. Several NATO members condemned Turkey's decision to launch an offensive into northeastern Syria against the Kurdish YPG militia.

President Donald Trump wants the 28 other NATO countries to spend more on defense . The latest NATO report estimates that only five out of the 29 nations will meet spending standards. Trump , who has threatened to reduce U.S. military support if allies do not increase spending , pushed for

Sanders added: “President Trump wants to see our allies share more of the burden and, at a very Trump ’s demand over defence spending came during a meeting at which leaders discussed “It should never have been allowed to happen. Germany is totally controlled by Russia because they will

And Russia even cleaved off a piece of Ukraine back in 2014 – something it has paid a high price for due to economic sanctions.

But let’s not kid ourselves for one second. Russia is not now and never again will transform itself into the menace that was the Soviet Union.

Through decades of constant trials and tribulations, NATO stared down the mighty Soviets. Thanks to generations of Americans and Europeans and countless other allies around the world, democracy peacefully triumphed over communist tyranny.

So what does one of the most successful alliances of all time do when its primary enemy is defeated? What happens when no one wants to admit that either the structure and mission of the alliance need to change, or it needs to end?

Sadly, NATO came up with an answer that might haunt us for decades. It expanded eastward. In the late 1990s and to this day the argument was that NATO should incorporate the former satellites of the old Soviet Union to ensure that those nations are never subjected to rule by Moscow again and to guarantee that they permanently enter the orbit of the West.

China's military might has now become a top issue for NATO

  China's military might has now become a top issue for NATO NATO, the 29-member military alliance, was set up 70 years ago to counter the threat posed by the-then Soviet Union. Now, another military power is in its sights: China. As heads of state and government gather in the U.K. Tuesday for a two-day meeting of the alliance, shifting geopolitical relationships and emerging challenges will be in focus for the fractious group. Previous meetings have been dominated by the alliance's old foe Russia, following Moscow's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

President Donald Trump with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the G-7 summit in the Charlevoix city of La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada, on June 8. Canadian military spending has dropped significantly, even as Trump demands more spending by NATO members. REUTERS/Leah Millis.

Washington says it supports allies ’ efforts to increase military funding and capacity, but has Increased military spending is a hot-button topic in Europe, especially with a widely disliked Mr. Trump pushing “If the U.S. rightly wants the Europeans to spend more for defense , the end must be more

Unfortunately, no one dared ask a simple question: How would Russia respond?

When NATO expansion was debated and eventually embarked upon in the 1990s, Russia’s own thoughts and geopolitical considerations were a mere afterthought for NATO members.

It seems we forgot one of the key lessons of past great conflicts, whether they were cold or hot wars: the only way to ensure a past enemy does not become a future enemy is to make it into a friend and ally, and no longer a rival.

Look at the results. West Germany, Italy and Japan – mortal foes of America and Western democracies during World War II – were not left out in the cold of the Western security architecture or economic order. They were made to share in the fruits of it.

These three formerly enemy nations were rebuilt, embraced democratic norms and values, and rejoined global geopolitics. They thrived economically and became models of prosperity and what nations can do after being vanquished in terrible wars that they started. Does anyone think America will fight a war against Japan, Germany or Italy again? No.

The Soviet Union and later Russia did not get such treatment. They were our major global adversary and competitor. NATO was designed to defend against the Soviets – not embrace them as allies. Like two opposing football teams, the idea of joining together as friends instead of competitors on the field was a radical shift that was never seriously considered.

Exclusive: U.S. military completes pullback from northeast Syria, Esper says

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French President Emmanuel Macron quickly disputed Trump ’s claim that NATO allies have agreed to boost defense spending beyond 2 percent of gross France's President Emmanuel Macron (L) and US President Donald Trump (R) arrive for the NATO ( North Atlantic Treaty Organization ) summit

Trump ’s suggestion was informal and made in a closed-door session of a North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit in Brussels on Wednesday, but it did little to ease tensions NATO set a goal at a 2014 meeting in Wales for members to spend a set proportion of gross domestic output on defense .

In essence, NATO guaranteed its mission by helping to create a mission for itself – opposing Soviet and later Russian expansion – and leaders didn’t even have the common sense to realize what they had done.

But the pages of history can’t be rewritten now. With that said, NATO members have failed miserably to spend the necessary funds for military research and development, combat readiness and overall commitment to ensure that if military action is needed, they would be ready – unless American forces come across the Atlantic to the rescue.

In fact, study after study shows that NATO, in many combat scenarios, would lose in a military conflict against Russia. This is absurd. NATO nations should have all of the resources they need to take on a Russia if necessary. Russia’s economy, after all, is roughly only the size of Italy.

The good news is that Trump’s words have had an impact. Even before Trump landed in London, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced the latest spending figures of all NATO allies and, overall spending was up.

As of 2018, Stoltenberg said NATO nations – excluding the U.S. – were on pace to spend $100 billion more on their own defense by the end of this year. “In fact, this figure now stands at $130 billion,” Stoltenberg noted Friday.

Would any of this have happened if not for President Trump’s tough talk? Likely not.

Granted, Trump’s way of dealing may not always endear him to foreign leaders. But it delivers results that past presidents failed to achieve with their smiles, handshakes and adherence to diplomatic protocol.

Erdogan says Turkey aims to settle 1 million refugees in Syria offensive area .
Erdogan says Turkey aims to settle 1 million refugees in Syria offensive areaHe told state broadcaster TRT that Ankara would finance the resettlement on its own if allies did not provide support.

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