World Germany's likely new government abandons 2% NATO pledge

11:17  16 october  2021
11:17  16 october  2021 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

NATO kicks out 8 Russians it says were secretly working as intelligence officers

  NATO kicks out 8 Russians it says were secretly working as intelligence officers The expulsion of the eight Russians comes at a time of historic tensions between Moscow and the West."We can confirm that we have withdrawn the accreditation of eight members of the Russian Mission to NATO, who were undeclared Russian intelligence officers," a NATO official said, per the Associated Press.

Germany appears set to abandon its promise to meet the 2%-of-GDP NATO minimum target for defense spending.

  Germany's likely new government abandons 2% NATO pledge © Provided by Washington Examiner

Europe's largest economy and most influential voice in the European Union, Germany has long neglected defense spending. After years of saying it was taking significant steps toward the 2% target, German defense spending remains stuck at about 1.3% of GDP. It doesn't look like things are going to get any better in the coming years.

Announcing a joint exploratory paper to facilitate coalition negotiations, the leaders of the center-left SPD, center-left Greens, and free market FDP offered a commitment to NATO. But the three parties likely to form the next government made no mention of the 2% target. As Der Spiegel reports, they pledged only to modernize the German military. That modernization is much needed, but unless Germany spends 2% on defense, any modernization program will be woefully inadequate.

NATO chief hits out at Russia's 'malign activities'

  NATO chief hits out at Russia's 'malign activities' BRUSSELS (AP) — NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday that the organization withdrew the accreditation of eight Russian officials to the military alliance in response to a rise in “malign activities” by Moscow. The eight officials are to be deprived of access to NATO’s Brussels headquarters from the end of the month because it believes they have been secretly working as intelligence officers. NATO also reduced the number of positions that Russia can accredit people for from 20 down to 10.

We should draw a clear conclusion from this statement.

Germany will continue to be the ultimate freeloader ally. Exceptionally wealthy, and hosting tens of thousands of U.S. military personnel, German taxpayers and politicians are happy to have the U.S. subsidize their social welfare systems. That's exactly what their refusal to meet the 2% target represents: a choice to put domestic needs before security, and an associated commitment to allies. The Biden administration loves to laud Germany, but it's hard to understand why they do so.

It's not all bad from a U.S. perspective.

Green Party leader Annalena Baerbock's arrival into government, perhaps as foreign minister, should strengthen Germany's policies toward China and Russia. China is likely to face an increased German challenge over its human rights policies, and Russian President Vladimir Putin will face new scrutiny of his energy blackmail strategy.

Russia to suspend Nato diplomatic mission

  Russia to suspend Nato diplomatic mission Nato expelled eight Russian diplomats earlier this month, saying they were intelligence officers.In addition, staff at Nato's office in Moscow will be stripped of their accreditation by November.

Still, this abandonment of the NATO target cannot be ignored. It speaks to a nation that has little interest in standing up for democratic values or standing alongside its allies.

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Tags: Opinion, Beltway Confidential, Foreign Policy, National Security, NATO, Germany, Russia, Annalena Baerbock, Nord Stream II, Angela Merkel, Defense Spending

Original Author: Tom Rogan

Original Location: Germany's likely new government abandons 2% NATO pledge

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usr: 0
This is interesting!