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Trump to NATO: ‘We will no longer be your piggy bank’

The American president continues to poke holes in the established order, provoking some very honest questions within the NATO alliance

Seraphim Hanisch

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President Trump’s pledge to put America first has caused many ripples of disruption in the “established” order of geopolitics and with the global economy. On July 3rd, a further disturbance was promised, this time regarding NATO, according to this report from Reuters:

President Donald Trump will tell fellow NATO countries at next week’s summit that the United States cannot be “the world’s piggy bank,” White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said on Tuesday.

“What the president is going to do is go into these meetings with the mindset to protect the American people, stand with our partners and allies – but as he has said many times before America is thought so often to be the world’s piggy bank. And that’s gotta stop,” Gidley told reporters as Trump flew to West Virginia. Trump has pressured some NATO allies to significantly increase military expenditure.
While Reuters went no further in their reporting than what is above, other agencies offered some thoughts about this situations. Sputnik News had this to say [slightly edited due to poor English]:

Sputnik spoke to geopolitical analyst and author Nikola Mirkovic, to find out how Europe might respond to such straight talk.

Sputnik: So, we know now that President Trump plans on telling NATO countries next week that the US “cannot be the world’s piggy bank” – how do you expect NATO leaders to respond to that sentiment?

Nikola Mirkovic: I think that most of them would be hypocrites to say that this is something new.

Please bear in mind that former secretary of defence of Barack Obama and George W. Bush, Robert Gates, constantly kept asking NATO countries to respect the two percent engagement of GDP for the NATO budget. So, this is not something new.

I think now that a lot of NATO countries will act hypocritical because they don’t know in which direction Donald Trump is going. So, they’re afraid that this menace, of not meeting the two percent engagement of each NATO country, could be hiding something different which could be more in line with what Donald Trump said in his campaign promises, and that NATO was obsolete, that NATO had to be reviewed, …this is something that… could be scary for NATO countries today and this is why they are reacting this way now.

Sputnik: It is of course, certainly the ‘liberal consensus’, that president Trump is essentially tearing apart multilateral institutionalism, but of course [some] would argue that Trump has a point here, and that NATO members, and Europe more generally, need to start taking care of their own security and defence, a little more independently of the US – what do you think of that?

Nikola Mirkovic: I think this is true. And I think actually, the first question all of us should be asking ourselves, whether it be in Europe or in the US, is what is the purpose of NATO? NATO was invented right after World War Two against the so-called ‘Soviet threat’ against the west. Now that this Soviet threat does not exist anymore what is the purpose of NATO?

And if we look at what NATO has been used for, these past years: illegally bombing Serbia, intervening illegally in Afghanistan or bombing Libya, in all three of these regions the situation today is actually worse than it was before, it’s catastrophic.

So we can ask ourselves, what is the purpose of NATO? When NATO intervenes, the results are opposite to what they were supposed to be. It’s costing a lot of money and do we still need such an organization? Do European countries still need such an organization, which is manifestly directed, or driven, by Washington DC. Is this in the interests of the European countries?If Donald Trump asks if NATO is in our interests, I think the European countries should jump on that bandwagon and review their own strategy in terms of defence.

Sputnik: Do you think that, given the recent concerns in Brussels over the future of the transatlantic alliance, it’s possible that EU leaders may be more open to Mr Trump’s demands, more accommodating of them, in order to try and preserve the stability of the alliance?

Nikola Mirkovic: I don’t know. This is the tricky question, because now we see in the European Union that there is no more consensus, there really is no more consensus on different matters. Maybe we might start seeing some divergent opinions. Concerning NATO, this is something that is relatively new in the European discussion, the fact that maybe, some countries would like to get out of NATO.

None of the officials of any European country today has voiced that position, but I think that seeing the current situation, seeing what happened at the G7, seeing the current status of the European Union, which is very bad, some may want to do whatever is possible to try to save the Atlantic alliance.

So, we may start seeing some hawks going in any direction to try to save the alliance. Some countries may also start voicing their own interests and maybe a different view on Europe and on the relationship that Europe should be having with the United States.

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normski1Valgeir HenriksenGuyJNDillardtom Recent comment authors
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normski1
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normski1

President Trump – here’s a thought, if you don’t like how much NATO costs – dissolve NATO and get your troops out of Europe!, that’ll save you a few $million!.

Valgeir Henriksen
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Valgeir Henriksen

Eh- its just Trumps way of begging for money. Who uses and direct NATO wars? US, and they want all the others to pay.
Everyone else should note the way US loses their wars and are completely helpless in stopping nongovernmental rogue armies like IS.
Any state are better off alone, but if we could create a Nato without sicko aggressors US and UK, we would be successful. We should use the anti-trump wave to get cooled down relations with US.

Guy
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Guy

Let NATO disappear into the sunset .Its reason for being is no longer there as the world is now a different place from what it was when NATO was formed. And don’t let the door hit you in the a$$ on your way out. Nato has become the instrument of the deep state / MIC .

JNDillard
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JNDillard

The EU is not only being forced to recognize that Washington is unreliable, but that it can be an out-and-out enemy, as the current tariff war is indicating. This is forcing the EU to grow up and stop being Washington’s poodle and develop an independent foreign policy. The current batch of leaders- really all of them since WWII with the exception of perhaps DeGaulle, were quite content with the arrangement: Washington puts up with EU tariffs without reciprocation and the EU supports US troops and foreign policies. Trump has now challenged that equation on both economic and military grounds. Like… Read more »

Vince Dhimos
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Vince Dhimos

Demanding that they comply, given the current Zeitgeist in Europe, will push European governments into Russia’s and China’s arms. And that is a good thing. Recall that Trump said in his campaign that NATO was outdated. Maybe this is his way of dissolving it while appearing patriotic.

tom
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tom

Mr Trump has matters backwards.

Let us abolish NATO altogether, immediately – and see who shrieks loudest.

John Vu
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John Vu

NATO: We no longer support the dollar

lynettechaplin@virgilio.it
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The new Italian government before being elected, expressed the desire to reconsider membership of NATO., although this desire has not been pursued since being elected. Of course Trump himself questioned whether NATO was necessry before he was elected.

Daisy Adler
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Daisy Adler

Trump: ‘We will no longer be your piggy bank’

Just stop trying to be Europe’s sugar daddy and get the hell out!
No one needs US to bomb European countries, like they did in Bosnia and Serbia.

andyoldlabour
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andyoldlabour

The US has around 800 bases in 70 countries around the World, how can this ever make financial sense to the American people or be morally just?
The worst examples of this US expansionism is in Eastern Europe, where NATO (US mainly) forces are literally hundreds of metres away from the Russian border.
How is this not regarded as aggressive by any right minded person?

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Tape recorded evidence of Clinton-Ukraine meddling in US election surfaces (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 114.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou take a look at new evidence to surface from Ukraine that exposes a plot by the US Embassy in Kiev and the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) to leak Paul Manafort’s corrupt dealings in the country, all for the benefit of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

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Via Zerohedge


Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko has launched an investigation into the head of the Ukrainian National Anti-Corruption Bureau for allegedly attempting to help Hillary Clinton defeat Donald Trump during the 2016 US election by releasing damaging information about a “black ledger” of illegal business dealings by former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

The Hill’s John Solomon, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko

“Today we will launch a criminal investigation about this and we will give legal assessment of this information,” Lutsenko said last week, according to The Hill

Lutsenko is probing a claim from a member of the Ukrainian parliament that the director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), Artem Sytnyk, attempted to the benefit of the 2016 U.S. presidential election on behalf of Hillary Clinton.

A State Department spokesman told Hill.TV that officials aware of news reports regarding Sytnyk. –The Hill

“According to the member of parliament of Ukraine, he got the court decision that the NABU official conducted an illegal intrusion into the American election campaign,” said Lutsenko, speaking with The Hill’s John Solomon about the anti-corruption bureau chief, Artem Sytnyk.

“It means that we think Mr. Sytnyk, the NABU director, officially talked about criminal investigation with Mr. [Paul] Manafort, and at the same time, Mr. Sytnyk stressed that in such a way, he wanted to assist the campaign of Ms. Clinton,” Lutsenko continued.

Solomon asked Lutsenko about reports that a member of Ukraine’s parliament obtained a tape of the current head of the NABU saying that he was attempting to help Clinton win the 2016 presidential election, as well as connections that helped release the black-ledger files that exposed Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort‘s wrongdoing in Ukraine.

“This member of parliament even attached the audio tape where several men, one of which had a voice similar to the voice of Mr. Sytnyk, discussed the matter.” –The Hill

What The Hill doesn’t mention is that Sytnyk released Manafort’s Black Book with Ukrainian lawmaker Serhiy Leshchenko – discussed in great length by former Breitbart investigator Lee Stranahan, who has been closely monitoring this case.

Serhiy Leshchenko

T]he main spokesman for these accusations was Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian politician and journalist who works closely with both top Hillary Clinton donors George Soros and Victor Pinchuk, as well as to the US Embassy in Kyiv.

James Comey should be asked about this source that Leshchenko would not identify. Was the source someone connected to US government, either the State Department or the Department of Justice?

The New York Times should also explain why they didn’t mention that Leshchenko had direct connections to two of Hillary Clinton biggest financial backers. Victor Pinchuk, the largest donor to the Clinton Foundation at a staggering $8.6 million also happened to have paid for Leshchenko’s expenses to go to international conferences. George Soros, whose also founded the International Renaissance Foundationthat worked closely with Hillary Clinton’s State Department in Ukraine, also contributed at least $8 million to Hillary affiliated super PACs in the 2016 campaign cycle. –Lee Stranahan via Medium

Meanwhile, according to former Fusion GPS contractor Nellie Ohr, Leshchenko was a source for opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which commissioned the infamous Trump-Russia dossier.

Nellie Ohr, a former contractor for the Washington, D.C.-based Fusion GPS, testified on Oct. 19 that Serhiy Leshchenko, a former investigative journalist turned Ukrainian lawmaker, was a source for Fusion GPS during the 2016 campaign.

“I recall … they were mentioning someone named Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian,” Ohr said when asked who Fusion GPS’s sources were, according to portions of Ohr’s testimony confirmed by The Daily Caller News Foundation. –Daily Caller

Also absent from The Hill report is the fact that Leshchenko was convicted in December by a Kiev court of interfering in the 2016 US election.

A Kyiv court said that a Ukrainian lawmaker and a top anticorruption official’s decision in 2016 to publish documents linked to President Donald Trump’s then-campaign chairman amounted to interference in the U.S. presidential election.

The December 11 finding came in response to a complaint filed by another Ukrainian lawmaker, who alleged that Serhiy Leshchenko and Artem Sytnyk illegally released the documents in August 2016, showing payments by a Ukrainian political party to Trump’s then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

The documents, excerpts from a secret ledger of payments by the Party of Regions, led to Manafort being fired by Trump’s election campaign.

The Kyiv court said that the documents published by Leshchenko and Sytnyk were part of an ongoing pretrial investigation in Ukraine into the operations of the pro-Russian Party of Regions. The party’s head had been President Viktor Yanukovych until he fled the country amid mass protests two years earlier.

-RadioFreeEurope/Radio Liberty (funded by the US govt.).

So while Lutsenko – Solomon’s guest and Ukrainian Prosecutor is currently going after Artem Sytnyk, it should be noted that Leshchenko was already found to have meddled in the 2016 US election.

Watch:

Meanwhile, you can also check out Stranahan’s take on Leshchenko being left out of the loop.

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‘I will take over as Brexit Party leader’: Nigel Farage back on the frontline

Nigel Farage says that if the UK takes part in European elections, he will lead his new Brexit Party.

RT

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Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has announced that he will lead his new Brexit Party into the European elections if UK MPs decide to delay Brexit beyond May 22.

Farage, who has ostensibly appointed himself leader, told various media, including the BBC and Sky News on Friday morning: “I will take over as leader of the Brexit Party and lead it into the European Elections.”

It comes after the Brexit Party’s leader, Catherine Blaiklock, quit over a series of alleged Islamophobic statements and retweets of far-right figures on social media.

It is not yet thought that Farage has officially been elected as leader, as the party does not, as yet, have a formal infrastructure to conduct such a vote.

The right-wing MEP vowed to put out a whole host of Brexit Party candidates if the UK participates in the upcoming EU elections in May, adding: “If we fight those elections, we will fight them on trust.”

On Thursday night, the EU agreed to PM May’s request for a delaying to Brexit beyond the March 29 deadline. Brussels announced two new exit dates depending on what happens next week in the UK parliament.

The UK will have to leave the bloc on April 12 unless British MPs agree to May’s Brexit deal. If the withdrawal agreement is passed by next week, EU leaders have agreed to grant an extension until May 22.

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Baltics cannot rely on Germany any more

The matter is NATO today is not as strong as it is supposed to be. And it is not only because of leadership blunders.

The Duran

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Submitted by Adomas Abromaitis…

On March 29 Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia will celebrate 15 years of becoming NATO member states. The way to the alliance membership was not simple for newly born independent countries. They have reached great success in fulfilling many of NATO demands: they have considerably increased their defence expenditures, renewed armaments and increased the number of military personnel.

In turn, they get used to rely on more powerful member states, their advice, help and even decision making. All these 15 years they felt more or less safe because of proclaimed European NATO allies’ capabilities.

Unfortunately, now it is high time to doubt. The matter is NATO today is not as strong as it supposed to be. And it is not only because of leadership’s blunders. Every member state does a bit. As for the Baltic states, they are particularly vulnerable, because they fully depend on other NATO member states in their defence. Thus, Germany, Canada and Britain are leading nations of the NATO battle group stationed in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia respectively.

But the state of national armed forces in Germany, for example, raises doubts and makes it impossible not only defend the Baltics against Russia, but Germany itself.

It turned out, that Germany itself remains dissatisfied with its combat readiness and minister of defence’s ability to perform her duties. Things are so bad, that the military’s annual readiness report would be kept classified for the first time for “security reasons.”

“Apparently the readiness of the Bundeswehr is so bad that the public should not be allowed to know about it,” said Tobias Lindner, a Greens member who serves on the budget and defense committees.

Inspector General Eberhard Zorn said (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-arms/germany-not-satisfied-with-readiness-of-submarines-some-aircraft-idUSKBN1QS1G7) the average readiness of the country’s nearly 10,000 weapons systems stood at about 70 percent in 2018, which meant Germany was able to fulfill its military obligations despite increasing responsibilities.

No overall comparison figure was available for 2017, but last year’s report revealed readiness rates of under 50 percent for specific weapons such as the aging CH-53 heavy-lift helicopters and the Tornado fighter jets.

Zorn said this year’s report was more comprehensive and included details on five main weapons systems used by the cyber command, and eight arms critical for NATO’s high readiness task force, which Germany heads this year.

“The overall view allows such concrete conclusions about the current readiness of the Bundeswehr that knowledge by unauthorized individuals would harm the security interests of the Federal Republic of Germany,” he wrote.

Critics are sure of incompetence of the Federal Minister of Defence, Ursula von der Leyen. Though she has occupied the upper echelons of German politics for 14 years now — and shows no sign of success. This mother of seven, gynecologist by profession, by some miracle for a long time has been remaining in power, though has no trust even among German military elites. Despite numerous scandals she tries to manage the Armed Forces as a housewife does and, of course, the results are devastating for German military capabilities. The same statement could be easily apply for the Baltic States, which highly dependent on Germany in military sphere.

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