"Craziness Becoming Strategic" - NATO Leaders In Panic Mode Ahead Of Trump Visit

The Washington Post asks 'Will NATO survive Trump?' ahead of a summit with NATO leaders this week as bureaucrats in Brussels voice concern over his potentially disruptive 'America first' rhetoric, and as the president is set to meet with Vladimir Putin only days later in their first one-on-one meeting.

In a characteristically over-dramatic tone, WaPo answers concerning NATO leaders, "Now they’re worried about something bigger: a full crackup of the alliance, or at least such a weakening of Washington’s security commitments that NATO would emerge deeply damaged."

“It’s one thing if he goes to the G-7 and is rude to people,” a senior NATO diplomat told the Post while speaking on condition of anonymity. “It’s another thing to derail NATO.”

Trump in May 2017 at NATO headquarters. Image via the AP

Among the foremost driving concerns that might "derail NATO" is the possibility that Trump could seek to mend relations with Russia and deescalate tensions when he sits down with Putin for their July 16 meeting in Helsinki, Finland. According to the Post, "European leaders worry that Trump could bargain away their security in the name of better relations with the Kremlin."

This, after Trump continued his theme in recent remarks of NATO allies "freeloading" for not paying their dues and treating the US like "schmucks" and further that NATO is "as bad as NAFTA". Lately he's repeatedly berated other member states for not living up to a 2014 pledge to reach two percent of GDP on defense by 2024 — only three European countries have reached the mark. He's expected to urge other governments of the alliance to dramatically increase military spending and lower import tariffs.

“I’m going to tell NATO: You’ve got to start paying your bills. The United States is not going to take care of everything,” Trump confidently told a rally in Montana last week. “We are the schmucks that are paying for the whole thing,” and added: “They kill us on trade.”

U.S. officials have long touted that Washington spends 70 percent of its defense budget on NATO; however, European leaders dispute this, with one senior unnamed EU official telling Reuters  "the number is more like 15 percent."

Last month Trump issued formal warnings in letters sent to leaders whose countries are not living up to their NATO defense spending pledges, saying that the US could cut them off while further questioning why Washington should spend money to protect nations it is running a trade deficit with, raising the issue of the potential for using this a bargaining chip in trade talks.

Statista: NATO's own figures show that the United States remains the defense hegemon within the organization. On the one hand, American defense spending has dropped compared to 2010, but Canada and NATO's European members taken together have not increased their spending in return until 2017.

The US president — widely acknowledged as the de facto leader of the nearly 70-year-old North Atlantic Treaty Organization — has NATO leaders further on edge for his unpredictable off the cuff style way of speaking and unrestrained approach to diplomacy.

In a line that CNN is listing among the "11 most dangerous things Donald Trump said" he explained last week: “Putin’s fine... He’s fine. We’re all fine. We’re people. Will I be prepared? Totally prepared. I’ve been preparing for this stuff my whole life.”

“Getting along with Russia, and getting along with China and getting along with other countries is a good thing,” he added, “not a bad thing.”

Of course, this has both CNN pundits and NATO diplomats in full panic mode, as Reuters notes: "Two senior NATO diplomats told Reuters they are prepared for a worst-case scenario that Trump would announce a freeze on U.S. military exercises or withdraw troops from the Baltics in a gesture to Putin."

Another NATO official told Reuters: “There is a better-than 50-50 chance that the president will disrupt the NATO summit, probably by complaining again that others aren’t carrying their fair share of the burden, and possibly by threatening to withdraw if they don’t step up on his terms.”

And separately, a diplomat from a NATO country told the AFP: "What Trump says will be decisive for the future of the alliance, but we do not know what he will say. It is a shadow that hangs like the sword of Damocles over the summit."

This follows last month's Group of Seven meeting in Canada ending on a contentious note in which Trump according to the Washington Post "fought with leaders of Washington’s closest allies, then withheld his signature from the bromide-filled declaration that comes out of such meetings as a matter of course."

NATO leaders fear such signs of "disunity" in Brussels would be a disastrous welcome gift to Putin, as one former NATO official and think tank pundit lamented to the Post:

“The biggest of the allies doesn’t just have a disagreement with us, but he actually seems willing to walk away,” said Tomas Valasek, a former Slovak ambassador to NATO who runs Carnegie Europe, a Brussels think tank. “Deterrence has already been broken.”

They are worried Moscow will just sit back and enjoy the show, reaping the spoils of a chaotic NATO summit when Putin negotiates days later with Trump. 

But perhaps the best line to come out of all the recent media and diplomatic hand-wringing, which happens to aptly characterize Trump's approach to diplomacy is the following: "We used to roll our eyes at Trump’s policies but now we are seeing the craziness becoming strategic," a senior EU diplomat told Reuters. “We now have to seek out all kinds of partners to further our goals.”

If, as we noted previously, this involves NATO bureaucrats' worst nightmare coming true and peace breaks out between Russia and the West, then let more "craziness becoming strategic" prevail. 

Comments

Looney lester1 Mon, 07/09/2018 - 11:21 Permalink

 

Speaking of NATO…

There was an interesting development on Friday, but the MSM and the State Department work extra-hard pretending that they know nothin’ about it.

According to Reuters, Italy says won't buy more F-35 fighter jets, may cut existing order.

ROME (Reuters) - Italy will not buy more Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets and is considering whether to stick to the order to which it is already committed, Defense Minister Elisabetta Trenta said on Friday.

She spelled out several reasons to be cautious, saying that “strong financial penalties” could mean that “scrapping the order could cost us more than maintaining it.”

If Italy REALLY wants to get out of the F-35 contracts without paying huge penalties and fines, it should take a page from Erdogan’s book – purchase a few S-400s from Russia. The Neocons in Congress will block the deal with Italy, just as they did with Turkey.   ;-)

Looney

In reply to by lester1

rmopf2010 JimmyJones Mon, 07/09/2018 - 11:58 Permalink

I think sooner rather than later the swamp aka communism v2.0 will JFK out Trump.

Time to unit with Putin and create death squads the swamp almighty is everywhere !

Look at this sample from Brazil swamp:

Lula was sentenced by a (one) 1 first instance judge, then his sentence increased
by (three) 3 second instance judges, then he had a Habeas Corpus denied by (five) 5 STJ ministers and his habeas corpus
was denied by (six) 6 STF ministers.

Now appears (one) a judge who came to the place for being a militant of the PT and decided otherwise.
The Favreto, along with Jose Maria, are the geniuses of Brazilian law.

WTF one SOB judge overrules the decision made by 15 other judges !!!!!!

 

Time to start the culing of the swamp

In reply to by JimmyJones

silver140 strannick Mon, 07/09/2018 - 21:25 Permalink

Yes, you're right. The unelected EU "leaders" who back NATO were and are creatures of the MIC. They were sure that the US deep state would get Trump impeached or indicted by now, so they're feeling frightened, as puppets usually do when their masters don't have the power to pull their strings.

Trump knows that he's meeting with people who he can't trust, would stab him in the back given a chance, and are in the pockets of his US enemies, so naturally, he doesn't treat them with respect.

In reply to by strannick

el buitre JimmyJones Mon, 07/09/2018 - 12:03 Permalink

NATO's long term agenda at the end of WWII was to become the one world army of the Rothschild-Rockefeller Cabal.  Russia has no expansionist plans.  It has enough land and resources to keep its smallish population busy for the next hundred years.  The whole Crimea Deep State fiasco with the overthrow of the elected Ukrainian (and admittedly corrupt) government was to eliminate Russia'a naval base entry into the Mediterranean.  It failed and the Deep State is completely butt hurt over it, but has decided to demonize Russia and Putin as a consolation prize.

It would be far preferable that NATO die 28 years after the collapse of the USSR than its other members pony up for it.  And before it's buried, I hope they drive a wooden stake through its heart.

In reply to by JimmyJones

wren max_is_leering Mon, 07/09/2018 - 11:47 Permalink

Rhetoric: language designed to have a persuasive or impressive effect on its audience, but often regarded as lacking in sincerity or meaningful content.

If it was lacking in sincerity or meaningful content, they wouldn't be scared. Using the word in the same sentence as POTUS is fake news. Like him, don't like him, but either way, he's working on his agenda fast and furious.

In reply to by max_is_leering

nmewn Yukon Cornholius Mon, 07/09/2018 - 12:45 Permalink

They made a financial commitment and all but three I think it was Welched on it.

You don't have to like NATO, support NATO or perhaps you think it's outlived its usefulness but those are irrelevancies to the topic, they made a commitment and are cheating on it.

And yes, I get all the "Western MIC bad, Russia/China/Syria MIC good!" bullshit but if the euro-weenies want the US in NATO they're going to have to raise taxes to keep their socialist goodies OR cut somewhere else to KEEP THEIR COMMITMENTS.

Capice? ;-) 

In reply to by Yukon Cornholius

Yukon Cornholius nmewn Mon, 07/09/2018 - 13:00 Permalink

No capice. Commitments (or anything) made in fraud remain fraud and can never be made legitimate. Small groups of special interests made those agreements, based off of how much fiat they could grab, with no authority from The People of the respective nations. And don’t play the ‘they Voted for their representatives’ card because we all know that’s garbage. 

If Americans are stupid enough to want to keep funding millionaire generals and their bimbo assistants, that’s fine. Just don’t ask me, my family, or my countrymen to spare a dime just because some connected mongrels promised you we would.

and if you want to come and try to shake my 2% contribution out of me, feel free. Bring Free This along with you as I’ve got enough hockey pucks for the both of ya’s.

In reply to by nmewn

Scipio Africanuz Looney Mon, 07/09/2018 - 11:52 Permalink

It bears repeating, for effect, NATO is USELESS, and unfit for non-purpose. Neither Americans, nor Europeans benefit from it, instead, the think tanks, where they don't think, bureaucrats, who enjoy fat salaries, elitist power brokers, who are power drunk, and weapons manufacturers, who'd sell their mothers for coin, are the only beneficiaries. NATO DRAINS Americans of treasure, exposes Europeans to cultural and societal defenestration, destabilises, and destroys weaker nations, and imprisons peace worldwide.

President Trump should obsolete it, withdraw the troops, and lease or sell equipment to them, beyond that, it's good for nothing! Since the business of America is business, the USA should sell them the stuff they need, and wish them best of luck! Without NATO, there's no transnational imperium, and since the goal is to make America great again, and the RESTORATION OF THE AMERICAN REPUBLIC! THE BIMETALLIC AMERICAN REPUBLIC! NATO should be ditched!

There's no argument, NONE, that justifies American membership in NATO, the USA can devolve to observer and supplier status, we don't need no stinkin NATO, it's a treasure draining blackhole of uselessness! It's worse even, than useless, it's beneath utility!...

In reply to by Looney

veritas semper… Looney Mon, 07/09/2018 - 12:06 Permalink

NATO is US.

Period.

NATO always had a US general as commander, no matter who the civilian "leaders" are.

Europe is creating its own army in order to escape NATO.

The Donald has no wish to dismantle NATO, as NATO is the principal instrument of controlling Europe.

NATO and the Financial System, under Wall Street ( Goldman Sachs ) and City of London.

Read " NATO's secret armies : Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe" by Daniele Ganser to understand it and understand operation Gladio.

The new Gladio is using Muslims instead of Nazi( that too in Ukraine).

The recent reactivation of them in France is an example.

It will increase 'til Europe caves in and gives up the Iranian nuclear deal.

I have 4 new articles at my site for who's interested.

https://me582.wordpress.com/
https://artisticexpressions394454247.wordpress.com/

In reply to by Looney

Conscious Reviver veritas semper… Mon, 07/09/2018 - 19:33 Permalink

Hi veritas. Not so sure about this -

"The Donald has no wish to dismantle NATO, as NATO is the principal instrument of controlling Europe."

I think we're on the verge of financial collapse and the loss of the GRC. Cuts will be made. The sudden trade war is about our pending inability to continue to import $50B more every month than we export.

In reply to by veritas semper…

yvhmer lester1 Mon, 07/09/2018 - 12:06 Permalink

It is all programmed. No they can loft the EU army out to the realworld. ...

This is a total bs article. 

1. Quoting cnn?  Ahem.... It is naive... Dangerous to say...... Hillary gets special treatment .....

 

If that is one of the 11 dangerous things Trump said.... Melt away cnn.

2. What are all these so called diplomats worried about? We do not know what Trump will say..... Oke, so Obama en previous Potusses all gave you a heads up? Begs the question: What did you guys know 17 years ago on a sunny days September?

3. Pay your bill or shut your piehole. Bookkeepers watching over armed forces makes your boys buying their own boots, tactical vests, munitions etc for their weaponsplatform.  Ah... Did I mention those 4 Tornado's of which 3 receive maintenance. ....

 

Hitler called the Dutch prime minister.

H: I have this parade coming, and I am in desperate need to show a few tanks. Can you guys lend me a few?

D.PM: by all means. How many do you want,  1,2,3 or all four ?

 

In reply to by lester1

HRClinton sheikurbootie Mon, 07/09/2018 - 19:52 Permalink

Europeans aren't "freeloading".

They are "offloading":

If the Zio-Mericans want military spending against fellow whites, fellow Europeans in Russia, they can pay for it. After they borrow the money from China. Or Belgium, or Carribean banks.

Don't forget to sing, salute and support. Support your mercs.

In reply to by sheikurbootie

BritBob Mon, 07/09/2018 - 11:19 Permalink

Pay more into the pot and don't expect US tax payers to carry the burden.

In 2017 the report says the U.K. spent some $55.2 billion on defense, Germany $45.4 billion and France $45.9 billion. But this still pales when compared with the United States’ $685.9 billion in spending.

When it comes to the proportion spent on defense as a share of GDP, Europe has fallen from just under 3 percent in 1989 to 1.95 percent last year.

This compares with the U.S. where the share is down from nearly 6 percent to 3.57 per cent over the same period. (Defense News March 2018)

boostedhorse Mon, 07/09/2018 - 11:20 Permalink

Worst-case scenario of withdrawal from Baltics? GTFOutta here. Oh yeah we had a HUGE problem before they arrived to liberate us, russia was going to attack any day......

WillyGroper Mon, 07/09/2018 - 11:22 Permalink

not so fast.

i think we might need to brace for impact...UN

https://s3.amazonaws.com/unoda-web/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/2018-06-29-Outcome-Document-Draft-5_final.pdf

11.

To strengthen the role of the United Nations regional centres for peace and

disarmament in supporting implementation of the Programme of Action

On the national level, when gun control legislation was introduced in Congress last year, it came in the form of the Fix NICS Act, which was later rebranded as the STOP School Violence Act and signed into law in March after it was quietly included in the 2018 Omnibus Appropriations bill.