THE RED FLAG PRESENTS: TRUMP GOES TO NATO TO MAKE A SALE OF US FIRE POWER

What To Expect From The NATO Summit

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks during a media conference at NATO headquarters on the eve of a summit of the NATO heads of state and governments in Brussels on Tuesday, July 10, 2018. NATO leaders to discuss Russia, Iraq and their mission in Afghanistan.(AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks during a media conference at NATO headquarters on the eve of a summit of the NATO heads of state and governments in Brussels on Tuesday, July 10, 2018. NATO leaders to discuss Russia, Iraq and their mission in Afghanistan.(AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

With Linda Wertheimer

Uneasy allies on the edge await President Trump at the NATO summit in Brussels. We’ll look at the high stakes.

Guests

David Herszenhorn, chief Brussels correspondent for POLITICO. (@herszenhorn)

Eli Lake, Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering national security and foreign policy (@EliLake)

Nicholas Burns, professor of diplomacy and international relations at Harvard's Kennedy School and 27-year State Department veteran serving as ambassador to NATO and Greece. (@RNicholasBurns)

From The Reading List

Politico Europe: Trump Rips Into Germany At NATO Chief Breakfast — "“I think it’s very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia, where you’re supposed to be guarding against Russia and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia,” Trump said in his opening remarks at the breakfast, which were broadcast live on television."

The Wall Street Journal:  Summit Looms for a Strained NATO Alliance — "Since the post-World-War-II era the alliance has entwined security, through NATO, and the economy, through trade pacts. Mr. Trump has invoked a Cold War-era U.S. law to brand some imports from Europe as a threat to American security, the first time the law has been invoked against U.S. allies. Using that justification, he has placed tariffs on European steel and aluminum and threatened more against cars. The moves sparked European retaliation against U.S. industries. The president also says the security umbrella the U.S. spread across Europe during the Cold War allows allies to benefit without paying their full share as set by NATO goals."

Bloomberg: NATO's Real Crisis Is Turkey, Not Trump — "Ideally, this week’s NATO summit would be an opportunity for the U.S. president to cajole European allies into presenting a unified opposition to Erdogan's conduct. There is no mechanism for kicking a member out of the alliance, but Turkey should at least begin to feel some pain and pressure for its drift toward Russia."

For 70 years, the NATO alliance has helped maintain peace and stability across the globe. But now, the US president is challenging NATO non-stop. President Trump is in Brussels with NATO leaders and he’s coming out of the gates swinging. Behind the smiling faces at the official portrait America’s allies are on edge. The future of the revered alliance is uncertain. This hour, On Point: The NATO Summit in Brussels and looking ahead to Trump and Putin. --Linda Wertheimer.

This program aired on July 11, 2018.  http://www.wbur.org/onpoint/2018/07/11/nato-allies-trump

Trump Says 'No Problem' In NATO, Touting Allies' Spending Pledges

5:54

President Trump said Thursday that he has succeeded in getting U.S. allies to pledge more money for the alliance. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo looked on as Trump spoke at a news conference following a NATO summit in Brussels.  Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Reversing the harsh criticisms he has leveled at NATO, President Trump says the alliance is very strong – in part because of promises from America's allies to boost their military budgets to 2 percent of their gross domestic product. Trump called those commitments a major victory; they were first made in 2014.

After raising the threat of the U.S. leaving NATO, Trump said Thursday that there are no problems, adding that America's allies had pledged to increase defense spending commitments "very substantially."

"We are doing numbers like they've never done before or ever seen before," Trump said, at the close of the NATO summit in Brussels.

The number that the president mentioned – 2 percent of countries' GDP – was in fact a main product of NATO meetings four years ago, when member nations pledged to either maintain the threshold or to meet it by 2024 – a deadline that seemingly still stands after this week's NATO sessions.

"It will be over a relatively short period of years," Trump said.

After Trump spoke, French President Emmanuel Macron said nothing had changed from NATO's earlier commitment, despite Trump's claims.

"There is a communiqué that was published yesterday. It's very detailed," Macron said, according to France 24. "It confirms the goal of 2 percent by 2024. That's all."

In February, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said only about half of the alliance's 29 members are on track to meet the 2024 deadline — which he said would boost spending by $46 billion. Only eight countries expect to meet the target in 2018, he said.

Still, Trump celebrated both the 2 percent figure and his approach to these meetings, saying, "I think that NATO is much stronger now than it was two days ago." He also said the other leaders had thanked him for raising the issue of how to support NATO's operations.

"Yesterday, I let them know that I was extremely unhappy with what was happening," Trump said, arguing that the U.S. has been paying more than its fair share to NATO. Describing the dynamics of the talks, he said, "I was using the term a lot today: burden-sharing."

When Trump was asked about his threat to pull the U.S. out of NATO, he said that idea was no longer necessary and mentioned the member nations' financial commitments. Of the alliance, he said it was "very unified, very strong, no problem."

Addressing a question about his consistency — and whether he might have less glowing comments about NATO on his Twitter account, Trump said, "No, that's other people that do that, I don't. I'm very consistent. I'm a very stable genius."

Trump also reiterated his criticisms of Germany — which he said earlier this week was "totally controlled by Russia" because of a deal for a natural gas pipeline.

"Germany has agreed to do a lot better than they were doing, and we're very happy with that," Trump said, without going into specifics.

In the end, Trump said, the NATO talks concluded on good terms.

"Everybody in the room thanked me," he said. "There's a great collegial spirit in that room that I don't think they've had in many years. They're very strong."

Trump's comments came in a wide-ranging news conference after attending a special meeting on defense spending. He also discussed his upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin; his efforts to broker a lasting deal with North Korea's Kim Jong Un; and the immigration crisis that has been playing out in Europe.

Trump said his summit with Putin, which will take place on Monday in Helsinki, would be a loose meeting with "no big schedule" – but one that could still be productive.

As for what he and Putin will discuss, Trump said Syria will be a main topic — as will Russia's attempts to interfere in the 2016 election that put Trump in the White House.

When asked how that conversation might go, Trump said, "He may deny it. I mean, it's one of those things. All I can do is say 'Did you?' and 'Don't do it again' — but he may deny it."

Before he visits with Putin, Trump will visit London and the U.K. — where many large protests are planned against his policies.

"I think it's fine," Trump said when asked about the protests. "I mean, I think they like me a lot in the U.K., I think they agree with me on immigration."

Trump also reiterated an earlier comment he made about this trip, saying of his meetings with America's European and NATO allies and then Russia's leader, "Putin may be the easiest of them all. You never know."

Trump said that Putin is not an enemy but "a competitor" — and that while he doesn't see the Russian leader as a friend, "I think we get along well."

In response to those ideas, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., took exception.

"Putin is not our friend nor merely a competitor," McCain said via Twitter. "Putin is our enemy .... He chose to invade Ukraine & annex Crimea. He chose to help Assad slaughter Syrians. He chose to attack our election & undermine democracies around the world."

During Trump's meeting with Putin, McCain said, the president "must reverse his disturbing tendency to show America's adversaries the deference & esteem that should be reserved for our allies." https://www.npr.org/2018/07/12/628329172/trump-says-no-problem-in-n...

News Brief: Trump Attacks NATO Allies, London Prepares, Supreme Court And Abortion

10:18

Views: 49

Comment by mary gravitt on July 12, 2018 at 11:29am

Donald Trump went to NATO to MAKE A DEAL.  Listen and read how he tried to snooker the Europeans into spending the money they need to run their social programs on buying weapons from the Merchants of Death in the U.S.  The only defense NATO is the defense against the Trump Offensive located in the Twilight Zone of Trump's head.

The post is long, but use the bar codes to find the stories with song and watch the videos.  Take some time to learn what is going on in the world around you and understand why America is so well hated throughout the world because of the USA that Trump is designing for US and our children to pay for in blood and treasure.

Comment by koshersalaami on July 12, 2018 at 2:30pm

I don’t know how much Europeans assume Trump represents the US. Most of them follow US politics closely enough to understand that his extremes weren’t expected by the general population. They’re also very aware that his military and intelligence communities have profound differences with him, let alone our diplomatic corps. They can’t be talking to a lot of Americans who are saying he’s great. The people who think he’s great aren’t typically the people with the best international connections. 

Comment by Ron Powell on July 13, 2018 at 1:01am

Trump will be ostracized and cut out of the information loop, leaving diplomatic back channels and career diplomats with the responsibility of keeping things in place until he's out of office....

Comment by mary gravitt on July 18, 2018 at 12:46pm

The member of NATO/EU are making economic plans which will leave Trump and the US out of the trading loop.  They are meeting with Japan and any other nation with something to trade besides the BS that Trump has to offer.  Charles Koch will not let Trump get too far out of hand in his MAG as to take the US off the financial market.  Midterm 2018 will be very interesting as the Kocktopus kicks into action.

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