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Trump and Geopolitics
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murat



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 7:44 pm    Post subject: Trump rattles NATO with 'obsolete' blast Reply with quote

Trump rattles NATO with 'obsolete' blast
By James Masters and Katie Hunt, CNN

(CNN)Donald Trump's accusation that NATO is "obsolete" has led to "astonishment and agitation" within the alliance, Germany's foreign minister has said.

Speaking in Brussels before a meeting of EU foreign ministers, Frank-Walter Steinmeier suggested the alliance was rattled by the remarks by Trump.

In a joint interview with the Times of London and the German publication Bild, Trump signaled that US foreign policy in a range of areas could be turned on its head. He suggested that sanctions imposed after Russia's annexation of Crimea could be eased in return for a deal to reduce nuclear weapons, that German Chancellor Angela Merkel had pursued "catastrophic" policies on refugees, and that his son-in-law Jared Kushner could lead a Middle East peace effort.

Speaking in Berlin, Merkel shrugged off the interview, saying she would make no substantive comment before Trump was inaugurated.

NATO said it was "absolutely confident" that the US would remain "committed" to the organization

NATO alliance 'obsolete'
Trump used the interview to restate his doubts about NATO. "I said a long time ago that NATO had problems," he said in the interview.

"Number one it was obsolete, because it was designed many, many years ago.
"Number two the countries weren't paying what they're supposed to be paying," adding that this was unfair to the United States.

Steinmeier said he had spoken with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, "who is concerned that President-elect Trump regards NATO as obsolete."

He also noted Trump's position was "in contradiction" to that of James Mattis, Trump's nominee for defense secretary.

NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu pushed back against the comments. "A strong NATO is good for the United States, just as it is for Europe."

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/16/politics/donald-trump-times-bild-interview-takeaways/index.html
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Annamite_en_Amérique



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 4:59 pm    Post subject: Trump Disrupts World Reply with quote

Trump Disrupts World
By Robin Wright

Donald Trump knows how to rattle the world. Since Friday, the President-elect has given two interviews that jolted governments from Brussels to Beijing. Many of his ideas disparage the principles, institutions, and alliances central to U.S. foreign policy. Some date back to the Republic’s founding, while others have been adopted since the mid-twentieth century to prevent global conflagrations.

In a joint interview with Britain’s Times and Germany’s Bild, Trump didn’t just laud the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union as a “great thing”; he predicted—and implicitly welcomed—the dismantling of the entire E.U., a bloc backed for sixty years by the United States as the key to healing the divisions that sparked two world wars. “I believe others will leave,” he said. “I do think keeping it together is not going to be as easy as a lot of people think.”

Trump called NATO—the centerpiece of trans-Atlantic security—“obsolete.” He charged that it “didn’t deal with terrorism,” even though its first deployment outside Europe was to Afghanistan after 9/11. From 2003 to 2014, NATO commanded the International Security Assistance Force, which, at its peak, included a hundred and thirty thousand troops from fifty-one NATO and partner countries. It was the longest and toughest single mission in NATO history.

Trump also put German Chancellor Angela Merkel, one of America’s half dozen closest allies, in the same category as Russian President Vladimir Putin, a man who controls the world’s largest nuclear arsenal, seized the Crimea from Ukraine, and has warplanes bombing the opposition to President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. “I start off trusting both, but let’s see how long that lasts,” he said. “It may not last long at all.” He even took on BMW, warning that the German company and other foreign automakers would face a tariff of thirty-five per cent if they tried to import cars built at plants in Mexico to the United States.

In a separate interview, with the Wall Street Journal, Trump said that the long-standing “One China” policy—initiated by President Nixon in 1972 and a cornerstone of U.S. policy ever since—is no longer guaranteed. “Everything is under negotiation, including One China,” he said. He charged that Beijing manipulates its currency in ways that disadvantage American companies. China was one of Trump’s most frequent targets during the campaign. Shortly after he won, he had a telephone conversation with Taiwan’s President, Tsai Ing-wen—ending a protocol in place since 1979 that froze communication between American and Taiwanese leaders.

“What he’s saying is so serious, so grave, that if you take it all seriously it’s a world crisis,” a senior envoy from a long-standing ally told me on Monday. “And he’s saying it all in such a reckless and ignorant way that I suspect everyone is praying that this is not serious.”

Over the next four years, Trump’s comments—made by an ingénue in foreign policy and national security, with no apparent respect for the nuances and niceties of diplomacy—could throw an already fragile world into disorder. It’s one thing to go after Meryl Streep and Hollywood, on Twitter, in polarized America after the Golden Globes. It’s quite another blithely to go after China (the world’s most populous country, with one of the two largest economies and the three strongest militaries), Germany (Europe’s largest economy), and twenty-eight allies (in the mightiest military alliance in world history)—and all at once and all on a global stage.

The pushback, on Monday, was fast and furious. At a farewell for departing U.S. Ambassador Jane Hartley, French President François Hollande warned that Europe “has no need for outside advice to tell it what to do.” France was the first formal ally of the United States, signing a treaty in 1778 that insured military and economic support during the Revolutionary War. Hollande added, “Europe will always be willing to pursue trans-Atlantic coöperation, but it will base its decisions on its interests and its values.”

After a meeting at NATO headquarters, in Brussels, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that Trump’s comments had caused “astonishment and commotion” among every NATO nation. He expressed “amazement” that Trump’s comments contradicted the testimony of his own foreign-policy team.

China was unusually blunt. [...]

Since the election, embassies across Washington have been scrambling to deduce Trump’s foreign policy from his often contradictory campaign statements and undiplomatic tweets. “You have a conversation with someone, and then there’s a random Trump tweet at night and it’s not clear if it shows a policy shift or it’s just a middle-of-the-night thought,” one Western envoy said. “The bigger question is, What do we take from Trump, and what is he just freelancing off the top of his head?

“We’re bracing ourselves,” the envoy added.

Over the past ten weeks, more than one diplomat has told me of plaintive daily cables from their capitals appealing for guidance on wars, humanitarian disasters, and other crises in which they have common interests with the U.S., have supported American positions, and, in some cases, have personnel. Many in the diplomatic corps expected more clarity to emerge during the transition.

One ambassador told me, “Every day I send back the same cable saying, ‘We don’t really know.’ ”

http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/trump-disrupts-world
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dzu
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:01 pm    Post subject: FIRST BILATERAL Reply with quote

Trump to Meet U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday

President Donald Trump will meet with U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday for the new commander in chief’s first official meeting with a foreign leader. In an interview with the BBC on Sunday, May said she “won’t be afraid” to challenge Trump where necessary. Asked about Trump’s past comments degrading women, May said: “I have already said that some of the comments Donald Trump has made in relation to women were unacceptable. Some of those he himself has apologized for.” May added that she is looking forward to discussing the possibility of a trade agreement between the U.S. and the U.K., in spite of Trump’s oft-used rhetoric in which he bashes free trade.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-38710697
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Anémone



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 4:07 am    Post subject: Trump wants to reduce US contribution to UN Reply with quote

Well, this is less funny! And I suppose we are concerned... This is just like this guy would do. Had we thought that he'd hit there too?

Do you remember the time when the US froze their contribution and the SG had to dig into the PeaceKeeping budget to pay the staff?

The link is to a pro-Trump site, but the info seems valid.

http://president-trump.fr/trump-veut-reduire-contribution-etats-unis-a-lonu?mc_cid=728c4b6fa6&mc_eid=1dd9077acd
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inkling7
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 5:35 am    Post subject: Trump and Mexico Reply with quote

Mexico actually sent food and medical aid to Louisiana to help out after Hurriicane Katrina struck and Trump still makes out they need the US more than the US needs them...

http://www.snopes.com/mexico-sent-troops-to-u-s-to-help-after-hurricane-katrina/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/when-mexicans-crossed-our-border-to-feed-our-hungry/2015/08/28/347342e4-4cee-11e5-84df-923b3ef1a64b_story.html?utm_term=.03b43d228eda

I tried unsuccessfully to embed the video but made a complete mess of it as usual... super grin
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Angela



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 5:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Trump wants to reduce US contribution to UN Reply with quote

Anémone wrote:
Well, this is less funny! And I suppose we are concerned... This is just like this guy would do. Had we thought that he'd hit there too?

I remember there was a time when the US contribution to the UN budget was over that percentage, and when "the others" imposed a limit to avoid too big an American influence in the UN.

I don't necessarily agree with all the criteria of this planned reduction, but I often wondered how long the West was going to accept contributing money to systematically get hit upon (verbally)... Isn't that a bit masochistic?

In theory, our pensions are safe, since the UN Pension Fund is an independent institution.
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murat



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:52 am    Post subject: Germany is going to be the biggest loser of 2017 Reply with quote

Germany is going to be the biggest loser of 2017
Business Insider

As Donald Trump attempts to make a wholesale shift in American domestic and foreign policy, there are bound to be winners and losers economically and politically. Leading German government representatives from Sigmar Gabriel to Frank Walter Steinmeier to Angela Merkel have all taken vocal stances, warning against Trump’s policies. But I believe these warnings will not be taken onboard in friendship. Instead, I believe Donald Trump will see Germany as an unfaithful ally and move more forcefully in a direction that will weaken Germany’s hand politically. And so, Germany risks being one of the losers politically in 2017 – something that plays right into Vladimir Putin’s hands.

On Barack Obama’s farewell tour, the American President had unflinching praise for German Chancellor Angela Merkel. And the kind words were mutual. These two leaders clearly saw eye to eye on a political and policy level, forging a deep personal bond in the process. But now that Obama has left office, not a night goes by in which the three major German news programs – Tagesschau, Tagesthemen and Nachtmagazin – fail to express alarm at the abrupt shift in US policy.

It’s safe to say that, after eight years under Barack Obama’s presidency in which Germany and the United States were mostly in lockstep ideologically, Germans are shocked at the arrival of Trump in the White House and his policies.In no other country whose news programs I follow regularly is there such a deep sense of disappointment, outrage and befuddlement as in Germany.

Equally, the outrage at Trump’s policies at the highest levels of German politics is palpable. Below are a few examples of recent statements:

    * Then Economics Minister Sigmar Gabriel on German cars (16 Jan): ““The US car industry would have a bad awakening if all the supply parts that aren’t being built in the US were to suddenly come with a 35% tariff. I believe it would make the US car industry weaker, worse and above all more expensive. I would wait and see what the Congress has to say about that, which is mostly full of people who want the opposite of Trump.”…Asked what Trump could do to make sure German customers bought more American cars, Gabriel said: “Build better cars.””
    * Then German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier on Trump (24 Jan):“As always when power changes hands, there are uncertainties, doubts and questions about the course the new leadership will take. But in these times of a new global disorder it is about more, and there is a lot at stake today — with the election of Donald Trump the old world of the 20th century is over for good.”
    * Then German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier on Trump (27 Jan): “I was appalled for more than a year over the American campaign..This isn’t about little things. It’s about fundamental questions in our self-understanding, for instance in the approach to torture.”
    * German Foreign Minister Gabriel on the US immigration freeze (28 Jan): “The United States is a country where Christian traditions have an important meaning. Loving your neighbor is a major Christian value, and that includes helping people”
    * Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert on the US refugee freeze (29 Jan): “The … refugee convention requires the international community to take in war refugees on humanitarian grounds. All signatory states are obligated to do. The German government explained this policy in their call yesterday.”
    * German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the US refugee freeze (30 Jan): “The necessary and decisive fight against terrorism does not justify a general suspicion against people of a certain belief ― in this case people of Muslim belief or people from a certain country. That way of thinking is against my interpretation of the basic tenets of international refugee support and cooperation.”

The CSU’s Horst Seehofer isn’t making anti-Trump commentary and I don’t recall Wolfgang Schäuble making negative comments either. But across the board, comments from politicians in Germany’s two major parties, now in a coalition government, are decidedly negative on Donald Trump. I think there is good reason to be worried about Trump given the authoritarian character of his signature executive orders to date. Nonetheless, it bears noting that German politicians are universally negative and more vocal than politicians in any other major developed country.

I think this matters. First of all, Theresa May, despite likely differences of opinion with Trump, did her level best to present a united front with the new American President. She even held Trump’s hand during her state visit. It may sound silly, but these things matter – especially to Donald Trump.

It was already clear that Trump was turning toward a more Anglo-American foreign policy. But now, with the criticism from Germany from all sides, it is clear that – when it comes to Europe, the Trump Administration will now turn increasingly toward the UK instead of Germany. Just yesterday, news agencies were talking of how Trump’s likely pick to be US Ambassador to the EU, Ted Malloch, was deeply eurosceptic, warning that the euro could collapse in the next 18 months. Last Wednesday, he even said he would “short the euro”.

So any guff you hear about Donald Trump’s commitment to existing alliance partners, to the EU, or to NATO, or anything else has to be taken with a grain of salt. Yes, Trump will make obligatory statements about nominal commitments to some existing relationships in principal. But the tenor of those relationships is definitely going to change. And the tenor of the German-American relationship will worsen.

And of course, this suits Vladimir Putin just fine because he knows that after the French elections, Angela Merkel will be the only leading voice in Europe who is committed to a liberal world order led by NATO and the European Union allied with the US. Deposing Merkel or diminishing her power is a major goal of the Kremlin.

As it stands now, Germany and the United States have an increasingly antagonistic relationship. Unless, German politicians change their tune, chances are this antagonism will result in a cooling of the US relationship with Germany, with the EU and with NATO as the primary vehicle to show Western military power. And Germany will lose stature on the world stage just as the German people are going to the polls to elect a new Chancellor.

http://www.businessinsider.com/germany-is-going-to-be-the-biggest-loser-of-2017-2017-1
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Angelina



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:42 pm    Post subject: Australian PM Stands Up to ‘Bully’ Trump Reply with quote

Hurray for Australia!!

Australian PM Stands Up to ‘Bully’ Trump
‘This was the worst call by far’: Trump badgered, bragged and abruptly ended phone call with Australian leader

President Trump held his most contentious call yet with a supposed ally late Wednesday. During a call with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull reports suggest both men forcefully expressed their views, before the call was abruptly ended. According to a report in The Washington Post, Trump blasted his “ally” for a refugee agreement between the two countries, and bragged about his electoral win before ending the conversation nearly 30 minutes early. Sources close to Turnbull told Sky News Australia that the Australian leader hit back when Trump lost his cool. Trump is a “bully” and “to combat a bully, you need to bully back,” insiders said. Turnbull admitted he had spoken “candidly” and “frankly” with Trump. “I do stand up for Australia. My job is to defend Australian interests,” he said. Trump had reportedly told Turnbull that among the other calls he’d had with world leaders—including Russian President Vladimir Putin—that day, “This was the worst call by far.” Speaking about a deal for the United States to take in 1,250 refugees from an Australian detention center, Trump allegedly complained that he was “going to get killed” politically and accused the country of trying to export the “next Boston bombers.” Trump tweeted late Wednesday: “Do you believe it? The Obama Administration agreed to take thousands of illegal immigrants from Australia. Why? I will study this dumb deal!”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/no-gday-mate-on-call-with-australian-pm-trump-badgers-and-brags/2017/02/01/88a3bfb0-e8bf-11e6-80c2-30e57e57e05d_story.html?postshare=411485997202637&source=CSAMedition&tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.f00492d5a7e0&via=newsletter
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:33 pm    Post subject: Crank calls to world leaders Reply with quote

World Leaders Receive Crank Calls from Someone Claiming to Be President of United States
By Andy Borowitz

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—In a spate of annoying telephone pranks that has lasted nearly two weeks, heads of state from around the world have been receiving crank calls from someone claiming to be the President of the United States, the United Nations reported on Thursday.

According to the U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, who has fielded complaints about the crank calls, the caller has tormented leaders from Mexico, Australia, and many other countries.

“The pattern is always the same,” Gutteres said. “The caller is identified as the President of the United States, so naturally he is put right through. Once he is connected with the head of state, he begins to speak in a threatening and harassing manner.”

“Then, as his threats reach a crescendo, he hangs up,” Gutteres said. “Clearly, it’s someone’s idea of a sick joke.”

The Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, became a victim of the crank caller over the weekend, an experience that he called “highly irritating.”

“I’m a very busy man, and I don’t have time to be the butt of some deranged person’s joke,” Turnbull said. “I’ve blocked the phone number, and I understand other heads of state have done the same.”
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:32 pm    Post subject: Trump's Call With Australia: Total Disaster Reply with quote

Angelina wrote:
Australian PM Stands Up to ‘Bully’ Trump
‘This was the worst call by far’: Trump badgered, bragged and abruptly ended phone call with Australian leader

More on that phone call:

Trump's Call With Australia: Total Disaster
Trump got all Trumpy with the Prime Minister of Australia, hanging up on him. Ana Kasparian and John Iadarola, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down.

https://youtu.be/OmMPFsd94kY


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Last edited by Aussi Aussie on Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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