Panics As Putin Urges Trump To Force Alliance Withdrawal From Russian
many in the media have speculated that the Kremlin had a hand in
Wikileaks' procurement of hacked Podesta emails - something Julian
Assange denied last week - and US intelligence services officially
accused Russian government-supported hackers of interfering with the
US election (providing zero proof for the allegation), the truth is
that Vladimir Putin is delighted with the outcome from the US
elections: not so much for Hillary's loss as that the sharp, neo-con
wing in the Pentagon has been muted for the next four years.
in the first test of Trump's willingness to rebuild bridges with
Russia, Putin's spokesman suggested that President-elect Donald Trump
should begin rebuilding the U.S.-Kremlin relationship by urging NATO
to withdraw forces from the Russian border. Dmitry Peskov told the
Associated Press that such a move "would lead to a kind of
detente in Europe." Trump repeatedly praised Putin during his
campaign and suggested the U.S. abandon its commitment to the NATO
request comes at a time of disturbing, relentless escalations in
military tensions between NATO and Russia: this week we reported that
NATO has placed as much as 300,000 troops on "high alert"
in preparation for confrontation with Russia.
said in the interview that the NATO presence does not make Russia
feel "safe." "Of course, we have to take measures to
counter," he said.
setting the stage for Trump's official position on Crimea, in a
separate interview with the Associated Press on Thursday, Peskov
insisted that Crimea which became part of Russia after the
CIA-sponsored Ukraine presidential coup in 2014, will remain such.
"No one in Russia — never — will be ready to start any kind
of discussion about Crimea," he said, refusing to call it
asked how Trump could approach the Crimea issue, quoted by The Hill,
Peskov said it would take time. "We understand that it will take
time for our partners in Europe, for our partners here in the United
States to understand that. We are patient enough to wait until this
understanding occurs here in Washington, in the States, in Europe,"
while the Crimea issue is largely moot, with the West resigned to its
concession to Moscow, fears that Trump will indeed follow Russia's
advice and pressure the alliance into standing down, or worse,
withdraw US support, has resulted in outright panic, and according to
German Spiegel, NATO strategists are planning for a scenario in which
Trump orders US troops out of Europe.
adds that strategists from NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg’s
staff have drafted a secret report which includes a worst-case
scenario in which Trump orders US troops to withdraw from Europe and
fulfills his threat to make Washington less involved in European
the first time, the US exit from NATO has become a threat” which
would mean the end of the bloc, a German NATO officer told the
magazine. During his campaign, Trump repeatedly slammed NATO, calling
the alliance “obsolete.” He also suggested that under his
administration, the US may refuse to come to the aid of NATO allies
unless they “pay their bills” and “fulfill their obligations to
course, this is the same Spiegel which after Trump's victory has
predicted the end of the world.
are experiencing a moment of the highest and yet unprecedented
uncertainty in the transatlantic relationship,” said Wolfgang
Ischinger, former German ambassador in Washington and head of the
prominent Munich Security Conference. By criticizing the collective
defense, Trump has questioned the basic pillar of NATO as a whole,
by putting into question a core support pillar behind NATO's endless
provocations and troop buildup at Russia's border, Trump may prevent
World War III.
however, demands its way or no other way at all, and it why Ischinger
demands that the president-elect reassure his "European allies"
that he remains firm on the US commitment under Article 5 of the NATO
charter prior to his inauguration.
wasn't the only criticism launched at Trump by the military alliance:
earlier this week, Stoltenberg slammed Trump’s agenda, saying: “All
allies have made a solemn commitment to defend each other. This is
something absolutely unconditioned.” Perhaps the commitment was
only contingent on having a resident in the Oval Office who put the
interests of the Military Industrial Complex ahead of those of, for
example, the American people?
panic has grown so vast that out of fear Trump would not appear in
Brussels even after his inauguration, NATO has re-scheduled its
summit – expected to take place in early 2017 – to next summer,
NATO report likley also reflects current moods within the EU
establishment as well, as Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the
European Commission, has called on the member states to establish
Europe’s own military. Washington “will not ensure the security
of the Europeans in the long term... we have to do this ourselves,”
he argued on Thursday. Because Greek troops just can't wait to give
their lives to defend German citizens and vice versa.
Spiegel admits that despite NATO's bluster, Trump has all the
leverage, and if Trump is serious about reducing the number of US
troops stationed in Europe, large NATO countries like Germany have
little to offer, Spiegel said. Even major member states’ militaries
lack units able to replace the Americans, which in turn may trigger
debate on strengthening NATO’s nuclear arm, a sensitive issue in
most European countries for domestic reasons.
will Trump respond? It is unclear: while in his pre-election
rhetoric, Trump pushed for an anti-interventionist agenda, and
certainly made it seem that NATO would be weakned under his
presidency, that remains to be seen as his transition team currently
hammers out the specifics of his rather vague policies. We would not
be surprised at all to find that for all the anti-establishment
posturing, the "shadow government" - now in the hands of
the Bush clan - which Ron Paul warned against earlier, manages to
regain dominance, and far from a detente, Trump's position emboldens
NATO to pressure Putin even further. We would be delighted if our
cynicism is proven wrong on this occasion.
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