NATO mulls worst-case scenario in case Trump pulls US troops out of Europe – report

From RT

November 12, 2016

NATO strategists are reportedly planning for a scenario in which Trump orders US troops out of Europe, as the shock result of the US presidential election sinks in, spreading an atmosphere of uncertainty.

According to Spiegel magazine, 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 security.

“For 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 us.”

“We 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, Ischinger added.

The president-elect therefore has to reassure the European allies that he remains firm on the US commitment under Article 5 of the NATO charter prior to his inauguration, the top diplomat stressed.

Earlier this week, Stoltenberg lambasted Trump’s agenda, saying: “All allies have made a solemn commitment to defend each other. This is something absolutely unconditioned.”

Fearing that 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, Spiegel said.

The report might reflect 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.

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.

Still, an increase in defense spending has already been approved by the Europeans following pressure from the outgoing US administration. Over the past few days in Brussels, representatives of NATO states have been working on the so-called “Blue Book,” a secret strategy paper which stipulates each member’s contribution in the form of troops, aircraft, warships, and heavy armor until 2032, Spiegel reported.

The document stipulates an increase in each NATO members’ military spending by one percent of each nation’s GDP, in addition to the current two percent.

Uncertainty over Trump’s NATO policy seems to be taking its toll; Germany, one of the largest military powers in Europe, plans to allocate 130 billion euros ($140bn) to military expenditures by 2030, but the remarkable figure may be a drop in the ocean.

“No one knows yet if the one percent more would be enough,” the German NATO officer told Spiegel.

Nevertheless, the US is continuing to deploy troops to eastern Europe, justifying the move with the need to protect the region from “assertive Russia.” Earlier this week, the largest arms shipment yet, 600 containers, arrived in Germany to supply the US armored and combat aviation brigades, expected to deploy in Europe by January 2017.

https://www.rt.com/news/366668-trump-us-support-nato/

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The gospel according to NATO

 

• Was Russia in Turkish airspace? NATO says “yes” according to Turkish and allies’ intelligence; US representatives say the US and allies don’t know yet. Why is NATO lying?

Here is the transcript and video of the press conference with NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg.
http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/events_67375.htm

Here is the press conference with Col. Steve Warren.
http://www.c-span.org/video/?401224-1/defense-department-briefing-military-operations-isis

Here is the later press conference with Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook
http://www.c-span.org/video/?401225-1/defense-department-briefing

Also, the press conference by Presidents Obama and Hollande, where they also answered questions on the Turkish action:
http://www.c-span.org/video/?401211-1/president-obama-joint-news-conference-french-president-francois-hollande

Pentagon spokesman Cook said several times including at 14:00 – “the US and several other allies are not able to conclude definitively” that the Russian jet went into Turkish air space. He said the report of going into Turkish airspace is from Turkey. “We are still gathering the details to find out exactly what happened here.”

President Obama said the U.S. doesn’t know yet.

Both Col. Warren and Mr. Cook state that they are still evaluating data. Col. Warren says it is not easy.

But, NATO’s Stoltenberg says

The Allied assessments we have got from several Allies during the day are consistent with information we have been provided with from Turkey. So the information we have from other Allies is consistent with what we have got from Turkey.

So who are the allies Stoltenberg is referring to? Is he lying?

• Secretary General Stoltenberg on the NATO club: “We support the territorial integrity of Turkey”…but not Syria

At 30:36, Col. Warren says, “All aircraft should respect the sovereignty of nations around them, absolutely. “

Oops. He didn’t mean that. The US, France and other partners are continually violating the sovereignty of Syria and other countries. Only NATO club members get territorial integrity. They can invade anyone outside the club because non-members don’t have territorial integrity according to them.

• Solidarity with Turkey…or solidarity with ISIS/Daesh

Turkey’s alliances with Daesh are well known. Connections with Daesh/ISIS go all the way to the top. Plus, Turkey has stolen Syrian manufacturing infrastructure, transported it across its border, and reassembled it in Turkey. Smuggled Syrian and Iraqi oil is going to Turkey, across Turkey’s open border. So, solidarity with Turkey is solidarity with ISIS, pure and simple.

Of course, NATO members are also up to their elbows in Daesh/ISIS. They supply, advise, arm, and protect their mafia. It’s a family affair, after all.

• Obama says Turkey has a right to defend its airspace. Doesn’t Syria?

Turkey has rights and Syria has no rights.

Peter Cook: “The United States and NATO support the right of Turkey to defend its airspace and sovereignty.”…”As a NATO ally, they have a right to defend NATO airspace.”

NATO has rights, but no one outside NATO does, like Libya or Yemen or Iraq or eastern Ukraine. That is how Messrs. Obama, Stoltenberg, Hollande, et al see it.

Is NATO airspace something holy, inviolate, sacrosanct, and righteous? No, it’s pure bullshit. However, this chilling predatory worldview is held by the people that control our countries and our militaries, including the United States.

Syria has every right to defend its airspace by any means necessary including enlisting the aid of other countries to help them do so. It can defend its sovereignty and attack anyone who enters its territory and airspace without its express permission.

• US has no control over its mercenaries

The attacks on Russian pilots and rescue helicopter were done by US-trained mercenaries (“moderates”). In answer to a question on that, Col. Steve Warren said (11:50), “US control of its [mercenary] forces ends when they cross over into Syria.”

So, the Pentagon has no control over US-trained mercenaries once they cross the Syrian border. These mercenaries are wind-up assassins. And it was American-made TOW missiles that those mercenaries may have used to shoot down the Russian helicopter. Wind up these mercenaries, give them lots of weapons, boost them over the territorial border of another sovereign country, and let them run free.

Now that’s sensible, moral, and responsible foreign policy.

• The NATO press conference came to an abrupt end.

Perhaps the questions were getting too uncomfortable for Secretary General Stoltenberg.

NOTE: These press conferences have many very useful quotes.