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NATO “Preparedness” And The Big Bad Bear *Open Thread* *UPDATED*

July 17, 2018

UPDATE at the bottom of the post.

What a lot of outrage we have seen over the past few days by Democrats, the media, and some foreign leaders over President Trump at NATO (and Russia’s Putin). You’d think he had threatened to take over the world with the protests by an uninformed populace and whiny leaders being held accountable.

Here’s the thing – we, American taxpayers, have been 69%  of the NATO budget. Meanwhile, countries like Germany are engaging in some major deals with Russia for energy yet expect the USA to protect them should Russia do something untoward. Huh?? More on Russia soon, but this interview on Fox Business covers both the NATO Summit and Trump’s Putin/Russia Summit:

Did you catch that? We are paying $706 BILLION – with a “B” of the NATO budget of $1 Trillion dollars. What the hell? Sure – it is good for us to pay some, but 69% of it?? That is crazy!

And it is particularly crazy given what I learned this past weekend from Charles Payne of Fox Business about why Trump was pushing Germany. Not only is Germany in bed with Russia over energy, as I noted above, but if things go south with Russia, Germany is incapable of defending themselves. Guess who is the country that is counted on to step in and defend countries like Germany? Yep. Us. So we are paying most of the budget, and we are the ones to defend NATO nations.

That is not an overstatement about Germany. Here’s what Charles Payne highlighted on Saturday, from Townhall:

Not only aren’t our NATO friends and allies not stepping up to the plate on spending, the monies they are using aren’t being applied wisely.  The idea Germany is only paying 1.2% of their GDP is bad enough, but it is made worse when you see what shambles it’s left their military in.   If Russia rolled up with 100,000 troops, I think Germany would fall overnight.

Readiness Military Units
95/244 Leopard battle tanks operational
0/6 Submarines operational
9/15 Frigates in service
0/14 Luftwaffe’s transport aircraft are airworthy several occasions in 2017
21,000 Junior officer and NCO positions unfilled
6/30 Logistical battalions fully equipped
39/128 Typhoon jets operational
26/93 Tornado jets
13/58 NH-90 transportation helicopters

Russia military spending dropped last year from a record high as oil revenue softened.  But make no mistake, Russia is on a mission just like China to rebuild its war-making machine.

By the way, Germany spent $222 billion subsidizing renewable energy from 2000 to 2017, while its declining defense spending has led to a military that’s frighteningly unprepared to defend the country.  One could argue American taxpayers paid for a lot of German windmills & solar farms. […] (Click here to read the rest.)

Told you it wasn’t an overstatement about Germany.

This point was hammered home in a Stars and Stripes article back in May, which is what makes the outrage by the Media/Democrats so hypocritical – they know Germany has not spent adequate funds on Defense, and they are not paying their dues to NATO. Here are some of the particulars from Stars and Stripes:

Germany’s military is virtually undeployable and security experts say it is too weak to meet its obligations to its allies, as it prepares to assume command of NATO’s crisis response force next year.

Pressure on Berlin is mounting after a series of revelations has exposed the German military as one of the least combat ready in NATO, despite its economic heft.

“The readiness of the German military is abysmal,” said Jorge Benitez, a NATO expert with the Atlantic Council in Washington. “For years, German leaders have known that major elements of their armed forces, such as tanks, submarines and fighter jets, are not fully operational and can’t be used for actual military missions.”

[…]

Among the failures: none of Germany’s submarines is operational, only four of its 128 Eurofighter jets are combat-ready and the army is short dozens of tanks and armored vehicles needed for NATO missions.

In addition, troops are short on the basics: body armor, night vision gear and cold-weather clothing.

The situation is so dire that 19 helicopter pilots from Germany’s Bundeswehr were forced to turn in their flight licenses because of a lack of training time. […] (Click here to read the rest.)

This is why it is incredibly important that Trump was able to get our allies to agree to kick in more of their own money on defense. And it’s about damn time, too, I might add.

Political Cartoons by AF BrancoOnce the NATO Summit was concluded, Democrats started in on Trump for meeting with the Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Now they claim that Trump shouldn’t meet with Putin since Deputy AG Rosenstein just charged 12 Russians for their part in cyber attacks of the DNC servers. You know, the ones the DNC REFUSES to hand over to our Intelligence agency, with Tom Perez refusing to answer why just this weekend. That isn’t the LEAST bit suspicious, is it? But I digress…

Back to the Democrats and their “concern” about Trump meeting with Putin. From Fox News:

Sen. Mark Warner, top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, offered Trump an ultimatum for the highly anticipated summit: make Russian interference a priority, or cancel the meeting.

[…]

“There should be no one-on-one meeting between this president and Putin,” Warner said. “There needs to be other Americans in the room, or the summit should be canceled.”

He warned, “I’m afraid the president could be taken advantage of.”

But as Trump continues to describe the Russia probe as a “witch hunt,” the White House downplayed the latest allegations.

“Today’s charges include no allegations of knowing involvement by anyone on the campaign and no allegations that the alleged hacking affected the election result,” said Lindsay Walters, the deputy White House press secretary. “This is consistent with what we have been saying all along.” […] (Click here to read the rest.)

Warner wasn’t the only one. The usual suspects like Schumer and Pelosi had something to say, too.

I wonder if Warner and the other Democrats shooting off their mouths now felt the same way when Obama said this:

Yeah, I doubt it, too.

The Democrats’ deflection of all of the Russian meddling happened under OBAMA’S tenure, with OBAMA doing nothing about it. Heck, Obama’s  National Security Adviser, Susan Rice, told a high ranking official to “stand down” on developing counter techniques to the cyber attacks by Russia.

Why isn’t the media hounding Rice, or Obama, over their inaction to stop the Russian threat? Why do they keep demanding answers of Trump when Obama was President then?

The 4 hour talk between Trump and Putin happened Monday. During a press conference, both Presidents denied there was collusion during the 2016 Election. They spoke about Syria, being nuclear superpowers, cooperation with our respective militaries, etc. And Trump raised the same about the DNC and its servers, the Pakistani’s servers, Hillary’s servers, and more in response to a reporter who asked Trump if he would denounce Putin/Russia for meddling.

But you probably heard nothing except the response by Trump to one reporter’s question. The outrage has been swift from Democrats, the media, and some Republicans. “The Five”discussed the issue of Trump’s response at length (0.00  – 20.35, with a great point by Gutfeld at 19:48):

No doubt there is more to come on this. Your comments are welcome.

This is an Open  Thread.

UPDATE: As many continue to focus on just the one response from the press conference Trump had with Putin Monday, and ignore the MANY other things Trump has done to stand up to Russia, there was some MAJOR news Monday that has been completely ignored.

That would be another day on Capitol Hill of former FBI attorney and Strzok paramour, Lisa Page. Rep. Louie Gohmert was on Fox and Friends Tuesday morning, and what he revealed about Page’s testimony was startling:

In case you don’t have time to listen to the interview, let me sum it up for you: The FBI knew that a major foreign power – NOT RUSSIA – has over 30,000 of Hillary Clinton’s emails. This information was given to Strzok but he did NOTHING with it. That is huge.

Gohmert was asked if there were other high level Intelligence officials involved in some of the machinations and his one word response, “Yes.”

I don’t like for our elected officials to speak against the USA anytime, much less abroad. Just to be clear. But in the case of what many are seeing as Trump slamming our Intelligence community, my take is that he was factoring in all of the efforts by high level Intelligence members trying to overturn his election, an effort that has continued with the “Resist” movement of elected officials.

One thing Trump’s response was not was treason. As Gohmert said, “those guilty dogs are barking,” or words to that effect, in response to John Brennan’s charge. John Brennan, whose own history is exceedingly questionable, really needs to stop throwing stones in glass houses.

As Judge Jeanine Pirro just said, no doubt Trump saw the reporter’s question as implying Trump did not win the election  fair and square, which made him defensive. His response was inartful, no doubt about it. And that needs to be addressed. But we cannot allow that one response to overshadow absolutely everything else that happened in Helsinki and with NATO, or to ignore what Lisa Page is revealing about what happened with the FBI. Ignoring that a major country hacked into Hillary’s server is no small thing, which is precisely why Trump responded to that reporter with his own questions about the servers of Clinton’s, the DCCC/DNC, and the Pakistani IT guy the DNC spokeswoman, Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz used and kept on the payroll for years (and this article highlights the Democrats’ support of the IT “aide.”).

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