One of the things that set Donald Trump and his administration apart – and that drives the “politician class” crazy – is they speak their mind in plain English. With Donald Trump, you’ll never have to worry about the definition of “is.” President Trump also won’t be drawing any phony “red lines.” This president is a leader who says what he means and means what he says. Here in the U.S., Americans are seeing the president is working hard to keep his campaign promises. The rest of the world is seeing a president who understands that “leading from behind” is leadership.
Barack Obama spent the last eight years damaging and working to destroy our alliances around the world. The Obama administration has nearly destroyed the U.S. military, of 58 U.S. Army brigade combat teams only three are ready for combat. Eighty percent of Marine Corps aviation units do not have the minimum number of aircraft needed for training in basic operations. The Navy’s fleet is the smallest it’s been in 100 years which makes ship repairs almost impossible to complete; the Air Force is the smallest regarding numbers of aircraft, and those aircraft average 27 years old. Fewer than half are prepared for war.
As bad as things are in the U.S. military we are still the only force standing to protect Western values. Defense Secretary James Mattis made his initial trip around the world to reassure allies both in the Far East and are NATO allies that the United States is there for them, but, especially with NATO, our allies need to raise their participation.
Mattis has made it clear that America will not stand by NATO if other NATO nations continue to ignore their commitment to devote 2% of their gross domestic product to defense spending. He made clear that America would meet its responsibilities but that the Europeans have to meet theirs. “Americans cannot care more for your children’s future security than you do. I owe it to you to give you clarity on the political reality in the United States and to state the fair demand for my country’s people in concrete terms.”
The Europeans have been nervous about U.S. commitment to NATO because of comments made on the campaign trail by Donald Trump. Secretary Mattis should’ve left no question in the minds of the Europeans about America’s commitment to NATO.
“If your nations do not want to see America moderate its commitment to this alliance, each of your capitals needs to show support for our common defense.”
In other words, put up or shut up.
For the Germans especially this is going to be a problem. Angela Merkel’s government is spending 1.2% of their GDP on defense, and they’re also spending nearly $50 billion a year on “refugees.”
Merkel is muttering about “meeting their commitments,” but she’s talking about doing it over ten years. That won’t fly with Donald Trump and James Mattis, and it’s likely the only way they’re going to meet their commitment is to divert funds that are currently paying “refugees” to stay on welfare.
That problem may be solved later this year at the German elections because Merkel is falling rapidly out of favor with German voters.
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