Allies, April Fools', Brussels, Crimea, Estonia, Europe, Exxon, Exxon Mobil, Foreign policy, France, Germany, Greece, Le Pen, Luxembourg, military, Moscow, NATO, Poland, Putin, Rex Tillerson, Rosneft, Russia, Secretary of State, Senator Merkley, UK, US, US foreign policy
Senator Merkley to now US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson:
On March 22nd, Congresswoman Kaptur remarked: “Mr. Speaker, years from now, history books could well describe entrapment of a United States President by a foreign adversary. Allow me to update my colleagues on the Trump administration’s foreign policy. Recently, the State Department avoided committing Secretary Rex Tillerson to a NATO meeting next month with our tried and true allies in Europe. Yet, the administration has no problem flying Secretary Tillerson to Moscow to meet with Putin in April. This is no April Fools’ joke. Since when is the Kremlin more important than our NATO partners? Never.” Tillerson finally went, but, according to Reuters, Friday, 31 March, “during his brief stop in Brussels“, Tillerson failed to “hold one-on-one meetings with countries, which is customary during such gatherings.“
Part of Greenpeace graphic. See entire graphic at blog post bottom.
Reuters (31 March 2017) states that “His initial decision to skip his first meeting with NATO foreign ministers had added to questions about the Trump administration’s commitment. The meeting was later rescheduled and he attended on Friday“. While Reuters says that he offered “assurances of Washington’s commitment to NATO“, who would believe him given the context? https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2017/02/15/flynn-resignation-its-only-the-tip-of-the-iceberg-russia-counts-on-tillerson-trump-campaign-had-repeated-contact-with-senior-russian-intelligence-officials-allegations
The Europeans should be, and almost certainly are, mad at Tillerson for asking them to reschedule the meeting and then not meeting individually with them. Eastern European countries which are most endangered by Russia have generally increased their NATO spending since Russia took over Crimea. While countries like Luxembourg and Germany should pay their fair share to NATO, Tillerson’s arrogant attitude isn’t fair to others. Poland, Estonia, and Greece are paying slightly over their 2% share. However, Trump in the White House should make clear to any that don’t want to be under Putin’s boot, that they need to be prepared to defend themselves. If France’s Le Pen gets in too, they may literally be in a pinch, and a nuclear one at that, since the UK’s nuclear weapons program is tied in with the US one.
Congresswoman Kaptur’s entire statement in context:
“7. RUSSIA AND TRUMP, SUBTLE ENTRAPMENT Issue and Section: March 22, 2017 – House (Vol. 163, No. 50)
Page: H2332” https://www.congress.gov/crec/2017/03/22/CREC-2017-03-22-pt1-PgH2332.pdf
“U.S. reverses course and offers new dates for NATO talks
Posted:Tue, 21 Mar 2017 19:43:18 -0400
WASHINGTON/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson proposed new dates on Tuesday for a NATO meeting, the State Department said, after he initially decided to skip the talks and rebuffed the alliance’s efforts to reschedule them.” http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/Reuters/worldNews/~3/f9_buiybXy4/us-usa-trump-tillerson-nato-idUSKBN16S18S
“Germany balks at Tillerson call for more European NATO spending
Posted:Fri, 31 Mar 2017 21:39:48 -0400
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reassured his nervous European counterparts over Washington’s commitment to NATO on Friday and pressed them again to spend more on defense, triggering a rebuke from Germany. http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/Reuters/worldNews/~3/hj8fujhi0Rk/us-nato-idUSKBN1720WV
NATO Countries and Percentage of GDP Invested. Luxembourg is Very Rich and Should Give More, as should some other European countries. US gives most. Luxembourg is apparently counting on its Russian ties to protect it and so one must wonder why they are even a NATO member?
NATO Funding as Percentage of GDP
Rich countries like Luxembourg feel less pain from what they give than more poor countries: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita