U.S. nuclear bomber sent to Russia's doorstep — North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military exercise

President Trump addressed a joint session of Congress for the first time on February 28th 2017

President Trump addressed a joint session of Congress for the first time on February 28th 2017

He said: "This issue is a major concern for us and we have been constantly voicing it for decades".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Chancellery in Berlin on June 1. In the words of NATO's first secretary general, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation was supposed "to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down".

The US carries the lion's share of the military load around the world, but Europe has been increasingly important.

It has become smart electoral politics for Merkel to campaign against Trump rather than her domestic opponents. When Trump went on to the Group of Seven meeting in Italy, he declined to recommit to the Paris agreement on climate change, leaving the other six nations to issue a separate statement.

For the United States, this is a mixed picture at best. Now these naysayers are whining that "the belief in shared values [between Germany and the U.S.] has been shattered by the Trump administration".

At this unprecedented summit, we opened a new center to combat extremist ideology, launched a task force to block funding for terrorists, and agreed to a massive economic development deal that will create hundreds of thousands of new jobs in the United States. After the U.S. election, Merkel reminded Western leaders they must uphold the core Western values of human rights and diversity (an obvious swipe at the supposedly "deplorable" president). When she links Britain's departure from the European Union with USA unreliability, she suggests that now that Britain is gone, it will be possible for the E.U.to concentrate on getting its own affairs in order, propelled by a stronger relationship between Germany and France. Now that Britain is no longer going to be part of the European Union, it will no longer have veto power.

However, I believe that Merkel is prescient because by making such a pronouncement, she is compelling Europe to step up to the plate and actually take serious steps to reform itself in order to suvive. Europe faces several internal disagreements. For example, occasional military deployments in the Baltic states and Poland to show solidarity may be in order, but hemming Russian Federation in, which the Pentagon has pushed under Obama and now Trump, and which the Europeans enthusiastically endorse, is needlessly provocative.

With the far-right parties in Germany being too weak to mount a serious challenge to Merkel, she can confidently talk about a more tightly-knit EU with little fear of political repercussions (her only real adversary, Martin Schulz, also favours enhancing European integration). And while German politicians sided with Merkel, Sigmar Gabriel signalled that it was time for cooler heads to prevail. Finally, the criticisms offered by Trump (and many US leaders before him) are not entirely wrong - European states spend much less on their militaries than the United States does on its military and have effectively outsourced much of their defense to USA armed forces.

It was noteworthy that, in the wake of the Trump clash, Merkel met this week with the leaders of France, China and India. This speech is not an impulsive move. Are we at a major inflection in Western history, one that seemed almost unbelievable a scant six months ago?

Ms. Merkel, who has led Germany since 2005, has seen her support decline in recent months, partly as a backlash against her original policy, now reversed, of welcoming refugees from Syria and other war-torn countries.

Trump's nine-day trip fit the pattern of presidents in political trouble seeking opportunities to show global statesmanship and create some distance from their domestic woes. States whose interests clash with the United States may now have opportunities to win gains while the United States, the global hegemon, is distracted with its internal crises. This will anger America's other allies around the world and produce a wave of anti-Americanism - all to your advantage.

U.S. President Donald Trump acknowledges members of his cabinet, including Chief of Staff Reince Priebus (from 4th R), Senior Advisor Steve Bannon, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Vice President Mike Pence, as they arrive to meet with Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S. March 17, 2017.

Recommended News

  • Zunino's slam, 7 RBIs power Mariners past Rays 9-2

    Zunino's slam, 7 RBIs power Mariners past Rays 9-2

    Kyle Seager's fly to deep right moved Cruz to third before Valencia lined an RBI single to left. "It just got better after that". It brought Motter, now the Mariners' starting shortstop for what could be at least the next month if not longer, to the plate.

    Violence incidents kill 2 in London

    Attacker Khalid Masood drove his auto at pedestrians on the pavement on Westminster Bridge before crashing into a perimeter fence. The death toll from the terrorist attack in London Bridge has risen to seven, the head of Scotland Yard has revealed.
    Venezuela sets date for delayed regional elections

    Venezuela sets date for delayed regional elections

    On the other hand, the violent landscape of the Venezuelan psychodrama is complemented by Nicolas Maduro's supporters. His death brought to at least 48 the number of people killed since anti-government unrest began two months ago.
  • Trump calling European bluff on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation commitment

    German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel on Tuesday tried to smooth things over the recent verbal battle between Germany and United States .
    United States  evangelical green groups pan Trump's climate accord exit

    United States evangelical green groups pan Trump's climate accord exit

    Can it all be renegotiated? "We, as Christians, are called to care for those who have the least", said Reverend Mitch Hescox of the Evangelical Environmental Network.

    How To Call Your Representative About The Paris Climate Accord

    Instead, she said that after talking to Trump, the two "agreed on the importance of continued cooperation on wider energy issues". The president of the European Council says the EU and China are convinced that the US decision is a "big mistake".
  • Nashville Predators GM David Poile is all smiles

    Braden Holtby of the Washington Senators (29), Ryan Miller (28), Carey Price (25) and Craig Anderson (22) round out the top five. That high-end pace has been a trademark in the Nashville Predators' deepest postseason run this spring under Laviolette.

    Vehicle Mows Down People In London; Stabbings, Gunfire Also Reported

    The force tweeted a warning telling people in the area to run to safety, hide and then call police if it is safe to do so. The trio were pictured wearing what appeared to be explosive vests, with police later confirming they were hoaxes.

    UK parties suspend election campaign after terror attack

    He said: "This was a deliberate and cowardly attack on innocent Londoners and visitors to our city enjoying their Saturday night". A British Transport Police (BTP) officer was stabbed in the face as he responded to the terrorist incident at London Bridge.
  • State Department Condemns London Terror Attacks

    State Department Condemns London Terror Attacks

    At this time, we have no information to indicate a specific, credible terror threat in the United States. We wish a full and quick recovery to those injured in the attacks.

    Third time should be charming for Cavaliers or Warriors

    He plays, his team wins, he gets enough fame and more than enough money; all seems pretty right in his world. "We both know that". The Warriors certainly have, as the offseason addition of Kevin Durant vaulted an already loaded roster to even higher class.
    NASA to launch first mission to the sun in 2018

    NASA to launch first mission to the sun in 2018

    We look forward to learning all you know from your journey to the sun and back! I'm sure that there will be some surprises. NASA says much like the seafarers of old had to learn about the ocean, now we must learn more about the space environment.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.