USA and Germany after the NATO summit in Brussels

km. Reports and comments following the 29 NATO leaders’ meeting in Brussels on 11 and 12 July 2018 focused on the behaviour of US President Donald Trump, and in particular on his comments on Germany. Not the NATO summit, but the behaviour of the US president was criticised and characterised as contradictory. The questions of what “logic” is behind the behaviour of the US president and what significance this strategy could have for the states of Europe and especially for Germany came up short here. Almost no question was asked about the logic of the US President’s appointment calendar: first the NATO summit in Brussels, then the visit to the UK, and finally the summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.


Trump’s logic


One can only understand Trump’s behaviour if one considers the following:


  1. Even before the election of Trump as US President, the German government, and especially the German Chancellor, indicated that Trump was being treated like a political outcast. After the election, Trump’s predecessor, Obama, visited the Chancellor and passed the baton of the US bipartisan war faction to her. Her job was to continue their policy, if necessary, also against Trump.

  2. Trump knew this from the beginning. Therefore early on he showed his intentions to weaken Germany’s role in Europe and to disrupt the German favourite project, the expansion of the European Union. His visit to France and the joint “celebration” with French President Macron on the US entry into the First World War on the French National Day in 2017 and his participation in the 2nd Congress of the “Three Seas Initiative” of Central and Eastern Europe States at the beginning of July 2017 are further indications for this. The “Three Seas Initiative” builds on the Polish imperial concept of the “Intermarium”, aiming at both, Russia and Germany, in the period between the First and Second World Wars. Further signs followed.

  3. For Trump, the slogan “America first” means to prevent the impending economic, social and political collapse of the US by all means, and therefore to open up new markets for the US economy around the world and to weaken competitors, including European competitors. Trump wants to drive US trade, not to wage wars. However, it suits him well when other states, as for example Germany, worsen their trading opportunities by loud saber-rattling. Trade with states such as Russia or China for American advantage and at the expense of Europe and Germany are very likely to be not wrong to Trump. And if the saber-rattling states also buy US military equipment in their military rearmament, then it should also be right.


Considering these three points, the results of the NATO summit and the visit to the UK are indeed in line with the US president.

Renewed “special relationship”

Trump explained to Theresa May that a free trade agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom would be dependent on a hard Brexit, thus clearly expressing his opposition to a close relationship with the EU. At the same time he recalled the idea of a “special relationship” between the United States and the United Kingdom, flattering an idea by the British Prime Minister she had presented to both houses of Congress on her visit to the United States shortly after the election of Donald Trump: The USA and Great Britain could – as once – rule the world together.
The results of the NATO summit fit well with the concept of the US president. And, the – previously drafted by officials – final document was accepted without much debate. It is nothing else but the continuation and enhancement of the NATO saber rattling against Russia, fully in the spirit of the war faction.


Trapping Germany

In the 23 pages and 77-point document1, the first 10 points deal almost exclusively with Russia and paint a very sinister enemy image of Russian politics. The statement is a document of further NATO rearmament. As early as point 3 of the declaration the Heads of State and Government reaffirm their commitment from 2014 to increase their defense spending to 2% of GDP, while declaring that considerable progress had been made along the way. All NATO states together spend already today nearly $ 1 trillion on armaments, which is 15 times more than Russia.
Added to this is the decision to set up two new NATO headquarters, one of them in Ulm, Germany. The headquarters in Ulm should be responsible for the faster transportation of NATO troops towards the Russian border, the other new headquarters in Norfolk in the US will be a cyber operations center.
The Balkan country Macedonia should be admitted to NATO as soon as possible. The Presidents of Ukraine and Georgia were specially invited guests, and not only these two countries, but also Armenia, Moldova and Azerbaijan were envisaged as future countries with closer NATO ties.
On the last day of the NATO meeting, the US president praised all this with emphasis.
On the other hand, with his previous criticism of Germany, especially the German project North Stream 2 (a Russian “prison”) and the defense spending of Germany (billions for Russian gas rather than for US military equipment), he caused a scandal enabling him to have a free hand in dealing with NATO … and above all in dealing with Germany. Germany should be trapped: if it does not arm further, it can be portrayed as a saboteur of NATO‘s efforts, but if it does arm even more than it already has, the wall that separates Russia and Germany will be even higher. If it sticks to North Stream 2, it can be portrayed as dependent on Russia, if it breaks off the project, it goes into dependence on US controlled energy supplies.     •


1     https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/official_texts_156624.htm?selectedLocale=en

Critical voices on the NATO summit

“In this news (from 12 July 2018 at 20:00 clock) no comment on how this chicken pile is willing to be blackmailed. Not a word about the US President’s cheap trick of exaggeration – 4% of gross domestic product for armaments – which takes him to where he wants to get: to the confirmation of the commitment to 2%. Not a word about the fact that the threat to withdraw from NATO is absolute nonsense – the US need Germany for instance as a supply base for global operations and therefore have absolutely no interest in dissolving NATO or withdrawing from it. Not a word that Europe’s security has not just been based on military spending and US security guarantees, but much more on understanding and peace, and that it could continue to rely on these factors.
Everything that we learned in the last century before 1990 with practiced policy of detente and the end of the block confrontation has got off our minds. Those responsible today are so primitive that in their thinking about security issues, there is only military and only confrontation and deterrence, not understanding and easing of tension. That is a real loss of cultural achievement. What is more, these unbelievable media and their media professionals, here in this specific case the Tagesschau [daily German TV news programme, CC], fall for every shady trick and for every clearly recognisable extortion.
The peace policy element has disappeared from politics. This also becomes explicit in an interview with the German Defense Minister von der Leyen. No thought except military buildup. She is obviously happy with the pressure from her US President. She obviously regards the time of detente in Europe as an unfortunate period, which fortunately has been overcome. Through new military upgrading. By the way, the military’s new lobbyists call it armament.” [Translation of all quotes Current Concerns]

Source: Nachdenkseiten 13.7.2018, https://www.nachdenkseiten.de/wp-printphp?p=44938

“If one looks at the classic gazettes of the Federal Republic today, one has to look for a long time for a report which would only to some extent deserve the predicate “neutral”. Wherever you look, you come across prejudgement of the Kremlin. In summary, it can be said that the Western press is as united as the oil industry, after they have met for price fixing.”

Source: KenFM from 14.7.2018, https://kenfm.de/das-ist-der-nato-gipfel/

“What should we pay our tax money for? Mind you, on such a large scale that already exceeds the defense expenditure of other states by crazy sums? For wars that we are forced to fight for NATO or the EU in the interest of third parties, be it the Anglo-Saxons or the French? German participation in these military operations is only possible because our governments have been blind to the “constitutional eye” since the 1999 war against Yugoslavia. Now these expenditures are to be driven to gigantic heights. This is what makes a country like Germany, where the teachers at our schools get sent into unemployment for the summer break, because the state behaves like a common rascal. And what for? To finance a march against Russia, which nobody wants in Germany or Europe, except for some crazy Eastern Europeans.”

Source: Willy Wimmer at KenFM on 12.7.2018, https://kenfm.de/mehr-geld-fuer-kriege-die-wir-nicht-wollen/