Germany Prepares for Turbulence in the Trump Era

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Germany is central to the security of Europe, especially in the face of Russia’s recent aggression in the Ukraine, and their illegal attempt to annex the Crimea. The attached article says the Germans fear being isolated. Yet Germany to date has refused to meet the defense budget obligations met by other NATO allies, including the U.S. which carries much of the defense burden for NATO.

President Trump has made it clear that he intends to stand for the American taxpayer, and to insist that our allies pull their weight. Germany is responding. Chancellor Angela Merkel is increasing the German defense budget to address the terrible unpreparedness of the German army.

Chancellor Merkel, in proposing the increase in defense spending said: “In the 21st Century we won’t get as much help as we got in the 20th”. I remember being a part of that help when I was stationed in Germany as a U.S Army intelligence agent assigned to NATO. But military strength is not a “zero-sum game”. A German increase in their own defense can ADD to European security, and need not replace American commitment.

One member of the German SPD political party says the calls for German defense increases are “NATO saber rattling”. This kind of comment is uninformed and even dangerous. Better to rattle a few sabres now than to have to use the sabre later.

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen says increased German defense spending should hinge on President Trump articulating a clear foreign policy. Clarity of American foreign policy is essential to be sure, but German commitment to the strength of the NATO alliance should not hinge on anything President Trump must do.

Germany must understand that Russian aggression in Europe will likely not be nuclear at the outset. They would likely attack somewhere, perhaps the Baltic States or the Ukraine, with their conventional army and dare anyone to respond. NATO must be equipped to respond with non-nuclear forces to avoid the necessity of using nuclear weapons anywhere.

The article says the Germans are now considering a “post U.S. Europe”, after a U.S. pull-back. I believe that we who seek world stability, and the advance of freedom should reject a “post U.S. Europe”, or a “post U.S. Pacific” either. But as America plays its exceptional role in the world, we have a right to expect our allies to step up, just as Germany says it will do. - Jim Gilmore
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 Source: American Opportunity

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