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Trump Calls NATO Obsolete and Dismisses EU in German Interview Watch

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    So, Trump has had another interview, and he's not being very careful with his wording. The media always looks for soundbites to make sensationalist headlines, and Trump always provides.

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    The president-elect is much less sanguine about the future of the EU itself. A combination of economic woes and the migrant crisis will, he believes, lead to other countries leaving. “People, countries, want their own identity and the UK wanted its own identity. But, I do believe this, if they hadn’t been forced to take in all of the refugees, so many, with all the problems that it . . . entails, I think that you wouldn’t have a Brexit. This was the final straw that broke the camel’s back. . . I believe others will leave. I do think keeping it together is not gonna be as easy as a lot of people think. And I think this, if refugees keep pouring into different parts of Europe . . . I think it’s gonna be very hard to keep it together because people are angry about it.”

    While he expresses admiration for Angela Merkel, Mr Trump believes that she made “one catastrophic mistake” by welcoming an unlimited number of Syrian refugees. More than one million migrants from north Africa and the Middle East arrived between 2015 and 2016. He adds that he believes the West should have built safe zones in Syria — paid for by the Gulf — to limit the surge. “I think she made one very catastrophic mistake and that was taking all of these illegals, you know taking all of the people from wherever they come from. And nobody even knows where they come from.”

    Mr Trump’s hostility to the EU has been matched by his scepticism towards another pillar of the postwar order, Nato. But the president-elect was at pains to emphasise that he is committed to the defence of Europe and the West. His concerns are, principally, that Nato had not reformed to meet the main threat that we face — Islamist terrorism — and its members had relied too heavily on America. “I said a long time ago that Nato had problems. Number one it was obsolete, because it was designed many, many years ago. Number two the countries aren’t paying what they’re supposed to pay. I took such heat, when I said Nato was obsolete. It’s obsolete because it wasn’t taking care of terror. I took a lot of heat for two days. And then they started saying Trump is right.

    “And the other thing is the countries aren’t paying their fair share so we’re supposed to protect countries. But a lot of these countries aren’t paying what they’re supposed to be paying, which I think is very unfair to the United States. With that being said, Nato is very important to me. There’s five countries that are paying what they’re supposed to. Five. It’s not much.”
    Mr Trump’s transactional approach to politics means he wants to avoid taking up fixed positions towards other leaders too soon. He intends to give them the benefit of the doubt initially. And he hopes such an approach can lead to de-escalating international tensions. Specifically, he floated the idea of reviewing sanctions on Russia if President Putin is prepared to move away from confrontation. “They have sanctions on Russia — let’s see if we can make some good deals with Russia. For one thing, I think nuclear weapons should be way down and reduced very substantially, that’s part of it. But Russia’s hurting very badly right now because of sanctions, but I think something can happen that a lot of people are gonna benefit.”





    Soundbites

    U.S. President-elect Donald Trump called NATO obsolete, predicted that other European Union members would follow the U.K. in leaving the bloc and threatened BMW with import duties over a planned plant in Mexico, according to an interview with Germany's Bild newspaper that will raise concerns in Berlin over trans-Atlantic relations.

    Quoted in German from a conversation held in English, Trump predicted Britain's exit from the EU will be a success and portrayed the EU as an instrument of German domination with the purpose of beating the U.S. in international trade.

    In contrast, Trump praised Britons for voting last year to leave the EU. People and countries want their own identity and don't want outsiders to come in and "Destroy it." The U.K. is smart to leave the bloc because the EU "Is basically a means to an end for Germany," Bild cited Trump as saying.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/a...rman-interview




    I hope we'll stop taking the EU (and NATO) for granted soon and channel the inevitable populist/foreign attacks on it into constructive reform.

    The world seems to be moving away from the postwar order of the US policing everything. China is stronger than ever and Russia is getting more belligerent by the day.

    Unless we solidify and create our own sphere we'll end up economically colonized by Chinese firms, salami'd by Russians and militarily dependent on the US.

    Collectively we've got the money, we've got the population and we've got the infrastructure, if we squabbled less and coordinated more we'd be a new power in the world.

    We don't necessarily need unification, just cooperation in the places where it's needed. Foreign policy, trade and military being the most urgent.

    It could go either way. If European integrationists are too heavy-handed it might spark a backlash. However, a degree of European nationalism could be really healthy. A big part of the current 'new right' want a stronger foreign policy/military too. We just have to show them that an EU reformed by rational parties is a better vehicle for that than Eurosceptic parties.

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    (Original post by Mathemagicien)
    I hope we'll stop taking the EU (and NATO) for granted soon and channel the inevitable populist/foreign attacks on it into constructive reform.
    Many would agree with you, myself included, but the problem is it seems like the appetite for reform isn't shared across the bloc. If other powers don't want to do it, then how can they be convinced that reform is necessary? They're still happy in their own world.

    Even Brexit hasn't shaken them up to the extent many believed. There was no "oh, hang on, why have they left?", but an almost immediate "those fools, we're perfect!".
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    It's so nice of Trump to help out an impoverished ex-politician who is now just a humble reporter for the Times that nobody loves.

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    You have to admire him for that.
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    (Original post by Drewski)
    Many would agree with you, myself included, but the problem is it seems like the appetite for reform isn't shared across the bloc. If other powers don't want to do it, then how can they be convinced that reform is necessary? They're still happy in their own world.

    Even Brexit hasn't shaken them up to the extent many believed. There was no "oh, hang on, why have they left?", but an almost immediate "those fools, we're perfect!".
    The current leaders would say that though, wouldn't they. There will be seismic upheaval if Le Pen wins in France and then all bets are off.

    It is depressing the extent to which the EU elites continue to believe in the combination of the Euro and German fiscal doctrines, which merely serve as a mechanism to ensure that the German economy prospers at the expense of the rest of the Eurozone. Even Germany in fact is becoming more fragile.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    The current leaders would say that though, wouldn't they.
    My point exactly. It's all well and good for outsiders to say "that's a bit weird, have you tried doing it another way?", but if the people in the system have their fingers in their ears shouting "lalala, I can't hear you!" then what can we do?
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    Nato is largely obsolete. The forces it was set up to oppose are long gone, all members have significantly cut their forces in response and most don't meet their commitments. It is in need of reform or a cull to deal with the members who want to use the likes of us, the US, France and Germany almost as a substitute for their own defences.

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    During the referendum people went on about how Switzerland prospers outside the EU.

    Switzerland also prospers outside NATO and without trident so I'd like to see us follow them on those issues too...
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    Obama tried to reduce American influence in Europe in his "Pacific Pivot". I genuinely believe he actually wanted to form a less antagonistic relationship with Russia but Putin & his cadre seemed to be hell-bent on taking a course of action that made this impossible. US armour including 87 M1A2 MBTs has recently arrived in Eastern Europe to bolster other NATO units in the area which shows how successful the attempt to withdraw American forces from Europe has been.

    Trump's position on NATO & apparent friendship with Putin does not fill me full of confidence. I do think that the West should aim for closer, friendlier ties with Russia in general but certainly not when the Kremiln is happy to invade Georgia & Crimea, send special forces to other parts of the Ukraine, provide modern SAMs to rebels which shot down the airliner & deliberately fly aircraft into heavily congested airspace used by passenger aircraft around the UK with their SSR Transponders turned off.

    NATO becomes obsolete if Trump declares it so because no other nation has anywhere near the same power as the USA; it'd take probably every military in Europe to match America's capability but I doubt most European politicians would even act if they could assemble that kind of power.

    I do agree with Trump that Europe shouldn't rely on the US quite so heavily for defence but political will is as much a factor as defence spending. NATO is a far better structure to rely on for defence than the EU due to the presence of America. I wouldn't trust most EU nations to back the Baltic States with anything other than a strongly worded letter.
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    Trump is telling the world America wants to withdraw from the world and stop being a global superpower. America pays more than any other country forNATO because who pays the piper calls the tune. If the other NATO members have to pay more, then they would want more say in what its objectives are and how its run, diluting America's influence.

    He knows the EU is the only bloc wealthy enough to match the US so wants to see it disintegrate. Its the old divide and rule, thats why he is being so friendly to Britain and antagonistic to Germany and making empty threats about BMW.

    Its pretty transparent and unsophisticated but plays well with the unwashed.
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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    During the referendum people went on about how Switzerland prospers outside the EU.

    Switzerland also prospers outside NATO and without trident so I'd like to see us follow them on those issues too...
    Switzerland capitulated to the EU over freedom of movement.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    The current leaders would say that though, wouldn't they. There will be seismic upheaval if Le Pen wins in France and then all bets are off.

    It is depressing the extent to which the EU elites continue to believe in the combination of the Euro and German fiscal doctrines, which merely serve as a mechanism to ensure that the German economy prospers at the expense of the rest of the Eurozone. Even Germany in fact is becoming more fragile.
    That is because Germany is the EU's and the Eurozone's paymaster.

    It pays EVEN more to the EU than we do (and that is saying something) but it is the loans to Greece that are truly eye watering.

    They have done very well out of it vis a vis exports and economic growth, and will not let Greece default (and if you were a German taxpayer why would you exactly?)
    which means the Greeks especially, but the whole of southern Europe slowly dies a death by a thousand cuts, with it getting worse day by day.

    There is no answer. Greece needs to default, restore the Drachma, have a huge devaluation and become competitive again. Short term pain for long term gain.

    But Germany won't write off the billions they have lent. Because that means German taxes woud have to rise.

    Remind me, as a EU enthusiast and Remain voter, what exactly is it about the bankrupt Eurozone, and broken EU that you continue to still believe in exactly?
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    (Original post by astutehirstute)
    Remind me, as a EU enthusiast and Remain voter, what exactly is it about the bankrupt Eurozone, and broken EU that you continue to still believe in exactly?
    Things can get worse before they get better. Europe belongs on top of the world, as a superpower; something it can only do now when all nations are united. We have the potential to be much more powerful than even the US. We have the population, the economy, the technology, the infrastructure, the brains - but not the will required, nor the unity. That can change.

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    (Original post by Mathemagicien)
    Things can get worse before they get better. Europe belongs on top of the world, as a superpower; something it can only do now when all nations are united. We have the potential to be much more powerful than even the US. We have the population, the economy, the technology, the infrastructure, the brains - but not the will required, nor the unity. That can change.

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    Sorry to break this to you but it ain't gonna happen!

    At least not in either of our lifetimes.

    The last time the continent was one, single, political entity was 476. The date usually given for the fall of the Roman Empire in the West.

    No-one has been able to unite it ever since then, and I don't think a little worm like Jean Claude Juncker is going to manage it.

    .
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    (Original post by astutehirstute)
    Sorry to break this to you but it ain't gonna happen!

    At least not in either of our lifetimes.

    The last time the continent was one, single, political entity was 476. The date usually given for the fall of the Roman Empire in the West.

    No-one has been able to unite it ever since then, and I don't think a little worm like Jean Claude Juncker is going to manage it.

    .
    I don't think anyone in the EU leadership is able to unite Europe. I don't have a favourable opinion of any of them. Juncker is a drunk, from what I can tell, and typical of a Eurocratic elite completely detached from reality, whose job is apparently only to sample very expensive wines while ****ing eachother off about how wonderfully everything is going.

    mfw someone mentions rome



    We won't see a properly united Europe until we retake Constatinople for many decades, of course, and its a great thing that Britain is leaving, so the EU can tackle the problems that the UK blocked them from dealing with - for example, steel tariffs, something the UK has consistently vetoed in its quest for Chinese investment.

    The British youth are much more liberal than the youth in continental Europe; this is doubtless going to cause problems for the UK in a few decades' time, and since we are leaving, our problems will not particularly affect the EU.
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    I would only support a pan-European state if it was based on defending, preserving and rejuvenating Western culture and civilisation from savagery and uber-liberal degeneracy. Not the supine, pathetic, interfering, quasi-socialist monstrosity in place now, forcing "multiculturalism" and "diversity" on us all.

    That's why I'm glad we've left the EU.

    For this project however, we'd need someone of the calibre of Caesar or Napoleon or Charlemagne. I once believed that Putin might do the job, but he seems like too much of a narrowly-focused nationalist to be genuinely worthy of this role.

    The good thing about confrontation between the West and Russia/Islam is that it will encourage an awakening among the sleeping population of the West, and allow great leaders to come to the fore who will deal with the crisis at hand. If we had a European in the mould of an Ataturk or a Peter the Great, our continent might yet revive itself.
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    (Original post by Cato the Elder)
    For this project however, we'd need someone of the calibre of Caesar or Napoleon or Charlemagne. I once believed that Putin might do the job, but he seems like too much of a narrowly-focused nationalist to be genuinely worthy of this role.
    Why do we need a single great person? These nationalist movements are all largely independant. There will inevitably come a time in the near future when the majority of the EU have much more nationalist governments, and I can't see the remaining EU states vetoing all their reforms, because that would be the end of the EU, and they'd know it.
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    (Original post by Mathemagicien)
    Why do we need a single great person? These nationalist movements are all largely independant. There will inevitably come a time in the near future when the majority of the EU have much more nationalist governments, and I can't see the remaining EU states vetoing all their reforms, because that would be the end of the EU, and they'd know it.
    All great things proceed from great men, not from the hapless and idiotic masses. Bear that in mind, my left-wing friend.
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    (Original post by Cato the Elder)
    All great things proceed from great men, not from the hapless and idiotic masses. Bear that in mind, my left-wing friend.
    The masses have a momentum of their own. Often they only need a nudge in the right direction, and they will carry on going, creating great change, without a great leader; although a good leader will probably emerge from within this mob. AFAIK, the French Revolution - a social movement which had perhaps one of the greatest impacts on Europe in history - was largely an uncoordinated movement, from which leaders only eventually emerged.

    Underestimating the power of the masses is very dangerous.
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    (Original post by Mathemagicien)
    The masses have a momentum of their own. Often they only need a nudge in the right direction, and they will carry on going, creating great change, without a great leader; although a good leader will probably emerge from within this mob. AFAIK, the French Revolution - a social movement which had perhaps one of the greatest impacts on Europe in history - was largely an uncoordinated movement, from which leaders only eventually emerged.

    Underestimating the power of the masses is very dangerous.
    And the French Revolution was mainly relevant insofar as it led to the rise of Napoleon and the spread of its ideals continent-wide. It could in fact have been crushed if not for the incompetence of the king and his ministers.

    The masses of the French people would have achieved nothing without men like Robespierre, Danton, Desmoulins, Marat, Napoleon, Dumouriez, Carnot, etc, at their head. Without them the Revolution could easily have been defeated.
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    (Original post by Mathemagicien)
    The masses have a momentum of their own. Often they only need a nudge in the right direction, and they will carry on going, creating great change, without a great leader; although a good leader will probably emerge from within this mob. AFAIK, the French Revolution - a social movement which had perhaps one of the greatest impacts on Europe in history - was largely an uncoordinated movement, from which leaders only eventually emerged.

    Underestimating the power of the masses is very dangerous.
    What has to be remembered about masses is they're very good for getting stuff done, especially fighting when we're talking about the revolutions that actually achieve anything (because there are simply so many people), but without direction they're really no good. Masses need leaders, especially when they're not used to thinking for themselves. The masses are not the drivers of the change, they are the engine, the drivers are the small group of men leading and directing the men, your Robespierres, Lenins, Castros, Napoleons, Gueveras, Maos

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