Tag: NATO

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Real Leadership, Real Statesmanship: President Trump at NATO

 

Trump and StoltenbergWhile lots of us engage in the guilty pleasure of watching selective clips of our favorite Congressional actors in the latest kabuki theater, we might profit more from considering some of the sights and sounds coming from the NATO 70th anniversary meeting of heads of state. I especially invite your attention to two official videos, one of President Trump meeting before the press with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, and the other of the “2 Percenters” lunch meeting. Relevant excerpts from the transcripts appear below.*

Watch two mature adults have a real discussion before a real press corps. Notice that President Trump is defending NATO as a useful vehicle for the mutual defense of nations’ interests. Consider that Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg is the former Prime Minister of Norway, not a career eurocrat. Listen to both men deal carefully with both the nature of threats and the natural disagreements even among friendly nations, where each nation operates from its own interests. President Trump says: “I love that you say that NATO is changing as the world is changing.” See Stoltenberg emphasis that NATO members have (under pressure from President Trump) made over 100 billion dollars worth of increases in military defense spending. Watch both men address the challenges of both China and Islamist terrorism.

More

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. “Interagency Consensus” DIME Not Worth a Plugged Nickel on NATO

 

NATO at 70Everyone in the vaunted “interagency,” is well aware of the concept of the instruments of national power. The old Army War College acronym is “DIME,” for diplomatic, informational, military, and economic tools. You will notice that each tends to rest primarily in different departments, different agencies in the “interagency.” This would be why you need multiple agencies to coordinate rather than always operating “in their own lane.”

Just as Madison Avenue is best at selling Madison Avenue, so too the permanent bureaucracy and its affiliates, allies, patrons, and petitioners all affirm competent and selfless expertise in the face of all evidence. Indeed, the reverence for the “foreign policy consensus” evokes the British Parliament’s ritual prostration before the NHS. Thank God that we finally have a president who feels no such compulsion, the first such since Ronald Reagan.

More

Member Post

 

Should we be worried about its completion? Are sanctions an appropriate and effective response? From Radio Free Europe:  More

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Truth and Lies About Ukraine

 

Ukraine in context mapWe were repeatedly treated to lies about Ukraine during the first week of the Democrats’ congressional clown show “impeachment inquiry.” The central lie was that Ukraine was a key security partner against Russia for many years. It is a lie that Ukraine has ever been a key security partner and it is a further lie that Ukraine has been the focus of US policy intended to check Russian re-expansion. Everyone knows this, you know this, at least in your gut. Here are the facts, which do not care about anyone’s feelings:

1991: Ukraine votes for and declares independence from the Union of Soviet Socialist States. Ukraine has over 1,000 nuclear warheads, allegedly without the control and arming codes, but with significant technical knowledge in-house. Weeks before the independence vote, President George H.W. Bush delivers an infamous speech in Kiev, written by Russia and Eastern Europe expert Condoleezza Rice, in which he warned about “suicidal nationalism.” William Safire branded this the “Chicken Kiev speech.” Bush feared that small states declaring their independence would provoke the Russian population, destabilizing the supposedly democratizing new Russia.

More

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Turkish Trick or Treat?

 

A young veteran reminded me of the truly ancient roots of conflict in the Middle East, pointing to lines we do not even see on the sand and soil. This prompted me to return to a summary sketch I laid aside months ago, after fleshing out an account of what we now call Iran. Then the House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution condemning the Ottoman Empire for committing the first genocide of the 20th Century…and 12 Republicans joined Rep. Ilhan Omar in opposing the resolution! What? Why? What follows is a single summary of the other three big players, historically, now known as Turkey, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.

Iran and Egypt can point to the most ancient civilizations, as their progenitors were contemporary regional powers. The clash between them was captured in the ancient Hebrew texts, as the Jewish people were caught in the middle. Saudi Arabia comes next, with claims to punching far above their weight with armies fired by the fervor of a new faith, and more recently of being the secular and religious guardians of the faith. Finally, the Turks can claim to have been the most successful and latest power to rule the region for centuries after imposing final defeat on the (Christian) Eastern Roman empire.

More

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are happy to see Vice President Pence laud our NATO partners for contributing more to the common defense and building greater cohesion while also calling out Turkey for its troubling embrace of Russia and a more Islamist outlook on the world. They also welcome the March jobs report, which shows greater gains than expected and is a major improvement from February. And they discuss West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin openly longing to run for governor in 2020.

More

Member Post

 

Matt Schoenfeldt and Wyatt Harper are joined by British Army Officer, Dave Calder. Dave walks us through his NATO deployment to Estonia and helps us understand the role NATO is playing in the Baltics. He also shares with us a unique project he is working on at the British Staff Course. Follow us on iTunes […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell on Iran Sanctions Snapback, America’s Energy Competition with Russia in the EU, Chancellor Merkel U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell occupies one of the most critical positions in American diplomacy, not only because Germany represents the EU’s largest economy and has disproportionate influence on the continent, but because of […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Russian Georgia War My Experience Ten Years On…

 
Russian Looters in Georgia 2008

It was August and it was hot. I had just got a short-term missions team sent home and so I finally returned to my village in Eastern Georgia. We were getting ready to celebrate my son’s birthday on August 8th. The Olympics were about to be on and we were anxious to watch them. We heard some disturbing rumors even back on August 5th when one of the Georgians with us had his leave canceled and was recalled to his unit. The rumors were about serious threats on the border of South Ossetia and a breakaway region of Georgia, but that happened every summer. We were sorry for our soldier friend but weren’t really worried. The tensions had been growing for days and several members of the Georgian government were gone on vacation and many military personal were on leave and 2,000 of Georgia’s best soldiers were away fighting in Iraq for the United States. I didn’t seem like war was about to break out.

Background to the War

More

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Dennis Prager on the Self-Righteously Suicidal West and False Morality

 

For this week’s Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten podcast, I had nationally syndicated radio host, columnist, author of numerous books, teacher, film producer and co-founder of PragerU, Dennis Prager, on the podcast to discuss among other things:

  • How Dennis Prager ended up a conservative as an Ivy League-educated Jewish intellectual from Brooklyn, New York — contrary to so many of his peers
  • How perceptions of human nature divide Left and Right
  • Whether government has filled the void of religion for the increasingly secular and progressive American coasts
  • How the good intentions that underlie Leftist policy prescriptions lead to horrendous outcomes — and emotion versus reason on the Left and Right
  • The false morality underlying European immigration policy with respect to the Muslim world, and Prager’s criticism of Jewish support of mass immigration consisting disproportionately of Jew-haters
  • The self-righteous suicidalism of the West
  • The Leftist bias of social media platforms and PragerU’s legal battle with YouTube/Google

You can find the episode on iTunes, everywhere else podcasts are found, download the episode directly here or read the transcript here.

More

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Real Donald Trump Blunder? “Montenegro” Isn’t Montenegro.

 

No president is perfect, else we would allow unlimited terms. I support President Trump’s actions towards Russia, am not discomforted by the Helsinki summit, and believe the upcoming DC summit to be a good thing. I also recognize that the relentlessly hostile network and cable news media make the islands of apparently friendly forums attractive. With all those qualifications, I was jarred by the President’s response to Tucker Carlson on “Montenegro.” I am concerned because of history and because it is clear “Montenegro,” in Tucker’s agenda, is not Montenegro. A quick look at the map shows what I mean.

More

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Putin Speaks Code. Does Trump Understand?

 

Back when word first leaked that Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, and Donald Trump, Jr., had met with a Russian lawyer and others offering dirt on Hillary Clinton, President Trump seemed to think he was supplying an exculpatory cover story. Flying home from Germany on Air Force One, Trump reportedly instructed Don Jr. to claim that he and the Kremlin-linked lawyer had “primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children.” There is apparently some debate about whether that misleading statement places the president in any legal jeopardy, but there is another aspect to the story that has received less attention. It came up again during the Helsinki debacle – Putin, the world’s richest man and most successful thief, is obsessed with the Magnitsky Act.

In fact, the very mention of Russian adoptions was a tipoff that Ms. Veselnitskaya was probably representing Vladimir Putin. Whether Trump knew this at the time is unclear. After all, he could not say what the nuclear triad was and endorsed “Article XII” of the U.S. Constitution. Maybe he thought mentioning that they discussed Russian adoptions was the most anodyne-sounding explanation for the meeting.

More

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Loose Cannons and Nuclear Buttons: Dealing with Russia

 

Every time I see “statesmen” foaming at the mouth about insufficient posturing against Russia, I go back to the basics. There are exactly two countries on this planet capable of reducing any country on the face of the earth to toxic, smoldering ruins in hours. These are the United States of America and the Russian Federation (the latest manifestation of the Russian empire).

President Trump has done an admirable job, like most presidents in the Atomic Age, of keeping the natural tensions between the two megadeath powers inside the safety limits. He has succeeded, so far, despite the worst efforts of his domestic enemies, who are more serious about destroying him than they are about national security.

More

Victor Davis Hanson describes how President Trump’s unconventional approach to foreign policy has often proved to be more effective than the conventional wisdom proffered by the Washington establishment.

More

Victor Davis Hanson argues that the best way to upend insular elites is to relocate political institutions out of cosmopolitan settings.

More

Member Post

 

This holy week, “while no creature was stirring, not even a mouse”, several publications posted some startling articles. For example: Dec. 21, 2017 The following story appeared in Military.Com, regarding a routine rotation of 300 marines in Norway this year. We are there at the invitation of Norway to “enhance partnerships” with European Allies. However, […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

President Donald Trump held a joint press conference with the president of Finland, Saudi Niinistö. Topics included NATO, the Arctic, Russia, NATO, Hurricane Harvey, FEMA, and NAFTA, among others. President Niinisto twice deflected leading questions from reporters asking him to give Trump advice on Russia. When Fox News’s John Roberts asked Trump about the president’s pardoning of Joe Arpaio, Trump’s lengthy response included pulling a piece of paper from his breast pocket on which he had written a list of pardons that presidents Clinton and Obama had given to criminals and terrorists. The list included Marc Rich who, Trump pointed out, Clinton pardoned after Rich’s wife donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Clintons. Trump also told a reporter from One American News that “one way or the other, Mexico’s going to pay for the wall, that’s right. It may be through reimbursement, but one way or another Mexico will pay for the wall.”

 

More

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Melissa O’Sullivan of the Danube Institute: Two Europes?

 

On this episode of Whiskey Politics, we discuss President Trump’s recent speech in Poland, paying NATO, the reality of two Europes, Immigration, Putin, Brexit, and much more with Melissa O’Sullivan, the Deputy Director of the Danube Institute in Budapest, Hungary, and Washington DC. Melissa represents the Danube Institute through her involvement with the International Women’s Club and other organizations. A former professional in the field of security working with the federal government, she is a graduate of the University of Alabama and a commentator on the political scene on both sides of the Atlantic. Melissa works with her husband John O’Sullivan, former senior policy writer and speechwriter for Margaret Thatcher when she was British prime minister, Editor at National Review, and former Editor in Chief at UPI.

Please subscribe to Whiskey Politics at YouTube and our audio podcasts at iTunesStitcher or GooglePlay where your 5-star rating would be appreciated! In: Excerpts from Trump’s Poland Speech, Little Green Bag, George Baker Selection. Out: Budapest, George Ezra.

More

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America react to reports that President Trump wants to create a NATO-like group in the Middle East, involving Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and the UAE. They also dissect what we know of the memo former FBI Director James Comey reportedly wrote about Trump asking him to back off the investigation of Michael Flynn. And they discuss the speculation swirling around the future of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and explain how Trump is making the work of the communications team much more difficult.

More

Richard Epstein reacts to the first round of balloting in the French presidential election and explains the implications for the broader state of politics in Europe.

More