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Tags donald trump , Trump administration , Trump controversies

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Old 11th July 2018, 10:39 AM   #641
Segnosaur
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Originally Posted by rdwight View Post
Although can't really see how natural gas would be the largest wartime energy source.
Its not just its value as a "wartime energy source".

Occasionally, it may be useful to put sanctions on a country (even during relatively peaceful times). But if Western Europe gets a significant amount of their natural gas from Russia, it does mean that they can't cut all their imports if they need to implement sanctions. It also means that if Russia decides to play hardball, they can shut off gas supplies.
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Old 11th July 2018, 10:44 AM   #642
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Originally Posted by rdwight View Post
I see it as underpinning the importance of NATO more than anything. How important is this coallition really? Countries unwilling or unable to meet their contributions, along with one of the head countries becoming dependent on the source of it's necessity(Russia) for an energy need.
There seems to be a conflation of things here. Just because Germany isn't currently meeting their 2024 target for defence expenditure as a percentage of GDP, doesn't necessarily mean that they are not meeting their obligations as a NATO member.

What's better, spending, say, 1.5% of GDP on defence* and do it in a way that provides an efficient fighting force to support NATO, its operations and its objectives or spending 2.0% of GDP on defence and spunking it away on a series of high profile white elephants that actually detract from NATO's effectiveness ?

Originally Posted by rdwight View Post
Although can't really see how natural gas would be the largest wartime energy source. The accuracy of his statement is not important to him, just the general outline to lessen the purpose and importance of NATO. And throw shade again on any country not meeting their requirements.
It seems that facts don't matter to Donald Trump at all, and neither do longstanding alliances when he wants to throw a hissy fit.


edited to add....

oops forgot to explain the *

* - of course it depends on what you include in defence spending. Does US expenditure include the spending on veterans' welfare and healthcare that might be covered by other countries in other ways. Does US expenditure include the "absolutely not subsidies" that US defence contractors end up getting ?

Last edited by The Don; 11th July 2018 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 11th July 2018, 11:09 AM   #643
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There are good historic reasons why the USA and other countries didn't want the Germans spending a lot of their armed forces.
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Old 11th July 2018, 11:10 AM   #644
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
* - of course it depends on what you include in defence spending. Does US expenditure include the spending on veterans' welfare and healthcare that might be covered by other countries in other ways. Does US expenditure include the "absolutely not subsidies" that US defence contractors end up getting ?
In a letter to Gulf States (made public by Iran, to Khamenei's glee), Trump reportedly berated the UAE and others by saying he'd spent $7 trillion in the region and it was about time the Persian Gulf states stepped up to solve regional problems. The quoted wording: "I spent $7 trillion and you must do something in return."

Per WaPo:

Quote:
The dollar figure is inaccurate: Trump is thought to be referring to a study from Brown University that included future costs not only for the wars in Iraq and Syria but also in Afghanistan and such expenses as veterans' care for nearly 40 more years.
It's interesting that Khamenei leaked the letter at all - it is not clear who provided him with it, since it was sent to Gulf allies, which presumably does not include Iran. The Trump administration didn't confirm or deny the letter's veracity. I trust Khamenei more than Trump on this, and absolutely believe that Trump used the pronoun "I" - it's very much in character. Yet most of that expenditure is not even Trump-related, if it's including Iraq and Afghanistan.
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Old 11th July 2018, 11:13 AM   #645
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The primary target of Trump in all this story is not to get the NATO Member States to increase their military expenses but to blow up the European Union.

No doubts that after these two days in Brussels he will get a very good appraisal and performance review from his manager in Helsinki…
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Old 11th July 2018, 11:13 AM   #646
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Originally Posted by rdwight View Post
Countries unwilling or unable to meet their contributions
This is what was agreed in 2014:

Originally Posted by Wales Summit Declaration
We agree to reverse the trend of declining defence budgets, to make the most effective use of our funds and to further a more balanced sharing of costs and responsibilities. Our overall security and defence depend both on how much we spend and how we spend it. Increased investments should be directed towards meeting our capability priorities, and Allies also need to display the political will to provide required capabilities and deploy forces when they are needed. A strong defence industry across the Alliance, including a stronger defence industry in Europe and greater defence industrial cooperation within Europe and across the Atlantic, remains essential for delivering the required capabilities. NATO and EU efforts to strengthen defence capabilities are complementary.

Taking current commitments into account, we are guided by the following considerations:

Allies currently meeting the NATO guideline to spend a minimum of 2% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on defence will aim to continue to do so.
Likewise, Allies spending more than 20% of their defence budgets on major equipment, including related Research & Development, will continue to do so.

Allies whose current proportion of GDP spent on defence is below this level will:
halt any decline in defence expenditure; aim to increase defence expenditure in real terms as GDP grows;
aim to move towards the 2% guideline within a decade with a view to meeting their NATO Capability Targets and filling NATO's capability shortfalls.
Allies who currently spend less than 20% of their annual defence spending on major new equipment, including related Research & Development, will aim, within a decade, to increase their annual investments to 20% or more of total defence expenditures.
https://www.nato.int/cps/ic/natohq/o...xts_112964.htm

Note that the 2% guideline is just that, a guideline. It wasn't and hasn't been a "requirement" from the conception of NATO to the present. Member states agreed in 2014 to spend a minimum of 2% worth of their countries's GDP on military expenditure in 2024. Furthermore it's not a "contribution" or something that's owed to NATO or the US specifically, despite Trump making this completely false claim over and over again. Bashing NATO members because of their defense spending on his misunderstanding on how NATO works is really scary in my opinion, because it signals that Trump doesn't know or care about the facts of something that important.

This is just another example of Trump pushing his false and misleading narrative that other countries are taking advantage of the US, which is extremely offensive because of how many times America has actually done the opposite. He did the same thing when he criticized the EU for "making it impossible for our farmers to trade there" which is complete utter ********. You can't negotiate with someone who's delusional about basic facts, or simply doesn't care and makes up stuff on a whim. That's what makes Trump actually scary in my opinion.
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Old 11th July 2018, 11:31 AM   #647
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
But if Western Europe gets a significant amount of their natural gas from Russia, it does mean that they can't cut all their imports if they need to implement sanctions. It also means that if Russia decides to play hardball, they can shut off gas supplies.
Good point. My mind normally goes to war material in regards to these things before more soft approaches such as sanctions and diplomacy. Not that they are not important, just that I go end game/worst case.



Originally Posted by The Don View Post
There seems to be a conflation of things here. Just because Germany isn't currently meeting their 2024 target for defence expenditure as a percentage of GDP, doesn't necessarily mean that they are not meeting their obligations as a NATO member.

What's better, spending, say, 1.5% of GDP on defence* and do it in a way that provides an efficient fighting force to support NATO, its operations and its objectives or spending 2.0% of GDP on defence and spunking it away on a series of high profile white elephants that actually detract from NATO's effectiveness ?
I don't disagree with this, but if the case is that such an expense is unnecessary, then our contributions could be significantly cut as well. Would such cuts require an increase on other countries that don't currently need to meet their 2%?


Originally Posted by The Don View Post
* - of course it depends on what you include in defence spending. Does US expenditure include the spending on veterans' welfare and healthcare that might be covered by other countries in other ways. Does US expenditure include the "absolutely not subsidies" that US defence contractors end up getting ?
For sure there are differences in how costs are factored by country. The fact countries agreed to increase leans me to believe their was still a gap that conceded as needing to be filled.
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Old 11th July 2018, 11:53 AM   #648
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Originally Posted by Arcade22 View Post
This is what was agreed in 2014:
https://www.nato.int/cps/ic/natohq/o...xts_112964.htm

Note that the 2% guideline is just that, a guideline. It wasn't and hasn't been a "requirement" from the conception of NATO to the present. Member states agreed in 2014 to spend a minimum of 2% worth of their countries's GDP on military expenditure in 2024. Furthermore it's not a "contribution" or something that's owed to NATO or the US specifically, despite Trump making this completely false claim over and over again. Bashing NATO members because of their defense spending on his misunderstanding on how NATO works is really scary in my opinion, because it signals that Trump doesn't know or care about the facts of something that important.
I admit I am ignorant of the exact origins of the 2% 'guideline' but I would think it was set up as such more to not punish member nations during economic downturns, as opposed to just some general suggestion. I don't think it was meant to be set up just at the whims of county's leadership and optimistic view of threat levels. The fact those guidelines were set more firm after an escalation of force through Russia's actions in Ukraine and Crimea appear to warrant my view. I don't mind educating myself if I am off the mark, so if you have some documentation in regards to it I wouldn't mind reading.
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Old 11th July 2018, 12:14 PM   #649
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Originally Posted by rdwight View Post
I don't disagree with this, but if the case is that such an expense is unnecessary, then our contributions could be significantly cut as well. Would such cuts require an increase on other countries that don't currently need to meet their 2%?
What are these "contributions" you refer to ?

Among some there seems to be the misapprehension that there's some sort of central fund into which NATO members pay and then NATO-related expenses are met from that central fund and that the US pays more than its fair share into that fund - none of that is the case.

It's true that the US spends a greater proportion of its GDP on its military than any other NATO member. That doesn't mean that it's subsidising the other NATO members in any way. I'm no military expert but it's entirely possible that the US could significantly reduce its military expenditure significantly and have no measurable impact on its ability to defend itself and/or meet its NATO obligations.

GOP orthodoxy dictates that military expenditure must always increase.

Originally Posted by rdwight View Post
For sure there are differences in how costs are factored by country. The fact countries agreed to increase leans me to believe their was still a gap that conceded as needing to be filled.
2% is IMO an arbitrary target. A country like the UK has all kinds of global ex-imperial obligations that a middle-European country simply doesn't have. "Our" 2% has to go a lot further than, say, Poland's. Who knows why individual countries agreed to a 2% target ?
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Old 11th July 2018, 12:26 PM   #650
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Originally Posted by Hlafordlaes View Post
I'm totally digging Trump's scathing and wild commentary on all things European. It's just what people here in the EU needed in order to remember regional security is a genuine top concern, not something out of history books. Lying Ivan to the East, Child-abusing Uncle Sam to the West, Emperor Xi on the move along the Silk Road: time to get very serious about putting the European house in order.
The last shreds of European complacency must have been blown away today, and, like you, I'm glad of it. The US's rivalry was with the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact, which are gone and not returning. Europe's problem is Russia, and it has been for three hundred years. The US is going home, which is far away from Russia. We're already at home, and all too close.

I'm not so concerned about China, which is very far away. I'm put in mind of a Polish joke : a Polish guy catches a Polish leprechaun, gets given three wishes, and asks that Poland be occupied by the Chinese three times. When asked why, he says "Because to occupy Poland three times they'd have to march across Russia six times." Since we're stuck with Russia I'd rather there be an assertive China on the other side than not.
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Old 11th July 2018, 12:28 PM   #651
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Originally Posted by CapelDodger View Post
The US is going home, which is far away from Russia. We're already at home, and all too close.
Well if Sarah Palin can see Russia from her house, it's not that far away!
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Old 11th July 2018, 12:44 PM   #652
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
What are these "contributions" you refer to ?

Among some there seems to be the misapprehension that there's some sort of central fund into which NATO members pay and then NATO-related expenses are met from that central fund and that the US pays more than its fair share into that fund - none of that is the case.

It's true that the US spends a greater proportion of its GDP on its military than any other NATO member. That doesn't mean that it's subsidising the other NATO members in any way. I'm no military expert but it's entirely possible that the US could significantly reduce its military expenditure significantly and have no measurable impact on its ability to defend itself and/or meet its NATO obligations.
Maybe contributions is not the word I should use. For an example, I mean things like the European Deterrence Initiative, which budget has continued to increase and sits at 4.7 billion. This is cost that I feel directly offsets the defensive costs of the countries that are a part of it. Feels like a direct subsidy. Not to remove the fact that we have a reason to maintain bases, equipment and troops in Europe, our military removing or lowering contributions to those places would have a direct impact on spending by those countries.
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Old 11th July 2018, 12:45 PM   #653
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
That is a lot of tough talk from a government that has repeatedly failed to live up to the 2% target. That target has been around for years.
That target has 2024 the goal for when it should be met.

There is no failure taking place now.
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Old 11th July 2018, 01:01 PM   #654
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trump tweete


"I am in Brussels, but always thinking about our farmers. Soy beans fell 50% from 2012 to my election. Farmers have done poorly for 15 years. Other countries’ trade barriers and tariffs have been destroying their businesses. I will open..."

"...things up, better than ever before, but it can’t go too quickly. I am fighting for a level playing field for our farmers, and will win!"

He says as Soya exports go through the floor because of his trade war.
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Old 11th July 2018, 01:03 PM   #655
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Back to a golden oldie

trump Tweets

"Democrats in Congress must no longer Obstruct - vote to fix our terrible Immigration Laws now. I am watching what is going on from Europe - it would be soooo simple to fix. Judges run the system and illegals and traffickers know how it works. They are just using children!"
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Old 11th July 2018, 01:04 PM   #656
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And back to NATO

trump Tweets

"What good is NATO if Germany is paying Russia billions of dollars for gas and energy? Why are there only 5 out of 29 countries that have met their commitment? The U.S. is paying for Europe’s protection, then loses billions on Trade. Must pay 2% of GDP IMMEDIATELY, not by 2025."



You can't just suddenly throw billions of pounds at the army and say spend it.

Does he think the money is given to the USA?

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Old 11th July 2018, 01:14 PM   #657
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
You can't just suddenly throw billions of pounds at the army and say spend it.
Didn't Trump do exactly that in his huge budget? So it can be done. All it requires is the will and a slavishly compliant legislature.
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Old 11th July 2018, 01:24 PM   #658
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
It's true that the US spends a greater proportion of its GDP on its military than any other NATO member.
And puts a greater proportion of its military in the Pacific Ocean than most other NATO members.
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Old 11th July 2018, 01:25 PM   #659
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Originally Posted by CapelDodger View Post
Didn't Trump do exactly that in his huge budget? So it can be done. All it requires is the will and a slavishly compliant legislature.
What do you spend it on? It has to be planned, you can't magic an armoured division out of thin air no matter how much money you have.
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Old 11th July 2018, 01:28 PM   #660
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Picture of the day from NATO summit.


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Old 11th July 2018, 01:55 PM   #661
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Picture of the day from NATO summit.
Amazing. Pretty well sums it all up. I wonder what shiny object distracted him?
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Old 11th July 2018, 01:55 PM   #662
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Picture of the day from NATO summit.


http://i821.photobucket.com/albums/z...ps1jhzhvnk.jpg
Trump is a leader! Everyone else is looking the wrong way.
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Old 11th July 2018, 02:04 PM   #663
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
And back to NATO

trump Tweets

"What good is NATO if Germany is paying Russia billions of dollars for gas and energy? Why are there only 5 out of 29 countries that have met their commitment? The U.S. is paying for Europe’s protection, then loses billions on Trade. Must pay 2% of GDP IMMEDIATELY, not by 2025."



You can't just suddenly throw billions of pounds at the army and say spend it.

Does he think the money is given to the USA?
Oh and now apparently Trump's demanding it should be 4%...
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Old 11th July 2018, 02:06 PM   #664
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That's going to end up being an iconic image.
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Old 11th July 2018, 02:14 PM   #665
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Trump is a leader! Everyone else is looking the wrong way.
They're all looking at the Trump Baby blimp.
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Old 11th July 2018, 02:33 PM   #666
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
There are good historic reasons why the USA and other countries didn't want the Germans spending a lot of their armed forces.
That's the whole point of NATO, keep the Russians out, the Americans in and the Germans down.
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Old 11th July 2018, 02:39 PM   #667
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Originally Posted by chrispy View Post
Amazing. Pretty well sums it all up. I wonder what shiny object distracted him?
Probably just being contrarian.
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Old 11th July 2018, 02:47 PM   #668
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Originally Posted by Craig4 View Post
That's the whole point of NATO, keep the Russians out, the Americans in and the Germans down.
How very 20th Century .
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Old 11th July 2018, 02:51 PM   #669
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Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
Oh and now apparently Trump's demanding it should be 4%...
He's full-on gibbering. One has to wonder if there's a medical issue, hopefully nothing trivial.
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Old 11th July 2018, 03:32 PM   #670
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Could not avoid Fox News in the apartments' gym just now - someone was nattering about Germany getting 70 percent of its "energy" from Russia. It boggles my mind that they don't bother to get this right. Some pundit or other was saying "if I were Germany I wouldn't want to depend on Putin's whims." I don't think Putin actually has whims, it is all strategic to him, but then I suppose there's a sort of strategy in Trump's constant stream of hot air, which is feeding misinformation to his base.

I just don't get how Fox can stand being wrong so much of the time. Yes, they are a conservative propaganda outlet, but it would still bug me to be factually incorrect even if I were selectively marshaling facts to serve an agenda. Why does it have to be 70 percent of Germany's "energy"? What's wrong with saying "up to 70 percent of its natural gas"? It still sounds like a lot; you just ignore the other 80 percent of its energy sector.

I was surprised Germany gets 40 percent of its power from coal and is planning to stop using nuclear altogether.

ETA: Not sure about that 40 percent, I went with the first result on Google, it might be out of date.

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Old 11th July 2018, 03:33 PM   #671
portlandatheist
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Originally Posted by CapelDodger View Post
He's full-on gibbering. One has to wonder if there's a medical issue, hopefully nothing trivial.
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Old 11th July 2018, 03:34 PM   #672
Minoosh
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Originally Posted by CapelDodger View Post
He's full-on gibbering. One has to wonder if there's a medical issue, hopefully nothing trivial.
Why stop at 4 percent? Every NATO country should spend at least 150 percent of its gross domestic product on defense!
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Old 11th July 2018, 03:43 PM   #673
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
trump tweete


"I am in Brussels, but always thinking about our farmers. Soy beans fell 50% from 2012 to my election. Farmers have done poorly for 15 years. Other countries’ trade barriers and tariffs have been destroying their businesses. I will open..."

"...things up, better than ever before, but it can’t go too quickly. I am fighting for a level playing field for our farmers, and will win!"

He says as Soya exports go through the floor because of his trade war.
I predict to "save the soybean market (and farmers)", Trump will propose loosening sanctions on Russia so the farmers can sell their soybeans there.
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Old 11th July 2018, 03:47 PM   #674
CapelDodger
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
What do you spend it on?
Not a question slavishly compliant legislatures ask. That's the beauty of them.
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Old 11th July 2018, 04:15 PM   #675
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Originally Posted by rdwight View Post
I admit I am ignorant of the exact origins of the 2% 'guideline' but I would think it was set up as such more to not punish member nations during economic downturns, as opposed to just some general suggestion. I don't think it was meant to be set up just at the whims of county's leadership and optimistic view of threat levels. The fact those guidelines were set more firm after an escalation of force through Russia's actions in Ukraine and Crimea appear to warrant my view. I don't mind educating myself if I am off the mark, so if you have some documentation in regards to it I wouldn't mind reading.
http://carnegieeurope.eu/2015/09/02/...rope-pub-61139

Here's a great paper about the 2% military spending target.

Quote:
Conclusions
Despite its conceptual flaws, the 2 percent metric will remain the tool of choice in the debate over military spending in NATO. A smarter yardstick would produce a more sophisticated picture of reality but would not have the same political impact.

The real debate would focus less on spending and more on the widening transatlantic divide over security in Europe. The question of who will guarantee Europe’s security in light of global strategic shifts remains unanswered.

Europe will be forced to step up its defense capabilities in the future if it wants to deal with the myriad threats in its neighborhood. This includes more and smarter defense spending, more defense cooperation, more shared threat assessments, and more leadership by hitherto reluctant nations.
Note that having more powerful armed forces across Europe would be both good and bad for the US: because these European countries become less dependent on the US it also means that they are more likely to act on their own initiative, including acting against what the US government would consider its national interests. US hegemony over Europe would weaken.
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Old 11th July 2018, 05:00 PM   #676
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Originally Posted by CapelDodger View Post
He's full-on gibbering. One has to wonder if there's a medical issue, hopefully nothing trivial.
Chris Matthews just called him an embarrassment to the country.

He also spelled out what we all know, Trump is jealous of Merkel.
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Old 11th July 2018, 05:05 PM   #677
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Could not avoid Fox News in the apartments' gym just now - someone was nattering about Germany getting 70 percent of its "energy" from Russia. It boggles my mind that they don't bother to get this right. Some pundit or other was saying "if I were Germany I wouldn't want to depend on Putin's whims." I don't think Putin actually has whims, it is all strategic to him, but then I suppose there's a sort of strategy in Trump's constant stream of hot air, which is feeding misinformation to his base.

I just don't get how Fox can stand being wrong so much of the time. Yes, they are a conservative propaganda outlet, but it would still bug me to be factually incorrect even if I were selectively marshaling facts to serve an agenda. Why does it have to be 70 percent of Germany's "energy"? What's wrong with saying "up to 70 percent of its natural gas"? It still sounds like a lot; you just ignore the other 80 percent of its energy sector.

I was surprised Germany gets 40 percent of its power from coal and is planning to stop using nuclear altogether.

ETA: Not sure about that 40 percent, I went with the first result on Google, it might be out of date.
Not to mention, if you think about it, Trump won't even enact sanctions against Russia and he wants Germany to boycott their oil?

Apparently US companies want to sell natural gas to Germany.

This is from a year ago: Trump pitches US natural gas to European leaders, suggests Russian gas holds them hostage
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Old 11th July 2018, 05:29 PM   #678
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Originally Posted by Molinaro View Post
That target has 2024 the goal for when it should be met.

There is no failure taking place now.
Arter a target was first agreed in 2004, then had to be reiterated in 2014.

If we agree to work on a project Jan 1, and on Jan 10 you have made no progress, and we agree on a Jan 20 deadline, you are not ahead of schedule. You are a failure days behind.
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Old 11th July 2018, 05:29 PM   #679
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I can't help wondering what Trump thinks he is accomplishing? Seriously, does he really think he is influencing the respective electorates and governments in these countries? It's like he is just appealing only to his own base here at home. My guess is that each of the NATO countries will just roll their eyes and go on doing what they have been doing. They are just waiting him out.
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Old 11th July 2018, 06:56 PM   #680
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Russian asbestos company puts Trump’s face on product
Quote:
Uralasbest, which operates a mine in the Ural Mountains, has stamped Trump’s image on pallets of asbestos with the words, “Approved by Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States,” The Guardian reported Wednesday.
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