By James the Russian Analyst | Rogue Money
“NATO exists to manage the risks created by its existence.” – Richard Sakwa
The legacy media focused on Trump’s brushing off the newly elected Prime Minister of NATO’s newest member state, Dusko Markovic, en route to shake the hands of the alliance’s general secretary, Norwegian politician Jens Stoltenberg. But the smile on Mr. Markovic’s face, representing as it did the freedom-loving aspirations of the Montenegrin people (for which the fictional Major Jay Gatsby fought the Kaiser’s Germany and unofficial U.S. foreign policy proconsul Sen. John McCain berated Sen. Rand Paul on the Senate floor as an agent of Vladimir Putin) belied taking offense. Nor did Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban, the only office holding EU politician to effectively predict and endorse Trump’s otherwise shocking November win, hold back on the grins. All breathed easier in Brussels, knowing that Montenegro, with its 2,000 man army smaller almost by half than the Dallas (Texas) Police Department, and its 600,000 souls were safe from Russian aggression — at least not of the aggressive Adriatic Sea front real estate-buying variety.
The real #AmericaFirst like a boss #MAGA smackdown would come later, during a speech dedicating a piece of steel from the destroyed on 9/11 World Trade Center. That was when Trump effectively lectured the squinting faces of NATO’s national leaders, stating 23 of NATO 28 member nations fail to meet their commitment to spend 2% of their domestic products on defense. As Mr. Stoltenberg maintained a stoic Scandinavian stare into the distance, Trump not only dressed down those who failed to pay “what they should be paying”, Trump also claimed that such a thing as NATO arrears exist, those same defense spending ‘debts’ dreaded and denounced by the entire German political and media class when Chancellor Angela Merkel visited the White House earlier this year.
All of which is a fancy Russian Analyst way of saying, the President humiliated the tough on ‘Russian aggression’ but weak on defending borders from actual invaders Merkel, the newly elected and tough guy handshaking Emanuelle Macron, and the other European pols present. That is, those whose rhetoric and media coverage gained so much mileage from attempting to Stump the Trump.
True, Trump did mention Russia in passing during his speech, but as EUrocrat and ex-Polish politician Donald Tusk said afterward, it wasn’t certain if he and the American President saw the conflict in Ukraine and Russia’s role in solving it in the same way. Trump’s emphasis was on countering terrorism and even the mass migration flows that have pitted NATO members Germany and Poland against each other — in the context of an EU answering to Berlin that seeks to pressure Warsaw into accepting refugees the based Polish people mostly don’t want. Aside from the incongruity between alarmism over the alleged Russian threat contrasted with the unwillingness to fork over more to meet it (with the exceptions of little Estonia, Poland, and bankrupt Greece, which fears Turkey rather than Russia) the main Trumpian grievance against the bloc is NATO’s failure to stop the wave of jihadist terror wracking Europe. NATO has also been useless thus far in the face of the great volkswanderung of Middle Eastern and African peoples that the Continent faces, an immivasion aided and abetted by George Soros (G)NGOs and encouraged by Merkel’s policies.
NATO from its very beginning served to, as its founding general secretary Lord Hastings Ismay said, keep the Americans in, the Russians out and the Germans down. That last aspect, keeping the Europeans down and subordinated to Washington, is the unutterable reality many Atlanticists are deeply bitter at Mr. Trump for exposing, by having him walk as the alpha male leading a pack of otherwise nominally equal but subordinate European and Canadian leaders. While one can rail at Mr. Trump’s ego and stubbornness on the point of an ultimately arbitrarily and perhaps wildly over the mark 2% spending goal (which in the case of Germany, would make Europe’s leading economy outspend Russian military expenditures by itself), Atlanticists and globalists shouldn’t shoot the messenger, or more accurately the harbinger of geopolitical change.
The days of the American electorate remaining blissfully ignorant as to just how lopsided the burden sharing within NATO is are over. So too, thanks to Russia’s martial resurgence, is the era of NATO being able to bomb any which country whether Serbia or Libya that it could previously strike without fear of advanced Russian missiles in the hands of its would be victims. As the deputy Russian prime minister responsible for aerospace and military industrial complex Dmitry Rogozin bluntly stated many months back, but for a few S300 SAMs and then President Bill Clinton and NATO would’ve backed off bombing the Serbs in 1999.