Steinmeier concerned about Trumps NATO statements

Germany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter SteinmeierGermany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.Photo: wikimedia.org. Tobias Kleinschmidt

Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier is concerned over NATO statements by US President-elect Donald Trump.

– NATO is out of date, said Trump in an interview with The Times and Bild. Trump adds that the defense alliance is very important to him.
But Steinmeier can not be soothed. He met NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Monday morning and says Trump’s statements were “met with concern.”
– This is in contrast to what the incoming US defense secretary said in her hearing in Washington just a few days ago. It remains to be seen what consequences the US policy will have, said Steinmeier.
Steinmeier referring to James Mattis, who is nominated as defense minister. In a hearing in the Senate on Thursday Mattis said that he supports a nuclear agreement with Iran.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today

1 Comment on "Steinmeier concerned about Trumps NATO statements"

  1. Fra nær Oslo:

    I have strongly supported President Trump on forums like this one in the U.S. – Washington Post and Washington Times – and in Britain, but I hope he won’t bail us out of NATO, as long as it returns to being a legitimate *defensive* alliance – not the liberal interventionist, neocon axis of aggression we saw in Kosovo (Rambouillet App. B) and Libya and now almost in Syria.

    Our *unconditional* nuclear deterrent defending all countries which are in fact NATO members has kept the peace in Europe for decades. If we pull out of NATO entirely, the Europeans are sure to start another European and then world war. It’s their compulsion. :-/ As long as President Trump maintains the credibility of our unconditional nuclear deterrent … which only *he* can do … most of these conventional weapons with which the neocon Europeans are now threatening Russia on or close to its borders are not needed. The nuclear deterrent actually saves A LOT of money, which we should indeed turn to infrastructure, health, the environment, and other vital issues.

    We should NOT add any countries on Russia’s border to NATO, unless Russia agrees and/or is ready to join NATO itself. Russia too needs to guarantee its borders, in the Far East as well as the West.

    Here are my suggestions for ending our unnecessary, wrongful, and dangerous confrontation with the Russians:

    “If Trump, Tillerson, Mad Dog, and Mike Flynn re-affirm our *unconditional nuclear* deterrent protection of a *defensive* (again) NATO, Putin (and his chief of staff Vaino, whose dad was the Estonian Communist Party chief, before the Soviet Union’s collapse) won’t risk triggering that … the certain obliteration of St. Petersburg.

    Finland could ask to join NATO all it wants, but I am sure Trump would veto both it and Sweden and maintain the Nordic Balance of strict neutrality. If Sweden *was* somehow allowed to join NATO, Russia would occupy Finland and would be prepared to use nuclear weapons to do so. It cannot tolerate a new 900-mile military front against it.”

    ***

    After some of President Trump’s campaign statements, the Europeans are fearful that we may not adhere to our NATO Article 5 commitment of collective defense and that Russia (now threatened and provoked by our neocons’ Feb14 Kiev coup) may take advantage of the uncertainty to actually invade/occupy the Baltic states and even Poland … as silly as that fear may seem to us Americans.

    So, to reassure both the Europeans and the Russians, the Trump administration needs to do the following:

    1. Clearly state that our *unconditional*, nuclear deterrent still continues to defend all NATO countries as long as NATO is defensive (as originally intended) – *not* externally interventionist/aggressive -,

    2. Reassure Russia that we will block any attempt to add Finland, Sweden, Ukraine, Georgia, or any other historically “buffer” country along its borders to NATO until Russia itself joins NATO too … as long as Russia does not commit unprovoked military aggression against any neighbors.

    3. Offer the Russians a fair treaty resolving the Ukraine war we started: a.) Crimea stays Russian, b.) plebiscite/vote for Eastern Ukrainians as to which country they want to join, c.) strict, militarily inoffensive neutrality for Ukraine and no heavy, *offensive* NATO weapons (like main battle tanks) in the Baltic states or Poland, and d.) dropping of all sanctions against Russia and re-opening full trade and good relations (with these people we have treated so badly),

    and 4. Clearly warn NATO member countries that aggression and/or terrorism by them against another country puts them outside NATO Article 5 collective defense protection. (Mere, insulting media broadcasts between Norwegians and Danes against each other would not be enough for them to lose mutual Art. 5 protection, of course. 🙂 )

    And the Putin administration should in turn clearly state Russia won’t attack its neighbors, if only to reassure them and de-escalate the fear.

    We should remember that uncertainty *can* lead to aggression: U.S. Sec/State Dean Acheson’s statement throwing into question whether or not we would defend South Korea encouraged the North Koreans to attack. The Russians certainly are not the North Koreans, but after the Kiev coup and other machinations against them, they may be tempted to drastic action to *guarantee* their security, unless they too are reassured.

    Lou Coatney

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