Western European leadership, Germany’s in particular, have sold out free world security interests to short-term and short-sighted economic expediencies.
A problematic pachyderm in the parlor with a long pipeline trunk to Russia could hardly be ignored during recent NATO meetings in Brussels last week. Nor can pungent porcine profiteering from European Union (EU) double-dealing on the "Iran nuclear deal."
Regarding the first matter, let’s recall that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was established in 1949 primarily as a Western European self-defense alliance against Soviet aggression . . . a threat which continues unabated under current Moscow management.
Quoting NATO’s own publication, "NATO remains concerned by Russia’s continued destabilizing pattern of military activities and aggressive rhetoric, which goes well beyond [the 2004 invasion of] Ukraine."
Leaders at a September 2016 NATO Warsaw NATO additionally cited ongoing Russian actions and policies, which include, "provocative military activities near NATO’s borders stretching from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea; irresponsible and aggressive nuclear rhetoric, military posture and underlying posture; as well as the risks posed by its military intervention and support for the regime in Syria."
Nevertheless, NATO’s EU leaders have remained thunderously silent regarding a planned 800 mile-long planned Nord Stream 2 pipeline which will link Russia and Germany via the Baltic Sea, bypassing other pipelines through Ukraine and Central and Eastern Europe in the process. This new natural gas corridor will also deny Ukraine and other inconvenient states the transit fees Russia must now pay to use current lines.
Nord Stream 2 will undermine NATO’s foundational purposes by encouraging Western European dependence upon Russian gas — hence increased vulnerability to blackmail.
Moscow will be able to shut off the flow at will, just as they did to Ukraine’s supplies for weeks in June 2014 in response to resistance to President Putin’s annexation of Crimea just two months earlier.
Recalling now that EU pressure on Russia eventually helped to prevent those Ukraine supply disruptions from spreading across the continent . . . who will intervene when they next become targeted?
Berlin is now actively helping Russia overcome resistance to its control through intimidation tactics which the NATO alliance was originally established to provide. As President Trump told NATO Secretary General Jens Stotenberg last week, "Well, I have to say, I think it’s very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia, where you’re supposed to be guarding against Russia, and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia."
Trump added, "Germany is totally controlled by Russia . . . We have to talk about the billions and billions of dollars that’s being paid to the country we’re supposed to be protecting you against."
Although Putin knows that a stronger NATO force makes it riskier for him to engage in foreign adventurism, the financial burden has fallen disproportionately upon America.
Whereas each member has agreed to boost military spending to 2 percent of their GDP by 2024, just nine of the alliance’s 29 members are expected to reach that target this year.
The U.S. spent 3.7 percent of GDP on defense last year, while prosperous Germany spent even less than 2 percent.
Meanwhile, as Russia collaborates with their Syrian Bashar al-Assad ally to advance Iran’s terrorism exploits, the E.U. members, again led by Germany, are whistling past Mideast grave yards. The $100 billion in sanctions relief, plus another $1.7 billion in cash rewards which is fecklessly gifted by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is now available to finance ballistic weapon developments and militant Shiite groups in Yemen, Syria and Lebanon.
If that wasn’t bad enough, it will assuredly get worse. The EU is holding fast to a sunset clause in the disastrous deal that awards Tehran a free pass to revive its nuclear weapons program after a 15 year waiting period.
U.S. State and Treasury department teams are focusing upon France, Germany and other E.U. countries to cooperate with a diplomatic "maximum economic and diplomatic pressure" campaign which will impose secondary sanctions on any company that does business with Iran.
German officials have been working behind the scenes to circumvent the restrictions through a "Swift" banking system controlled by the National Bank of Belgium. The ploy would enable the EU to pay for Iranian oil, and receive payment for European exports, in contravention of U.S. prohibitions.
The Trump Treasury has given Swift until Nov. 4 to disconnect Iran’s central bank and other Iranian financial institutions that are under sanctions for illicit activities, or otherwise face financial penalties.
Germany has also failed to bar Mahan Air, a U.S.-sanctioned airline linked to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) which has repeatedly flown fighters and military materials to the Assad regime in Syria.
President Trump is right. The EU's subversion of NATO and U.N. Security Council priorities they have purported to champion is an intolerably hypocritical travesty.
Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) and the graduate program in space architecture. He is the author of "Scared Witless: Prophets and Profits of Climate Doom" (2015) and "Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax" (2012). He is currently working on a new book with Buzz Aldrin, "Beyond Footprints and Flagpoles." Read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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