Montenegro–World War III?

How did I miss this international situation?

Most people know that I pride myself on my knowledge of countries and of the different foreign policies……and then we elected Our Dear Leader….and things went to Hell……

Montenegro is a small country that most people could not find on a $5 bet and yet in an interview on FOX with Carlson Our Dear Leader made Montenegro famous…..first what did he actually say?

President Trump suggested in a new interview that defending NATO ally Montenegro could end up causing World War III.

“I understand what you’re saying, I’ve asked the same question,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson that aired Tuesday night, after being asked why the U.S. should send troops to defend a small country. “Montenegro is a tiny country with very strong people. They’re very strong people. They are very aggressive people, they may get aggressive, and congratulations, you’re in World War III. But that’s the way it was set up.”

Just where is the country of aggressive people located?

How about a little info about the Balkan country….geography and a bit of history……

The use of the name Crna Gora or Black Mountain (Montenegro) began in the 13th century in reference to a highland region in the Serbian province of Zeta. The later medieval state of Zeta maintained its existence until 1496 when Montenegro finally fell under Ottoman rule. Over subsequent centuries, Montenegro managed to maintain a level of autonomy within the Ottoman Empire. From the 16th to 19th centuries, Montenegro was a theocracy ruled by a series of bishop princes; in 1852, it transformed into a secular principality. Montenegro was recognized as an independent sovereign principality at the Congress of Berlin in 1878. After World War I, during which Montenegro fought on the side of the Allies, Montenegro was absorbed by the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, which became the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929. At the conclusion of World War II, it became a constituent republic of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. When the latter dissolved in 1992, Montenegro joined with Serbia, creating the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and, after 2003, shifting to a looser State Union of Serbia and Montenegro. In May 2006, Montenegro invoked its right under the Constitutional Charter of Serbia and Montenegro to hold a referendum on independence from the two-state union. The vote for severing ties with Serbia barely exceeded 55% – the threshold set by the EU – allowing Montenegro to formally restore its independence on 3 June 2006. In 2017, Montenegro joined NATO and is currently completing its EU accession process, having officially applied to join the EU in December 2008.

Now that we have our knowledge of Montenegro updated and we need to ask where did Our Dear Leader get his info on these aggressive people?

I think he got his information about having to fight these people from something Carlson read….something written a year before Trump was elected…..

Get used to the possibility that your son or daughter might end up dying for Montenegro because that country has just been invited to become the latest member of NATO, the Cold War organization that was brought into existence to defend Europe from America’s World War II partner and ally, the Soviet Union.

Just in case you’ve never heard of Montenegro or maybe don’t know where it is, here’s a link to Wikipedia’s page on the country: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montenegro. It seems to me that if your son or daughter might have to die in the defense of Montenegro, you might want to know a little about it or at least where it is located.

https://www.fff.org/2015/12/11/do-you-want-your-children-to-die-for-montenegro/

Now you know where Tucker Carlson got his question for Our Dear Leader.

Why would so many have a hard-on for Montenegro?  Good Question.

Then we had the plot to kill the PM and invite Russia to send in troops…..

Russian government was not involved into an alleged attempt to kill Montenegro’s Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, the Kremlin spokesman said

“We, obviously, categorically deny a possibility of official involvement into arranging any illegal actions,” Dmitry Peskov said in a response to a question on the investigation into a plot to kill Djukanovic.

A special prosecutor investigating an alleged plot to sway last month’s election in Montenegro said on Sunday a group of “Russian nationalists” had planned to assassinate the prime minister to get an opposition party into power

(reuters.com)

Advertisements

Saboteurs Of Peace?

I will admit that I have been a staunch opponent of the president and I know there are those that support him (why?)….and in the past I have stated that I did supporter some of his foreign policy claims but since his election I have been disappointed in his actions.

In that vain of thought I would like to offer a post from another writer that has a different look at the meeting between Putin and Trump……

If there was ever any doubt that the Russia-gate hoax is a scheme by the War Party to salvage their bankrupt foreign policy, and depose a democratically-elected President, then Robert Mueller’s indictment of twelve alleged GRU agents for “interfering” in the 2016 election settles the matter once and for all. Are we supposed to believe it was just a coincidence that the indictment was made public just as Trump was about to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki?

An indictment of twelve individuals who will never contest the charges, and which will not have to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law – to whom is it addressed? Not to any jury, but to the court of public opinion. It is, in short, pure propaganda, meant to sabotage Trump’s Helsinki peace initiative before it has even convened.

https://original.antiwar.com/justin/2018/07/15/saboteurs-of-peace-on-the-road-to-helsinki/

I am sure that within his circle of supporters they see this (the opposition to the meeting) as propaganda……but as an old radical I also see the press as trying to sabotage any thing that could come out of this meeting……but as an old radical and antiwar supporter I see it as an attempt to keep the war party in total control of the policies.

I do not like Trump’s policies but I dislike war even more….but if he can end some of our many wars then I will give him his props when it is due.

There are some that see the recent Putin/Trump meeting as a possibility of a solution for our war in Syria….

To start with, the “grand bargain” on Syria analysts believe is possible will be neither “grand,” as Syria today is not the focal point for Russia or, more importantly, the United States, nor can it be referred to as a “bargain” per se, since the situation has already taken shape and the presidents will just need to formalize it.

We will have to wait and see if there is any progress on the Syrian front….
There were a couple of statements made by pundits……
1–US does not approve of Russia in Syria…..
2–Does not like it when Russia sells military hardware around the world…..
3–Russia has invaded sovereign nations…..
Does anyone else see the hypocrisy?

It’s Illegal!

I am referring to the many wars that this country has decided that it must fight…..that is the job of the Congress and so far they are spineless cowards on this subject.

This is the new way of war for the US….pick a spot and attack…..

[T]he President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons. …
S.J. Res. 23 (107th): Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), Sept. 18, 2001

The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary … in order to … defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq.  …
H. J. Res 114 (107th): Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq, Oct. 18, 2002

It’s all so obvious to a detached observer. Nonetheless, it remains unspoken. The United States of America is waging several wars with dubious legal sanction in domestic or international law.

https://original.antiwar.com/Danny_Sjursen/2018/03/23/illegal-wars-the-new-american-way/

The one word that can drive the US into a frenzy of armed struggle is…..Freedom…..the God of Modern Warfare…..

Freedom. The term is so ubiquitous in its application to war we tend not to ask why that is. We take it as a given. Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom are two good examples of how the concept seems encoded into American strategic objectives, yet it is not limited to countries like the U.S. where this idea is so culturally (and constitutionally) central. Crimea was not conquered by Russia, according to Russian claims, but rather the minority Russian population of Ukraine was liberated and given the opportunity for self-determination and to vote in a referendum about their collective future. While this essay will attempt to uncover why freedom appears to stoke the warrior instinct inside of us, doing so would only lead to an impasse, were it not considered within a larger set of questions. As a systematized justification for political violence, freedom was not always so predominant as it is today. Assuming human nature didn’t change over the past few decades, we then need to uncover what did.

Before the twentieth century, wars fought by modern republics might have been deemed legitimate for a variety of reasons, including indeed freedom from foreign occupation or local oppression, but also other reasons that might make us cringe today: colonization, evangelization, debt collection, monarchical successions, glory, plunder, vengeance, territorial conquest, and many more. As the bulk of these other justifications receded in history, freedom remained.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/05/01/freedom_the_god_of_modern_war_113395.html

Since 1990’s the US has been in infinite war……or so it would seem….(you knew that eventually I had to throw some history in this post)……

The United States of Amnesia.” That’s what Gore Vidal once called us. We remember what we find it convenient to remember and forget everything else. That forgetfulness especially applies to the history of others. How could their past, way back when, have any meaning for us today? Well, it just might. Take the European conflagration of 1914-1918, for example.

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/infinite-war-the-gravy-train-rolls-on/

The Trump Doctrine

With Dear Leader’s recent meeting in Helsinki…the question onc e again arises…just what is the Trump Doctrine?

I have written on a few occasions that I have yet to determine just what the Trump Doctrine is and how to apply it to world affairs…..I mean since 1949 there has been a presidential doctrine presented by each president elected since that date.

A doctrine is how a president is forced to operate foreign policy in the reality in which he finds himself. Sometimes, presidents proclaim their own foreign policy doctrines. Other times, observers see a coherent pattern in a president’s foreign policy and outline the doctrine for him. In both cases, doctrines ought to be seen not as strokes of genius or decisions made at the will of the president but as actions imposed on him and dictated by reality.

The Truman doctrine was defined in 1948. Given the Soviet threat to Turkey and Greece, President Harry Truman announced that, as a general principle, he was committed to supporting free nations against communism. The United States could not accept a Soviet-dominated Europe because of the long-term threat it would pose. The U.S. lacked the capacity to launch a conventional war against the Soviets, so it was forced into a strategy of containment. Turkey, in particular, was indispensable to this strategy, as the Bosporus blocked Soviet access to the Mediterranean. The U.S., therefore, had to defend Turkey and Greek ports. The doctrine was determined by necessity.

https://geopoliticalfutures.com/the-trump-doctrine/

Any “doctrine” needs some consistency and so far I have seen nothing Trump has said or done that illustrates that consistency.  The best I can say is he enters into a meeting kicks over all the furniture and slaps around the people then walks out and claims a success when nothing actually changed (all that is a metaphor…he did not actually touch anyone….I felt I needed to explain that for the low IQ of Trump supporters.)

The World Of Tomorrow

Today is Sunday and I will be relaxing with the World Cup championship…..but until the game starts I will do my posting……

I wish that this was my lame attempt to review a movie either past or present (I am not a very good reviewer) but this post is about the predictions of what the world will look like in 2050…..

The demand for predicting the future seems to grow rapidly in periods of crisis. Currently, long-term forecasts are emerging from every quarter. I would like to incorporate some of these projections while venturing my own for what the world would look like in 2050 — primarily from the viewpoint of power.

Population and GDP trends will bear the most direct influence on national power. Based on the 2017 Revision of the U.N. World Population Prospects, India, China, Nigeria, the United States, Indonesia, Pakistan and Brazil appear set to become the world’s “G7” in terms of population by 2050.

Meanwhile, according to The Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2015 long-term macroeconomic forecast, the world’s major economic powers of 2050 will be China, the U.S., India, Indonesia, Japan, Germany and Brazil, in that order.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2018/07/10/commentary/world-commentary/world-will-look-mid-century/#.W0cyvsK1uM-

That would make for a good participation post for my readers….so if you would like to look into the future and tell us what you think the world of tomorrow will look like.

NATO–The Week That Was

And a helluva week it has been!  (This is a lot to take in but it is all very informative)

Our dear leader has pissed off NATO and then went on to the UK and in his wake are so many questions about NATO and for NATO……

At least the US Congress is trying to save the organization as best they can…….

Lawmakers in Washington worked quickly Tuesday to set legislative guardrails in support of NATO as President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly bashed the alliance, arrived in Europe for a NATO summit and meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin later in the week.

Hours after Trump landed in Brussels, the Senate passed a non-binding measure, 97-2, that expresses support for NATO, its mutual self-defense clause and calls on the administration to rush its whole-of-government strategy to counter Russia’s meddling in the U.S. and other democracies.

With the established global order on shaky footing, Trump’s weeklong trip to Europe will test already strained bonds with some of America’s closest allies, then put him face to face with the leader of the country whose electoral interference was meant to help put him in office.

https://www.defensenews.com/smr/nato-priorities/2018/07/10/us-senate-votes-to-defend-nato-as-trump-attacks/

The presidential rhetoric has many foreign policy wonks and international relations is holding their breath…….

These days, Europe’s NATO observers are a bit like members of a doomsday cult waiting for the end of times. Many are bracing for this week’s NATO summit with grim determination, all the while counting down to the apocalypse by collecting the insults that President Donald Trump is lobbing at NATO. Within a week, he has proclaimed that the alliance is “as bad as NAFTA” (the North American Free Trade Agreement that Trump loves to hate), that “NATO is killing us” and that the European Union is “as bad as China.” And, of course, there was his already infamous statement at a rally in North Dakota late last month: “Sometimes our worst enemies are our so-called friends and allies.”

Only the most devoted NATO fans are likely to know the alliance’s official motto, “animus in consulendo liber” – a phrase so obscure that even NATO admits it doesn’t have a satisfactory translation (what does “man’s mind ranges unrestrained in counsel” even mean?). But almost everyone is familiar with the alliance’s unofficial motto, coined by the first NATO secretary-general, Hastings Ismay: “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.” Today, however, European attitudes are much more complex than Ismay’s tripartite formulation. In April and May, the European Council on Foreign Relations sought to track the views of political elites in European Union member states through a survey of researchers that incorporated interviews with more than 150 policymakers and analysts, along with extensive research into policy documents, academic discourse, and media analysis. This scorecard suggests that stakeholders in the EU member states, 22 of which are NATO members, – disagree – in some cases with one another, but almost always with Trump – on each vector of this once-unifying narrative: the role of the United States, Russia, and Germany.

https://warontherocks.com/2018/07/watching-for-signs-of-natos-end-of-times/

If NATO is to survive there are those that think there needs to be a reset….

President Donald Trump will undoubtedly criticize allies for not spending enough on defense and for pursuing their own economic wellbeing, in part at the expense of the United States. The president has been lambasted for criticizing U.S. allies and indeed, our alliances are important and represent some of the greatest achievements of U.S. foreign policy. However, Trump’s criticisms are justified. NATO must reform; it is not sustainable in its present form.

The alliance is ill-structured, ill-equipped and ill-financed to deal with the European region’s two major security problems—an aggressive Russia and the spillover of instability and terrorism from the Middle East and North Africa—leaving aside emerging global security challenges. Worse, at times some members can even be said to have enabled the threat. One example being the massive German purchase of Russian gas, which provides Putin with ongoing financing. To deal effectively with these challenges on an equitable and sustained basis among allies, the terms of the partnership must be renegotiated and its common ground redefined. This is in Europe’s best interest too.

http://nationalinterest.org/feature/strategic-reset-nato-25396

Will NATO survive?  I think it will but the best question should be will the US remain a member?

NATO is always looking for new members to expand its reach and the newest is a country that has just settled a long running dispute……Macedonia.

NATO leaders agreed on Wednesday to invite Macedonia to begin accession talks to join the Western alliance, extending its reach in the Balkans in defiance of Russia following a landmark accord with Greece over the ex-Yugoslav republic’s name.

Macedonia will become NATO’s 30th member state, though its people must first back the deal with Greece in a referendum. Under the accord, the official name of the country will become ‘Republic of North Macedonia’.

“We have decided to invite the government in Skopje to begin accession talks to join our alliance,” the leaders said in their summit communique.

The invitation to the small Balkan state of two million people comes despite opposition from Russia, which sees its influence in the region diminishing. A small pro-Russian party in Macedonia also opposes NATO membership.

(reuters.com)

And Ukraine waits…..and speaking of Ukraine…….

Hungary’s efforts to block Ukraine from the NATO Summit play into the hands of Russia. Hungary stated that it will block the NATO-Ukraine Commission from meeting at the upcoming NATO Summit on July 11 – 12 due to Hungary’s opposition to a recent language bill that Hungary asserts infringes on the rights of Hungarians in Ukraine. The Kremlin is pursuing a comprehensive campaign to target Ukraine via Hungary as outlined by the Institute for the Study of War in 2017. The Kremlin has attempted to influence a wide range of decision-makers in Hungary and fostered separatist narratives among Hungarians in Western Ukraine in order to destabilize Ukraine and distance it from the EU. The Kremlin is actively pursuing a broader region campaign aimed at driving a wedge between Ukraine and its neighbors such as Poland.

The U.S. and NATO allies should pressure Hungary to support the membership of Ukraine in NATO. Russia will continue to seize similar instances of bilateral friction as opportunities to distance Ukraine from NATO and erode the overall cohesion of NATO. The U.S. and NATO should use the upcoming summit to pressure Hungary to find an alternative venue to resolve its disputes and support Ukraine as a strong signal of united resolve towards Russia.

(ISW blog)

Now we go to Helsinki (a beautiful city) and the big meeting between spy and handler…..Trump and Putin…..and good time will be had by all.

NATO And The US

The NATO phase of this trip is under his belt (that was not a shot at his gut)………onto the UK and see who he can piss off.

Our president is in Europe to meet with the NATO nations and then a meet and greet with Vlad……the news is full of reports of how the president is undermining NATO with his rhetoric and threats.

Let me say here that the demands being made by Trump are nothing new……almost every president has brought up the spending thing…just not in the media as Trump has done.

Is it possible that the nations of Europe are undermining NATO more than Trump?

To begin with, don’t shoot the messenger because of who he is. Mr Trump’s demands have already been made by previous American leaders, though less bluntly. George W Bush and Barack Obama continuously and politely chided their European allies, asking them to spend more on defence. The former US Secretary for Defence, Robert Gates, even took it upon himself to remind his European partners that future American leaders might become less interested in European defence if they did not step up:

“Indeed, if current trends in the decline of European defence capabilities are not halted and reversed, future US political leaders – those for whom the Cold War was not the formative experience that it was for me – may not consider the return on America’s investment in NATO worth the cost.”

https://capx.co/european-nations-not-trump-are-undermining-nato/

Are the threats just more theatrics from Trump?  The optics plays well with his thumb sucking base….

As in a bad marriage, the arguments of US President Donald Trump and his European partners have descended into a sort of ritual exchange. So at this week’s NATO summit, we can be confident that Trump will complain about the lack of European defence spending and threaten to leave Europe if the NATO allies don’t stump up. The Europeans will accept the premise of his argument, point to what they have recently achieved, and pledge to do more.

Rinse and repeat.

The whole affair has the structure of an Apprentice episode. We don’t know what crazy shit Trump will say during the show, but we know how it will end.

http://www.ecfr.eu/article/commentary_trumps_meaningless_nato_spending_debate

This meeting will be worth watching……Trump will be worth watching for he will lie then contradict himself 10 minutes later……so just how strong is this alliance?

Trump started the meeting by being confrontational…….

In a combative start to his NATO visit, President Trump asserted Wednesday that a pipeline project has made Germany “totally controlled” by and “captive to Russia” and blasted NATO allies’ defense spending, opening what was expected to be a fraught summit with a list of grievances involving American allies. Trump, in a testy exchange with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, took issue with the US protecting Germany when the European nation is making deals with Russia. “I have to say, I think it’s very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia where we’re supposed to be guarding against Russia,” Trump said during a breakfast with Stoltenberg, his first event since arriving in Brussels. “We’re supposed to protect you against Russia but they’re paying billions of dollars to Russia and I think that’s very inappropriate.”

The president appeared to be referring to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that would bring gas from Russia to Germany’s northeastern Baltic coast, bypassing Eastern European nations like Poland and Ukraine and doubling the amount of gas Russia can send directly to Germany, the AP reports. The vast undersea pipeline is opposed by the US and some other EU members, who warn it could give Moscow greater leverage over Western Europe. Trump said that, “Germany, as far as I’m concerned, is captive to Russia” and urged NATO to look into the issue. Trump, who has been accused of being too cozy with Putin—a man accused of US election meddling—

Trump’s biggest bitch is that Germany will buy NatGas from Russia through a pipeline….if they do not buy Russian gas where will they get the resource they need?  I think this was a dog whistle for the media and the morns that make up his base.  Is this a negotiation technique that he learned at Wharton?  I mean after all he keeps telling us all just how smart he is.

Like I said……optics are everything……and this one does not bode well…..but if he was going for theatrics to his supporters back home then this will be a crowning glory……now he has the UK to entertain his base.