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Trump orders large withdrawal of U.S. forces from Germany

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Who’s being an infant?

But officials familiar with the discussions also said she worried about leaders being used as a photo-op by Trump to show him getting the world back to business following the health lockdowns

I guess it goes both ways.

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3 hours ago, I_M4_AU said:

Who’s being an infant?

But officials familiar with the discussions also said she worried about leaders being used as a photo-op by Trump to show him getting the world back to business following the health lockdowns

I guess it goes both ways.

Naah, Trump would never do that....:-\

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Trump’s relationship with Europe goes from bad to nothingness

Top diplomatic vacancies and transatlantic tensions leave European Union leaders looking to November’s election.

With five months to go until the U.S. election, transatlantic relations are at a new low — just as many experts say cooperation has never been more crucial.

At the start of his presidency, Donald Trump regarded Europe as an afterthought. Now, there seems little left to the relationship but a bitter aftertaste for EU leaders who spent three years trying and failing to coax and cajole the combustible American into buying into the Western alliance.

They no longer have any illusion that Trump is going to change. The only question left is: Will he win in November?

After German Chancellor Angela Merkel demurred from attending the in-person G-7 summit later this month, citing the continuing health risk of the coronavirus, Trump lashed out, deriding the club of economic powers "outdated" — just as he branded NATO "obsolete" at the start of his term. Trump also voiced yet again his wish for Russia, which was kicked out of the G-8 over its invasion and annexation of Crimea in 2014, to rejoin the group. The U.K., Canada and the EU swiftly rejected the idea, further underscoring the deep split among Western powers.

Max Bergmann, a senior fellow and expert on transatlantic relations at the Center for American Progress, a Washington think tank known for its liberal views, said there was no mistaking the Europeans' message.

“The indication from Merkel that she is not going to attend the G-whatever Trump is proposing,” Bergmann said. “That’s really her saying: ‘We’ll either see you on the other side of the election or, hopefully, we won’t see you at all.’”

Trump began his tenure in the White House with the most important diplomatic posts in Europe held by fill-ins. That is again the case, with the envoy to Belgium working double duty as the the acting representative to the EU, and, as of Tuesday, the deputy chief of mission running the embassy in Berlin.

Neither job is expected to get a permanent replacement before next year.

“This administration has never really sought to engage Europe, and it’s sort of dropping the pretense that it’s going to at all, in what could be its final year,” Bergmann said.

In early December, leaders were thrilled to survive a NATO summit in the U.K. without any Trump-instigated disaster. British Tories, who were in the middle of a general election campaign, were particularly relieved for the relatively uneventful visit.

European leaders thought the relationship was bad, but at least had stabilized. Amid the coronavirus crisis, however, there's no question things have gotten worse.

There were charges from Germany that Trump had tried to buy a biomedical firm working to develop a vaccine. The U.S. denied the allegations, but fears of a vaccine war persist, especially because of Trump's refusal to participate in an EU-led pledging campaign to raise money for the coronavirus response.

Facing fierce criticism for his own mismanagement of the pandemic in the U.S., Trump lashed out at China and at the World Health Organization, and last week finally declared he would sever ties with the U.N. health agency.

In Brussels and other EU capitals, recent events have only confirmed the genuineness of Trump’s instincts regarding transatlantic relations: to treat America’s closest historic allies as punching bags, to be kicked at in the rare moments when they aren’t totally forgotten in a dark corner of the basement of his brain.

Meanwhile, Trump’s calls for stronger crackdowns and the militarized response to many street protests across the U.S., including the arrests of journalists and use of tear gas on unarmed demonstrators, have heightened fears in Europe that there is something deeply broken in U.S. society that even replacing Trump might not fix.

The German foreign minister, Heiko Maas, was among the European leaders to condemn the violence in the U.S. and call for restraint and respect for the rule of law.

On Tuesday, Maas called the protests in the U.S. “legitimate,” said he hoped they would remain peaceful and would yield change, and urged protections for journalists. On Wednesday, he followed up with a message clearly aimed at the White House. Democrats must never escalate — not even through words,” he tweeted. “Threatening violence only triggers further violence.”

While the street clashes have raised new worries about where America is headed, it is the far more mundane issue of diplomatic appointments that has sent Europeans an unequivocal message about how transatlantic relations don't rank as a priority.

It was not until July 2018, nearly a year and a half into Trump’s term, that the U.S. finally had an ambassador to the EU. Gordon Sondland, a longtime Republican Party fundraiser and hotel developer from Seattle, lasted little more than another year and a half before he was fired in what was widely viewed as retribution for his testimony to Congress during the impeachment investigation.

On May 1, nearly three months after dismissing Sondland, the White House quietly gave Ronald Gidwitz, the U.S. ambassador to Belgium, a second job: acting representative to the EU. Officials said his elevation, as a political appointee of Trump, reflected the importance of the job to the White House.

Like Sondland, Gidwitz is a Republican money-man who led fundraising for Trump’s campaign in Illinois, where he was long active in civic life, including as chairman of the state board of education, and head of the community college system in Chicago under a Democratic mayor. In 2006, he ran for the Republican nomination for governor, finishing fourth.

Like Trump, Gidwitz inherited a business from his father, a beauty supply company called Helene Curtis Industries that was acquired by Unilever, the multinational conglomerate, in 1996. But Gidwitz may have less in common with Trump than with the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, whose family business, Kushner Cos., owns thousands of rental apartments and has been accused of providing substandard housing to lower-income tenants.

Gidwitz and his family owned an interest in a low-income housing complex in Joliet, Illinois, where rents were subsidized by the U.S. federal government, but where residents and local politicians, including then-Sen. Barack Obama, had complained about “inhumane” conditions at the apartment complex, including a persistent stench of urine.

The Chicago Tribune reported that Gidwitz, during a court proceeding in 2017, acknowledged an array of security lapses.

In 2014, Gidwitz and his family lost a decade-long legal battle in which the city of Joliet had sought control of the property. But the saga did not end there. Gidwitz’s own lawyers sued him for not paying his bills, eventually winning a $5.7 million judgment. Gidwitz has said that the lawsuit was intended to pressure him and other owners to relinquish the property at a time when he was running for governor.

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/06/03/donald-trump-europe-strategy-300074

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12 hours ago, TitanTiger said:

We've got to get this joke of a leader out of the White House.

Does this mean you will vote for Biden or write in a pro life candidate that’s not even a candidate?

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Our nation is tens of thousands of dollars better off every time we reduce the overseas military assignments by just one single person. It's time to let Europe defend Europe and we'll take care of America. Bring 'em home, President Trump!

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21 minutes ago, Mikey said:

Our nation is tens of thousands of dollars better off every time we reduce the overseas military assignments by just one single person. It's time to let Europe defend Europe and we'll take care of America. Bring 'em home, President Trump!

I have a feeling Germany is objecting because of the loss of revenue they would experience more than anything else.  Trump seems to negotiate in every move he makes and the media undermines as much as possible. JMO.

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4 hours ago, I_M4_AU said:

I have a feeling Germany is objecting because of the loss of revenue they would experience more than anything else.  Trump seems to negotiate in every move he makes and the media undermines as much as possible. JMO.

This isn’t the first time he’s used the military stationed in other countries to negotiate something that benefits the US. The reason it works is that he’s crazy enough to follow through and not bluff. 

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15 hours ago, alexava said:

Does this mean you will vote for Biden or write in a pro life candidate that’s not even a candidate?

Still deciding.  Unfortunately, Alabama will vote 70% in favor of Trump, so whatever I do it will be essentially a protest vote and whatever my conscience can live with. 

Also, I voted third-party in 2016.  For an actual candidate who qualified to be on the ballot.

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1 minute ago, TitanTiger said:

Still deciding.  Unfortunately, Alabama will vote 70% in favor of Trump, so whatever I do it will be essentially a protest vote and whatever my conscience can live with. 

Also, I voted third-party in 2016.  For an actual candidate who qualified to be on the ballot.

It was this guy, wasn't it?

 

brewsterhed.jpg

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6 hours ago, Mikey said:

Our nation is tens of thousands of dollars better off every time we reduce the overseas military assignments by just one single person. It's time to let Europe defend Europe and we'll take care of America. Bring 'em home, President Trump!

Yeah, isolationism was working so well after WWI.  We should have just stayed the course. :rolleyes: 

Just think of all the money Roosevelt wasted on the Brits and Russians.  Sneaky Democratic Bastard.

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6 hours ago, I_M4_AU said:

I have a feeling Germany is objecting because of the loss of revenue they would experience more than anything else.  Trump seems to negotiate in every move he makes and the media undermines as much as possible. JMO.

Negotiate my ass.  :laugh:

This surprised everyone one, including our own military. It was totally impulsive (But Putin thinks it's great!!)

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18 minutes ago, TitanTiger said:

Still deciding.  Unfortunately, Alabama will vote 70% in favor of Trump, so whatever I do it will be essentially a protest vote and whatever my conscience can live with. 

Also, I voted third-party in 2016.  For an actual candidate who qualified to be on the ballot.

Yea "winner-take-all" electoral college system!!! <_<

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7 hours ago, homersapien said:

Yeah, isolationism was working so well after WWI.  We should have just stayed the course. :rolleyes: 

Just think of all the money Roosevelt wasted on the Brits and Russians.  Sneaky Democratic Bastard.

Some we saved their butts, others we whipped their butts and instead of seizing their countries we spent billions repairing and restoring them. That was 75 years ago. The rest of the world needs to stop sucking at America's tit and pull their own weight. We have done enough, it's their turn to become self-sufficient.

Edited by Mikey
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12 hours ago, Mikey said:

Some we saved their butts, others we whipped their butts and instead of seizing their countries we spent billions repairing and restoring them. That was 75 years ago. The rest of the world needs to stop sucking at America's tit and pull their own weight. We have done enough, it's their turn to become self-sufficient.

Germany won't be able to spend as much money on social programs now because America wont foot as much of the the bill for their security. Imagine that but there will still be 25,000 troops in Germany. Isolationism ? Good grief, lol. The hyperbole is stretched to the extreme on this board on issue after issue.

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20 hours ago, homersapien said:

Yea "winner-take-all" electoral college system!!! <_<

It's 50 elections not just one. Hence the term republic.

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2 hours ago, IronMan70 said:

It's 50 elections not just one. Hence the term republic.

Fine.  Then Trump should be President with authority only over those states in which he won.  He has no authority in states he lost.

We should at least revert to a proportional electoral vote count by state.

Our current system is archaic and anti-democratic.

 

Edited by homersapien
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42 minutes ago, homersapien said:

Fine.  Then Trump should be President with authority only over those states in which he won.  He has no authority in states he lost.

(Thanks for proving my point.;))

 

Will you move to one of those states? lol 

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Don't agree with Trump on much, but getting American troops home would be a great thing for us.  We don't belong in other countries - cutting the defense budget would be a small start toward fiscal sanity.

 

 

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On 6/8/2020 at 1:25 PM, IronMan70 said:

It's 50 elections not just one. Hence the term republic.

 

On 6/8/2020 at 2:39 PM, homersapien said:

Fine.  Then Trump should be President with authority only over those states in which he won.  He has no authority in states he lost.

We should at least revert to a proportional electoral vote count by state.

Our current system is archaic and anti-democratic.

 

That was tried in 1861 and it didn't work.

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House Republicans oppose withdrawing U.S. troops from Germany

The Armed Services missive marks the largest Republican effort so far to convince the administration to change course.

Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday warned President Donald Trump against withdrawing U.S. troops from Germany.

In a letter, 22 lawmakers led by Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) argued reducing and capping troop levels in Europe would undermine the NATO alliance and spur aggression by Russia.

"We believe that such steps would significantly damage U.S. national security as well as strengthen the position of Russia to our detriment," wrote the GOP lawmakers.

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Trump has directed the removal of more than a quarter of the nearly 35,000 troops stationed in Germany over the coming months and to cap the U.S. presence there at 25,000 troops.

The administration has come under criticism from lawmakers in both parties. The Armed Services missive marks the largest Republican effort so far to convince the administration to change course. In addition to concerns over Russia, the GOP hawks argued capping the U.S. troop presence in Germany would impede military training and logistics.

"In Europe, the threats posed by Russia have not lessened, and we believe that signs of a weakened U.S. commitment to NATO will encourage further Russian aggression and opportunism," they wrote.

"In addition, the overall limit on troops would prevent us from conducting the exercises that are necessary for the training and readiness of our forces and those of our allies," said the lawmakers. "The troop limit would also significantly reduce the number of U.S. forces that can flow through Germany for deployment to bases around the world, causing serious logistical challenges."

Trump's term has been marked by conflict with NATO allies as he pushed for member nations to significantly boost spending on their own militaries and cast the alliance as outdated.

Republicans said the alliance should "spread its costs more equitably" but warned NATO's "work is not done."

"[W]e believe that our continued strong involvement in the alliance is fundamental to our nation's security and integral to protecting our people," they wrote. " Withdrawals and limitations of the kind being reported would make that job more difficult."

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/06/09/house-republicans-troops-germany-309622

Edited by homersapien

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