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Sun Jul 28, 2019, 02:38 PM

Two of America's closest treaty allies have announced military efforts designed to exclude the US

In this crowded and enervating week of news, it would have been easy to miss two small but consequential signs of the damage President Donald Trump and his team have done to America’s standing in the world. Two of America’s closest treaty allies have announced military efforts explicitly designed to exclude the United States. Australia is “seeking to cement its status as the security partner of choice for Pacific nations” by establishing an expeditionary training force. And the United Kingdom wants to create a multinational force to ensure freedom of navigation in the Strait of Hormuz.

It’s not a coincidence that allies are striking out on their own. Countries in the Pacific worry that the U.S. is forcing them to choose between their economic connections to China and their security relationships with the U.S. And while forcing this choice, the U.S. is also publicly calling the security guarantees into question—President Trump did so before arriving in Japan for the G20 summit. Meanwhile, European allies blame Trump-administration tactics for Iran’s decision to lash out at shipping in the Gulf. That’s why British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt stressed that the purpose of the multinational force was to dissociate European governments from U.S. policy toward Iran. Hunt explicitly said, “It will not be part of the U.S. maximum pressure policy on Iran because we remain committed to preserving the Iran nuclear agreement.”

As it happens, these efforts are consistent with Trump’s insistence that allies do more for themselves. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded to news of the British initiative by saying, “The responsibility … falls to the United Kingdom to take care of their ships.”

The sad reality, however, is that America’s European allies cannot protect their ships without American help. Even the French Foreign Ministry had to admit that any European effort would “naturally have to be co-ordinated with the US on the operational level.” The International Institute for Strategic Studies estimates that it would cost European countries $110 billion to defend freedom of navigation. That is more than the annual defense budgets of Britain and France combined. It isn’t happening anytime soon, regardless of brave talk about “European strategic autonomy.”


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Reply Two of America's closest treaty allies have announced military efforts designed to exclude the US (Original post)
blaze Jul 28 OP
gtar100 Jul 28 #1

Response to blaze (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2019, 04:07 PM

1. Maybe the right-wing bullying of just about every other country

and constantly saying "We're number one" isn't such a good idea. Pride and selfishness have consequences even for countries. You become isolated not out of some conspiracy but because nobody else wants to put up with your shit. We may have the biggest and baddest toys but we can not be counted on to play fair since we seem only concerned about our own self-interest.

That's how it plays out on the world stage, despite the many good and decent people here. Domination has been, and continues to be, the primary driver in our policies thanks to the nationalist fervor stoked by republicans and their sub groups (aka, tea partiers and fascists...and now out of the slime come crawling the nazis again). Consider what any republican group is about and without fail you'll find at the core of their message is the attitude "me, me, me...me first".

I consider this to be the legacy of our fathers. They did not play nice with the rest of the world throughout the 20th century and felt it was their right to assert domination over neighbors near and far for our economic gain regardless of the effects on the people of other nations. This planet has gotten much smaller (figuratively speaking) and the quest for empire is no longer viable. With as many people as there are now in the world, cooperation and mutual concern for each other is the only way we can possibly survive. When one part of this world suffers, it hurts us all (ie, Syria as one example). Our collective failure to recognize this truth is our downfall.

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