… from Press TV, Tehran
[ Editor’s Note: Trump bails out on his first major foreign policy plank. Mattis, certainly with Trump approval, has thrown in the towel on any major restructuring of the NATO imbalance where most of Europe is putting its defense on the backs of American taxpayers via our debt-funded defense program.
But even worse, some of these countries are hyping the Russian threat as a way to compete getting US military assets deployed to their own bases.
These are the same folks who have welcomed forward deployment of the US missile defense shield, a huge threat to Russia, which has been forced to speed up the modernization of both its traditional military forces and nuclear deterrent.
Our aggressive NATO advance to the Russian border has made us less safe, as Russia had no choice but to quickly form two new infantry divisions for its western defense, and forward deployed its own defensive and attack missiles to face the only country on the planet that has an official preemptive strike policy based on any perceived threat that it chooses.
This purely defensive response will of course be used to justify another round of US military expansion when there is no country representing an existential threat to America. It is as big a hoax as the Iranian nuclear weapons hoax was. We will watch how Trump supporters respond to this foreign policy reversal, or whether Trump will dodge it with the usual definition dance… Jim W. Dean ]
– First published … January 27, 2017 –
US Defense Secretary James Mattis has told his German and French counterparts that Washington under President Donald Trump will remain committed to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) alliance, according to the Pentagon.
In a statement on Friday, Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis said that Mattis had spoken on the phone with German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen and “assured the minister of the United States’ enduring commitment to the NATO alliance.”
The spokesman said that Mattis had also admired Berlin’s role in the fight against the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group and pledged further cooperation with his European counterpart in the future.
“He thanked Minister von der Leyen for her country’s leadership in NATO activities on the Eastern Flank and in Afghanistan, and acknowledged the role that Germany plays in fighting terrorism, specifically in the counter-ISIL coalition,” Davis said.
“He also cited the strategic importance of Germany as the host to 35,000 US personnel, the largest US force presence in Europe,” he noted.
In a different call with French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, the Pentagon chief stressed the importance of NATO, discussing “the long-time allies’ security cooperation, which is stronger than ever as both countries engage side-by-side in the fight against terrorism.”
Mattis also spoke by phone with Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman “to underscore his unwavering commitment to Israel’s security,” Davis said.
The remarks were made after Trump, earlier this month, caused alarm in NATO as he called the Western military alliance “obsolete”, arguing that NATO is as an alliance through which the US is spending tremendous funds to protect other extremely rich countries and that many NATO member states were not paying their fair share for US protection.
During his presidential campaign, the billionaire businessman had also appeared to be conciliatory towards Russia, praising President Vladimir Putin.
The US accounts for nearly 70 percent of the NATO budget and has long urged its European allies to step up their contributions, particularly in the face of what Washington calls the “Russian aggression” in Ukraine.