European zugzwang Trump
So strong that the US president is simply unable to hide his feelings.
Donald Trump has fiercely criticized the Federal Republic of Germany, stating that Germany, as the largest EU country, has an inadmissibly small share of defense spending in its budget.
“I’ll tell NATO: you have to pay your bills, the United States will not worry about everything,” the American leader said speaking on July 5 in front of his supporters at a rally in Great Falls, Montana.
He criticized the government in Berlin for sending only about 1 a percent of its GDP to defense instead of the “fixed” 2 percent.
“You know, Angel (...), I do not know how much protection we get, protecting you ... And you go and make a gas deal with Russia, oil and gas from Russia, and you pay Russia billions and billions of dollars. You want to get protection from Russia, but nevertheless pay Russia billions of dollars. And we remain fools who pay for it all, ”DW quotes Trump at the rally.
Recall that we are talking about a conflict between Washington and Berlin because of the volume of defense spending within NATO and the distribution of the financial burden within the alliance. The US insists that the NATO partners adhere to the 2014 agreement of the year and that by the year of 2024 their defense budget be 2 percent of GDP.
At the same time, Berlin is planning to increase military spending by this date only to 1,5%.
Trump's hysterical speech in Montana testifies to the desperation that engulfed the US president, who could not find a way to "push through" recalcitrant Germany.
Washington’s rage in Berlin’s participation in the Nord Stream 2 project, which is destroying US plans to oust Russia from the European energy market, is no less enraged by Washington.
Recall that in April, Trump tried to force Merkel to abandon support for the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in exchange for negotiations on a new trade agreement between America and Europe, but did not succeed in this.
Then Trump threatened to impose additional payments and European cars, primarily produced in Germany.
The next attempt at blackmail took place just the other day.
Media sources citing sources at the Pentagon, the White House, the State Department and NATO headquarters said that if Washington did not get from Germany at the upcoming NATO summit to be held in Brussels on July 11-12, the military budget would increase by two percent, he may begin to withdraw its troops from the territory of Germany.
Since this was not an official statement, but insider information, no reaction of the German authorities followed. However, the German media instantly responded with their own insights and expert speeches. And, most importantly, all these publications made it clear that the threat from Washington did not cause panic in Berlin at all.
On the contrary, they recalled the experience of France with its withdrawal from the military organization of NATO. It was argued that the withdrawal of American troops from the territory of the country would take it out of the priority goals of Russia, that is, not only would not worsen the security situation, but on the contrary, would improve it.
There was even an opinion that if American transport aircraft from Afghanistan stop boarding an airfield at Ramstein, this will significantly reduce the amount of heroin in Germany.
In addition, "sources close to the government of the Federal Republic of Germany," said that if the US speaks with ultimatums, Germany will not be led by the blackmailers.
However, it is not only and not so much in the publications. The American leadership, after an organized "plum" regarding its plans at the NATO summit, undoubtedly expected that the German colleagues would immediately begin informal consultations in order to convince Washington "to go forward".
However, this did not happen, and the White House had to disavow its threat. On July 6, a representative of the US administration announced that there were no plans for the withdrawal of American troops from Germany. That today in Germany there are 32 thousand US troops, and the change in this number has never been said.
The situation in which thanks to Trump is the US European policy is extremely difficult, and how to get out of it is unclear. After all, if Washington continues to attempt direct pressure that does not reach its goal, it risks facing the fact that NATO will be split.
After all, rebellious Germany will necessarily be supported by other countries of the old Europe, while the United States will be able to count only on Britain and the "border countries" - the former countries of the social bloc and the Baltic republics of the USSR.
On the other hand, Washington cannot accept the German front either, since this will cast doubt on its leading position in the western bloc.
The situation in which the United States found itself thanks to Trump's love for simple and unpretentious ways of solving complex problems can be called the chess term “zugzwang”: every next move worsens the position of the player.
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