Farewell, NATO

What is the purpose of NATO? Western European countries can’t get out of their rocking chair long enough to be of much use to anybody, let alone themselves. Interestingly, the one place they get a spine is in their anti-Americanism.

I wonder if the people in Western Europe are just plain nuts, and how long do they think America is going to tolerate them?

They act like they live on another planet and are only looking down on Earth. That events on this planet won’t affect them.

From the article:

America’s Cold War alliance with Europe has ceased to be a fruitful one.

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In the last two decades, the safety of a rich Western Europe also spawned a new continental creed of secularism, socialism, and anti-Americanism that embraced the untruth that the United Nations kept the peace while the United States endangered it. But if a disarmed continent counted on continued expensive American protection, then it was suicidal to mock its protector.

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Russia threatens to supply Iran with top new missile system as ‘cold war’ escalates

Russia is deploying the threat to sell a “game changing” air defence system to Iran as a high stakes bargaining chip in its new “cold war” with America, The Sunday Telegraph has learned.

US intelligence fears the Kremlin will supply the sophisticated S-300 system to Tehran if Washington pushes through Nato membership for its pro-Western neighbours Georgia and Ukraine.

The proposed deal is causing huge alarm in the US and Israel as the S-300 can track 100 targets at once and fire on planes up to 75 miles away.

That would make it a “game-changer”, greatly improving Iranian defences against any air strike on its nuclear sites, according to Pentagon adviser Dan Goure. “This is a system that scares every Western air force,” he said.

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Russia anounces ‘spheres of interest’

Russia’s president Dmitry Medvedev on Sunday announced Moscow’s intention to preserve geographical spheres “of privileged interest” on or near its borders as part of a five point foreign policy statement in a television interview.

The announcement, in the wake of the recent conflict in Georgia, is likely to raise the political temperature in neighbouring states, especially those with significant Russian minorities, as they try to gauge Russia’s appetite for future conflicts in the region.

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Taiwan to cut military spending amid warming China ties: report

Why is the United States bound to defend a nation that won’t defend itself? America, dump Taiwan now!

From the article:

“I’m worried that the decline in military expenditures may send a wrong signal to the United States and Japan that Taiwan is short of determination to defend itself against China,” said Tsai Huang-lang of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

China has repeatedly threatened to invade Taiwan should the island declare formal independence. Beijing still regards Taiwan as part of its territory awaiting to be reunified, by force if necessary, although the island has governed itself since 1949 at the end of a civil war.

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Iran Claims to Have 4,000 Working Nuclear Centrifuges

A top Iranian official say the country now has 4,000 working nuclear centrifuges.

Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Reza Sheik Attar made the claim to Iranian state media Friday, saying another 3,000 centrifuges will soon be installed at Iran’s main nuclear site in Natanz.

The centrifuges could significantly boost Iran’s ability to produce enriched uranium.

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The real China threat

The real threat from China lies elsewhere. It is that China will destabilize the world economy. It will distort trade, foster huge financial imbalances and trigger a contentious competition for scarce raw materials. Symptoms of instability have already surfaced, and if they grow worse, everyone — including the Chinese — might suffer.

China is now “challenging some of the fundamental tenets of the existing (global) economic system,” says economist C. Fred Bergsten of the Peterson Institute.

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The problem is Putin, not the missiles

The hysteria over the expected arms deal between Russia and Syria should be directed elsewhere. Israel may indeed find it harder to strike Syria every time it feels like “sending a message” to Damascus. What should worry Jerusalem more, however, is the fact that it, and Syria, are now at the center of the great strategic game between Russia and the United States.

Russia is one of two countries – the other is China – indirectly placing hurdles before most UN Security Council proposals for sanctions on Iran. Russia built the nuclear reactor in Bushehr, and signed a $4 billion deal to sell aerial defense equipment to the Islamic Republic, in order to thwart an American or Israeli attack.

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China’s one world?

With all the world’s attention focused on the Beijing Olympics and to a lesser extent, the “truce” in Georgia, we should not underestimate the serious implications for U.S. strategic objectives posed by the Chinese military modernization programs, (Russia’s announced modernization programs is another element).

By 2010, the PLA Navy could have about 60 very modern to moderately capable submarines. The threat from conventional and nuclear submarines cannot be overstated. Even older “Ming” class designs from the 1970s are modernized, and have been quieted enough so they can approach a ship and get off one deadly shot.

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Will Russia Force Rebirth of Realism?

To understand just how unsettling Russia’s invasion of Georgia is to American foreign policy, it’s useful to highlight a short exchange that Senator McCain’s leading foreign policy advisor Randy Scheunemann had with a reporter from Radio Free Europe in April.

Scheunemann was asked whether the U.S. should be willing to “trade off” Georgia and Ukraine’s NATO aspirations in return for Russian support for U.S. missile defense systems in Central Europe.

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