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Biden declares America, trans-Atlantic alliance 'back'

49 Comments
By Sebastian Smith

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democratic progress is under assault,

Globally assaults on democracy are led by authoritarian states like China and Russia. In the US assaults on its remaining bits of democracy are led by Trump Republicans backed by their media and groups like Qanon, the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers and dozens of other far right, white nationalist groups.

0 ( +16 / -16 )

Yeah, but what if the Republicans get back in four years later and reverse it all again? Biden should realize that any return in trust in America is going to take at least a decade.

-5 ( +10 / -15 )

Yeah, but what if the Republicans get back in four years later and reverse it all again? Biden should realize that any return in trust in America is going to take at least a decade.

It's true. All politicians putting all their eggs in the basket of America are gambling like Bitcoin speculators.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

global assault on democracy....Better look in our own back yard

7 ( +13 / -6 )

The man is doing all he can to fix those broken bonds.

It definitely looks better (so far) than what his predecessor did.

Destroying alliances, terminating agreements, and so on .... that's not the way world politics work!

2 ( +10 / -8 )

"In too many places, including in Europe and the United States, democratic progress is under assault,"

He has got that right. Unfortunately, he is on the side of the assaulters. All this talk about Russia when the biggest threat to democracy comes from Washington, DC.

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

Biden is writing executive orders at a record pace. That means he is going around democracy at a faster rate than any other president in history. His idea of an alliance is for America to sacrifice for all and pay the bills so the Europeans will say nice things to him at global confabs. Authoritarian at home, push over abroad. That’s the Bidet Way.

-4 ( +14 / -18 )

All this talk about Russia

Denying 'little old agrarian Russia' is not involved in assaults on other state's democratic principles is something pro-Trump and other pro-authoritarians have been doing the last 5 years.

-5 ( +9 / -14 )

Thank goodness we've got competent leadership back on the world stage. 

On Iran, Biden reiterated his pledge to return to international negotiations with Tehran over its nuclear program, but said "we must address Iran's destabilizing activities across the Middle East."

The Iranians WERE abiding by the terms of the Agreement, It's the US that backed out of it. And everyone in the world except for Americans knows that. It is US that violated the agreement now it is for US to stick it back together. And, if the Iranians really wanted a nuclear weapon they could have bought one from Pakistan's Dr. Khan when he went around trying to sell them 20 years ago. Think about it.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

@Wolfpack

Biden is writing executive orders at a record pace.

There's plenty that needs fixing the last 4 years have been about golf and family enrichment.

That means he is going around democracy at a faster rate than any other president in history.

Nah it means that 45 did such a crappy job but hey that's what you get when you put a bankrupt conman in office..

His idea of an alliance is for America to sacrifice for all and pay the bills so the Europeans will say nice things to him at global confabs. Authoritarian at home, push over abroad. That’s the Bidet Way.

Evidence to back up your claims...yep I see

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Biden promissed $4 Billion ti Covax, surprising....not so much. US multilateralism is usually just "elites" that really wish they were Western European and want to use tax payer money to buy into the club as honorary members.

"Dec. 17, 2020  09:16 pm JSTPosted in: Poor countries face long wait for vaccines despite promises  See in context

COVAX is a UN effort, they need $5 Billion. I don't expect to see articles about the UN undergoing layoffs or G&A reductions in other areas to help make this up (even though we have heard the importance of this for the world since summer).

More likely, Team Biden gets a couple of pins for their jackets (and great articles about "leadership" (read $) by borrowing future US taxpayer's money to give and make up the shortage."

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Thank the Lord! Adults have returned to US government!

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Europe pays a greater cost of the defense of Europe than American even if it's defense costs are 4.5% of GDP. What America spends to maintain it's European bases is very small, less than $20 billion out of a defense budget of $800 billion. America has 63,000 troops in Europe, less than the total of the other countries.

American and Europe need to be strong against the Russian threat.

Trump was going to pull out the 34,000 troops from Germany and send them to Poland. Biden has cancelled that move.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

American and Europe need to be strong against the Russian threat.

Sure, go and ask any European about how much they are worried about Russia. You ever noticed that you completely ignore anything China is doing?

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

Europe is concerned about China and North Korea but they don't share borders with Europe. There are 10,000 NATO troops in Afghanistan.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

And the US doesn't share boarders with either. Ergo?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

America (the govt) should be friends with our friends. Imagine that?

While I don't agree with everything President Biden has done, I do agree with about 80%. The Democrats only have the house and senate and Presidency for 2 yrs. After that, there is another election and Republicans will be mad about something again. They need to get off their asses and pass laws that can only happen in that situation - QUICK! Don't use executive orders for long term needs. Start some Constitutional Amendments to end debate about Restricting Guns, Immigration, and National Health Care.

Don't be dumb like the Republicans were. Work the priorities. Don't think you have 4 yrs - that's just Biden, not the House and Senate. Senate is a 6 yr term - staggers so about 1/3rd are up for election each 2 yrs. US House is a 2 yr term. Dems have 2 yrs.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Again, can someone point to me what in this article, explaining how Biden is rebuilding diplomatic ties with our historical allies, indicates that Biden is preparing for war? Still waiting.

Wait, it’ll come in one form or another.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Biden has more important issues at home than starting a war.

50 million American's unable to support themselves. 500,000 deaths from Covid-19. 11 million claiming unemployment.

Biden needs to do a lot of fixing.

In this century wars were started by republican presidents.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Nice to see Biden rebuilding trust with our allies again. The Europeans are a cornerstone of America's global power and teach.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Let’s be clear the US contribution to European defence is more than one third of the entire German defence budget.

Without the US, NATO would be a meaningless irrelevance.

The harsh truth is EU 27 member states plus the UK are unwilling as much as unable to guarantee their citizens security on which they rely.

There are also prevailing structural and geopolitical obstacles, Germany Nord Stream 2 pipeline could have a detrimental effect on European energy security, a future means for Russian Federation to conduct hybrid warfare.

Then as the Government of China is sinking to new depths of human rights abuses, threatening/bullying neighbors in the South China Sea. Only for the EU to sign and enter into an investment/trade agreement.  

EU – China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI): list of sections

https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=2237

U.S. President Joe Biden declared the "trans-Atlantic alliance is back”.

An alliance, I suggest is a tad one-sided.

Barak Obama, 2016 made it clear, EU/NATO members had to do more. pull their weight, that plea seem still to fall on deaf ears.

Obama urges NATO members to pull their weight

https://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/obama-nato-pay-fair-share-231405

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

zichi, Russia pays less towards defense than the EU. What possible threat are they to the combined forces of NATO? If they take any ground they would be at risk of invasion to their motherland.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

This alliance/partnership mainstay, must be built on common interests and trust.

Russia has retained a state if the art, impressive highly effective strategic combined multi force built on mobility and firepower.

The stationing of these forces are close to its borders, on a state of readiness to obtain maximum advantage in moving mechanized artillery with speed and efficiency.

One could rightly argue, point out, there is nothing to suggest that Russian aggression against NATO is imminent,

However the threat remains. Especially if the Russian Government views EU presence, peering over the borders as a ever growing threat.  

The one aspect, Joe Biden processes is diplomacy over harsh rhetoric, so a means to nag Europe into contributing an equal share of the responsibilities.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The fours years of chaos, hate, and utter incompetence of the Trump administration have been relegated to the ash heap of history...

Now it it is time to re-energize working with our democratic allies and friends - and no longer coddling dictators and tyrants...

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Glad to have a president that actually values democracy and understands the importance of alliances.

He has got that right. Unfortunately, he is on the side of the assaulters. All this talk about Russia when the biggest threat to democracy comes from Washington, DC.

Asinine.

His idea of an alliance is for America to sacrifice for all and pay the bills so the Europeans will say nice things to him at global confabs. Authoritarian at home, push over abroad. That’s the Bidet Way.

Asinine.

Wait, it’ll come in one form or another.

Like Trump winning re-election? Like Durham bringing the hammer to Mueller and the Deep State? Like the rest of your predictions that have turned out to be incorrect?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

All a bit lame. But what was promised.

‘let’s see how “back” America is.

Hopeful but not optimistic

0 ( +1 / -1 )

YuriOtani

zichi, Russia pays less towards defense than the EU. What possible threat are they to the combined forces of NATO? If they take any ground they would be at risk of invasion to their motherland.

During the Trump term, Putin has made a massive military hardware upgrade with many new advanced weapons. Russia will always be a threat has in its actions in the Crimea and Ukraine.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

itsonlyrocknroll

Let’s be clear the US contribution to European defence is more than one third of the entire German defence budget.

The America cost to the real NATO budget is about $2 million. Plus the cost of maintaining its 36,000 troops which the host countries also pay for.

Don't confuse the America Defense budget with its costs in Europe. The total costs of all its overseas bases is only $25 billion.

American spends 4.5% of GDP on defense. NATO countries agreed to spend 2.5% of their GDP's on defense by 2024. Most have not achieved that. But they still outspend America on defense in Europe.

There are two nuclear armed countries Britain and France.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Glad to have a president that actually values democracy and understands the importance of alliances.

One sided alliance....that benefits them...guess so.

Like Trump winning re-election? Like Durham bringing the hammer to Mueller and the Deep State? Like the rest of your predictions that have turned out to be incorrect?

More like the House and that’s looking better for the GOP with each passing day.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

The importance of diplomacy in Europe by the USA is a no brainer, but if like Trump, you actually are a no brainer, then it's better to have someone who can critically think the situation as President.

Go Biden Go!

0 ( +5 / -5 )

zichi, this BBC article springs to mind.

I believe the BBC still to be a quality independent reliable source.

What does the US contribute to NATO in Europe?

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-44717074

US commitment is comprehensive and far reaching.

May I suggest at present irreplaceable.

Have a quick squint at this piece from DW.....2020

How will Europe guarantee its security without the US?

https://www.dw.com/en/how-will-europe-guarantee-its-security-without-the-us/a-53881805

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

itsonlyrocknroll

zichi, this BBC article springs to mind.

Of course America needs to remain a member of NATO. America needs NATO, and NATO needs America, as par in Afghanistan for instance. Trump wanted to pull America out of NATO.

The article again states the the American defense budget is 4.5% of its GDP, or about $800 billion. But America does not spend 70% of that on Europe. Actually, nearly all of its defense budget is spent within America with only about $25 billion spent on oversea. Not counting wars like Afghanistan.

There is an actual NATO budget stated in the BBC article

"The civilian and military budget for 2019 was set at about €1.67bn (£1.43; $1.84bn), according to Nato figures.

The US was paying for just over 22% of this, while Germany's contribution was 14.76%, and France and the UK just under 10.5% each.

The rest was shared by the other members of the alliance."

Question to you.

How much do you think America spends on defense in Europe?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

bass4funk

One sided alliance....that benefits them...guess so.

How much does America spend in Europe on NATO defenses?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

European countries are worried about Russia, Asian countries are worried about China, and both Europe and Asia are worried the US will be more focused on one or the other. Meanwhile, there are some in the US who are worried about the US and the crisis south of the US border. SMH, meanwhile Biden wakes up with, "where am I, how did I get here?"

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

In this century wars were started by republican presidents.

And Biden supported everyone of them. And the wars started by the Obama-Biden administration in Syria and Libya.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Biden is writing executive orders at a record pace. That means he is going around democracy at a faster rate than any other president in history

Impressive. Trump wrote executive orders at a faster pace than any president before him. The Democrats appear to be learning from Republican strategy! Well done Biden.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Glad to have a president that actually values democracy and understands the importance of alliances.

One sided alliance....that benefits them...guess so.

Interesting that Trump supporters and Putin share the same views on NATO....coincidence? Hmmmmm.....

Like Trump winning re-election? Like Durham bringing the hammer to Mueller and the Deep State? Like the rest of your predictions that have turned out to be incorrect?

More like the House and that’s looking better for the GOP with each passing day.

Sure it is - you have McConnell calling Trump a cancer on the party and Trump calling him a political hack...

Then there's that great Repub example of a Senator, Ted CanCruz...

Repubs are in great shape...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

India, China and Russia have made public relations coups by jumping in and supplying Central and South America, The Balkan countries, much of Asia and Africa.

But, Putin. And Xi!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

During the Trump term, Putin has made a massive military hardware upgrade with many new advanced weapons.

Russia does a good job of salesmanship but they haven't advanced the state of the art as much as you might think. Their air launched "hypersonic cruise missile" isn't a cruise missile at all. It is nothing more than their Iskander surface to surface ballistic missile hung from an airplane. Cruise missiles have air breathing engines, not rocket motors. The US has brought on line LRASM and is producing new advanced versions of Tomahawk including an anti-ship version. Their SU-57 is in no way comparable to the F-22 or F-35 and the USAF just revealed they have been testing a new 6th Gen fighter they are calling NGAD for Next Generation Air Dominance that is close to a production decision. Russia has nothing like the big Global Hawk or its maritime recce derivative the Triton, or the RQ-180. Russia hasn't introduced an all new air to air missile since the Cold War, just derivatives of the Cold War era R-77 while the US developed AIM-9X, AMRAAM and just revealed the existence of a new long range air to air missile. Russia's navy has stagnated, it's weapons and sensors two decades behind the US and EU navies. They haven't built anything larger than a frigate since the Cold War. The have nothing even remotely comparable to Aegis (China does however). Their hard luck aircraft carrier remains out of service for lack of a suitable dry dock after the last one sank right out from under her and was lost, followed by a big fire. Their new tank has had major developmental problems and is not in volume production as a result. Their new armored personnel carrier reportedly was defeated by Syrian rebels in its first combat outing.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

An "America Last" policy is good news for the rest of the world.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Impressive. Trump wrote executive orders at a faster pace than any president before him. The Democrats appear to be learning from Republican strategy! Well done Biden.

Presidents should not be writing executive orders! Writing laws is a power reserved for Congress. However, a divided Congress cannot agree on anything and has more often than not abdicated their constitutional authority to the Legislative Branch while Presidents, fed up with Congressional paralysis, resort to executive orders essentially daring Congress to stop them. It is a toxic dynamic. The Supreme Court should put a stop to all of it but they won't as they seem reluctant to insert themselves into disputes between the other two branches.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

An "America Last" policy is good news for the rest of the world.

Yes, because they don't have to worry about any wars or losing people, so it is great news for the rest of the world.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

One sided alliance....that benefits them...guess so.

If a war occurs on NATO soil European cities will devastated and European casualties will be in the millions while the US will be largely insulated from the direct horrors of combat. One sided alliance indeed!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

That's cheery news. Though he should state it for what it actually represents: Pax Americana. Especially to the people of Libya, Iraq, Honduras, Venezuela, Syria, Afghanistan and other nations that have been the 'focus' of the one indispensable nation and what Hunter S. Thompson dubbed, the greatest menace since the Roman Empire.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Presidents should not be writing executive orders! Writing laws is a power reserved for Congress. However, a divided Congress cannot agree on anything and has more often than not abdicated their constitutional authority to the Legislative Branch while Presidents, fed up with Congressional paralysis, resort to executive orders essentially daring Congress to stop them.

Ever since the Republicans started their campaign of obstruction (rather than opposition, working together towards similar goals), it's become impossible for laws to be created any other way than through executive order. Look at the bi-partisan immigration laws written up during Obama's administration - the right refused to hold a vote, and the bills died. Then they gained power, they blamed the democrats for a lack of immigration law.

America is a failed democracy. The constitution was made under the idea that the government would work together towards a common goal. The founders weren't smart enough to realize that they needed to also write a constitution that dealt with situations where parties decided they are going to obstruct, rather than oppose.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

If a war occurs on NATO soil European cities will devastated and European casualties will be in the millions while the US will be largely insulated from the direct horrors of combat. One sided alliance indeed!

Yes indeed.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

The address to the annual Munich Security Conference -- held by video link because of the COVID-19 pandemic -- dovetailed with German Chancellor Angela Merkel's welcoming of a return to "multilateralism"

Yep..America last..Multilateralism first..

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Zichi, I attempted to monetize all NATO members individual expenditure as a research project 2011.

However frankly I gave up.

One area was, local expenditure commitments spread across over 16 difference conventional force variants,

Rendering breakdown to define a number to finance sufficient munitions to defend a contiguous line were indissociable to how reserves were spread across real time.

There was also the funneling of cost of separate expenditure for financing rehearsed deployments for reinforcements.

I think in all honestly, Governments of all shapes and sizes, political really don’t want the actual numbers in the public domain.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Another area is NATO commitment to counter terrorism.

There is not published breakdown of shared costs.

https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/topics_77646.htm

US is a key player in the area.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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