Washington, June 17th 2019. The House Committee on Foreign Affairs released a statement explaining that Committee Chair Eliot Engel (D – N.Y.) and Ranking Member Michael McCaul (R – T.X.) have introduced legislation to help North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies modernize their military forces.
The reasoning is that many of the NATO member states’ militaries rely heavily on older, soviet-era equipment. The bill would provide access to 12-year loans for the purposes of buying American-made military weapons and equipment.
“If we want our NATO allies to be ready to face any threat, we need to help them replace obsolete Soviet equipment with modern systems compatible with the rest of the alliance. Our legislation allows for loans that would complement American security assistance and help our allies purchase this equipment,” said Chairman Engel.
“This bill will make American industry more competitive abroad while simultaneously aligning our allies’ defense systems with those of the United States and the rest of NATO. NATO continues to be the bulwark against Russian belligerence and I am proud to introduce this legislation with Chairman Engel,” said Ranking republican and co-sponsor McCaul.
The NATO Defense Financing Act as it’s called, states that in order to deter Russian aggression the President may make loans to NATO member states to purchase NATO compatible weapons.
The bill makes reference to the Mutual Defense Assistance Act of 1949, where in the face of a crippled European economy the United States paid the way for her allies to recover military strength in the face of Russian aggression.
The NATO Defense Financing Act acknowledges that no such assistance has been offered since the end of the Cold War, but that since the return of “great power competition and an aggressive Russia,” the U.S. needs her allies sharp and ready for action.
Military Industrial Complex
The famous exit speech of former president Eisenhower warning the American people to be vigilant in the face of a growing reliance on the brand new war-time economy America had created throughout the Second World War and beyond into the Cold War, will always be a relevant message to citizens monitoring the footfalls of those dwelling within the corridors of power in Washington.
Recently, the U.S. clumsily went on the offensive in Turkey over the Lockheed Martin-built F-35 fighter jet. Turkey had plans to purchase 100 of these stealth fighter jets – the most expensive aircraft ever produced, and lucrative contracts to produce replacement parts.
Once Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the was buying the Russian-made S-400 missile defense system from America’s eternal enemy, the U.S. claimed the Russian system was incompatible with NATO aircraft and that Washington would not allow for the flying or sale of any F-35s if Ankara went ahead with the deal.
Ankara did just that, with President Erdogan stated that “the issue of S-400 is an issue directly related to our sovereignty and we will not backtrack from that,” and that “God willing, the delivery of the S-400 will start next month”.
The United States then played their usual hand and threatened Ankara with sanctions, though Erdogan remained unconvinced and undaunted.
The Senate Armed Services Committee recently completed their markup to the National Defense Authorization Act for 2020 Fiscal Year, adding another 298 amendments, taking the total defense spending up to $750 billion, the largest defense budget in the history of the world.
During President Trump’s 2016 campaign, one of his chief concerns was pulling out of bad international agreements made under previous administrations. On this matter, perhaps more than any other of his campaign promises, he’s followed through whole-heartedly.
On June 1st, 2017, President Trump announced that the United States would be leaving the Paris Climate Agreement. Only 4 months later, Trump gave notice to UNESCO (the United Nations Economic, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) that the United States would be departing; citing anti-Israel sentiment after Palestine was granted full member state rights.
Trump planned to reorganize NAFTA (The North American Free-Trade Agreement) and in late 2018, withdrew from the 2015 JCPOA Iran nuclear treaty.
On all counts, Trump’s sentiments were that America was being taken advantage of – by Europe, by China, by Russia, by whomever. The outstanding member dues of UNESCO of the 2020 fiscal year proves Trump correct. The United States seems to owe 6-times for than every other country on earth put together, totaling some $600 million.
The climate agreement as well would seem to be a hole for the U.S. economy. Under Obama’s commitments to the Paris Agreement, the United States would attempt to reduce her carbon emissions by 26%-28% by 2025.
While many argue that the loss of jobs, innovation, and growth in green energy and renewables that would have come as a result of attempting to achieve Obama’s goal of a 26% reduction will cost the U.S. jobs and GDP growth, there is no doubt the economy would first sustain a mighty blow at the hands of the necessary imposition of energy regulations in the manufacturing sectors.
It seems that the only multilateral agreements which Trump doesn’t mind involve arms sales. With the help of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Trump attempted to skirt around congressional review and authorize the sale of $8 billion in advanced weaponry for the air forces of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
This was recently blocked by 22 joint resolutions by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
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