Politics

Wonder when Biden is going to pay a visit.

 
Hmm. Sci gives the impression President Trump joined as a member. "Join President Trump in supporting Sci." Wonder if he actually did. Sounds like a photo op more than a real commitment. Still better than what President Biden has done.
 
"Soldier’s Rules are ─

  • Soldiers fight only enemy combatants.
  • Soldiers do not harm enemies who surrender. They disarm them and turn them over to their superior.
  • Soldiers do not kill or torture any personnel in their custody.
  • Soldiers collect and care for the wounded, whether friend or enemy.
  • Soldiers do not attack medical personnel, facilities, or equipment.
  • Soldiers destroy no more than the mission requires.
  • Soldiers treat civilians humanely.
  • Soldiers respect private property and possessions.
  • Soldiers should do their best to prevent violations of the law of war.
  • Soldiers report all violations of the law of war to their superior. "
The reality is different.
I'm deliberately trying not to give any examples that I could list two dozen times off the top of my head to contradict you.

War is hell/W.T.Sherman

nothing has changed.
I know it may seem a small thing my friend, but I can personally testify that there is at least one military that tries to take these rules to heart.
 
Trump talked tough on China and did do some good things in that regard, but ultimately got played in the trade deals he signed with them. Basically, they promised to buy more US goods and then did not, but by that point Trump was focused on something else. Then there are all of the comments Trump has made about how great and strong of a leader Xi is, which could be Trump’s weird way of “negotiating” but I suspect it is more that Trump is impressed by powerful people. With regard to Russia, Trump’s performance in Helsinki was pretty telling.

I agree that China’s current treatment of Blinken is unacceptable, but I suspect that it has more to do with China’s domestic concerns. When Trump was in office, China was economically in a much better palce, so they were more interested with presenting themselves internationally as the alternative to Trump’s America. Now, however, China’s economy is in serious trouble and they have lost a great deal of credibility around the world, which has led them to try to present and image of strength through increasing hostility with America.

As to North Korea, I also have no idea what that whole situation was about or what it means. Odd indeed.
I have been to several cities and regions in China. This narrative that China’s economy is suffering is a joke. China doesn’t suffer from the paralysis that has engulfed the USA. If they decide to do something, they do it. If they decide to build a power plant, they build it. There’s no partisanship or gridlock because it’s not allowed. The airports are fully modern and beautiful. The city streets are filled with Mercedes, Audi and other upscale automobiles. The government has given the people just enough freedom to own businesses and prosper so they won’t rise up. It’s a tricky balancing act. I’m no admirer of their form of government, but they are kicking our ass.

The government controlled news media in China is very anti-Trump. Meanwhile, in the USA and Europe, we can’t agree to do anything of significance. We’ve got two old idiots running for president in the USA and our countries have suffered from uncontrolled immigration that is ruining our cultures. It’s frankly, embarrassing. Don’t think for a minute that China is on the way down. China is strong and watching us implode.
 
So, to be clear, in reply to my request for you to list specific Trump foreign policy failures from his first term or provide specific proposed foreign policies that he is currently campaigning on, you have none per se' beyond a scared feeling?

If I recall correctly, a $61 billion Ukraine aid bill was passed... The republicans who voted against the legislation were voting the will of their constituency, not at Trump's command... If Trump has such power in Congress as you suggest, why did the bill pass?

Furthermore, as much as some of you insist on blaming Trump for the loss of the Senate seats in Georgia, I would suggest looking to the voters in that state directly for the bulk of the blame... Another significant portion of the blame could be placed on the republican party fielding 2 of the weakest candidates they could have possibly run....

The bottom line is that in one of the most crucial Senate elections of our times, the republican voters of Georgia did not turn out to vote, while the democrats showed up in record numbers... Blaming that lack of republican turn out on Trump's rhetoric is convenient, but it's also unrealistic... I really do wish Trump had the power and influence that you suggest out of office as a private citizen. I truly hope he capitalizes on that power should he regain the WH... Maybe republicans will actually get something done in this country for a change...
The piss-poor GA candidates were Trump’s favorites.
 
It appears that the ANC has complied with the will of the electorate and formed a unity government with the DA. I hope that is a threshold moment for South Africa as it marks a peaceful change to 30 years of unfettered rule. Also, it marks the first real evolution of government since Mandela. I think it's an exciting development, albeit an incremental one.
Hopes are high here that it could be a new beginning
 
I have been to several cities and regions in China. This narrative that China’s economy is suffering is a joke. China doesn’t suffer from the paralysis that has engulfed the USA. If they decide to do something, they do it. If they decide to build a power plant, they build it. There’s no partisanship or gridlock because it’s not allowed. The airports are fully modern and beautiful. The city streets are filled with Mercedes, Audi and other upscale automobiles. The government has given the people just enough freedom to own businesses and prosper so they won’t rise up. It’s a tricky balancing act. I’m no admirer of their form of government, but they are kicking our ass.

The government controlled news media in China is very anti-Trump. Meanwhile, in the USA and Europe, we can’t agree to do anything of significance. We’ve got two old idiots running for president in the USA and our countries have suffered from uncontrolled immigration that is ruining our cultures. It’s frankly, embarrassing. Don’t think for a minute that China is on the way down. China is strong and watching us implode.

In my opinion the truth is halfway in between China is failing and China has never been stronger.

Yes their economy is not doing as well as a few years ago. They have some trouble with their financial institutions and too much lending to uneconomical projects.

In the Western world this would be alarm bells all over. Government change, revolts, what have you. But that is the incorrect pair of glasses to view the situation from. China’s “might” is not as dependent on the economic well being of its citizens as is the case in the West. Their policies and geo political decisions are not as much influenced by their domestic situation.

Now, I’m no China expert, but the Dragon still seems a very dangerous viper for many decades to come. Even despite some economic troubles.
 
This should probably be in the Articles forum but it is very political. Everyone remembers when President Trump was pressuring other NATO countries to raise their defense spending to the treaty commitment 2%? Trump's bullying and Russia's war on Ukraine has awakened our European allies.

"SEVENTY PERCENT OF NATO NATIONS HIT 2% GOAL: No one has done more to spur NATO nations to go on a military spending spree than Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and the threat it poses to Europe, especially countries that share a border with Russia such as Poland, Estonia, Latvia, and Finland, has goosed NATO defense spending to record levels.

“Today, we are able to publish new figures for defense spending. They show that across Europe and Canada, NATO allies are, this year, increasing defense spending by 18%. That’s the biggest increase in decades,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said as he sat down to meet with President Joe Biden in the White House Oval Office on Monday.

“And 23 allies are going to spend 2% GDP or more on defense this year,” he added. “That’s more than twice as many as four years ago and demonstrates that European allies and Canada are really stepping up.”

Under an agreement reached at the NATO summit in Wales in 2014, member nations had 10 years to meet the 2% of GDP goal. Fewer than a third of the countries were on track to meet the 2024 deadline until Russia invaded Ukraine in February of 2022.

HOW SPENDING STACKS UP: Here’s the ranking of all 32 nations, which NATO said is based on “payments by a national government that have been or will be made during the course of the fiscal year to meet the needs of its armed forces, those of allies or of the alliance.” NATO said the numbers for 2023 and 2024 are estimates. Iceland is a NATO ally but does not have a military.

  1. Poland: 4.32%
  2. Estonia: 3.43%
  3. United States: 3.38%
  4. Latvia: 3.15%
  5. Greece: 3.08%
  6. Lithuania: 2.85%
  7. Finland: 2.41%
  8. Denmark: 2.37%
  9. United Kingdom: 2.33%
  10. Romania: 2.25%
  11. North Macedonia: 2.22%
  12. Norway: 2.20%
  13. Bulgaria: 2.18%
  14. Sweden: 2.14%
  15. Germany: 2.12%
  16. Hungary: 2.11%
  17. Czechia: 2.10%
  18. Turkey: 2.09%
  19. France: 2.06%
  20. Netherlands: 2.05%
  21. Albania: 2.03%
  22. Montenegro 2.02%
  23. Slovakia: 2.00%
  24. Croatia: 1.81%
  25. Portugal: 1.55%
  26. Italy: 1.49%
  27. Canada: 1.37%
  28. Belgium: 1.30%
  29. Luxembourg: 1.29%
  30. Slovenia: 1.29%
  31. Spain: 1.28%
IT’S NOT JUST THE 2%, IT’S THE 20%: An often overlooked but perhaps more important metric is what percentage of each country’s defense budget goes for weapons, equipment, and other capabilities, such as ships and aircraft. The 2% aggregate defense spending can include things such as salaries and pensions to retirees, which don’t directly translate into combat capabilities. Under the NATO guidelines, at least 20% of each country’s military budget should be spent on equipment.

By that measure, all but two countries, Canada and Belgium, meet the 20% standard. Poland, which has been buying expensive U.S. weapons, including F-35 fighter jets, spends more than 50% of its budget on hardware. Sixteen countries spend more than 30%, with Hungary, Albania, and Finland spending more than 45%. The U.S. comes in at 19th, spending 29.9%, just ahead of Denmark, and just behind Norway. Germany lags the U.S. at 28.7%. France comes in at 28.4%, while the U.K. is ahead of the U.S., spending 36.1% on weapons. "

Source: Washington Examiner, Daily on Defense
Jamie McIntyre <news@news.washingtonexaminer.com
 
This should probably be in the Articles forum but it is very political. Everyone remembers when President Trump was pressuring other NATO countries to raise their defense spending to the treaty commitment 2%? Trump's bullying and Russia's war on Ukraine has awakened our European allies.

"SEVENTY PERCENT OF NATO NATIONS HIT 2% GOAL: No one has done more to spur NATO nations to go on a military spending spree than Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and the threat it poses to Europe, especially countries that share a border with Russia such as Poland, Estonia, Latvia, and Finland, has goosed NATO defense spending to record levels.

“Today, we are able to publish new figures for defense spending. They show that across Europe and Canada, NATO allies are, this year, increasing defense spending by 18%. That’s the biggest increase in decades,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said as he sat down to meet with President Joe Biden in the White House Oval Office on Monday.

“And 23 allies are going to spend 2% GDP or more on defense this year,” he added. “That’s more than twice as many as four years ago and demonstrates that European allies and Canada are really stepping up.”

Under an agreement reached at the NATO summit in Wales in 2014, member nations had 10 years to meet the 2% of GDP goal. Fewer than a third of the countries were on track to meet the 2024 deadline until Russia invaded Ukraine in February of 2022.

HOW SPENDING STACKS UP: Here’s the ranking of all 32 nations, which NATO said is based on “payments by a national government that have been or will be made during the course of the fiscal year to meet the needs of its armed forces, those of allies or of the alliance.” NATO said the numbers for 2023 and 2024 are estimates. Iceland is a NATO ally but does not have a military.

  1. Poland: 4.32%
  2. Estonia: 3.43%
  3. United States: 3.38%
  4. Latvia: 3.15%
  5. Greece: 3.08%
  6. Lithuania: 2.85%
  7. Finland: 2.41%
  8. Denmark: 2.37%
  9. United Kingdom: 2.33%
  10. Romania: 2.25%
  11. North Macedonia: 2.22%
  12. Norway: 2.20%
  13. Bulgaria: 2.18%
  14. Sweden: 2.14%
  15. Germany: 2.12%
  16. Hungary: 2.11%
  17. Czechia: 2.10%
  18. Turkey: 2.09%
  19. France: 2.06%
  20. Netherlands: 2.05%
  21. Albania: 2.03%
  22. Montenegro 2.02%
  23. Slovakia: 2.00%
  24. Croatia: 1.81%
  25. Portugal: 1.55%
  26. Italy: 1.49%
  27. Canada: 1.37%
  28. Belgium: 1.30%
  29. Luxembourg: 1.29%
  30. Slovenia: 1.29%
  31. Spain: 1.28%
IT’S NOT JUST THE 2%, IT’S THE 20%: An often overlooked but perhaps more important metric is what percentage of each country’s defense budget goes for weapons, equipment, and other capabilities, such as ships and aircraft. The 2% aggregate defense spending can include things such as salaries and pensions to retirees, which don’t directly translate into combat capabilities. Under the NATO guidelines, at least 20% of each country’s military budget should be spent on equipment.

By that measure, all but two countries, Canada and Belgium, meet the 20% standard. Poland, which has been buying expensive U.S. weapons, including F-35 fighter jets, spends more than 50% of its budget on hardware. Sixteen countries spend more than 30%, with Hungary, Albania, and Finland spending more than 45%. The U.S. comes in at 19th, spending 29.9%, just ahead of Denmark, and just behind Norway. Germany lags the U.S. at 28.7%. France comes in at 28.4%, while the U.K. is ahead of the U.S., spending 36.1% on weapons. "

Source: Washington Examiner, Daily on Defense
Jamie McIntyre <news@news.washingtonexaminer.com
Wow, I would like to apologize for all the Canadians on this forum for our failure to live up to our obligations. I’m embarrassed that our country has mainly had a socialist/ communist regime since Pierre Elliot Trudeau and continues today with Fidel Castro’s son. Hopefully Pierre Poilievre will be our next Prime Minister and rectify some of the damage done by woke, liberal, socialist ideals that are infecting society today.
 
Wow, I would like to apologize for all the Canadians on this forum for our failure to live up to our obligations. I’m embarrassed that our country has mainly had a socialist/ communist regime since Pierre Elliot Trudeau and continues today with Fidel Castro’s son. Hopefully Pierre Poilievre will be our next Prime Minister and rectify some of the damage done by woke, liberal, socialist ideals that are infecting society today.

1968 was a turning point for Canada. It’s hard to believe how far things have decayed since then. Harper did great things to reverse the slide, but Castro has destroyed that progress and then some.
 
The piss-poor GA candidates were Trump’s favorites.

Of course Trump backed these candidates. What choice did he have..? Trump endorsed candidates do not equate to Trump picked candidates. The RNC decided to run those 2 individuals not Trump...

I simply am not buying into the claim by some that Trump discouraged voter participation with his rhetoric over election fraud. For all of his early rhetoric about election fraud in the Presidential election, he spent more time campaigning for those 2 republican candidates than any POTUS in the modern era...

When it was time to vote, the republicans along with Trump could not have been more dire on what was at stake for the country in the Georgia Senate races.... Yet, unexplainably, the republican and independent voters in Georgia who showed up in record numbers for the Presidential election, failed to show up for the eventual run-off... The RNC failed to field republican candidates that should have easily crushed the democrat alternatives by a long shot... Then, they failed again in the campaign messaging for the run-off... Then, the republican voters of Georgia failed themselves by not showing up to vote... Blaming Trump's post-election rhetoric on that outcome is a stretch in my view...
 
1968 was a turning point for Canada. It’s hard to believe how far things have decayed since then. Harper did great things to reverse the slide, but Castro has destroyed that progress and then some.
Wow, I would like to apologize for all the Canadians on this forum for our failure to live up to our obligations. I’m embarrassed that our country has mainly had a socialist/ communist regime since Pierre Elliot Trudeau and continues today with Fidel Castro’s son. Hopefully Pierre Poilievre will be our next Prime Minister and rectify some of the damage done by woke, liberal, socialist ideals that are infecting society today.
The situation is even worse than simple investment. A study was done of Canadian readiness levels last year. Among other things, It concluded -

"Only 58 per cent of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) would be able to respond if called upon in a crisis by NATO allies right now — and almost half of the military's equipment is considered "unavailable and unserviceable"

With respect to the specific services -

The presentation says the air force is currently in the worst shape of all the CAF forces, with 55 per cent of "fighters, maritime aviation, search and rescue, tactical aviation, trainers and transport" considered "unserviceable."

The navy is not too far behind, with 54 per cent of its "frigates, submarines, Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships and defence vessels" in no state to deploy, the presentation warns.

The army fares slightly better, with only 46 per cent of its equipment considered "unserviceable."
 
The situation is even worse than simple investment. A study was done of Canadian readiness levels last year. Among other things, It concluded -

"Only 58 per cent of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) would be able to respond if called upon in a crisis by NATO allies right now — and almost half of the military's equipment is considered "unavailable and unserviceable"

With respect to the specific services -

The presentation says the air force is currently in the worst shape of all the CAF forces, with 55 per cent of "fighters, maritime aviation, search and rescue, tactical aviation, trainers and transport" considered "unserviceable."

The navy is not too far behind, with 54 per cent of its "frigates, submarines, Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships and defence vessels" in no state to deploy, the presentation warns.

The army fares slightly better, with only 46 per cent of its equipment considered "unserviceable."

My brother in law is a naval officer. I won’t share too much, but it is truly disheartening. There was a day not so long ago that Canada was a force to be reckoned with. Somehow our snipers have continued to perform at the highest levels. We can’t say much beyond that.
 
Depressing to hear this crap. My father served in the Canadian navy during the battle of the Atlantic, and my best buddy(now since passed) served in our navy in the 70's. I am sure they are both rolling over in their graves now.
 
My brother in law is a naval officer. I won’t share too much, but it is truly disheartening. There was a day not so long ago that Canada was a force to be reckoned with. Somehow our snipers have continued to perform at the highest levels. We can’t say much beyond that.
I can remember as recently as the late seventies, the Canadian light armor brigade was one of the finest formations in NATO and always performed superbly during the annual Reforger exercises. Now, Canada can't deploy either a single combatant naval vessel or air force squadron for a purely national contingency, because it has no operational replenishment and resupply capability. The country truly has sub-contracted its defense (and hence a significant part of its sovereignty) to that uncouth horde to the south.
 
I have been to several cities and regions in China. This narrative that China’s economy is suffering is a joke. China doesn’t suffer from the paralysis that has engulfed the USA. If they decide to do something, they do it. If they decide to build a power plant, they build it. There’s no partisanship or gridlock because it’s not allowed. The airports are fully modern and beautiful. The city streets are filled with Mercedes, Audi and other upscale automobiles. The government has given the people just enough freedom to own businesses and prosper so they won’t rise up. It’s a tricky balancing act. I’m no admirer of their form of government, but they are kicking our ass.

The government controlled news media in China is very anti-Trump. Meanwhile, in the USA and Europe, we can’t agree to do anything of significance. We’ve got two old idiots running for president in the USA and our countries have suffered from uncontrolled immigration that is ruining our cultures. It’s frankly, embarrassing. Don’t think for a minute that China is on the way down. China is strong and watching us implode.
I am much less optimistic about china’s future than you. There is a reason communism always fails, and massive government-funded projects with locally-held debt is not a winning strategy.
 
This should probably be in the Articles forum but it is very political. Everyone remembers when President Trump was pressuring other NATO countries to raise their defense spending to the treaty commitment 2%? Trump's bullying and Russia's war on Ukraine has awakened our European allies.

"SEVENTY PERCENT OF NATO NATIONS HIT 2% GOAL: No one has done more to spur NATO nations to go on a military spending spree than Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and the threat it poses to Europe, especially countries that share a border with Russia such as Poland, Estonia, Latvia, and Finland, has goosed NATO defense spending to record levels.

“Today, we are able to publish new figures for defense spending. They show that across Europe and Canada, NATO allies are, this year, increasing defense spending by 18%. That’s the biggest increase in decades,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said as he sat down to meet with President Joe Biden in the White House Oval Office on Monday.

“And 23 allies are going to spend 2% GDP or more on defense this year,” he added. “That’s more than twice as many as four years ago and demonstrates that European allies and Canada are really stepping up.”

Under an agreement reached at the NATO summit in Wales in 2014, member nations had 10 years to meet the 2% of GDP goal. Fewer than a third of the countries were on track to meet the 2024 deadline until Russia invaded Ukraine in February of 2022.

HOW SPENDING STACKS UP: Here’s the ranking of all 32 nations, which NATO said is based on “payments by a national government that have been or will be made during the course of the fiscal year to meet the needs of its armed forces, those of allies or of the alliance.” NATO said the numbers for 2023 and 2024 are estimates. Iceland is a NATO ally but does not have a military.

  1. Poland: 4.32%
  2. Estonia: 3.43%
  3. United States: 3.38%
  4. Latvia: 3.15%
  5. Greece: 3.08%
  6. Lithuania: 2.85%
  7. Finland: 2.41%
  8. Denmark: 2.37%
  9. United Kingdom: 2.33%
  10. Romania: 2.25%
  11. North Macedonia: 2.22%
  12. Norway: 2.20%
  13. Bulgaria: 2.18%
  14. Sweden: 2.14%
  15. Germany: 2.12%
  16. Hungary: 2.11%
  17. Czechia: 2.10%
  18. Turkey: 2.09%
  19. France: 2.06%
  20. Netherlands: 2.05%
  21. Albania: 2.03%
  22. Montenegro 2.02%
  23. Slovakia: 2.00%
  24. Croatia: 1.81%
  25. Portugal: 1.55%
  26. Italy: 1.49%
  27. Canada: 1.37%
  28. Belgium: 1.30%
  29. Luxembourg: 1.29%
  30. Slovenia: 1.29%
  31. Spain: 1.28%
IT’S NOT JUST THE 2%, IT’S THE 20%: An often overlooked but perhaps more important metric is what percentage of each country’s defense budget goes for weapons, equipment, and other capabilities, such as ships and aircraft. The 2% aggregate defense spending can include things such as salaries and pensions to retirees, which don’t directly translate into combat capabilities. Under the NATO guidelines, at least 20% of each country’s military budget should be spent on equipment.

By that measure, all but two countries, Canada and Belgium, meet the 20% standard. Poland, which has been buying expensive U.S. weapons, including F-35 fighter jets, spends more than 50% of its budget on hardware. Sixteen countries spend more than 30%, with Hungary, Albania, and Finland spending more than 45%. The U.S. comes in at 19th, spending 29.9%, just ahead of Denmark, and just behind Norway. Germany lags the U.S. at 28.7%. France comes in at 28.4%, while the U.K. is ahead of the U.S., spending 36.1% on weapons. "

Source: Washington Examiner, Daily on Defense
Jamie McIntyre EMAIL]

Sad to see Belgium lagging behind as usual..
 

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