Monday February 20, 2017
The Munich conference held over the weekend – an annual event that brings the leaders of the Atlantic alliance together to celebrate their hegemonic pretensions – was anything but celebratory this time around. Despite the assurances of Vice President Pence that America’s commitment to NATO is “unwavering,” the Euro-crats in the audience were miffed that he failed to mention the European Union. And while they agreed, at least in public, with US admonitions that they have to start fulfilling their obligations to devote at least 2 percent of their budgets to defense, the reality is that there is very little will to do so: for example, the Brits are now boasting that they have brought their military expenditures up to speed, but as Peter Hitchens points outthey only did this by adding in the cost of military pensions, i.e. cooking the books.
And while Pence averred that the US would “hold Russia accountable,” he also said that the US would seek to cooperate with Moscow – not at all reassuring for the hawks in the audience, especially the Baltic states and the virulently anti-Russian Brits, who oppose any accommodation whatsoever. With US troops (sent by the Obama administration) on Poland’s border with Russia, tensions have risen, and as the War Party’s McCarthyite campaign tying the Trump administration to Russian intelligence intensifies, the battle over US foreign policy is taking center stage.