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PI Newsletter #101

1. Outcry Over Troop Reduction in Germany Ignore Necessary Foreign Policy Debate

President Trump’s plan to reduce the U.S. military footprint in Germany points to even more significant of his foreign policy inclinations

June 14, 2020.

Reports that President Trump intends to reduce the number of U.S. troops stationed in Germany has elicited extensive protest. Influential editorials on the Right and the Left have rejected the move in dismissive tones, citing the supposed hypothetical impact on relations with Germany or the military competition with Russia.

Such predictive approaches reflect the predisposition in opinion-making circles simply to stake out positions against the White House, no matter what those positions may be: if the president is for something, these voices reliably declare their opposition.

It would be more useful to recognize the proposal as well as the resistance to it as an inflection point in larger debates over American foreign policy.

Awareness of this looming debate is all the more urgent because, to date, foreign policy largely has been absent from the developing contest between the president and former Vice President Joe Biden heading into the November election. The differences over the size and character of force posture overseas can shed light on foreign policy fault lines and the larger debates the nation really needs.

The current controversy represents at least the third time that Trump has pursued a reduction of the overseas military footprint. His aspiration to end the war in Afghanistan has never been a secret, while the efforts to reduce U.S. involvement in Syria came more abruptly. Nevertheless, they were cut from the same cloth.

So is Trump’s Germany initiative. His consistent predisposition is toward a less expansive military presence around the world. Most of his current critics have taken the Germany decision in isolation rather than addressing this clear pattern.

Strong Defense Is Smart Defense

This president surely is not opposed to a strong defense policy, as seen with his large Pentagon outlays as well as the establishment of the Space Force. Clearly, however, Trump is skeptical of the establishment view that American national security is best served by a seemingly unlimited archipelago of military stationings around the world.

Afghanistan, Syria, and Germany are of course three very different cases—each overdetermined by complicated histories—and no one should suggest that extricating American presence from any of them would be easy. On the other hand, the security arguments opposing the troop reduction plan for Germany seem particularly weak.

The notion that our presence in Europe deters Russia was disproven in Crimea and eastern Ukraine: U.S. troops far away in Western Europe did not stop Russian troops in the east. In addition, Moscow has shifted toward reliance on forms of hybrid warfare and disinformation not particularly impeded by the sort of large troop presence under discussion in Germany. In order to deter the new forms of Russian warfare, we need cyber and communication capabilities which would not even necessarily be located physically overseas.

Trump’s critics argue that our presence in Germany enables the United States to project power into the Middle East. This logistical role is certainly valid, but the focus on the instrumental significance of the troop presence in Germany should not be grounds to avoid the underlying strategic question: What, after all, is the goal of that power projection in general or, more polemically, exactly which Middle East wars has the United States won thanks to the troop presence in Germany?

U.S. troops in Germany are instead a legacy feature of the post-World War II occupation and especially the Cold War, when West Germany was a frontline state facing the Iron Curtain and the Warsaw Pact. Russian tanks rolling through the Fulda Gap into western Europe were a credible threat, and the U.S. military was positioned to deter precisely such an attack.

All that is history now, and the eastern flank of NATO no longer runs through a divided Germany but instead from the Baltic states in the north—previously occupied by the Soviet Union—through the string of former Russian satellites, now free nations, from Poland to Bulgaria. If the American goal is to deter potential Russian military aggression, then troop deployments should follow the front and be moved out of Germany to Poland or elsewhere in Central Europe.


The whole article can be found here:


2. Troop Pullout from Germany is a Timely Readjustment

The U.S. Withrawal of 9500 troops from Germany is not a significant retreat or a setback for NATO. It is the opposite.

June 19,2020

President Trump’s recent decision to withdraw 9500 troops from Germany brought out the usual apocalyptic predictions of unacceptable harm to NATO security and breakdown of the transatlantic bridge. This is reminiscent of a similar kind of hand-wringing we saw when, in 2016, candidate Trump criticized NATO allies for not spending enough on their own defense. Suddenly, criticism of shirking the agreed upon 2 percent of GDP for defense budgets became the doom of the Western alliance.

A closer examination of Trump’s campaign statements revealed his clear-eyed business approach to the issue. He simply objected to the United States carrying a disproportionate share of the NATO burden, particularly in a situation when we could not afford it and had to borrow funds from China to pay for the defense of wealthy European countries. He repeatedly praised Poland and several others for meeting the 2 percent budget threshold as well as Poland’s contribution to NATO in other ways, such as providing troops for missions in Afghanistan and Iraq and hosting NATO institutions.

In a meeting with Polish-American leaders in Chicago in September 2016, PresidentTrump said that he “is committed to a strong Poland and a strong Eastern Europe as a bulwark of security and liberty.” He pledged that “the Trump Administration will be a true friend of Poland and to all Polish-Americans.”


The whole article can be found here:


3. China develops weapons to fry US electric grid, eyes  high-tech “Pearl Harbor” attack

June 18, 2020

With the help of stolen U.S. technology, China has developed at least three types of high-tech weapons to attack the electric grid and key technologies in a “surprise Pearl Harbor” assault that could send America into a deadly blackout, according to a new analysis.

According to the report from the independent EMP Task Force on National and Homeland Security, China has built a network of satellites, high-speed missiles, and “super-electromagnetic pulse” weapons that could melt down the U.S. electric network, fry critical communications, and stifle aircraft carrier groups.

According to the report, written by the task force’s executive director, Peter Pry, long an expert on EMP warfare, China developed the weapons as part of its “Total Information Warfare” that includes hacking raids on computers.

What’s more, despite China’s promises to attack only after being attacked, Pry revealed new data to show that the communist nation is lying and eager to shoot first with “high-altitude electromagnetic pulse,” or HEMP, weapons launched from satellites, ships, and land.

“China’s military doctrine — including numerous examples presented here of using HEMP attack
to win on the battlefield, defeat U.S. aircraft carriers, and achieve against the U.S. homeland a surprise ‘Pearl Harbor’ writ large — is replete with technical and operational planning consistent with a nuclear first-strike,” said Pry in his report provided to Secrets. It [the full report] is shown below.

The article in full can be found here:


4. Nigarian Legislature Demands Sweeping Action  against Chinese Illegal Immigrants.

May 6, 2020

The Communist Party of China scolded Nigerian media, reports indicated on Wednesday, for reporting the words of the country’s lawmakers, who launched a sprawling campaign to address both the rampant racism against black people in China and the growing issue of illegal Chinese immigrants violating Nigerian law.

Nigeria is one of China’s closest economic partners in Africa and the continent’s largest economy. Like other members of China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI), its global infrastructure takeover plan, Nigeria has welcomed large numbers of Chinese citizens, many claiming to be businessmen engaging in temporary trips. Lawmakers complained that Chinese citizens often outstay their visas and remain in the country illegally, taking jobs and resources away from Nigerian citizens.

The problem – Rep. Benjamin Kalu, a spokesman for the National Assembly, said last week – adds injury to the insult of reports from Guangzhou, southern China, where Nigerians and other African citizens were forced to sleep on the streets, banned from restaurants, and placed under “quarantine” even after testing negative for the Chinese coronavirus.

In an extensive Twitter thread last week, Kalu accused the Chinese of treating Nigerian citizens “worse than dogs” and announced a series of demands the National Assembly would make to various government agencies to expel Chinese illegal immigrants and limit illegal Chinese business activity. The National Assembly opened in a limited capacity last week for the first time since Abuja implemented anti-Chinese coronavirus social distancing measures.






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