1.U.S. Secretary of Defense and German Defense Minister Joint Press Conference, Germany
April 13, 2021
Sec. Austin: Madam Minister, I lost count as to how many questions that really was. But let me take a shot at the first couple of questions here. The first question was respect — with respect to the troops that — deploying to Germany that I mentioned earlier and whether or not that was a sign or a message to Russia.
Let me assure you that it’s a message to NATO and that message is that we support NATO in the fullest extent and most importantly we — we value the relationship with our partner here in Germany. And so, we will continue to strengthen our — our partnership and our alliance and so this capability provides us, again, additional capabilities with respect to space and cyber and some other issues.
On the issue of Nord Stream, you know, we’ve expressed our opposition to this deal and — and the influence that it will actually give Russia. But we’re — we’re not going to let that issue get in the way of a tremendous relationship that we have with the country of Germany. And so we’re going to continue to work with Germany and the rest of our allies in the region to strengthen our alliances and – and continue to move forward.
And over to you.
Min. Kramp-Karrenbauer (through translator): When you asked about defense spending and our commitment to NATO, and I’ve said that we at the Ministry of Defense stick to the plans we’ve made, so we’ve pledged capabilities until 2031 and we need the funds to go with that. We will uphold this position, but of course it will have to be reaffirmed in the next legislative period.
Your questions about — your question about Nord Stream 2, does it make sense if you ask to now have a moratorium just before the completion of the project. Well, of course, this is a question that one may pose, but I am absolutely convinced that even if we complete Nord Stream 2 then we will have to still —
Staff: So ladies and gentlemen, I will kindly ask you to stay with one question max?
Min. Kramp-Karrenbauer (through translator): — make further — further decisions depend on Russia’s behavior.
The full transcript here:
2. President Biden Announces His Intent To Nominate Key Administration Leaders in the State Department
One of the nominees:
Karen Erika Donfried, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs
Dr. Karen Donfried currently serves as President of the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF). Before assuming this position in April 2014, Donfried was the Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for European Affairs at the National Security Council. Prior to that, she served as the National Intelligence Officer for Europe on the National Intelligence Council. She first joined GMF in 2001 after having served for ten years as a European specialist at the Congressional Research Service. When she was at GMF from 2005 to 2010, she first served as senior director of policy programs and then as executive vice president. From 2003-2005, she worked in the Policy Planning office at the U.S. Department of State, handling the Europe portfolio. Donfried has written and spoken extensively on German foreign policy, European integration, and transatlantic relations. She is a Senior Fellow at Harvard University’s Center for European Studies. The King of the Belgians awarded the Commander of the Order of the Crown to her in 2020 and she became an Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic in 2018. Additionally, she received the Cross of the Order of Merit from the German Government in 2011 and a Superior Service Medal from the National Intelligence Community in 2014. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Council on Germany. Donfried has a Ph.D. and MALD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, a Magister from the University of Munich, Germany and holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University. She is fluent in German.
Here is an interview where the nominee expresses her views on the EU, Central Europe, Russia, NATO, “democracy backsliding”.
3. US Army Deploys HIMARS Near Crimea
The U.S. Army sneaked a pair of long-range rocket launchers near Russia’s Black Sea outpost on Thursday, fired off a few rockets then hurried the launchers back to the safety of their base in Germany. All within a few hours.
The one-day mission by the Army’s new Europe-based artillery brigade was practice for high-tech warfare. It clearly also was a message for Moscow. The U.S. Army in Europe has restored its long-range firepower. And it wants the Russians to know, Forbes reported.
“Russia’s criticism of the exercise shows that our eastern neighbor is following the exercise very closely,” Estonian defense minister Jueri Luik said.
The brigade’s rapid deployment to Romania last week could prove even more provocative. Especially considering the new munitions the Army is developing for the HIMARS and MLRS. These include an anti-ship missile and a replacement for ATACMS that can travel as far as 310 miles.
It’s just 250 miles across the Black Sea from the Romanian coast to Crimea. Army HIMARS flying in and out of Romania pose a serious, and unpredictable, threat to Russian forces in the region.
4. CNN Director Admits Network Pumps ‘Propaganda’ And ‘Speculation’ – “Our Focus Was To Get Trump Out Of Office”
Project Veritas has released a stunning new undercover video of CNN Technical Director Charlie Chester admitting his network fueled speculative propaganda against President Trump in order to remove him from office.
“Fear sells,” he gloats. “No one ever says those things out loud, but it’s obvious.”
In the video, Mr. Chester admits the network will soon shift to fear-mongering over climate change
5. CNN director admits promoting false sex stories about a sitting U.S. Congressman.
The fact that a CNN director was boasting to a girl he met on Tinder who turned out to be recording him, while admitting to promoting false sex stories about a sitting U.S. Congressman would usually be enough to humiliate a network. But for shameless CNN, it’s not quite enough.
6. To Understand Why Racism Isn’t the Problem, Look to South Africa’s Pilanesberg Park
… Someone went on a killing spree of its prized white rhinos.
…rangers found their killers: gangs of teen male elephants.
Young elephant herds, deprived of adult male leadership, were forced into an extremely destabilized childhood that turned deadly in their teens.
Something similar happened inside America’s urban jungles. Gangs of angry young black males – without fathers or role models to teach them appropriate behavior – are wreaking havoc in their neighborhoods.