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Westlake Legal Group > Press Releases (Page 51)

Trump: We’re “100%” behind NATO even if they’re behind on investment

Westlake Legal Group trump-pentagon Trump: We’re “100%” behind NATO even if they’re behind on investment The Blog Pentagon NATO missile defense donald trump

Donald Trump may not like the New York Times, but he — or his White House team — keeps up with it. Two days ago, the NYT reported that Trump had spoken “repeatedly” about withdrawing the US from NATO. In a Pentagon speech earlier today that focused mainly on missile defense, Trump went out of his way to show his support for NATO — while needling the other members over their lack of contributions:

President Donald Trump said Thursday the United States is fully committed to NATO but repeated his insistence that other members pay more for their own security.

“We will be with NATO 100 percent, but as I told the countries, you have to step up and you have to pay,” Trump said in a speech at the Pentagon.

Trump didn’t exactly make nice with our European allies. He accused them of playing the US for “fools” as they failed to meet their security-funding commitments. That part of the relationship will come to an end, Trump promised:

On Thursday, Trump repeated his view that close allies had been taking advantage of the US security umbrella for decades and that it was his mission to stop that.

“We cannot be the fools for others. We cannot be. We don’t want to be called that. And I will tell you for many years behind your backs, that is what they were saying,” Trump said.

So yes, it’s not all sweetness and light from Trump to NATO, certainly. This is no different than his normal criticisms of NATO, however, and certainly not as bad as when he questioned the commitment to Article V during his campaign. It’s tough to say whether Trump would impulsively announce a withdrawal, but it seems unlikely, especially since Congress would almost certainly balk on a broad, bipartisan basis.

It’s not the first time that an American administration has made this an issue, either. Barack Obama complained about “free riders” in 2016, and five years earlier his Secretary of Defense Robert Gates issued a specific warning to NATO shortly after his retirement in 2011:

The blunt reality is that there will be dwindling appetite and patience in the U.S. Congress — and in the American body politic writ large — to expend increasingly precious funds on behalf of nations that are apparently unwilling to devote the necessary resources or make the necessary changes to be serious and capable partners in their own defense.

Trump’s declaring that the time Gates predicted has arrived — at least for him. Trump’s efforts here might be in service to a “madman” strategy — keep NATO worried enough about it to finally act on its pledges, but not madman enough to encourage hostile action. His endorsement of NATO today echoes similar patterns of warnings and assurances that Trump has issued while pressing for better contributions. This part of the speech was oddly absent from the Paper of Record’s report, which focused more on Trump’s other themes, especially missile defense:

President Trump announced Thursday the results of a missile defense review that he said would update a decades-old system and protect the United States from emerging threats — adopting a Cold War stance while also promoting futuristic ambitions with his much-touted Space Force.

At the Pentagon, Mr. Trump said the strategy would help deter hostile states — including Iran, which he said “is a much different country” now than when he took office.

“Our goal is simple: to ensure that we can detect and destroy any missile launched against the United States anywhere, any time, any place.”

In opening the forum, acting SecDef Patrick Shanahan emphasized the need for new systems and operations to meet the challenge of missile threats around the world. And that means going beyond defensive systems:

“Our nation does not seek adversaries, but we do not ignore them, either,” Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said Thursday, noting that a missile defense strategy requires offense.

Space is key to that missile defense strategy, Shanahan said Thursday, in an announcement that comes as Mr. Trump is working on plans for a “Space Force” as the sixth branch of the military.

The Trump administration recently completed its review of what it is describing as the United States’ first “major” and “comprehensive” review of the United States’ missile defense policies and capabilities since 2010. One senior administration official explained to reporters in a conference call Wednesday that a “significant change to the threat environment” has been seen in recent years.

“What the missile defense review responds to is an environment which our potential adversaries have been rapidly developing and fielding, a much more expanded range of new advance offensive missiles,” the senior administration told reporters. “Some of these missiles are capable of threatening the United States, threatening our allies, our partners.”

Including NATO, of course. They’re more focused on threats from “rogue states” than established nuclear states like Russia and China. Trump cited Iran explicitly in his speech, but CBS notes that no one wants to discuss North Korea’s status at this point. Instead, their White House sources would only say that the review addresses the “comprehensive environment” of threats to the US.

The full speech can be seen here, including brief introductory remarks from Shanahan and Vice President Mike Pence.

The post Trump: We’re “100%” behind NATO even if they’re behind on investment appeared first on Hot Air.

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Beto’s first presidential ad is unfortunate

Westlake Legal Group b-4 Beto’s first presidential ad is unfortunate The Blog President draft beto Beto O'Rourke baba o'riley andrew stiles ad

Let me rephrase. This isn’t O’Rourke’s first presidential ad; he hasn’t announced yet. This is the first presidential ad for O’Rourke. It’s the handiwork of Draft Beto, the group that’s trying to entice him into the race by building a groundswell of enthusiasm among Democratic voters. The louder the buzz gets, the thinking goes, the more encouraged he’ll be to dive in.

Is this a buzzworthy ad?

Let me rephrase that too. Is this an ad that’s apt to build *good* buzz?

If I were trying to pique Dem curiosity about O’Rourke in 90 seconds, I would have gone one of two routes. One: Take the footage of his defense of NFL players who knelt during the anthem, which went viral during his Senate campaign, and repackage that somehow. Maybe intercut it with shots of the faces of various Beto supporters to highlight the diversity of his coalition. No one’s going to hand the nomination to him due to one stirring two-minute speech, but that’s not the point. The point is to set the atmosphere for the campaign to come and to introduce him to liberals who’ve heard about him but maybe haven’t seen him in action yet. Give them a taste that makes the point that he’s a guy who’ll stand up for their principles even when the wider culture disapproves.

Two: Do a montage of news footage from the Senate campaign featuring various reporters marveling at O’Rourke’s decision to run to the left — in Texas of all places, against Ted Cruz — despite the conventional wisdom that said he should try to grab the center. Intercut that with a few choice soundbites of him talking up gun control, taxing the rich, yadda yadda. The message, again, is that Beto doesn’t compromise on his leftism. You can trust him not to go soft under pressure from the right because he’s already proved in the capital of red-state America that he won’t do it. That won’t win over the Bernie fans but it’ll intrigue casual voters and might quiet down the lefties who keep grumbling that he’s not progressive enough. For awhile.

Instead they barfed up this clip, which is about nothing grander than Beto’s alleged rock-star charisma, right down to the choice of soundtrack. It’s just one long blather about “inspiration” and cool. He air-drums! He skateboards! It’s right on the border between being an earnest ad and a light goof on the thinness of O’Rourke’s appeal. This might have worked in 2008 but the left in 2019 seems to be looking for something more substantive. Beto can’t be Obama 2.0, argues Warren Henry today at the Federalist:

First, the idea that candidate Obama might become the first black president drove minority and youth turnout. In his Senate campaign, Beto failed to drive minority turnout like Stacey Abrams did in her campaign for governor in Georgia. In a presidential primary bid, O’Rourke would likely face minority rivals such as Sens. Kamala Harris or Cory Booker, who will have that argument in their pockets. And the youth vote in 2018 continued to disappoint, even relative to 2016.

Second, Democrats might not be in the market for a blank screen in 2020. Left-wing columnists like David Sirota and Elizabeth Bruenig are already making the case that O’Rourke would be a rerun of the Obama campaign, and that this would be bad. The Bernie Sanders faction of the party would press him to make more leftist commitments (then would probably denounce him as an opportunist if he did).

Third, were O’Rourke to become the Democratic nominee, a scenario that should not be discounted at this stage, he would presumably face President Trump, who would not be a blank screen. Trump likely would be as effective in filling in that blank screen as Cruz was at defining O’Rourke during his Senate campaign.

Just this week liberal pundits have been bickering over whether Obama’s presidency was truly a success or failure based on his policy accomplishments. To the committed left, glamorous-yet-gassy “inspiration” just won’t hack it in a nominee this time, especially when there are true-blue progressives in the field as an alternative instead of Hillary Clinton. And especially when that gassy-glamorous candidate seems to resort to vacuous cringey platitudes about having a “debate” every time he’s asked to take a position on a policy that’s dividing Democrats.

Maybe there are enough casual Democratic voters around sufficiently captivated by his charm that the left won’t matter. (Seems possible!) But I think there’s no worse than a 20 percent chance right now that he gets in, turns out to be 10 parts sizzle to one part steak, and ends up a laughingstock of both the left and right. He’s already headed in that direction after the “let’s have a debate” interview with WaPo and last night’s deeply unfortunate fake “road trip” diary entry. Wouldn’t take a lot of gaffes on the trail for Berniebros to turn him into a relentless punchline.

Speaking of which, enjoy Andrew Stiles’s tribute to Beto’s journal in lieu of an exit question.

The post Beto’s first presidential ad is unfortunate appeared first on Hot Air.

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South Carolina inmates to get tablets for phone calls, watching movies

Prisoners in South Carolina are in for a technological treat as corrections officials look to provide them with computer tablets to avoid the use of contraband cell phones.

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Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

New tunnels dug in frantic search for Spain toddler trapped in well

Efforts to find the 2-year-old boy who fell down a well in Southern Spain over the weekend have intensified as search teams started to dig an alternate tunnel in the hopes of reaching the bottom of the narrow and deep borehole.

Westlake Legal Group Map-Julen-Rosello New tunnels dug in frantic search for Spain toddler trapped in well Paulina Dedaj fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/disasters/disaster-response fox news fnc/world fnc article 73d6cf2c-78a4-5c1d-bf43-aab8749a0608

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com