Archive for March, 2016

NEW MEXICO GOVERNOR SUSANA MARTINEZ TO ENDORSE RUBIO

March 4, 2016

Politico on March 3, 2016, reported that New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez says she will endorse Marco Rubio for the GOP nomination,…Excerpts below:

“Marco Rubio is a compelling leader who can unite the country around conservative principles that will improve the lives of all Americans,” she said in a statement. “The stakes for our great country are too high — and the differences between the candidates too great — for me to remain neutral in this race. I wholeheartedly trust Marco to keep us safe and ensure a better tomorrow.”

Martinez, often mentioned as a possible GOP vice presidential pick, plans to join Rubio on the trail in Kansas on and at a rally in Jacksonville, Florida, on March 5. Kansas holds its GOP presidential caucus on March 5 and Florida, Rubio’s must-win home state, votes March 15.

Martinez, the chair of the Republican Governors Association, wouldn’t commit to voting for Donald Trump if he’s the GOP nominee, and she’s criticized him for past comments on Mexican immigrants.

DONALD TRUMP TAPS JEFF SESSIONS AS TOP NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER

March 4, 2016

Washington Times on March 3, 2016, reported that Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Thursday named Sen. Jeff Sessions as chairman of his National Security Advisory Committee that provides guidance on foreign policy and homeland security. Excerpts below:

“It is an honor to have Jeff as a member of the team. I have such great respect for him and I look forward to working with him on the issues most important to Americans,” he said of the Alabama Republican, who has served on the Senate Armed Services Committee for nearly 20 years and is chairman of the strategic forces subcommittee.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to recommend and facilitate discussions among exceptional and experienced American military and diplomatic leaders to share insight and advice with Donald Trump, regardless of their political views,” Sessions said.

Mr. Sessions continued, “Mr. Trump and the American people know our country needs a clear-eyed foreign policy rooted in the national interest. We need to understand the limits of our ability to intervene successfully in other nations. It is time for a healthy dose of foreign policy realism.”

“In the Middle East, this means forming partnerships based on shared interests, not merely overthrowing regimes in the dangerous attempt to plant democracies. We must also combat the refugee crisis by creating regional safe zones, rather than depopulating the region by migration,” he said.

“A national-interest foreign policy, combined with a military second to none, stands in contrast to interventionist ideas that could enmesh us further in the region’s chaos,” said Mr. Sessions.

IS THE WEST ACCEPTING MOSCOW’S AGGRESSION AGAINST UKRAINE?

March 1, 2016

Wall Street Journal on February 29, 2016, reported on the risk that the West is accepting as normal the Russian incursions into Georgia and Ukraine. Excerpts below:

The traditionally tolerant Atlanticist Dutch—tough enough to be flying F-16 raids against Islamic State in Syria—will stage a national “advisory” referendum next month on whether the European Union should grant associate status to Ukraine.

…consistent polling says the Dutch will tell the Ukrainians to buzz off when the Netherlands votes on April 6.

For symbolism, this would be a “no” result weighing about a ton. It expresses multiple currents of contempt for the European Union. Even more, it argues that as a result of Russia’s unchecked military successes and effective hybrid-warfare techniques—in the Dutch case, involving little orange disinformation-men?—here’s a core European country that would look like

it sees an advantage in placating Vladimir Putin.

…the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, has warned the Dutch that rejecting the Ukrainian association agreement “could open doors to a continental crisis.”

…the Netherlands cold-shouldering Ukraine could mutate into a groundswell in Germany, where Russia’s annexation of Crimea has found a place alongside Moscow’s 2008 theft of two Georgian provinces on the list of willfully forgotten Kremlin conquests.

…both German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande appear battered, the recent fawning visits to Moscow of leaders from the parties of Germany’s grand coalition encourage more Russian provocation.

And the Obama administration? Its self-imposed absence from influence on Europe intensified nearly two years ago when the White House saddled up a German horse to handle Ukraine diplomacy but disregarded its riders’ Russia-related limitations.

In all of this, Ukraine remains Europe’s unwelcome case of conscience. “It’s an enormous irritant,” a Brussels official told me. “There are countries that think, ‘couldn’t Ukraine be bargained off in some way?’ ”

…U.S. Gen Philip Breedlove, has warned the international community against accepting “the situation in Ukraine as the ‘new normal.’ ”

In a statement, he spoke last week of Europe’s “somber reality,” its “growing instability fueled by a revanchist Russia” and of a continent that largely remains financially and economically “stagnated” while coercible through its dependence on Russian energy.

[His] boss, U.S. Chief of Staff Joseph Dunford, has argued, without effect, that it would be “reasonable” for America to furnish Ukraine with defensive weapons.

It’s a reasonable conclusion. With borders on four NATO members, Ukraine ought to receive the American antitank weapons necessary to make a Russian onslaught against it a matter of unacceptable casualties for Moscow.

…with the diplomacy he delegated to Germany nearing a dead-end on Ukraine, President Obama continues refusing to supply this inadequately protected friend with a minimal means of dissuasion. It’s a stance that emphasizes his administration’s major part in the accelerated geopolitical implosion of the West.