Tag Archives: defence cooperation

Tom Arms’ World Review

While a Chinese balloon floated through American skies President Joe Biden stepped up to the podium to deliver his annual State of the Union Address to a joint session of Congress.

The events were notable for two reasons: They exposed an irrational Yellow Peril fear that more than matches the Red Scare of Cold War years and pointed to a possible new era of American isolationism.

Conspicuous by its absence from Biden’s address to the Joint Session of Congress was any mention of foreign policy. With war raging in Ukraine, Turkey and Syria devastated by earthquakes, South America in political turmoil and China expanding, spying and rattling sabres over Taiwan. one would have thought Biden would have focused more on the world situation.

Instead he spoke about domestic concerns. Biden’s success in creating jobs; protecting American industry and controlling inflation. With at least one eye focused on next year’s elections, he is stealing Republican clothes by shifting to a more isolationist stand.

In this respect, the president appears to be following rather than leading US public opinion. The latest polls show a significant drop in American support for the war in Ukraine. China, however, is a different matter. The Chinese spy/weather balloon (probably a bit of both) did secure a passing reference in the president’s speech; probably because of the hysteria it generated among the American public. The fact is that countries spy on each other. The US spies on China. China spies on the US. Russia spies on….

Most of the spying is unseen. Intelligence operatives skulking in the corridors of power or satellites in space. The balloon, however, could be seen as it floated from Alaska, over missile silos in Montana and North Dakota and then finally to the Atlantic where it was shot down by US fighter planes.

The much discussed Asian Pivot was this week back in the news. For a start, American troops are returning in big numbers to the Philippines. The reason? The threat of China and the need to maintain international access to the South China Sea and protect Taiwan.

Posted in Europe / International | Also tagged , , , , and | 8 Comments

What European liberals have done over the past five years – EU budget and defence

Having taken a day off, I’m back with more ALDE achievements…

Reform of the European Union’s system of own resources

ALDE has sought to increase the transparency of the current financing system of the EU budget, in order to reduce national contributions by EU Member States, by introducing new own resources income streams and ending rebates and corrections, without increasing tax burden on the citizens.

Following the Parliament’s position and the recommendations of the High Level Group on Own Resources, the Commission proposed a basket of new own resources, structured around European public goods linked to EU’s strategic policy objectives. This basket thus includes new resources based on the EU Emission Trading System and on plastic waste, reinforcing the climate action priority, and a simplified VAT based resource as well as new corporate tax-based resource, consolidating the Single Market and reducing financial speculation.

A greener, modernised and more flexible EU budget

ALDE were successful in focusing the 2019 EU budget on resources for research, innovation, competitiveness and SMEs. ALDE initiated the Parliament’s call for doubling the budget of Erasmus+ to enhance opportunities for young people, which was an instrumental step in obtaining a substantial partial increase in the 2019 budget. ALDE also pushed for substantial allocation to climate spending to meet the EU’s long-term climate goals of 20% climate spending target in the current Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2014-2020. Specifically, ALDE increased the ambition for EU-funded cross-border projects in the field of renewable energy within the MFF Connecting Europe Facility. Our Group made a distinctive contribution especially in the areas of internal security and investment in managing borders, fighting terrorism, radicalisation and organised crime and called on Member States to take responsibility for the management of migration in accordance with the principle of burden-sharing and the Geneva Conventions. On the initiative of our shadow rapporteur, the relevant Parliament’s budgetary reports call on the Commission to present a proposal, which would provide for the expression of financial solidarity at EU level to victims of acts of terrorism and their families.

Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged , and | 2 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • nigel hunter
    Companies are all ready making money from Cannabis products. They are extracting CBD from the plant to make money from it. Chocolate and other products to enri...
  • David Allen
    Party politics, as so often, fails us here. The monarchy is the embodiment of privilege, gross social inequality, and resistance to change. It is a weapon wie...
  • Laurence Cox
    @John Waller Kazakhstan is part of NATO's Partnership for Peace (PfP), as were both Russia and Belarus until their membership was suspended for obvious reasons...
  • David Raw
    @ David "the monarchy is also an office, held at the will and pleasure of the people, and not a sacred obligation vested by Heaven in one man". I think, whe...
  • David
    Ultimately the question is one about the source of power. Does it lie with the sovereign rights of the monarch, ultimately attributed to the backing of divine p...