Can Europe Rely on the United States?
Col. Sam Gardiner, USAF (ret) to samgard + 58
On this Memorial Day, it feels as if there are some issues of national security that need to be addressed.

Chancellor Merkel raised an important question in a campaign speech yesterday. Here is the way CNN presented the highlights of her speech:

"Washington (CNN)German Chancellor Angela Merkel said her experience at recent international summits featuring US President Donald Trump showed her Europe can't "completely" rely on the United States and other longstanding allies. The times when we could completely rely on others are, to an extent, over," Merkel said at a campaign event in Munich."

One can understand why she might think this way.

We now know that when she visited the White House she raised the issue of the Ukraine. According to reports, the President told her that it was a European problem and not a problem for the United States. But today we are reading that the State Department is working on an initiative to bring back the peace process similar to the effort under the Obama Administration.

The President goes to Europe and others, as Merkel, are left with the impression that the United States is less than fully committed to NATO. After he leaves Europe, General Mattis give a press conference saying that nothing has changed in our support of NATO.

Let me add to that an item from a tweet by the President yesterday. He said that he wants to add money to health care that will make our system second to none. The problem with his statement is that the budget submitted to the Congress while he was overseas actually take monies from healthcare. This is another in the pattern of the President not really being in charge of the government.

What we are likely to see as the investigation of the Russian involvement in the election is a President that pulls even farther away from the tasks of governing. Reports from the White House over the weekend point to his being obsessed with the investigations.

My conclusion is that Chancellor Merkel has it wrong. The separation exists. She can rely on the United States, but she needs to be careful about relying on the President. His really bad mistakes will be fixed by other in the Administration.

Sam