NATO is indeed obsolete: it was designed to defend the West against the Soviet Union. The American Left always downplayed the Soviet threat and mocked those who called attention to it; now, of course, the American Left has become more exercised about the Russians than Joe McCarthy ever was, but that doesn’t make NATO any less obsolete. It ought to be reconfigured as a defensive coalition against the jihad threat. That is unlikely to happen, however, since many, if not most, of the countries currently in it are pursuing policies of denial and appeasement regarding the jihad threat.
As for Merkel, there is absolutely no doubt that she did indeed make a catastrophic mistake. The effects of that mistake will be seen in Germany for decades to come, and indeed, Germany may never recover.
“Trump rattles NATO with ‘obsolete’ blast,” by James Masters and Katie Hunt, CNN, January 16, 2017:
(CNN)Donald Trump’s accusation that NATO is “obsolete” has led to “astonishment and agitation” within the alliance, Germany’s foreign minister has said.
Speaking in Brussels before a meeting of EU foreign ministers, Frank-Walter Steinmeier suggested the alliance was rattled by the remarks by Trump….
Trump used the interview to restate his doubts about NATO. “I said a long time ago that NATO had problems,” he said in the interview.
“Number one it was obsolete, because it was designed many, many years ago.
“Number two the countries weren’t paying what they’re supposed to be paying,” adding that this was unfair to the United States.
Steinmeier said he had spoken with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, “who is concerned that President-elect Trump regards NATO as obsolete.”
He also noted Trump’s position was “in contradiction” to that of James Mattis, Trump’s nominee for defense secretary.
NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu pushed back against the comments. “A strong NATO is good for the United States, just as it is for Europe.”
But Dmitry Peskov, the press spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, agreed with Trump’s assessment of NATO, saying on Monday that “the systematic goal of this organization is confrontation.”…
Trump set his sights on German Chancellor Angela Merkel, calling her “by far the most important leader” in Europe while tearing into her immigration policies, labeling them “catastrophic.”
“I have great respect for her, I felt she was a great leader, I think she made one very catastrophic mistake and that was taking all these illegals and taking all these people where ever they come from and nobody really knows where they come from.”…
An enthusiastic Trump praised Britain’s impending exit from the European Union as being “so smart.”
“I think Brexit is going to end up being a great thing,” Trump said to his interviewer from the Times, Michael Gove, one of the former leaders of the Brexit campaign, and a sitting member of the UK Parliament.
Asked why he thought the UK’s Brexit campaign was successful, Trump blamed loose borders and concerns about the effects of immigration. He also tied it to US security concerns.
“Countries want their own identity. The UK wanted its own identity. I do believe this, if they hadn’t been forced to take in all of the refugees so many, with all the problems that entails, you wouldn’t have a Brexit… it probably could’ve worked out.”…
Trump said he will immediately take action to tighten US immigration restrictions once he’s sworn in.
“This country we’re going to go very strong borders. From the day I get in. One of the first orders I’m going to sign. Day one.”
Trump reiterated plans to implement what he calls “extreme vetting” of people from the Muslim world, according to a Bild transcript translated into English by CNN.
“There will be extreme security vetting, it won’t be like it is now. We don’t have any proper security controls for people entering our country, they don’t really exist at the moment, like it has been the case in your country at least in the past.”
When asked if he would impose similar restrictions on Europe, the President-elect was noncommittal, according to Bild.
“That could happen. But we will see,” he said….
Trump also touched on the Iran nuclear agreement but declined to say whether he would demand changes to it.
“Well I don’t want to say what I’m gonna do with the Iran deal. I just don’t want to play the cards. I mean, look, I’m not a politician, I don’t go out and say, “I’m gonna do this” — I’m gonna do, I gotta do what I gotta do . . . But I’m not happy with the Iran deal, I think it’s one of the worst deals ever made,” he said, according to the Times….