Final Word from Thursday, April 28, 2016

It was the U.S., according to ex-Dir. Jaroslav Štefec of the NÚV armaments office, that pressed the CR for years to reduce its defense spending as a way to capture the post-Cold War peace dividend. It is now the same U.S. that is chastising the CR for low defense spending, Štefec said. In his foreign-policy speech yesterday, Donald Trump criticized just this sort of "randomness" in U.S. foreign policy and said that new purpose must now be found. He criticized the way chaos was created in Iraq, Egypt and Libya and said that many trillions of dollars were lost. He then engaged in his own form of randomness by insisting that allies pay more of the defense costs. Only four other Nato members are meeting the 2% requirement, he said, and this must change. Do you see the inconsistency? The U.S. (and presumably its Nato partners too) have lost trillions of dollars, but allies should pony up more money. A self-confident ally would say, "Fine, Mr. Trump, let's cut the trillions in waste and only then start talking about raising the defense budget to 2% of GDP." [Czech Republic United States rearm]

Glossary of difficult words

to stand up (to someone) - to confront fearlessly or oppose boldly;

peace dividend - a sum of public money that becomes available for other purposes when spending on defense is reduced;

to chastise - to rebuke or reprimand severely;

to pony up - to pay (money), esp. as a contribution or as an unavoidable expense.


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