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The Mess => Canadian Politics => Global Politics => Topic started by: Altair on June 28, 2018, 15:38:53

Title: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on June 28, 2018, 15:38:53
http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/394574-trump-told-g-7-leaders-that-nato-is-as-bad-as-nafta-report

Quote
President Trump earlier this month reportedly told the leaders of the Group of Seven member countries that NATO was “as bad as NAFTA,” according to Axios.

At the G-7 summit in Canada, Trump reportedly said the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was “too costly for the U.S” and compared it to the North American Free Trade Agreement that he has often targeted as a bad deal.

"It will be an interesting summit. NATO is as bad as NAFTA. It's much too costly for the U.S.," Trump said during the meeting with leaders, according to an official who read notes transcribed from the closed-door meeting to Axios.

Trump was reportedly making a reference to the upcoming NATO summit in Brussels in July.

The president made the comment after reportedly telling G-7 leaders that Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, be a part of Russia because people there speak Russian.

I'm beginning to wonder which international organization the president of the United States actually supports.
Title: Re: US Versus NATO
Post by: Altair on June 28, 2018, 15:46:47
At least now it's clear why Europe is moving to a Pan-European Military Organization.

Maybe they will stand up to Russia.

Recognition of Crimea as Russian territory, getting rid of NATO, sabotaging the G7/agitation for Russia's re-admission to the group, it's like the President of the United States has gotten a to do list from Putin himself.
Title: Re: US Versus NATO
Post by: Privateer on June 28, 2018, 15:52:57
"There's a mole, right at the top of the Circus.  He's been there for years."
Title: Re: US Versus NATO
Post by: tomahawk6 on June 28, 2018, 15:57:41
At least now it's clear why Europe is moving to a Pan-European Military Organization.

Maybe they will stand up to Russia.

Recognition of Crimea as Russian territory, getting rid of NATO, sabotaging the G7/agitation for Russia's re-admission to the group, it's like the President of the United States has gotten a to do list from Putin himself.

Russia owns Europe through its natural gas supply.
Title: Re: US Versus NATO
Post by: Altair on June 28, 2018, 16:01:31
Russia owns Europe through its natural gas supply.
Yet they have been rather steadfast about keeping Russia out of the G7 and out of Ukraine.

What is Americas excuse for kowtowing before Russia?
Title: Re: US Versus NATO
Post by: PuckChaser on June 28, 2018, 16:11:40
Recognition of Crimea as Russian territory

False. http://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-will-not-recognize-russias-annexation-crimea-john-bolton-tells-998385 (http://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-will-not-recognize-russias-annexation-crimea-john-bolton-tells-998385)

I even found it was false on a left-leaning news site. https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/newsweek/ (https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/newsweek/)

The "report" that Trump said Crimea was part of Russia was from Buzzfeed. If you're getting your news from Buzzfeed, you might as well read TMZ for thoughtful discussion on international politics. 
:facepalm:
Title: Re: US Versus NATO
Post by: Altair on June 28, 2018, 16:30:25
False. http://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-will-not-recognize-russias-annexation-crimea-john-bolton-tells-998385 (http://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-will-not-recognize-russias-annexation-crimea-john-bolton-tells-998385)

I even found it was false on a left-leaning news site. https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/newsweek/ (https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/newsweek/)

The "report" that Trump said Crimea was part of Russia was from Buzzfeed. If you're getting your news from Buzzfeed, you might as well read TMZ for thoughtful discussion on international politics. 
:facepalm:
Yes, that would be totally out of character for him, my mistake.

https://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek/trump-crimeas-people-prefer-russia-elected-putin-ukraine/story?id=41029437

Quote
"I'm gonna take a look at it," Trump told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos in an interview on "This Week" Sunday. "But you know, the people of Crimea, from what I've heard, would rather be with Russia than where they were. And you have to look at that, also."

But yes, that was clearly the most concerning part of that post, not, you know, The President of the United States saying NATO was a bad as NAFTA, and "too costly".
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Loachman on June 28, 2018, 18:17:26
Nikita Khrushchev gave Crimea to Ukraine in 1954. Prior to that, it was indeed a part of Russia.

33% of the population are Russian and only 12% (possibly less now) are Ukrainian. The rest are Crimean Tatars (36%) plus lesser numbers of Belarusians, Armenians, Jews, and assorted others.

So, yes, he was not as far off as you claim. It was, and is again, part of Russia, and some significant portion of the population "would rather be with Russia than where they were". I'd guess that the remaining Ukrainians would not be in that portion, but the Russians, at least, would be. I'd not guess the feelings of the remaining 55%, but it's not unreasonable to presume that at least some of them would be either happy or indifferent.

The US pays more for NATO than the rest of its members do. Most of the rest, us included, shirk to varying degrees. So, "too costly". from an American perspective, is not inaccurate. Why should the Americans pay so much? What do they get out of it, for all of their money?

Look at the reported state of the German armed forces lately. My last contact with them was 1986 to 1989 and they were a force with which to be reckoned. They might not have let themselves go quite as much if they'd not been sucking at the American military-welfare teat.

I am unfamiliar with this "Pan-European Military Organization", but Europe should indeed take more responsibility for its own defence.

And that, not "getting rid of NATO", is President Trump's point.

It's time for the kids to grow up. Dad's paid for the selfish brats' clothes, fancy cars, and smart phones for too long.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: FJAG on June 29, 2018, 01:19:49
In a lot of ways I agree that Europe and Canada have, since the downfall of the USSR, been playing the Freddie Freeloader role (The Red Skelton one, not the Miles Davis).

But in a lot of ways, the US has voluntarily assumed the role of the world's biggest defence spender and policeman of the World. While Europe was reaping it's defence dividend, the US decided to attack Iraq (thus not only undercutting it's own legitimate efforts in Afghanistan but also creating a wave of instability in the Mid-East)

Let's not forget that when the Europeans cut back their defence sectors, the US, as well, ran down their own European commitment. Back in 1975 the US had 250,000 troops in Europe as well as around another 125,000 in CONUS earmarked as flyover REFORGER elements. In the 1980s US troop strengths in Europe increased to the 350,000 or so mark. By 2016 US troop strength was down to around 60,000 (of which some 25,000 are US Army). Instead of three corps there are now roughly three brigades (a BCT, Cav Regt, Avn Bde)

We all got sucked in by the Russians equally. Like everyone else, the US cut back it's overall active duty force from 3.5 million in 1970 to 2 million by 1990 and 1.4 million today. The US even reduced it's military spending from a 1980s high of just over US$500 billion to a low of US$266 Billion in 1996 to a modest increase to US$304 in 2000. Then 9/11 and its aftermath happened and expenditures climbed to the astronomical peak of US$721 billion in 2010. Post leaving Iraq it again leveled down to a low of US$610 billion in 2013 to again climbed moderately until Trump's recent US$80 billion bump to US$686 billion.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_budget_of_the_United_States (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_budget_of_the_United_States)

The point here, I guess, is that there's a lot more at play then the Europeans and Canadians being defence freeloaders. The US, quite simply is playing a completely different defence game from the rest of NATO. And lets not forget that the Russian defence budget last year was a mere US$66 billion (less than China's and Saudi Arabia's) compared to Europe's US$216 billion for France, Germany, UK, Canada, Italy and Turkey together.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures)

We need to keep some perspective in all this and just ask ourselves whether there really is a need to outspend Europe's primary military threat to the extent that we already do even if we don't meet the 2% of GDP targets set. Organization and readiness are two of my pet peeves. (For example why does Germany with two divisions have only four artillery battalions and why does Canada have one hopelessly underequiped and undermanned division and four other completely useless ones?) The way we spend our defence dollars is rubbish.

There's some debate here:

http://carnegieeurope.eu/specialprojects/NATOs2PercentPledge/ (http://carnegieeurope.eu/specialprojects/NATOs2PercentPledge/)

 :cheers:
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Remius on June 29, 2018, 08:58:51

It's time for the kids to grow up. Dad's paid for the selfish brats' clothes, fancy cars, and smart phones for too long.

I won't defend Canada's lack of committing to 2% GDP.

But, take a look at Greece which is.  What is their military built around?  Possibly fighting the Turks.  A NATO ally...

Now lets look at what is currently involved on the Ukraine front.

4 Battlegroups. Led by who?  U.K., U.S, Canada and Germany

So while 2% of GDP might be the measuring stick the reality is much different.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on June 29, 2018, 11:28:18
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/trump-is-trying-to-destabilize-the-european-union/2018/06/28/729cb066-7b10-11e8-aeee-4d04c8ac6158_story.html?utm_term=.55c610d03d6a

Quote
Trump has been publicly trashing the E.U. and NATO since his campaign, but the pace and viciousness of his attacks have increased. Just this week, at a rally in North Dakota, Trump said: “The European Union, of course, was set up to take advantage of the United States, to attack our piggy bank.” He then complained about a $150 billion trade deficit with the E.U., inflating the figure.

Other reports note that Trump recently told Group of Seven leaders that “NATO is as bad as NAFTA,” suggested to the Swedish prime minister that America should leave the NATO alliance , and launched gratuitous public attacks on German Chancellor Angela Merkel at her weakest moment. It’s a deepening trend that leads to an unavoidable conclusion: Trump doesn’t believe in the continued sanctity of the European Union and NATO, as well as the United States’ commitment to both.
Interesting that the American President shares the views of the Russian President in hating the EU and NATO.

Interesting that there are reports that he mused about taking the USA out of NATO. If true, it cannot be understated, American is absolutely trying to dismantle the power structure it built post WW2, and shredding american influence along with it.
Quote
But these efforts to reassure Europe are failing. European officials no longer believe Trump’s words can be discounted. They don’t see the alliance rift as routine or temporary. They don’t believe it’s possible to repair the transatlantic bridge in the middle of a Trump-sized earthquake. European countries have no choice but to hedge and seek alternatives to U.S. leadership.


Alternatives to US leadership. China and Europe beginning talks on trade cooperations.  The fall from grace america is suffering right now is mind boggling.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: FJAG on June 29, 2018, 12:40:44
I won't defend Canada's lack of committing to 2% GDP.

But, take a look at Greece which is.  What is their military built around?  Possibly fighting the Turks.  A NATO ally...

Now lets look at what is currently involved on the Ukraine front.

4 Battlegroups. Led by who?  U.K., U.S, Canada and Germany

So while 2% of GDP might be the measuring stick the reality is much different.

While the role of those battlegroups is to deter another Ukraine-like event, the battlegroups are located in the Baltic region in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. Geographically that's between 1,000 to 1,500 km from the Ukraine front.

 :cheers:
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: YZT580 on June 29, 2018, 16:10:16
sorry mate but I think the 2% reflects the mindset of those involved.  Leadership: Latvia Canada 445 committed, Lithuania, Germany 500, Estonia U.K. led 800 committed plus an additional 130 with the yanks.  Britain is either at or just under 2% I  believe.  And in Poland the Americans have 795 attached to the battlegroup plus their resources already in Europe that are on call.  If they need it they can have additional thousands on the ground from the U.S. in days.  We would have to charter a/c.  Britain can respond quickly as well but Germany has nothing to respond with.  Trump may not be very likeable but perhaps that is because somewhere in his rantings he makes a habit of uttering unpalatable truths that people aren't used to hearing. 
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on June 29, 2018, 19:27:33
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-assessing-cost-of-keeping-troops-in-germany-as-trump-battles-with-europe/2018/06/29/94689094-ca9f-490c-b3be-b135970de3fc_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.f93850f48cc7

Quote
As Trump fights w/ Merkel on defense spending, Pentagon staffers ordered to analyze the costs of a large-scale withdrawal of American troops from Germany. Word of the move is causing a nervous scramble at European embassies in DC


More USA against NATO
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Larry Strong on June 29, 2018, 21:25:27
Just gonna leave this here..

When you are paying more than 1/5 of the cost I would think you have the right to set some rules........

https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/patrick-goodenough/us-pays-2214-nato-budget-germany-1465-13-allies-pay-below-1


Cheers
Larry

Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Loachman on June 29, 2018, 21:42:21
More USA against NATO

More like shaking up other member countries and getting them to pay their fair share.

I don't see that as an unreasonable tactic, as nothing else has worked.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Furniture on June 29, 2018, 21:54:18
Interesting that there are reports that he mused about taking the USA out of NATO. If true, it cannot be understated, American is absolutely trying to dismantle the power structure it built post WW2, and shredding american influence along with it.

I could be that like Britain, Rome, France, etc., America is discovering that the cost of maintaining a global hegemony(empire) is so expensive that it is crippling them. This may be a sign that America is looking to take care of itself and a more limited sphere of influence. Maybe not though... I mean, I can't even predict with 100% accuracy when a SC ceiling will break up...
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Good2Golf on June 30, 2018, 00:10:05
So say America pulls out of NATO and the EU has to sort out Eurocorps as something other than a double-counted continental NATO force, and that America total removes all forces from NATO countries.  How does America now address the issue of infrastructure for global force projection?  Looks like POTUS will have to push for, and Congress auth a few more CVTFs?

NATO loses a few more member states when Vlad recovers a few more Baltic states, things settle when USSR(-) has its pre-Clinton buffer back and we’re back to the alertly 90s.  America is off on its own taking on the next Iraq/Iran/N.Korea(when things don’t work out), and begins to feel the pain that the Portuguese, then Dutch, then Spanish, then French, then British get as their respective Empires waned into hegemonic obscurity.

Critically (adversarially) thinking/questioning for a moment: Just because the rest of the world doesn’t want to fill the cracks in America’s ~4% GDP spend on military supported hegemony with their own 2% GDP (itself a poorly qualified requirement) antes, does that mean that they’re all wrong?

???

Regards
G2G
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: tomahawk6 on June 30, 2018, 00:25:13
I think the President feels that Europe should pay their share of their own defense.This isn't a new problem,just one that this President will stand up for NATO even if they wont.We are rotating forces into Europa at no small cost to the US taxpayer.I think the East Europeans are more than willing to provide for their defense to avoid the Russians.

https://www.stripes.com/news/europe/us-assessing-cost-of-keeping-troops-in-germany-as-trump-battles-with-europe-1.535477
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on June 30, 2018, 01:22:29
More like shaking up other member countries and getting them to pay their fair share.

I don't see that as an unreasonable tactic, as nothing else has worked.
What you are going to see is the EII take more importance in Europe than NATO

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/06/25/nine-eu-states-launch-joint-military-force-paris-pushes-tfor/

Quote
Nine nations, including Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Estonia, Spain and Portugal, have signed up to the so-called European Intervention Initiative (EII) -  a coalition of willing states prepared to react to crises near Europe's borders without help from NATO or the United States.

Speaking to Le Figaro newspaper on Sunday, Florence Parly, France's defence minister, said: "European defence needs a common strategic culture."

Without help from NATO or USA.

And I'm sure there will be no 2 percent of GDP needed to spent on defense.

And for some reason,  I don't see the US suddenly cutting defense spending,  so... What is gained exactly?

Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Infanteer on June 30, 2018, 01:39:55
A few thoughts:

1.  The relationship is more than just "America pays to defend Europe."  There is some quid pro quo: I've heard senior US military officials state that the U.S. political/strategic center of gravity is its allies and the access they bring.  Yes, the U.S. bears a large proportion of NATO's defense, but in return for this it is supplied the access by allies that it needs and wants to enable it to maintain its global presence.

2.  Of course, global presence may not be what the current administration cares for.  If that's so, then maybe countries like Germany are better off saying adieu to U.S. forces, even if they only move to Poland, and through limiting engagement reducing the ability to get politically browbeaten.

3.  Is 2% even a realistic or required norm in the post-Cold War World?  Most countries sought their peace dividend and cut defence budgets as the Soviet threat is gone.  Does Europe even require 2%?  The Russian Army cannot reasonably be expected to project itself too far into Europe.  The U.S. only took a partial peace dividend, and then invaded Iraq.  As was indicated earlier, EU countries outspend Russia (the only real threat), Europe possesses a nuclear deterrent with France and the UK.

4.  The real reason, it seems to me, that the U.S. has tolerated under-spenders for the last 30 years is that it was the price to pay for continuing to lead the bench.  If the current administration casts off the collective defence paradigm that has governed the West since the 1940s, then US engagement and reach would be curtailed and the ability for the U.S. to influence decision making is reduced.  New defensive arrangements would be crafted and perhaps Germany would seek its own nuclear deterrent.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on June 30, 2018, 06:22:06
So say America pulls out of NATO and the EU has to sort out Eurocorps as something other than a double-counted continental NATO force, and that America total removes all forces from NATO countries.  How does America now address the issue of infrastructure for global force projection?  Looks like POTUS will have to push for, and Congress auth a few more CVTFs?

NATO loses a few more member states when Vlad recovers a few more Baltic states, things settle when USSR(-) has its pre-Clinton buffer back and we’re back to the alertly 90s.  America is off on its own taking on the next Iraq/Iran/N.Korea(when things don’t work out), and begins to feel the pain that the Portuguese, then Dutch, then Spanish, then French, then British get as their respective Empires waned into hegemonic obscurity.

Critically (adversarially) thinking/questioning for a moment: Just because the rest of the world doesn’t want to fill the cracks in America’s ~4% GDP spend on military supported hegemony with their own 2% GDP (itself a poorly qualified requirement) antes, does that mean that they’re all wrong?

???

Regards
G2G

Hey Portugal fought on doggedly until 1974.  Ironically, it was there military and its leadership that finally told the government "no more"

 8)
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: PPCLI Guy on June 30, 2018, 09:56:28

3.  Is 2% even a realistic or required norm in the post-Cold War World?  Most countries sought their peace dividend and cut defence budgets as the Soviet threat is gone.  Does Europe even require 2%? 

It is worth noting that US military spending is achieved not so much through economic output as it is by borrowing.  With military spending this year at just shy of $700B, it is interesting to note that the deficit is expected to be $833B.  In other words, the US has had to borrow money (and quite a bit of it from China) in order to purchase and maintain their overwhelming advantage in military power.

So, given the state of the global economy, from whom exactly does the US expect other Western countries to borrow the money from to pay for military power?
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on June 30, 2018, 10:33:22
It is worth noting that US military spending is achieved not so much through economic output as it is by borrowing.  With military spending this year at just shy of $700B, it is interesting to note that the deficit is expected to be $833B.  In other words, the US has had to borrow money (and quite a bit of it from China) in order to purchase and maintain their overwhelming advantage in military power.

So, given the state of the global economy, from whom exactly does the US expect other Western countries to borrow the money from to pay for military power?

This is a valid point but it should also be noted that the United States has some of the lowest taxes in the OECD.  26% as a share of GDP compared to the OECD average of 34%.  The US Government is near the bottom when it comes to taxes amongst developed countries.

The United States could easily implement a "National Defence & Homeland Security" tax and erase that deficit but there is no will or imperative to do so.

https://www.taxpolicycenter.org/briefing-book/how-do-us-taxes-compare-internationally (https://www.taxpolicycenter.org/briefing-book/how-do-us-taxes-compare-internationally)
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: dapaterson on June 30, 2018, 12:23:27
There is also the question of how you count.  US defence expenditures include the Coast Guard, Veterans' benefits, veteran health care, family health care, employer pension contributions...

Add those elements in, which are accounted for separately in Canada, and Canada's expenditures increase by about 35% (very rough math).
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Brad Sallows on June 30, 2018, 12:36:24
As long as a deficit exists, it means the US has to borrow money to pay for everything.  A quick glance at 2015 figures showed me that discretionary spending was just under 30% of federal spending, and military spending was just under 54% of discretionary spending.  The military share of the deficit is about $135B.  And it looks like a little under 1/3 of total federal debt is held by foreigners.  So the competition for foreign sugar daddies is not as bad as it might seem at a glance.

If the US opts to reduce its spending - particularly money spent keeping US forces abroad, which would suit Trump - rather than increase taxes or borrowing, will any of the so-called freeloading countries care enough to raise their spending to fill whatever gaps they deplore?
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: tomahawk6 on June 30, 2018, 13:51:57
As long as the economy is doing good we can afford our own defense due to an increase in taxes.Its one thing to pay for defense its another thing to have the will to use their armed forces.France,Denmark , Canada  and the newer NATO stateshave shown the will.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: FJAG on June 30, 2018, 20:25:08
I think the President feels that Europe should pay their share of their own defense.This isn't a new problem,just one that this President will stand up for NATO even if they wont.We are rotating forces into Europa at no small cost to the US taxpayer.I think the East Europeans are more than willing to provide for their defense to avoid the Russians.

https://www.stripes.com/news/europe/us-assessing-cost-of-keeping-troops-in-germany-as-trump-battles-with-europe-1.535477

France, Britain, Germany and Italy collectively already spend 2 1/2 times as much as their major enemy Russia. When will America be satisfied?

The point of an alliance is not so much to get your allies to ramp up their spending to an unnecessary level but to create a united front of collective resources which would make it foolish for an adversary to attack.

The current administration's rhetoric once again ignores reality to cater to an uninformed base's prejudices. But don't worry. Trump's meeting with Putin next month and I'm sure this time Trump's will throw in for free the reduction of EUCOM to nil strength so that he can use the manpower to create Space Force. :pop:

 [cheers]
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Brad Sallows on June 30, 2018, 23:22:02
>France, Britain, Germany and Italy collectively already spend 2 1/2 times as much as their major enemy Russia.

That suggests to me that NATO should lower its %GDP commitment target for members to about 1%.   An agreement on what spending is relevant (ie. how to measure it) should also be struck (regardless whether or not it is nominally part of whatever passes for a nation's war/defence ministry), so that reporters and talking heads and armchair quarterbacks (like me) have some meaningful numbers to write down on the heads of our pins.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 01, 2018, 01:43:49
>France, Britain, Germany and Italy collectively already spend 2 1/2 times as much as their major enemy Russia.

That suggests to me that NATO should lower its %GDP commitment target for members to about 1%.   An agreement on what spending is relevant (ie. how to measure it) should also be struck (regardless whether or not it is nominally part of whatever passes for a nation's war/defence ministry), so that reporters and talking heads and armchair quarterbacks (like me) have some meaningful numbers to write down on the heads of our pins.
1 percent in peace,  2 percent or more in war?
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: E.R. Campbell on July 01, 2018, 06:52:04
1 percent in peace,  2 percent or more in war?

It likely depends on with whom you are at war, doesn't it?

2% might be fine if you're invading Grenada or Panama, but I doubt that 2% will suffice to regain the Baltic states if Putin gambles that he can reincorporate them into Russia at a low cost.

And 2%, even 4% is not going to cut it if you decide to go to war with China ... think more like 20%.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Colin P on July 02, 2018, 18:42:15
Trump did not create the 2% GDP as a figure, it's been around for a long time and as I recall was agreed upon by NATO as a collective solution. Every state waste money on the military, as they use procurement for domestic political issues. In a perfect world, each ally would focus on producing equipment mainly in one area and everyone else buys it. That is good for the bank account, but bad politics.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: E.R. Campbell on July 03, 2018, 06:48:04
Trump did not create the 2% GDP as a figure, it's been around for a long time and as I recall was agreed upon by NATO as a collective solution. Every state waste money on the military, as they use procurement for domestic political issues. In a perfect world, each ally would focus on producing equipment mainly in one area and everyone else buys it. That is good for the bank account, but bad politics.


Many very good economists will tell you that, in a proper, rational world, every penny spent on the military is a waste. The 'need' for a military is an admission that policy and politics have broken down or didn't work well enough in the first place. Spending good, hard earned money on weapons is inherently inefficient ~ it's something that e.g. Eisenhower understood when he developed both the trip-wire and MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction) strategies. He saw wall-to-wall armies as a waste because he wanted to build refrigerators, TVs and cars, not tanks and submarines.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 03, 2018, 09:52:23

Many very good economists will tell you that, in a proper, rational world, every penny spent on the military is a waste. The 'need' for a military is an admission that policy and politics have broken down or didn't work well enough in the first place. Spending good, hard earned money on weapons is inherently inefficient ~ it's something that e.g. Eisenhower understood when he developed both the trip-wire and MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction) strategies. He saw wall-to-wall armies as a waste because he wanted to build refrigerators, TVs and cars, not tanks and submarines.
The EU and Canada should simply make a new benchmark number,instead of using one from decades ago.

Lets renegotiate NATO. Works so well for America on everything else.

New number, 1.4 percent of GDP. Oh look, almost everyone is close to that, problem solved.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 03, 2018, 11:12:49
The EU and Canada should simply make a new benchmark number,instead of using one from decades ago.

Lets renegotiate NATO. Works so well for America on everything else.

New number, 1.4 percent of GDP. Oh look, almost everyone is close to that, problem solved.

It took them decades to agree on the 2% number. If they can't get that right, and follow their own policies, then NATO hasn't got much hope as a collective defense arrangement, and they should pull pole on that side show....

Which is what Putin is betting on, of course, and why Trump is kicking a$$.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 03, 2018, 11:17:16
It took them decades to agree on the 2% number. If they can't get that right, and follow their own policies, then NATO hasn't got much hope as a collective defense arrangement, and they should pull pole on that side show....

Which is what Putin is betting on, of course, and why Trump is kicking a$$.
If throwing a temper tantrum and saying that he will take his toys and go home, undermining the alliance altogether is kicking @ss, yes, yes he is.

Shame it's Americas @ss.

Either way, I can guarantee you, Putin is pleased with this. A great return on investment if you think about it.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Eye In The Sky on July 03, 2018, 11:28:26
The EU and Canada should simply make a new benchmark number,instead of using one from decades ago.

Lets renegotiate NATO. Works so well for America on everything else.

New number, 1.4 percent of GDP. Oh look, almost everyone is close to that, problem solved.

That is suggesting that every country, and even NATO itself, is *ready* to go with the level of equipment, training and personnel they have now. 

Having worked in NATO TFs, I'm going to suggest we are not - ASW is the easy example for me to use.  If Russia, for example, deploys 1 nuc boat, how many assets are required to locate and track that redboat 24/7?  If Russia deploys 10, or 15, boats at once, can NATO handle that?  How about if you remove the US from NATO?  That is a sizeable portion of NATO sub-surface assets gone - not only in numbers but in operational capability per boat.  Even if, say, the Astute class boats are very capable, there are also very few of them compared to Improved LAs, Virgina's and Seawolfs.

Tossing numbers and %s around means nothing, really.  What matters where it counts is capabilities and the ability for all the different countries of NATO to effectively fight as a collective organization.  That ability to fight is the deterrent to nations like Russia or China, who have capabilities in the air, surface and sub-surface and space.

https://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/19/world/asia/19china.html

 :2c:
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 03, 2018, 11:37:32
That is suggesting that every country, and even NATO itself, is *ready* to go with the level of equipment, training and personnel they have now. 

Having worked in NATO TFs, I'm going to suggest we are not - ASW is the easy example for me to use.  If Russia, for example, deploys 1 nuc boat, how many assets are required to locate and track that redboat 24/7?  If Russia deploys 10, or 15, boats at once, can NATO handle that?  How about if you remove the US from NATO?  That is a sizeable portion of NATO sub-surface assets gone - not only in numbers but in operational capability per boat.  Even if, say, the Astute class boats are very capable, there are also very few of them compared to Improved LAs, Virgina's and Seawolfs.

Tossing numbers and %s around means nothing, really.  What matters where it counts is capabilities and the ability for all the different countries of NATO to effectively fight as a collective organization.  That ability to fight is the deterrent to nations like Russia or China, who have capabilities in the air, surface and sub-surface and space.

 :2c:
NATO without the US would still handle Russia rather easily. Biggest problem there might be Europe running low on ammo, as they did during the Libya bombing campaign, but that is a relatively easy fix.

Would NATO be as formidable without the USA, especially outside of Europe, no, no it would not. Which is probably what Putin is playing for, and in honesty, America is playing right into his hand.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Eye In The Sky on July 03, 2018, 11:40:25
NATO without the US would still handle Russia rather easily.

I don't agree with you.  But I'd like to see why you think this, and is this your belief in all aspects of the battlespace?  (land, air, sea, space, cyber)
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 03, 2018, 11:44:47
NATO without the US would still handle Russia rather easily. Biggest problem there might be Europe running low on ammo, as they did during the Libya bombing campaign, but that is a relatively easy fix.

Would NATO be as formidable without the USA, especially outside of Europe, no, no it would not. Which is probably what Putin is playing for, and in honesty, America is playing right into his hand.

NATO, without the US, would be Europe 1938.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Jarnhamar on July 03, 2018, 11:49:05
NATO without the US would still handle Russia rather easily.

Not a chance but I'd also be curious how you came to that conclusion.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 03, 2018, 12:34:32
France: 205,000 with 195,770 in reserves

Germany: 180,000 with 145,00 in reserves

Poland: 120,000 with 515,000 in reserves

Spain: 125,00 with 16,200 in reserves

Italy: 320,000 with 42,000 in reserves

Sweden: 14,000 with 26,000 in reserves

Netherlands: 50,000 with 32,200 in reserves

Romania: 75,000 with 80,000 in Reserves

Czech Republic: 21,100 with 11,000 in reserves

Ukraine: 160,000 with 1,000,000 in reserves (Already in a proxy war with Russia)

Denmark: 25,000 with 63,000 in reserves

Bulgaria: 35,000 with 302,500 in reserves

Belgium: 35,000 with 6,500 in reserves

Austria: 30,000 with 27,000 in reserves

Portugal: 40,000 with 211,000 in reserves

Finland: 36,500 with 357,000 in reserves

Croatia: 21,500 with 102,700 in reserves

Estonia: 3,500 with 60,000 in reserves

Greece: 180,000 with 280,000 in reserves

Hungary: 20,000 with 52,000 in reserves

Latvia: 13,000 with 11,000 in reserves

Lithuania: 15,000 with 4,260 in reserves

Slovenia: 7,500 with 8,300 in reserves

Slovakia: 13,500 with 0 in reserves

Including at least 1,600 Nuclear Weapons

Frontline: 1,745,600

Reserves: 3,548,430

Total: 5,294,030

Frontline Troops: 766,055

Reserves: 2,485,000

Total: 3,251,055

Including 8,000 Nuclear Weapons

EU combined military spending :226.73 billion

Russian Military Budget: 66.3 Billion

The Russian bear isn't quite as scary as everyone is making it out to be.

Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: PPCLI Guy on July 03, 2018, 12:38:15
NATO without the US would still handle Russia rather easily. Biggest problem there might be Europe running low on ammo, as they did during the Libya bombing campaign, but that is a relatively easy fix.

Would NATO be as formidable without the USA, especially outside of Europe, no, no it would not. Which is probably what Putin is playing for, and in honesty, America is playing right into his hand.

Really.  Leveraging European ISR, Space, Cyber and SOF dominance I assume?  And using all of their aircraft carriers?

This is where lanes matter my friend.  I enjoy your political polemics , hyperbole, and generally well-thought through commentary, mostly because these types of issues are mostly about marshalling facts to support an opinion, which you do quite well.

Geo-strategic military assessment? Not so much.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 03, 2018, 12:46:07
Really.  Leveraging European ISR, Space, Cyber and SOF dominance I assume?  And using all of their aircraft carriers?

This is where lanes matter my friend.  I enjoy your political polemics , hyperbole, and generally well-thought through commentary, mostly because these types of issues are mostly about marshalling facts to support an opinion, which you do quite well.

Geo-strategic military assessment? Not so much.
Russia spends about as much as Saudi Arabia on defense, and I don't think anyone would bet on Saudi Arabia being able to beat the EU in a conventional war.

Russia is able to pick and choose where it wants to project power, and has done rather well in that regard, from taking Crimea, to destabilizing Ukraine and aiding Assad.

Beyond that though, I don't see how they would be able to engage in a conventional war with a United Europe. I also don't see what they gain from tangling with a nuclear weapons power.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Eye In The Sky on July 03, 2018, 13:08:41
I've heard the Royal Saudi Navy has some capable nuclear attack, guided missile and Intercontinental Ballistic Missile submarines and their Naval air size and capabilities are matched;  your comparison of the Russian and Saudi Arabia forces based on 'spending' is valid. 

Should we begin to compare them in the land, air force, space and cyber categories as well?

 :whistle:
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 03, 2018, 13:16:29
France: 205,000 with 195,770 in reserves

Germany: 180,000 with 145,00 in reserves

Poland: 120,000 with 515,000 in reserves

Spain: 125,00 with 16,200 in reserves

Italy: 320,000 with 42,000 in reserves

Sweden: 14,000 with 26,000 in reserves

Netherlands: 50,000 with 32,200 in reserves

Romania: 75,000 with 80,000 in Reserves

Czech Republic: 21,100 with 11,000 in reserves

Ukraine: 160,000 with 1,000,000 in reserves (Already in a proxy war with Russia)

Denmark: 25,000 with 63,000 in reserves

Bulgaria: 35,000 with 302,500 in reserves

Belgium: 35,000 with 6,500 in reserves

Austria: 30,000 with 27,000 in reserves

Portugal: 40,000 with 211,000 in reserves

Finland: 36,500 with 357,000 in reserves

Croatia: 21,500 with 102,700 in reserves

Estonia: 3,500 with 60,000 in reserves

Greece: 180,000 with 280,000 in reserves

Hungary: 20,000 with 52,000 in reserves

Latvia: 13,000 with 11,000 in reserves

Lithuania: 15,000 with 4,260 in reserves

Slovenia: 7,500 with 8,300 in reserves

Slovakia: 13,500 with 0 in reserves

Including at least 1,600 Nuclear Weapons

Frontline: 1,745,600

Reserves: 3,548,430

Total: 5,294,030

Frontline Troops: 766,055

Reserves: 2,485,000

Total: 3,251,055

Including 8,000 Nuclear Weapons

EU combined military spending :226.73 billion

Russian Military Budget: 66.3 Billion

The Russian bear isn't quite as scary as everyone is making it out to be.

Your list of 'assets' doesn't include the levels of political will to resist as a collective, which is always in doubt without a strong US leadership presence.

And I'll throw Canada in with the Euro-trash on this one, sadly, as we seem more interested in currying favour and playing Pseudo-Euro instead of calling them on their ****.

Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 03, 2018, 13:25:08
I've heard the Royal Saudi Navy has some capable nuclear attack, guided missile and Intercontinental Ballistic Missile submarines and their Naval air size and capabilities are matched;  your comparison of the Russian and Saudi Arabia forces based on 'spending' is valid. 

Should we begin to compare them in the land, air force, space and cyber categories as well?

 :whistle:
When Russia is able to effectively project beyond their borders with more than little green men, maybe I'll at that point I'll bet on them on any Russia Europe conflict.

As it stands, I will be on europe 9 time out of 10 in any ground war in europe, the odd time being France surrendering before it begins.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Eye In The Sky on July 03, 2018, 13:29:16
Maybe you'll change your mind, or consider other things than simple old numbers, once you get some time working in a coalition and/or NATO TF and see what happens sometimes when every country has different ROE and 'national command directions/goals', etc.  Not to even mention different languages, comms systems, TTPs, tactical/operational/strategic goals/intentions.

Russia has none of those concerns (or, at least, different ones at only a national level vice *many nations* level) and it makes it easier for them to send flying telephone poles thru the air at targets.  :nod:
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 03, 2018, 13:36:22
Maybe you'll change your mind, or consider other things than simple old numbers, once you get some time working in a coalition and/or NATO TF and see what happens sometimes when every country has different ROE and 'national command directions/goals', etc.

Russia has none of those concerns (or, at least, different ones at only a national level vice *many nations* level) and it makes it easier for them to send flying telephone poles thru the air at targets.  :nod:
Yes, I'm sure that would allow Russia, a country with the GDP of Italy, to outfight Europe, with a potential army twice its size.

Still wouldn't bet on it.

Although maybe Putin holds a summit with America asking for a second front in Europe, if history wants to repeat itself again.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Journeyman on July 03, 2018, 13:51:17
I don't see how they would be able to engage in a conventional war with a United Europe.
I don't see a "united" Europe.   :dunno:


Edit:  Damn, I didn't see.....
Your list of 'assets' doesn't include the levels of political will to resist as a collective, which is always in doubt without a strong US leadership presence.
           What he said.   :nod:
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 03, 2018, 14:10:08
Lost in all this is we shouldn't even be talking about a NATO without the USA or Europe alone versus Russia.

But here we are.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Loachman on July 03, 2018, 14:50:25
Yes, I'm sure that would allow Russia, a country with the GDP of Italy, to outfight Europe, with a potential army twice its size.

If GDP was the only factor, sure.

But it's not.

Russia is buying its own kit, made in its own country, at prices relative to its own economy. And it's buying in bulk.

It's paying its troops relative to its own economy, and likely not spending anywhere nearly the same percentage on other personnel-related costs such as pensions and whole-family postings and generous allowances.

It's likely not going to *****-foot around worrying about civilian casualties, endangered species, carbon footprints, gender-based analysis, and world opinion if it did attack. It will just blast everything in its way.

It's going to choose the time and place of its attack.

Think 1939. I'm not going to compare populations of Germany to the combined UK and European populations in detail, but the Nazis did not have the advantage there. They capitalized upon aggressive and innovative tactics, all-arms co-operation, and shock.

Now, would Putin actually attempt this? Unlikely. Russia still remembers - much better than we do - what the last Great Unpleasantness cost its society, and a nuclear exchange remains a pretty good deterrent, and he's not that crazy.

Russia is not to be feared unreasonably, no, and neither was it during the Cold War, but that is no excuse for complacency and underfunding our own armed forces (in collective NATO terms). This was the focus of the first quarter-century of my career, including three years spent in West Germany. Was I worried then? No - but we (NATO) were a lot better prepared for such an eventuality then than we are today.

President Trump is not attacking or risking NATO, or helping Putin. You are spouting nonsense in that regard. He is attempting to get the slackers (which includes us) to pay their fair - and agreed-upon share.

"We" are not talking about "a NATO without the USA or Europe alone versus Russia."
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Good2Golf on July 03, 2018, 15:00:49
...It's likely not going to *****-foot around worrying about civilian casualties, endangered species, carbon footprints, gender-based analysis, and world opinion if it did attack. It will just blast everything in its way...

Yup...MH17...etc.

Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 03, 2018, 15:02:04
If GDP was the only factor, sure.

But it's not.

Russia is buying its own kit, made in its own country, at prices relative to its own economy. And it's buying in bulk.

It's paying its troops relative to its own economy, and likely not spending anywhere nearly the same percentage on other personnel-related costs such as pensions and whole-family postings and generous allowances.

It's likely not going to *****-foot around worrying about civilian casualties, endangered species, carbon footprints, gender-based analysis, and world opinion if it did attack. It will just blast everything in its way.

It's going to choose the time and place of its attack.

Think 1939. I'm not going to compare populations of Germany to the combined UK and European populations in detail, but the Nazis did not have the advantage there. They capitalized upon aggressive and innovative tactics, all-arms co-operation, and shock.

Now, would Putin actually attempt this? Unlikely. Russia still remembers - much better than we do - what the last Great Unpleasantness cost its society, and a nuclear exchange remains a pretty good deterrent, and he's not that crazy.

Russia is not to be feared unreasonably, no, and neither was it during the Cold War, but that is no excuse for complacency and underfunding our own armed forces (in collective NATO terms). This was the focus of the first quarter-century of my career, including three years spent in West Germany. Was I worried then? No - but we (NATO) were a lot better prepared for such an eventuality then than we are today.

President Trump is not attacking or risking NATO, or helping Putin. You are spouting nonsense in that regard. He is attempting to get the slackers (which includes us) to pay their fair - and agreed-upon share.

"We" are not talking about "a NATO without the USA or Europe alone versus Russia."
when you have the president of the united states musing about america leaving NATO, or pulling its troops out of Germany,  one should probably talk about it.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Eye In The Sky on July 03, 2018, 15:55:17
I just wanted to added a few things to this part of your earlier post...

When Russia is able to effectively project beyond their borders with more than little green men...

Russian submarine activity in the North Atlantic has reportedly 'increased tenfold,' (http://www.businessinsider.com/russian-submarine-activity-increasing-around-uk-and-in-north-atlantic-2018-5)  May 2018

Royal Navy frigate shadows Russian warships in North Sea  (https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/royal-navy-shadow-russia-ships-north-sea-english-channel-hms-montrose-frigate-a8416846.html)- June 2018 (A couple of Steregushchiy's out for a cruise...)

Russia fires first submarine missiles against Isis targets in Syria (https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/russia-fires-first-submarine-missiles-against-isis-targets-in-syria-a6766426.html)  Dec 2015

4 times in 4 days:  Russian military aircraft fly off US coast  (https://www.cnn.com/2017/04/21/politics/russian-bombers-tensions-trump/index.html)- April 2017

Russia's Massive Military Exercise in the Arctic Is Utterly Baffling (https://news.vice.com/article/russias-massive-military-exercise-in-the-arctic-is-utterly-baffling) - Mar 2015

Maybe I'm looking at things incorrectly, but I'm not seeing a lack of ability for the Russians to conduct operations outside of their borders, or with them being able to use more than their little green men.

Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 03, 2018, 16:05:57
I just wanted to added a few things to this part of your earlier post...

Russian submarine activity in the North Atlantic has reportedly 'increased tenfold,' (http://www.businessinsider.com/russian-submarine-activity-increasing-around-uk-and-in-north-atlantic-2018-5)  May 2018

Royal Navy frigate shadows Russian warships in North Sea  (https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/royal-navy-shadow-russia-ships-north-sea-english-channel-hms-montrose-frigate-a8416846.html)- June 2018 (A couple of Steregushchiy's out for a cruise...)

Russia fires first submarine missiles against Isis targets in Syria (https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/russia-fires-first-submarine-missiles-against-isis-targets-in-syria-a6766426.html)  Dec 2015

4 times in 4 days:  Russian military aircraft fly off US coast  (https://www.cnn.com/2017/04/21/politics/russian-bombers-tensions-trump/index.html)- April 2017

Russia's Massive Military Exercise in the Arctic Is Utterly Baffling (https://news.vice.com/article/russias-massive-military-exercise-in-the-arctic-is-utterly-baffling) - Mar 2015

Maybe I'm looking at things incorrectly, but I'm not seeing a lack of ability for the Russians to conduct operations outside of their borders, or with them being able to use more than their little green men.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/That_Don%27t_Impress_Me_Much
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Remius on July 03, 2018, 16:25:36
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/That_Don%27t_Impress_Me_Much

Come on Altair.  I normally like what you post.

Russia has always tried to test NATO's mettle by doing exactly what you say it can't.  be it what EIS just posted or sending bombers over or near our border to remind us that they can project.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 03, 2018, 16:47:19
Come on Altair.  I normally like what you post.

Russia has always tried to test NATO's mettle by doing exactly what you say it can't.  be it what EIS just posted or sending bombers over or near our border to remind us that they can project.
What? it's a good song by a good Canadian artist.

On a serious note, I would be interested to see how the Russian army can do when not operating in their own house, or their backyard. They did a decent job in Syria, although that force was on the small side, and didn't venture too far from base.

It's one thing to send in the army to destabilize Ukraine, it's another altogether to try to intimidate Europe.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: suffolkowner on July 03, 2018, 17:10:47
Come on Altair.  I normally like what you post.


Shania Twain in her prime, I can't complain about that!

Russia vs the rest of Europe would be a hard slog in my opinion. The Russian's would have the advantage as the aggressor in my opinion. The rest of Europe would have a hard time fighting as a integrated whole and the logistics would be a nightmare. Is not the T-72 the most common NATO tank?
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: tomahawk6 on July 03, 2018, 17:21:15
Plus Russia has more tanks and planes , infantry NBC and nukes.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 03, 2018, 17:30:45
Plus Russia has more tanks and planes , infantry NBC and nukes.
France: 205,000 with 195,770 in reserves

Germany: 180,000 with 145,00 in reserves

Poland: 120,000 with 515,000 in reserves

Spain: 125,00 with 16,200 in reserves

Italy: 320,000 with 42,000 in reserves

Sweden: 14,000 with 26,000 in reserves

Netherlands: 50,000 with 32,200 in reserves

Romania: 75,000 with 80,000 in Reserves

Czech Republic: 21,100 with 11,000 in reserves

Ukraine: 160,000 with 1,000,000 in reserves (Already in a proxy war with Russia)

Denmark: 25,000 with 63,000 in reserves

Bulgaria: 35,000 with 302,500 in reserves

Belgium: 35,000 with 6,500 in reserves

Austria: 30,000 with 27,000 in reserves

Portugal: 40,000 with 211,000 in reserves

Finland: 36,500 with 357,000 in reserves

Croatia: 21,500 with 102,700 in reserves

Estonia: 3,500 with 60,000 in reserves

Greece: 180,000 with 280,000 in reserves

Hungary: 20,000 with 52,000 in reserves

Latvia: 13,000 with 11,000 in reserves

Lithuania: 15,000 with 4,260 in reserves

Slovenia: 7,500 with 8,300 in reserves

Slovakia: 13,500 with 0 in reserves

Including at least 1,600 Nuclear Weapons

Frontline: 1,745,600

Reserves: 3,548,430

Total: 5,294,030

Frontline Troops: 766,055

Reserves: 2,485,000

Total: 3,251,055

Including 8,000 Nuclear Weapons

EU combined military spending :226.73 billion

Russian Military Budget: 66.3 Billion

if you say so
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Eye In The Sky on July 03, 2018, 17:39:58
....or sending bombers over or near our border to remind us that they can project.

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/04/21/canadian-jets-intercept-russian-bombers-for-first-time-in-2-years.html

And the UK (Blackjacks, not Bears)  -  https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/u-k-scrambles-2-fighter-jets-to-intercept-russian-bombers-1.3760466

Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Jarnhamar on July 03, 2018, 17:40:40
if you say so

Wikipedia?
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Remius on July 03, 2018, 17:43:53
I think the bigger question isn’t so much taking on Russia straight up in an all out war, it is more about Europe being able and willing to take on Russia in its various proxy wars and influence activities. 

I’m not so sure they are.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Loachman on July 03, 2018, 18:07:40
when you have the president of the united states musing about america leaving NATO, or pulling its troops out of Germany,  one should probably talk about it.

You still don't get it.

"Musing" is a pressure tactic, not a promise.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: suffolkowner on July 03, 2018, 18:11:21
From the Atlantic council article above and some Wikipedia treat numbers with caution

                                       US                  NATO Europe           Russia
Active personnel                 1347300         1854900                395000
Reserve personnel                865050         1232290
MBT                                        2831              6983                  2562
other armoured vehicles         29576             34487                  6105
aircraft                                   3628               2612                  3547
attack helicopters                      760                382
major naval vessels                   186                252                      74
minor naval vessels                   222               1583

Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 03, 2018, 18:11:35
You still don't get it.

"Musing" is a pressure tactic, not a promise.
the last thing I remember the president musing about was tariffs.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Loachman on July 03, 2018, 18:19:29
That one, admittedly, has me stumped.

I see no good outcome for anybody over a trade war.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 03, 2018, 18:31:51
That one, admittedly, has me stumped.

I see no good outcome for anybody over a trade war.
yes,  and while that is a topic for another thread, my point is that the line between pressure tactic and really dumb policy is apperantly a thin one
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on July 03, 2018, 19:16:19
The thing about Russia is that its defence budget isn't a true reflection of its actual military spending. 

Firstly, the Defence Budget doesn't account for the FSB which is estimated to employ over 200,000 personnel and has a far larger scope of operations than any comparable Western agency.

https://www.google.ca/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/06/fsb-putins-modern-day-kgb (https://www.google.ca/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/06/fsb-putins-modern-day-kgb)

As well, Russia has other internal security units like the National Guard which is as large if not larger than the FSB and is responsible for Internal Security of the Russian Federation.

The budget of the FSB and National Guard are classified but estimates put it somewhere in the realm of $45-50 billion US.

http://intersectionproject.eu/article/security/russias-defense-capabilities-2018 (http://intersectionproject.eu/article/security/russias-defense-capabilities-2018)

Russian Military Doctrine considers Internal and External Defence as one and the same.

Taking this in to consideration, actual Russian Defence spending is probably closer to $110-120 billion per year.  As well, they spend upwards of 50-60% of their Defence budget on equipment and far less on pay, pensions, etc.  They also have their own large defence industry and build all their own equipment.

They are far larger than any of the European Powers and I sincerely doubt Europe could face them alone without US help.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: PPCLI Guy on July 03, 2018, 20:14:08
if you say so

Altair,

There is a big difference between tactical arithmetic and strategic calculus.  You have clearly mastered the former....

<<edited for unbelievably bad spelling error...>>
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 03, 2018, 20:18:10
The thing about Russia is that its defence budget isn't a true reflection of its actual military spending. 

Firstly, the Defence Budget doesn't account for the FSB which is estimated to employ over 200,000 personnel and has a far larger scope of operations than any comparable Western agency.

https://www.google.ca/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/06/fsb-putins-modern-day-kgb (https://www.google.ca/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/06/fsb-putins-modern-day-kgb)

As well, Russia has other internal security units like the National Guard which is as large if not larger than the FSB and is responsible for Internal Security of the Russian Federation.

The budget of the FSB and National Guard are classified but estimates put it somewhere in the realm of $45-50 billion US.

http://intersectionproject.eu/article/security/russias-defense-capabilities-2018 (http://intersectionproject.eu/article/security/russias-defense-capabilities-2018)

Russian Military Doctrine considers Internal and External Defence as one and the same.

Taking this in to consideration, actual Russian Defence spending is probably closer to $110-120 billion per year.  As well, they spend upwards of 50-60% of their Defence budget on equipment and far less on pay, pensions, etc.  They also have their own large defence industry and build all their own equipment.

They are far larger than any of the European Powers and I sincerely doubt Europe could face them alone without US help.

And they may be repeating the mistakes of the past where they had an epic fail on the 'guns vs. butter balance' thing:

https://online.norwich.edu/academic-programs/masters/military-history/resources/articles/exploring-5-reasons-for-the-collapse-of-the-soviet-union
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Loachman on July 03, 2018, 20:36:39
my point is that the line between pressure tactic and really dumb policy is apperantly a thin one

Too many countries have been too complacent for too long.

Shaking them up a little is a good thing, in my mind.

I would not be surprised if the tariff issue turns out to be related, in part, to this matter - ie, an offer to drop tariffs in return for increased military spending results - but will not make any firm predictions at this point.

Regardless, I am not in the camp that presumes President Trump to be an idiot.

He did not exactly stumble into wealth or the US presidency.

Many have underestimated him, and some continue to underestimate him, but they have not, so far, done too well against him.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Colin P on July 03, 2018, 21:37:58
Putin modus operandi is to grab bits and pieces and do set piece moves that won't get out of hand. He did that in Chechnya, Georgia, Crimea and attempted to do it in Donbass. Russia still has Kaliningrad and he is fully capable of moving in an armoured division to "protect" Russian interests there, pushing through Lithuania and avoiding Poland who will fight back. He will do what he thinks is possible. Obama dithering was an open door for him, Trump is to unpredictable, so it's likely Putin will fish for small wins, but avoid small moves. Putin has more time than DT has and can out wait him.   
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Cloud Cover on July 03, 2018, 22:09:09
Here is a paper about Russian military transformation drafted 5 years ago, edited and published 4 years ago. http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pdffiles/PUB1196.pdf

The author's hypothesis that the poor performance in Georgia 2008 would be rectified sometime in the near future after 2014. In fact, given what they pulled off in Syria, the Russians were and are further ahead than the authors gave them credit for in 2014. The main thesis, probably correct, is that Russia has no desire or strategic need to attack NATO or defend against NATO in its entirety. They do not expect, again probably quite correctly, that NATO cannot operationally function efficiently enough to be a deterence or an aggressor. As a result, they have focused on precision weapons, lethality and improving the training of soldiers as a "valuable commodity."   They intend to win wars not by "head on" confrontations, but instead they will come in from behind and slit throats before anyone can stop them.  They "appeared" in Crimea and they aren't ever leaving. They "showed up" in Syria (probably permanently) and then they launched fairly ruthless airstrikes from air bases and their one aircraft carrier, employed raids and special forces attacks. They attacked ISIS from the Black Sea by strategic air bombers firing ALCM, by submarine launched cruise missiles and from ships at sea using missiles and naval gunfire in one instance. They fight in the Ukraine but seldom come in direct contact with opposition forces. And they have been fairly successful.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Fishbone Jones on July 03, 2018, 23:03:53
What does the Euroforce do when Putin shuts off their gas?
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 04, 2018, 00:49:55
What does the Euroforce do when Putin shuts off their gas?
import more from Iran?

Seems like they may be sitting on a bunch.

Russia isn't the only place selling gas.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on July 04, 2018, 09:08:12
import more from Iran?

Seems like they may be sitting on a bunch.

Russia isn't the only place selling gas.

The same Iran that is allied with Russia? 

Altair, I generally like your posts but.....

You are conveniently ignoring real world geopolitical issues in order to try and suit your narrative in this thread but unlike some other threads where I think you've presented some good counter-points to the established narrative, you've been found wanting in this thread.

Comparing supposed numbers of tanks, aircraft, personnel, GDP, etc is useless metric and is the same flawed methodology that got the United States in so much trouble in Vietnam.

It also ignores the fact that outside of The United States, most European States have paper armies whose supposed numbers don't reflect any sort of reality.  The exceptions being the UK, France and Poland. 

The UK is running away from Europe and defence cuts have left their military less capable.  They don't even have any LRP ASW and are an island without any large power projection capability and have pulled out of Germany. 

The French are capable but their military is decisively engaged in internal security operations and maintaining a grip on their former colonies and sphere of influence.  They have very little to give NATO and I wouldn't necessarily consider them a reliable partner.  I don't think they would give a damn if Russia decided to move on the Baltics and as long as French territory wasn't threatened I doubt they would do anything.

Poland has a credible military for the very reason that they are very fearful of the Russians for good reasons but they do not have the mass or numbers to defend themselves indefinitely. 

The rest of Europe is much like Canada, a paper force that could offer very little in actual equipment and personnel for any sort of military campaign against the Russians.

The modern Russian Army is a different beast from its Soviet era force.  It's more professional and can draw on nearly 400,000 contracted (professional) soldiers and has modernized doctrine and training.  Putin and his supporting cast have gone about tearing up the entire military-security apparatus of Russia to make it far more lethal but also more responsive.

The Russians could mass an invasion force of 80,000-100,000 and rapidly overrun the Baltics and yes a collective NATO with US Support might be able to stop them; however, what happens elsewhere?

The United States also has to worry about China, Iran, the Middle East, South America, etc.

America has a lot of adversaries who would capitalize on America becoming embroiled in another war on Europe.  Thinking about this, it makes perfect sense that Europe needs to spend more on Defence because the United States isn't strong enough to fight a land war in Europe while simultaneously maintaining its position elsewhere. 

Your problem is you are seeing the chess board as a 2 player game:

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn.osxdaily.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2012%2F09%2FScreen-Shot-2016-03-24-at-5.43.07-PM-610x428.jpg&hash=0345939cf9a2c9537030d27aefe38f04)

The reality is the board looks more like this:

(https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/267213569374430524/4DDCB430ED441B8093C321EFA73312C8C002EC96/?interpolation=lanczos-none&output-format=jpeg&output-quality=95&fit=inside%7C637%3A358&composite-to=*,*%7C637%3A358&background-color=black)
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: tomahawk6 on July 04, 2018, 20:07:27
Trump to NATO, the US isn't the worlds piggy bank.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-nato/trump-will-tell-nato-nations-us-cannot-be-the-worlds-piggy-bank-idUSKBN1JT2XD
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: PPCLI Guy on July 04, 2018, 20:22:11
Trump to NATO, the US isn't the worlds piggy bank.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-nato/trump-will-tell-nato-nations-us-cannot-be-the-worlds-piggy-bank-idUSKBN1JT2XD

Roger.  Sounds good.

That also means that they will no longer provide the world's currency of choice, (that will be the renminbi) nor the global commons - specifically freedom of navigation (that will be a series of regional Navies: France, Iran, Russia, China).  They will no longer be able to force the US version of fiscal probity on other IMF members (which is actually to laugh), nor be a beacon of either civility or democracy.

In short, they will cede the city on the hill to various regional hegemons.

I don't see a problem there.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Good2Golf on July 04, 2018, 20:29:09
Trump to NATO, the US isn't the worlds piggy bank.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-nato/trump-will-tell-nato-nations-us-cannot-be-the-worlds-piggy-bank-idUSKBN1JT2XD

...and renounce stewardship/influence of the World Bank, IMF and WTO?

Seems the US likes having the US Dollar as the de facto world currency....and China would probably enjoy having the Yuan and Dollar trade status...

Remember, the US spent the last 73 years building itself up as the World’s piggy bank.  It can change its direction, but it’s hypocritical to blame the rest of the world for its own aspirations/interests.

:2c:

Regards
G2G
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 05, 2018, 03:21:08
Let the flip flopping continue:

Why the U.S. Has Spent 200 Years Flip-Flopping Between Isolationism and Engagement?

What does the United States want to be to the world? And what would the world like? A welcoming beacon of democracy? A partner in trade and security? A wary, but distant ally? Or a fortress that has pulled up its drawbridge?

For America’s allies and foes alike, the messaging of the last week has been unequivocally the latter: President Trump announced punishing steel and aluminum tariffs. He traveled to the California-Mexico border to view a border-wall prototype. And he abruptly replaced Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with the more hawkish Mike Pompeo.

Cue the drawbridge.

This isn’t the first time the United States has taken such a stern line. When Donald Trump talks about “putting America first” he echoes a deeply ingrained attitude in American foreign policy dating back to the Revolution: that the United States should look to itself and be wary of entanglements with the world beyond. Such isolationism has been a recurring force in shaping American foreign relations.


https://www.history.com/news/american-isolationism
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: E.R. Campbell on July 05, 2018, 10:04:10
Let the flip flopping continue:

Why the U.S. Has Spent 200 Years Flip-Flopping Between Isolationism and Engagement?

What does the United States want to be to the world? And what would the world like? A welcoming beacon of democracy? A partner in trade and security? A wary, but distant ally? Or a fortress that has pulled up its drawbridge?

For America’s allies and foes alike, the messaging of the last week has been unequivocally the latter: President Trump announced punishing steel and aluminum tariffs. He traveled to the California-Mexico border to view a border-wall prototype. And he abruptly replaced Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with the more hawkish Mike Pompeo.

Cue the drawbridge.

This isn’t the first time the United States has taken such a stern line. When Donald Trump talks about “putting America first” he echoes a deeply ingrained attitude in American foreign policy dating back to the Revolution: that the United States should look to itself and be wary of entanglements with the world beyond. Such isolationism has been a recurring force in shaping American foreign relations.


https://www.history.com/news/american-isolationism

Exactly!
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 05, 2018, 10:21:33
Exactly!
Yes, America first has a sad and sorry history, doesn't it?

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/dr-seuss-adolf-wolf/
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Infanteer on July 05, 2018, 18:16:55
http://carnegieeurope.eu/specialprojects/NATOs2PercentPledge/

A good resource for exploring the 2% metric that predominates discussions these days.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Cloud Cover on July 05, 2018, 19:03:25
Thats a good page! I have never really understood why a %GDP figure is applied across the board. It seems more sensible to match (national interest and threats) to (commitments to capability) and forward pay accordingly, depending on the aspirations of any particular country that looks or needs to gloat about military force as a critical part of their existence. 
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Jarnhamar on July 05, 2018, 19:21:59
Yes, America first has a sad and sorry history, doesn't it?

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/dr-seuss-adolf-wolf/

And ironically the same critical Dr Seuss supported the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Apparently he had quite the hate on for the Japanese in general.

Quote
But right now, when the Japs are planting their hatchets in our skulls, it seems like a hell of a time for us to smile and warble: "Brothers!" It is a rather flabby battle cry. If we want to win, we've got to kill Japs, whether it depresses John Haynes Holmes or not. We can get palsy-walsy afterward with those that are left
-Dr. Seuss

Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 06, 2018, 03:25:05
And ironically the same critical Dr Seuss supported the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Apparently he had quite the hate on for the Japanese in general.
-Dr. Seuss
Interesting anecdote. What does it have to do with the conversation at hand?
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: tomahawk6 on July 06, 2018, 04:41:05
Trump fires a shot across the bow of NATO.


http://www.foxnews.com/
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: SeaKingTacco on July 06, 2018, 10:22:18
Interesting anecdote. What does it have to do with the conversation at hand?

I'm going to guess that Jarnhamar was pointing out the possible hypocrisy in cherry picking quotes/memes from 80 years ago, but ignoring less pleasant quotes from the very same person...
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 06, 2018, 10:24:30
I'm going to guess that Jarnhamar was pointing out the possible hypocrisy in cherry picking quotes/memes from 80 years ago, but ignoring less pleasant quotes from the very same person...
It's not hypocrisy in the least. Just because someone was wrong about something doesn't mean they were wrong about everything.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: SeaKingTacco on July 06, 2018, 10:32:56
It's not hypocrisy in the least. Just because someone was wrong about something doesn't mean they were wrong about everything.

Fair enough.

Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 06, 2018, 10:33:06
Trump fires a shot across the bow of NATO.


http://www.foxnews.com/

This is also represents one of his 'starter's gun' shots being fired in front of the upcoming mid-terms in November.

https://ig.ft.com/us-midterm-elections/
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Jarnhamar on July 06, 2018, 11:51:41
Interesting anecdote. What does it have to do with the conversation at hand?

Everything.
Irony and hypocrisy of US politics.

You have a cartoon condemning American indifference to the deaths of foreign children, from a guy who wants to go kill japs.

Just like Americans accusing Trump of pushing the US towards war with Korea with his tough language then turning around and criticizing him for attempting to deescalate the situation and meeting the North Korea leader.

Just like people bitching and complaining that the US acts like the world police and has their hands in everyone's pot and now bitching about the US calling out NATO for funding and threatening to pull back American forces/out of NATO or whatever.

That poster is an amazing example of American "but what about the children!" politics and how there is always more to the story IMO.

Trump is talking about giving a lot of Americans what they've been asking for for years about spending and NATO but those people are so hard wired to oppose and hate anything Trump does or says that they don't know which way they're going.



As for NATO vs Russia it was already pointed out you can't just cut and paste troop numbers from Wikipedia and who ever has more wins.  Lots of countries have paper armies (as pointed out). Wiki says Canada has 100 tanks and 79'000 active troops- I wouldn't exactly count on those numbers in a fight. I'm not sure how much experience you have working with fellow NATO countries but some of them are just ridiculous. 
Russia seems very serious about modernizing their military, I think a lot of NATO countries think the US will always be there to save them. Trump wants better returns for the US. 

Aren't you embarrassed about the state of our own military?  Can you imagine facing off against Russian armor with an 84mm Carl Gutsav and no air defense?


Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Chris Pook on July 06, 2018, 12:11:49
Diane Francis has it in one.

https://business.financialpost.com/diane-francis/canada-should-be-embarrassed-trudeau-needs-to-smarten-up-on-defence-and-pay-our-share-to-nato?video_autoplay=true

Quote
Canada should be embarrassed: Trudeau needs to smarten up on defence and pay our share to NATO

Diane Francis
July 6, 2018
9:31 AM EDT

U.S. President Donald Trump just sent tough letters demanding that Canada and the other NATO allies live up to the two per cent of GDP spending commitment they made at their Wales summit meeting in 2014. This will be the subject of intense discussion at next week’s NATO summit.

The President’s letter said the U.S. “is increasingly unwilling to ignore this Alliance’s failure to meet shared security challenges.” He added that while he appreciates Canada’s contributions to defence around the world, they “do not excuse any of us from our commitments to ensure NATO has the resources it needs.”

“This frustration is not confined to our executive branch,” the letter continued. “The United States Congress has taken note and is concerned as well.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau allegedly replied that Canada is doing its bit, but he’s dead wrong.

He, like all his predecessors, have repeatedly ignored American requests to pony up more. In June 2016, the diplomatic former President Barack Obama also made it clear that Canada was not doing its part and said in his speech to Parliament: “The world needs more Canada and NATO needs more Canada.”

Adjustments should have been made years ago, but were not. Now, with an aggressive president in the White House, countries like Canada need to pay up.

Only two non-NATO allies get it: Australia and Japan. What Trump is saying is fair: The cost of being the world’s policeman and its gigantic US$800-billion annual trade deficit are both unsustainable and unjust.

By contrast, Australia (not a NATO member but reliant on U.S. military help) puts Canada to shame and will reach defence spending of two per cent of GDP by 2021. Already, Australia is spending twice as much as Canada — roughly $35 billion in 2018 — compared with Ottawa’s paltry $17 billion.

Frankly, this is embarrassing and explains why Trump is so upset.

Japan, also not a NATO member, realizes it is dependent upon U.S. military protection and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is abandoning its domestic military sector and going on a buying spree for American-made weaponry, systems, and technology. This will also dramatically reduce its trade surplus with the U.S.

Meanwhile Canada, without any bargaining position in terms of trade because of its failure to even try to meet NATO commitments for four years, pouts and whines about Trump and his team, thus threatening to damage Canadians and ruin the two countries’ relationship for years to come.

The link between trade and defence contributions is totally clear. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin last week said if NATO member countries are seeking exemptions from U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs they will be asked to step up their contributions to NATO.

Canada’s on the bottom third of the NATO spending list:

U.S. 3.6% of GDP
U.K. 2.1%
Greece 2.25%
France 1.75%
Poland 2%
Estonia 2.25%
Canada 1.25%

Meanwhile, Germany, Italy and Spain are laggards that spend less than Canada.

Germany is under huge pressure to get its act together and is faced with the withdrawal of 35,000 American troops.

“The United States continues to devote more resources to the defence of Europe when the continent’s economy, including Germany’s, are doing well and security challenges abound. This is no longer sustainable for us,” wrote Trump to Chancellor Angela Merkel.

John Bolton, Trump’s national security adviser, said that underpaying NATO members, not the U.S., have undermined the organization in the face of the Russian threat.

Frankly, Trudeau had better smarten up and soon.

Mulroney and the North Warning System bought us the Canada US Free Trade Agreement
Pearson, the DEW Line and Bomarc bought us the Autopact
Louis St Laurent and NATO bought us US protection and access to the US market.

At the same time Canada, as Trump initially pointed out when he came to office, was not a problem and was not his target.  Canada is broadly in trade balance with US and the typical annual deficit of 12 to 13 billion dollars can be seen as an offset against the defence expenditure.  Arguably it effectively adds, in Trump terms, 13 billion to the 20 billion (SIPRI) defence budget, raising Canada's stake to 33 Billion.

That compares to Germany whose defence budget of 44 billion (SIPRI)  and trade surplus of 64 billion (US Census Bureau) results in a stake of minus 20 billion.

That is Trump's, and the US political class's beef.

Canada is not Trump's NATO target. Except when we join with his opponents.
Canada, likewise, is not Trump's NAFTA target.  Except when we join with his opponents.

Trump's NATO target is Germany et al.
Trump's NAFTA target is Mexico.

And just for comparison

Australia spends 28 billion on defence (SIPRI) and maintains a trade deficit similar to Canada's of 14 billion (USCB) which raises the Australian stake to 42 billion.

Australia's stake of 42 billion from a population of 24 million = a per capita stake of $1750.

Canada's stake of 33 billion from a population of 36 million = a per capita stake of $920.

Germany's stake of -20 billion from a population of 83 million = a per capita subsidy of $240
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Chris Pook on July 06, 2018, 12:18:20
Let the flip flopping continue:

Why the U.S. Has Spent 200 Years Flip-Flopping Between Isolationism and Engagement?

What does the United States want to be to the world? And what would the world like? A welcoming beacon of democracy? A partner in trade and security? A wary, but distant ally? Or a fortress that has pulled up its drawbridge?

For America’s allies and foes alike, the messaging of the last week has been unequivocally the latter: President Trump announced punishing steel and aluminum tariffs. He traveled to the California-Mexico border to view a border-wall prototype. And he abruptly replaced Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with the more hawkish Mike Pompeo.

Cue the drawbridge.

This isn’t the first time the United States has taken such a stern line. When Donald Trump talks about “putting America first” he echoes a deeply ingrained attitude in American foreign policy dating back to the Revolution: that the United States should look to itself and be wary of entanglements with the world beyond. Such isolationism has been a recurring force in shaping American foreign relations.


https://www.history.com/news/american-isolationism

Arguably that is the reason for the US.  Historically the dominant culture in the US was defined by refugees from the religiously inspired political wars of Europe. The intention was to declare a pox on all their houses and get on with doing things differently in a new world separated from Europe by a 3000 mile wide moat.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 06, 2018, 12:52:05
Everything.
Ok, lets see where this goes.
Quote
Irony and hypocrisy of US politics.

You have a cartoon condemning American indifference to the deaths of foreign children, from a guy who wants to go kill japs.
Again, just because he was wrong about wanting to kill Japs, does that also make him wrong to condemn American indifference to foreign children?
Quote

Just like Americans accusing Trump of pushing the US towards war with Korea with his tough language then turning around and criticizing him for attempting to deescalate the situation and meeting the North Korea leader.
Not me, leave me out of this.
Quote

Just like people bitching and complaining that the US acts like the world police and has their hands in everyone's pot and now bitching about the US calling out NATO for funding and threatening to pull back American forces/out of NATO or whatever.
When did I complain about america acting like the worlds police?
Quote

That poster is an amazing example of American "but what about the children!" politics and how there is always more to the story IMO.
, of course, it's a political cartoon from the 1940s, not a in depth political opinion piece. It was simply bringing to light that America first has reared its head repeatedly over history
Quote

Trump is talking about giving a lot of Americans what they've been asking for for years about spending and NATO but those people are so hard wired to oppose and hate anything Trump does or says that they don't know which way they're going.
Incorrect. I think that while a lot of people want the freeloaders to invest in the defense forces, they want to maintain the health of the alliance as a whole. At this point we are talking about throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
Quote



As for NATO vs Russia it was already pointed out you can't just cut and paste troop numbers from Wikipedia and who ever has more wins.  Lots of countries have paper armies (as pointed out). Wiki says Canada has 100 tanks and 79'000 active troops- I wouldn't exactly count on those numbers in a fight. I'm not sure how much experience you have working with fellow NATO countries but some of them are just ridiculous. 
Some are, some aren't. Regardless, my doubts lie more on the Russians ability to sustain any campaign in a war versus Europe, that country has so many issues, demographically, economically, and socially.
Quote
Russia seems very serious about modernizing their military,
And they have just implemented huge budget cuts, 20 percent this year(YEAR!). How serious is that? Why is nobody talking about that. People seem to believe what they are preconditioned to believe about Russia, and people can have as many opinions as they want, but it is my opinion that while Russia has taken great strides, it is not the fearsome force that many believe it to be. Beyond saber rattling and playing games with Ukraine, I don't see them doing much more than that, US in NATO or not. But again, just my opinion.
Quote
  I think a lot of NATO countries think the US will always be there to save them. Trump wants better returns for the US. 
And there are better, more diplomatic ways to do so. Publicly blasting the alliance and raising doubts about US commitment to it will simply lead to others looking elsewhere for their collective security. Trump, I believe, started this off perfectly, raising just enough doubt to kick European nations and Canada into gear and defense spending was rising accordingly. But what does trump expect? Everyone to hit 2 percent overnight?  At this point, it's becoming counterproductive. Now leaders are going to need to sell raising defense spending in a way that doesn't look like they are bending over for Trump. Or, as alluded to before, simply starting to look beyond NATO. When Europe gets their EII organization up and running and it can provide security for Europe without NATO and the USA, what has the USA gained?  EII will be a priority for Europe, not NATO, meaning NATO and the USA by extension lose influence, and allies.
Quote

Aren't you embarrassed about the state of our own military?  Can you imagine facing off against Russian armor with an 84mm Carl Gutsav and no air defense?
Sure, but do I expect Canada to find 20-25 billion dollars overnight to spend on defense? As it stands, we were at 1.01 not too long ago, and will be at 1.2 before too long, I call that improvement. Or I guess we could just give then entire army very generous pensions and merge the RCMP into it and make it to 2 percent with not a lick more capabilities, a la France or Greece.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Good2Golf on July 06, 2018, 15:10:41
Diane Francis has it in one.

https://business.financialpost.com/diane-francis/canada-should-be-embarrassed-trudeau-needs-to-smarten-up-on-defence-and-pay-our-share-to-nato?video_autoplay=true

Mulroney and the North Warning System bought us the Canada US Free Trade Agreement
Pearson, the DEW Line and Bomarc bought us the Autopact
Louis St Laurent and NATO bought us US protection and access to the US market.

At the same time Canada, as Trump initially pointed out when he came to office, was not a problem and was not his target.  Canada is broadly in trade balance with US and the typical annual deficit of 12 to 13 billion dollars can be seen as an offset against the defence expenditure.  Arguably it effectively adds, in Trump terms, 13 billion to the 20 billion (SIPRI) defence budget, raising Canada's stake to 33 Billion.

That compares to Germany whose defence budget of 44 billion (SIPRI)  and trade surplus of 64 billion (US Census Bureau) results in a stake of minus 20 billion.

That is Trump's, and the US political class's beef.

Canada is not Trump's NATO target. Except when we join with his opponents.
Canada, likewise, is not Trump's NAFTA target.  Except when we join with his opponents.

Trump's NATO target is Germany et al.
Trump's NAFTA target is Mexico.

And just for comparison

Australia spends 28 billion on defence (SIPRI) and maintains a trade deficit similar to Canada's of 14 billion (USCB) which raises the Australian stake to 42 billion.

Australia's stake of 42 billion from a population of 24 million = a per capita stake of $1750.

Canada's stake of 33 billion from a population of 36 million = a per capita stake of $920.

Germany's stake of -20 billion from a population of 83 million = a per capita subsidy of $240

Funny how Canada is always seen as the leech on America.  America was quite happy to use Canada as the no-man's land buffer between them and the USSR as well, so it is not just a bit self-serving to say Canada never did anything for the U.S. (other than provide 1000's of miles of buffer between the USSR's strategic/tactical nuclear forces and CONUS.

Not saying that Canada couldn't be a bigger player, but this overnight (a decade or two) "You're laggards" perspective that doesn't at least acknowledge that we were the coldest de facto banana republic upon which the U.S. forced a portion of its nuclear arsenal, is (politely) disingenuous.

Let's seek a credit from the U.S. for unchallenged access to Canada's arctic archipelago for it's SSBNs and SSNs? ???


Quote
Only two non-NATO allies get it: Australia and Japan. What Trump is saying is fair: The cost of being the world’s policeman and its gigantic US$800-billion annual trade deficit are both unsustainable and unjust.

This pre-judges that the rest of NATO/Australia/Japan/others support America being "the World's policeman."

So if it's unsustainable and unjust.....why not....you know...stop being Team America - World Police? :dunno:


Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Jarnhamar on July 06, 2018, 15:35:09
Quote from: Altair
Again, just because he was wrong about wanting to kill Japs, does that also make him wrong to condemn American indifference to foreign children?
Wrong? No. Hypocrite yes. So I'd question his motives.

Quote from: Altair
Not me, leave me out of this.

Quote
When did I complain about america acting like the worlds police?
I'm surprised to see you say you haven't but if not then cool. Lots of people have still brought it up and lament about it.


Quote
of course, it's a political cartoon from the 1940s, not a in depth political opinion piece. It was simply bringing to light that America first has reared its head repeatedly over history
So the US should act as the world police is what you're saying?

Quote
Incorrect. I think that while a lot of people want the freeloaders to invest in the defense forces, they want to maintain the health of the alliance as a whole. At this point we are talking about throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

I think I'm correct.


 And they have just implemented huge budget cuts, 20 percent this year(YEAR!). How serious is that?[/quote]
It's the first time it's decreased in 20 years. Maybe they were able to cut corners and be more productive. Maybe they have a better more efficient way of doing business. Putin is also putting more money into health care and education so maybe better medical services and education opportunities for the 3.5 million members of their armed forces.

Quote
And there are better, more diplomatic ways to do so. Publicly blasting the alliance and raising doubts about US commitment to it will simply lead to others looking elsewhere for their collective security. Trump, I believe, started this off perfectly, raising just enough doubt to kick European nations and Canada into gear and defense spending was rising accordingly. But what does trump expect? Everyone to hit 2 percent overnight?
Easy. Countries maybe a clear and obvious effort to improve. Take Canada for example. Fixing the stupid procurement system we have would be a great sign we're committed to sorting our crap out and stop wasting money.


Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 06, 2018, 16:27:02
Wrong? No. Hypocrite yes. So I'd question his motives.
I'll lump him in with FDR, another person who got it horribly wrong on Japanese Americans(And Mackenzie King on Japanese Canadians) but right on a bunch of other issues. Humans are flawed creatures, but being wrong in one issues doesn't make someone wrong in others
Quote
I'm surprised to see you say you haven't but if not then cool. Lots of people have still brought it up and lament about it.
Sure, but I don't speak for these people, nor share their views, and if I'm discussing something with you, they are completely irrelevant to me.
Quote

So the US should act as the world police is what you're saying?
There is a balance to how interventionist a world power should be. It isn't whether one should or shouldn't be a world police, it's whether it is worthwhile for a leading power to take on the role. Some Empires have gone bankrupt doing it, others have prospered, others have been able to guarantee their security, others have been bogged down in costly pointless wars. But do I support pulling up the drawbridge and withdrawing from global affairs if they aren't getting things exactly their way, no I do not support that, especially when there are other powers waiting for America to make a misstep like that.
Quote


I think I'm correct.
I'm sure you do.
Quote
It's the first time it's decreased in 20 years. Maybe they were able to cut corners and be more productive. Maybe they have a better more efficient way of doing business. Putin is also putting more money into health care and education so maybe better medical services and education opportunities for the 3.5 million members of their armed forces.
That's quite the spin. If Canada did likewise I don't think you would be saying the same. There are very few ways to sugar coat what has happened, that is a massive cut, and it's going to cut into effectiveness and readiness. Not exactly something that puts the fear of god into people
Quote
Easy. Countries maybe a clear and obvious effort to improve. Take Canada for example. Fixing the stupid procurement system we have would be a great sign we're committed to sorting our crap out and stop wasting money.
NATO spending has been rising across the board, even in Canada. So there have been improvements. To hear the US president rant and rave though, you wouldn't know it. When he was elected, 3 NATO* countries met the 2 percent of GDP threshold, it's looking like 8 will shortly.  Yet instead of being pleased about the improvements being made, what we get are accusations of countries being free loaders and how they all owe America. This is the point where other nations are going to have to justify increased defense spending while somehow not looking like they are being pushed around by the American President.  At this point, I believe all the bluster if for domestic consumption, not looking at how it's beginning to become counterproductive.

*Greece makes the 2 percent threshold, yet 70 percent of their defense budget goes to personnel. Knowing Greece, where is that money going? Early retirements at 40? Generous pension funds?  Bureaucrats in Athens making good money doing no work? Yeah, 2 percent doesn't mean much there does it? Then we consider the actual Greek military. What NATO operations do they support? Where were they in Afghanistan?  What does the Greek military do outside of Greece to help NATO? Nothing. We all know why the Greeks "maintain" their military. It's because they hate their neighbour and fellow NATO country, Turkey. So what is that 2 percent of Greek GDP doing for NATO?
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Loachman on July 06, 2018, 17:13:49
And there are better, more diplomatic ways to do so.

Which have worked so well and achieved so much over so many decades, nein? But I'm sure that they will in another decade or two if we just continue with the same methods long enough.

The kids have great, well-paying jobs but still just hang around the house, enjoying the "free" wi-fi, eating all of the food in the fridge, sneaking Dad's booze, and pay not a cent of rent and refuse to contribute to the operating costs for the house.

Dad's been asking them nicely and diplomatically to help out a bit for the last couple of years, but they just brush him off and merrily keep eating, drinking, and surfing.

Until he slips an eviction notice under their bedroom doors.

Sometimes, "diplomacy" is saying "nice doggy" while looking for a big stick.

The big stick was elected last November.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 06, 2018, 17:30:47
And there are better, more diplomatic ways to do so.Trump, I believe, started this off perfectly, raising just enough doubt to kick European nations and Canada into gear and defense spending was rising accordingly.
Which have worked so well and achieved so much over so many decades, nein? But I'm sure that they will in another decade or two if we just continue with the same methods long enough.

The kids have great, well-paying jobs but still just hang around the house, enjoying the "free" wi-fi, eating all of the food in the fridge, sneaking Dad's booze, and pay not a cent of rent and refuse to contribute to the operating costs for the house.

Dad's been asking them nicely and diplomatically to help out a bit for the last couple of years, but they just brush him off and merrily keep eating, drinking, and surfing.

Until he slips an eviction notice under their bedroom doors.

Sometimes, "diplomacy" is saying "nice doggy" while looking for a big stick.

The big stick was elected last November.

Heh.

Also,  what election did I miss in November 2017?
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Eye In The Sky on July 06, 2018, 17:48:19
NATO spending has been rising across the board, even in Canada. So there have been improvements. To hear the US president rant and rave though, you wouldn't know it. When he was elected, 3 NATO* countries met the 2 percent of GDP threshold, it's looking like 8 will shortly.  Yet instead of being pleased about the improvements being made, what we get are accusations of countries being free loaders and how they all owe America.

Using that mentality, if I only paid half my rent this month, but next month I paid half + $50, my landlord shouldn't be mad at all, because "there was an improvement".  I wonder if I can try this with my mortgage, insurance or car payments.  I mean, it is summer after all and I'd like to have more money for 'other stuff'. 

Although, I am pretty sure if I tried to pull a stunt like that with a landlord, he or she would probably contact the Residential Tenancy Board the second month to start the process of evicting me...
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 06, 2018, 18:17:37
Using that mentality, if I only paid half my rent this month, but next month I paid half + $50, my landlord shouldn't be mad at all, because "there was an improvement".  I wonder if I can try this with my mortgage, insurance or car payments.  I mean, it is summer after all and I'd like to have more money for 'other stuff'. 

Although, I am pretty sure if I tried to pull a stunt like that with a landlord, he or she would probably contact the Residential Tenancy Board the second month to start the process of evicting me...
So my question again,  do our expect canada to suddenly spend 20 billion more on defense overnight?
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Jarnhamar on July 06, 2018, 18:18:54
Quote from: Altair
That's quite the spin. If Canada did likewise I don't think you would be saying the same. There are very few ways to sugar coat what has happened, that is a massive cut, and it's going to cut into effectiveness and readiness. Not exactly something that puts the fear of god into people

Quote from: Altair
NATO spending has been rising across the board, even in Canada. So there have been improvements.
Yup. Better health care and education is bound to not only affect 3.5 million Russian service members in a positive way but the whole country.  Would I feel the same way if it was Canada? No, you're right I wouldn't. But there is a hell of a difference between where their military is at and ours is at.

Spending that increase from 1.0% to 1.2% (or 1% to 1.02% depending where you look) wisely seems like an implied intent to me.  We have the second highest paid military in NATO (maybe the world?) and yet look at the state of our weapons, vehicles and equipment.

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/659988/German-army-pulls-out-NATO-training-exercise-exceeding-overtime-limits
Quote
German army quits NATO training exercise after exceeding Merkel's bizarre overtime limits
GERMAN authorities were left red-faced when troops were forced to pull out of a recent Nato training exercise after they exceeded new overtime limits set by Angela Merkel's government.
Tell me that's not retarded from a major NATO country.


Like Loachman said, the big stick was just elected.






Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 06, 2018, 18:24:43
Yup. Better health care and education is bound to not only affect 3.5 million Russian service members in a positive way but the whole country.  Would I feel the same way if it was Canada? No, you're right I wouldn't. But there is a hell of a difference between where their military is at and ours is at.

Spending that increase from 1.0% to 1.2% (or 1% to 1.02% depending where you look) wisely seems like an implied intent to me.  We have the second highest paid military in NATO (maybe the world?) and yet look at the state of our weapons, vehicles and equipment.

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/659988/German-army-pulls-out-NATO-training-exercise-exceeding-overtime-limitsTell me that's not retarded from a major NATO country.


Like Loachman said, the big stick was just elected.
it naturally is,  but again,  countries are putting more money into defense spending now.

Do you expect 2 percent of GDP and countries to have worked out all kinks from chronic underspending overnight?
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Infanteer on July 06, 2018, 18:44:29
Increasing the GST by 2% back to its original 7% and allocating the expected $14B or so would do it. 
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 06, 2018, 18:46:38
Increasing the GST by 2% back to its original 7% and allocating the expected $14B or so would do it.
I thought we were overtaxed as it was?
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Eye In The Sky on July 06, 2018, 18:58:40
So my question again,  do our expect canada to suddenly spend 20 billion more on defense overnight?

If you were a landlord, and a tenant only paid half his rent one month, does that mean he is only responsible for half plus 0.02% more the next month?   I didn't think it worked that way...I guess your tenant couldn't expect the benefits of having a roof over his head, and a warm place to sleep, etc if he wasn't willing to fulfill his end of the bargain.  As a landlord, wouldn't you be risking the stability of your building and all tenants if you didn't make sure everyone was paying their rent.

NATO has been a lousy landlord and Canada, among other nations, have been lousy tenants. 

What do I say as a taxpayer to any government?  The same thing I said to my step-daughter - "adult choices come with adult consequences". 

To answer your question directly, yes I'd rather see the $ go into the NATO commitment than watch where some of our tax dollars are going now under the current government.  We can use some minor and major purchases.  Flying suits, boots...hell one of my guys couldn't even get a replacement for his flying knife because there are none [IAW a few flying orders, "aircrew members shall carry the issued flying knife during flying operations".  How is it we can't get them then?]  $20 billion...I'd take it...the problem isn't the CAF can't spend money, the problem is the CAF can't spend money where it needs it, timely, and efficiently, because our procurement system, PWGSC, etc is inefficient and not designed to actually get kit to operators as its priority.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Infanteer on July 06, 2018, 19:02:00
You gotta pay to play.  And a consumption tax that the economy did just fine with is the simplest way of making a pronouncement and finding money to fund defence to the desired level.  I'm only floating ideas here.

Reallocation is another possibility.  Equalization program at $17.1B, Crown Corp expenses at $2.7B (after subtracting the income they produce), "Other Transfer Payments" $41.6B, and All Government Agencies/Departments aside from Defence at $52B.  These are all prime targets for cuts.

Also keep in mind the almost $18B in deficit spending that needs to be addressed, and you're looking at $35B that needs to be found to have a government in the black with what many would consider a properly funded defence program.  Getting their without a tax increase is probably pretty hard - PM Harper was not wise to hack the GST.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Infanteer on July 06, 2018, 19:03:57
The landlord analogy sucks.  Go back to the link I provided earlier.  2% is a non-binding agreement amongst NATO countries.  We aren't defaulting on any obligation, just doing a poor job of meeting an aspirational number agreed to long ago by a different government.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Eye In The Sky on July 06, 2018, 19:10:38
The landlord analogy sucks.  Go back to the link I provided earlier.  2% is a non-binding agreement amongst NATO countries.  We aren't defaulting on any obligation, just doing a poor job of meeting an aspirational number agreed to long ago by a different government.

It isn't perfect, but it makes the point.  You can't expect a free ride or to not meet your obligations and still reap the benefits.  I don't think anyone would argue we are actually pulling our weight?
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: dapaterson on July 06, 2018, 19:16:25
We need to understand what is in the definition of "defence spending".  For example, my understanding is that the US includes the coast guard, Veterans programs including healthcare for retired members and families, and healthcare for serving military members' families.   (We won't go into R&D spending through the military, otherwise lots of money to Bombardier could be added on as well - Boeing makes big bucks that way).

In Canada (round numbers): VAC is $4.5B per year and the coast guard is about $700M.  Family and retired member medical care are trickier to calculate, so I'll do some big hand, small map estimates.

Average provincial healthcare expenditures: $6600 per person.  With about 70K full-time military members, each with 1.5 dependants, that's 105K dependents receiving $693M in healthcare.  Assume another 200K retired members, each with 1 dependant makes 400K people, receiving $2.6B in healthcare.


So: Canada is spending $20B (DND); $4.5B (VAC); $700M (CCG); and $3.3B (healthcare for members, families, and retired members and families) under the US definition of military expenditures.  That's $28.5B, or about 1.4% of GDP.

You need to speak the same language and include the same items in the basket.  Right now, we're understating what we spend because of different accounting & organizational decisions.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Infanteer on July 06, 2018, 19:20:28
It isn't perfect, but it makes the point.  You can't expect a free ride or to not meet your obligations and still reap the benefits.  I don't think anyone would argue we are actually pulling our weight?

Pulling our weight at doing what?  Defending North America?  Meeting some arbitrary number from Belgium?  Supporting U.S. operations in Asia and Africa?

I'm all for improving our military's capability and capacity, but only if its based on some real calculation of requirement, and only if we clean up our own DND house first (are we getting the most out of the money the government already gives us?).  The 2% cudgel gets a bit tiresome, as it seems to indicate if we just spend that much, everything will be solved.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 06, 2018, 19:56:27
Pulling our weight at doing what?  Defending North America?  Meeting some arbitrary number from Belgium?  Supporting U.S. operations in Asia and Africa?

I'm all for improving our military's capability and capacity, but only if its based on some real calculation of requirement, and only if we clean up our own DND house first (are we getting the most out of the money the government already gives us?).  The 2% cudgel gets a bit tiresome, as it seems to indicate if we just spend that much, everything will be solved.
Like Greece somehow being useful by spending 2.4 percent of GDP on defense.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Loachman on July 06, 2018, 20:02:07
Also,  what election did I miss in November 2017?

Yes, it's been over a year.

How time flies when one is enjoying a presidency.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Loachman on July 06, 2018, 20:07:52
You need to speak the same language and include the same items in the basket.  Right now, we're understating what we spend because of different accounting & organizational decisions.

Agreed.

We most definitely should define our expenditure the same way that the US does.

But still spend whatever it costs to buy enough boots, operational clothing, rucksacks, sleeping bags, and trucks etcetera.

We have approximately one-tenth of the population of the US, but way, way less than one-tenth of the military personnel and kit.

I would not advocate for proportional parity, but we do have some pretty big gaps.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: PuckChaser on July 06, 2018, 20:27:11
Like Greece somehow being useful by spending 2.4 percent of GDP on defense.

How useful are we with 1% but barely able to force project a Battalion quickly across the Atlantic to help NATO out? Yes, we have one prestaged, but up until recently there was no way we were going to get anyone into Eastern Europe quickly without pulling support from all other active operations.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 06, 2018, 20:38:49
Agreed.

We most definitely should define our expenditure the same way that the US does.

But still spend whatever it costs to buy enough boots, operational clothing, rucksacks, sleeping bags, and trucks etcetera.

We have approximately one-tenth of the population of the US, but way, way less than one-tenth of the military personnel and kit.

I would not advocate for proportional parity, but we do have some pretty big gaps.
we should count it the French way.

The  germanderie is part of the armed forces,  so anything spent on what amounts to the national police force counts as defense spending.

We should just count the RCMP. That's what,  an extra 3.5 billion or so?
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 06, 2018, 20:39:42
How useful are we with 1% but barely able to force project a Battalion quickly across the Atlantic to help NATO out? Yes, we have one prestaged, but up until recently there was no way we were going to get anyone into Eastern Europe quickly without pulling support from all other active operations.
So you are saying Greece is useful spending 2.4 percent of GDP on defense?
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Jarnhamar on July 06, 2018, 20:40:00
Quote from: Altair

Do you expect 2 percent of GDP and countries to have worked out all kinks from chronic underspending overnight?

Strawman argument.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: PuckChaser on July 06, 2018, 20:46:27
So you are saying Greece is useful spending 2.4 percent of GDP on defense?

No, I'm saying we're equally useless with less than half the expenditure. 2% of GDP is just an easy button figure, the politicians that came up with it because they have no idea about what it would actually take to defend Europe/North Atlantic.

Greece's 2.4% of GDP is because their economy is in the tank.

Also since you trotted out that our spending as a percentage of GDP is set to grow, https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/defence-parliamentary-budget-office-1.4411356 (https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/defence-parliamentary-budget-office-1.4411356) (article is 5 months after Strong, Secure, Engaged was released) says that our current defense plan is funded to set us up as 0.69% of GDP by 2035. There's those glass houses and peace dividends again.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 06, 2018, 20:56:49
No, I'm saying we're equally useless with less than half the expenditure. 2% of GDP is just an easy button figure, the politicians that came up with it because they have no idea about what it would actually take to defend Europe/North Atlantic.

Greece's 2.4% of GDP is because their economy is in the tank.

Also since you trotted out that our spending as a percentage of GDP is set to grow, https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/defence-parliamentary-budget-office-1.4411356 (https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/defence-parliamentary-budget-office-1.4411356) (article is 5 months after Strong, Secure, Engaged was released) says that our current defense plan is funded to set us up as 0.69% of GDP by 2035. There's those glass houses and peace dividends again.
bingo.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: FJAG on July 06, 2018, 21:02:09
we should count it the French way.

The  germanderie is part of the armed forces,  so anything spent on what amounts to the national police force counts as defense spending.

We should just count the RCMP. That's what,  an extra 3.5 billion or so?

And the Coast Guard. Bolt some 20mms to their decks and then you can add another 4,500 people and $286 million.

 :cheers:
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 06, 2018, 21:26:02
And the Coast Guard. Bolt some 20mms to their decks and then you can add another 4,500 people and $286 million.

 :cheers:
CBSA?

1.8 billion?
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: PPCLI Guy on July 06, 2018, 21:28:01
Like Greece somehow being useful by spending 2.4 percent of GDP on defense.

Sure.  Here are its current deployments:

http://www.armedforces.co.uk/Europeandefence/edcountries/countrygreece.htm (http://www.armedforces.co.uk/Europeandefence/edcountries/countrygreece.htm)

NATO (ISAF) Afghanistan   150

NATO (KFOR) Kosovo  550

EUFOR Bosnia  45

UNIFIL Lebanon 50

Cyprus   1,100 (includes army detachment and personnel seconded to the Greek Cypriot National Guard)

So with 160,000 uniformed personnel, if you subtract the Cyprus piece which is of course about Turkey, it has 700 pers deployed.....and none in harm's way.

Tell me again why it is such a good thing to hit that 2% target?
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Eye In The Sky on July 06, 2018, 22:14:27
Pulling our weight at doing what?  Defending North America?  Meeting some arbitrary number from Belgium?  Supporting U.S. operations in Asia and Africa?

Those decisions are way above my paygrade and SME area.  I guess this stuff though?  https://www.nato.int/nato-welcome/index.html#activities  and whatever else NATO et al decide is worth doing?  I live and breath at the tactical level, I hope/assume the people who *run* NATO  (https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/topics_49633.htm)are within their paygrade and SME areas deciding what NATO should be doing.  I do think that part of the NATO, overall, is to act as a deterrent, and to do that you have to have operational capability.  To have a 'team' operational capability, each individual (country, in this case) has to provide some operational capability to the team.  I think we, Canada, could do better at providing our individual op caps to NATO overall; however, I realize I am only really familiar with the Maritime side (MAG stuff, specifically) on the subj.  We could very well be well suited on the Army side, that's well outside my lanes these days.

Quote
I'm all for improving our military's capability and capacity, but only if its based on some real calculation of requirement, and only if we clean up our own DND house first (are we getting the most out of the money the government already gives us?).  The 2% cudgel gets a bit tiresome, as it seems to indicate if we just spend that much, everything will be solved.

Agree and I mentioned a little earlier our procurement system is, IMO, historically a failure that right now can't give good boots to the army, or flight suits and aircrew knives to aircrew.  NCDs were a shortage a little over a year ago for the Navy (not sure about now...) but those are basic operational kit items.  And, yet, they are not available.  We need to spend the money we receive effectively, timely and, IMO, the CAF needs more of it.  We talk a lot about what we need, and then go thru painful programs to get the kit.  Cyclone is the first example that comes to mind.  What I've seen lately are stalled programs like fighter replacement, lack in basic operational and ALSE kit (sleeping bags, rucksacks, flying suits...) while we've managed to bring back forge caps and other DEU fashion items.   :orly:
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Infanteer on July 06, 2018, 23:10:16
https://coloneltedcampbell.blog/2018/07/07/bait-and-switch/

Our own Edward Campbell as made a compelling case as to why we need to increase our capability and capacity (and thus our budget) in the future.  If we accept these reasons as valid, then we need to figure out what the military needs to be able to do within what Edward as termed a AAA+ context (search it).

This is what we should be talking about, rather than simply bleating "2%!"
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Eye In The Sky on July 07, 2018, 00:03:07
Both very good reads, thanks for directing me there.  This is where people like me, who live/breath at the unit/sub-unit level can see our thoughts, beliefs and opinions given life thru the words of those...more articulate than we are, such as Mr. Campbell is.  I'm thankful for that, as I certainly don't have the talent, education or vocabulary for the task. 

The "+" part is becoming more and more challenging as the item costs for...well everything, goes up as technology grows. 

I do note though, towards the end of The Defence of the Realm (https://coloneltedcampbell.blog/2015/12/14/the-defence-of-the-realm/), he states "My guess ~ and I cannot overemphasize that word ~ is that we will need to ramp up defence spending to 2% of GDP (the NATO estimate) over, say, a ten year period, to give us what we want and need".

I know many of us say the same thing, but he explains, and IMO justifies the number before giving it to the reader.





Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: FJAG on July 07, 2018, 04:56:51
https://coloneltedcampbell.blog/2018/07/07/bait-and-switch/

Our own Edward Campbell as made a compelling case as to why we need to increase our capability and capacity (and thus our budget) in the future.  If we accept these reasons as valid, then we need to figure out what the military needs to be able to do within what Edward as termed a AAA+ context (search it).

This is what we should be talking about, rather than simply bleating "2%!"

Agree fully that this is what we should be talking about. I don't see politicians coming up with defence solutions on their own; all they can produce is budgets and (on rare occasions) a policy paper.

What has been missing for a long time is a structure that can make use of the entire force and not just little battlegroups that need the better part of a year to be put together. The last sixty years have lulled us into the belief that we will never have to deploy a major force again and have structured ourselves accordingly. Our allies (much less our adversaries) aren't fooled for a moment that we actually have four divisions.

As a starting point I want to compare us to three other force structures. (I'll keep myself concentrating on the army as I have no expertise respecting the Navy and the Air Force [with the exception of a superficial knowledge about aviation])

The US basic building block is the Brigade Combat team (which comes in several varieties, infantry, Stryker and armored) It is a self sustained deployable organization with integral logistics, engineer and artillery battalions over and above its reconnaissance, infantry and (in the case of the armored BCT) combined tank and infantry battalions. Generally three BCTs belong to one of 1 armored division, 1 cavalry division, 15 infantry and 2 airborne divisions. Each division also has a divisional artillery headquarters battery, an aviation brigade and a sustainment brigade. Additional resources such as air defence, additional artillery, logistics and engineers, military police, medical units, etc etc are kept outside of the divisional structure and assigned as required.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brigade_combat_team (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brigade_combat_team)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_current_formations_of_the_United_States_Army (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_current_formations_of_the_United_States_Army)

Let's look a some other forces that are a bit more at our scale (both larger and smaller). Specifically lets look at the UK and Australia. We compare as follows (all numbers appx):

UK: population 65 million; budget CAD81 billion; Reg F Army 81k; Res F Army 27k
Canada: population 35 million; budget CAD19 billion; Reg F Army 23k; Res F Army 18k
Australia: population 24 million; budget CAD 35 billion; Reg F Army 31k; Res F Army 15k

The UK has chosen to reorganize under Army 2020 into two divisions which hold the infantry and armored brigades and units and a divisional level Force Troops Command which holds brigades and units of artillery, engineers, air defence, medical, MP, etc etc. In addition there is an airmobile bde and aviation resources.

1 (UK) Div is termed an "adaptable Force" and has six infantry bdes and a logistics bde
3 (UK) Div is termed a "Reaction Force" and has four armored/mech infantry bdes and a logistics bde
Force Troop Command has some 10 assorted brigades holding dozens and dozens of assorted battalion level units

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Administrative_structure_of_the_field_forces_of_the_British_Army (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Administrative_structure_of_the_field_forces_of_the_British_Army)

Australia has two divisions.

1 Div is a deployable divisional headquarters with no permanently assigned units. All units fall under Forces Command which consists of 2 Div (an administrative and home defence headquarters that has 6 Res F bdes and some additional units assigned) In addition there are three deployable Reg F infantry brigades (each with its own signals, arty, engineer and logistics battalions) as well as an aviation bde, CS bde and CSS bde.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Army#Current_organisation (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Army#Current_organisation)

I have left out of the mix that each of these countries also has various special operations forces.

Generally speaking, the US structure is the most versatile as there is little distinction between regular and reserve elements. Army National Guard and Army Reserve formations and units (regardless of whether combat arms or support) are generally manned and equipped similarly to their Reg F counterparts (albeit standards of training and readiness) necessarily vary. Nonetheless ARNG and USAR formations and their units have deployed as complete formations and units to both Iraq and Afghanistan and not merely as individual augmentees.

Despite the number of bdes and units, the UK is structured to project only two divisional size forces while Australia is limited to one division for deployment (the other for home defence service).

The general condition of the reserves in the UK and Australia is not dissimilar to ours. Reserve units are undermanned and ill equipped. Funding and training is limited and turnover is high. In short while both, like us, provided individual augmentees to round out Reg F units in recent operations, Res F units are not capable of deploying as units and do not constitute a strategic reserve.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/28394/futurereserves_2020.pdf (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/28394/futurereserves_2020.pdf)
https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House_of_Representatives_Committees?url=jfadt/army/armych7.htm (https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House_of_Representatives_Committees?url=jfadt/army/armych7.htm) (somewhat dated)

The question that I keep coming back to is why can the US have reserve units and formations that are capable of deployment when Britain, Canada and Australia don't? I sometimes think this is a function of reserve units fighting tooth and nail to keep their regimental affiliations and thereby tolerating having many small, under-strength units rather than fewer fully manned ones. This leads to (or, at least, is coupled to) a general disdain amongst the Reg F leadership respecting the value of reserve units and formations and a commensurate lack of funding for reserve equipment and training.

US units on the other hand are frequently deactivated, reactivated or re-rolled to meet the requirements of the field force. While they have history and tradition, unit identities are not inviolate. They are generally more fully manned and equipped. Just as importantly there are different standards of employment legislation, basic training standards, ability to serve out Active Duty enlistment contracts in the reserves and command acceptance of risk on deployment.

Looking simply at the numbers (and leaving aside the special operations forces) Canada should have no more than two divisions and six BCT equivalents (three Reg F and three Res F). In addition there should to be an additional administrative "Force Troops Command" (of modest divisional size) to hold various deployable add-on combat enabler brigades and battalions: artillery, AD, medical, engineer, logistics etc. This organization should be largely Res F and would require an increase to the Res F establishment over our current levels.

The potential threat in NATO is that, at worst, we may need to face a modern mechanized enemy. Since that threat is at the extreme end of the scale, it is logical (if distasteful to the Reg F leadership) that our heaviest forces be reserves and that our Reg F be the more agile rapid deployable forces. In short, there should be a Reg F division with LAV based brigade groups and a Res F division of heavy mechanized equipment (and let me go out on a further limb and suggest that if we really want to suck up to the Americans then equip it with Abrams, Bradleys and Palladins, as well as HIMARS and Avengers (these are all weapon systems used by ARNG units - for that matter there are ARNG aviation units flying all types of helicopters) I bet that if we were to go to Trump today and commit a mechanized division to be forward based in Europe the US would provide the equipment and infrastructure at cut rate prices if not for free out of their surplus holdings)

Let's be real. At this point many of you (if not most) are saying this is mostly pie-in-the-sky bullfeathers. The problem though is that we (like the Australians and even the Brits) are accepting a status quo which makes much of our force incapable of fighting a modern war. If we have a force structure that is not usable in a major campaign then we are depriving our leadership of viable options and blowing lots of good money on very little capability. While we can be justifiably proud of many of our individual soldiers, it's about time that we expressed some outrage at just how low our capability as an organization actually is.

I've said this many times before; we can't fine tune the current CF structure anymore. It's already broken beyond repair and needs to be radically reworked from square one with all sacred cows that don't produce a capable force being killed off. Is there a cost? Off course there is. Is it 2% of GDP. Who knows? Unless we sit down with a sharp pencil and look at some of the options we'll never know. We need to look at overarching legislation, terms of service, streamlining regulations and administration, capital acquisition, developing defence industries (such as ammunition and equipment) and a whole host of other things before we even start to cost equipment and O&M. (Along the way let's fire 80% of Res Force LCols and CWOs and redeploy a battalion or two of Reg F NDHQ cubicle warmers).

The one thing we definitely shouldn't do is just up our spending for the sake of upping it. Strong, Secure, Engaged states we'll have expenditures of $32.7 billion (cash basis) by 2026-27. The vision for the Army is:

Quote
The Canadian Army (CA) will undergo a recapitalization of much of its land combat capabilities and its aging vehicle fleets, while modernizing its command and control systems. Additionally, it will expand its light forces capability which will allow it to be more agile and effective in complex operational theatres, such as peace operations.

http://dgpaapp.forces.gc.ca/en/canada-defence-policy/docs/summary.pdf (http://dgpaapp.forces.gc.ca/en/canada-defence-policy/docs/summary.pdf)

That folks is fine tuning and sounds more like capability down-sizing. Our military leadership needs to do better in explaining our very real shortcomings to the political leadership and selling a much better vision for a more capable CF. They need to do much better.  :2c:

 [cheers]
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 07, 2018, 12:38:10
The question that I keep coming back to is why can the US have reserve units and formations that are capable of deployment when Britain, Canada and Australia don't?

They have a foreign policy with the economic rationale, political will (and budgets) to support it properly.

The Royal Navy was the most powerful Navy in the world at one time because Britain had a similar set of drivers.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: GR66 on July 07, 2018, 12:42:08
The potential threat in NATO is that, at worst, we may need to face a modern mechanized enemy. Since that threat is at the extreme end of the scale, it is logical (if distasteful to the Reg F leadership) that our heaviest forces be reserves and that our Reg F be the more agile rapid deployable forces. In short, there should be a Reg F division with LAV based brigade groups and a Res F division of heavy mechanized equipment

Excellent post and I can't find much to argue against.  About the highlighted portion however, I would argue that Russia has neither the capability or desire to overrun NATO and that the real threat from them is quick and decisive campaigns against vulnerable, bite-sized targets (i.e. the Baltic states and sub-national regions with either ethnic Russian or pro-Russian Slavic populations, or smaller strategic objectives).  Since China's potential targets (with the possible exception of intervention in Korea) are likely to be expeditionary in nature I think the same factors are likely to be in play.

That being said, how "agile" and "rapid deployable" are/would be our LAV-based Reg Force be?  Presumably the Russian/Chinese objective would be to attack with minimal notice and to complete their objective before a meaningful defence by NATO/the West can be mounted.  I can see no upside for Russia/China in engaging in an extended war with a numerically and technologically superior NATO/Western alliance. 

To my mind, that leaves us with three possible options for either deterring or countering an attack:


Each of these options has potential drawbacks.  Do we have (can we afford) a large enough military to deploy to every potential hot spot?  Do we have the political will to maintain forces deployed overseas for extended periods of time? 

How much airlift/rapid sealift can we afford to counter these potential attacks without taking too many resources away from the more regular needs of the CF? However, increased mobility assets for the CF could have many other potential positive uses outside rapid deployment.  We could contribute to many other international operations (both military and disaster relief) with the kind of non-lethal kind of aid that Canadian governments/the public seem to like.

While light forces might be the quickest possible response to a sudden attack, by their nature they would be less capable against a heavily-equipped peer enemy.  As a result I imagine you'd have to focus on capabilities designed to slow an enemy attack enough to allow heavier follow-on forces to arrive.  Possibly things like Anti-Armour teams, Mortars and Pioneers/Combat Engineers to slow the attack.  Recce and FOO teams to track the enemy advances and allow allied Air Forces and artillery to blunt the attack, etc.  These light forces might be able to be effective (and be more affordable), but what kind of casualties would they take?  Would the Canadian government/public have the stomach for that?

Overall I strongly agree with what FJAG is suggesting, but any major re-organization comes with some very fundamental questions about what we expect the CF to be able to do and how we expect to do it.

 :2c:
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: tomahawk6 on July 09, 2018, 13:41:40
From Merkel's visit to the US Secretary Mattis praised German efforts to increase their defense budget. ::)

" Mattis praised Germany's plan to increase defense spending to 1.5 percent of GDP by 2025, a mark still well below the alliance's 2 percent goal."

https://www.stripes.com/news/us/trump-s-combative-words-on-nato-put-mattis-in-an-increasingly-tough-spot-1.536729

Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 09, 2018, 13:48:53
From Merkel's visit to the US Secretary Mattis praised German efforts to increase their defense budget. ::)

" Mattis praised Germany's plan to increase defense spending to 1.5 percent of GDP by 2025, a mark still well below the alliance's 2 percent goal."

https://www.stripes.com/news/us/trump-s-combative-words-on-nato-put-mattis-in-an-increasingly-tough-spot-1.536729
I'm happy so see that there are still some adults in the room, at least until there are not.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/mattis-out-loop-trump-doesn-t-listen-him-say-officials-n885796
Quote
Defense Secretary James Mattis learned in May from a colleague that President Donald Trump had made the decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal, and scrambled to get his boss on the phone before a formal announcement was made. It wouldn't be the last time he was caught off guard by a presidential announcement.

A month later, Mattis was informed that Trump had ordered a pause in U.S. military exercises with South Korea only after the president had already promised the concession to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Last week, Trump again blindsided and overruled his defense secretary by publicly directing the Pentagon to create a sixth military branch overseeing operations in space.

The way these recent presidential decisions on major national security issues have played out, as detailed by current and former White House and defense officials, underscores a significant change in Mattis's role in recent months. The president is relying less and less on the advice of one of the longest-serving members of his cabinet, the officials said.

"They don't really see eye to eye," said a former senior White House official who has closely observed the relationship.

Out on an island by himself saying all of the sane things, but nobody who matters listening to him.

I'll miss him when he's gone.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 10, 2018, 10:24:39
Just read something, almost blew my mind

https://www.politico.eu/article/nato-jens-stoltenberg-donald-trump-8-countries-to-hit-defense-spending-target/

Quote
According to NATO’s most recent estimate, released in June 2017, six EU countries hit the 2 percent target: the United States, Greece, the United Kingdom, Estonia, Romania and Poland. The latter two countries scraped across the line at 2.02 percent and 2.01 percent respectively.

While France is the next closest to the target, with defense spending at 1.79 percent of GDP, a NATO spokesperson said that Lithuania and Latvia would beat Paris to hitting 2 percent, and are expected to do so in 2018.

Whether the news will please Trump for long is another matter: Even with eight NATO allies hitting the target, that leaves 21 falling short.

Still, Stoltenberg urged calm. “We didn’t promise that all allies should spend 2 percent within a year or next year,” he said, pointing out that NATO allies gave themselves a decade to hit the pledge back in 2014.

So all the ranting, and raving, and blowing up on allies, over a target that has to be met 5 1/2 years from now?

Are you kidding me?
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: PuckChaser on July 10, 2018, 10:28:25
Just read something, almost blew my mind

https://www.politico.eu/article/nato-jens-stoltenberg-donald-trump-8-countries-to-hit-defense-spending-target/

So all the ranting, and raving, and blowing up on allies, over a target that has to be met 5 1/2 years from now?

Are you kidding me?
Considering we're going to hit 0.69% of GDP in 2035 according to the PBO, should Trump have waited until we failed to say something? Or look at everyone's plans now and know they're not even close to adequate when there's time to affect change?
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 10, 2018, 10:40:46
Considering we're going to hit 0.69% of GDP in 2035 according to the PBO, should Trump have waited until we failed to say something? Or look at everyone's plans now and know they're not even close to adequate when there's time to affect change?
The American President isn't mad at just Canada, he's mad at NATO, which happens to include Canada.

Now looking at NATO as a whole, defense spending is moving towards the 2 percent goal, and nations are investing in their forces, and with 8 nations reaching the 2 percent mark in 2018, how many more are going to reach it in 2024?

But to listen to the American President, one would never guess that NATO is making strives to reach that goal.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: PuckChaser on July 10, 2018, 11:24:41
By strides, do you mean that only about half of NATO nations are projected/will reach the 2% goal by 2024? And in those 15 nations, key partners like Germany, Spain, Belgium, Italy and Canada have already said they aren't going to be even close. What happens when the fixed dollar amount increases to military budgets (like Canada's) get outpaced by world economic growth?
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 10, 2018, 11:25:28
The American President isn't mad at just Canada, he's mad at NATO, which happens to include Canada.

Now looking at NATO as a whole, defense spending is moving towards the 2 percent goal, and nations are investing in their forces, and with 8 nations reaching the 2 percent mark in 2018, how many more are going to reach it in 2024?

But to listen to the American President, one would never guess that NATO is making strives to reach that goal.

Having served with NATO on some big exercises, it's embarrassing how little the Europeans seem to contribute to their own Defence compared with the US.

At times, it's like going to a pot luck and the Americans bring steak while the rest show up, late, with left overs.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 10, 2018, 11:42:05
By strides, do you mean that only about half of NATO nations are projected/will reach the 2% goal by 2024? And in those 15 nations, key partners like Germany, Spain, Belgium, Italy and Canada have already said they aren't going to be even close. What happens when the fixed dollar amount increases to military budgets (like Canada's) get outpaced by world economic growth?
If it makes you feel any better, key economic indicators point toward a global recession kicking in around 2020, so be may just back into our defense spending goals. :nod:
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 10, 2018, 11:44:45
Having served with NATO on some big exercises, it's embarrassing how little the Europeans seem to contribute to their own Defence compared with the US.

At times, it's like going to a pot luck and the Americans bring steak while the rest show up, late, with left overs.
Yes, yet lets not forget, America spends double what is required, and seem to have little interest in cutting back, NATO or no NATO.

Naturally they are going to have some nice toys.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Eye In The Sky on July 10, 2018, 16:15:33
If it makes you feel any better, key economic indicators point toward a global recession kicking in around 2020, so be may just back into our defense spending goals. :nod:

*HOPE* isn't a very solid tool for planning...
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Rifleman62 on July 10, 2018, 17:26:31
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trudeau-latvia-visit-nato-1.4740098

'No plans to double our defence budget,' Trudeau says

Canada spends 1.23% of GDP on military spending, according to new NATO figures

Murray Brewster · CBC News · Posted: Jul 10, 2018 4:12 AM ET

Extract: 1. "There are no plans to double our defence budget," Trudeau told reporters at the end of a bilateral visit to Latvia, where he announced Canadian troops would remain until 2023.

            2."We are training together, learning together and developing a level of interoperability that goes beyond military tactics and abilities. It goes to how we understand each other, how we learn from each other and how we grow together. That as a demonstration of our shared values and convictions as an alliance is as strong as any other indication we can show with the amount of tanks or the amount of firepower."

            3.  The fact Canada has no intention of raising defence spending to two per cent was laid out in the Liberal government's defence policy last year. It forecast hitting 1.4 percent of GDP by 2024. Several times on Tuesday, Trudeau outlined the spending his government plans, including the expected purchase of 88 new fighters for the air force and 15 frigates for the navy. He described the NATO target as "easy shorthand" and a "limited tool" and said Canada is always focused on having the capacity to respond when called upon. The argument is not dissimilar to one the former Conservative government made when it faced pressure to ramp up defence spending prior to 2015.

Like lambs to the slaughter as others have pointed out re doctrine/eqpt if the Soviets' got serious.

Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Eye In The Sky on July 10, 2018, 17:48:39
"We are training together, learning together and developing a level of interoperability that goes beyond military tactics and abilities. It goes to how we understand each other, how we learn from each other and how we grow together

 ::)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SxUGBAmjYI 

Quote
That as a demonstration of our shared values and convictions as an alliance is as strong as any other indication we can show with the amount of tanks or the amount of firepower."

This part Is definitely true.  It wasn't military force that won, say, WWII.  Is was 'shared values'.   :prancing:
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: tomahawk6 on July 10, 2018, 18:00:38
Greece has to worry about Turkey that's why their small deployments.A very real threat with Erdogen in mind.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: PuckChaser on July 10, 2018, 18:07:05
NATO is asking Canada for more than we can give.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 10, 2018, 19:29:44
NATO is asking Canada for more than we can care to give.

FTFY :)
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: CBH99 on July 10, 2018, 19:50:58
The Russians won't get serious...as we've discussed on various other threads, the chance of a peer-to-peer conflict with Russia is practically nil.

Subverting tactics with corrupt politicians & little green men?  Perhaps.  Well financed separatists?  Perhaps.  False Flag operations?  Perhaps.

Full on war with Russia?  Practically nil.  For various reasons we've discussed elsewhere...

Are they to be taken seriously?  Absolutely.  They can mass a huge amount of people, capable air power, capable transport capabilities, and capable REGIONAL naval capabilities, absolutely.  Could they cause NATO a huge headache is conflict erupted?  Absolutely.


I personally like the suggestion that FJAG made in another thread a few days ago.  Using GDP as a measuring stick isn't accurate nor is it useful in terms of capabilities...using a AAA+ system would be more accurate.  2% of GDP spent poorly, or spent on a bureaucracy that is unable to procure modern equipment, won't do anybody any good. 

Spending 1.5% of GDP and streamlining our systems so we can procure & deploy useful capabilities would be much better.  Having a mindset both within government AND within senior DND leadership that we need to procure modern equipment & be able to deploy it usefully within the alliance would go far further than $$ these days...especially since we return $$ to the government each year because we are unable to spend it.

Do what the Australians did - decide what force structure we need, and buy the equipment for it.  Simple.  Run competitions as needed, make a decision, buy it.  Money isn't our issue, it's poor leadership from the public works/DND procurement/government side of things that is the issue.  (Look at how quickly we can procure C-17's, Chinooks, Leopard 2's, etc when the leadership is there & working together.)

Also, I would suggest as an alliance we take a look at overlapping capabilities.  Does country X and country Y both need to deploy the same capabilities, or could country X focus on being really good at one capability, while country Y is really good at another?  Would better use of defense dollars within member countries might go a long way to enhancing capabilities without hugely increased budgets? 

^^ Summary of rant...some countries, including very much us, need to spend our dollars more efficiently before we start asking for larger budgets.  Once we spend our dollars efficiently & procure capabilities that would be useful to the organization -- then we can start asking for more money, if there isn't enough for us to fulfill what we decide we need to do.  Spending more $ just for the sake of spending more $ isn't going to change anything.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 10, 2018, 19:54:12
The Russians won't get serious...as we've discussed on various other threads, the chance of a peer-to-peer conflict with Russia is practically nil.

Subverting tactics with corrupt politicians & little green men?  Perhaps.  Well financed separatists?  Perhaps.  False Flag operations?  Perhaps.

Full on war with Russia?  Practically nil.  For various reasons we've discussed elsewhere...

Are they to be taken seriously?  Absolutely.  They can mass a huge amount of people, capable air power, capable transport capabilities, and capable REGIONAL naval capabilities, absolutely.  Could they cause NATO a huge headache is conflict erupted?  Absolutely.


I personally like the suggestion that FJAG made in another thread a few days ago.  Using GDP as a measuring stick isn't accurate nor is it useful in terms of capabilities...using a AAA+ system would be more accurate.  2% of GDP spent poorly, or spent on a bureaucracy that is unable to procure modern equipment, won't do anybody any good. 

Spending 1.5% of GDP and streamlining our systems so we can procure & deploy useful capabilities would be much better.  Having a mindset both within government AND within senior DND leadership that we need to procure modern equipment & be able to deploy it usefully within the alliance would go far further than $$ these days...especially since we return $$ to the government each year because we are unable to spend it.

Do what the Australians did - decide what force structure we need, and buy the equipment for it.  Simple.  Run competitions as needed, make a decision, buy it.  Money isn't our issue, it's poor leadership from the public works/DND procurement/government side of things that is the issue.  (Look at how quickly we can procure C-17's, Chinooks, Leopard 2's, etc when the leadership is there & working together.)

Also, I would suggest as an alliance we take a look at overlapping capabilities.  Does country X and country Y both need to deploy the same capabilities, or could country X focus on being really good at one capability, while country Y is really good at another?  Would better use of defense dollars within member countries might go a long way to enhancing capabilities without hugely increased budgets? 

^^ Summary of rant...some countries, including very much us, need to spend our dollars more efficiently before we start asking for larger budgets.  Once we spend our dollars efficiently & procure capabilities that would be useful to the organization -- then we can start asking for more money, if there isn't enough for us to fulfill what we decide we need to do.  Spending more $ just for the sake of spending more $ isn't going to change anything.
I agree 100 percent.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Journeyman on July 10, 2018, 22:48:17
... overlapping capabilities.  Does country X and country Y both need to deploy the same capabilities….
What if we decide that we'd like to deploy 'capability A' to some non-alliance mission, but you've already divested that capability to alliance partner Z?


Edit: (so it's not merely a rhetorical question for those with mud dust on their boots):  What if it is an alliance-approved mission, but part way through, some Canadian folks go "gosh, golly, I wish we had some current main battle tanks and Chinook helicopters to support US  instead of their own troops...."
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Rifleman62 on July 11, 2018, 08:31:12
Trudeau's statement, although LPC policy not to spend on the military, is just posturing, along with the Tariffs, which will become the main plank of the election message: Captain Canada standing up to the big bully Trump.

Trump holds the cards here. Canada's economy and way of life is embedded with the US; the US has been defending Canada, with the US taxpayer paying the freight, since the end of the Second World War. Trump can say fund your defence as to 2% contributing to NORAD/NATO as a sovereign nation should, or trade between us will not be a happy trail. Canada cannot win a trade war with the US.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Remius on July 11, 2018, 08:50:06
the US has been defending Canada, with the US taxpayer paying the freight, since the end of the Second World War.

Have they though?  Against who or what?  And in any significant way? 

This comes up a bit from time to time.  Seems that the only country that really threatened us existentially was the U.S.

We've always been a small player.  That also means we haven't really been a target either...
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Rifleman62 on July 11, 2018, 09:10:58
Have they though?  Against who or what?  And in any significant way? 

This comes up a bit from time to time.  Seems that the only country that really threatened us existentially was the U.S.

We've always been a small player.  That also means we haven't really been a target either...

Have you every heard of the cold war? The Cuban missile crisis? Why where Cdn Forces stationed in France/Germany for so many decades? Who pulled them out?

Small player?? The Second World War. Small contribution you think? At the end, Canada had the third largest Navy in the world. Now?
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: suffolkowner on July 11, 2018, 09:21:51
Have they though?  Against who or what?  And in any significant way? 

This comes up a bit from time to time.  Seems that the only country that really threatened us existentially was the U.S.

We've always been a small player.  That also means we haven't really been a target either...

Agreed. The US chooses to spend more money on it's armed forces, we choose to spend less. The US chooses to engage in military actions all over the world, perhaps they will choose to do less of that in the future. The US isn't spending 2% of its GDP on NATO, it spends 3.5-4% on its own defence needs. I don't think there is any amount of money we could spend in Canada that would assure our defence capabilities against attack from Russia, China or the US, short of nuclear deterrence. Right now I don't think raising our defence spending to 2% would neccessarily result in any real increase in military capability. Until we fix that problem, I'm not even sure where to start.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Remius on July 11, 2018, 10:43:37
Have you every heard of the cold war? The Cuban missile crisis? Why where Cdn Forces stationed in France/Germany for so many decades? Who pulled them out?

Small player?? The Second World War. Small contribution you think? At the end, Canada had the third largest Navy in the world. Now?

So the whole world was threatened by the cold war and the Cuban missile crisis.  And then, really it was more about the USSR threatnening the US and the US threatening the USSR.

Your statement:  "the US has been defending Canada, with the US taxpayer paying the freight, since the end of the Second World War."  Now you are talking about the second world war which is not what you were talking about. 

NATO wasn't a thing in WW2 so I'm not sure why you bring that up.

As for us having the third largest Navy at the end of WW2 (which is still unrelated to NATO), much like how people calculate GDP % for NATO, it all depends on what kind of math you use.

This article is pretty good at debunking or at least questioning that claim.

http://www.navalreview.ca/wp-content/uploads/public/vol5num3/vol5num3art2.pdf

The conclusion is that yes for maybe 2 weeks.  But mostly due to accounting and purchases and decommissioning of other Navies' ships.  And depending on what you count too...
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: tomahawk6 on July 11, 2018, 11:21:41
I knew this would not go well.Trump is right but the allies don't see it that way.Anyway they will agree to disagree.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/07/11/trump-tangles-with-nato-leaders-in-testy-start-to-brussels-summit.html

President Trump kicked off the highly anticipated NATO summit Wednesday with sharp words for the head of the alliance and Germany, using the meeting to challenge European countries over their defense spending and even agreements with Russia.

Before sitting down for the first official meeting of the day, the president engaged in a testy exchange with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. He pressed why the U.S. should continue to pay money to the military alliance while the countries purchase energy from Moscow.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: tomahawk6 on July 11, 2018, 11:25:36
Trudeau is cutting defense spending probably because of tariffs.Maybe not, he is a liberal after all.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/report-trudeau-defies-trump-at-nato-meeting-cuts-military-spending/ar-AAzV0Zn?ocid=spartandhp

New figures show that Canadian military spending will be cut significantly, even as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau prepares to face U.S. President Donald Trump’s demands for higher NATO military spending at the alliance's summit in Brussels.

According to the CBC, Canada will spend around 1.23 percent of its GDP on defense in 2018, down from 1.36 percent last year. This is far below the 2 percent target set for NATO members, which has been a particular bugbear for the American president.

Canadian National Defence spokesman Daniel Le Bouthillier said the drop in investment was largely down to one-off payments. One was a retroactive pay increase for service members and the other was a $1.3 billion payment into the fund that pays out servicemember pensions.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Good2Golf on July 11, 2018, 11:43:10
Agreed. The US chooses to spend more money on it's armed forces, we choose to spend less. The US chooses to engage in military actions all over the world, perhaps they will choose to do less of that in the future. The US isn't spending 2% of its GDP on NATO, it spends 3.5-4% on its own defence needs. I don't think there is any amount of money we could spend in Canada that would assure our defence capabilities against attack from Russia, China or the US, short of nuclear deterrence. Right now I don't think raising our defence spending to 2% would neccessarily result in any real increase in military capability. Until we fix that problem, I'm not even sure where to start.

This is one of the most important points in this entire thread!

Give or take, European members could be described as spending the majority of their respective defence budgets (whatever the percentage of GDP) on capability directly relevant to NATO.  Is the U.S. spending 50-57% (2%GDP of 3.5% to 4%GDP) of its Defense budget on activities directly related to NATO?  Even just a cursory look at DoD's sub-budgets for EUCOM and CENTCOM (strawman for "NATO-related") in comparison relative to PACOM, SOUTHCOM, AFRICOM and FORSCOM (let's paint these as "not NATO-related") total budgets, would be telling. 

Remember, "lies, damned lies and statistics..."

:2c:

Regards
G2G

Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: tomahawk6 on July 11, 2018, 12:11:39
We are comparing total budgets which should make all armed forces more capable.Part of this spending covers the 6th Fleet,US Army Europe which is larger than many allies armies and USAF Europe.Some units in the US have a NATO mission. Of course if there was a shooting war in Europe the National Guard and the Reserves would get called up plus the Air Guard and Air Force Reserve.Thanks to the war on terror the part time soldiers,sailors,airmen and Marines are more capable and better trained.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Good2Golf on July 11, 2018, 12:32:51
We are comparing total budgets which should make all armed forces more capable.Part of this spending covers the 6th Fleet,US Army Europe which is larger than many allies armies and USAF Europe.Some units in the US have a NATO mission. Of course if there was a shooting war in Europe the National Guard and the Reserves would get called up plus the Air Guard and Air Force Reserve.Thanks to the war on terror the part time soldiers,sailors,airmen and Marines are more capable and better trained.

The U.S. is comparing budgets that way.  Still a valid question, amongst others.  For example, what does the cost to keep three US Carrier Battle Groups in the region of the South China Sea, and keeping pressure on China and its aspirations to wield hegemonic power within the Nine-Dash Line, have to do with NATO?

???

Regards
G2G
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: PuckChaser on July 11, 2018, 13:28:01
Here's a good rundown of our defense budget vs GDP (that went down this year) from Lee Berthiaume.

https://globalnews.ca/news/4324547/canada-spending-less-defence-nato-report/ (https://globalnews.ca/news/4324547/canada-spending-less-defence-nato-report/)

Quote
OTTAWA – Even as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau prepares to defend against U.S. President Donald Trump’s demands that Canada invest more in defence, a new NATO report suggests Canadian military spending as a percentage of GDP will fall sharply this year.

Canada is expected to spend an estimated 1.23 per cent of its GDP on defence in 2018 – down from 1.36 per cent last year, says the annual report, which looks at military investments for all member states.

The decline is largely the result of two one-time expenses last year, said National Defence spokesman Daniel Le Bouthillier, one of which was a retroactive pay increase for service members that was included in the Liberal government’s defence policy.

The other was more unexpected: a $1.8-billion payment into the account that provides pensions for Forces members and their dependents.

Interesting piece hidden at the bottom of the article, our spending is actually worse than we thought:

Quote
The Liberal government actually changed the way Canada reports its defence spending to NATO last year, largely to ensure its investments were being properly acknowledged amid U.S. pressure to spend more.

That change saw the government include the cost of some veterans programs, deploying police on peacekeeping missions, coast guard operations and even computer support in the overall number.

The addition of those costs, which many other countries have long included in their own calculations, added approximately $4.4 billion to Canada’s reported defence spending in 2017.

Without those costs, Canada’s reported defence spending would have been around one per cent of GDP.

Seems like we're going to follow the Chretien model of Canadian military contribution: Cut the budget, maximize deployments (85 staff officers for eFRB HQ, 250 more trainers to Iraq plus a rumoured QRF for Mali of 250) with no long term investment to new troops or material. You can show "contributions" all you want, but if the cupboard is bare when NATO actually comes calling because we've deployed everything we possibly can, are we actually a solid partner?
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: tomahawk6 on July 11, 2018, 14:03:27
A carrier is accompanied by escorts including an attack sub.Cost of a battle group would be around $7m a day roughly.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Infanteer on July 11, 2018, 14:05:50
https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/07/trump-nato-defense-four-percent/564911/

An interesting perspective.  The primary threat the NATO's European member nations is not military, it is ideological.  Why break the bank to try to defend against migrant flows and disunity with tanks and ships?

I'm all for smart spending, which may or may not include increased spending.  But lets be realistic, 1st Guards Tank Army isn't going to make it past the Vistula, let alone the Rhine.  The 2% argument has nothing to do with defending Europe or the Treaty.  It has everything to do with the $700 billion dollar addiction to defence spending the U.S. has, and for the simple reason that a President who relishes his role as a disruptor (https://www.theglobeandmail.com/world/article-trump-the-disruptor-is-he-the-precursor-to-a-new-style-of-presidency/) has found a disruptive thread to pull on.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: tomahawk6 on July 11, 2018, 14:06:28
It looks like Trump got his way at the NATO summit. ;D

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/07/11/trump-tangles-with-nato-leaders-in-testy-start-to-brussels-summit.html

NATO leaders pledged their “unwavering commitment” to boost defense spending on Wednesday, following stern words from President Trump criticizing European leaders for spending too little.

The U.S. and European allies signed a declaration stating they are “committed to improving the balance of sharing the costs and responsibilities of alliance membership.”
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 11, 2018, 14:11:07
Here's a good rundown of our defense budget vs GDP (that went down this year) from Lee Berthiaume.

https://globalnews.ca/news/4324547/canada-spending-less-defence-nato-report/ (https://globalnews.ca/news/4324547/canada-spending-less-defence-nato-report/)

Interesting piece hidden at the bottom of the article, our spending is actually worse than we thought:

Seems like we're going to follow the Chretien model of Canadian military contribution: Cut the budget, maximize deployments (85 staff officers for eFRB HQ, 250 more trainers to Iraq plus a rumoured QRF for Mali of 250) with no long term investment to new troops or material. You can show "contributions" all you want, but if the cupboard is bare when NATO actually comes calling because we've deployed everything we possibly can, are we actually a solid partner?
from the article you posted

Quote

The addition of those costs, which many other countries have long included in their own calculations, added approximately $4.4 billion to Canada’s reported defence spending in 2017.
  So why do countries like france get to count their germanderie and countries like canada not get to count the RCMP?
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 11, 2018, 14:12:22
It looks like Trump got his way at the NATO summit. ;D

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/07/11/trump-tangles-with-nato-leaders-in-testy-start-to-brussels-summit.html

NATO leaders pledged their “unwavering commitment” to boost defense spending on Wednesday, following stern words from President Trump criticizing European leaders for spending too little.

The U.S. and European allies signed a declaration stating they are “committed to improving the balance of sharing the costs and responsibilities of alliance membership.”
very nice.

Effectively no change,  since non US NATO defense spending has been on the rise for years.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: tomahawk6 on July 11, 2018, 14:25:22
Trump said today that defense spending should be 4%. It was a suggestion then whatever the figure is the budget should take into account for inflation.That last is my opinion.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/trump-floats-idea-nato-allies-should-double-defense-spending-target/ar-AAzVY1b?ocid=spartanntp
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: TwoTonShackle on July 11, 2018, 14:47:54
very nice.

Effectively no change,  since non US NATO defense spending has been on the rise for years.

Bang on, exactly what was committed to in the 2014 Summit, but now Trump can claim he was the driving force. I'm sure there was a ton of  ::) when his 4% GDP came up. Looking forward to his self-BZ tweets.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Jarnhamar on July 11, 2018, 15:01:19
The 1.23% GDP Canada will spend on the military this year over last year's 1.36% (the Canadian press) will really teach Trump Canada can't be pushed around.

At least we don't have any up coming NATO commitments or new missions.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 11, 2018, 15:41:55
The 1.23% GDP Canada will spend on the military this year over last year's 1.36% (the Canadian press) will really teach Trump Canada can't be pushed around.

At least we don't have any up coming NATO commitments or new missions.
which goes to show how the 2 percent target is rather useless.

Canada spent more on retroactive soldier pay and pensions,  yet our defense spending jumped yo 1.36, and because we don't spend extra on pensions and retroactive soldier pay this year it drops to 1.23.

Lost in all this is the canadian forces not gaining or losing any capabilities or effectiveness.

We are as ineffective this year as we were last year.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 11, 2018, 15:49:50
from the article you posted
  So why do countries like france get to count their germanderie and countries like canada not get to count the RCMP?

Nice Freudian slip :)

The CRS, for one, are not like the RCMP. They did, however, start up in Vichy France which, I guess, nominally makes them a 'Germanderie' ;)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compagnies_R%C3%A9publicaines_de_S%C3%A9curit%C3%A9
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: PuckChaser on July 11, 2018, 15:57:17
So why do countries like france get to count their germanderie and countries like canada not get to count the RCMP?

So we should add the RCMP in, to get close to a number that you said is a poor metric instead of actually investing money into the CAF to generate real capabilities? Adding the RCMP in won't change the fact that even using the poor metric, we're slipping further and further away from where other major NATO partners are.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 11, 2018, 16:17:20
So we should add the RCMP in, to get close to a number that you said is a poor metric instead of actually investing money into the CAF to generate real capabilities? Adding the RCMP in won't change the fact that even using the poor metric, we're slipping further and further away from where other major NATO partners are.
So you will find me of two minds.

I agree,  canada and others need to increase investment in their armed forces.

But the way the American president is focusing on that two percent guideline I would be willing to find creative ways to get to 2 percent to shut him up.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: PuckChaser on July 11, 2018, 16:33:38
But the way the American president is focusing on that two percent guideline I would be willing to find creative ways to get to 2 percent to shut him up.

So its not about whats right or wrong for the Alliance, it's about blind hatred of the US President; so much so that anything he says cannot possibly be correct.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Jarnhamar on July 11, 2018, 16:39:43
So its not about whats right or wrong for the Alliance, it's about blind hatred of the US President;

Someone's late to the party  ;)
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Good2Golf on July 11, 2018, 16:50:02
Bang on, exactly what was committed to in the 2014 Summit, but now Trump can claim he was the driving force. I'm sure there was a ton of  ::) when his 4% GDP came up. Looking forward to his self-BZ tweets.

4 is the new 2!  ;D

Funny that, the re-brand on the 2014 promise drawn out by Obama.  ;D

Regards
G2G
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: CBH99 on July 11, 2018, 16:50:33
I think the general point is that if the US wants to include non-military spending as part of their calculations to get to 3% GDP, other countries COULD do the same & get substantially closer to the 2% Trump wants.

I think everybody on this forum is in general agreement on the basic matter...money needs to be spent wisely & capabilities need to be procured/generated effectively.  If that can be accomplished by wisely spending 1.5% of GDP, great.  If it requires sloppy spending of 2% GDP, so be it.

But I think we all agree...using 2% of GDP just for the sake of using it doesn't guarantee new capabilities that can be used.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 11, 2018, 16:57:03
So its not about whats right or wrong for the Alliance, it's about blind hatred of the US President; so much so that anything he says cannot possibly be correct.
if you want to ignore everywhere I've said he was off to a good start before going too far, that's on you.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Loachman on July 11, 2018, 17:26:25
We could buy a lot of kit and build a lot of infrastructure fairly quickly by doubling our defence budget.

Recruiting, training, and developing enough people, however, is a completely different matter.

We went through an expansion in the 1980s, but it was very modest compared to a budgetary doubling, and we started with a much healthier organization
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on July 11, 2018, 18:22:46
This entire issue is a matter of perspective.  I'm not convinced we need to be spending 2% of our GDP on Defence; however, a lot of the military and defence issues we face today are a direct result of the fact that we are moving toward a multipolar world.

For certain the United States could defeat Russia militarily if it committed a substantial amount of resources to do so.  It can't do this though because commiting all its military resources to the European theatre would leave it in a poor position elsewhere. 

Thinking about this, it makes perfect sense for the United States to try and put pressure on the rest of NATO to make additional investments as it no longer has the capacity to match both China and Russia simultaneously.

Long term, the BRICS countries are a major threat to US Hegemony world wide.



Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Good2Golf on July 11, 2018, 18:27:15
We could buy a lot of kit and build a lot of infrastructure fairly quickly by doubling our defence budget.

If by "fairly quickly," you mean 10 years instead of 20 years, then sure.

Pat Finn has publically noted that the situation has not improved to any large degree since the procurement challenge he described in 2016 (https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/military-faces-challenge-in-push-to-hire-hundreds-of-new-procurement-staff-1.3072395).  Particularly, in May of 2018, he described ongoing procurement delays and challenges to numerous major capital programs (http://www.tricitynews.com/defence-department-reports-new-delays-in-10-major-procurement-projects-1.23307157).

Not to be too pessimistic, but if the Government increased DND's budget to 4% GDP tomorrow, I'd wager we'd be lucky to hit 2% spent by 2024...(the NATO 2% goal date).

:2c:

Regards
G2G

Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Loachman on July 11, 2018, 19:23:19
Political will can solve the acquisition timeline problem - but I don't know what can solve the political will problem.

I really can't see any need or ability to spend 4%, and maybe not even 2%.

Somewhere, safely in a dusty box, is my copy of the 1984 White Paper. Even with the looming Soviet threat, the Mulroney-promised spending was outlandish. Twelve nuclear-powered submarines? Really? Five hundred (I think that it was) tanks? I cannot remember what the associated percent GDP was, or even if one was expressed. I don't even remember the percent GDP actually assigned to defence, but we had 4 CMBG and three over-strength F18 squadrons (a total of fifty-four aircraft) in Germany.

I would like to see some capabilities fleshed out, including fully-manned units (or nearly so, with identified and ready Reserve augmentation pools), with the necessary kit, and that includes Reserve units with a few applicable AFVs, modern tanks included - enough to train on. I would like to see a doctrinal Division, and the capability to deploy up to a Brigade at relatively short notice, or a Brigade's worth of people and equipment deployed to multiple locations (assign an overseas op or two, depending upon size, risk, and duration) to each Brigade and let it get on with its task. I'd like to see a doctrinal Tac Hel Wing/Brigade to support that Div. I'm not sure what the Navy really needs or is practical, but they should have it, too, and we could always use additional fighters, transport, MPA, SAR etcetera capability as well. Replacement plans should commence no later that delivery of kit, to ensure that timely replacement occurs - no more cripples because part manufacture ceased twenty years ago, or disintegration from corrosion begins. And we shouldn't have to move people from under-manned unit to under-manned unit to fill them out for deployment.

For the most part, I think that we have enough units and formations, but they are hollow. If they cannot fight as such, they are useless. I remember small platoons in the seventies and eighties - partially due to people being on course or leave, but there was also a general shortage of very junior Infantrymen, but those are the most readily obtainable/trainable. Battalions had mortar, pioneer, and anti-armour platoons which seemed reasonably well-manned, and four rifle companies.

Armoured Regiments should have three full tank squadrons, and Artillery Regiments enough, and properly-equipped, batteries.

Some re-organization would be beneficial as well, especially the medical, MP, and Int empires. I'd happily revert, or mainly so, at least, to the pre-Dotcom command structure. I've tried hard, but still cannot see any benefit to the confused and convoluted mess that we've had for over a decade now. The Area system was simpler, cleaner, and at least as effective - although I'd like to hear alternative viewpoints. Having double-hatted RJTF/Div Commanders whose RJTF boundaries differ from their Div boundaries is ludicrous. Doctrinally-organized and well-manned Reserve units, with proper training, equipment, and decent personnel/pay support are essential.

Our recruiting, training, and retention problems need to be fixed. Is that really so hard? There are too many bottlenecks in the intake, and too many people get dicked around to the point of quitting. Undermanning contributes to the retention problem, which contributes to undermanning.

Any expansion would have to be carefully and intelligently, and patiently, planned and conducted. Dumping thousands of brand-new Private- and Second-Lieutenant-equivalents into the mix would be worse than Toronto's refugee influx. We would lack experienced instructors and leaders for years to come.


Forgot a comma, dammit.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: suffolkowner on July 11, 2018, 19:45:50
I have a real concern that if we continue to follow our procurement process as is we will fall further and further behind on equipment recapitalizations. How much of SSE can be expected to be delivered on by 2019, 2023? I think to some degree we are spending more on the risk mitigation than the cost of the risk in these purchases itself. I remember reading a few years ago on the costs of the various project offices and I found them to be slightly outrageous especially when some/most end up being cancelled (I think the CCV was one). I'm talking 10,15,20 % of the total project
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: dapaterson on July 11, 2018, 20:43:58
Problem solved: https://twitter.com/StephanieCarvin/status/1017165063168385029

What if - and hear me out - the Deparment of National Defence bought every Canadian a $4000 dollar pony?

4K * 37 million = 148 billion
Paid off over 20 years = 74 billion per year!
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 11, 2018, 20:59:39
Problem solved: https://twitter.com/StephanieCarvin/status/1017165063168385029

What if - and hear me out - the Deparment of National Defence bought every Canadian a $4000 dollar pony?

4K * 37 million = 148 billion
Paid off over 20 years = 74 billion per year!
4000X37 000 000=148 000 000 000÷20=7 400 000 000 per year.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Retired AF Guy on July 11, 2018, 21:15:38
So why do countries like france get to count their germanderie and countries like canada not get to count the RCMP?

Because the French Gendarmerie, like the Italian Carabinieri, belong to their respective Ministry's of Defence.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: dapaterson on July 11, 2018, 21:18:09
4000X37 000 000=148 000 000 000÷20=7 400 000 000 per year.

So you're saying we need to give every Canadian ten ponies then?  One every second year? 
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 11, 2018, 21:27:07
Because the French Gendarmerie, like the Italian Carabinieri, belong to their respective Ministry's of Defence.
sounds like a neat accounting trick.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Larry Strong on July 11, 2018, 21:56:45
sounds like a neat accounting trick.

The Carabinieri (formally Arma dei Carabinieri, "Carabinieri Force" or previously Corpo dei Carabinieri Reali, "Royal Carabinieri Corps"; is the fourth Italian military force charged with police duties under the authority of the Ministry of Defense. Carabinieri are the national gendarmerie of Italy, policing both military and civilian populations. Carabinieri (similar to Polizia di Stato and Guardia di Finanza) are always "on duty" throughout the national territory including out of service hours, during leave and whilst on vacation, and they are always permitted to carry their assigned weapon as personal equipment.

Edited to add:

The main battles in which the Carabinieri took part before World War I are:

Grenoble, July 5, 1815 (baptism of fire)
Battle of Pastrengo, 30 April 1848 – the Carabinieri Corps was awarded its first Silver Medal of Military Valor
Battle of Santa Lucia, 6 May 1848 – the Carabinieri Corps was awarded its first Bronze Medal of Military Valor
Battle of Custoza, 24–25 July 1848
Battle of Custoza, 24 June 1866
Capture of Rome, 20 September 1870 (together with the Bersaglieri)
For its contributions during the First World War, the Corps was awarded its first Gold Medal of Military Valor

In World War II, Carabinieri distinguished themselves in the following battles:

Battle of Klisoura on the Greek-Albanian front from 16 to 30 December 1940 Bronze Medal of Military Valor
Battle at Cafe Struga on the Albanian-Yugoslav front on 18 April 1941
Battle of Culqualber (Ethiopia), 6 August-21 November 1941 – Corps was awarded its second Gold Medal of Military Valor

Do the RCMP operate under these terms or conditions?

The National Gendarmerie is one of two national police forces of France, along with the National Police. It is a branch of the French Armed Forces placed under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior—with additional duties to the Ministry of Defense. Its area of responsibility includes smaller towns, rural and suburban areas, while the Police Nationale—a civilian force—is in charge of cities and downtowns. Due to its military status, the Gendarmerie also fulfills a range of military and defense missions
 
Five battles are registered on the flag of the Gendarmerie:

Battle of Hondschoote (1793): Four hundred gendarmes of the 32nd Division (equivalent of a regiment under the Revolution) engaged in battle on the left wing of the army. They seized enemy artillery positions and lost 117 men.
Villodrigo (1812): The 1st legion of Gendarmerie on horseback, belonging to the Brigade of Cavalry of the Army of the North, clashed with the British cavalry on 23 October 1812. Charging with sabres, they penetrated enemy lines, killing 250 and taking 85 prisoners. Colonel Béteille, commanding the brigade, received twelve sabre cuts, but he survived.
Taguin (1843): Thirty gendarmes on horseback were mobilised to take part in tracking the tribe of the emir Abd-El-Kader and participated in his capture.
Sevastopol (1855): Two infantry battalions of the Regiment of Gendarmerie of the Imperial Guard participated in taking the city. The 1st battalion seized a strategic position that contributed towards the final victory. A total of 153 Gendarmes fell.
Indo-China (1945/1954): Three legions of infantrymen from the Republican Guard were formed at the end of 1946. Charged with the formation of the Cochin China Civil Guard, they assumed security roles and patrolled the borders, suffering heavy losses: 654 killed or missing, and 1,500 wounded.

Again, do the RCMP operate under these terms or conditions? IIRC the RCMP carry battle honors in regards to the Northwest Rebellion however their military history does not cover nearly 200 years......

Same applies to the US  Coast Guard...
Quote
The five uniformed services that make up the U.S. Armed Forces are defined in Title 10 of the U.S. Code:

The term "armed forces" means the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard is further defined by Title 14 of the United States Code:

The Coast Guard as established January 28, 1915, shall be a military service and a branch of the armed forces of the United States at all times. The Coast Guard shall be a service in the Department of Homeland Security, except when operating as a service in the Navy.
http://uscode.house.gov/download/download.shtml

During times of war or conflict, the President of the United States can transfer any or all assets of the Coast Guard to the Department of the Navy. This has happened twice, in 1917, during World War I, and in 1941, during World War II. The service has participated in every major U.S. conflict from 1790 through today, including landing troops on D-Day and on the Pacific Islands in World War II, in extensive patrols and shore bombardment during the Vietnam War, and multiple roles in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Maritime interception operations, coastal security, transportation security, and law enforcement detachments have been its major roles in recent conflicts in Iraq.

The Coast Guard is commanded by a 4-star USN admiral, known as the Coast Guard Commandant.

As members of the military, Coast Guardsmen on active and reserve service are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice and receive the same pay and allowances as members of the same pay grades in the other uniformed services.

Not sure if not sure we can say the same about our Coast Guard...



Cheers
Larry

Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 11, 2018, 22:04:24
The Carabinieri (formally Arma dei Carabinieri, "Carabinieri Force" or previously Corpo dei Carabinieri Reali, "Royal Carabinieri Corps"; is the fourth Italian military force charged with police duties under the authority of the Ministry of Defense. Carabinieri are the national gendarmerie of Italy, policing both military and civilian populations. Carabinieri (similar to Polizia di Stato and Guardia di Finanza) are always "on duty" throughout the national territory including out of service hours, during leave and whilst on vacation, and they are always permitted to carry their assigned weapon as personal equipment.

Do the RCMP operate under these terms or conditions?

The National Gendarmerie is one of two national police forces of France, along with the National Police. It is a branch of the French Armed Forces placed under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior—with additional duties to the Ministry of Defense. Its area of responsibility includes smaller towns, rural and suburban areas, while the Police Nationale—a civilian force—is in charge of cities and downtowns. Due to its military status, the Gendarmerie also fulfills a range of military and defense missions
 
Five battles are registered on the flag of the Gendarmerie:

Battle of Hondschoote (1793): Four hundred gendarmes of the 32nd Division (equivalent of a regiment under the Revolution) engaged in battle on the left wing of the army. They seized enemy artillery positions and lost 117 men.
Villodrigo (1812): The 1st legion of Gendarmerie on horseback, belonging to the Brigade of Cavalry of the Army of the North, clashed with the British cavalry on 23 October 1812. Charging with sabres, they penetrated enemy lines, killing 250 and taking 85 prisoners. Colonel Béteille, commanding the brigade, received twelve sabre cuts, but he survived.
Taguin (1843): Thirty gendarmes on horseback were mobilised to take part in tracking the tribe of the emir Abd-El-Kader and participated in his capture.
Sevastopol (1855): Two infantry battalions of the Regiment of Gendarmerie of the Imperial Guard participated in taking the city. The 1st battalion seized a strategic position that contributed towards the final victory. A total of 153 Gendarmes fell.
Indo-China (1945/1954): Three legions of infantrymen from the Republican Guard were formed at the end of 1946. Charged with the formation of the Cochin China Civil Guard, they assumed security roles and patrolled the borders, suffering heavy losses: 654 killed or missing, and 1,500 wounded.

Again, do the RCMP operate under these terms or conditions? IIRC the RCMP carry battle honors in regards to the Northwest Rebellion however their military experience does not cover nearly 200 years......

Same applies to the US  Coast Guard... http://uscode.house.gov/download/download.shtml

During times of war or conflict, the President of the United States can transfer any or all assets of the Coast Guard to the Department of the Navy. This has happened twice, in 1917, during World War I, and in 1941, during World War II. The service has participated in every major U.S. conflict from 1790 through today, including landing troops on D-Day and on the Pacific Islands in World War II, in extensive patrols and shore bombardment during the Vietnam War, and multiple roles in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Maritime interception operations, coastal security, transportation security, and law enforcement detachments have been its major roles in recent conflicts in Iraq.

The Coast Guard is commanded by a 4-star USN admiral, known as the Coast Guard Commandant.

As members of the military, Coast Guardsmen on active and reserve service are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice and receive the same pay and allowances as members of the same pay grades in the other uniformed services.

Not sure if not sure we can say the same about our Coast Guard...



Cheers
Larry
Sounds like we need amalgamation.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: PPCLI Guy on July 11, 2018, 22:21:02
This is a slightly ridiculous exercise.  2% of GDP is a very strange metric, as it speaks to opportunity costs that reflect the things that different societies value.  As Infanteer has pointed out, it is highly likely that the US spends substantially less than half of its annual budget "on NATO".

What is interesting is looking at different ways to slice the pie.  The link below from NATO looks at overall expenditure (we are 6 out of 28), spending on personnel, equipment, infrastructure, per capita, per uniformed member etc.

It paints a more nuanced picture....

https://www.nato.int/nato_static_fl2014/assets/pdf/pdf_2017_06/20170629_170629-pr2017-111-en.pdf (https://www.nato.int/nato_static_fl2014/assets/pdf/pdf_2017_06/20170629_170629-pr2017-111-en.pdf)
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Blackadder1916 on July 11, 2018, 22:29:27
Because the French Gendarmerie, . . .  belong to their respective Ministry's of Defence.

And don't forget that the Paris Fire Brigade (the third largest urban fire department in the world and a unit of the French Army) and the Marseille Naval Fire Battalion (a unit of the French Navy) are the fire and rescue services for their respective cities.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Larry Strong on July 11, 2018, 22:30:56
Sounds like we need amalgamation.

I think there would be a mutiny in the CG if they were placed under the Code of Service Discipline.....

And not sure how happy the RCMP would be under 24/7/52 duty....

😉

Cheers
Larry
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: GK .Dundas on July 11, 2018, 22:35:26
from the article you posted
  So why do countries like france get to count their germanderie and countries like canada not get to count the RCMP?
Because among other things the French Gendarmerie have enough armoured vehicles and fire power to invade a small 3 d world Country. Kind of like the old West German Border Patrol. Which had Saladin armoured cars and heavy mortar teams.
.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Loachman on July 11, 2018, 22:50:07
Problem solved: https://twitter.com/StephanieCarvin/status/1017165063168385029

What if - and hear me out - the Department of National Defence bought every Canadian a $4000 dollar pony?

Favourite response: "I am just worried that we might end up with some old, used Australian ponies."
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: FJAG on July 11, 2018, 22:59:20
We are comparing total budgets which should make all armed forces more capable.Part of this spending covers the 6th Fleet,US Army Europe which is larger than many allies armies and USAF Europe.Some units in the US have a NATO mission. Of course if there was a shooting war in Europe the National Guard and the Reserves would get called up plus the Air Guard and Air Force Reserve.Thanks to the war on terror the part time soldiers,sailors,airmen and Marines are more capable and better trained.

US Army Europe stands at roughly 30,000 folks and is constituted primarily by 2nd Cavalry Regiment (Stryker) and 12th Combat Aviation Brigade both in Germany, 173rd Airborne Brigade in Italy plus various service support elements. That's it. Basically all the big stuff bugged out around the time the US decided to take on Iraq.

If one looks at the European armies and only at combat arms bdes and overall active army personnel one gets:

The German army is basically ten brigades - 60,000 folks,
Britain roughly 12 brigades - 82,000
France roughly 10 brigades - 109,000
Italy roughly 11 brigades - 101,000
Spain roughly 9 brigades - 77,000
Poland roughly 12 brigades - 77,000
Netherlands 3 brigades - 25,000
Austria 3 bdes - 12,500 (but designed to mobilize to 9 bdes of 120,000)
Belgium roughly 2 bdes - 20,000
Denmark 2 bdes - 12,500
Hungary 2 bdes - 31,000

I'll leave off Greece at 90,000 and Turkey at 350,000 as well as the real teeny tiny countries.

I know it's fashionable to malign the European Union but to say that US Army Europe is a significant force compared to the European ones is misleading unless you are specifically looking at the very small member states. Quite frankly US Army Europe has negligible combat power and is primarily there as a trip wire deterrence. That deterrence becomes weaker by the day as Trump continues to spout his nonsense (most recently today, a demand to double defence spending to 4% of GDP - in God's name why?) and threatens abandoning Europe.

Does the US still have CONUS based heavy units capable of rapid deployment to Europe even if they wanted to? Reforger is long gone and the European Deterrence Initiative and Operation Atlantic Resolve are very weak watered down replacements.

There is very little question that there is a local conventional force imbalance in Europe that favours Russia.

https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_reports/RR2400/RR2402/RAND_RR2402.pdf (https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_reports/RR2400/RR2402/RAND_RR2402.pdf)

But even with the current modernization of Russian forces, Europe still outspends Russia significantly for defence. The problem is not so much the amount of spending but how the money is being spent and how Europe is organizing itself for defence. They can and must do better, of course, but Trump's current bleating is entirely counterproductive.

I had the pleasure of working for a number of years with the Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers and I learned there that organizing Europeans to travel down a common path is quite similar to herding cats (especially the ones from the southern end of the EU- Spain, Italy, Greece and to an extent France) Trump's approach has zero chance of success. The question I have is - does he actually have an end state that he is trying to achieve? Neither he nor even his most rabid advisors can possibly believe that Europe will spend significantly more (The Europeans are all quite self satisfied that they offer decent government pensions, free health care, a good standard of living and a generally secure and safe lifestyle to their people while they know that the same isn't true in the US)

Quite frankly I think Trump is not thinking any further than energizing his base with his tough talk. As far as Europe is concerned, the best one can hope for is that--as a by-product to his rhetoric--the EU will realize that they need to get better organized and get a better bang for their already considerable defence bucks and effect change. I seriously doubt that this will happen.

This has long been a mantra of mine, but the largest expenditure item in most western defence budgets is for the massive personnel related costs of a professional military. Some European countries have personnel costs as high as 77% of their annual budgets (I tried to find Canada's online but it appears to be a secret - if anyone has it let me know). In order to build a larger more capable military (fully equipped and adequately trained) we (Europe and Canada) need a different financial/structural model. To put it into civilian parlance; there's no value in paying a high premium for an insurance policy year after year if it pays out only a marginal benefit when it is eventually needed. We need lighter premiums delivering a bigger benefit.

 :cheers:
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Blackadder1916 on July 11, 2018, 23:33:46
. . .

This has long been a mantra of mine, but the largest expenditure item in most western defence budgets is for the massive personnel related costs of a professional military. Some European countries have personnel costs as high as 77% of their annual budgets (I tried to find Canada's online but it appears to be a secret - if anyone has it let me know). In order to build a larger more capable military (fully equipped and adequately trained) we (Europe and Canada) need a different financial/structural model. To put it into civilian parlance; there's no value in paying a high premium for an insurance policy year after year if it pays out only a marginal benefit when it is eventually needed. We need lighter premiums delivering a bigger benefit.


According to NATO figures Canada's personnel costs (military and defence civilian) are just over 47% of annual budget which is similar to some of the major players like Germany and France but higher than the US and UK who come in around 35%.

Table below extracted from https://www.nato.int/nato_static_fl2014/assets/pdf/pdf_2017_06/20170629_170629-pr2017-111-en.pdf
The columns are years from 2010 to 2017.

Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Cloud Cover on July 11, 2018, 23:37:33
the source I just reviewed confirms BlackAdders note:
 http://www.pbo-dpb.gc.ca/web/default/files/files/files/Defence_Analysis_EN.pdf

It was 47 percent in 2014.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Larry Strong on July 12, 2018, 00:22:13


Does the US still have CONUS based heavy units capable of rapid deployment to Europe even if they wanted to? Reforger is long gone and the European Deterrence Initiative and Operation Atlantic Resolve are very weak watered down replacements.


 :cheers:

From what I can find.....not dated however.......

https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/army/force-package.htm

Cheers
Larry
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: tomahawk6 on July 12, 2018, 01:20:19
We already deploy a heavy unit from CONUS to Germany.Once  in country they can marry up with pre-positioned stocks. Trump is right that Germany cutting a deal for gas with Russia undermines NATO. The US or Canada would sell them the gas they need to stay warm.

https://www.army.mil/article/185234/34_abct_rotates_forces_from_poland_to_germany
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: PPCLI Guy on July 12, 2018, 01:36:49
We already deploy a heavy unit from CONUS to Germany.Once  in country they can marry up with pre-positioned stocks. Trump is right that Germany cutting a deal for gas with Russia undermines NATO. The US or Canada would sell them the gas they need to stay warm.

https://www.army.mil/article/185234/34_abct_rotates_forces_from_poland_to_germany

Hmm.  Not that long ago (until fracking came along, with completely unknown impacts on a very fragile aquifer in the US), America the Good and Moral was buying oil from Saudi Arabia (home of AQ), Venezuela (Hugo Chavez anyone?), Nigeria (Hello kleptocracy), and, oh yes, land of rapists and MS 13, Mexico.

Where does any country get off dictating where another country should buy its oil from, especially with a record like that?
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: tomahawk6 on July 12, 2018, 01:47:57
It should be a matter of national security.NATO exists primarily to stop a Russian invasion.Now all they would need is to turn off the gas in winter.Of course it was that way for the US until we lessened our dependence on foreign oil. The US is a major producer of natural gas we should be the go to source for Europe.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 12, 2018, 02:18:01
It should be a matter of national security.NATO exists primarily to stop a Russian invasion.Now all they would need is to turn off the gas in winter.Of course it was that way for the US until we lessened our dependence on foreign oil. The US is a major producer of natural gas we should be the go to source for Europe.

The US can't beat Russian gas prices. Economics 'trumps' politics in this case:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-24/russia-tightens-grip-on-europe-s-gas-supply-with-gazprom-deal
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: CBH99 on July 12, 2018, 05:32:45
Lets not forget the other side of that 'security sword' when it comes to Europe buying its gas from Russia.

Europe buying it's gas from Russia helps prop up the Russian economy & energy industry.  Which helps keep the country stable.  Which, in turn, helps it to build the professional & capable armed forces we end up so worried about.

How's that for 'it's an odd world'?



A financially & politically stable Russia, regardless of how much we like/don't like Putin (Personally, I'm kind of a fan to be honest) - is much better than a Russia that is even more economically depressed than it is now.  For political stability, internal & external stability, etc.

Also, a Europe that is purchasing a natural resource from Russia & helping stabilize the Russian economy is an economic/trade/financial resource that Russia values.  Russia has far more to gain by selling natural gas to Europe than it does in 'turning off the taps', and in turn, eliminating a massive source of revenue.

Do you tend to invade the very countries that are propping up your own economy?  Nope. 

It's great to say "We need tanks & planes & ships incase those crazy evil Russians suddenly invade us!"   It's much less interesting to say "We have a co-dependent economic relationship that acts as just as much of a deterrent as the weapons do."  Less interesting, but just as important, if not moreso.

Eliminating Russia out of the world stage even more, and purchasing their natural gas from the US, would be a huge step in the wrong direction in terms of European/Western Russia financial stability, and hence a militarily stable status quo.

(All of this nonsense about Russian aggression gets tiring, especially from the mainstream media.  Yes, they can mass lots of forces.  So can we.  They can launch lots of planes with missiles.  So can we.  They can deploy lots of ships in that region.  We can do that too.  They don't want to invade Europe for plenty of obvious reasons, and Europe doesn't want to invade Russia either.  The whole thing is just dumb.)
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Good2Golf on July 12, 2018, 07:44:37
The lack of stability and certainty surrounding Russia was much of NATO’s (and the US in particular’s) own doing.  Looked at through the Russian lens, from Clinton onwards, NATO’s relentless crawl towards Russia’s Western Border can’t be seen as anything else than a deliberate and measured progressive action to gain comfrontatuonal proximity and encroach upon Russia’s terrestrial approaches. Nations (Canada in particular due to deep Ukrainian ties) get harumphy about Crimea, but what of Grenada’s invasion in 1982, etc.?  Does the West have a get out of jail free card it can play for bad behaviour, that Russia (or China, let’s say) doesn’t get?

Anyway, there aren’t enough LNG carriers for Fracknation to supply Germany.  Best COA to reduce Germany’s/Europe’s dependency on Russian natural gas is nuclear power, and Europe (or at least Germany) is looking to decommission its nuclear power plants...not a strategically smart move IMO.

Now, if Trump’s actions on the NATO file is actually a well-planned campaign designed to force a transition out of NATO of some of its Eastern fringe, thereby reducing tensions with Russia, I’ll actially give the guy and his team grudging kudos for, albeit indirectly, shaping a stabilized relationship with Russia.

Regards
G2G
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on July 12, 2018, 09:15:12
The lack of stability and certainty surrounding Russia was much of NATO’s (and the US in particular’s) own doing.  Looked at through the Russian lens, from Clinton onwards, NATO’s relentless crawl towards Russia’s Western Border can’t be seen as anything else than a deliberate and measured progressive action to gain comfrontatuonal proximity and encroach upon Russia’s terrestrial approaches. Nations (Canada in particular due to deep Ukrainian ties) get harumphy about Crimea, but what of Grenada’s invasion in 1982, etc.?  Does the West have a get out of jail free card it can play for bad behaviour, that Russia (or China, let’s say) doesn’t get?

Anyway, there aren’t enough LNG carriers for Fracknation to supply Germany.  Best COA to reduce Germany’s/Europe’s dependency on Russian natural gas is nuclear power, and Europe (or at least Germany) is looking to decommission its nuclear power plants...not a strategically smart move IMO.

Now, if Trump’s actions on the NATO file is actually a well-planned campaign designed to force a transition out of NATO of some of its Eastern fringe, thereby reducing tensions with Russia, I’ll actially give the guy and his team grudging kudos for, albeit indirectly, shaping a stabilized relationship with Russia.

Regards
G2G

Yes and everyone is quick to forget these terribly embarrassing moments:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-ukraine-tape/leaked-audio-reveals-embarrassing-u-s-exchange-on-ukraine-eu-idUSBREA1601G20140207 (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-ukraine-tape/leaked-audio-reveals-embarrassing-u-s-exchange-on-ukraine-eu-idUSBREA1601G20140207)

Obama and Clinton are history but I remember when the Orange Revolution happened, there was some pretty clear evidence that the US was actively involved in orchestrating Regime Change in Ukraine. 

Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Journeyman on July 12, 2018, 09:25:12
Trump is right that Germany cutting a deal for gas with Russia undermines NATO.
I guess we'll have to wait a few days to see Trump's rhetoric/tweets from his Putin meeting;  I'm sure they'll strengthen NATO.  :pop:
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Fishbone Jones on July 12, 2018, 09:37:20
We already deploy a heavy unit from CONUS to Germany.Once  in country they can marry up with pre-positioned stocks. Trump is right that Germany cutting a deal for gas with Russia undermines NATO. The US or Canada would sell them the gas they need to stay warm.

https://www.army.mil/article/185234/34_abct_rotates_forces_from_poland_to_germany

Except the grits, likely, won't allow a single gallon or cubic meter to come out of the ground, let alone ship it to Europe.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Czech_pivo on July 12, 2018, 09:38:15
I know that this thread is focused on NATO and the US but I'd like to ask this question.  What about Trump threatening to kick Canada out of NORAD or reduce our leadership role (i.e. no longer a CDN in 2nd in Command) unless we substantially start to fund/increase our military spending?  I mean, if he's making this much noise about NATO, why not similar noise about NORAD?  Our CF18's are not getting any younger, the timeline to replace them is totally up in the air (and knowing our track record over the last 30+yrs on these things I'm not hopeful) and there is the chance that we'll have nothing at all to contribute to the air defense of NA in another 5-7yrs.... To me, this seems like the golden goose opportunity for Trump to strong arm us into actually spending more.  I wonder if any of the Mandarins in Ottawa have thought about this angle...
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 12, 2018, 09:52:28
I know that this thread is focused on NATO and the US but I'd like to ask this question.  What about Trump threatening to kick Canada out of NORAD or reduce our leadership role (i.e. no longer a CDN in 2nd in Command) unless we substantially start to fund/increase our military spending?  I mean, if he's making this much noise about NATO, why not similar noise about NORAD?  Our CF18's are not getting any younger, the timeline to replace them is totally up in the air (and knowing our track record over the last 30+yrs on these things I'm not hopeful) and there is the chance that we'll have nothing at all to contribute to the air defense of NA in another 5-7yrs.... To me, this seems like the golden goose opportunity for Trump to strong arm us into actually spending more.  I wonder if any of the Mandarins in Ottawa have thought about this angle...
NORAD without Canada is just American flying around in American airspace, no?

I'm sure some people with more knowledge than I will respond, but I would imagine access to Canadian airspace would be rather important to the US.

Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Cloud Cover on July 12, 2018, 09:56:45
It seems to me we are are hardly in any position to deny or prevent the US from using our airspace for the very same purposes they use it now, and more.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Czech_pivo on July 12, 2018, 10:01:07
NORAD without Canada is just American flying around in American airspace, no?

I'm sure some people with more knowledge than I will respond, but I would imagine access to Canadian airspace would be rather important to the US.

Who's Nuc's do you think are up in the Arctic patrolling under our ice? 
If a threat coming over NA towards the US was occurring, the US would be over our air space well before they asked for our permission....
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 12, 2018, 10:45:01
Who's Nuc's do you think are up in the Arctic patrolling under our ice? 
If a threat coming over NA towards the US was occurring, the US would be over our air space well before they asked for our permission....
It seems to me we are are hardly in any position to deny or prevent the US from using our airspace for the very same purposes they use it now, and more.
Naturally, but NORAD formalizes the process.

I mean, I guess they could kick us out of NORAD, but when it comes to interceptions there may be no coordination. Might be crowded should both the US and Canada respond, and worst yet, get surprised.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Good2Golf on July 12, 2018, 10:46:19
I know that this thread is focused on NATO and the US but I'd like to ask this question.  What about Trump threatening to kick Canada out of NORAD or reduce our leadership role (i.e. no longer a CDN in 2nd in Command) unless we substantially start to fund/increase our military spending?  I mean, if he's making this much noise about NATO, why not similar noise about NORAD?  Our CF18's are not getting any younger, the timeline to replace them is totally up in the air (and knowing our track record over the last 30+yrs on these things I'm not hopeful) and there is the chance that we'll have nothing at all to contribute to the air defense of NA in another 5-7yrs.... To me, this seems like the golden goose opportunity for Trump to strong arm us into actually spending more.  I wonder if any of the Mandarins in Ottawa have thought about this angle...

Decades of joint air(space) defence notwithstanding, if America (Trump) wants to go it alone and terminate the NORAD agreement as a clunky 'Art of the Deal' negotiating tactic to get Canada to significantly increase defence spending, he could very well get his (short-term) wish.

Unburdened by that pesky interoperability (with the US) thing, one might even see this in years to come if Macron supports Trudeau in a supportive, vice confrontational Trumpian manner...gone are the days of blind parroting of the "always have and always will be the closest of friends."  There could be a transition from "best friend" to "good/decent neighbour."

(https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-mrPgxR3meoQ/V8mYc8W5cfI/AAAAAAAAGE4/zDzb_grC5EAB6JEUXEkBjVHzv6VlsnW2gCLcB/s640/rcaf-rafale.jpg)

For those who say, "No way," we're well into the New Uncertainty World Order, so one should "never say never." :nod:

If America is willing to risk pushing allies away for periods much longer than just the few months it will take to get past the mid-Terms, then it has to realize that these are becoming significantly more possible outcomes.  America can't just file for a "Friendship Chapter 11"...

"On verra."

Regards,
G2G
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Rifleman62 on July 12, 2018, 12:50:46
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trudeau-takes-questions-nato-july-1.4743477

Trudeau insists Canada spending enough on defence, as Trump declares victory at NATO
- CBC News · Posted: Jul 12, 2018
Canada's PM reacts to Trump saying he convinced NATO allies to increase contributions

Extract: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada hasn't committed to spending new money on defence, despite U.S. President Donald Trump's comments that he convinced NATO allies to dramatically hike spending. Instead, Trudeau said at the wrap of the summit in Brussels, Canada has reaffirmed its commitment to work towards contributing two per cent of its gross domestic product to military spending and reverse any cuts. Trudeau said Canada has been "taking the right approach" on defence spending, pointing to the Liberals' plans to increase the defence budget by 70 per cent over the next decade to $32.7 billion. "The president has been consistent that he wants to see people spending more on defence in their countries and we are very pleased we are doing that," Trudeau told reporters. "We'll always step up, with cash yes but also with commitments and capacity. That's what NATO is looking for."


I hope this is not another case, the G7 Conf being the first, that Trump thought he had Canada's agreement, then found out that Trudeau said something else at at his presser.

One of the comments at CBC:
Quote
Trudeau has a plan to get Canada’s spending up to 2% of our GDP.  Unfortunately his plan is to reduce our GDP.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 12, 2018, 13:37:19
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trudeau-takes-questions-nato-july-1.4743477

Trudeau insists Canada spending enough on defence, as Trump declares victory at NATO
- CBC News · Posted: Jul 12, 2018
Canada's PM reacts to Trump saying he convinced NATO allies to increase contributions

Extract: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada hasn't committed to spending new money on defence, despite U.S. President Donald Trump's comments that he convinced NATO allies to dramatically hike spending. Instead, Trudeau said at the wrap of the summit in Brussels, Canada has reaffirmed its commitment to work towards contributing two per cent of its gross domestic product to military spending and reverse any cuts. Trudeau said Canada has been "taking the right approach" on defence spending, pointing to the Liberals' plans to increase the defence budget by 70 per cent over the next decade to $32.7 billion. "The president has been consistent that he wants to see people spending more on defence in their countries and we are very pleased we are doing that," Trudeau told reporters. "We'll always step up, with cash yes but also with commitments and capacity. That's what NATO is looking for."


I hope this is not another case, the G7 Conf being the first, that Trump thought he had Canada's agreement, then found out that Trudeau said something else at at his presser.

One of the comments at CBC:
Trudeau is small stuff, Macron is taking the lead here.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/07/12/trumps-claim-that-nato-will-boost-defense-spending-disputed.html

Quote
President Donald Trump closed out his chaotic two-day visit to NATO Thursday by declaring victory, claiming that member nations caved to his demands to significantly increase defense spending and reaffirming his commitment to the alliance.

But there were no immediate specifics on what he had achieved, and French President Emmanuel Macron quickly disputed Trump’s claim that NATO allies have agreed to boost defense spending beyond 2 percent of gross domestic product.

I expect attacks on Macron over twitter shortly.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Good2Golf on July 12, 2018, 13:53:55
...I expect attacks on Macron over twitter shortly.

I call dibs on "Dishonest" and "Weak" for the next game of Trump Twitter Bingo!  ;D
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Thucydides on July 12, 2018, 17:32:40
Once again there is a huge element of unreality in the reporting of the events and what is going on. Why, for example is everyone hysterical about President Trump calling for NATO to actually meet their 2% commitments, especially when President Obama had the same talking points:

https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2016/07/09/press-conference-president-obama-after-nato-summit

What is missing in the analysis is, much like the President is upending the post war domestic, trade and diplomatic conventions which are not really applicable to the post Cold War world anymore, he is also taking a position to radically change the Alliance structures as well. Having "allies" which free load off the United States or fail to make meaningful commitments (very recently it was revealed that the German armed forces had only 10 operational fighters. I am looking for the link, but I believe their submarine fleet is also in a similar state of disarray). And the image of arming against Russian aggression while paying the Russians for strategically important items like fuel also provides a bit of cognitive dissonance, you certainly open yourself to a lot more leverage by the Russians, rather than less...

Frankly, I believe this is a team effort by the entire Trump administration, we should actually be looking for evidence of Secretary Mattis, Secretary Pompeo or John Boulton's fingerprints. The President provides the visible public "push" against entrenched interests and ideas, but maybe a far more useful exercise is to examine who and where these "pushes" are directed against, and figure out the desired end goals of the United States. Given the enormous disparity between the economic, hard and soft power of the United States and Canada, it would be especially useful to see where these goals are aligned with our own interests, far better to run alongside the train and jump aboard than to stand in front of it on the tracks with your hands raised attempting to stop it. (This gets to the idea of deciding if we want to be a North American nation or a European one, a very serious discussion will have to be had to truly determine if CETA and TPP actually do provide a sufficient counterweight to North American and American trade. Regardless of what we choose, the United States will always be on our border, and an angry United States without us having any recourse is not going to be a pleasant experience.

Edit to add:
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: tomahawk6 on July 12, 2018, 17:35:17
The US pays 3.5% so we would need to increase spending a small amount to hit the 4% mark.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 12, 2018, 18:24:03
Once again there is a huge element of unreality in the reporting of the events and what is going on. Why, for example is everyone hysterical about President Trump calling for NATO to actually meet their 2% commitments, especially when President Obama had the same talking points:

https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2016/07/09/press-conference-president-obama-after-nato-summit

What is missing in the analysis is, much like the President is upending the post war domestic, trade and diplomatic conventions which are not really applicable to the post Cold War world anymore, he is also taking a position to radically change the Alliance structures as well. Having "allies" which free load off the United States or fail to make meaningful commitments (very recently it was revealed that the German armed forces had only 10 operational fighters. I am looking for the link, but I believe their submarine fleet is also in a similar state of disarray). And the image of arming against Russian aggression while paying the Russians for strategically important items like fuel also provides a bit of cognitive dissonance, you certainly open yourself to a lot more leverage by the Russians, rather than less...

Frankly, I believe this is a team effort by the entire Trump administration, we should actually be looking for evidence of Secretary Mattis, Secretary Pompeo or John Boulton's fingerprints. The President provides the visible public "push" against entrenched interests and ideas, but maybe a far more useful exercise is to examine who and where these "pushes" are directed against, and figure out the desired end goals of the United States. Given the enormous disparity between the economic, hard and soft power of the United States and Canada, it would be especially useful to see where these goals are aligned with our own interests, far better to run alongside the train and jump aboard than to stand in front of it on the tracks with your hands raised attempting to stop it. (This gets to the idea of deciding if we want to be a North American nation or a European one, a very serious discussion will have to be had to truly determine if CETA and TPP actually do provide a sufficient counterweight to North American and American trade. Regardless of what we choose, the United States will always be on our border, and an angry United States without us having any recourse is not going to be a pleasant experience.

Edit to add:

Excellent find, and I rest my case :nod:

Obama tells 'complacent' Europe to hike military spending

It follows remarks last month in which Mr Obama said European states are “free riders” by demanding the US act in North Africa without putting any “skin in the game”.

Donald Trump, the Republican presidential front-runner, has said Nato is “obsolete” and the US cannot “afford to be the policeman of the world.”

In Europe, the share of domestic spending on the military has fallen six years running, to an average of 1.4 per cent.

The US spends 3.6 per cent, while the UK spends just above two per cent. At the bottom of the table are Luxembourg (0.47 per cent), Hungary (0.85 per cent) and Spain (0.89 per cent).

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/25/obama-tells-complacent-europe-to-hike-military-spending/


Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: CBH99 on July 12, 2018, 18:31:12
Just goes to show you how far 'likeability' goes...and how true the saying is that it's usually not WHAT you say, but HOW you say it.  (For all of us lucky bastards who are married, I think we all understand just how true that saying is?  Or is that just me?)
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: mariomike on July 12, 2018, 19:42:14
Just goes to show you how far 'likeability' goes...and how true the saying is that it's usually not WHAT you say, but HOW you say it.  (For all of us lucky bastards who are married, I think we all understand just how true that saying is?  Or is that just me?)

I think I do.

Years ago, a very likeable guy told me that likeability is 90 per cent of the battle.

Not being a good guy. Being a likeable guy. Big difference.  :)

Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Infanteer on July 12, 2018, 21:15:00
Once again there is a huge element of unreality in the reporting of the events and what is going on. Why, for example is everyone hysterical about President Trump calling for NATO to actually meet their 2% commitments, especially when President Obama had the same talking points:

Its not unreliability in reporting.

Say you and I are neighbours, and you don't cut your grass, even through there is a bylaw saying you should do so.  If I come over and say "Hey, I'm Barry.  I'm going to ask you to mow the lawn and do your part," you're likely to take it a certain way.  If I come over with a big red hat on, s**t on your driveway, finger you and say "mow your f**king lawn," you're likely to take it a certain way.

Yeah, sure - in both cases I asked you to mow the lawn, but that's only half the story.  To refuse to see that other half, or discount its importance and effect, is just being willingly or unwillingly tone-deaf.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: PPCLI Guy on July 13, 2018, 09:21:43
An excellent piece this morning from Robert Kagan.  He points out that NATO has been under extreme pressure for sometime, but that the summit this week spells its death knell.  As NATO crumbles, so shall the rest of the edifice that is the world order of the last 70 years that has delivered unprecedented stability and prosperity.

Quote

Things will not be okay
 
by Robert Kagan July 12 at 4:08 PM 

Human beings often choose self-delusion over painful reality, and so in the days and weeks to come, we will hear reassurances that the NATO alliance is in good shape. After all, there have been spats in the past — over the Suez crisis in 1956, Vietnam in the 1960s and ’70s, missile deployment in the Reagan years and, of course, Iraq. American presidents have been complaining about shortfalls in European defense spending for decades. President Trump is not wrong to criticize Germany’s pipeline deal with Russia. As for this week’s fractious summit, we are urged to focus on the substance, not the rhetoric. U.S. forces in Europe have been beefed up in recent years, and new plans are in place to resist Russian aggression. On the ground, the alliance still functions.

All true, but unfortunately beside the point. Small troop deployments and incremental defense increases don’t mean much when the foundations of the alliance are crumbling — as they are and have been for some time. And pointing to previous differences ignores how much political and international circumstances have changed over the past decade. Europe faces new problems, as well as the return of some of the old problems that led to catastrophe in the past; and Americans have a very different attitude toward the world than they did during the Cold War. This is not just another family quarrel.

The transatlantic community was in trouble even before Trump took office. The peaceful, democratic Europe we had come to take for granted in recent decades has been rocked to the core by populist nationalist movements responding to the massive flow of refugees from the Middle East and Africa. For the first time since World War II , a right-wing party holds a substantial share of seats in the German Bundestag. Authoritarianism has replaced democracy, or threatens to, in such major European states as Hungary and Poland, and democratic practices and liberal values are under attack in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. France remains one election away from a right-wing nationalist leadership, and Italy has already taken a big step in that direction. Meanwhile, Britain, which played such a key role in Europe during and after the Cold War, has taken itself out of the picture and has become, globally, a pale shadow of its former self. The possibility that Europe could return to its dark past is greater today than at any time during the Cold War.

Some of that has to do with the changing attitude of the United States in recent years. It’s little secret that President Barack Obama had no great interest in Europe. Obama, like Trump, spoke of allied “free riders,” and his “pivot” to Asia was widely regarded by Europeans as a pivot away from them. Obama rattled Eastern Europe in his early years by canceling planned missile-defense installations in Poland and the Czech Republic as an inducement to Vladimir Putin to embrace a “reset” of relations. In his later years he rattled Western Europe when he did not enforce his famous “red lines” in Syria. Both actions raised doubts about American reliability, and the Obama administration’s refusal to take action in Syria to stem the flow of refugees contributed heavily to the present strain.

Obama was only doing what he thought the American people wanted. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with the 2008 financial crisis, left Americans disenchanted with global involvement and receptive to arguments that the alliances and institutions they supported for all those years no longer served their interests. The Obama administration tried to pare back the American role without abandoning the liberal world order, hoping it was more self-sustaining than it turned out to be. But the path was open to a politician willing to exploit Americans’ disenchantment, which is precisely what Trump did in 2016.

NATO has never been a self-operating machine that simply chugs ahead so long as it is left alone. Like the liberal world order of which it is the core, it requires constant tending, above all by the United States. And because it is a voluntary alliance of democratic peoples, it survives on a foundation of public support. That foundation has been cracking in recent years. This week was an opportunity to shore it up. Instead, Trump took a sledgehammer to it.

Never mind the final communique that Trump deigned to sign, or his reassurance at the end that the alliance was “very unified, very strong, no problem,” and or his claim that “I believe in NATO.” In his press comments alongside NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, in his tweets and in his private comments to European leaders, Trump made clear that he does not believe in NATO. In fact, he used this summit to lay out for the American people why NATO was not only “obsolete,” as he once said, but also a rotten deal for them.

Consider the question of allied military spending. As many pointed out, Trump could have come to Brussels and taken credit for the increased commitments that the Allies have made — and of course he did force Stoltenberg to give him credit. But then he moved the goal posts. He insisted the 2 percent of gross domestic product mark must be reached not by 2024, as agreed by the alliance (including the United States), but by January — something he knows is impossible. Then he went further, insisting that the allies spend 4 percent of their GDP on defense, higher even than his own defense budget.

These are not negotiating tactics. They are the tactics of someone who does not want a deal. In the private meeting, Trump is reported to have warned the allies that if they did not meet the 2 percent standard by January the United States would “go it alone.” To Stoltenberg he publicly warned that the United States was “not going to put up with it.” Whether he has any intention of making good on such threats scarcely matters. In his tweets, he asked, “What good is NATO” if Germany was paying Russia for gas? Why should the United States pay billions to “subsidize Europe” while it was losing “Big on Trade”? Those comments were not aimed at Europe. They were designed to discredit the alliance in the eyes of his faithful throng back home.

But even Trump must know the likely response in Europe. The insults and humiliations he inflicted on allied leaders will not be forgotten or forgiven. They will make it impossible for European leaders to win public support for the spending Trump disingenuously claims to want. What German leader after such a tongue-lashing could do Trump’s bidding and hope to survive politically?

Any student of history knows that it is moments like this summit that set in motion chains of events that are difficult to stop. The democratic alliance that has been the bedrock of the American-led liberal world order is unraveling. At some point, and probably sooner than we expect, the global peace that that alliance and that order undergirded will unravel, too. Despite our human desire to hope for the best, things will not be okay. The world crisis is upon us.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Journeyman on July 13, 2018, 09:24:59
…. the President is upending the post war domestic, trade and diplomatic conventions which are not really applicable to the post Cold War world anymore
Are those conventions applicable to a growing Cold War 2.0 world?



Aside:  Personally, I believe that diplomatic civility is in order 99.9% of the time;  on very rare occasions, lashing out for shock value may provide some impetus, but when it's constant, it wears thin [well, except to those members of 'his base' who think Beavis & Butthead is a documentary, I guess].  When it is constant, commentary (https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2018/07/12/ralph-peters-trump-merkel-nato-disturbed-child-sot-ac-vpx.cnn.) like  "watching NATO diplomats deal with President Trump at the NATO summit was like watching psychiatrists deal with a disturbed child" isn't "unreality" or some anti-Trump conspiracy, it's a self-inflicted wound.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 13, 2018, 09:46:39
I call dibs on "Dishonest" and "Weak" for the next game of Trump Twitter Bingo!  ;D
Turns out it was May who got the brunt of the American Presidents broadside.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 13, 2018, 10:08:24
An excellent piece this morning from Robert Kagan.  He points out that NATO has been under extreme pressure for sometime, but that the summit this week spells its death knell.  As NATO crumbles, so shall the rest of the edifice that is the world order of the last 70 years that has delivered unprecedented stability and prosperity.
Imagine that.

If NATO members don't reach the target by 2020, instead of 2024 as was agreed on, America would go it alone.

The statesman hasn't yet been born who can undo the damage this american president has done to American prestige, respect, and influence on the world stage.

It's increasingly clear that NATO, the G7, whatever international organization that relies or depends on America can start planning on going on without it. America has ceded it's place in the world, replaced with a level of isolationism not seen since the 1930s.

America has no friends right now. Serve them right. If another attack on the scale of 911 happens in the US after January, I doubt anyone lifts a finger to assist. America can do it alone.

Same goes for Korea. If America comes to the the decision that military action is needed, do it by themselves.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Journeyman on July 13, 2018, 10:43:24
Having a bad day?  Imagine how the past few days have been for Kay Bailey Hutchison, the U.S. ambassador to NATO;  she has to pick up the pieces.  :nod:
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Jarnhamar on July 13, 2018, 10:44:23
I have a question about this USA NATO Germany Russia business because I think it's going over my head.


NATO is essentially there to deter Russia in the Atlantic and by extent in Europe. The US spends a considerable amount of money in NATO, on the defense of Europe and in Germany's defense.

Germany is buying energy (natural gad/oil/whatever) from Russia.

[Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has been working for the Russian energy industry since he lost to Chancellor Merkel in 2005]


Isn't what Germany doing sort of a conflict of interest ?

Why spend money and man power on Germany with a view to protecting them "from Russia" when Germany puts themselves in a position where Russia can turn their lights and heating off, so to speak. Not to mention strengthen Russian economy. That doesn't make sense to me.






A lot of SciFi works about the future show large corporations replacing traditional countries in terms of world disputes, wars and soldiers. Maybe it'll be non-fiction before we know it.



Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 13, 2018, 11:40:50
I have a question about this USA NATO Germany Russia business because I think it's going over my head.


NATO is essentially there to deter Russia in the Atlantic and by extent in Europe. The US spends a considerable amount of money in NATO, on the defense of Europe and in Germany's defense.

Germany is buying energy (natural gad/oil/whatever) from Russia.

[Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has been working for the Russian energy industry since he lost to Chancellor Merkel in 2005]


Isn't what Germany doing sort of a conflict of interest ?

Why spend money and man power on Germany with a view to protecting them "from Russia" when Germany puts themselves in a position where Russia can turn their lights and heating off, so to speak. Not to mention strengthen Russian economy. That doesn't make sense to me.






A lot of SciFi works about the future show large corporations replacing traditional countries in terms of world disputes, wars and soldiers. Maybe it'll be non-fiction before we know it.
This is nonsense.

Every country trades with Russia, and every country that trades with Russia strengthens the Russian economy.

And trade is a two way street, should Russia turn off the taps, there are multiple other sources that Germany can get its gas from, albeit, at a higher price than what Russia sells it for, but Russia, by turning off the gas, would lose out on revenue as well, counter to their own interests.

So unless the american president is calling for a complete and total embargo on Russia, focusing on Germany buying their gas from Russia is nothing but a deflection.

It's ironic, because I get the feeling that after his summit with Putin, the American president is probably going to be asking for a elimination of sanctions on Russia.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 13, 2018, 11:48:05
This is nonsense.

Every country trades with Russia, and every country that trades with Russia strengthens the Russian economy.

And trade is a two way street, should Russia turn off the taps, there are multiple other sources that Germany can get its gas from, albeit, at a higher price than what Russia sells it for, but Russia, by turning off the gas, would lose out on revenue as well, counter to their own interests.

So unless the american president is calling for a complete and total embargo on Russia, focusing on Germany buying their gas from Russia is nothing but a deflection.

It's ironic, because I get the feeling that after his summit with Putin, the American president is probably going to be asking for a elimination of sanctions on Russia.

Trump's main goals in all of his negotiations is to try and shake up existing agreements, with everyone, to try and get a better deal for the US while playing to his base in order to crush the Democrats in the upcoming mid-terms.

He's doing a great job, based on those goals.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 13, 2018, 11:57:40
Trump's main goals in all of his negotiations is to try and shake up existing agreements, with everyone, to try and get a better deal for the US while playing to his base in order to crush the Democrats in the upcoming mid-terms.

He's doing a great job, based on those goals.
America is simply focusing on the best deal it can get for itself, others be damned. No way to constructively come to mutual agreements with anybody else.

It cannot even negotiate a NAFTA deal with its two closest neighbours, one of which is it's largest market for exports. This is America pulling out of global affairs in terms of military, trade, and diplomacy.

No way to sugar coat it or say that he's bluffing. He's doing what he has always said he was going to do, destroy the international arrangements that he feels takes advantage of America. Shame he doesn't see the cost in doing so, but that's what is happening.

If America would rather go it alone on trade,diplomatically, and militarily, then I hope they suffer for that decision.

Because he isn't going to get a better deal on NAFTA, so he will probably just kill it if he can.

He isn't negotiating a better deal on Iran, and Europe and China refuse to follow along.

The Paris deal will continue on in some way shape or form without the only country in the world who refused to go along with it.

TPP will continue along, and ironically, open up the Canadian dairy market that Trump continues to go on about.

NATO, good luck America, will all your foreign adventures without assistance.

G7 will be the G6, and america will be shut out of the west global policy makers and the agenda they set.

America isn't renegotiating anything right now, it's tearing everything up in a fit of nonsense
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Jarnhamar on July 13, 2018, 12:13:33
This is nonsense.


Cutting the supply of fuel and power to would be a great preemptive strike for a Russian invasion of Germany.

Invasion a ridiculous notion? Then why put so much money and effort into germanies defense against them.

Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 13, 2018, 12:17:51
Cutting the supply of fuel and power to would be a great preemptive strike for a Russian invasion of Germany.

Invasion a ridiculous notion? Then why put so much money and effort into germanies defense against them.
The costlier the effort, the less likely it is to be undertaken.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Baz on July 13, 2018, 12:32:39
When I was at SHAPE I heard the saying "the purpose of NATO is to keep the Russians out and the Germans in" more than once.

Given history, do we really think it is a good idea to be marginalizing Germany when nationalism is only starting to rise there again?  Do we really think it is a good idea to plant the idea of militarization in Germany again?  Do we think that by making it even harder for Merkel to keep the government together, and possibly enable the right wing to take root there?
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 13, 2018, 12:44:31
When I was at SHAPE I heard the saying "the purpose of NATO is to keep the Russians out and the Germans in" more than once.

Given history, do we really think it is a good idea to be marginalizing Germany when nationalism is only starting to rise there again?  Do we really think it is a good idea to plant the idea of militarization in Germany again?  Do we think that by making it even harder for Merkel to keep the government together, and possibly enable the right wing to take root there?
At least Germany will be together with a United Europe next time something goes down.

I fear this just creates another military power block to be dealt with in the future.

America, solo.

EII AKA, Europe.

Russia

China.

There is not guarantee the EII plays nicely with the USA should the USA go it alone.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Baz on July 13, 2018, 12:48:04
At least Germany will be together with a United Europe next time something goes down.

Not so sure of that... one result of the US marginalizing NATO and Brexit affecting the EU could be the crumbling of the foundations of both.  It would be ironic that we go back to the situation that the leaders post WWII worked so hard to avoid...
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Journeyman on July 13, 2018, 12:56:33
It would be ironic that we go back to the situation that the leaders post WWII worked so hard to avoid...
You need to stop listening to Alanis Morissette.    ;D
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 13, 2018, 12:59:43
Not so sure of that... one result of the US marginalizing NATO and Brexit affecting the EU could be the crumbling of the foundations of both.  It would be ironic that we go back to the situation that the leaders post WWII worked so hard to avoid...
Could, but looking at the soup sandwich Brexit is turning out to be may be giving some people pause.

I think it's telling that when faced with the American President, and his threats to NATO, Europe turned to increased European integration and the creation of a EII, notably, including the UK.

That's a formidable force right off the bat, France, Germany, the UK working together. If and when NATO dies, the core of it's replacement, in Europe's case, is already built.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Good2Golf on July 13, 2018, 13:11:55
...That's a formidable force right off the bat, France, Germany, the UK working together. If and when NATO dies, the core of it's replacement, in Europe's case, is already built.

Interesting hypothesis: if "Son of Nato" forms after Dad's death, and doesn't have the Eastern European elements in it, thereby re-establishing the buffer that Gorbachev and Yeltsin understood from Reagan would remain post-USSR, is that Trump skillfully maneuvering to re-stabilize the relationship with Russia, thereby actually increasing stability?   ???

Regards
G2G
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 13, 2018, 13:17:54
Interesting hypothesis: if "Son of Nato" forms after Dad's death, and doesn't have the Eastern European elements in it, thereby re-establishing the buffer that Gorbachev and Yeltsin understood from Reagan would remain post-USSR, is that Trump skillfully maneuvering to re-stabilize the relationship with Russia, thereby actually increasing stability?   ???

Regards
G2G
I have no doubts that if the US takes its ball and goes home, PESCO and the EII will be integrated into a single organization.

EII might be for external operations, PESCO for defense. PESCO does have the eastern bloc in it, so I don't see Russia stealing a march on Europe in that regard.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 13, 2018, 13:30:41
When I was at SHAPE I heard the saying "the purpose of NATO is to keep the Russians out and the Germans in" more than once.

Given history, do we really think it is a good idea to be marginalizing Germany when nationalism is only starting to rise there again?  Do we really think it is a good idea to plant the idea of militarization in Germany again?  Do we think that by making it even harder for Merkel to keep the government together, and possibly enable the right wing to take root there?

Germany is already the 'King of Europe', and pretty much calls the shots for the EU, to their economic benefit. Their position is even stronger now with the UK out. Geography is also on their side, being the 'gateway to the east', and at the centre of the developing Chinese Belt and Road super project.

Add a million hard working and grateful refugees (who will breed like rabbits) that they can retrain and stick into their factories at low wages, because the 'Osties' are a lost welfare generation, and I think in about 10 years we'll see the rise of Germany that can go head to head with any other country globally as an economic giant.

Militarily? Their constitution keeps them focused internally, and economic giants call the shots in different ways, so they won't need an armoured blitzkrieg to run things in the future.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Baz on July 13, 2018, 13:38:40
Germany is already the 'King of Europe', and pretty much calls the shots for the EU, to their economic benefit. Their position is even stronger now with the UK out. Geography is also on their side, being the 'gateway to the east', and at the centre of the developing Chinese Belt and Road super project.

Add a million hard working and grateful refugees (who will breed like rabbits) that they can retrain and stick into their factories at low wages, because the 'Osties' are a lost welfare generation, and I think in about 10 years we'll see the rise of Germany that can go head to head with any other country globally as an economic giant.

Militarily? Their constitution keeps them focused internally, and economic giants call the shots in different ways, so they won't need an armoured blitzkrieg to run things in the future.

True... I've also heard it said that Germany finally figured out they didn't need to conquer Europe, they just needed to buy it.

I guess what I'm saying is Nationalism hasn't served as well historically...
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 13, 2018, 13:39:47
True... I've also heard it said that Germany finally figured out they didn't need to conquer Europe, they just needed to buy it.

I guess what I'm saying is Nationalism hasn't served as well historically...
Neither has American isolationism, but here we are.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Baz on July 13, 2018, 13:50:42
Neither has American isolationism, but here we are.

In a lot of ways they are two sides of the same coin.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Infanteer on July 13, 2018, 13:51:26
Isn't what Germany doing sort of a conflict of interest ?

Trade is a two way street when it comes to interest.

Look who the US traded with during the Cold War.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1979/10/04/huge-grain-sale-to-soviet-union-approved-by-us/41b3bc1d-8f75-4ed6-98db-77556322a3d9/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.5c6f84f17b81
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Colin P on July 13, 2018, 14:20:45
Putin does not need to invade all of Europe when he can turn off the heat in winter instead. Putin wants to be able to control Europe and he is setting them up for that. Poland has told him to pound sand. For Europe, buying cheap gas from Russia is ok, as long as they have the infrastructure to receive and move gas from other sources. Including a smallish contract in place already with agreements for emergency supplies as required. Canada should lobby for that and work on Energy East and another LNG loading terminal to supplement Bearhead.
This means Putin cannot control Europe, but still has trade and revenue coming in, a fairish trade.   
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Retired AF Guy on July 13, 2018, 18:45:23
Trade is a two way street when it comes to interest.

Look who the US traded with during the Cold War.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1979/10/04/huge-grain-sale-to-soviet-union-approved-by-us/41b3bc1d-8f75-4ed6-98db-77556322a3d9/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.5c6f84f17b81

At the same time, the Soviet Union was also one of major recipients of Canadian grain (IIRC Red China was also a major recipient).
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: PuckChaser on July 13, 2018, 18:54:30
Russia's lost $1T USD in its GDP in the last couple of years, do you think they'd ever turn off LNG exports to Europe that account for roughly 12-15% of their entire export economy? They'd bankrupt themselves. Russia needs Europe as much as Europe needs Russia.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 13, 2018, 19:22:41
Russia's lost $1T USD in its GDP in the last couple of years, do you think they'd ever turn off LNG exports to Europe that account for roughly 12-15% of their entire export economy? They'd bankrupt themselves. Russia needs Europe as much as Europe needs Russia.

Until the supply chain to China kicks in....
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Colin P on July 13, 2018, 20:54:56
At the same time, the Soviet Union was also one of major recipients of Canadian grain (IIRC Red China was also a major recipient).

Russia is now the largest grain exporter in the world. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-16/russia-is-exporting-more-wheat-than-any-country-in-25-years
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Cloud Cover on July 13, 2018, 21:44:34
Until the supply chain to China kicks in....

Indeed! And that time is not too far away: https://ig.ft.com/gazprom-pipeline-power-of-siberia/
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Eye In The Sky on July 14, 2018, 10:54:07

That's a formidable force right off the bat, France, Germany, the UK working together.

Seriously?

It's funny you discount the military power of the USA so quickly, 'they can go it alone'...but consider that triad to be a formidable force. 
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Jarnhamar on July 14, 2018, 14:09:24
Seriously?

It's funny you discount the military power of the USA so quickly, 'they can go it alone'...but consider that triad to be a formidable force.

Those 3 countries have some serious internal security problems that aren't getting any better.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Infanteer on July 14, 2018, 14:39:54
Those 3 countries have some serious internal security problems that aren't getting any better.

You could say the same about the U.S.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Jarnhamar on July 14, 2018, 15:11:20
You could say the same about the U.S.

In hindsight yes definitely. I don;t think it's at the same level as the other 3 or with the same type of players but definitely a possibility for increased security concerns that the police may not be able to handle. In the case of the states though there's 400 million guns involved so those could act as a deterrent or accelerate.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: PPCLI Guy on July 14, 2018, 15:20:26
Those 3 countries have some serious internal security problems that aren't getting any better.

Are they also being over-run by murders, rapists and MS13?
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 14, 2018, 15:34:10
Are they also being over-run by murders, rapists and MS13?

Do Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn count? :)
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Infanteer on July 14, 2018, 15:38:37
In hindsight yes definitely. I don;t think it's at the same level as the other 3 or with the same type of players but definitely a possibility for increased security concerns that the police may not be able to handle. In the case of the states though there's 400 million guns involved so those could act as a deterrent or accelerate.

What are the internal security risks in the U.K., Germany, and France?  How do they differ than the U.S.?  How are they more or less than the U.S.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Jarnhamar on July 14, 2018, 15:57:55
Are they also being over-run by murders, rapists and MS13?

I'd say yes to various levels of all 3.

Stabbing epidemic in London, child sex gangs in the UK. Various terrorist attacks. Lots of unrest and violent protests across all 3.
Ms13 is apparently branching out quite a few places too.

Am I wrong to think that internal security problems in Germany UK and France pose a bigger threat to the spirit of NATO than in the US?

Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Jarnhamar on July 14, 2018, 16:10:42
What are the internal security risks in the U.K., Germany, and France?  How do they differ than the U.S.?  How are they more or less than the U.S.
Basically what I said to PPCLI Guy. 

The situation in the US is political with US citizens.  In the other 3 countries I'm thinking the sheer amount of refugees inundating the countries along with aggressive protests seems to me like a bigger security risk if we're talking about the security of the borders.


Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Infanteer on July 14, 2018, 16:20:47
Stabbing epidemic in London, child sex gangs in the UK. Various terrorist attacks. Lots of unrest and violent protests across all 3.
Ms13 is apparently branching out quite a few places too.

Is a stabbing epidemic a internal security threat, or a criminal problem?  It is synonymous with the gun violence epidemic in the U.S. (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-41488081), so if you're going to label London stabbings as an internal security threat, then so are U.S. shootings.

How is a child sex gang an internal security threat?  Those exist in the U.S. as well. (https://www.unicef.org/protection/usa_46464.html)

Lots of unrest and violent protests across all 3?  What was Charlottesville? (http://time.com/charlottesville-white-nationalist-rally-clashes/)
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Jarnhamar on July 14, 2018, 16:36:58
Is a stabbing epidemic a internal security threat, or a criminal problem?  It is synonymous with the gun violence epidemic in the U.S. (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-41488081), so if you're going to label London stabbings as an internal security threat, then so are U.S. shootings.

How is a child sex gang an internal security threat?  Those exist in the U.S. as well. (https://www.unicef.org/protection/usa_46464.html)

Lots of unrest and violent protests across all 3?  What was Charlottesville? (http://time.com/charlottesville-white-nationalist-rally-clashes/)

PPCLI Guy asked "Are they also being over-run by murders, rapists and MS13?" so I responded yes and gave what I thought were good examples.

Stabbings in London. Child sex stuff in the UK. I left out the high sexual assault rates across a lot of Europe including countries like Germany where the police are getting caught hiding sexual assault cases. Not to mention more terrorist attacks in those countries drawing more resources.

As for Charlottesville I'd argue that's more of a case of people vs people and less about people vs the government.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Infanteer on July 14, 2018, 16:38:58
Am I wrong to think that internal security problems in Germany UK and France pose a bigger threat to the spirit of NATO than in the US?

Basically what I said to PPCLI Guy. 

The situation in the US is political with US citizens.  In the other 3 countries I'm thinking the sheer amount of refugees inundating the countries along with aggressive protests seems to me like a bigger security risk if we're talking about the security of the borders.

If the situation in the US is political with US citizens, then why does the current administration put so much political capital into Central American migrants?

As for refugees, are they really an internal security threat?  Where is the data to back this up?  How can the "sheer number" (https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2017-countries-of-asylum-for-migrants/) of refugees be a problem for France who took just a 25,000 more than the U.S., or the U.K., who actually took less than the U.S.?

To your first question, Europe's political issues surrounding migrants and refugees seem to track in domestic issues and outward into E.U. concerns.  I've never heard of the refugee/migrant issue as a threat to the "spirit of NATO" - it actually appears that European countries are working together (https://www.politico.eu/article/nato-and-eu-close-ranks-in-bid-to-halt-migrants-counter-russia-vladimir-putin-refugee-crisis-europe/) on dealing with it through both the E.U. and NATO.

When the largest ally in the organization goes to social media to complain about the alliance being "obsolete" (https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/712969068396093440?lang=en) and "worse than NAFTA," and than proceeds to embarass the next two biggest allies in public before taking off for a one-on-one meeting with the primary security concern in Eastern Europe, I'd argue that yes, the current U.S. administration poses a "bigger threat to the spirit of NATO" than the the ill-defined "internal security problems" (whatever those actually may be).  The President's view that alliances are bad for the U.S. is well known.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Jarnhamar on July 14, 2018, 17:16:35
If the situation in the US is political with US citizens, then why does the current administration put so much political capital into Central American migrants?
No idea.

Quote
As for refugees, are they really an internal security threat?  Where is the data to back this up?

Speculation. 
What kind of damage could you do if you got thousands of refugees primed and riled up? Weaponized so to speak.
What do you suppose would have happened if it was a prophet Mohamed blimp instead of a Trump blimp flown over London. Do you think the London police could have handled that? I don't.

Basically what I'm suggesting is that there are a lot of refugees in Europe (and those 3 aforementioned countries)  and if they become collectively pissed off enough their numbers could pose a serious security concern. Russia would then theoretically be in a better position to invade with those countries looking inwards. 

But, you mentioned trade is a two way street (agreed) and it doesn't behoove Russia to attack someone they're making so much money from.

SO, if Russia is so un-inclined to invade Europe (which I think they're not inclined to do) then how important IS NATO? And should the US be spending so much money on NATO and Europe's defense if 2018 Russia isn't the threat that 1960 Russia was?


I think the US (1949 to now) used NATO not only to draw a line in the sand against the Russians but to get their hands involved in a hell of a lot of workings of foreign countries. I think just maybe Trump realized this* and doesn't see Russia as poised to take over Europe and wants to reinvest US efforts and material elsewhere. And maybe be just a little less involved in everyone's business.


*I remember near when Trump was first elected he drew some ire for saying "You think our country's so innocent?" when talking about Russia. I found it a very astute point to make.


Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Infanteer on July 14, 2018, 18:34:34
Speculation. 
What kind of damage could you do if you got thousands of refugees primed and riled up? Weaponized so to speak.
What do you suppose would have happened if it was a prophet Mohamed blimp instead of a Trump blimp flown over London. Do you think the London police could have handled that? I don't.

You conflate "migrants," "refugees," and "Muslims" in the same though experiment.  Which is it?

As for speculation, replace "Muslim refugees" with "African Americans."  Look at Ferguson (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferguson_unrest) for a real, as opposed to speculative, case study.  Add the fact that Russian actors target African Americans online to stoke racial tensions (https://www.npr.org/2018/03/27/597021235/tumblrs-ban-of-russian-accounts-adds-detail-to-targeting-of-black-americans) and you really have to wonder who would be more vulnerable to social disorder.

What I'm getting at goes to your original question/point - I don't believe the U.K., France, or Germany have any reason to be more or less fearful or concerned than the U.S. about ethnic tensions in their countries.

Quote
SO, if Russia is so un-inclined to invade Europe (which I think they're not inclined to do) then how important IS NATO? And should the US be spending so much money on NATO and Europe's defense if 2018 Russia isn't the threat that 1960 Russia was?

The concern isn't with an invasion of France, or Germany, or Poland.  The concern is for Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, who've already experienced other forms of hostility from Russian actors. (https://www.bbc.com/news/39655415)  The fear in Europe is that if NATO was apatheic, or riven by division, then it'd do nothing if "little green men" cross into the Baltic states.

Are sanctions as effective if not backstopped by a U.S.-led NATO?  Nobody has to really discuss nuclear deterrence when NATO's conventional deterrence is as strong as it is (relative to Russia).  But what if that calculus changes?  Are Russian calculations on NATO deterrent efforts in the Baltics different if the US is not involved in NATO?

I think, if you answer those questions, some intrinsic value to NATO may become apparent.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: tomahawk6 on July 14, 2018, 19:03:34
Since this is hypothetical I will posit that the zombie threat is not to be overlooked. ;D
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Remius on July 14, 2018, 19:23:00
Since this is hypothetical I will posit that the zombie threat is not to be overlooked. ;D

Need those shovel truncheons from WWZ.  The book not the garbage movie...
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: GR66 on July 14, 2018, 19:26:36
I think Infanteer makes some excellent points.

I'm in total agreement with those that contend that the threat to NATO is not Russian invasion and occupation of the Western European heartland.  I don't believe that Russia has either the military capability or the political desire to do that.  The numbers don't support it (population, relative overall forces, geographical area, etc.) and the existence of a nuclear deterrent make the fears of 1949 very different than the fears of 2018. 

That being said, there certainly are military threats on the periphery of Europe and of NATO itself.  While Russia may not be a military threat to NATO as a whole, it certainly has the ability to generate local superiority of forces in order to obtain limited military objectives.  Eastern Ukraine, the Baltic States, Georgia, the Balkans, Hungary, Syria, Iran, the "Stans", etc. are all potential targets for limited political/hybrid/military action.   A weakened NATO with an isolationist United States not present to provide a strong military backbone is a gift for Russia in this sense.

We may complain that the massive US post-war military has lead to American military adventurism and meddling in the affairs of other states, but also remember that it is that same massive US military that acts as a bulwark against the expansionist plans of illiberal powers such as Russia and China. 

Many on here have argued that we (the West) already have enough military power to stop a Russian invasion of Europe and that 2% of GDP is a completely arbitrary number for defence spending targets and I totally agree.  However, I'd ask those people to tell me if NATO has the right type of forces available to respond to a sudden Russian annexation of the Donbass, or intervention on behalf of Russian-speaking populations in Eastern Estonia or Latvia, etc.

2% of GDP may be a completely arbitrary number as a measure of defence spending, but what other measure would you use instead?  2% doesn't speak to overall effectiveness, but with that level of funding you'd hope at least that a nation would be able to provide some type of effective military contribution. 

We may not need to literally defend Europe at this point (at least in the sense that it was seen when NATO was founded in 1949), but there are certainly still threats to the liberalism on which Western society relies which do require the ability to muster strong military responses to the threats that we face.  I strongly disagree with Donald Trump on most thing, but in this one particular area I think he is right...the rest of NATO has been shirking its responsibilities and needs to carry more of the military burden.

 :2c:

Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: tomahawk6 on July 14, 2018, 19:55:26
Would the US actually use nukes to save Europe ? One reason for US troops in Poland to act as a trip wire. Our real deterrant were neutron weapons which went away.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Jarnhamar on July 14, 2018, 20:20:14
You conflate "migrants," "refugees," and "Muslims" in the same though experiment.  Which is it?
Lets rip a page out of the EU's book and call them Asian or people of North African descent.

Quote
As for speculation, replace "Muslim refugees" with "African Americans."  Look at Ferguson (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferguson_unrest) for a real, as opposed to speculative, case study.  Add the fact that Russian actors target African Americans online to stoke racial tensions (https://www.npr.org/2018/03/27/597021235/tumblrs-ban-of-russian-accounts-adds-detail-to-targeting-of-black-americans) and you really have to wonder who would be more vulnerable to social disorder.[/qupte]

So Russians are getting African Americans riled up on Tumblr? I believe it, smart move. If we're being honest, African American males count for the majority of murder statistics (murdered and murdering) in the US as well as majority of incarcerated persons. It seems logical they would be a target of Russia if they wanted to sow discord. I can easily seem them doing the same with Asians and North African refugees et el in the US or especially Europe. Again, can you imagine the fall out of a prophet Mohamed blimp in London? Ouch.

Quote
What I'm getting at goes to your original question/point - I don't believe the U.K., France, or Germany have any reason to be more or less fearful or concerned than the U.S. about ethnic tensions in their countries.
Okay. I still think the sheer number of refugees in those countries pose a security risk. I don't believe the US has concentrations of refugee camps like places like Calais does. And the problem isn't solely refugees but also nationals who are fed up, legitimately or not, with refugees. Both IMO can be weaponized.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pS8PqMUMOrg
British truck drivers want army protection after migrant attacks.

and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYAuOmOT1Ak




Quote
The concern isn't with an invasion of France, or Germany, or Poland.  The concern is for Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, who've already experienced other forms of hostility from Russian actors. (https://www.bbc.com/news/39655415)  The fear in Europe is that if NATO was apatheic, or riven by division, then it'd do nothing if "little green men" cross into the Baltic states.
Yea, Russia is ******* with us for sure along that front. GPS spoofing, cell phone text hijacking. Are we actually concerned that Russia is going to roll across into Latvia or are they just being dicks?


Quote
Are sanctions as effective if not backstopped by a U.S.-led NATO?  Nobody has to really discuss nuclear deterrence when NATO's conventional deterrence is as strong as it is (relative to Russia).  But what if that calculus changes?  Are Russian calculations on NATO deterrent efforts in the Baltics different if the US is not involved in NATO?
The US sold uranium to Rosatom, the same company that provides energy to Germany. I feel like if they were that much of a threat the US wouldn't have been selling them uranium.

Quote
I think, if you answer those questions, some intrinsic value to NATO may become apparent.
I'm as much a koolaid drinker as the next grunt but when it seemed more and more like Turkey, a NATO country, was buying and dealing with oil with ISIS I lost a bit of faith. Not to mention the US secretary of state admitted to knowing the weapons the US was selling Saudi Arabia was finding it's way into ISIS hands. NATO seems more of a business than line of defense.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Infanteer on July 14, 2018, 20:45:02
Yea, Russia is ******* with us for sure along that front. GPS spoofing, cell phone text hijacking. Are we actually concerned that Russia is going to roll across into Latvia or are they just being dicks?

Replace "Latvia" in your question with "Eastern Ukraine" and ask yourself the question in 2014.

Estonia sure isn't taking chances. (https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/07/10/they-will-die-in-tallinn-estonia-girds-for-war-with-russia-218965)
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Fishbone Jones on July 14, 2018, 22:44:45
Are they also being over-run by murders, rapists and MS13?
Maybe not MS-13...........yet.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Infanteer on July 15, 2018, 04:35:34
 :boring:

Are we seriously putting a street gang from a country of 6 million people with less members than the Crips or Bloods at the top of the security threat pyramid?
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Journeyman on July 15, 2018, 09:33:18
When the largest ally in the organization goes to social media to complain about the alliance being "obsolete" (https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/712969068396093440?lang=en) and "worse than NAFTA," and than proceeds to embarass the next two biggest allies in public before taking off for a one-on-one meeting with the primary security concern in Eastern Europe, I'd argue that yes, the current U.S. administration poses a "bigger threat to the spirit of NATO" than the ill-defined "internal security problems" (whatever those actually may be).  The President's view that alliances are bad for the U.S. is well known.
I just wanted to repeat this so that it doesn't get lost in the shuffle;  again, can't wait to see what gets tweeted out of Helsinki regarding NATO and/or Baltic security concerns.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Jarnhamar on July 15, 2018, 11:09:32
Replace "Latvia" in your question with "Eastern Ukraine" and ask yourself the question in 2014.

Estonia sure isn't taking chances. (https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/07/10/they-will-die-in-tallinn-estonia-girds-for-war-with-russia-218965)

I was doing some reading and thinking about it and I see your point. Previously I thought they justified what they're doing with Ukraine because it had closer ties with Russia and if I'm not mistaken some R&D sites but it seems like Estonia and Latvia could very well face the same situation.

So chances of Germany and France being invaded aren't high but those smaller countries seems like a definite possibility,  or even a chunk of them grabbed since there's "Russians living there" .
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 15, 2018, 12:09:43
I was doing some reading and thinking about it and I see your point. Previously I thought they justified what they're doing with Ukraine because it had closer ties with Russia and if I'm not mistaken some R&D sites but it seems like Estonia and Latvia could very well face the same situation.

So chances of Germany and France being invaded aren't high but those smaller countries seems like a definite possibility,  or even a chunk of them grabbed since there's "Russians living there" .

Nazi Germany used similar excuses to unite all 'ethnic Germans' under one Reich: the Third...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_Germanic_Reich

This pan-Germanic Empire was expected to assimilate practically all of Germanic Europe into an enormously expanded Reich. Territorially speaking, this encompassed the already-enlarged German Reich itself (consisting of pre-1938 Germany proper, Austria, Bohemia, Moravia, Alsace-Lorraine, Eupen-Malmedy, Memel, Lower Styria, Upper Carniola, Southern Carinthia and German-occupied Poland), the Netherlands, the Flemish part of Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, at least the German-speaking parts of Switzerland and Liechtenstein.[5]

Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: dapaterson on July 15, 2018, 13:35:47
Those who do not learn the past are doomed to repeat it.

Those who do learn the past are doomed to watch others repeat it.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 15, 2018, 14:11:50
https://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/donald-trump-interview-cbs-news-european-union-is-a-foe-ahead-of-putin-meeting-in-helsinki-jeff-glor/

Quote
In an interview with "CBS Evening News" anchor Jeff Glor in Scotland on Saturday, President Trump named the European Union -- comprising some of America's oldest allies -- when asked to identify his "biggest foe globally right now."

"Well, I think we have a lot of foes. I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade. Now, you wouldn't think of the European Union, but they're a foe. Russia is foe in certain respects. China is a foe economically, certainly they are a foe. But that doesn't mean they are bad. It doesn't mean anything. It means that they are competitive," Mr. Trump said at his golf club in Turnberry, Scotland.
Nice to see america has its adversaries in the proper order.

Foes,  canada, Mexico,  and the EU

Lesser foes, china. NK

Friends,  russia.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Infanteer on July 15, 2018, 14:17:28
Nothing really wrong with what the President said there.  The E.U. is an economic competitor, along with China. 
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: PuckChaser on July 15, 2018, 14:39:36
Nothing really wrong with what the President said there.  The E.U. is an economic competitor, along with China.

Exactly. The IMF, World Bank and UN all have the EU a very close second to the US in GDP, with China in striking distance in 3rd. Russia isn't even in the top 10.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 15, 2018, 14:56:53
Definition of foe 

1.

a. A personal enemy or opponent.

b. One who is opposed to an idea or cause:

2. An enemy in war.

3. Something that is destructive or injurious




      

Definition of competitor

: one that competes: such as

a : rival a fierce competitor on the soccer field

b : one selling or buying goods or services in the same market as another offering lower prices than our competitors

c : an organism that lives in competition with another

Which is the EU again?
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Infanteer on July 15, 2018, 15:05:27
Well, stand next to the President with a Webster's dictionary next time.  The rest of us are able to discern intent.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 15, 2018, 16:56:18
Well, stand next to the President with a Webster's dictionary next time.  The rest of us are able to discern intent.
last time I tried to discern intent,  Canada,  Mexico,  China,  and the EU ended up with tariffs slapped on them.

Just like he said he would do,  turns out it was less of posturing and pressure tactics and far more literal
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 16, 2018, 11:43:35
So tough on Russia, the american president is.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/16/politics/donald-trump-putin-helsinki-summit/index.html
Quote
Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!

Hilariously, Russia tweeted back "We Agree"

That return on investment for helping The President win in 2016 is really working out in Putins favor.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 16, 2018, 13:32:26
Well, stand next to the President with a Webster's dictionary next time.  The rest of us are able to discern intent.
Hot damn, the President knows the exact difference between competitor and foe.

https://www.cnn.com/politics/live-news/trump-putin-helsinki/index.html

Quote
"I called him a competitor, and a good competitor he is. I think the word competitor is a compliment"

The EU is a "Foe", Russia is a "Competitor"

Turns out he means EXACTLY what he says. Go figure.
last time I tried to discern intent,  Canada,  Mexico,  China,  and the EU ended up with tariffs slapped on them.

Just like he said he would do,  turns out it was less of posturing and pressure tactics and far more literal
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 16, 2018, 13:51:41
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/16/world/europe/trump-putin-summit-helsinki.html

Quote
And at a breakfast on Monday with President Sauli Niinisto of Finland, Mr. Trump said his tactics had been just the tough love needed to strengthen the alliance.

“I enjoyed being with you a couple of days ago,” Mr. Trump told Mr. Niinisto. “NATO has, I think, never been stronger. It was a little bit tough at the beginning, but it turned out to be love. I appreciated your support.”

It was not clear what support Mr. Trump was referring to. Mr. Niinisto attended the NATO gathering, but Finland is not a NATO member, so he would not have been in a position to help the president’s push for more military spending. — Julie Hirschfeld Davis

That's cute. I wonder what would be the response to this if Trudeau had done it.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 16, 2018, 14:00:03
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/16/world/europe/trump-putin-summit-helsinki.html

That's cute. I wonder what would be the response to this if Trudeau had done it.

The difference is that no one cares what a lightweight like Trudeau thinks, outside of the usual eastern Canadian pork barrel circuit that is....
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 16, 2018, 14:08:45
The difference is that no one cares what a lightweight like Trudeau thinks, outside of the usual eastern Canadian pork barrel circuit that is....
Au contraire, I think if Trudeau had said that, the usual suspects would be up in arms about how he is a political novice, how he is ruining relations with other countries, doesn't take NATO seriously, dumb as rocks, you know, the usual. He got that kind of stuff for his India visit.

Amazingly, the US president can go and say that, and at this point, nobody blinks an eye.

Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Jarnhamar on July 16, 2018, 14:13:25
Trudeau would have been dressed up in traditional Finnish clothing.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Good2Golf on July 16, 2018, 14:16:10
Amazingly, the US president can go and say that, and at this point, nobody blinks an eye.

I'm not sure if I'd say "Amazingly..." -- after all, the (now) President did tell people he could shoot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue and still not lose any voters (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkz7xgsPGmQ).  Eye-blinking pretty much became passé after that...
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 16, 2018, 14:20:01
Trudeau would have been dressed up in traditional Finnish clothing.
Probably.

But I don't think he would have said something so mind blowingly stupid. Which I think matters a tad more than what he is wearing.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 16, 2018, 14:26:37
I'm not sure if I'd say "Amazingly..." -- after all, the (now) President did tell people he could shoot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue and still not lose any voters (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkz7xgsPGmQ).  Eye-blinking pretty much became passé after that...
That was a candidate on trying to win an election. Minor impact.

This is the president of the United States of America, going to a NATO conference, dealing with NATO for almost 2 years, getting daily briefings, and somehow not knowing that Finland isn't a NATO member, and that it's President wasn't at the conference that he just left earlier in the week.

That is amazing.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: TheHead on July 16, 2018, 14:28:20
He pretty much blamed everyone but the Russians  :rofl:  Twelve Russians, with more to come,  have been indicted and he blames everyone but the problem.  I don't think he lives in the same reality that everyone else does.  I believe it was mentioned before but the Americans really do deserve this man.  It's making them and his diehard supporters look foolish.

   
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Remius on July 16, 2018, 14:35:37
So another world leader "handles" Trump.  First Kim, now Putin. 

Not surprised really. 
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: TheHead on July 16, 2018, 14:38:27
So another world leader "handles" Trump.  First Kim, now Putin. 

Not surprised really.

He really does like cozying up with dictators. I expect to see him cozy up to Omar al-Bashir and blaming crooked Hillary, Mueller and the Democrats for what happened in Sudan.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 16, 2018, 15:09:46
So another world leader "handles" Trump.  First Kim, now Putin. 

Not surprised really.
It's amazing to me that he can badmouth the EU, Elizabeth May, Angela Merkel, Justin Trudeau, NATO on a whole, the G7, the WTO, China(But not Xi), Mexico, but cannot, with a mountain of evidence from his own intelligence services, say a bad word about Putin.

Going as far as to say that the USA deserves equal blame for poor Russia US relations, and both side have made mistakes?

After the tongue lashing he has given everyone else?

This has been the weakest performance by an American president against a Russian one in history. This, after being the tough man versus Americas allies.

Quote
Helsinki, Finland (CNN)US President Donald Trump, in a stunning rebuke of the US intelligence community, declined on Monday to endorse the US government's assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election, saying he doesn't "see any reason why" Russia would be responsible.

Instead, Trump -- standing alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin -- touted Putin's vigorous denial and pivoted to complaining about the Democratic National Committee's server and missing emails from Hillary Clinton's personal account.
"I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today," Trump said during a joint news conference following his summit with Putin.
https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/16/politics/donald-trump-putin-helsinki-summit/index.html
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: suffolkowner on July 16, 2018, 15:27:50
Trump's a poor president at best, but that doesn't mean that NATO's overall preparedness over provisioning or Canada's in particular are acceptable to me. If he can badger an improvement and greater acceptance of responsibility out of someone I will take it.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 16, 2018, 15:43:00
Trump's a poor president at best, but that doesn't mean that NATO's overall preparedness over provisioning or Canada's in particular are acceptable to me. If he can badger an improvement and greater acceptance of responsibility out of someone I will take it.
No worries.

We don't need NATO. The American President is best friends with the Russian one. Nothing bad can happen.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Fishbone Jones on July 16, 2018, 15:54:38
No worries.

We don't need NATO. The American President is best friends with the Russian one. Nothing bad can happen.
:rofl: that's near as hilarious trudeau's eulogy to Castro or his praise of dictatorships, including China.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 16, 2018, 16:05:08
:rofl: that's near as hilarious trudeau's eulogy to Castro or his praise of dictatorships, including China.
Ah China. Yes.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-04/trump-tells-donors-china-s-xi-president-for-life-cnn-says

Quote
“Don’t forget China’s great and Xi is a great gentleman. He’s now president for life,” Trump told Republican backers. The crowd erupted in laughter in response to the remarks made Saturday at his Mar-a-Lago estate.

“And look, he was able to do that,” Trump said. “I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll give that a shot some day,” he said, prompting more laughter. The White House didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
North American leaders sure do have weird views on China.

Now, a question for you. Are both the Canadian PMs comments on China and the American Presidents comment on China unacceptable, or is it simply the Canadian PMs comments that are to be criticized?
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Fishbone Jones on July 16, 2018, 16:19:10
Ah China. Yes.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-04/trump-tells-donors-china-s-xi-president-for-life-cnn-says
 North American leaders sure do have weird views on China.

Now, a question for you. Are both the Canadian PMs comments on China and the American Presidents comment on China unacceptable, or is it simply the Canadian PMs comments that are to be criticized?
Are you comparing Trumps gamesmanship and ego stroking with our great leader's core beliefs and morality?

If so, yup, Trump gets a buy from me.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: tomahawk6 on July 16, 2018, 16:20:08
Maybe Trudeau wants to be PM for life,  ;D
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 16, 2018, 16:23:48
https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/16/europe/heiko-maas-trump-comments-intl/index.html

Quote
Germany's foreign minister said Monday that the European Union could "no longer completely rely on the White House," echoing Chancellor Angela Merkel's veiled criticism of US President Donald Trump a year ago and amplifying a war of words between the two allies.

Heiko Maas' comments came a few hours after Trump described the European Union as a "foe" that has "taken advantage" of the US over trade and NATO, and on the same day as a bilateral summit between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In an interview with the Funke media group, the Social Democrat politician said the US President's statement on the EU "unfortunately shows once again how wide the political Atlantic has become since Donald Trump has been in office."
The EU's relationship with the US must change if it is to continue, Maas said, insisting that this could be achieved only with a "self-confident and sovereign Europe."

Influence fading fast. Rather than push Europe to do what the USA wants, he's only pushing the EU away from the US to the point where it will simply only do what it wants.

But at least the Russian USA relationship is on the mend. Definitely hitching the American cart to the right horse there.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 16, 2018, 16:31:55
Are you comparing Trumps gamesmanship and ego stroking with our great leader's core beliefs and morality?

If so, yup, Trump gets a buy from me.
The American President has a long history of sugaring up for brutal dictators and leaders

Quote
Russian President Vladimir Putin
What Trump said about him: “If he says great things about me, I’m going to say great things about him. I’ve already said, he is really very much of a leader. I mean, you can say, ‘Oh, isn’t that a terrible thing’—the man has very strong control over a country. Now, it’s a very different system, and I don’t happen to like the system. But certainly, in that system, he’s been a leader, far more than our president has been a leader.”

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte
What Trump said about him: “I just wanted to congratulate you because I am hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
What Trump said about him: “Frankly, he’s getting very high marks. He’s also been working with the United States. We have a great friendship and the countries—I think we’re right now as close as we’ve ever been … a lot of that has to do with a personal relationship.”

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
What Trump said about him: “We agree on so many things. I just want to let everybody know in case there was any doubt that we are very much behind President el-Sisi. He’s done a fantastic job in a very difficult situation. We are very much behind Egypt and the people of Egypt. The United States has, believe me, backing, and we have strong backing.”

He has praised Iraq’s Saddam Hussein (while also criticizing him as “a bad guy”) for killing terrorists. “He did that so good,” Trump said in July 2016. “They didn’t read them the rights. They didn’t talk. They were terrorists. Over.”

Trump also said in 2016 that Libya would be better off “if [Moammar] Gaddafi were in charge right now.”

He once tweeted a quote from Benito Mussolini, the Italian fascist leader, and later defended the tweet, saying: “Mussolini was Mussolini ... It’s a very good quote. It’s a very interesting quote... what difference does it make whether it’s Mussolini or somebody else?”

Trump even said China’s brutal crackdown on protesters in Tiananmen Square in 1989 “shows you the power of strength,” contrasting the Communist Party’s action with the United States, which he said “is right now perceived as weak.” Trump made those comments in 1990. When asked about the remarks during the presidential debate in 2016, Trump defended himself and appeared to take the Chinese Communist Party’s view of the events at Tiananmen. He dismissed the deadly military response as a “riot.”

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/03/trump-xi-jinping-dictators/554810/

You telling me that isn't part of his core beliefs, but it is a part of Trudeaus?

Again, if the situation was flipped, and Trudeau said any of the above, you would not be forgiving.

But alas, I don't believe you can say a bad world about the american president anymore than the American president can say a bad word about Putin.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Fishbone Jones on July 16, 2018, 17:44:10
Glad we finally got here. Now I can quit hitting the button to read your responses.
Cheers
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 16, 2018, 17:48:42
Glad we finally got here. Now I can quit hitting the button to read your responses.
Cheers
your loss.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Fishbone Jones on July 16, 2018, 17:55:41
Not really. I respect your stance, I just don't agree. I just don't want to fence to inevitable stalemate of agreeing to disagree. You do great at getting me to respond so you can try further your stance. I just don't have time to keep tilting at windmills. So to stop answering you and going in circles, I just don't read a lot of your stuff. Not personal, just economical for me. If I was going to be childish, i could've gone all caps and told you to stuff yourself and your idiot ideas I'm putting you on ignore, but thats not why i want to leave your conversation. Your views, while respected, dont coincide with mine and we've spent enough time sparring to no legitimate end.....on this subject anyway. I was simply saying you should expect a lot less dancing with me is all. Sorry if you're offended by my lack of participation.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 16, 2018, 18:04:06
https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/16/politics/congress-reaction-trump-putin-comments/index.html

Quote
House Speaker Paul Ryan contradicted several comments Trump made during his Helsinki news conference, most notably backing the US intelligence community assessment that Russia meddled with the US 2016 presidential election.
"There is no question that Russia interfered in our election and continues attempts to undermine democracy here and around the world," said Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin, in a statement. "That is not just the finding of the American intelligence community but also the House Committee on Intelligence."

Ryan continued, "The president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally. There is no moral equivalence between the United States and Russia, which remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals. The United States must be focused on holding Russia accountable and putting an end to its vile attacks on democracy."

Quote
Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican who has consistently criticized the President, said Trump's comments were "one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory."

Quote
Rep. Will Hurd, a Texas Republican and former undercover CIA officer, expressed shock at Trump's attitude towards Putin and Russia.
"I've seen the Russian intelligence manipulate many people many people in my career, and I never would have thought the US President would be one of them," Hurd said on CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper."
I do have some hope that the GOP has some semblance of reality. Now hopefully they act on it.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Remius on July 16, 2018, 18:46:39
Even Newt Gingrich of all people are saying this was the biggest mistake of his presidency...
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 16, 2018, 18:51:18
Even Newt Gingrich of all people are saying this was the biggest mistake of his presidency...
Kind of what happens when the one sides with Putin over the FBI.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: TheHead on July 16, 2018, 19:15:58
After the disaster that is Helsinki the Trumpgret is out in full force.   

(https://i.redd.it/vuaun7t63ca11.jpg)
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 16, 2018, 19:38:45
After the disaster that is Helsinki the Trumpgret is out in full force.   

(https://i.redd.it/vuaun7t63ca11.jpg)
You know it's bad when you lose fox news.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/07/16/putin-eats-trumps-lunch-in-helsinki-this-is-no-way-to-win-against-russia.html

Quote
Putin eats Trump's lunch in Helsinki -- This is no way to win against Russia
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Loachman on July 16, 2018, 21:46:54
Kind of what happens when the one sides with Putin over the FBI.

The same FBI that was and is protecting Hillary?

I'd have a little more respect to an honest potential enemy than a lying, backstabbing "friend" as well.

I am not so much concerned with President Trump's words (and even less so with many other people's) as I am with results. Some "friends" need to hear blunt and unpleasant truths at times, and some foes can respond to nice words.

Lessening of tensions between opposing nations is generally seen as a Good Thing. Boosting NATO's capabilities via a little blunt prodding vice more "diplomatic" yet ineffectual methods is not bad.

I'll wait and see what actually happens.

Again, underestimating this President does not usually work out well for his opponents.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Brad Sallows on July 16, 2018, 21:57:49
>Amazingly, the US president can go and say that, and at this point, nobody blinks an eye.

Very low expectations.  Surely the bar for Trudeau should not be set that low?

Impossible to guess what Trump believes he is doing.  Maybe a ham-fisted attempt at having more flexibility.

It occurred to me that revisiting EU and NATO is worthwhile.  With the EU under a bit of economic pressure this past decade, pundits emitted a sporadic stream of articles crediting the EU with keeping the peace, and [claiming] that Europe risks backsliding into war without it.  NATO apparently isn't really needed, much.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 16, 2018, 21:58:23
The same FBI that was and is protecting Hillary?

I'd have a little more respect to an honest potential enemy than a lying, backstabbing "friend" as well.

I am not so much concerned with President Trump's words (and even less so with many other people's) as I am with results. Some "friends" need to hear blunt and unpleasant truths at times, and some foes can respond to nice words.

Lessening of tensions between opposing nations is generally seen as a Good Thing. Boosting NATO's capabilities via a little blunt prodding vice more "diplomatic" yet ineffectual methods is not bad.

I'll wait and see what actually happens.

Again, underestimating this President does not usually work out well for his opponents.
What world do you live in where Putin is a honest potential enemy?
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: PPCLI Guy on July 16, 2018, 22:01:51
The same FBI that was and is protecting Hillary?

I'd have a little more respect to an honest potential enemy than a lying, backstabbing "friend" as well.

I am not so much concerned with President Trump's words (and even less so with many other people's) as I am with results. Some "friends" need to hear blunt and unpleasant truths at times, and some foes can respond to nice words.

Lessening of tensions between opposing nations is generally seen as a Good Thing. Boosting NATO's capabilities via a little blunt prodding vice more "diplomatic" yet ineffectual methods is not bad.

I'll wait and see what actually happens.

Again, underestimating this President does not usually work out well for his opponents.

I deleted all of my comments.  I have nothing to say.  I am frankly stumped by the latitude that is offered to this man by otherwise functioning people.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Remius on July 16, 2018, 22:14:03
I deleted all of my comments.  I have nothing to say.  I am frankly stumped by the latitude that is offered to this man by otherwise functioning people.

Why? Trump got NK to denuclearize and return the bodies of missing US servicemen.  Oh wait.  None of that seems to have happened. 

Now it seems Putin can also do whatever he wants.

U.S. credibility just took a massive nose dive.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Loachman on July 16, 2018, 22:16:49
What world do you live in where Putin is a honest potential enemy?

Is he pretending to be otherwise?

Would anybody believe him were he to?

He is putting the interests of his nation ahead, as he should.

The FBI, on the other hand - or at least senior members thereof - put a political candidate ahead of their nation.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 16, 2018, 22:20:59
Why? Trump got NK to denuclearize and return the bodies of missing US servicemen.  Oh wait.  None of that seems to have happened. 

Now it seems Putin can also do whatever he wants.

U.S. credibility just took a massive nose dive.
All of those Korean war vets parents that begged him to bring the bodies home must be crushed. The thousands of them.
 The youngest of them being a spry 100 years old... Those thousands of 100 year old people on the campaign trail....


Sigh...
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Remius on July 16, 2018, 22:23:40
Is he pretending to be otherwise?

Would anybody believe him were he to?

He is putting the interests of his nation ahead, as he should.

The FBI, on the other hand - or at least senior members thereof - put a political candidate ahead of their nation.


Sure.  Except it was the intelligence community.  FBI, DNI, CIA etc etc.  The Senate comitee on this also agreed that the Russians meddled.  So now the President cosies up to Putin and sides with him and throws the US INtelligence community under the bus. 

Trump put his own interests ahead of his country.  Even some of his most ardent supporters are decrying this.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Loachman on July 16, 2018, 22:24:56
Why? Trump got NK to denuclearize and return the bodies of missing US servicemen.  Oh wait.  None of that seems to have happened.

Yet. We'll see. here has been more progress in the last few months than there has been since 1953, and more reason to hope. I am patient, although I recognize that the whole thing could fall through.

Now it seems Putin can also do whatever he wants.

He can? How?

So far, existing sanctions are still in place and nothing substantive has changed.

I'd rather that these people spoke with each other than didn't.

“Jaw jaw is better than war war."
- Harold Macmillan, but usually attributed to Winston Churchill
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 16, 2018, 22:26:41
Is he pretending to be otherwise?

Would anybody believe him were he to?

He is putting the interests of his nation ahead, as he should.

The FBI, on the other hand - or at least senior members thereof - put a political candidate ahead of their nation.
Every intelligence agency, every investigation, the GOP itself said that the Russians tried to influence the 2016 Election.

Putin: No I didn't.


Russian Troops invade Crimea.

Putin: those aren't Russian troops.

Russian soldiers supporting Ukrainian Seperatists

Putin: There are no Russian soldiers in Ukraine. Only some russian soldiers on vacation

Russian jets ruthlessly bomb civilian areas and kills scores of civilians

Putin:Russian jets only killed terrorists in that region, there were no civilians.

Russian missile defense system shot down passenger jet said every expert and investigation

Putin: No, not us, that was definately Ukraine.


Russian intelligence agents poison ex spy and his daughter in the UK, exposing hundreds to deadly nerve agent

Putin: Not Russia, but you should definately send that ex spy and his daughter back to russia for their own safety


You trust that guy over the FBI? I'm done.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Loachman on July 16, 2018, 22:29:18
Sure.  Except it was the intelligence community.  FBI, DNI, CIA etc etc.  The Senate comitee on this also agreed that the Russians meddled.  So now the President cosies up to Putin and sides with him and throws the US INtelligence community under the bus.

Sure. I've seen no credible proof of serious, government-led meddling - despite a lengthy "investigation" -  and the DNC refused to turn over their server for analysis of the alleged hacking. Why?

Trump put his own interests ahead of his country.

What interests were those?

Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Jarnhamar on July 16, 2018, 22:30:55
Everything is horrible  :tempertantrum:
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Loachman on July 16, 2018, 22:44:59
Every intelligence agency, every investigation, the GOP itself said that the Russians tried to influence the 2016 Election.

Not in my recollection.

I am pretty sure that no definitive claim was ever made by any of them, just "probabilities" etcetera, despite what Hillary repeated at every opportunity to lay blame elsewhere.

I watched the Russian Facebook ads. I seriously doubt that anybody was fooled or influenced by those.

And even Obama claimed that the US election could not be hacked.

You trust that guy over the FBI? I'm done.

Please refresh my memory. Where did I use the word "trust"?

I did use "respect", but please don't take that out of context.

I am well aware of Vladimir Putin's past.

I "grew up" in the Cold War. I would never downplay the Soviet/Russian threat, nor trust them. I read and saw enough - including three years in 4 CMBG, which confirmed everything that I previously knew - and visited the former East Berlin a couple of months after the Wall came down, and before any significant changes had taken place. I wouldn't over-rate it either.

Anyway, I need to get to Loblaws.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 16, 2018, 22:53:56
Not in my recollection.

I am pretty sure that no definitive claim was ever made by any of them, just "probabilities" etcetera, despite what Hillary repeated at every opportunity to lay blame elsewhere.

I watched the Russian Facebook ads. I seriously doubt that anybody was fooled or influenced by those.

And even Obama claimed that the US election could not be hacked.

Please refresh my memory. Where did I use the word "trust"?

I did use "respect", but please don't take that out of context.

I am well aware of Vladimir Putin's past.

I "grew up" in the Cold War. I would never downplay the Soviet/Russian threat, nor trust them. I read and saw enough - including three years in 4 CMBG, which confirmed everything that I previously knew - and visited the former East Berlin a couple of months after the Wall came down, and before any significant changes had taken place. I wouldn't over-rate it either.

Anyway, I need to get to Loblaws.
https://www.dhs.gov/news/2016/10/07/joint-statement-department-homeland-security-and-office-director-national

Quote
The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations. The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts. These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process. Such activity is not new to Moscow—the Russians have used similar tactics and techniques across Europe and Eurasia, for example, to influence public opinion there. We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia's senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.

Some states have also recently seen scanning and probing of their election-related systems, which in most cases originated from servers operated by a Russian company. However, we are not now in a position to attribute this activity to the Russian Government. The USIC and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) assess that it would be extremely difficult for someone, including a nation-state actor, to alter actual ballot counts or election results by cyber attack or intrusion. This assessment is based on the decentralized nature of our election system in this country and the number of protections state and local election officials have in place. States ensure that voting machines are not connected to the Internet, and there are numerous checks and balances as well as extensive oversight at multiple levels built into our election process.
That is a nice piece of redirection.

Sure, they may not have been effective, but the point was that they tried to do it.

And the president could have spun it very easily. This happened in the past, it wasn't effective, I beat Hillary on my own terms, I wasn't the president then, I am the president now, and if Russia attempts to do that again, I will sanction their entire economy, and I any personal relationship between me and Mr Putin will be dead, hugely dead. As President of the USA I will not tolerate Russia or any other nation meddling in our elections. In the meantime, I will focus on improving relations with Russia

Thats all he had to say. Instead he sided with the Russian president over his own intelligence agencies and his own parties senate investigation into election meddling.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/16/politics/senate-committee-agrees-intelligence-community-election-meddling/index.html
Quote
he Senate Intelligence Committee's leaders said Wednesday they believed that the intelligence community's 2017 assessment of election meddling was correct, breaking with Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee who questioned the conclusion that the Russians were trying to help President Donald Trump get elected.

"There is no doubt that Russia undertook an unprecedented effort to interfere with our 2016 election," Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican, said in a statement. "Committee staff have spent 14 months reviewing the sources, tradecraft, and analytic work, and we see no reason to dispute the conclusions."
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Brad Sallows on July 17, 2018, 00:08:38
Many people are talking past each other about different things - maybe not here so much, but certainly elsewhere.  The "Russian interference/collusion" topic has the same problem as "climate change" - if people are not clear about exactly what they mean, others are prone to assume the wrong frame.

Three different things:
1) Russia conducted information operations during the US election.
2) One or more people involved with the Trump campaign colluded with Russians to influence the presidential election.
3) Trump colluded etc.
Some people might prefer to break things down a little more, but surely the general idea is clear.

(1) only recently moved from "probable" (ie. based on assessments) to "indictments".  So far all of the relevant charges are against foreigners.  Only some "process" and other charges have been laid against the handful of US people so far accused of anything.  Appealing to the authority of the "intelligence community", among others, is still a weak play after that business about WMD in Iraq.
(2) is still really, really weak.
(3) is still completely unproven.

If Trump only ever sees the entire issue in frame (3), expect him to continue to deny Russia did anything (if he knows he did not collude, then Russia can not have colluded with him).  Maybe it's that simple: a journalist asks what Trump thinks about Russian interference with the election, and Trump interprets and answers it as an accusation involving him.  Likewise, some of the people who want to see Trump go down treat every confirmed nugget of information about (1) as a confirmation of (3).

Too bad Romney didn't win in 2012.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: MCG on July 17, 2018, 01:32:36
I deleted all of my comments.  I have nothing to say.  I am frankly stumped by the latitude that is offered to this man by otherwise functioning people.
What you are seeing is the effectiveness of the Soviet information warfare machine. It can sow the desired doubts and perceptions even in intelligent & rational audiences. As today’s indictment showed, it is not just hackers and social media messenging. There are influencers in western countries engaging political parties and advocacy groups.
 
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Journeyman on July 17, 2018, 05:38:40
It can sow the desired doubts and perceptions even in intelligent & rational audiences.
To say nothing of the stupid & the propagandists (not mutually exclusive).
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: beirnini on July 17, 2018, 08:13:48
Quote
I'd have a little more respect to an honest potential enemy than a lying, backstabbing "friend" as well.
What world do you live in where Putin is a honest potential enemy?
This really needs to be answered.


Also, as a point of order since we're talking about the president explicitly siding with an enemy over the American intelligence and law enforcement community we're really not talking about the US or NATO anymore, versus or otherwise.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 17, 2018, 09:09:30

This really needs to be answered.


Also, as a point of order since we're talking about the president explicitly siding with an enemy over the American intelligence and law enforcement community we're really not talking about the US or NATO anymore, versus or otherwise.
Might be a reach, but since NATO main raison d'etre is to counter Russian expansion or aggression, the US president siding with Russia is the US acting against NATO, in a sense.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: tomahawk6 on July 17, 2018, 11:01:04
The US has more to worry about than Russia, like terror and China.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Good2Golf on July 17, 2018, 11:05:15
The US has more to worry about than Russia, like terror and China.

...because technically MH17 wasn't terror, in the formally defined sense.

Regards
G2G
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Remius on July 17, 2018, 11:10:29
I guess Russia supporting the Taliban or Bashar Al-Assad isn't too much of a worry either then.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: tomahawk6 on July 17, 2018, 12:06:28
The US supports anti Assad forces in Syria while Iran and Russia support Assad.In Vietnam China and Russia supported the North.During Korea both Russia and China supported the North Koreans.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 17, 2018, 12:11:37
The US supports anti Assad forces in Syria while Iran and Russia support Assad.In Vietnam China and Russia supported the North.During Korea both Russia and China supported the North Koreans.
And as far as I can remember, no president supported Russian and Chinese leaders on the other side over their own intelligence agencies, political parties, or armed forces.

None of them capitulated so fully to a foreign leader who has worked so hard to undermine America and her interests. Until yesterday.

Again, replace "Trumps" name with Obama, look over the transcript of that press conference, and tell me with all honesty that you would feel that Obama was making the USA safer.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Journeyman on July 17, 2018, 12:34:43
Appealing to the authority of the "intelligence community", among others, is still a weak play after that business about WMD in Iraq.
I'd recommend James Clapper's Facts and Fears: Hard Truths from a Life in Intelligence  (2018).  While it accepts that, in peoples' minds, "there are policy successes and intelligence failures," he does cover the WMD debacle in detail -- notably the changes that have been made since, to avoid a repetition and rebuild credibility.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: tomahawk6 on July 17, 2018, 12:42:53
Brennan is very opposed to Trump.With Putin claiming the intelligence agencies gave $400m to Hillary I wouldn't be supportive either.Its now looking like the CIA and others worked against Trump.Until he cleans the Democrats out of those agencies he would be smart not to trust them.I know I don't.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Fishbone Jones on July 17, 2018, 12:48:30
I deleted all of my comments.  I have nothing to say.  I am frankly stumped by the latitude that is offered to this man by otherwise functioning people.

See, that's exactly how I feel about Trudeau. Just wanted to toss that. Not discuss it.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 17, 2018, 12:57:33
Brennan is very opposed to Trump.With Putin claiming the intelligence agencies gave $400m to Hillary I wouldn't be supportive either.Its now looking like the CIA and others worked against Trump.Until he cleans the Democrats out of those agencies he would be smart not to trust them.I know I don't.
Much better to outsource that kind of stuff to the SVR and GRU.

I mean, they supported him, they must be trustworthy.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: tomahawk6 on July 17, 2018, 17:42:26
Much better to outsource that kind of stuff to the SVR and GRU.

I mean, they supported him, they must be trustworthy.


Ask the Clintons they would know.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 17, 2018, 17:45:13

Ask the Clintons they would know.
When in doubt,  talk about Clinton?
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: PPCLI Guy on July 17, 2018, 20:46:28

Ask the Clintons they would know.

 :Tin-Foil-Hat:
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Retired AF Guy on July 17, 2018, 21:50:35
Not in my recollection.

I am pretty sure that no definitive claim was ever made by any of them, just "probabilities" etcetera, despite what Hillary repeated at every opportunity to lay blame elsewhere.

Here is an extract of the Key Assessments from the Unclassified version of the "Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections" report.

Quote
We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election.  Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency.  We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.

We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him. All three agencies agree with this judgment.  CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence.

Moscow’s approach evolved over the course of the campaign based on Russia’s understanding of the electoral prospects of the two main candidates.  When it appeared to Moscow that Secretary Clinton was likely to win the election, the Russian influence campaign began to focus more on undermining her future presidency.

Further information has come to light since Election Day that, when combined with Russian behavior since early November 2016, increases our confidence in our assessments of Russian motivations and goals. Moscow’s influence campaign followed a Russian messaging strategy that blends covert intelligence operations—such as cyber activity—with overt efforts by Russian Government agencies, state-funded media, third-party intermediaries, and paid social media users or “trolls.” Russia, like its Soviet predecessor, has a history of conducting covert influence campaigns focused on US presidential elections that have used intelligence officers and agents and press placements to disparage candidates perceived as hostile to the Kremlin.

Russia’s intelligence services conducted cyber operations against targets associated with the 2016 US presidential election, including targets associated with both major US political parties.

We assess with high confidence that Russian military intelligence (General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate or GRU)used the Guccifer 2.0 persona and DCLeaks.com to release US victim data obtained in cyber operations publicly and in exclusives to media outlets and relayed material to WikiLeaks.

Russian intelligence obtained and maintained access to elements of multiple US state or local electoral boards.  DHS assesses that the types of systems Russian actors targeted or compromised were not involved in vote tallying.

Russia’s state-run propaganda machine contributed to the influence campaign by serving as a platform for Kremlin messaging to Russian and international audiences. We assess Moscow will apply lessons learned from its Putin-ordered campaign aimed at the US presidential election to future influence efforts worldwide, including against US allies and their election processes.

Full report can be found  here (https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf).
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 18, 2018, 02:20:54
https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/17/politics/trump-nato-fox/index.html

Quote
NATO requires all members to help defend fellow member nations that have been attacked, which Carlson noted to Trump.
"Why should my son go to Montenegro to defend it from attack?" Carlson inquired.
Trump responded: "I've asked the same question. Montenegro is a tiny country with very strong people. ... They are very strong people. They are very aggressive people, they may get aggressive, and congratulations, you are in World War III."

Well...I actually don't know what to say here.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: CBH99 on July 18, 2018, 04:05:22
Haha!!  Suckers!!

Here you thought it was going to be the USA & China starting WW3.  With the US sailing it's ships all around SE Asia like it owns the place, sailing carrier groups off the coast of China, the US telling China what it can & can't do.  Surrounding it militarily with countries like Japan & Korea & Australia, which also happen to be incredibly important trading partners with China.  Or, starting an economic trade war with it's rival economic powerhouse, slapping tariff's on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of goods. 

OR....you thought it would be with Russia!!  Those sneaky Russians, always up to no good.  Taking care of brush fires along their own borders?  Nah, ruthless Russian aggression.  Diversifying their economy to export primarily wheat, natural gas, and oil due to the never ending economic sanctions called for by the US?  That's just them trying outsmart the free world, so they can fund a military that can invade everybody. 

Big military exercises within their own borders, due to a paranoia that NATO may try to invade on false pretenses & annex a little sliver of a disputed territory?  Clearly rehearsing for a full scale invasion of Europe.  When NATO does it, it's to 'demonstrate solidarity with our allies & tell the evil Russians we are ready for em!'

Or or or...you thought we would all be wiped out by nuclear armageddon!!  Because with each missile containing enough warheads to wipe out 6 to 10 cities, or more -- having thousands upon thousands of missiles is clearly required.  I mean why nuke just one entire city with one little warhead, and waste the others that came with it?  And why stop there, when you could nuke the same place 1000 times over?  Clearly a good use of hundreds of billions of dollars, and absolutely a plausible way for WW3 to start...  :facepalm:



But clearly, we were all wrong.  Montenegro, with a population of a whopping 650,000 -- and peaceful relations with all of it's neighbours, and an economically stable country with growing economic support from China & a strong tourism industry...absolutely.  That's where WW3 is going to start.

Because, even if Montenegro SOMEHOW happens to SOMEHOW start WORLD WAR 3...FFS...I'm sure the rest of the world cares enough about Montenegro to send their soldiers to their deaths.   :facepalm:

I know already, the people of New Zealand are absolutely fixated on what happens in!!!! ...wait, where again?  where is that?  what's happening?  We care so much we forgot to give a s**t...


Rest easy there Carlson.  You don't want your son to go to Montenegro?  Don't think you have to worry there champ. 
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Remius on July 18, 2018, 08:47:54
Maybe President Trump read this article from 2017   ;D

https://makeamericathebest.com/2017/05/26/montenegro-responds-to-trump-insult-declares-war-on-u-s/

Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Fishbone Jones on July 18, 2018, 13:01:28
The Mouse that Roared?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mouse_That_Roared
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Retired AF Guy on July 18, 2018, 20:29:56
Sure. I've seen no credible proof of serious, government-led meddling - despite a lengthy "investigation" -  and the DNC refused to turn over their server for analysis of the alleged hacking. Why?

Well, I hate to disappoint you, but yes the DNC did allow the FBI to examine the servers, and it wasn't one server, there were actually 140 different servers.

This article from the Daily Beast explains what actual happened.

Quote
Trump’s ‘Missing DNC Server’ Is Neither Missing Nor a Server

KEVIN POULSEN 07.16.18 9:58 PM ET

Donald Trump turns to right-wing conspiracy theories when he’s cornered, and he was cornered on Monday. Standing feet away from Vladimir Putin at a press conference following their Helsinki tete-a-tete, a reporter challenged Trump to condemn Putin for Russia’s election interference, “in front of the world.” Instead, the world watched as the president of the United States took Putin’s side against his own Justice Department and his own intelligence agencies, and launched into a rambling discourse about Hillary Clinton’s emails and a supposedly missing DNC server that hides the truth about Putin’s innocence.

“You have groups that are wondering why the FBI never took the server. Why didn’t they take the server? Where is the server, I want to know, and what is the server saying?”


The server is saying shut up.

The “server” Trump is obsessed with is actually 140 servers, most of them cloud-based, which the DNC was forced to decommission in June 2016 while trying to rid its network of the Russian GRU officers working to help Trump win the election, according to the figures in the DNC’s civil lawsuit against Russia and the Trump campaign. Another 180 desktop and laptop computers were also swapped out as the DNC raced to get the organization back on its feet and free of Putin’s surveillance.

But despite Trump’s repeated feverish claims to the contrary, no machines are actually missing.

“Despite Trump’s repeated feverish claims to the contrary, no machines are actually missing.”

It’s true that the FBI doesn’t have the DNC’s computer hardware. Agents didn’t sweep into DNC headquarters, load up all the equipment and leave Democrats standing stunned beside empty desks and dangling cables. There’s a reason for that, and it has nothing to do with a deep state conspiracy to frame Putin.

Trump and his allies are capitalizing on a basic misapprehension of how computer intrusion investigations work. Investigating a virtual crime isn’t a like investigating a murder. The Russians didn’t leave DNA evidence on the server racks and fingerprints on the keyboards. All the evidence of their comings and goings was on the computer hard drives, and in memory, and in the ephemeral network transmissions to and from the GRU’s command-and-control servers.

When cyber investigators respond to an incident, they capture that evidence in a process called “imaging.” They make an exact byte-for-byte copy of the hard drives. They do the same for the machine’s memory, capturing evidence that would otherwise be lost at the next reboot, and they monitor and store the traffic passing through the victim’s network. This has been standard procedure in computer intrusion investigations for decades. The images, not the computer’s hardware, provide the evidence.

Both the DNC and the security firm Crowdstrike, hired to respond to the breach, have said repeatedly over the years that they gave the FBI a copy of all the DNC images back in 2016. The DNC reiterated that Monday in a statement to the Daily Beast.

“The FBI was given images of servers, forensic copies, as well as a host of other forensic information we collected from our systems,” said Adrienne Watson, the DNC’s deputy communications director. “We were in close contact and worked cooperatively with the FBI and were always responsive to their requests. Any suggestion that they were denied access to what they wanted for their investigation is completely incorrect.”

The FBI declined comment for this story, but in testimony before the House Intelligence Committee last year, then-director James Comey said that Crowdstrike “ultimately shared with us their forensics.”

At that same hearing, Comey complained that the DNC didn’t give the FBI direct access to the DNC’s servers. It’s unclear why Comey wanted the FBI operating on the DNC’s live network, but if the DNC demurred it wouldn’t be an unusual call, particularly five months before election day.

“The FBI is looking to investigate and prosecute crimes, and we’re looking to return a system to operation as quickly as possible with minimal impact,” said Rendition Infosec’s Jake Williams, one of several incident response professionals interviewed for this story. “I can tell you honestly that had I been part of that incident response, I would not have advocated calling in the FBI. Every minute the FBI spends keeping the actors in play, that’s a minute I don’t get back in prepping for the election. I would absolutely have shared images with them.”

Kenn White, a security expert and former DHS adviser, agreed that the FBI wouldn’t have expected direct access to DNC’s computers, “The FBI had one of the best cyber security firms in the world giving them forensics, and going in depth and reverse engineering to the byte level these implants and turning it over.”

In some versions of the servergate conspiracy theory now espoused by Trump, nothing less than physical possession of the hardware will suffice, because Crowdstrike, a respected security firm helmed by a former senior FBI agent, might be part of the deep state’s efforts to frame Putin. White scoffs at that notion, noting that National Republican Congressional Committee is one of Crowdstrike’s customers.

“I’ve done incident response for defense contractors and healthcare groups, this is all standard practice,” said White. “It’s completely defensible in terms of best practices and what was going on.”

“We were in close contact and worked cooperatively with the FBI. Any suggestion that they were denied access to what they wanted for their investigation is completely incorrect.”
— DNC's Adrienne Watson

It’s also consistent with the Department of Justice’s electronic evidence manual, which recommends capturing images when practical even when the FBI is executing a search warrant against a uncooperative suspect. When the computers belong to a cooperating victim, seizing the machines is pretty much out of the question, said James Harris, a former FBI cybercrime agent who worked on a 2009 breach at Google that’s been linked to the Chinese government.

“In most cases you don’t even ask, you just assume you’re going to make forensic copies,” said Harris, now vice president of engineering at PFP Cyber. “For example when the Google breach happened back in 2009, agents were sent out with express instructions that you image what they allow you to image, because they’re the victim, you don’t have a search warrant, and you don’t want to disrupt their business.”

There’s a final bit of evidence that the FBI got what it wanted from the DNC, and it was filed in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. last Friday: 29-pages of inside details showing exactly how and when the GRU’s hackers moved through the DNC’s network on their mission to help Trump.

If the president really wants to know what the DNC server is saying, it’s all in the indictment against Putin’s hackers. He just has to listen.

Kevin Poulsen
@kpoulsen
Kevin.Poulsen@thedailybeast.com

 Article Link  (https://www.thedailybeast.com/trumps-missing-dnc-server-is-neither-missing-nor-a-server)
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Brad Sallows on July 18, 2018, 21:33:38
Before leaping triumphantly into yet another game of "Trump is such a fool" (easy to play), it's worth considering if his mind really understands the distinction between Hillary's (single - perhaps redundant pair) "email server" and the DNC's servers, particularly while he is extemporizing.  His ignorance isn't excusable, but it's a waste of time to analyze basic ignorance - an exercise in GIGO.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: PuckChaser on July 18, 2018, 22:09:42
How many people actually understand the difference between a single server and distributed server (cloud) solutions? To hammer Trump for that of all things is just ridiculous.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Altair on July 18, 2018, 22:15:45
How many people actually understand the difference between a single server and distributed server (cloud) solutions? To hammer Trump for that of all things is just ridiculous.
Yes and no.

For any one individual to not understand the nuances and complexities of that is understandable.

But...isn't this the president of the united states? Could he not ask for a briefing with some of the greatest minds America has to offer on the subject?
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: PuckChaser on July 18, 2018, 22:32:08
He's not the Manchurian Candidate, with an army of speech writers crafting his every single word. The reason he appealed to the rust belt states that carried him to the presidency was that he was willing to fire from the hip and not sound like a political robot. Realistically what does a briefing on how distributed servers work bring to the discussion? Its a red herring.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Retired AF Guy on July 19, 2018, 12:41:01
How many people actually understand the difference between a single server and distributed server (cloud) solutions? To hammer Trump for that of all things is just ridiculous.

The purpose of the article was not to explain the differences between different types of servers, but to point out the fact that contrary to what the POTUS has been saying the FBI did examine the DNC servers.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Colin P on July 19, 2018, 18:45:03
Yes and no.

For any one individual to not understand the nuances and complexities of that is understandable.

But...isn't this the president of the united states? Could he not ask for a briefing with some of the greatest minds America has to offer on the subject?

Have you ever seen a Briefing note? They are set to a particular style, generally 3 pages at most, point form and the information has been massaged by multiple staffers, many that have no clue what they are editing. I always suggest keeping a copy of the draft briefing note, so if things go sideways, you can point out that you did provide the pertinent information, but it was edited out along the way. Also keep a copy of the final briefing note if you get a copy, because chances are you get asked for it again in 3 months, as they have longed forgotten it was already been done. 
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 19, 2018, 19:25:12
Have you ever seen a Briefing note? They are set to a particular style, generally 3 pages at most, point form and the information has been massaged by multiple staffers, many that have no clue what they are editing. I always suggest keeping a copy of the draft briefing note, so if things go sideways, you can point out that you did provide the pertinent information, but it was edited out along the way. Also keep a copy of the final briefing note if you get a copy, because chances are you get asked for it again in 3 months, as they have longed forgotten it was already been done.

Your bosses must fear you :)
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Remius on July 19, 2018, 19:55:34
Have you ever seen a Briefing note? They are set to a particular style, generally 3 pages at most, point form and the information has been massaged by multiple staffers, many that have no clue what they are editing. I always suggest keeping a copy of the draft briefing note, so if things go sideways, you can point out that you did provide the pertinent information, but it was edited out along the way. Also keep a copy of the final briefing note if you get a copy, because chances are you get asked for it again in 3 months, as they have longed forgotten it was already been done.

Quoted for truth.  My very first task in the PS was to get a briefing note up to the DM about a stupid cake for an event the ADM was attending.  11 weeks later it went through so many changes at every level asking for changes to wording etc etc.  The final version was exactly the same as my first version.   :brickwall:
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: FJAG on July 19, 2018, 20:17:16
Quoted for truth.  My very first task in the PS was to get a briefing note up to the DM about a stupid cake for an event the ADM was attending.  11 weeks later it went through so many changes at every level asking for changes to wording etc etc.  The final version was exactly the same as my first version.   :brickwall:

A sure sign that there are entirely too many staff officers/managers in the chain of command/hierarchy with entirely too much time on their hands.

 :cheers:
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: tomahawk6 on August 10, 2018, 08:24:19
Bolton is doing great work. I don't know how accurate the article is because msn tends to be anti-administration.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/us-officials-scrambled-behind-the-scenes-to-shield-nato-deal-from-trump/ar-BBLILmn?ocid=spartanntp   
 
U.S. Officials Scrambled Behind the Scenes to Shield NATO Deal From Trump
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Journeyman on August 10, 2018, 09:26:37
Quote
U.S. Officials Scrambled Behind the Scenes to Shield NATO Deal From Trump

Fearful of a repeat of the G-7 disaster ....Two senior European officials said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis were also keen to avoid another confrontation similar to the G-7, and the NATO declaration was completed days before leaders set foot in Brussels.
Not Bolton alone;  it looks like there was some unity of purpose amongst the WH staff.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Thucydides on August 10, 2018, 10:42:58
Bolton is doing great work. I don't know how accurate the article is because msn tends to be anti-administration.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/us-officials-scrambled-behind-the-scenes-to-shield-nato-deal-from-trump/ar-BBLILmn?ocid=spartanntp   
 
U.S. Officials Scrambled Behind the Scenes to Shield NATO Deal From Trump

I'll ask a pertinent question here: did this declaration advance President Trump's stated aims and goals? Increased spending and readiness, 30 brigades, 30 air wings and on 30 days notice seem to be in line with the President's stated goals. Maybe this is just another example of saying one thing in public to apply pressure and seeing results of that pressure outside of the limelight.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Blackadder1916 on August 10, 2018, 11:43:43
I'll ask a pertinent question here: did this declaration advance President Trump's stated aims and goals? Increased spending and readiness, 30 brigades, 30 air wings and on 30 days notice seem to be in line with the President's stated goals. Maybe this is just another example of saying one thing in public to apply pressure and seeing results of that pressure outside of the limelight.

What is your reference for the numbers?  From what I've seen the  “Four Thirties" are battalions not brigades and squadrons not wings.  From the Brussels Summit Declaration.

https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/official_texts_156624.htm
Quote
14.  We also continue to reinvigorate our culture of readiness.  As part of our efforts, Allies continue to ensure that NATO has the full range of capabilities and forces that are trained, interoperable, deployable, and ready to meet all Alliance requirements.  Furthermore, today, we have agreed to launch a NATO Readiness Initiative.  It will ensure that more high-quality, combat-capable national forces at high readiness can be made available to NATO.  From within the overall pool of forces, Allies will offer an additional 30 major naval combatants, 30 heavy or medium manoeuvre battalions, and 30 kinetic air squadrons, with enabling forces, at 30 days’ readiness or less.  They will be organised and trained as elements of larger combat formations, in support of NATO’s overall deterrence and defence posture.  The NATO Readiness Initiative will further enhance the Alliance’s rapid response capability, either for reinforcement of Allies in support of deterrence or collective defence, including for high-intensity warfighting, or for rapid military crisis intervention, if required.  It will also promote the importance of effective combined arms and joint operations.

I suppose one could judge the relative importance of an initiative by where it is placed in an announcement.  Paragraph 14 of a 79 paragraph declaration can't be all bad, but the short word on the NATO Readiness Initiative is . . .

https://www.nato.int/nato_static_fl2014/assets/pdf/pdf_2018_06/20180608_1806-NATO-Readiness-Initiative_en.pdf
Quote
The initiative aims to enhance the readiness of existing national forces,
and their ability to move within Europe and across the Atlantic – in
response to a more unpredictable security environment.

This is not about new forces but about increasing the readiness of forces
Allies already have – forces that could be made available for collective
defence and crisis response operations.

And of course, unless one has the number of currently available units (from all NATO countries including the USA) who are on 30 day readiness, a comparison can't be made.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Thucydides on August 10, 2018, 14:43:08
I see I misread the size of the formations.

We still see NATO moving (or being moved) towards the vision President Trump has been articulating, weather the media chooses to acknowledge this or not. My feeling is there is a lot of smoke covering the actual activity happening behind the scenes in this and many other areas.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: Blackadder1916 on August 10, 2018, 16:11:50

. . .  the vision President Trump has been articulating, . . .

I sorry, but somehow "vision" and "articulating" are not words I associate with President Trump.  Of course, his message may be lost in his bombastic manner but the only thing that gets through seems to be "freeloaders" and "me, me, me".  But not wanting to get into the all too common argument about the worth or worthlessness of Mr. Trump's approach to diplomacy, I'll just give my view of what is happening with NATO.  They are continuing on the same path that they started on long before the possibility of a Trump presidency was contemplated.  There have been some refinements to account for the turmoil of Trump but most of these changes are perhaps a direct response to Russia.  It is likely that some of the Russia response is also due to a feeling that the current US president is a little too cozy with the Russian president.  It wouldn't surprise me that the pre-summit negotiations that resulted in the agreed declaration were as much representative of the opinions of the senior members of the US security team, i.e. Bolton, Mattis, et al.

While the Brussels Summit Declaration is not an easily read, concise document, some impressions can be gleaned from its organization.  In its 79 paragraphs, it starts off with some general comments in para 1 about the organization and its goals.  Para 3 affirms the Wales agreement, i.e. 2% defense spending.  Then paras 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 specifically are aimed at Russia as the threat to NATO, its member states and partners and generally Russia as a threat to world peace - para 8 does deal with the possibility of negotiating with Russia favourably but para 9 sets it in its place as being historically untrustworthy.  Paras 10 and 11 deal with the terrorism threat.  Paras 12 and 13 are essentially a preamble to a discussion of the changes/initiatives that NATO are already undertaking or have agreed to.  Para 14, as I quoted in my previous post, deals with the NATO Readiness Initiative.  There really is little new other than some reorganization that (in my opinion) is almost a message to Russia of "don't frig with us".  But it is a subtle message, maybe because it was released prior to Mr. Trump's meeting with Mr. Putin and they had to take into account the personality of the president.

As for the NATO Readiness Initiative (Four Thirties), it seems that not only is for existing forces (no new troops) the numbers appear to be based on the total of NATO elements on 30 days readiness and would not be in addition to any existing forces with a short readiness period.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: tomahawk6 on August 10, 2018, 16:35:09
Can we not discuss this without the usual bashing of President Trump ? I think he has made progress on the issue of every member paying their fair share. I haven't seen members quitting the alliance. Afterall its in the best interest of Europe to be strong and vigilant.
Title: Re: US versus NATO
Post by: tomahawk6 on August 11, 2018, 01:06:06
An interesting piece by strategypage on the neglect faced by European forces in NATO. Essentially money and readiness go hand in hand.

http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htlead/articles/20180806.aspx