Author Topic: US versus NATO  (Read 41827 times)

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Offline Altair

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US versus NATO
« on: June 28, 2018, 14:38:53 »
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.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2018, 15:14:21 by PuckChaser »
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Offline Altair

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Re: US Versus NATO
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2018, 14:46:47 »
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.
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Offline Privateer

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Re: US Versus NATO
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2018, 14:52:57 »
"There's a mole, right at the top of the Circus.  He's been there for years."

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: US Versus NATO
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2018, 14:57:41 »
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.

Offline Altair

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Re: US Versus NATO
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2018, 15:01:31 »
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?
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Offline PuckChaser

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Re: US Versus NATO
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2018, 15:11:40 »
Recognition of Crimea as Russian territory

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

I even found it was false on a left-leaning news site. 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:

Offline Altair

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Re: US Versus NATO
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2018, 15:30:25 »
False. 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/

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".
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Offline Loachman

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Re: US versus NATO
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2018, 17:17:26 »
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.

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Offline FJAG

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Re: US versus NATO
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2018, 00:19:49 »
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

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

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/

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Offline Remius

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Re: US versus NATO
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2018, 07:58:51 »

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.
Optio

Offline Altair

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Re: US versus NATO
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2018, 10:28:18 »
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

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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.
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Offline FJAG

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Re: US versus NATO
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2018, 11:40:44 »
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.

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Offline YZT580

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Re: US versus NATO
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2018, 15:10:16 »
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. 

Offline Altair

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Re: US versus NATO
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2018, 18:27:33 »
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

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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
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Offline Larry Strong

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Re: US versus NATO
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2018, 20:25:27 »
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


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Offline Loachman

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Re: US versus NATO
« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2018, 20:42:21 »
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.

Offline Furniture

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Re: US versus NATO
« Reply #16 on: June 29, 2018, 20:54:18 »
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...

Offline Good2Golf

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Re: US versus NATO
« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2018, 23:10:05 »
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

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: US versus NATO
« Reply #18 on: June 29, 2018, 23:25:13 »
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

Offline Altair

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Re: US versus NATO
« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2018, 00:22:29 »
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?

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Offline Infanteer

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Re: US versus NATO
« Reply #20 on: June 30, 2018, 00:39:55 »
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.
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Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: US versus NATO
« Reply #21 on: June 30, 2018, 05:22:06 »
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"

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Offline PPCLI Guy

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Re: US versus NATO
« Reply #22 on: June 30, 2018, 08:56:28 »

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?
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Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: US versus NATO
« Reply #23 on: June 30, 2018, 09:33:22 »
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

Offline dapaterson

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Re: US versus NATO
« Reply #24 on: June 30, 2018, 11:23:27 »
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).
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