Trump - NATO

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#1
I confess, while I cannot stand Trump, I also have to admire his challenging NATO (though he definitely could have gone about it in a reasonable and mature way, which naturally he didn't). Mainly, I'm struggling to determine why we need NATO anymore, since it's creation was intended to resist a Soviet Bloc invasion of Europe, the Soviet Union is no more, and a Russian invasion of Europe seems absurd.

Trump's diplomatic blustering and bungling, no matter which way you slice it, may just serve to hide the real issues here - again...

An article discussing this..

https://www.thedailybeast.com/anger-and-disgust-as-trump-blows-up-nato-summit?ref=home
 

TopT

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#2
Yep, exactly what Comrade Putin wants. Americans thinking that Europe should be on its own. Trump will do his bidding and sow as much doubt as possible.

Ask the people living in the Baltics (IE: Nato member) if they think we don't need Nato? The cyber attacks (in the Baltic countries) going on right now are exactly the same as was used in the Crimea and Ukraine prior to the invasion of both of those countries.
 

zgrose

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#4
By invasion of Europe, exactly which countries are in Europe and if they just get annexed is that a mission success or mission fail?

Alternatively, what’s the benefit to leaving a military alliance that we regularly use to carry our American interests abroad?

If the idea is to diminish our soft power in favor of shipping our tanks and Marines through unaligned waters when our interests are threatened, I guess leaving NATO makes sense. But that seems to be horrible strategy.
 

Sand Bar Bill

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#5
I am all for staying in NATO generally, and if money wasn't an issue also maintain the presence we have there. But we need to draw down forces to save money. Not cut social security or medicare.
 
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#6
I am all for staying in NATO generally, and if money wasn't an issue also maintain the presence we have there. But we need to draw down forces to save money. Not cut social security or medicare.
What happen to your concern about the debt? If you were really concerned about our debt, you would want defense saving plus social security and medicare. Maybe your concern isn't quite the concern you portray?
 
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#7
Color me skeptical about Russia's intent to invade and conquer. We're being played just like we were in the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's - 'The Russians Are Coming!'.

They didn't attack Europe even when they were allied with the Eastern European countries of Poland, East Germany, Yugoslavia, etc.. and when their military (on paper) represented a massive force. Now, Russia spends about 1/10 of the amount of $$ the US spends on their military, and if you add the UK, Germany, and France to America's expenditures - Russia spends 8% of that total amount. In 2018, Russia decreased their military spending by 18% from 2017. Hardly a Russian recipe for a successful attack on NATO.

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As for the Baltics, Crimea, Ukraine - Russia's annexation of these former Soviet bloc countries is another matter - worth discussing, but I think it's a nice diversion from the real issue at hand. (read Paul Craig Roberts articles)

The issue at hand is the need by US war-making companies to boost profits. We need to be sold on the idea that Russia is a threat and that we should be very afraid. So afraid should we be that we will want to sacrifice spending our hard earned tax dollars with General Dynamics (Lockheed, Northrop, etc.), than on infrastructure, and other domestic needs. We've been had, and that's proved to be easy to do.
 
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Gunner Scott

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#8
uh oh, good putin talking points, man I hope putin is giving you as many reach arounds as possible, you do deserve them comrade.

What happen to your concern about the debt? If you were really concerned about our debt, you would want defense saving plus social security and medicare. Maybe your concern isn't quite the concern you portray?
 

Vinnie

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#9
There is little doubt that European defence budgets are coming under pressure and the US does shoulder more than it's fair share of spending.
If he really wanted to change this, then what he has done is not a clever way to go about it.
 

Sand Bar Bill

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#10
What happen to your concern about the debt? If you were really concerned about our debt, you would want defense saving plus social security and medicare. Maybe your concern isn't quite the concern you portray?
My concern with the debt is gone because I realize if the Democrats balanced the budget tomorrow, the next time the GOP came in they would just wreck it. See 1999-2001. Plus the hard choices to be made would simply be used against them by the party of "fiscal responsibility" [sarcasm.]
 

zgrose

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#11
Color me skeptical about Russia's intent to invade and conquer. We're being played just like we were in the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's - 'The Russians Are Coming!'.
So when the US decides to attack Afghanistan or Iraq or (insert presumed national security interest here), you think we'd be better off doing it alone? The USSR may have been the focus of NATO's creation but surely as an organization of allies with aligned security interests does it not still serve a purpose?

Also, absolute dollar amounts for defense spending are rather misleading at illustrating the budget priorities of a nation. Likewise the success of asymmetric operations against the US illustrate that spending billions for "security" is a fool's quest unless we're preparing to carpet bomb civilian sites and deploy armored battalions overseas.

The better question to ask is why do we spend so much on non-enemies and not whether mutual defense is a sound strategy, IMO. Exiting NATO isn't a recipe for reducing the military-industrial-complex welfare system. We can do that AND stay in NATO by simply adjusting our priorities.
 

zgrose

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#13
By reciprocity you mean that the US should position itself as an equal to the Lesser Powers? Because that’s what letting go of our soft power signals and the consequences have zero upside to our foreign policy objectives, IMO.
 

Gunner Scott

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#14
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#15
So when the US decides to attack Afghanistan or Iraq or (insert presumed national security interest here), you think we'd be better off doing it alone? The USSR may have been the focus of NATO's creation but surely as an organization of allies with aligned security interests does it not still serve a purpose?

Also, absolute dollar amounts for defense spending are rather misleading at illustrating the budget priorities of a nation. Likewise the success of asymmetric operations against the US illustrate that spending billions for "security" is a fool's quest unless we're preparing to carpet bomb civilian sites and deploy armored battalions overseas.

The better question to ask is why do we spend so much on non-enemies and not whether mutual defense is a sound strategy, IMO. Exiting NATO isn't a recipe for reducing the military-industrial-complex welfare system. We can do that AND stay in NATO by simply adjusting our priorities.
I don't think we were better off either way, alone or as a group, attacking Afghanistan or Iraq. I cannot think of a good reason to attack anyone, period. As for aligning with other countries ahead of time to advance our interests, I struggle with justifying this at all. I don't see any country who plans to attack and threaten world peace (this isn't 1939 anymore) that would necessitate such a 'grand alliance'. I think that our thinking about NATO, grand alliances, is largely propaganda and relying upon our being stuck in the past, militarily speaking.

I agree with your comments about spending money on projects which, again, seem to be based on obsolete military spending plans (large fleets, large armies of the field, etc..), vs. more tactical (even police-like) methods of maintaining security.

All in all, when we spend money on military resources, we're apt to want to use them, whether necessary or not. We've gotten into the bad habit of too much war-making - and not for the reasons offered by our country's propaganda agencies but rather for propping up the profits of pay-for-play war-making companies.

We all need to watch Ike's farewell speech again. If anyone knew about war and the military industrial complex, it was him. It's only gotten infinitely worse since 1961.
 
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zgrose

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Sparafucil3

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#19
As for the Baltics, Crimea, Ukraine - Russia's annexation of these former Soviet bloc countries is another matter - worth discussing, but I think it's a nice diversion from the real issue at hand. (read Paul Craig Roberts articles)
The real reason for the annexation is energy. Take the time to see how all the gas and oil Russia sends to the EU gets there. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand the need to control that flow and all the money that comes with it. -- jim
 

Dr Zaius

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#20
https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/nato-donald-trump/
Investor's Business Daily said:
The European Union has used hefty U.S. defense spending and its willingness to send American troops into harm's way to protect Europe. It is in effect a kind of social welfare subsidy: We spend money on arms, they build ever-more generous welfare states.

And then, from the safety of their left-leaning think tanks, universities and EU bureaucracies, they complain about American "militarism," "imperialism," and "aggression."

It's getting tiresome, but it bears repeating. NATO's 28 members are required by the treaty that established the mutual defense organization to spend 2% of their gross domestic product on defense.

And note that those that are pulling their weight are among Europe's poorest nations. The others should be ashamed, but shame is in short supply in Europe these days.

It's the equivalent of going to a group dinner and, when presented with the check, having 23 diners come up short on the bill. And then ridiculing those who make up the difference.

If that's bullying, Europe deserves it. Europe's welfare states have never lived up to their part in the defense bargain. In the 1990s, when President Clinton was in office, European NATO forces were embarrassed at not being able to handle a conflict in the Balkans, right outside the EU's border. American airpower had to be brought in to end the conflict.

Today, the media and internet web sites remember it as a "NATO" triumph. But the fact is...
Correction: It wasn't just American "airpower" that was brought in to end the conflict in the Balkans, right on the EU's border. The US sent almost an entire armor division into Bosnia, along with a ton of attack helicopters and assorted hardware. I was one of the very first people on the ground in Bosnia, before IFOR was even formed and years before SFOR even existed. I left a few weeks after my daughter was born and didn't come back until she was walking -- time I will never get back.

That Western European nations were unable to handle a problem like Bosnia, and later Kosovo, without America providing most of the muscle, was just disgusting at the time. And that was back when EU nations had a larger budget, ridiculous as that may be.

As ever, Trump is a blunt instrument. But that doesn't necessarily make him wrong.

Yes, it is wrong to alienate your friends and allies. And it's about time, someone reminded Europe of this.
 
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