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Thread: NATO summit

  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by citanon View Post
    These sophistic and disingenuous arguments are subpar than what I've come to expect from you.
    Just going down a bit towards Trump's level. Just a bit.

    There are some arguments among those that i stand by though. Poland and its defence budget for example. Not in the "we pay for their defense" sense. But in a "well, obviously Poland can frivolously throw 2% of their GDP around and boast about it, after all we're financing their shiny new highways and rebuilding their villages" sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by citanon View Post
    Your troop deployment in Afghanistan on the same scales as 70 years of US commitment to Europe?
    No, i mean that in an Article 5 case in Europe the US commitment to Europe should at least match that of Europe in Afghanistan percentage-wise, otherwise NATO would just prove itself as inconsequential and easy-to-circumvent as its rather spuriously written charter already proves.

    Quote Originally Posted by citanon View Post
    Your troop deployment in Afghanistan on the same scales as 70 years of US commitment to Europe?
    Here's another one, just for fun: You mean 49 years of occupation followed by 23 years of constant withdrawals? The US presence in Europe does not have anything to do with a commitment to defend Europe. NATO was meant to "keep the Russians out, the Americans in and the Germans down" after all in the words of its first Secretary General.

    Quote Originally Posted by bfng3569 View Post
    is this even a half serious comment?
    From me? No.

    There are politicians on this side of the pond who really, really strongly detest that Trump did not make an Article 5 commitment while unveiling a memorial for the only Article 5 application in NATO's history - a memorial that on this side is seen as a reminder of Article 5 and of the fact that the only time it was enacted was to defend the USA - not Europe.
    Not acknowledging that? That's not just Trump being Trump. That's treason to the NATO charter and everything NATO stands for. And that one's a sentence i'm serious about.
    Last edited by kato; 30 May 17, at 18:22.

  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    During 2017 the Polish defence budget amounts to 8.93 billion Euro (source).
    During 2017 the EU payouts to Poland amount to a net intake of 9.64 billion Euro (source).
    In other words: EU money pays for the money that Poland saves to invest in defence. Entirely. And beyond.
    EU funding for any and all member countries is limited and specific certain areas; it cannot be diverted to pay for defence for example. Poland could chose to spend more on welfare - or open the border to a million 'refugees' for example (how much has that cost?) but choses to keep the defence spending commitment that all NATO allies made in Wales and re-affirmed in Warsawa. Germany too doubtless receives EU grants as does every other member state. None can be spent on defence - that has to come from the national tax input and budget. Some chose to keep their commitments, some don't or say they are 'working towards it'.

  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    Germany too doubtless receives EU grants as does every other member state.
    We're talking net contributions, not gross. Gross Poland is at 150% of its defence budget.

    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    Some chose to keep their commitments, some don't or say they are 'working towards it'.
    The commitment is for 2024. Doing it now makes you at best an overachiever, and - with the typical German spin - at worst a warmonger.

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    We're talking net contributions, not gross. Gross Poland is at 150% of its defence budget.
    Well if you do not like being a net contributor to the EU... leave! But you won't because you bend and break every 'rule' to sustain a captive export market.


    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    The commitment is for 2024. Doing it now makes you at best an overachiever, and - with the typical German spin - at worst a warmonger.
    Perhaps just keeping the commitment all made.

  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    Perhaps just keeping the commitment all made.
    As said, the commitment is to "work towards" achieving 2% by 2024, no matter how Trump and others misportray this. And it's all nice and noncommittal too. Want me to quote the stuff they signed back then?

  6. #51
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    France to step up defense cooperation with European allies
    By: Pierre Tran, May 30, 2017 (Photo Credit: Christophe Petit Tesson/AFP via Getty Images)

    PARIS — France will partner with Germany and pursue European defense cooperation in a highly pragmatic way, in view of grave instability around the world, French Armed Forces Minister Sylvie Goulard said Monday.

    France will develop as much as possible on a cooperative basis, with “great pragmatism,” Goulard said at her first news conference since her May 17 appointment by President Emmanuel Macron.

    Goulard said she would make her first ministerial trip to Berlin this week to meet her German counterpart, Ursula von der Leyen. The previous French defense minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, had told her there were certain projects, “such as working with Germany in aviation,” and with certain other countries, she said.

    The aim was to cooperate, but on a selective basis.

    “We will continue with two or three in a pragmatic way,” as there is need for “building blocks” before moving to the next level, she said.

    That French approach echoes Britain’s policy switch to a tightly controlled industrial cooperation in Europe following production problems and budget overrun on the A400M military transport.

    There is a “fast-changing geopolitical environment” in light of U.S. President Donald Trump's speech to NATO last Thursday; the “reality” of Britain’s exit from the European Union, or Brexit; instability in the Middle East; the threat of terrorism; and “certain states” investing heavily in defense, she said.

    France would seek to preserve bilateral ties with the U.K., despite Brexit, she said.

    The pursuit of a European defense was “extremely crucial,” she said. Part of that work is the European Commission’s expected proposal on European Union funding for defense technology, she added.

    The incoming government will start work on the multiyear budget law, a priority project that will be “ambitious” and require parliamentary approval, she said.

    Trump’s message to NATO partners to boost funds for the alliance was “extremely clear,” she said, adding that his wording was put diplomatically.

    Asked about Trump’s widely noticed failure to evoke his support for Article 5 of the NATO treaty, which calls for collective defense among members, Goulard said that as a lawyer she views the treaty as binding whether or not an article is mentioned.

    It was Macron’s idea to change the ministerial title to armed forces minister from defense minister to highlight the importance of the civil and military personnel in the services, Goulard said.
    http://www.defensenews.com/articles/...uropean-allies

  7. #52

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    So...we've become "unreliable" for meeting our commitment consistently since NATO's inception but now wondering whether we should? I suppose but I'm to consider those who consistently have punched WELL below their weight the benchmark of "reliability"?

    Let's establish that Europe has comfortably piggybacked on our largesse, men and determination for seventy plus years. Europe's contributions to its self-defense has, on the whole, not collectively equated America's contribution on their behalf. Each nation? Not even worth discussing when measured against America.

    Kato, however, offers Afghanistan as a firm example of "reliability" as opposed to, I suppose, America's dilettante and fickle nature.

    A skewed perspective were there ever one.

    Trump's concern reflects a long-standing concern here in America regarding our "allies". Nothing new but for the German knee-jerk reaction to a long-deserved public shaming. I, ummm..., hate the guy and am embarrassed that he's my President but there isn't a thing off point if he calls to question Europe's commitment to itself, much less its commitment to America.

    Germany lead? Sara's point there is well-founded. The Bundesbank is quick to call its notes for failure to pay. Were America only as swift and certain.
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  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    Just going down a bit towards Trump's level. Just a bit.

    There are some arguments among those that i stand by though. Poland and its defence budget for example. Not in the "we pay for their defense" sense. But in a "well, obviously Poland can frivolously throw 2% of their GDP around and boast about it, after all we're financing their shiny new highways and rebuilding their villages" sense.


    No, i mean that in an Article 5 case in Europe the US commitment to Europe should at least match that of Europe in Afghanistan percentage-wise, otherwise NATO would just prove itself as inconsequential and easy-to-circumvent as its rather spuriously written charter already proves.


    Here's another one, just for fun: You mean 49 years of occupation followed by 23 years of constant withdrawals? The US presence in Europe does not have anything to do with a commitment to defend Europe. NATO was meant to "keep the Russians out, the Americans in and the Germans down" after all in the words of its first Secretary General.


    From me? No.

    There are politicians on this side of the pond who really, really strongly detest that Trump did not make an Article 5 commitment while unveiling a memorial for the only Article 5 application in NATO's history - a memorial that on this side is seen as a reminder of Article 5 and of the fact that the only time it was enacted was to defend the USA - not Europe.
    Not acknowledging that? That's not just Trump being Trump. That's treason to the NATO charter and everything NATO stands for. And that one's a sentence i'm serious about.
    EU payments to Poland corresponds to all the benefits and obligations brought to both sides by Polish membership in the EU. It's a separate issue from defense spending allocation.

    US commitment to Europe constituted first defending Europe from Germany, then defending Germany from Russia, before withdrawing when we were no longer needed, to now redoubling our readiness efforts. This occurred because we were indeed defenders not occupiers, although I could understand how that could feel a little different from the German perspective in particular, at least in the first couple of decades after WWII.

    I also love how you talk about percentage but not numbers, or presence not roles.

    Let's not even get into the economic benefit you derived from the Marshall plan, or the enormous benefit you derive today from the US Navy securing lanes of trade, or our efforts in stabilizing energy markets.

    Or how we are fighting ISIS in Iraq today so you can talk nonchalantly about how a few terrorists can't change your predilection towards open Christmas markets with no security barriers.

    Many of these things we take care of because of the shared benefit to us collectively in the West. It doesn't even bear mentioning because of that deep understanding of our collective interests as the background of any conversation about transatlantic relations.

    Yet Donald Trump asking you to increase your defense spending and all of sudden the onus is on US to do our share? That is mighty RIPE.

    Merkel is clearly using this as an opportunity to push her own political agenda. You can bemoan Trump's lack of tact to afford her the opportunity, our commitment to Europe, on the other hand, is written by actions, plain for all to see.

  9. #54
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    Leaving aside the point on whether the Cold War constituted an American "contribution to European defense"...

    Quote Originally Posted by S2 View Post
    Trump's concern reflects a long-standing concern here in America regarding our "allies". Nothing new but for the German knee-jerk reaction to a long-deserved public shaming.
    The problem is the reactions though. Because so far it doesn't look like it's Germany that just isolated itself from its allies last weekend.

    It's not really all that knee-jerk - she gave Trump four months. Hell, Merkel pretty much announced her stance that Trump will be measured by his words and acts back in January. Maybe we should dial back a bit though. To what Merkel actually said. That had a couple parts. The original speech was:

    "The times in which we could completely rely on others are somewhat over. This i experienced in the last few days. And therefore i can only say that us Europeans really have to take our destiny in our own hands. Of course in friendship with the USA, in friendship with the UK, in good neighborhood wherever possible, even with Russia, even with other countries. But we have to know that we must fight for our future ourself, as Europeans, for our destiny. And I want to do this together with you." [starting campaigning portion from here]

    Realistically? We're talking about a politician of a conservative party who has repeatedly been told she needs to sharpen her right edge profile. The above? That is basically just that. Patriotism. Patriotism to oppose America First. That's if we want to go with the campaigning bit.

    However, there's more to it of course. Alliances go beyond "oh, we're sending our soldiers, don't worry". Alliances include aligning policies in other fields. And Trump threw those overboard - can't really term it differently. Just like Britain threw them overboard. Or Turkey. That's the three we can't fully rely on anymore - at least i can't think of any others right now, although it of course also holds some hidden promise for countries such as Poland and Hungary too. So, we're pretty much forming a Coalition of the Willing. That term ring a bell? That's what the US has been doing whenever it didn't get its way with its European vassals. Except we don't do an either you're with us or you're not. Because, despite what Trump may think, politics aren't black and white.

  10. #55
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    citanon,

    Yet Donald Trump asking you to increase your defense spending and all of sudden the onus is on US to do our share? That is mighty RIPE.
    yes, i agree that the argument of the US having to do our share, or the argument that the "US presence in Europe does not have anything to do with a commitment to defend Europe" is complete nonsense.

    but to circle back to where this all started: DJT going in to a NATO forum, publicly berating and lecturing everyone, does the US no favors in this regard. it backs politicians into a corner, with positive action looking like kowtowing-- and kowtowing to the dictionary definition of an Ugly American, to boot.

    our commitment to Europe is by action ironclad, but DJT's words do much to undermine it. and the only person laughing is Putin.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by citanon View Post
    Or how we are fighting ISIS in Iraq today so you can talk nonchalantly about how a few terrorists can't change your predilection towards open Christmas markets with no security barriers.
    Name:  image_popup.jpg
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    Hint: You're not the only ones down there.

    Quote Originally Posted by citanon View Post
    Many of these things we take care of because of the shared benefit to us collectively in the West.
    Uh, for that you'd have to settle collectively on what actually constitutes a benefit.

  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    Leaving aside the point on whether the Cold War constituted an American "contribution to European defense"...
    What do you mean? I recall once reading a book about the British Army of the Rhine; we ALL contributed to defeat Eastern German and Central and Eastern European 'communism' and then impoverishment into what are today relatively free and growing democratic trading partners. Do you 'leave aside' the thousands of those who faced the Muscovites down - did the Berlin air supply - fought and died in the spy war as nothing? Sure the Poles and Romanians did their bit too at the end but someone had to hold the line for years. No debt is owed for that? Are you kidding?

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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    No debt is owed for that?
    Let's just say... the party that used to run East Germany is still around. And there's people who vote for them. Get the hint?

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    "...The problem is the reactions though. Because so far it doesn't look like it's Germany that just isolated itself from its allies last weekend..."

    Germany is simply the most note-worthy of the laggards. Trust that we are well aware of the miserly contributions that have been made by others within the alliance to their own defense.

    "...It's not really all that knee-jerk - she gave Trump four months. Hell, Merkel pretty much announced her stance that Trump will be measured by his words and acts back in January..."

    Words? Let's start then with German words. Did you not commit to 2% minimum or was this simply a worthy goal to be reached in the undefined and very nebulous future? Acts? I'd reckon we've lost more men in training accidents while deployed in Europe than Germany has lost in Afghanistan. Nevermind the size of the commitment to which you've attached so much prestige.

    My father spent nine years and three tours in W. Germany. I joined the army with the express intent of defending, first and foremost, my nation and it's allies. In 1978 I had little doubt but that it would be Europe if called upon.

    I'm saddened by the impasse NATO finds itself at but I've little cause to question that it results from one numbskull U.S. president. I'd offer a long litany of numbskull European leaders over five plus decades as equally (or more so) culpable and will not rue NATO's demise if it means more of the same ol' from our erstwhile allies.
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    Gentlemen calm down. Welcome back Steve , been meaning to write to you. We have an enemy that is clear to all - they interfered in the US election in Trumps favour, tried to interfere in the French election and will doubtless try the same in Germany and have invaded two of their neighbours and broken countless treaties and accords and memorandums. Us arguing about "who should pay what" is their delight! The questions cannot now be about such matters but how to respond to the threat posed to all.

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