Page 1 of 13 12345678910 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 182

Thread: NATO summit

  1. #1
    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
    Join Date
    03 Aug 03
    Posts
    8,018

    NATO summit

    Leave it to WaPo to take the side of free-loaders. She is correct, it would be nice if Europe ponied up another $100 billion.

    Maybe this is a plot by Putin-Hitler to get NATO nations to dig their heels in and spite the USA by cutting their defense budgets more.

    Trump’s behavior at NATO is a national embarrassment
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...36c71#comments


    By Karen Attiah

    May 25 at 4:03 PM 


    President Trump speaks during the unveiling ceremony of the Berlin Wall monument during the NATO summit in Brussels on May 25. (MANDEL NGAN/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images)

    Poor NATO. After all of the hoops summit organizers reportedly jumped through to accommodate President Trump and his anemic attention span, he definitely was not on his best behavior. Trump was the party guest whom no one really wants to deal with but has to — because he has more money than anyone else. The party guest who shows up and berates the hosts for not paying for their fair share of the defense spending cake. To borrow from NFL player Marshawn Lynch, Trump acted as though he was there just so he wouldn’t get fined.

    The NATO summit isn’t over yet, but so far, it’s So Trump. According to early press pool reports, Trump literally gave NATO allies the cold shoulder:



    Speaking of shoulders, the U.S. president basically shoved the prime minister of Montenegro, the newest member of NATO, to get to the front of the group, because AMERICA FIRST:


    After Trump called NATO obsolete (then proceeded to walk that back), Europe was looking for public support of Article 5, which affirms that NATO members will come to the mutual defense of any member that is under attack. But alas, Trump could not even bring himself to utter explicitly that the U.S. supports Article 5 in his remarks at Brussels, which every single U.S. president has done since Harry Truman in 1949. If NATO allies were nervous about the United States’ commitment to Europe’s security before, they must be fuming now. The NATO summit comes as reports surface that British police are withholding intelligence from the United States after leaks to U.S. media about the Manchester bombing investigation, and weeks after Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russians about operations against the Islamic State. For all of Trump’s fire and fury about the United States getting the raw end of the deal from NATO, from an optics standpoint, it is the United States that is looking like the irresponsible partner.


    President Trump criticized leaders at a dedication ceremony at the new NATO headquarters in Brussels, May 25, saying they need to increase financial contributions to combat "the threat of terrorism." (The Washington Post)



    Perhaps in Trump’s eyes, the Saudis threw a much better shindig — spending $68 million to host Trump. Well, really, it was a $110 billion dollar fete, considering the price tag for the historic weapons deal that the United States signed with Saudi Arabia. Trump appeared to be much more friendly and relaxed among Saudi Arabian and other Gulf leaders than with our European allies. Obviously, Trump was bedazzled by the kingdom’s hospitality, but none of the Saudi opulence and money can whitewash Saudi Arabia’s terrible record of fueling Wahhabi terrorism, carrying out record numbers of public beheadings, contributing to famine in Yemen, and withholding many basic rights for Saudi women and girls. Days after one of the worst terrorist attacks in British history, Trump is visibly more comfortable praising autocrats and extremist governments who help to fuel violence and conflict. That should be a slap in the face to our liberal allies in Europe.


    Maybe next time, NATO should serve chocolate cake, give out gold medals, impress Trump with glowing orbs, and throw in a sword dance or two. Oh, and $100 billion.

    But in all seriousness, for anyone who cares about the America’s global leadership and the future of Europe, Trump’s behavior at the NATO summit has been embarrassing.
    Last edited by troung; 26 May 17, at 15:43.
    To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway

  2. #2
    Senior Contributor
    Join Date
    05 Sep 06
    Posts
    4,027
    Quote Originally Posted by troung View Post
    Leave it to WaPo to take the side of free-loaders.
    Leave it to British tabloids and their ilk to take the side of those-who-know-they're-wrong: http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/...ilitary-budget

    Trump might be miscalculating though. With the way he's not been acknowledging the mutual defense duties he's not gonna get any European country to spend more on defence. In fact, he's likely to induce lower spending, given with the death of NATO that he is silently forwarding we are no longer required to defend the USA from the enemies it makes. You know, like back in 2001. And it's not like Europeans aren't pointing exactly that out to Trump.

    Gotta hand it to Macron though. For all compromise and third-way capitalist weasel that he is, at least he knows how to approach Trump. Both in handshaking and even more so when it comes to priorities.



    Although he already knew that campaigning, back in January:

  3. #3
    Contributor
    Join Date
    12 Oct 06
    Posts
    678
    Quote Originally Posted by troung View Post
    Leave it to WaPo to take the side of free-loaders. She is correct, it would be nice if Europe ponied up another $100 billion.

    Maybe this is a plot by Putin-Hitler to get NATO nations to dig their heels in and spite the USA by cutting their defense budgets more.
    http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone...-nato-spending

    Love Him or Hate Him, Trump Is Right When It Comes to NATO Spending

    Trump on NATO, what a tangled web he wove. During his campaign he questioned the alliance's relevancy, then said it needed to be revamped to fight terrorism, and all while slamming NATO member countries for not paying "their fair share." These statements rocked the alliance—one that is more important now than it has been for over 25 years. But just because NATO is strategically imperative, doesn't mean some member countries, especially the comparatively wealthy ones, should be able to put whatever price tag they want on their inclusion in the alliance.

    In recent years, the goal has been to get NATO alliance members to spend 2% of their gross domestic product (GDP) on defense. This standard may not be a perfect way of measuring each country's contribution, but it does provide a baseline to go off of, and whichever way you view it, some countries clearly need to invest more money into their war-fighting capacity in order to be on par with others members.

    President Trump said the following during today's NATO summit in Belgium—the first of which he has attended since becoming Command In Chief:



    "Members of the alliance must finally contribute their fair share and meet their financial obligations... Twenty-three of the 28-member nations are still not paying what they should be paying and what they are supposed to be paying for their defense. This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States...Two percent is the bare minimum for confronting today's very real and very vicious threats. If NATO countries made their full and complete contributions, then NATO would be even stronger than it is today, especially from the threat of terrorism."

    Currently, the US spends 3.61% of its GDP on defense, Greece is second at 2.36%, and little Estonia is third at 2.2%. The UK and Poland also exceed the goal, spending 2.17% and 2.01% respectively. But then you get into the countries who are falling behind; most are, and some of them in drastic fashion. France is close to the goal at 1.8%, and Turkey isn't that far off at 1.69%. Norway is three-quarters of the way there at 1.5%, as are Lithuania, Latvia, and Romania, and Portugal is at 1.4%.

    From there, things go south real quick. Germany spends just 1.2% of its GDP on defense, as does the Netherlands, Denmark, Albania, Croatia, and Slovakia. Italy spends 1.11%. Canada spends just over half the stated goal at a paltry 1%, as does the Czech Republic and Hungary. Spain spends 0.9%, as does Belgium. Tiny Luxembourg spends just 0.4% of its GDP on its own defense.

    For those countries that are spending, say, 1.5% of GDP and above, getting to the 2% goal seems attainable without major systemic changes in their spending habits. But when you see relatively affluent countries like Germany and Canada being so far off, it is troubling to say the least.

    The hard part about the 2% of GDP metric is that every country is unique, with their own histories, pressing issues and challenges. And each member is motivated to spend money on defense due to different elements—some of them geographical, some of them sociological and some are economical. For instance, France largely supports its own defense industry. And just going off a static percentage of GDP figure doesn't tell the whole story as to why a country may be far from the agreed-upon goal.

    Member countries also contribute to NATO—as in the institution itself, not their own defense capabilities—based an agreed-upon formula that uses Gross National Income as its leading metric. As a result of this formula, the US contributes the most at roughly 22% of NATO's budget. Germany is next at about 14.5%. France is third at 10.5%, and Britain comes in fourth at 10%. The allies that joined after the fall of the Soviet Union all pay less than 1% of NATO's operating cost. Although these proportions are significantly different than the percentage of GDP figures, they can also be a bit misleading.

    NATO's total budget is $2.3 billion. So the US picks up roughly half a billion dollars of that yearly price tag. Germany shells out $333 million. This is not huge money for any of these major players, and NATO represents a great investment, considering what these countries get in return.

    Thing is, that 2% of GDP goal, which was reaffirmed during a NATO summit in 2014, is a goal, not an immediate demand. The idea is that everyone would be able to reach that metric by 2024, not within the first year of the Trump administration. But without some sort of prodding or consequences, it is doubtful that such a goal will be achievable by 2024.

    There is also the issue of end strength and capability mix. Just having each country spend money on defense in a vacuum is an inefficient way to plan for a common defense under an alliance like NATO. A far more holistic approach cold be introduced to design NATO more along the lines as an integral total force, rather than just a bunch of countries tossing their capabilities into a hat during a time of conflict.

    To some degree, this is already happening. There are shared assets that NATO provides, and a rapid response force exists. There is also some thought given to having some counties fill capability gaps where other countries may fall short. Even pooling air transport resources is occurring among some NATO members. The US provides a massive amount of "unique" capabilities to the alliance as well. These large scale include aerial refueling and advanced surveillance and communications capabilities, just to name a few. The US even stockpiles munitions and other expendables that NATO members have pulled from in the past—maybe to too large a degree. But by coordinating and planning more carefully, repeated capabilities that NATO already has an abundance of could be eliminated from some member state's militaries and capability gaps could be filled with those same funds.

    Even the US could do more by providing surplus weaponry to less fortunate NATO allies, who can then take the money saved on costly procurement and spend it on operations. This would help with enhancing NATO's military presence in the eastern stretches of Europe, and would mean countries located there could rely less on the US for day-to-day deterrence. In the end it would likely save the US money and enhance NATO's collecting war fighting ability in the process.

    The big question is how do you get dozens of NATO member countries to decide on another rubric for required defense spending? Maybe an independent commission could look at each country, their current capabilities, and their own domestic challenges, and collectively decide how much they need to spend. But there would almost certainly be claims of unfairness, corruption, and special interest influence by enacting such a plan.

    If the NATO nations could agree in advance to abiding by a panel's decision, maybe it could work. When paired with the broader strategy of melding each country's defense apparatus to prioritize the needs of NATO as a whole, it could go a long way when it comes to getting the most out of defense expenditures made across the NATO alliance. But it would also mean that each country would have to give up a degree of sovereignty when it comes to deciding its own military force mix. As such, less wealthy countries with smaller militaries would be impacted the most by such a scheme.

    With all this in mind, it may be imperfect, but the 2% of GDP goal does seem like the most effective and simplest way to get member states to contribute more equally to NATO's common defense. But no matter how one quantifies the issue, the outcome remains the same—many NATO countries need to start spending more on their military capabilities.

    Although claims of freeloading on America and the other NATO states that are spending more than 2% GDP on defense may sound harsh, there is truth in those claims. That may have been fine in the pre-2014 reality, before the reawakening of the Russian Bear and the rapid expansion of ISIS, but today it isn't.

    So what can be done? Well, Trump is doing the most logical thing—making this a major issue and demanding countries prioritize their fiscal commitment to the alliance. Maybe the messenger isn't to many people's liking, but the message is relevant. In fact, President Obama was on the same page regarding this issue—although the way he described it may have been less controversial, and he never questioned the alliance's relevancy like his successor has.

    There has to be some repercussions for those NATO countries that don't meet the 2% of GDP requirement, or that don't come up with a plan to spend more on defense and execute on that plan accordingly. Maybe it's a carrot-and-stick type thing, where the US and the wealthier NATO nations provide extra support and material to less wealthy countries that do meet the goal, and some form of suspension to those that do not.

    It may seem harsh, but the alliance is put at risk by those who do not live up to the financial obligations required to support it. With nationalist and inward-looking sentiments growing here in the US and Europe, the idea that some NATO countries subsidize the social programs of other NATO states by taking on more of the burden of collective defense is a talking point that could work to destroy the bedrock of the alliance. You may disagree with it, but many feel that way...and they are making their minds heard at the ballot box.

    The world is a different place than it was just a few years ago, and an alliance based on fiscal equality–or at least fiscal minimums—will result in a stronger NATO. Maybe you can't stand Donald Trump, maybe you love him—but either way, he is right to demand that all the countries that benefit from the protection that NATO provides must chose to meet their basic obligations in order to do so. And that includes paying their fair share by funding their own defense adequately.

  4. #4
    Senior Contributor
    Join Date
    12 Aug 08
    Location
    UK/Europe
    Posts
    4,238
    I fully agree that NATO countries should commit to spending 2% of their GDP on defence - and not only in everyday upkeep but long term procurement needs etc as well. He is wrong though if he thinks some 'owe' money; NATO doesn't work that way and there is no fixed membership fee. It is also pretty skewed to demand they pay more and then solidly re-affirm Article 5, which has only be invoked once and not by any European ally.

  5. #5
    Senior Contributor
    Join Date
    05 Sep 06
    Posts
    4,027
    On membership fees due, anyone remember this?

  6. #6
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
    Join Date
    02 Aug 03
    Location
    Minneapolis
    Posts
    10,308
    What's the deal with the Montenegrin leader, and him getting pushed/shoved?

  7. #7
    Senior Contributor
    Join Date
    05 Sep 06
    Posts
    4,027
    He's a weasel, and his opposition at home is decrying the slight while he considers it inoffensive officially. Not that he looked like he didn't mind.

  8. #8
    Senior Contributor
    Join Date
    05 Sep 06
    Posts
    4,027
    The White House managed to omit Luxembourg's first gentleman in a photo caption that listed everyone else in the picture. Instead they listed Melania twice.

    Next time they'll probably just use some photoshop too i guess.

  9. #9
    Administrator
    Lei Feng Protege
    Defense Professional
    Join Date
    23 Aug 05
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Posts
    13,059
    i can only imagine what Republicans would be saying if Merkel made these remarks after Obama's 2012 NATO summit.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...4b1_story.html

    Following Trump’s trip, Merkel says Europe can’t rely on U.S. anymore

    By Michael Birnbaum and Rick Noack May 28 at 2:47 PM

    LONDON — German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday declared a new chapter in U.S.-European relations after contentious meetings with President Trump last week, saying that Europe “really must take our fate into our own hands.”

    Offering a tough review in the wake of Trump’s trip to visit E.U., NATO and Group of Seven leaders last week, Merkel told a packed Bavarian beer hall rally that the days when Europe could rely on others was “over to a certain extent. This is what I have experienced in the last few days.”

    It was a stark declaration from the leader of Europe’s most powerful economy, and a grim take on the transatlantic ties that have underpinned Western security in the generations since World War II. Although relations between Washington and Europe have been strained during periods since 1945, before Trump there has rarely been such a strong feeling from European leaders that they must turn away from Washington and prepare to face the world alone.

    Merkel said that Europe’s need to go it alone should be done “of course in friendship with the United States of America, in friendship with Great Britain and as good neighbors wherever that works.”

    But it was a clear repudiation of Trump’s tough few days with European leaders, even as she held back from mentioning the U.S. president by name. On Thursday, Trump had tough words for German trade behind closed doors. Hours later, he blasted European leaders at NATO for failing to spend enough on defense, while holding back from offering an unconditional guarantee for European security. Then, at the Group of Seven summit of leaders of major world economies on Friday and Saturday, he refused to endorse the Paris agreements on combating climate change, punting a decision until next week.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel flanked by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Trump. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
    Merkel made similar comments shortly after Trump’s November election. But they carry extra heft now that Trump is actually in office – and after Trump had a days-long opportunity to reset relations with Washington’s closest allies. Instead, by most European accounts he strained them even more.

    Trump – who returned from his nine-day international trip on Saturday – had a different take.

    “Just returned from Europe. Trip was a great success for America. Hard work but big results!” Trump wrote on Sunday, reviving a prolific Twitter habit that had slackened during his days on the road.

    But many European leaders emerged from their meetings with Trump filled with fresh worry that an earthquake truly had hit transatlantic relations. Trump was far more solicitous toward the autocratic king of Saudi Arabia earlier in the week, telling him and other leaders of Muslim-majority countries – many of them not democratically elected – that he was not “here to lecture.” Days later in Brussels he offered a scathing assessment of Washington’s closest allies, saying they were being “unfair” to American taxpayers.


    “The belief in shared values has been shattered by the Trump administration,” said Stephan Bierling, an expert on transatlantic relations at Germany’s University of Regensburg. “After the inauguration, everyone in Europe was hopeful that Trump would become more moderate and take into account the positions of the G-7 and of NATO. But the opposite has happened. It’s as if he is still trying to win a campaign.”

    The United States remains the largest economy in the world, and its military is indispensable for European security, putting a clear limit on Europe’s ability to declare independence. American consumers also form an important market for European products – including the German BMWs that Trump complained about in closed-door meetings in Brussels, according to German press accounts.

    But Merkel has expressed willingness to jolt her nation’s military spending upwards, a first step both to answering American criticism that it falls far short of NATO pledges and to lessening its dependence on the U.S. security blanket. Germany hiked its military spending by $2.2 billion this year, to $41 billion, but it remains far from being able to stand on its own militarily.

    European leaders feel more confident now than they did a month or two ago, following the landslide presidential victory this month in France of Emmanuel Macron. His ascent to power helped put a mental cap on a one-two hit last year after Britain voted to leave the European Union and the nationalist Trump was elected in the United States.
    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

  10. #10
    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
    Join Date
    03 Aug 03
    Posts
    8,018
    I guess the idea of meeting the NATO spending floor was too much for the old frumpy lady's heart... :(
    Last edited by troung; 28 May 17, at 23:09.
    To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway

  11. #11
    Senior Contributor
    Join Date
    05 Sep 06
    Posts
    4,027
    Eh, she's in campaign mode, and it was a campaign speech to supporters of the conservative wing of her faction. Elections in September. Spending a heap of money just because some guy from across the pond that no one here likes tells us so? Not the way to win an election. Basically what she's talking about is that Europe - continental Europe - will have to start deciding its own priorities. And putting them first.

    Trump's NATO summit performance might have been a sliiight bit badly timed. Next wednesday Merkel's meeting with Chinese premier Li Keqiang ahead of the impending EU/China summit intended to advance the European/Chinese strategic partnership focussing on trade, climate change, migration... oh, and foreign policy and security challenges. So, pretty much everything that Trump failed Europe on during the NATO summit. Might be interesting.

  12. #12
    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
    Join Date
    03 Aug 03
    Posts
    8,018
    Trump's NATO summit performance might have been a sliiight bit badly timed. Next wednesday Merkel's meeting with Chinese premier Li Keqiang ahead of the impending EU/China summit intended to advance the European/Chinese strategic partnership focussing on trade, climate change, migration... oh, and foreign policy and security challenges. So, pretty much everything that Trump failed Europe on during the NATO summit. Might be interesting.
    Hopefully Li reaffirms Article 5 and signs on to severe Global Warming cuts, that will show Trump.
    To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway

  13. #13
    Administrator
    Lei Feng Protege
    Defense Professional
    Join Date
    23 Aug 05
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Posts
    13,059
    I guess the idea of meeting the NATO spending floor was too much for the old frumpy lady's heart... :(
    to put it another way, how many Administrations have said this to the Europeans? pretty much every single President.

    as far as i know, this is the first time where the way the message was delivered (among others) was enough to get the Germans to talk about going it alone. and the jest of it is, exactly what did Trump accomplish by offending all and sundry? according to him, "Many NATO countries have agreed to step up payments considerably, as they should. Money is beginning to pour in- NATO will be much stronger."

    yeah, sure they are. and i have a bridge to sell to you.

    considering that since 1945, a key pillar of Russian foreign policy is to drive a wedge between the Germans/rest of NATO and the US, i'd say Trump is doing a pretty fine job for them even if he isn't on Putin's payroll.
    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

  14. #14
    Senior Contributor
    Join Date
    05 Sep 06
    Posts
    4,027
    Quote Originally Posted by troung View Post
    Hopefully Li reaffirms Article 5 and signs on to severe Global Warming cuts, that will show Trump.
    China passed the USA as Germany's largest trade partner last year. Something to think about. Right now it's not that hard to find the right words to move towards a realignment. And it's likely something China is banking on.

  15. #15
    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
    Join Date
    03 Aug 03
    Posts
    8,018
    as far as i know, this is the first time where the way the message was delivered (among others) was enough to get the Germans to talk about going it alone. and the jest of it is, exactly what did Trump accomplish by offending all and sundry? according to him, "Many NATO countries have agreed to step up payments considerably, as they should. Money is beginning to pour in- NATO will be much stronger."
    They needed to be cried out and shamed; that her reaction to being called out was to declare they can't rely on us, well that's fine. They finally found a President, who God knows why, is actually serious about NATO not being a one-sided open ended deal for America to protect them as they continue not to meet the NATO spending criteria. Europe going it "alone", without having to pretend to meet said spending floor, should be a good for a laugh.

    considering that since 1945, a key pillar of Russian foreign policy is to drive a wedge between the Germans/rest of NATO and the US, i'd say Trump is doing a pretty fine job for them even if he isn't on Putin's payroll.
    Odd that it is Germany's unwillingness to pony up for their armed forces, per the deal of sixty odd years ago, which drove that wedge; it's almost like the vast majority of Europeans and their governments really don't care in the least about confronting the Russians. How very odd.
    To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. G20 Summit in Australia
    By tbm3fan in forum International Politics
    Replies: 39
    Last Post: 17 Nov 14,, 12:37
  2. UN Carbon Emissions Summit
    By Merlin in forum International Economy
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 23 Sep 09,, 15:03
  3. BRICS Summit.
    By xinhui in forum International Economy
    Replies: 26
    Last Post: 18 Jun 09,, 00:53
  4. Annapolis summit
    By Parihaka in forum Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 27 Nov 07,, 03:11
  5. SAARC summit
    By pak_mudi in forum Small Arms and Personal Weapons
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 03 Jan 04,, 05:47

Share this thread with friends:

Share this thread with friends:

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •