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  • I haven't got a real "read" on what the average American joe thinks about NATO these days. I think the ones who've been in the military and who payed attention during their stints probably still have respect for NATO. But many people don't know NATO from JATO...

    As to the expense that the US sustains? I still think it's a needed deployment. Having the US on the tripwire, even for less obvious threats, ensures that we are much more likely to be allied when the real threat comes. My Dad also said once that he read in the German press that German has supplemented the US costs at some points during the years.

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    • Originally posted by Guma View Post
      ......
      Trump is right. Last year only 5 countries reached 2% level: Greece, UK, Estonia, Romania and Poland.
      It’s not 2024 yet......😉

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      • Originally posted by tercio67 View Post

        It’s not 2024 yet......😉
        at current spending leveles military of some countries is a joke

        https://www.reuters.com/article/us-g...source=twitter

        A February ministry report showed only 39 of 128 Eurofighter jets were available for training and combat use last year on average, and just 26 of 93 older-model Tornado fighter jets.

        Merkel this month forecast steady increases in German military spending in coming years, in line with Berlin’s pledge to meet a NATO target of moving toward spending 2 percent of economic output by 2024, but she gave no details.
        Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen has been pressing for increased spending after Scholz’s previous longer-term plan called for military outlays to edge lower after reaching 1.3 percent of economic output in 2019, up from 1.2 percent now. Von der Leyen has pledged that German military spending will reach 1.5 percent of gross domestic product by 2025.





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        • Originally posted by Euroamerican View Post
          I haven't got a real "read" on what the average American joe thinks about NATO these days. I think the ones who've been in the military and who payed attention during their stints probably still have respect for NATO. But many people don't know NATO from JATO...
          That's the premier non-material aspect of the issue: US domestic policies. Both Donald Trump and Trump-critic Ben Shapiro have repeatedly stated European welfare states were only sustainable as a result of America seeing to Europe's defense. In my estimation, this shows they're actually interested in substantiating their opposition to the Democratic Party's bid for European-style health care policies.

          In this case, their argument's flawed though. The curves of social and military spending in Europe and those of America's military expenditures and the size of its European presence don't correlate at all. As a matter of fact, the all-time high of welfare spending in Europe was reached against the backdrop of the smallest American military presence in Europe since 1945. As though that wasn't enough, most European NATO states used to outrank America in terms of expenditures-per-capita for defense and welfare till the end of the Cold War – with which the onset of the continent's military decline coincides, I hasten to add.

          Originally posted by Euroamerican View Post
          As to the expense that the US sustains? I still think it's a needed deployment. Having the US on the tripwire, even for less obvious threats, ensures that we are much more likely to be allied when the real threat comes.
          That's a terrific question, and I'm definitely not saying there's no case to be made. What I find fault with is how this case is made nowadays.

          Geopolitical disagreements are yet another issue, obviously. America's repeatedly identified Iran as a great threat – even though it's arguably doubtful if that country has any means of attacking NATO in a meaningful way. At any rate no European nation perceives Iran as a threat, so any old allusion in that direction isn't going to incite greater defense budgets.

          Europe's take on Iran is naive in my humble opinion, but I can see where it's coming from. For many years America's been very ambiguous about what goal she seeks in relation to NATO: Is there a party line all need abide by, or does NATO's course have to be congruent with America's?

          Originally posted by Euroamerican View Post
          My Dad also said once that he read in the German press that German has supplemented the US costs at some points during the years.
          It's a complicated settlement; as a general rule of thumb though Germany's paying the running costs for all facilities opened prior to 1989. Having said this, we shouldn't be ignorant of the fact that nearby military bases are valuable to the local economy. Likewise, the strategic importance of America's facilities in Europe (such as Ramstein Air Base) had for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is not likely to be expressible in dollars. Landstuhl Medical Center has saved thousands of American lives.

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          • Originally posted by muck View Post

            The obstinacy of that argument is truly bewildering. Foreign military spending has no influence on America's defense budget for better or for worse; nor is America really committed to the defense of Europe anyway. Her military presence on this continent, now a fraction of what it used to be during the age of American-Soviet confrontation, serves but her own ends (theater sustainment mostly).

            Besides, Trump should make up his mind at last. Russia, he says, is our friend. So, against whom does America even defend NATO so single-handedly?

            When last I checked, America had little to complain about. Her European commitment to NATO during the Cold War rendered land war on US soil unlikely, something I'd reckon was very much in the interest of all US citizens; and Europe and Canada did rush to America's aid in the wake of 9/11, losing many a good soldier in the process.

            Well, make no mistake; most European armies are underfunded these days. The only way that's actually "costing" America though is through a lack of foreign weapon sales. Besides, Trump's (un-)popularity around here makes any change of policies even unlikelier. In these parts you just can't win elections by saying what Trump happens to say also – so all Trump achieves is entrenching the status quo. Fuckin' a.
            I think we can probably agree the issue here is the fact Germany has zero desire to increase military spending because the voters will not support an increase and Germany sees no threat in the region. Europeans do not like Trump . They did not like Bush either, but did like Obama. None were able to secure anything but promises of progress at some point in the far distant future, hopefully to never arrive.

            The Chancellor has said Europeans must take their security future in their own hands. At some point in the not too distant future, Trump or no, that will become a necessity.
            The other party in the US now supports NATO only because Trump questions its value. Once they regain power, and they will at some point, they will quickly return to their base position that spending money on domestic issues is far more important than spending on the military. Just IMHO.



            https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...=.f43e2f888d02



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            • Good post! Though I'm not so sure if Obama really was that popular in Europe. The media certainly tried to sell that narrative. In truth though, the right had always been critical of him and the left threw its fit of hypocritical disappointment no later than 2011-ish. I don't think defense spending in Europe used to correlate with the public's perception of America.

              It is going to now though, as Trump is widely regarded (and rightfully so) as an expression of the same political polarization that's going on in Europe as well. The louder Trump screams, the more will those on the other side of the aisle pretend they didn't hear it. Nothing's going to change.

              Not that I blame them, even though I definitely want to see spending ramped up. For all intents and purposes, Trump's come up with some sort of right-wing political correctness; he'd rather be perceived as being atop than he wants to be effective.

              As for Germany, it's a perfect example for how wrong Trump and America's right wing are on the spending issue; it's not a matter of priorities in the sense of a simple welfare 'n' fun vs. defense dichotomy. Berlin's drowning in money. Their annual revenue now is what they used to rake in quinquennially just two decades ago. Government spending is higher than ever before; it's not like the money isn't there, it's that ordinary folks being stupid ordinary folks see no reason to spend it on the military.

              One way out of that trap could be throwing another advantage into the ring, like a jobs-generating cooperation in the industry or whatnot. But Trump won't be that smart.

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              • Saber Strike 18:

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