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Posted (edited)

So... NATO nations have been forced into committing (or rather, fulfilling a long-standing commitment) to spend 2% of GDP on defence.

I don't like Trump but the US has a fair grievance. Most NATO nations have been freeloading.

So how will this affect UK & the EU?

From ZH:

image.png.cb18a03885ec6e87381d5da68bac1a75.png

My initial thoughts. 

France is the only nuclear nation in the EU besides the UK. 2% should not be a problem for them.

Germany has a huge arms industry and so may well benefit from increased arms sales. But they will have to increase defence spending massively.

Turkey is below 2% but already has a huge army. I'm not sure I want to see Turkey with a bigger one.

Portugal, Italy, Spain, and a lot of the smaller countries have a big economic problem.

If the EU wants to break from NATO and form it's own army, we will be left as a nuclear nation with submarines, already with 2% GDP spending and could form a stronger alliance with the 5 Eyes Nations.  

I think May & co should have been playing the NATO card as part of the Brexit negotiations. The EU stance on the EU GPS system shows that they would probably exclude us from a Euro (or EU) Army even if we wanted to join.

A big boost for US and EU Arms manufacturers. A huge hit for a lot of the weaker EU economies, at just the time the UK's EU contribution to the EU will disappear.

I don't think the UK can go it alone, so if NATO crumbles we will be more closely tied to the US, very much as a junior partner.

Will NATO survive? Will the EU? Probably, but both weakened.

I get some satisfaction from seeing Germany, etc. being forced to fulfil NATO treaty obligations when they have been so insistent on the rulebook (but only when it suits them) during Brexit negotiations.

Do Germans have a word for schadenfreude?

 

TLDR; Buy arms shares.

Edited by Happy Renting

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The US spends much more but the US military is a massive job creation scheme for them not just in the number of people that it hires but in the many, many millions involved in servicing the US defence industry from building ships and planes through to the people who sell coffee & doughnuts around US bases. The US military spend is thus a huge part of the US economy.

Trump is right that the Europeans do not pull their weight either financially in terms of military spend or in actual military fighting - the Germans especially so. For far too long both the Germans and Japanese have got away with WW2 for reasons not to spend or to fight. This is changing now in Japan but, under Merkel, the German military has been cut to the bone... remember my theory about her being the best Soviet sleeper agent ever.

IMPO the European Army is more about creating a force to work as a police force inside Europe cracking down on dissenting voices rather than a military to protect European rights and values. I think others are coming to this viewpoint but this is for another debate.

Something else to bear in mind that the US 4% GDP spend on its military is because they are such a global player. They are fecking everywhere... well, not in Moscow or Beijing yet but time will tell xD

Also don't forget that a long-standing complaint of the Europeans is that they have increasingly been told what to do within NATO by the Americans. If the US does not want to do something then it does not happen. This was demonstrated in the Yugoslav Civil War when the Dutch were trying to protect the Bosians in Srebrenica and the European commanders within NATO wanted to send in air support to protect the enclave. The US opposed this, apparently on orders from Clinton, and, as a result, when the Europeans tried to intercede they basically lost GPS, satellite surveillance and comms. The Yanks denied the Europeans access or simply turned stuff off - this is the main reason behind the EU now developing its own GPS system known as Galileo.

I loathe Blair but one good thing he did do - or perhaps it was not so good in hindsight - was push through NATO entering into Kosovo and pushing through European forces going ahead without Clinton. It was only last minute embarrassment on behalf of Clinton that US forces became involved. I digress.

One other point to bare in mind is that for decades European forces have more or less been forced - gently pushed - into buying a lot of US military kit which has benefitted the US military and the US economy enormously. You see this very much today with the enormously expensive F-35 program - if you want to be a US ally you have to pay the price by buying F.35's, Star-fighters, ARRAM missiles, etc, etc. The US, on the other hand, only buys US-made kit so the huge US military market was, for decades, a no-go area for non-US companies. In order to get any sales to or orders from the US military non-US companies, such as BAE, have to partner up with US companies. Even then US Senators are loathe to give contracts to non-US firms.

So whilst I think Trump has a very good point, especially as the US is now waking up to the Frankenstein Monster of Chinese military growth that they have themselves help create and will need well-equipped allies, there are other issues that Europe no doubt feels should be addressed.

Bottom line, I bet Trump has looked at NATO, seen the invasion of the islamic hordes and is thinking to himself that if Europe will not even protect itself from this then why should we protect them at all.

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10 minutes ago, The Masked Tulip said:

IMPO the European Army is more about creating a force to work as a police force inside Europe cracking down on dissenting voices rather than a military to protect European rights and values. I think others are coming to this viewpoint but this is for another debate.

I believe this is the only reason for the EU army :PissedOff:

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None it makes much sense to me. And, to be frank, I doubt any of it makes much sense to those in power, either.  They are simply placeholders in a system that was established long before they appeared on the scene, and has gradually, incrementally, mutated into the aimless, rambling, contradictory, self perpetuating bureaucracy or 'military industrial complex' that it is today...I guess the Adam Curtis narrative in his films like Bitter Lake, Hypernormalization etc is how I see it. Much like the economic situation. The time for winding down the debt ponzi method of economic growth passed long ago, now they are just tinkering with it to keep it going a little longer. Going into Afghanistan, i don't believe it was for oil, or pipelines, it was just a 'we must do something, and that shithole country looks like an easy win'...little did they know. Defence contractors benefitted, at least.

The US sides with Israel and Saudi Arabia for no other reason than they always have done. Thats where the alliances and contracts lie. Similarly, US business has got too entrenched in China for the US do to whats neccessary. While im sure a lot of US business is well aware of the underhand tactics of Chinese businesses, they still get dollar signs in their eyes when they hear the words 'an untapped market of 1.4 billion', even if the chances of them actually accessing with no strings attached, much less benefitting from that market, are slim to none.

 

Again the US is tied to retrograde muslim forces anyway, so the whole 'theyre worried about the islamification of Europe; doesnt make much sense to me...if that were the case, i doubt they'd want a more heavily armed europe, as the muslim minority exerts ever greater influence over foreign policy. 

 

In Trumps case, I think he just fancies himself as another Ronald Reagan, bringing the Norks in from the cold and being generally a strongman on the global geopolitical scene. Very much a final leader of a dying empire...trying maintain its hegemonic position in a world that increasingly see's the future in the East...ie Duterte aligning his country far more with China than the US.

 

Given how many spies China seems to export, I'd believe they would be serious about getting tough on China if they started throwing out Chinese students from their colleges, and banning economic migration from China. Can't see them doing that, however.

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He's right, most countries (EU and other) should spend more on their own defense. What he's possibly missing - or maybe just doesn't care about - is that, if they did that collectively, they would be much less likely to go along with American military misadventures in the name of preserving some kind of outdated world order. That's a good thing to my mind.

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Trump wants rid of NATO. Read the news carefully. Even the AfD are on board. 

A. How to do it wrong - declare NATO obsolete, anachronism, waste of money and time.

What happens: sky falls in on him from American establishment , he's in collusion with Russians, selling out our trusted allies, undermining global stability, etc. 

B. How to do it right - make loud noise about filthy European slackers not holding up their end (knowing full well payment can't and never will happen because EU can't collectively afford it.) Then start by very publically removing 35 thousand US military from Germany.

What happens: American warmongering establishment still pissed off but voters go wild in approval, America First Yeah, MAGA, fuck the frog surrender monkeys and the sneaky krauts. Our boys are coming home tie a yellow ribbon! 

Merkel already said that's the way it's going. No doubt already agreed at bilderberg or something. 

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