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Old 11th February 2024, 02:40 AM   #1
Nessie
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Does NATO need the USA?

Does NATO need the USA to defend Europe, or could Europe defend itself from the Russians?

I say, from what we see in Ukraine, that Russia could not get that far into Europe if there was a full scale invasion. Poland has a stronger armed force than Ukraine, the Finns could dig themselves in and bog down any Russian advance and Turkey poses a significant southern challenge. Russia could not cope with a full scale invasion and European combined forces could stop it.

The Russian nuclear threat is cover by the UK and France.

When Trump states he would

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...dont-pay-bills

"he would “encourage” Russia to attack any of the US’s Nato allies whom he considers to have not met their financial obligations."

I say it is time to say goodbye to the USA in NATO and we should not be too concerned about that making us vulnerable to Russian invasion.
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Old 11th February 2024, 03:01 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
Does NATO need the USA to defend Europe, or could Europe defend itself from the Russians?

I say, from what we see in Ukraine, that Russia could not get that far into Europe if there was a full scale invasion. Poland has a stronger armed force than Ukraine, the Finns could dig themselves in and bog down any Russian advance and Turkey poses a significant southern challenge. Russia could not cope with a full scale invasion and European combined forces could stop it.

The Russian nuclear threat is cover by the UK and France.

When Trump states he would

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...dont-pay-bills
Wow! No. Just no. This isn't WWII any more.

Regardless of what Trump would do, dismantling NATO would be a huge mistake IMO. And ain't gonna happen. If Trump gets elected then it may be underfunded for about four years.

Quote:
"he would “encourage” Russia to attack any of the US’s Nato allies whom he considers to have not met their financial obligations."

I say it is time to say goodbye to the USA in NATO and we should not be too concerned about that making us vulnerable to Russian invasion.
To OP, NATO does need USA. And we need them too. Withdrawing from NATO just sounds kind of isolationist, assuming one holds democratric ideals.
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Old 11th February 2024, 03:56 AM   #3
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Whilst I would love to unshackle the UK from America's ill thought-out imperialist invasions and bombings around the world, I don't think leaving NATO is the best way to do it. The blowback my country gets from associating with burger-eating invasion monkeys far outweighs any benefit we get from, say, our own participation in the Iraq invasion.
In fact, thinking about it, NATO may be a useful way of restraining the US from launching ill-advised military actions.
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Old 11th February 2024, 03:59 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
Whilst I would love to unshackle the UK from America's ill thought-out imperialist invasions and bombings around the world, I don't think leaving NATO is the best way to do it. The blowback my country gets from associating with burger-eating invasion monkeys far outweighs any benefit we get from, say, our own participation in the Iraq invasion.
In fact, thinking about it, NATO may be a useful way of restraining the US from launching ill-advised military actions.
This kind of says it all.

ETA: And by that I mean USA is bad in every possible way.

Last edited by PitPat; 11th February 2024 at 04:03 AM.
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Old 11th February 2024, 04:23 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
Does NATO need the USA to defend Europe, or could Europe defend itself from the Russians?

I say, from what we see in Ukraine, that Russia could not get that far into Europe if there was a full scale invasion. Poland has a stronger armed force than Ukraine, the Finns could dig themselves in and bog down any Russian advance and Turkey poses a significant southern challenge. Russia could not cope with a full scale invasion and European combined forces could stop it.

The Russian nuclear threat is cover by the UK and France.

When Trump states he would

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...dont-pay-bills

"he would “encourage” Russia to attack any of the US’s Nato allies whom he considers to have not met their financial obligations."

I say it is time to say goodbye to the USA in NATO and we should not be too concerned about that making us vulnerable to Russian invasion.
HA HA Ha, Russia is huge, as a geopolitical entity it could absorb the combined fire of France and the UK and still leave the UK and most of northern France a smoking hole whilst obliterating every capital city in western Europe. The USA is needed simply for nuclear deterrence, even if the entire ground fight was resourced from Western Europe.

And all this because the blowhard is blowing hard about financial obligations. Perhaps the Europeans should actually meet those obligations eh?
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Old 11th February 2024, 07:07 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
HA HA Ha, Russia is huge, as a geopolitical entity it could absorb the combined fire of France and the UK and still leave the UK and most of northern France a smoking hole whilst obliterating every capital city in western Europe. The USA is needed simply for nuclear deterrence, even if the entire ground fight was resourced from Western Europe.
Well, since we're playing jingoist pretend war, all you need to do is obliterate Moscow, and Russia as an entity is pretty much done.
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Old 11th February 2024, 07:10 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
Does NATO need the USA to defend Europe, or could Europe defend itself from the Russians?

I say, from what we see in Ukraine, that Russia could not get that far into Europe if there was a full scale invasion. Poland has a stronger armed force than Ukraine, the Finns could dig themselves in and bog down any Russian advance and Turkey poses a significant southern challenge. Russia could not cope with a full scale invasion and European combined forces could stop it.

The Russian nuclear threat is cover by the UK and France.

When Trump states he would

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...dont-pay-bills

"he would “encourage” Russia to attack any of the US’s Nato allies whom he considers to have not met their financial obligations."

I say it is time to say goodbye to the USA in NATO and we should not be too concerned about that making us vulnerable to Russian invasion.
OMFG, now he wants to turn Europe into a goddamn protection racket, and use Russia as his enforcers! "Nice Europe you got there. Be a shame if anything happened to it." TRAITOR!
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Old 11th February 2024, 07:11 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Olmstead View Post
Well, since we're playing jingoist pretend war, all you need to do is obliterate Moscow, and Russia as an entity is pretty much done.
You reckon? You don't think the mechanism of of government would be devolved elsewhere before any such exchange? Do you really think Putin would care about the ordinary people of Moscow if he could expand the borders of Russia westwards at their expense?
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Old 11th February 2024, 07:34 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by shemp View Post
OMFG, now he wants to turn Europe into a goddamn protection racket, and use Russia as his enforcers! "Nice Europe you got there. Be a shame if anything happened to it." TRAITOR!
Yeah, I just saw that and was trying to figure out where in the multiple Trump discussions this belongs. Will settle for here. Kind of ironic that Trump of all people is telling others that they've gotta pay their bills.
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Old 11th February 2024, 07:52 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
You reckon? You don't think the mechanism of of government would be devolved elsewhere before any such exchange? Do you really think Putin would care about the ordinary people of Moscow if he could expand the borders of Russia westwards at their expense?
I think without centralised power, Russia would simply fracture, and then no one will care what Putin thinks. Not that it would play out that way. France and the UK still have more than enough nukes to take out every important city and town in Russia. Mutually assured destruction would still be in effect.

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Old 11th February 2024, 08:05 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Olmstead View Post
I think without centralised power, Russia would simply fracture, and then no one will care what Putin thinks. Not that it would play out that way. France and the UK still have more than enough nukes to take out every important city and town in Russia. Mutually assured destruction would still be in effect.
If they all got through perhaps, but I'm skeptical. There's still no doubt that the UK and northern France would be obliterated.
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Old 11th February 2024, 08:11 AM   #12
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Could the rest of NATO defend itself against Russia?

Yes, if it had to.

But it's so much cheaper to use the US that's producing way to much military gear anyway and needs some reason to make more.

The real victim of leaving NATO would be the military-industrial complex.
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Old 11th February 2024, 08:34 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
Whilst I would love to unshackle the UK from America's ill thought-out imperialist invasions and bombings around the world, I don't think leaving NATO is the best way to do it. The blowback my country gets from associating with burger-eating invasion monkeys far outweighs any benefit we get from, say, our own participation in the Iraq invasion.
In fact, thinking about it, NATO may be a useful way of restraining the US from launching ill-advised military actions.
I don't think America has done an imperialist invasion in living memory. But go off, I guess.
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Old 11th February 2024, 09:02 AM   #14
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I mean, the Pax Americana would still be there. Along with America's other alliances. It's not really about America not being in NATO. It's about America not feeling obliged to come to the defense of any of the nations in Western Europe.

Which is a weird thing to want to happen.
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Old 11th February 2024, 09:07 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Could the rest of NATO defend itself against Russia?

Yes, if it had to.

But it's so much cheaper to use the US that's producing way to much military gear anyway and needs some reason to make more.

The real victim of leaving NATO would be the military-industrial complex.
Russia will make it into an attritional war, with threats of nuclear annihilation if there is any strategic response.

Will the people of the major western states of NATO accept the costs of defending the east? Both in money and manpower.

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Old 11th February 2024, 10:08 AM   #16
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I never suggested dismantling NATO. I only suggest that if the USA was no longer part of NATO and say, under Trump, refused to be part of assistance if Russia invaded, that there is enough military power within Europe to successfully defend itself.
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Old 11th February 2024, 10:09 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
Russia will make it into an attritional war, with threats of nuclear annihilation if there is any strategic response.

Will the people of the major western states of NATO accept the costs of defending the east? Both in money and manpower.
NATO or not, the US would start screaming at Russia anyway, and who knows what happens then. It's just much simpler to have the screaming codified in a treaty. An alliance if you will.
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Old 11th February 2024, 10:10 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
HA HA Ha, Russia is huge, as a geopolitical entity it could absorb the combined fire of France and the UK and still leave the UK and most of northern France a smoking hole whilst obliterating every capital city in western Europe.
The other way to look at it is that Russia is just Moscow, St. Petersburg, and all the provinces they rule together. Remove the two big cities and Russia dies. They know that, that's why there is little military draft from the two big cities and instead they draft from the distant rural areas. Keep the core power centers happy and unaffected because those are where the real power of that nation resides.

As for NATO. Nessie is both wrong and right. As it is right now, Europe alone could probably fight off Russia. But there are catches:

1: They need American weapons to do it. Patriot systems and F-35 to control the air; American reconnaissance satellites to provide information. European military tech is very good, but they would be hard pressed to duplicate the F-35 program. They paid a good chunk of the cost of the program of course, but they did that because they were in NATO. Drop out of NATO and such weapons development cooperation might go away and Europe technological advantage over Russia might start to erode. Especially if Russia and China keep working together.

2: They need political cooperation. Being tied to America and Canada helps with that, helps push back against the Orban's that pop up here and again, helps counter the Russian disinfo and encouragement of Nationalist movements.

That said, I am going to make a bold statement: I agree with Donald Trump. On one thing and even then not completely. I agree that the U.S. needs to push Europe very hard to amp up their military spending and readiness. That's the extent of my agreement. I don't think the U.S. should drop out of NATO if Europe doesn't kick military spending up so high. But Europe does need a slap upside the head to be an equal partner in alliance.

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Old 11th February 2024, 10:21 AM   #19
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Well here, there is this thing called Congress that would never allow that to happen. President cannot pull out of it unilaterally.

Not even the staunchest MAGA congressional members would even consider it.

Okay, let's say USA pulled out of NATO? Would it make the world a safer place because of political bug up butts from other allies?
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Old 11th February 2024, 10:28 AM   #20
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I think it's pretty clear, as of now, today, this moment, NATO could quite effectively kick Russia's ass with one hand tied behind it's back, and with no help from 'Big Brother U.S.A.', before breakfast tomorrow, were the need to arise.
Sure, it'd likely deplete a good many resources in the process, but with Russia firmly depleted and defeated beyond unassisted recovery. NATO would still have the distinct advantage of using that other hand to finish slapping them down in the end, if necessary. Then, like a beaten dog, they may growl, but they'd know better than to try and bite again.
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Old 11th February 2024, 10:30 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
HA HA Ha, Russia is huge,
Russia is huge, and largely undeveloped. It's not like Europe, with a comprehensive rail network and wall-to-wall armies. Its hugeness is actually a drawback for Russia, since it lacks the army and the air force to cover all of its threatened territory simultaneously (ETA: and the logistics network). If every country in NATO (ETA: minus America) attacked at once, along the most convenient stretch of border, it would be a race to Moscow, overrunning or bypassing whatever nearby Russian troops could be moved in as speed bumps.

Quote:
as a geopolitical entity it could absorb the combined fire of France and the UK and still leave the UK and most of northern France a smoking hole whilst obliterating every capital city in western Europe.
As a geopolitical entity, it's Moscow, St Petersburg, and Minsk. The rest of Russia can be safely ignored, or if someone wants to play nation-building on nightmare mode, digested after the war is over and the occupation has begun.

Quote:
The USA is needed simply for nuclear deterrence, even if the entire ground fight was resourced from Western Europe.
There's the rub.

Quote:
And all this because the blowhard is blowing hard about financial obligations. Perhaps the Europeans should actually meet those obligations eh?
I suspect that much of what's been going on all these years is some back room qid pro quo diplomatic agreements. "We won't give you grief about your NATO obligations, and in return you give us a break on X."
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Old 11th February 2024, 10:32 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
Does NATO need the USA to defend Europe, or could Europe defend itself from the Russians?
Combined European military power - especially if one includes the UK - easily exceeds that of Russia, the problem is a lack of coordination outside of NATO. That's been less of a problem over recent years, and the accession of Finland and Sweden improves it further.

The last Trump presidency was warning enough, and Europe has taken steps. The Russian invasion of Ukraine, however, has shown it's not remotely enough - particularly in terms of production. Drone manufacturing of course is also now a priority.[/quote]

Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
Perhaps the Europeans should actually meet those obligations eh?
It's literally called The 2% defence investment guideline. It's not an "obligation".

Europe - and, I admit, myself - naively thought Russia wasn't so stupid as to start a war with their own business partners and customers. So yeah, we need to ramp it up, and we are, albeit nowhere near fast enough to properly help Ukraine.
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Old 11th February 2024, 10:35 AM   #23
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At university in 1987, I was at a lecture by a visitor from RAF intelligence, about the military threat of the then SU. He said that because of Soviet equipment, tactical and staffing limitations, they would soon get bogged down in West Germany and may not even get as far west as that, as East Germans, who the Soviets would hope to be allies, would not necessarily be prepared to fight with them, especially against other Germans. He was certain we would never see Soviet troops marching victoriously through London, let alone Berlin. The Soviets would encounter the same supply line issues Napoleon and Hitler encountered when they invaded east. They would also have huge problems with the length of front they would have to deal with, from Finland to Turkey.

Much of what we were told in that lecture has come true in Ukraine, with poor equipment, troops, tactics etc. In the same way Soviet senior officers do not trust the troops and vice versa, we see that with the Russians. They still act like the Soviets, which the Ukrainians have not done, which is one reason why they have held off much of the invasion. The Russians do not even have any eastern block countries they can count on as allies, as the Soviets maybe could have. Even Belarus cannot be trusted to fight with Russia, if they invaded west, so they may barely get to Poland, which has a stronger military than Ukraine.
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Old 11th February 2024, 10:38 AM   #24
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Strange question. Does NATO need the USA? No, of course not. It could take its licks and nurse it's wounds all by itself if a member country/ies were to be attacked, probably losing some cities and significant population before it was over.

Or, you know, have a major global superpower on your team and not have to worry too awful much about invasion. I bet an American dollar that Russia would not have invaded Ukraine if the latter was a member of Team NATO.
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Old 11th February 2024, 10:41 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Mike! View Post
I think it's pretty clear, as of now, today, this moment, NATO could quite effectively kick Russia's ass with one hand tied behind it's back, and with no help from 'Big Brother U.S.A.', before breakfast tomorrow, were the need to arise.
Sure, it'd likely deplete a good many resources in the process, but with Russia firmly depleted and defeated beyond unassisted recovery. NATO would still have the distinct advantage of using that other hand to finish slapping them down in the end, if necessary.
May be true, but not totally convinced. Then there's the forward thinking approach about national security and continue to be a part of very large gobal regional alliance with generally the same values and goals.

Can the funding be better spread out and managed? Of course. NATO could probably exist without USA in the short term, but I don't think anybody would really want that.
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Old 11th February 2024, 10:45 AM   #26
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Seeing as it's Super Bowl Sunday, an analogous query: if you removed Kansas City's quarterback and offensive line, could they still win the game? I mean, they have a hell of a defense.
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Old 11th February 2024, 10:50 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by PitPat View Post
Regardless of what Trump would do, dismantling NATO would be a huge mistake IMO. And ain't gonna happen. If Trump gets elected then it may be underfunded for about four years.
What is "it", and how is the US funding it?
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Old 11th February 2024, 10:55 AM   #28
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The plausible worst case scenario I see is:

Trump wins the election. He convinces a GOP controlled Congress to exit NATO. We go full on isolationist mode. China sees an opportunity for a new world order where their standing in the world greatly increases. They support Russia far beyond what they are now. Russia begins a series of provocations along their European borders with NATO states. The European NATO countries now cannot keep sending aide to Ukraine. They must keep weapons for themselves for what is now becoming a clearly realistic chance at a shooting war with Russia. Ukraine falls without any outside aide. Circa 2028-29 Russia with Chinese support invades Estonia and Poland. With warnings that if NATO air or missile strikes hit targets in Russia proper, they will respond with nuclear weapons. The peoples of France, Germany, and the UK will not tolerate the large military build up that would be necessary in a sustained attritional war with Russia. A pro-war government will fall in any of those countries. Without their support the Baltic states and Poland slowly lose to Russia.

The much more implausible worst case scenario is (bordering on "chicken little"):

NATO responds with strategic strikes into Russia. Russia retaliates with a nuclear strike against France and the UK. The French/UK deployed nuclear arsenal is entirely submarine based*. With no more than 6 total submarines being deployed at any given time. How many of them are able to even launch before Russian attack subs sink them? Following a nuclear exchange Russia makes it out far better than France, and the UK.

*OK yes France also has some bombs, but no realistic means of delivering them on targets in Russia.

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Old 11th February 2024, 11:05 AM   #29
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Trump in 2025: "Nice Poland you got there. Shame if anything happened to it. But for just $10 billion a year, I can guarantee that your Poland doesn't get done over!"
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Old 11th February 2024, 11:13 AM   #30
PitPat
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Originally Posted by Ryokan View Post
What is "it", and how is the US funding it?
"It" is military readiness. And having each others' backs.

Funded with money. And that translates into a lot of personnel, equipment and training.
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Old 11th February 2024, 11:47 AM   #31
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In my opinion this does remove the argument in various Trump threads about how the world would be safer if Trump were elected because he's a big strong leader who wouldn't back down.
We now see (again) he's a blowhard coward that would rather let the world burn than run stand by long term alliances.
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Old 11th February 2024, 11:56 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
Does NATO need the USA to defend Europe, or could Europe defend itself from the Russians?

I say, from what we see in Ukraine, that Russia could not get that far into Europe if there was a full scale invasion. Poland has a stronger armed force than Ukraine, the Finns could dig themselves in and bog down any Russian advance and Turkey poses a significant southern challenge. Russia could not cope with a full scale invasion and European combined forces could stop it.

The Russian nuclear threat is cover by the UK and France.

When Trump states he would

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...dont-pay-bills

"he would “encourage” Russia to attack any of the US’s Nato allies whom he considers to have not met their financial obligations."

I say it is time to say goodbye to the USA in NATO and we should not be too concerned about that making us vulnerable to Russian invasion.
First, are you under the mistaken impression that Russia is the only threat NATO countries will ever face?

Second, are the UK and France really prepared to offer all their NATO allies a nuclear umbrella? Not is it possible, but are they willing?

Third, whether or not the USA is required, do you think NATO wants to go without the USA? Do you think NATO is better off without the USA?

I don’t think you’ve really thought this through.
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Old 11th February 2024, 12:42 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
First, are you under the mistaken impression that Russia is the only threat NATO countries will ever face?
Who else would mount an invasion? China?

Quote:
Second, are the UK and France really prepared to offer all their NATO allies a nuclear umbrella? Not is it possible, but are they willing?
If Russia nukes Warsaw, maybe not. But to conquer Europe, Russia needs to also conquer the UK and France.

Quote:
Third, whether or not the USA is required, do you think NATO wants to go without the USA? Do you think NATO is better off without the USA?
No, but the point is that NATO could defend itself against Russia without the USA, who maybe will not fight, but it would happily sell billions of dollars of arms to European countries. US arms sales, more than anything else have kept the Russians at bay in Ukraine. The USA has a huge arms industry that needs uncertainty and wars.

Quote:
I don’t think you’ve really thought this through.
It will have been wargamed by NATO, how well it would do, without the USA.
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Old 11th February 2024, 01:34 PM   #34
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FYI:
I actually went to find Trump's quote from yesterday
He is telling his "I got NATO to pay" story from 2018 or 2019. That story is famously embellished (reimagined?), as they all are, but it is from at least 5 years ago- and NATO did get more of the pledged funds.

Listen for yourself - start at about 39min mark

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aRBV2O2WEQ
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Old 11th February 2024, 01:43 PM   #35
lobosrul5
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Originally Posted by Sherkeu View Post
FYI:
I actually went to find Trump's quote from yesterday
He is telling his "I got NATO to pay" story from 2018 or 2019. That story is famously embellished (reimagined?), as they all are, but it is from at least 5 years ago- and NATO did get more of the pledged funds.

Listen for yourself - start at about 39min mark

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aRBV2O2WEQ
Yes, however it's the first time he's said something along the lines of: if they don't pay up, I'll encourage Russia to attack.

It's deeply worrying to me. Especially since the crowd cheered the comment.
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Old 11th February 2024, 01:44 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Sherkeu View Post
FYI:
I actually went to find Trump's quote from yesterday
He is telling his "I got NATO to pay" story from 2018 or 2019. That story is famously embellished (reimagined?), as they all are, but it is from at least 5 years ago- and NATO did get more of the pledged funds.

Listen for yourself - start at about 39min mark

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aRBV2O2WEQ
Kind of ironic about laying down the hammer for not paying bills, given his litigious nature to avoid paying them for his many failed business ventures.
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Old 11th February 2024, 02:37 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I don't think America has done an imperialist invasion in living memory. But go off, I guess.
Except culturally.
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Old 11th February 2024, 02:38 PM   #38
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No, NATO doesn't need the USA. But NATO wants the USA, and it's much better to want someone than to need them.
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Old 11th February 2024, 02:47 PM   #39
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Hearing Trump repeatedly act like NATO is a club where members pay dues is like watching a drug addict try to use a parking meter as an ATM.

He just does not understand how NATO works or any relationship that is not transactional.
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Old 11th February 2024, 04:16 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Doubt View Post
Hearing Trump repeatedly act like NATO is a club where members pay dues is like watching a drug addict try to use a parking meter as an ATM.

He just does not understand how NATO works or any relationship that is not transactional.
On the other hand, there's probably thousands of contractors in the US who might just love the idea of "do whatever the hell you want" with someone who doesn't pay their bills ....
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