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Old 15th February 2024, 08:07 AM   #161
theprestige
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Originally Posted by Hercules56 View Post
1938, Sudetenland.

Peace in our time.
Somehow an even worse take than "NATO is imperialist".

Czechoslovakia was not protected by a strong Europe unified in a defensive alliance. The Baltics are.

There was no NATO for Poland, but the UK honored its alliance with Poland even without America's participation.

Ukraine isn't even in NATO, and Europe is giving it support.

Poland isn't going to let Moscow take the Baltics. Finland isn't going to let Moscow take the Baltics. Denmark and Norway aren't going to let Moscow take the Baltics. Neither is Sweden, NATO member or not. Neither is the UK. France and Germany might, but I doubt it. I guess maybe Luxembourg might sit that one out?
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Old 15th February 2024, 09:30 AM   #162
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https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...campaign-biden

"Donald Trump has doubled down on his threat to undermine Nato, saying “we’re not going to protect” allied countries he believes do not pay enough to maintain the alliance if he returns to the White House next year.
Speaking at a rally in South Carolina late on Wednesday, the former president said: “I’ve been saying, ‘Look, if they’re not going to pay, we’re not going to protect, OK?’"
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Old 15th February 2024, 10:22 AM   #163
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...campaign-biden

"Donald Trump has doubled down on his threat to undermine Nato, saying “we’re not going to protect” allied countries he believes do not pay enough to maintain the alliance if he returns to the White House next year.
Speaking at a rally in South Carolina late on Wednesday, the former president said: “I’ve been saying, ‘Look, if they’re not going to pay, we’re not going to protect, OK?’"
1 - on the basis that the 2% iis a reasonable amount, bitching about those who don't pay 2% or more isn't unreasonable.

2 - all those countries actually bordering Russia and Belarus have paid over 2% (except Norway) so any movement by Russia over their frontier will be into countries that have paid and thus will be protected. So it's basically an empty threat, at least as far as direct ground action is concerned.
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Old 15th February 2024, 10:59 AM   #164
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This is the problem with Trump, even if he has a point, he gets it wrong in stupidest way possible.

The point, most NATO countries haven't met the treaty suggested spending on the military. Which does mean that their lavish lifestyles are in part subsidized by US defense spending.

But Trump seems to think that NATO countries are suppose to pay the US to defend them? He's said something like that several times?

Worse yet, he seems to be OK with Russia invading Latvia because they spend 2.9% of their GCP no defense rather than 3%? WTF.

Note, randomly selected country with made up numbers but point stands.

To answer the Question, NATO probably doesn't need the US but its still a good idea for the US to be in NATO. 10 years ago I was in favor of the US leaving NATO but to keep coordinating with NATO while NATO expanded east or the former Soviet and Warsaw pact nations forming a separate defense pact that coordinated with NATO. Give Putin's behavior, I think the US should stay in NATO and NATO should expand to inlude as many Eastern European countriest that qualify and want to join.

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Old 15th February 2024, 11:05 AM   #165
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
This is the problem with Trump, even if he has a point, he gets it wrong in stupidest way possible.

The point, most NATO countries haven't met the treaty suggested spending on the military. Which does mean that their lavish lifestyles are in part subsidized by US defense spending.

But Trump seems to think that NATO countries are suppose to pay the US to defend them? He's said something like that several times?

Worse yet, he seems to be OK with Russia invading Latvia because they spend 2.9% of their GCP no defense rather than 3%? WTF.

Note, randomly selected country with made up numbers but point stands.
Yes this. And I think he's laying some ground work for if (in his mind, when) he becomes POTUS again. He's said so often that these countries don't pay that he's gathering political will to leave NATO. His followers are going to start believing that Europe "doesn't pay" and that they "should pay" even if not true.
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Old 15th February 2024, 11:10 AM   #166
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
Yes this. And I think he's laying some ground work for if (in his mind, when) he becomes POTUS again. He's said so often that these countries don't pay that he's gathering political will to leave NATO. His followers are going to start believing that Europe "doesn't pay" and that they "should pay" even if not true.
I think that gives him too much credit. He says stuff and if it gets a laugh or cheer he repeats. That's about the limit of thought he's put into it if you ask me.

I say that but there are may two or three things he's been consistent on. He's wrong about all of them.
He thinks trade is a zero sum game that the US is losing at. He has a general isolationist bent.
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Old 15th February 2024, 11:15 AM   #167
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
This is the problem with Trump, even if he has a point, he gets it wrong in stupidest way possible.
On the other hand, it's a good way to show his followers his "toughness" knowing that it's actually a moot point. Insulting to the followers, but meh.
Quote:
The point, most NATO countries haven't met the treaty suggested spending on the military. Which does mean that their lavish lifestyles are in part subsidized by US defense spending.
No. at least not until NATO is activated afaik. Which lavish lifestyles btw?
Quote:

But Trump seems to think that NATO countries are suppose to pay the US to defend them? He's said something like that several times?
No, I always understood the spending is supposed to be on their own defences.
Quote:

Worse yet, he seems to be OK with Russia invading Latvia because they spend 2.9% of their GCP no defense rather than 3%? WTF.

Note, randomly selected country with made up numbers but point stands.
Randomly selecting a country isn't a wise move. Latvia is on the Russian border and has paid in more than the 2% so is not included in Trump's diatribe.

Try Greece perhaps and since Greece is a long long way from Russia it simply doesn't matter if he makes empty threats about them.
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Old 15th February 2024, 11:27 AM   #168
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Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
On the other hand, it's a good way to show his followers his "toughness" knowing that it's actually a moot point. Insulting to the followers, but meh.
No. at least not until NATO is activated afaik. Which lavish lifestyles btw? No, I always understood the spending is supposed to be on their own defences.
Randomly selecting a country isn't a wise move. Latvia is on the Russian border and has paid in more than the 2% so is not included in Trump's diatribe.

Try Greece perhaps and since Greece is a long long way from Russia it simply doesn't matter if he makes empty threats about them.
Lavish lifestyle is mostly tongue in cheek but the 2% is a guideline for war and peace, granted just a guideline but most don't actually get there.

Point stands regardless of which country I used as an example, that's a pedantic nit pick. I could have looked it up but it doesn't matter which country I used. It's no surprise that latvia meets the guideline, the countries that do meet that 2% guideline are basically the US and nations formerly occupied by the Russians, er soviets.
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Old 15th February 2024, 12:22 PM   #169
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It occurs to me that Lplus and I are arguing about how stupid trump is. Very or even more very stupid.

This reminds me of something Jonah Goldberg has said, one of the problems Trump presents is if he agrees with you, it makes you question your own judgement and he taints your idea.

I think that NATO countries should spend 2% of their GDP on defense. Trump's latest thing makes me consider that maby the US should just pay for NATO allies defense.*

*not really but its trump so maybe?

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Old 15th February 2024, 12:33 PM   #170
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
Lavish lifestyle is mostly tongue in cheek but the 2% is a guideline for war and peace, granted just a guideline but most don't actually get there.

Point stands regardless of which country I used as an example, that's a pedantic nit pick. I could have looked it up but it doesn't matter which country I used. It's no surprise that latvia meets the guideline, the countries that do meet that 2% guideline are basically the US and nations formerly occupied by the Russians, er soviets.
And the UK according to the graph in post #75. And Greece! Looks like I was picking at random too. Still the point remains, I doubt Trump is ok with Russia invading Belgium (yep checked the graph this time) but it makes good copy for his followers when it isn't a realistic possibility.
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Old 15th February 2024, 01:16 PM   #171
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I've come to believe that a lot of stuff agreed between nations is actually not set in stone. Like I said earlier, I wouldn't be surprised if the 2% NATO obligation is more of a soft power bargaining chip than a hard and fast commitment.

I suppose a Trump apologist might claim that Trump sees it the same way, and is opening a round of aggressive diplomacy with it.
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Old 15th February 2024, 02:08 PM   #172
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I've come to believe that a lot of stuff agreed between nations is actually not set in stone. Like I said earlier, I wouldn't be surprised if the 2% NATO obligation is more of a soft power bargaining chip than a hard and fast commitment.
Totally, its a suggestion, not a requirement, I think its still appropriate for the POTUS to try and push NATO countries to actually meet that suggestion.
Quote:
I suppose a Trump apologist might claim that Trump sees it the same way, and is opening a round of aggressive diplomacy with it.
The problem there is that he has only ever talked about it as though its not only a requirement but a requirement that they pay the US which is..uh...well something only trump thinks.
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Old 15th February 2024, 02:09 PM   #173
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...campaign-biden

"Donald Trump has doubled down on his threat to undermine Nato, saying “we’re not going to protect” allied countries he believes do not pay enough to maintain the alliance if he returns to the White House next year.
Speaking at a rally in South Carolina late on Wednesday, the former president said: “I’ve been saying, ‘Look, if they’re not going to pay, we’re not going to protect, OK?’"
Id bet he wouldn't even support the UK if attacked by Russia.

All this talk about countries is just a good sound byte for his supporters to collectively nod and say "that makes sense "
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Old 15th February 2024, 03:04 PM   #174
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Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
I'm not talking about cultural imperialism: you have me confused with someone else. I'm talking about strategic, economic and military dominance. That is the essence of imperialism...
No, it isn't. Annexing territory belonging to others and adding it to your own is the essence of imperialism.
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Old 15th February 2024, 03:05 PM   #175
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
This is the problem with Trump, even if he has a point, he gets it wrong in stupidest way possible.

The point, most NATO countries haven't met the treaty suggested spending on the military. Which does mean that their lavish lifestyles are in part subsidized by US defense spending.

But Trump seems to think that NATO countries are suppose to pay the US to defend them? He's said something like that several times?

Worse yet, he seems to be OK with Russia invading Latvia because they spend 2.9% of their GCP no defense rather than 3%? WTF.

Note, randomly selected country with made up numbers but point stands.

To answer the Question, NATO probably doesn't need the US but its still a good idea for the US to be in NATO. 10 years ago I was in favor of the US leaving NATO but to keep coordinating with NATO while NATO expanded east or the former Soviet and Warsaw pact nations forming a separate defense pact that coordinated with NATO. Give Putin's behavior, I think the US should stay in NATO and NATO should expand to inlude as many Eastern European countriest that qualify and want to join.
THIS. CHiding NATO nations for not paying what they should is one thing; many Presidents have done that. hoping that RUssia will attack them is most definently another.
And, of course, if once agians hows Trump's obssesion and admiration for dictators.
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Old 15th February 2024, 03:23 PM   #176
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What's wrong with gleefully hoping other countries are invaded and their citizens murdered? Perfectly normal fantasizing-aloud by a former and future leader.
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Old 15th February 2024, 04:13 PM   #177
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
THIS. CHiding NATO nations for not paying what they should is one thing; many Presidents have done that. hoping that RUssia will attack them is most definently another.
And, of course, if once agians hows Trump's obssesion and admiration for dictators.
There is that, sure, the US has supported dictators, but most presidents are ashamed of it, as they should be. And its not so much admiration as jealousy, he just wants people to do what he says. I'm not actually that worried about what he wants them to do, I don't actually think he cares, I think he cares that they do what he tells them.

We're ******.

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Old 15th February 2024, 04:17 PM   #178
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Gotta teach those dirty Polacks a lesson about Russia, I guess.
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Old 15th February 2024, 07:33 PM   #179
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Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
1 - on the basis that the 2% iis a reasonable amount, bitching about those who don't pay 2% or more isn't unreasonable.

2 - all those countries actually bordering Russia and Belarus have paid over 2% (except Norway) so any movement by Russia over their frontier will be into countries that have paid and thus will be protected. So it's basically an empty threat, at least as far as direct ground action is concerned.
That is assuming that the rules aren't changed arbitrarily by someone whose consistency and sagacity are doubted by some.
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Old 15th February 2024, 09:19 PM   #180
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
That is assuming that the rules aren't changed arbitrarily by someone whose consistency and sagacity are doubted by some.
Sure. But it's not an unreasonable assumption. Trump didn't come up with the 2% figure. He got it from NATO's own goals. So he's likely to stick with it, because it gives his criticism considerably more heft than if he cam up with a number on his own.
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Old 16th February 2024, 01:11 AM   #181
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
No, it isn't. Annexing territory belonging to others and adding it to your own is the essence of imperialism.
Again, let me refer you back to the actual dictionary definition of imperialism.
Gaining power and control over other countries, by any means, is an imperialistic action.
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Old 16th February 2024, 02:42 AM   #182
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It's a tried&true tactic: find something to attack that your opponents will step in front to protect.
That way, it you get to punch them at the same time.
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Old 16th February 2024, 06:34 AM   #183
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
And why was the Treaty of Dunkirk signed? What was the purpose of such a treaty?
A mutual defence pact against agressors and to improve on previous such traties which were shown to be inadequate by German aggression.

In 1947 both France and the UK were far more worried by a German resurgence than the USSR. In fact the Soviet threat didn't come front and centre until well into the 50's.
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Old 16th February 2024, 06:37 AM   #184
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...campaign-biden

"Donald Trump has doubled down on his threat to undermine Nato, saying “we’re not going to protect” allied countries he believes do not pay enough to maintain the alliance if he returns to the White House next year.
Speaking at a rally in South Carolina late on Wednesday, the former president said: “I’ve been saying, ‘Look, if they’re not going to pay, we’re not going to protect, OK?’"
NATO has always been more beneficial to the US than to all other members combined. If the EU put together a proper combined defence system and asked US forces to leave, the country's ability to project power would shrink overnight. Not to mention the big loss to US arms industries.
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Old 16th February 2024, 06:47 AM   #185
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Originally Posted by Gulliver Foyle View Post
A mutual defence pact against agressors and to improve on previous such traties which were shown to be inadequate by German aggression.

In 1947 both France and the UK were far more worried by a German resurgence than the USSR. In fact the Soviet threat didn't come front and centre until well into the 50's.

Now you are just contradicting yourself.

You have said...

Originally Posted by Gulliver Foyle View Post
The EU needs a proper defensive military system. As we've seen in the last few decades NATO is not it, and probably never was.

NATO was conceived as a way to keep US armies in Europe against a Soviet "threat" that never really materialised. Now even the shadow of that threat is gone, a better system needs to be created.
When I pointed out that the coup in Czechoslovakia was one of those threats, you then said...

Originally Posted by Gulliver Foyle View Post
NATO's beginnings were officially in 1947 with the Treaty of Dunkirk a mutual-defence pact between UK and France and which was expanded in the years afterwards. But its actual origins came in the web of treaties and agreements between the UK and US during the second world war over their spheres of activity in the North Atlantic.
So, wait, let me get this straight, NATO was conceived as a way of keeping US armies in Europe against a Soviet threat that never materialized, and when I point out that that it materialized just before NATO was formed, you then argue that it was conceived before that. When asked why that was, perhaps against a threat that did materialize, you then argue that it never was conceived of as being against a Soviet threat.

You are trying to have it every way and tying yourself up in knots.

A clearly more parsimonious argument is that France and Britain knew that both Germany and the Soviet Union could be a threat, and wanted to occupy Germany in the short term to prevent it, even as much of Germany was occupied by the Soviet Union. The threat of the Soviet Union did materialize, specifically in the coup in Czechoslovakia, hence the rush to incorporate the United States into a defensive alliance called NATO. If the Soviet Union was unable to manifest itself as an even greater threat, that could indeed be because NATO had been established to prevent it!
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