Author Topic: Is it time for the US to re-evaluate our commitment to NATO?  (Read 56364 times)

Martinus

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Re: Is it time for the US to re-evaluate our commitment to NATO?
« Reply #270 on: June 12, 2011, 02:19:38 am »
Let's also not forget that the US may have the biggest military spending, but the EU is the largest foreign aid donor. The alliance has evolved into something of a symbiosis, with the US going in and doing the heavy lifting, then us following with cash to rebuild (and not just that, but diplomacy and foreign aid is often just as good a deterrent as threat of force). For the last twenty years so much was written about this arrangement, that now the US feeling like they are being shafted is a bit disheartening.

Zanza

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Re: Is it time for the US to re-evaluate our commitment to NATO?
« Reply #271 on: June 12, 2011, 02:22:39 am »
What I don't think Berkut understands is that if the US pulled out of every military engagement it is involved (Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and any other minor countries we are bombing on a semi regular basis) and cut our military spending down to 2% of GDP, many if not most Europeans would see that as a positive development. You would get some concerned editorials from European conservatives, but most Europeans see us as too trigger happy with too large of a military. The sky wouldn't fall and there wouldn't be a radical ramp up in European military spending.
This. The Europeans think they spend enough on defense, no matter if the USA is still there or not. Germany certainly wouldn't start to spend any more money to replace US units currently stationed in Germany. It didn't with any of the units that the USA already withdrew in the last 20 years. The perception is that the remaining US troops are not there to defend Germany anymore, the task they had until 20 years ago, but rather being forward deployed so that they are closer to the action in the Middle East.

Zanza

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Re: Is it time for the US to re-evaluate our commitment to NATO?
« Reply #272 on: June 12, 2011, 02:25:25 am »
Berkut's argument reminds me of all those people that want to end the EU immediately because they dislike its institutions, but want to keep the single market. If there should be any kind of cooperation in the future, having a framework like NATO to facitilitate it is beneficial.

Razgovory

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Re: Is it time for the US to re-evaluate our commitment to NATO?
« Reply #273 on: June 12, 2011, 02:31:01 am »
Precisely. Gates (and Americans here) seem to equate the ability to send troops to Afghanistan or Libya with an ability to defend the NATO countries against an external invasion (i.e. NATO's purpose). It's apples and oranges.
And since the defense against external threats is meaningless any more, NATO has served its purpose and should be folded, if that was its sole purpose.  I don't see why you (and Euros here) don't see this.

Fine, but that's not what the premise of the article was.

The premise was that the NATO members now are just not pulling their weight enough, so the US is doing all the heavy lifting (except for a handful of other states that chip in).

It seems to me the following is true, however: the US wants the NATO to become something else than it was originally intended for, and this is where other member states disagree. So the US wants to withdraw from its earlier commitments seeing them as not being worth the expenses any more (whether they are right or not is another matter).

So please don't structure this as "others are not upholding their side of the deal", while it seems to be that the US is trying to find a way to withdraw from the deal itself.

It's not just the US who wants to change the NATO mission.  This Libya adventure was a Euro idea.  They just can't do it.  Besides, the old NATO mission involved turning Warsaw into radioactive glass, you should be thankful that we aren't stubbornly holding to that.
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The Brain

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Re: Is it time for the US to re-evaluate our commitment to NATO?
« Reply #274 on: June 12, 2011, 02:51:10 am »
If I were in a military alliance like NATO I wouldn't be very interested in military spending as % of GDP. Costs can be manipulated and inefficiency shouldn't be rewarded. I'd be more interested in explicit numbers of troops, tanks, planes, ships etc, and deployable now? 30 days? 180 days? And projected where? Europe? ME? Global?
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CountDeMoney

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Re: Is it time for the US to re-evaluate our commitment to NATO?
« Reply #275 on: June 12, 2011, 06:04:33 am »
I don't think you guys understand the pressure the defense department budget is under right now, and is going to be under for the next decade.

I don't think it's going to be under as much pressure as you think.  Cutting any sort of real defense spending is anathema to the Republican Party.  It's right behind raising taxes as off-limits in budget discussion.
Unless its the Veterans Administration and healthcare for servicemen.  Then they'll cut like a surgeon.

Neil

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Re: Is it time for the US to re-evaluate our commitment to NATO?
« Reply #276 on: June 12, 2011, 08:16:11 am »
I don't think you guys understand the pressure the defense department budget is under right now, and is going to be under for the next decade. Gates has done a pretty good job of cutting a lot of stuff that needed to be cut - but now, in order to cut more, they are talking about carving away meat, not fat.
Given that the USAF exists, I very much doubt that's the case.
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Martinus

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Re: Is it time for the US to re-evaluate our commitment to NATO?
« Reply #277 on: June 12, 2011, 08:19:26 am »
This Libya adventure was a Euro idea.  They just can't do it.
Again, I would like to hear which countries exactly where the ones asking for gas and whatnot (the article does not offer any details). As far as the perception down here is concerned, the Libya thing was a UK/French event (with the US supporting, and Italy to some extent, but mainly due to its physical proximity), not a pan-NATO event. So if it's France or the UK (or to a less extent, Italy) asking for help, it's indeed worrying.

But if it is someone else, then probably it's something inconsequential.

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Re: Is it time for the US to re-evaluate our commitment to NATO?
« Reply #278 on: June 12, 2011, 08:33:58 am »
I don't think Alfred Russel understands that Gates is talking about NATO members other than the US.  If the US fled all the wars it is involved in and cut its defense spending to 2%, the other members of NATO would still be unable to fulfill their defense obligations.  So, addressing what the US spends on Afghanistan is a red herring.

NATO, except as a discussion group, seems to have fulfilled its purpose.  I don't see any argument here for continuing to pay anything for it.
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Crazy_Ivan80

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Re: Is it time for the US to re-evaluate our commitment to NATO?
« Reply #279 on: June 12, 2011, 08:50:00 am »
I don't think you guys understand the pressure the defense department budget is under right now, and is going to be under for the next decade.

I don't think it's going to be under as much pressure as you think.  Cutting any sort of real defense spending is anathema to the Republican Party.  It's right behind raising taxes as off-limits in budget discussion.
Unless its the Veterans Administration and healthcare for servicemen.  Then they'll cut like a surgeon.

ah, the republicans and their "social welfare systems" eh :p

Zanza

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Re: Is it time for the US to re-evaluate our commitment to NATO?
« Reply #280 on: June 12, 2011, 09:28:17 am »
NATO has a budget of about $2.5 billion. The USA pays about 23% or $600 million. That's about 1/1000 of America's defense spending. Doesn't seem to make a difference for the budget whether or not you are in NATO.

Neil

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Re: Is it time for the US to re-evaluate our commitment to NATO?
« Reply #281 on: June 12, 2011, 09:39:56 am »
NATO has a budget of about $2.5 billion. The USA pays about 23% or $600 million. That's about 1/1000 of America's defense spending. Doesn't seem to make a difference for the budget whether or not you are in NATO.
And it seems pretty unlikely that the US is going to close Ramstein.
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Slargos

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Re: Is it time for the US to re-evaluate our commitment to NATO?
« Reply #282 on: June 12, 2011, 09:44:22 am »
NATO has a budget of about $2.5 billion. The USA pays about 23% or $600 million. That's about 1/1000 of America's defense spending. Doesn't seem to make a difference for the budget whether or not you are in NATO.

NATO's budget, sure, but what is the cost of keeping troops and equipment in Europe?

Iormlund

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Re: Is it time for the US to re-evaluate our commitment to NATO?
« Reply #283 on: June 12, 2011, 09:47:11 am »
NATO has a budget of about $2.5 billion. The USA pays about 23% or $600 million. That's about 1/1000 of America's defense spending. Doesn't seem to make a difference for the budget whether or not you are in NATO.
And it seems pretty unlikely that the US is going to close Ramstein.
At least not without building something similar first, maybe somewhere to the Southeast, closer to the Middle East -- Romania?

Neil

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Re: Is it time for the US to re-evaluate our commitment to NATO?
« Reply #284 on: June 12, 2011, 09:47:56 am »
NATO has a budget of about $2.5 billion. The USA pays about 23% or $600 million. That's about 1/1000 of America's defense spending. Doesn't seem to make a difference for the budget whether or not you are in NATO.
NATO's budget, sure, but what is the cost of keeping troops and equipment in Europe?
Yeah, but some of those facilities (Ramstein, for example) serve purposes far beyond defending Europe.
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