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  1. #1
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Trump suggested NATO countries double their defense spending goal

    Trump suggested NATO countries double their defense spending goal

    By Jeremy Diamond and Kaitlan Collins, CNN
    Updated 1:02 PM ET, Wed July 11, 2018

    Brussels (CNN) President Donald Trump on Wednesday suggested NATO leaders increase their defense spending to 4% -- doubling the 2% target that many NATO countries have yet to meet.

    "During the President's remarks today at the NATO summit he suggested that countries not only meet their commitment of 2% of their GDP on defense spending, but that they increase it to 4%," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed in a statement.

    Sanders said Trump "raised this same issue" at NATO last year.

    "President Trump wants to see our allies share more of the burden and at a very minimum meet their already stated obligations," Sanders said.

    But according to the latest numbers from NATO, the US doesn't even spend as much as Trump is calling on other countries to.

    Earlier Wednesday, Trump said the US, "in actual numbers," is spending 4.2% of its GDP on defense. However, according to numbers just released by NATO on Tuesday, the US is expected to spend an estimated 3.5% of the GDP on defense in 2018. That is lower than last year's number, which was at 3.57%. Germany's estimated for 2018 is 1.21%, slightly higher than last year's.

    "On top of that, Germany is just paying a little bit over 1%, whereas the United States, in actual numbers, is paying 4.2% of a much larger GDP," Trump said during a breakfast with the NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg.
    "So I think that's inappropriate also. You know, we're protecting Germany, we're protecting France. We're protecting everybody. And yet we're paying a lot of money to protect," Trump said.

    One senior European diplomat said Trump's suggestion was "not good."

    "The summit should send a strong signal to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin, and now show strong differences between allies. We would prefer a different situation," the diplomat told CNN's Michelle Kosinski.
    "But we're not worried about it. We compare it to fights among families. Things can get nasty, but it's still a family," the diplomat added.

    Trump has long complained that NATO members are not meeting their fiscal obligations to the alliance.
    "Many countries in NATO, which we are expected to defend, are not only short of their current commitment of 2% (which is low), but are also delinquent for many years in payments that have not been made. Will they reimburse the U.S.?" Trump tweeted on Tuesday.

    On Wednesday, Trump singled out Germany for particular criticism as he continued to assail NATO allies for failing to spend 2% of their GDP on defense spending, a target NATO allies agreed to meet by 2024.
    Trump erased that timeline Wednesday as he stepped up his calls for increased defense spending, saying allies should do so "immediately."

    "I think these countries have to step it up, not over a 10-year period, but they have to step it up immediately," Trump said, pointing to Germany in particular as a "rich country" that "could increase (defense spending) immediately tomorrow and have no problem.

    "Addressing reporters within hours of Trump's comments, German Chancellor Angela Merkel touted German contributions to NATO and in defense of US interests.

    "Germany also does a lot for NATO. We are the second largest donor of troops, we put most of our military abilities into the service of NATO and we are strongly committed in Afghanistan, where we also defend the interests of the United States of America. Because the deployment in Afghanistan has to do with the only example of Article 5," Merkel said upon arriving at NATO headquarters Wednesday.

    CNN's Michelle Kosinski contributed to this report.

    https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/11/polit...ing/index.html
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Germany has troops in Afghanistan? How many out of how many that are there?

    Germany is the second largest donor of troops to NATO? How many? Who is the first largest donor of troops of NATO? How many?

    Wow, the reporting on NATO is really thin isn't it?

    Question, is GDP the right number to measure contributions to NATO? GDP fluctuates. Take the US, GDP is not a fair measurement for US. Our GDP fluctuates. The need for additional military spending isn't based on how well or poorly our economy is performing. We shouldn't have to pay more because we fixed our economy nor would we need less defense during a recession or depression. The GDP could be one of several measurements for NATO contributions, but it should not be the sole measurement.

    There is no reason to waste the people's money on defense that isn't needed or justified. Additionally, some countries can save a lot of money on spending by doing a lot of things themselves with volunteers and smart, efficient defense strategies that don't necessarily cost a lot of money. Troop cost for example is based on wages and benefits and some countries have lower wages and more benefits while others have higher wages and less benefits, some have full-time versus part-time and some combinations of both.

    I think Trump could do a lot of good by putting his business people on this NATO GDP based contribution issue and come up with a better formula. I realize it's been done this way for years, but I think the formula itself is inadequate to get it right especially when only 5 out of 29 countries are complying. Germany is clearly cheating, but some of the other countries may actually find it not right, applicable or necessary for them, and they may be right about that to some degree, but still want to be part of NATO, which creates a dilemma for them. At their current levels where they can't or won't even meet the 2% it doesn't matter much, except for the US because we spend so much more than that, not just for NATO but for all of the world we protect ourselves against, but if you want to raise it above that, it could be a legitimate issue so I'd rework the formula to help those who can't meet it which would probably relieve US as well, while still raising more money from the Europeans towards their own defense.

    Furthermore, if Russia is not the big mean ugly country the press and some people make it out to be, which I don't think it is, then like Trump said during the campaign, the whole objective of NATO needs to be reassessed so it's ready for real threats instead of wasting precious money and resources on phony ones.

    Also, any NATO country that uses it's own intelligence or police operatives to engage in any dossiers, intelligence gathering, surveillance, or any other inappropriate "operations research" in cahoots with intelligence or other law enforcement agencies of another NATO country where the election is taking place should be sanctioned. Yes, UK, I'm speaking to you and your MI6 operations. What you did during the 2016 US Presidential Election will never be forgotten nor likely forgiven by many Americans.

    Finally, there needs to be more reporting to the extent it can be released without compromising classified information, how much the US spends on NATO. I don't know if this is a big number or not. It's billions and billions, but we should know whether we spend that for the defense of Europe or if these expenses would be deemed necessary without a NATO, but for our own determination of defense for our own purposes.
    Last edited by Judy; 07-12-2018 at 04:25 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judy View Post
    Question, is GDP the right number to measure contributions to NATO? GDP fluctuates. Take the US, GDP is not a fair measurement for US. Our GDP fluctuates.
    What other key would you suggest? As GDP goes up, so does the contribution to NATO. As the GDP goes down, so does the contribution to NATO go down!

    Quote Originally Posted by Judy
    The need for additional military spending isn't based on how well or poorly our economy is performing. We shouldn't have to pay more because we fixed our economy nor would we need less defense during a recession or depression.
    That is the standard the countries in NATO agreed to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Judy
    There is no reason to waste the people's money on defense that isn't needed or justified.
    So when we are not at war, we should downsize our military until war breaks out? Then get out ships and planes out of mothballs and train new troops to take on the enemy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Judy
    I think Trump could do a lot of good by putting his business people on this NATO GDP based contribution issue and come up with a better formula. I realize it's been done this way for years, but I think the formula itself is inadequate to get it right especially when only 5 out of 29 countries are complying. Germany is clearly cheating, but some of the other countries may actually find it not right, applicable or necessary for them, and they may be right about that to some degree, but still want to be part of NATO, which creates a dilemma for them.
    That's like only buying insurance when you get sick. The membership is so that a small country, ill equipped to defend against a country like the Soviet Union, has allies who help them defend themselves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Judy
    At their current levels where they can't or won't even meet the 2% it doesn't matter much, except for the US because we spend so much more than that, not just for NATO but for all of the world we protect ourselves against, but if you want to raise it above that, it could be a legitimate issue so I'd rework the formula to help those who can't meet it which would probably relieve US as well, while still raising more money from the Europeans towards their own defense.
    The key is generally "won't' meet the 2% obligation. They have been given forgiveness of their dues for years, and it has become a habit that needs to be broken!

    And when you say "because we spend so much more than that, not just for NATO but for all of the world", is that money spent through NATO or in addition to NATO? Does NATO reimburse countries for their military participation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Judy
    Furthermore, if Russia is not the big mean ugly country the press and some people make it out to be, which I don't think it is, then like Trump said during the campaign, the whole objective of NATO needs to be reassessed so it's ready for real threats instead of wasting precious money and resources on phony ones.
    So you don't see Russia invading Croatia and Georgia to gain resources as a threat to any other nation that has resources attractive to Russia?
    MW likes this.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    I don't know how much of US defense appropriations are allocated to resources, assets and personnel in Europe as part of NATO. The measurement for defense spending is not based on how much of your defense spending is spent on defending Europe, it's based on your total budget as a % of your GDP.

    Russia didn't invade Croatia or Georgia to gain resources, they invaded to defend some clans of people who wanted to separate and were being attacked for it. It is the same thing that happened in Crimea.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judy View Post
    The measurement for defense spending is not based on how much of your defense spending is spent on defending Europe, it's based on your total budget as a % of your GDP.
    Correct! It is payment into an insurance policy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Judy
    Russia didn't invade Croatia or Georgia to gain resources, they invaded to defend some clans of people who wanted to separate and were being attacked for it.
    That was their claim. What I saw reported is that with Croatia, Russia wanted their seaport, as in winter, all other Russian seaports are frozen. But rather than paying for use of it through a contract with Croatia, the way we contract with many countries to allow us military bases, Russia took it as their own.

    You seem to buy into the idea that if enough Mexicans, illegal or legal, want California to revert to Mexican domain, it should be surrendered to Mexico!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    If you don't protect it, you'll lose it. Law of the Universe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judy View Post
    If you don't protect it, you'll lose it. Law of the Universe.


    Boomslang is really having an influence on you!

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