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Thread: Is Trump Right About NATO?

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  1. #1
    Senior Member patbrunz's Avatar
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    Is Trump Right About NATO?

    Is Trump Right About NATO?


    By Patrick Buchanan


    I am “not isolationist, but I am ‘America First,'” Donald Trump told The New York times last weekend. “I like the expression.”

    Of NATO, where the U.S. underwrites three-fourths of the cost of defending Europe, Trump calls this arrangement “unfair, economically, to us,” and adds, “We will not be ripped off anymore.”

    Beltway media may be transfixed with Twitter wars over wives and alleged infidelities. But the ideas Trump aired should ignite a national debate over U.S. overseas commitments — especially NATO.

    For the Donald’s ideas are not lacking for authoritative support.

    The first NATO supreme commander, Gen. Eisenhower, said in February 1951 of the alliance: “If in 10 years, all American troops stationed in Europe for national defense purposes have not been returned to the United States, then this whole project will have failed.”

    As JFK biographer Richard Reeves relates, President Eisenhower, a decade later, admonished the president-elect on NATO.

    “Eisenhower told his successor it was time to start bringing the troops home from Europe. ‘America is carrying far more than her share of free world defense,’ he said. It was time for other nations of NATO to take on more of the costs of their own defense.”

    No Cold War president followed Ike’s counsel.

    But when the Cold War ended with the collapse of the Soviet Empire, the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, and the breakup of the Soviet Union into 15 nations, a new debate erupted.

    The conservative coalition that had united in the Cold War fractured. Some of us argued that when the Russian troops went home from Europe, the American troops should come home from Europe.

    Time for a populous prosperous Europe to start defending itself.

    Instead, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush began handing out NATO memberships, i.e., war guarantees, to all ex-Warsaw Pact nations and even Baltic republics that had been part of the Soviet Union.

    In a historically provocative act, the U.S. moved its “red line” for war with Russia from the Elbe River in Germany to the Estonian-Russian border, a few miles from St. Petersburg.

    We declared to the world that should Russia seek to restore its hegemony over any part of its old empire in Europe, she would be at war with the United States.

    No Cold War president ever considered issuing a war guarantee of this magnitude, putting our homeland at risk of nuclear war, to defend Latvia and Estonia.

    Recall. Ike did not intervene to save the Hungarian freedom fighters in 1956. Lyndon Johnson did not lift a hand to save the Czechs, when Warsaw Pact armies crushed “Prague Spring” in 1968. Reagan refused to intervene when Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, on Moscow’s orders, smashed Solidarity in 1981.

    These presidents put America first. All would have rejoiced in the liberation of Eastern Europe. But none would have committed us to war with a nuclear-armed nation like Russia to guarantee it.

    Yet, here was George W. Bush declaring that any Russian move against Latvia or Estonia meant war with the United States. John McCain wanted to extend U.S. war guarantees to Georgia and Ukraine.

    This was madness born of hubris. And among those who warned against moving NATO onto Russia’s front porch was America’s greatest geostrategist, the author of containment, George Kennan:
    “Expanding NATO would be the most fateful error of American policy in the post-Cold War era. Such a decision may be expected to impel Russian foreign policy in directions decidedly not to our liking.”

    Kennan was proven right. By refusing to treat Russia as we treated other nations that repudiated Leninism, we created the Russia we feared, a rearming nation bristling with resentment.

    The Russian people, having extended a hand in friendship and seen it slapped away, cheered the ouster of the accommodating Boris Yeltsin and the arrival of an autocratic strong man who would make Russia respected again. We ourselves prepared the path for Vladimir Putin.

    While Trump is focusing on how America is bearing too much of the cost of defending Europe, it is the risks we are taking that are paramount, risks no Cold War president ever dared to take.

    Why should America fight Russia over who rules in the Baltic States or Romania and Bulgaria? When did the sovereignty of these nations become interests so vital we would risk a military clash with Moscow that could escalate into nuclear war? Why are we still committed to fight for scores of nations on five continents?

    Trump is challenging the mindset of a foreign policy elite whose thinking is frozen in a world that disappeared around 1991.

    He is suggesting a new foreign policy where the United States is committed to war only when are attacked or U.S. vital interests are imperiled. And when we agree to defend other nations, they will bear a full share of the cost of their own defense. The era of the free rider is over.


    Trump’s phrase, “America First!” has a nice ring to it.




    http://buchanan.org/blog/trump-right-nato-125052
    All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing. -Edmund Burke

  2. #2
    Senior Member patbrunz's Avatar
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    Hell yes, he's right!!
    Judy, Ratbstard, Shapka and 3 others like this.
    All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing. -Edmund Burke

  3. #3
    Senior Member European Knight's Avatar
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    April 17, 2016

    The U.S. paid for NATO: $30 trillion and counting

    By Sierra Rayne

    As the firestorm ignited by Donald Trump regarding the structure and utility of NATO burns on, the freeloaders in the alliance continue to whine and ask for even greater levels of subsidization.

    Take Lithuania, whose defense minister recently claimed that "the harassment of an American warship [by Russian fighter jets] shows why the US should help build the region's missile defenses." A correct translation of "help build" is "have the Americans pay for."

    While Lithuania is apparently now on-target to reach the preferred NATO defense-spending target of just 2% of GDP within a few years, the Lithuanians have done nothing for the common defense since the small country on the alliance's volatile periphery joined in 2004. In fact, between 2004 and 2013, its military spending dropped from a puny 1.2% of GDP down to an irrelevant 0.8% of GDP.

    Since 2013, all Lithuania did is bring this back up to 1.1% by 2015. Even after the invasion of Ukraine, the best Lithuania could muster is this small increase. When the USA had to remobilize for the Korean War in the early 1950s, its defense expenditures instantaneously skyrocketed from 4.9% of GDP in 1950 to 9.7% in 1951 up to 13.3% in 1952.

    With Russia breathing down its neck in Central Europe, all these front line NATO members can do -- and Lithuania is certainly not alone -- is piddle around with post-Ukraine invasion annual increases to defense expenditures on the order of just a few tenths of a percent of GDP.

    Estonia's military budget remained unchanged between 2014 and 2015 at just 2.0% of GDP, Hungary's actually declined from 0.9% to 0.8%, Latvia's went from only 0.9% to 1.0%, Bulgaria's declined from 1.5% to 1.4%, Romania's was held constant at 1.4%, and Poland's increased very slightly from 1.9% to 2.2%.

    To say NATO's eastern front is unserious about defending itself is being kind. Mooching off the U.S. is what is actually taking place. If any of these countries were desirous of being a meaningful contributor and holding its own weight in the alliance, defense expenditures would have been at least doubled or tripled (or more) as a share of the economy during the past couple years. Given the low defense-spending base at which these nations are sitting, such efforts would not have greatly strained their respective economies nor involved levels of spending that would have been impossible to undertake without massive waste.

    This ridiculous situation is par for the course in NATO, and it was only inevitable that eventually a leading presidential candidate would call the bluff. The real question to be asked is why so many in the American pundit class and think tank universe support the freeloaders. Whose side are they on?

    Shifting our tinfoil hats around, this is a serious question. Don't underestimate the extent to which many -- if not most -- of the academic and think tank class is actually playing for the other side. In Canada, the infestation of the academic and federal government worlds by those who hold linkages to Russia, China, Iran, and others, and who don't see the world in traditional pro-American NATO-esque terms, is a serious problem. One suspects the issue is as great south of the 49th parallel.

    In terms of who built NATO, it was America -- of course. Cumulative military spending since each current member joined the alliance will undoubtedly be skewed heavily towards the founding members, but even among the founders it is an exclusively American club.

    The United States stands at US$30 trillion and counting, almost two-thirds of all expenditures by all NATO members since the founding of the alliance -- and nearly three-quarters of all spending by the twelve founding members.

    This almost sounds like real money.

    And even though the population ratio of the United States to Canada has been 10:1 for the entire period since 1949, the corresponding cumulative defense-spending ratio is 30:1 despite very similar per capita GDPs.

    Whoops, the biggest freeloader sits next door. Canada is US$2 trillion in cumulative NATO defense spending debt to the U.S. Good luck repaying that when your entire annual economy is only US$1.8 trillion.

    But Canada is really safe, the Canadian defense spending critics claim. Yes, and why is that? Could it be because the United States foots the bill for keeping it safe? Of course, perhaps Canadians who believe they live in a perpetually uncontested part of the world forget that the United States bought Alaska from Russia in the same year as Canada became a nation. For the historically challenged, that would be 1867.

    But the real dangers only exist in Eastern Europe, and Canada can still contribute effectively to NATO at defense spending levels far below the current 1.0% of GDP, the Canadian defense spending critics go on to claim. Excuse us while we take some time to roll on the floor in laughter. Canada's current military stacks up well against the 7th century barbarians fighting in the Middle East, but not so well against 21st century (or even most 20th century) forces.

    The best Canada could do to assist in a serious conflict between NATO and a major power would be to build giant catapults and launch our burning used submarines from the UK and some decrepit Sea King helicopters at the opponent. We all know the Sea Kings couldn't fly themselves to the front lines -- they would undoubtedly crash along the way -- and the submarines couldn't get there on their own, either, without self-igniting, melting, and then sinking. So we'd need to ask for help getting our junk to the theatre before launching it with the hopes that the mass of the metal falling from the sky will crush a nearby Russian tank or two.

    One can see the lazy nations in western continental Europe getting complacent about military spending in recent decades as the border between good and evil kept marching further east, but for those on the eastern front of the continent to start off unserious and only get less serious suggests they deserve some tough love. As do other front-line freeloaders such as Norway and Canada.

    Perhaps the U.S. should tell other NATO members that if they don't increase defense spending to match the American budget as a percent of GDP (currently at 3.3% for 2015) within three years -- a reasonable target -- that any mutual defense agreements are terminated immediately.

    With the exception of the UK and France, who each have a credible nuclear weapons deterrent, all other members of NATO are the proverbial "dead meat" up against Russia. No nukes, and you immediately lose a conventional war against a nuclear-armed opponent. The nuclear state need not even fire a shot, it could simply say, "surrender, or we will destroy you." Convenient such power is.

    But that would never happen, the naysayers shout. Of course not, because we have never before in history seen expansionary tendencies in the European theatre that could have been thwarted by a strong alliance of surrounding states? One seems to recall a conflagration a little over 70 years ago that followed this pattern of failure.

    The U.S. needs to start throwing some chairs around inside NATO meetings. It may get the desired results, but knowing the unseriousness of most member states, it may not. But without a tantrum, the freeloading will go on forever.

    The U.S. paid for NATO: $30 trillion and counting - Sierra Rayne
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Oh my goodness!! $30 trillion??!! That's unbelievable. Well, thank God again for Donald J Trump who brought this disaster to our attention. I had no idea we were being ripped off by NATO until he made an issue of it, and I suspect most Americans didn't know either.

    Trump is becoming our number one source of knowledge and information about serious issues and problems that matter. And even more importantly, he does it in such a way as to create a news blitz that then triggers some research that then reveals he is absolutely spot on.
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  5. #5
    Moderator Beezer's Avatar
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    We are being ripped off by the entire world and we need to close down the US Taxpayer ATM Machine! We are not the world's piggy bank nor the dumping ground for their people either. 22 trillion in debt!

    TRUMP 2016 & 2020...IVANKA 2024 & 2028!
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  6. #6
    Senior Member southBronx's Avatar
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    that why we want trump in the wh he know what he is doing he know what going on
    I want trump for our leader
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  7. #7
    Senior Member patbrunz's Avatar
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    Yes, and that chart above shows precisely why the Europeans have been able to have their socialist utopia. We've been footing the bill for their defense, so they can spend it on social programs like national health insurance for their citizens, all the while sneering at us because we can't provide health care to our poor, good schools for our kids and keep our bridges and roads in decent repair. The ungrateful bastards!

    What could we have done with those 30 TRILLION DOLLARS if we had spent them on ourselves instead of defending those freeloaders!?! We could have national health insurance, a secure border, better schools, better infrastructure, too if we spent those TRILLIONS on US instead of defending them. Who knows, we maybe even could have pursued the new frontier of space by having colonies on the Moon and Mars by now even. Or how about cured cancer or many other diseases that plague us still. You can do a lot of good with 30 TRILLION DOLLARS!!

    It's time for the USA to put it's own interests first. The Europeans (S. Koreans, Japanese and Saudi Arabians too for that matter) need to put their big boy pants on and defend themselves, instead of expecting us to do it. WWII ended 71 years ago and the Cold War ended 25 years ago for God's sake!! We've done our part to defend them. They need to be responsible for themselves now. We're not the policeman for the world!!
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    All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing. -Edmund Burke

  8. #8
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    The problem is not just the money. The real issue addressed above is "Why?". And also "Who?". Who is NATO and who decides who is the enemy in NATO and who decides when NATO fights wars? If NATO members outside of the US start WWIII, then because the US is footing the bill and providing the soldiers and hardware, the US will take the blame as a matter of history.

    Think of WWI. The Austro-Hungarian Empire started WWI by its aggression against Serbia, but as a matter of history, you have only two choices of people to blame. You have the Serbs for the assassination of the Austro-Hungarian arch duke or Germany for its support for the Austro-Hungarian Empire against the Russians who defended the Serbs. Germany was obligated to the Austro-Hungarian Empire through treaties and that is what NATO is, a treaty, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

    Adolph Hitler was an Austrian, which was what the Austrian part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire became after the end of WWI and the Austro-Hungarian Empire died. He was an enthusiastic veteran who fought with the Germans under the treaty that bound Germany to defend the A-H Empire. He immigrated to Germany by way of military service and became involved politically.

    Adolph Hitler was never a German citizen throughout his Nazi dictatorship. Before Munich, when Britain sold out the Czechs to the Nazis, the Nazis "annexed" Austria to Germany. Nobody remembers that. Who annexed who?

    We, as NATO, have already bombed Serbia again during the collapse of communist Yugoslavia which was a federation that included Serbia. This, motivated by claims made by the same people who supported the Nazis in WWII. Who do the Serbs blame? They blame the US. We are already into it and it is bound to get worse. Look at Turkey, a NATO member. Look at the Ukraine. Look at Croatia, an unrepentant Nazi sympathetic Ustashe regime and NATO member. Look at Bosnia and Herzegovina, the land of Sarajevo where the arch duke was assassinated.

    Look at Adolph Hitler, a man who was an immigrant, never a German, who transformed Germany into the most bloodthirsty empire the world has ever known.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Look at Adolph Hitler, a man who was an immigrant, never a German, who transformed Germany into the most bloodthirsty empire the world has ever known.
    I never ever knew this. Thank you for this information. Let this be a lesson to all about the natural born citizen clause of the US Constitution that means born in the US to 2 US citizens. Like I've said before, this clause exists for a reason and it is not there to enable anchor babies or children born on foreign soil or to foreign parents to become President of the United States. The clause is there to prevent it.

    Take heed.

    This is another reason anyone trying to push Cruz or Rubio as VP on a Trump Ticket needs to abandon such thoughts and delegate lobbying on that basis, because Trump will never select an ineligible as a running mate.
    Last edited by Judy; 04-24-2016 at 09:54 PM.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member southBronx's Avatar
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    that why they don't want trump in the wh he know to much he is one smart guy & they don't like that TS . I want some one that know what going on & will do some thing about it & he will
    yes he want our country back as you all can see .
    Judy and Beezer like this.

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