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The effects of NATO matters

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richfool
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The effects of NATO matters

#151679

Postby richfool » July 11th, 2018, 8:55 am

I've just been watching Trump (on a Bloomberg clip) laying into the other NATO countries (apart from Britain and Poland) for their under-contributing to NATO and particularly Germany for getting all its oil & gas from the very country it wants protection from! So the European sector should now be falling!

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Re: The effects of NATO matters

#151735

Postby odysseus2000 » July 11th, 2018, 12:48 pm

Germany historically got its oil & gas from Russia & was still doing so until Hitler invaded. The geography makes Germany a natural consumer of Russian gas.

I kind of have to agree with Trump that the tariff & defence finance as now, put too much of a burden on the US, especially with Germany one of the most prosperous nations on the planet.

The problem I have is how much of a thing is Trump, Europe & China going to make of all of this.

It would be nice if this is just a negotiating position & sense prevails, but these kind of things can get out of control.

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Re: The effects of NATO matters

#151748

Postby odysseus2000 » July 11th, 2018, 1:58 pm

Table of contributions to Nato:

http://uk.businessinsider.com/nato-shar ... try-2017-2

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Re: The effects of NATO matters

#151757

Postby ap8889 » July 11th, 2018, 3:17 pm

If the UK cut its defence budget to match say, Denmark, the NHS funding crisis is instantly solved.

There is a line of argument that following Brexit the UK might leave the continent tend to their own fences. They are certainly going to need to tend to them given global trends.

NATO has a very shaky future indeed. The value of a mutual defence pact is far greater to those truly at risk. The USA is at little risk compared to the European continental nations, thanks to geography, navy and nukes. Many might question why they throw away that advantage defending the ungrateful?

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Re: The effects of NATO matters

#151793

Postby johnhemming » July 11th, 2018, 5:04 pm

Its a table of defence spending not contributions to nato.

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Re: The effects of NATO matters

#151807

Postby richfool » July 11th, 2018, 5:37 pm

I think Trump said the US's contributions were 4.00% or 4.25% of GDP., and the US is a lot further away from the perceived enemy than Germany is, so one can sympathise with Trump's viewpoint.

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Re: The effects of NATO matters

#151878

Postby odysseus2000 » July 12th, 2018, 6:17 am

richfool
I think Trump said the US's contributions were 4.00% or 4.25% of GDP., and the US is a lot further away from the perceived enemy than Germany is, so one can sympathise with Trump's viewpoint.


The US has always had isolationist tendencies, but has been drawn in to both European begun World Wars along with more recent lesser conflicts such as the Serbian conflict.

Churchill argued that if the Nazi won then the whole world, including the US, would be drawn into a new dark age.

Trump seems to realise the importance of Europe to the US & is not talking about pulling out of Nato, but of wanting more contribution from Germany. As .I understand it, German contributions were limited as there military was also limited, but given how wealthy Germany is it is an obvious target for anyone wanting to make the financial burden of defence less for the US.

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Re: The effects of NATO matters

#151883

Postby Dod101 » July 12th, 2018, 7:32 am

johnhemming wrote:Its a table of defence spending not contributions to nato.


Pardon me for being ignorant but do nations make financial contributions to NATO or contributions in kind, ie commit troops and equipment?

Clearly Germany cannot contribute much in the way of troops and equipment because they do not have many but they are perfectly capable of contributing money since they have got big surpluses most years. It is not good enough for Merkel to say that what we do is our business, sitting in the middle of an increasingly united Europe! in fact that is downright selfish or ignorant because having caused all the problems in the 20th century they should be prepared to help sort them in the 21st.

I cannot blame the Germans for sourcing their oil and gas from Russia but they must contribute more to NATO one way or another. As usual Trump is not using diplomatic language but if that is the only language they understand.....................

Dod

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Re: The effects of NATO matters

#151911

Postby Dod101 » July 12th, 2018, 10:34 am

There seems to be at least two threads on this but no matter. As far as I can see, NATO members make two contributions, financial and military. As far as financial contributions are concerned, the USA heads the list contributing 22.14%, followed by Germany on 14.76% then France at 10.5% and the UK at 10.46%. This is for the running of NATO and it would seem some military hardware.

Trump must be mostly complaining about the spend by Germany on its own defence which is no more than about1.2% of GDP against the 2% which is the undertaking by most European countries (and about what the UK spends) Germany is clearly incapable of sending much military support anywhere since it does not have it.

Dod

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Re: The effects of NATO matters

#151952

Postby redsturgeon » July 12th, 2018, 12:16 pm

Dod101 wrote:There seems to be at least two threads on this but no matter. As far as I can see, NATO members make two contributions, financial and military. As far as financial contributions are concerned, the USA heads the list contributing 22.14%, followed by Germany on 14.76% then France at 10.5% and the UK at 10.46%. This is for the running of NATO and it would seem some military hardware.

Trump must be mostly complaining about the spend by Germany on its own defence which is no more than about1.2% of GDP against the 2% which is the undertaking by most European countries (and about what the UK spends) Germany is clearly incapable of sending much military support anywhere since it does not have it.

Dod



This is correct, Trump is conflating NATO contribution with total military spend by the members. To suggest that all members should aim for 4% is nonsense...since even the USA with its enormous military industrial complex does not spend this much. Of course it would help the US economy if we did all decide to spend this amount...which of course is the real game.

John

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Re: The effects of NATO matters

#151964

Postby odysseus2000 » July 12th, 2018, 1:15 pm

In what is becoming a wild story of % & what they mean, Trump says there has been a huge commitment to increase defence spending:

https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2018/07/12/tru ... ssion=true

Others don't agree making all of this yet more wild & confusing.

The way Trump has structured this, if nations renage he would have excuses to pull the US out of NATO which he argues he could do.

If Trump is right & other nations are going to increase defence spending, the bonus to the US economy will be substantial.

Kind of wonder if all of this is reality, but if so the world has changed in ways that seemed impossible just a few hours ago, setting up for potentially substantial changes in tariffs and raising Trump to be one of the great US presidents, made yet more amazing given all the hostility he has faced & still does.

Comparing Trump to May leaves me feeling very dissapointed with how the UK leadership is performing.

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Re: The effects of NATO matters

#151968

Postby redsturgeon » July 12th, 2018, 1:22 pm

This is becoming such a well trodden path by Trump.

1. In any situation, wade in full of bluff and bluster, lie through your teeth

2. Demand more from everyone else

3. Tell the world that you have got what you asked for and you are the best negotiator ever (more lies)

I've not read "The Art of the Deal" but I'm guessing this is the general thrust of the Trump playbook.

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Re: The effects of NATO matters

#151971

Postby TUK020 » July 12th, 2018, 1:34 pm

Dod101 wrote:
johnhemming wrote:Its a table of defence spending not contributions to nato.


Pardon me for being ignorant but do nations make financial contributions to NATO or contributions in kind, ie commit troops and equipment?

Clearly Germany cannot contribute much in the way of troops and equipment because they do not have many but they are perfectly capable of contributing money since they have got big surpluses most years.
Dod


I suspect this is part of the problem. NATO maintains it's operational capability to respond to Russian invasion by pre-positioning heavy weapons and facilities forward, so that they can then fly in manpower at short notice.
For many years, Germany has probably been making its contributions to NATO in the form of tank depots, ammunition and fuel bunkers, service facilities and mothballed bases, that would allow NATO to ramp up its active military presence on the NATO eastern border very fast.
As that border has moved eastwards, I suspect the bases have followed. So these days, Poland is meeting its commitments, and Germany is not....

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Re: The effects of NATO matters

#151973

Postby odysseus2000 » July 12th, 2018, 1:41 pm

This is becoming such a well trodden path by Trump.

1. In any situation, wade in full of bluff and bluster, lie through your teeth

2. Demand more from everyone else

3. Tell the world that you have got what you asked for and you are the best negotiator ever (more lies)

I've not read "The Art of the Deal" but I'm guessing this is the general thrust of the Trump playbook.


Maybe, but is it working?

Difficult to argue that the US isn't booming, or that there is no chance of peace in Korea, or that he has brought to the front issues that other US presidents have failed to get any progress on...

In the by & by all we will care about is what was achieved.

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Re: The effects of NATO matters

#151977

Postby johnhemming » July 12th, 2018, 1:49 pm

The question eternally is when people decide to resist a bullying strategy. Making public calls for something often makes it harder to get the outcome you wish as the people being publicly pressurised to deliver something are then potentially seen to give in to pressure rather than persuasion.

Personally I thought the only area he might make progress with was Korea, but that is not looking good at the moment. Otherwise I would expect his approach to be almost entirely counter productive. The debate about 2% spending on defence has been around for at least 5 years. I was aware of it in the 2010-15 parliament.

From a game theory perspective unless you can divert the bully almost immediately the most sensible responding strategy is to over resist and demonstrate that the bully does not get what he/she wants.

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Re: The effects of NATO matters

#151981

Postby odysseus2000 » July 12th, 2018, 2:09 pm

johnhemming
The question eternally is when people decide to resist a bullying strategy.


Imho, the wrong analogy.

Bullying is about the bully getting an advantage over the bullied.

Here we have Trump attempting to get Europe to strengthen it self and to rational trade to the benefit of its consumers.

With Putin a potential aggressor it makes sense to have a strong Europe to counter any adventure he may attempt. Sad that we are now in cold war 2, but with folk getting killed in the UK by potentially Russian state supplied nerve agents, previously radioactive poisons, the appeasement type of policy that was put out and encouraged Hitler lead to years of misery and will likely not be repeated this time. One can always argue that defence spending is taking money from health, education etc, but a military conflict would be worse and several NATO members are geographically close to Russia and have bad memories post the second world war.

Similarly with trade it is not in anyones interest if tariffs are so high that trade is distorted. There may be specific examples were some industries need protection or some e.g. farming methods are so abhorrent that one might use tariffs on food produced by these methods, but other than these specifics the history of free trade is a positive one bringing more choice and lower prices for consumers.

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Re: The effects of NATO matters

#151996

Postby PeterGray » July 12th, 2018, 3:37 pm

Difficult to argue that the US isn't booming, or that there is no chance of peace in Korea, or that he has brought to the front issues that other US presidents have failed to get any progress on...

There has been a recent improvement in the US economy, probably in large part a short term response to the tax cuts.

However, it's far from clear that's going to continue, and many people are worried that Trump's trade war is likely to have a (potentially severe) effect on the US economy, as well as others.

In the by & by all we will care about is what was achieved.

I don't think that's really true, how it is achieved matters too - or you can pay a big price down the line - if you achieve something by bullying it's likely to come back at you in the future.

And realistically - what has he achieved? It's too early to tell overall. But we've had good words from NK, but no significant action yet. The Iran deal, which everyone, except Trump, said was working as intended and had effectively stopped the nuclear program, is now suspended. Trump assured everyone he had agreement from the Saudis to increase oil production by 2mbopd - not true, or likely possible. Tension in Palestine/Israel have been raised to levels not seen for sometime by Trump's highly ill advised move of the embassy. Etc .....

Peter

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Re: The effects of NATO matters

#152001

Postby dspp » July 12th, 2018, 4:15 pm

odysseus2000 wrote:
johnhemming
The question eternally is when people decide to resist a bullying strategy.


Imho, the wrong analogy.

Bullying is about the bully getting an advantage over the bullied.


No, Trump is adopting bullying tactics. It is nothing new, it is what Trump has done all his life. Just this time he calls it "America first".

I happen to agree that all NATO allies should set defence spending at 2%, (or better still, 2.5%) but this is the wrong way to go about it.

If you read the post NATO mtng responses not a single European nation has said that they will do anything that had not already been agreed, i.e. Trump has gotten nothing positive from this, except appearances for his core vote. En route he has $%^&* off many countries' leaders.

regards, dspp

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Re: The effects of NATO matters

#152002

Postby gryffron » July 12th, 2018, 4:18 pm

TUK020 wrote:for many years, Germany has probably been making its contributions to NATO in the form of tank depots, ammunition and fuel bunkers, service facilities and mothballed bases, that would allow NATO to ramp up its active military presence on the NATO eastern border very fast.
As that border has moved eastwards, I suspect the bases have followed. So these days, Poland is meeting its commitments, and Germany is not....

After WW2, the German army was deliberately run right down. They had no army at all until 1955. After the French withdrawal from NATO in 1966, the German army took over the Southern, previously French Sector.

But Germany has always underspent on defence. It is one of the reasons they are such an economic powerhouse. That extra 0.8% below what UK/France spends is the "cream" of spending money. It buys a lot of decent education and infrastructure. In addition, during the cold war, Germany benefited hugely from UK/US/(and for a while French) bases on their soil. All those servicemen spend a lot of money in the domestic economy. It is this spending they have lost as the bases move East.

It was only in 1990 the Germans changed their constitution to allow their troops to serve abroad. They still have no long range lift capacity. So they're not much help to NATO missions outside of Northern Europe.

Gryff

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Re: The effects of NATO matters

#152013

Postby Dod101 » July 12th, 2018, 5:07 pm

Of course we and no doubt other Europeans were never exactly enthusiastic about Germany building up its forces again; one reason I suppose why Germany apparently contributes more in cash to NATO than anyone else except the US, but that would be lost on Trump. Apparently the Germans have undertaken that only by 2025 will they increase their defence spending to a mere 1.5% of GDP.

Trump of course has a point and I do not think it is good enough that Merkel simply says Germany will decide how much it spends. If NATO is an alliance then it should be share and share alike.

Dod


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