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2 hours ago, Cal20sailor said:

Thank you, when will the pictures be ready?

My belief is that the US entered into NATO as a partner and quickly asserted themselves to a position of control.  Jeff, who forced us to pay more than our fair share?  If it's that fucking Lichtenstein again those assholes are mine.  For the US that has spent my entire 60yr existence trying and succeeding in placing dictators and overturning others in the name of democracy, fuck them.  I'm an engineer and like to do parametric things, for Trump's agenda, do the tax cut for a year and adjust based on the economic impact.  Trump is being an out of control asshole at this point with nobody to stop him .  Kelly's face at the table the other day tells me he is gone asap.  Queen's anthem has to be this White House's official ballad.  

Quit using the word retard and we'll be ok.  

Yep, you just can't have a rational discussion without TDS getting in the way.

And where did I use "retard" in that post?

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5 hours ago, Cal20sailor said:

Thank you, when will the pictures be ready?

My belief is that the US entered into NATO as a partner and quickly asserted themselves to a position of control.  Jeff, who forced us to pay more than our fair share?  If it's that fucking Lichtenstein again those assholes are mine.  For the US that has spent my entire 60yr existence trying and succeeding in placing dictators and overturning others in the name of democracy, fuck them.  I'm an engineer and like to do parametric things, for Trump's agenda, do the tax cut for a year and adjust based on the economic impact.  Trump is being an out of control asshole at this point with nobody to stop him .  Kelly's face at the table the other day tells me he is gone asap.  Queen's anthem has to be this White House's official ballad.  

Quit using the word retard and we'll be ok.  

We entered NATO after WW II and became dominant because we were the only member who did not need to rebuild large parts of the country after clearing the rubble.  As late as the early 60s I saw parts of London marked off and unrestored because of potential unexploded bombs.  In fact, you can still find some of the bombs today.  This article shows one being checked out in 2015.

The end of the war didn't mean the end of conflict.  Russia was still aggressive in the areas it occupied making it a singular force where as the other European nations were not.  NATO gave them some cohesion and the US provided a lot of protection while they rebuilt. 

NATO - it was a good idea at the time.  But, like every other program (government or otherwise) the reason for its existence should be examined from time to time.

 

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3 hours ago, Shootist Jeff said:

Yep, you just can't have a rational discussion without TDS getting in the way.

And where did I use "retard" in that post?

There's your Trump denial syndrome again, where you take being a arrogant, narcissistic cunt as a sign of strength, not as one of profound weakness and assume because W & Obama didn't throw screaming fits they didn't do anything. You made up #4. It's wish fulfillment, the key to finding anything good about Trump, you have to project what you want to see on the actions of a screaming senile fool.

7 hours ago, Shootist Jeff said:

Jesus, for someone who supposedly held high security clearances in the DOD, you are a moron.  My points were very obvious, and that you couldn't glean them from my very concise and direct post is not my problem.  You likely just stopped reading at:  "OK everyone, put your TDS away for a moment if you can. "   I see that you cannot get past your TDS nor have any wish to.

But since you asked nicely, I'll dumb it down just for you:

  1. NATO members have been free-riders 
  2. The EU has unfair and protectionist trade practices
  3. 1 and 2 above have been long standing sore-spots for the US and preceded the 2016 election.
  4. The cheeto jesus is finally just enforcing what previous POTI have asked for, but Europe ignored because we were too skeered to create waves
  5. The message is correct, even though the messenger is an arrogant, narcissistic cunt.

 

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13 minutes ago, Dog said:

It's also the case that NATO was to counter the now defunct Warsaw Pact. 

The Warsaw Pact was created to counter NATO; it was formed 6 years after nato (1955 - 10 years after the war when the Germans could rearm themselves). Nato was - again since you people are slow - To keep the US in, Russia out, and Germany down.

I'm glad you conservative nitwits have forgotten about soviet aggression in your rush to fellate putin.

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27 minutes ago, Mismoyled Jiblet. said:

The Warsaw Pact was created to counter NATO; it was formed 6 years after nato (1955 - 10 years after the war when the Germans could rearm themselves). Nato was - again since you people are slow - To keep the US in, Russia out, and Germany down.

I'm glad you conservative nitwits have forgotten about soviet aggression in your rush to fellate putin.

The Warsaw pact was created to pretend Russia didn't control everything in the Eastern Bloc.

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https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/12/opinion/editorials/trump-nato-obama.html

"Trump Got From NATO Everything Obama Ever Asked For"

 

It seems that the mechanics of power just keep chugging along, no matter who's in charge.  This is the kinda thing that gives credence to the 'deep state' concept but personally, I think it's more just a case of bureaucratic momentum.

Trump got everything Obama wanted because, well, that was the only plan that was actually laid out.  The Europeans had basically already acquest years ago so the end result was a reaffirmation of the earlier commitments and a promise to 'try harder' - which is exactly what would have come out had Obama gone instead.

That's the biggest problem with Trump.  He's like Steven King - he can set up a story but he's really pretty bad at finishing one.  He really doesn't have any vision of what 'victory' even looks like beyond some rosy "Norman Rockwell" image in his lizard brain.  I truly believe he's just going on instinct.  He doesn't know what he wants, he just knows this isn't it and so he's iterating toward some future objective 'to be defined'.

There was a story out of China about the whole 'trade war' build up and what seems to be the most perplexing to the Chinese - 'WHAT DO YOU WANT??".  The Chinese understand we have a bigger economy with a stronger financial market and they have more people and are terrified of instability.  Great - but what do you want? 

At work, we have a saying .. "Bring me a rock".  In other words, the boss doesn't know which rock he wants,  he just wants you to bring rocks until he picks one.

That's 99% of Trump's negotiating.  "BRING ME A ROCK!   NO, NOT THAT ONE!  THE OTHER ONE!"

For a bunch of 'beautiful people' -(i.e., world leaders) who are use to people sucking up to them and who've never actually worked under such a boss, I can see how it's absolutely perplexing and, in fact, terriying.   No wonder the world is on edge - they're having to deal with what the peons have to deal with all the time.  GASP.

 I'm sure that's how nobility always felt just before the mob stormed the gates.

 

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1 minute ago, cmilliken said:

For a bunch of 'beautiful people' -(i.e., world leaders) who are use to people sucking up to them and who've never actually worked under such a boss, it's absolutely perplexing.   No wonder the world is on edge - they're having to deal with what the peons have to deal with all the time.  GASP.

Trump is most comfortable dealing with autocrats who rule their nation based on personal whim. He deals best with leaders who have people sucking up to them all the time - just look at how comfortable he is with Russians, Saudis, assorted middle eastern satraps, Kim Jong-un. Trump believes in the personal nation-state. He's the ruler, they are "his generals".The US Nato delegation was referred to as "Team Trump" by the Sarah Saunders. This is not the attitude of representative democracy and pretty much every other western leader believes in that or has to believe in representative democracy.

of course  with Trump there's so much bullshit, so much chaos, opinions that cover the canvas like Jackson Pollock, you can make a case for almost anything you wish to see in it.

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53 minutes ago, cmilliken said:

 I'm sure that's how nobility always felt just before the mob stormed the gates.

 

Trump: A mob of one.

 Like the cartoon Tazmanian devil, just a one man whirlwind of random, aimless destruction.

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5 hours ago, Shootist Jeff said:

Yep, you just can't have a rational discussion without TDS getting in the way.

And where did I use "retard" in that post?

You use the word retard in your posts randomly and some would say without thinking.  I sure as shit am not going through your posts but just stop it.  

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8 hours ago, Saorsa said:

The Warsaw pact was created to pretend Russia didn't control everything in the Eastern Bloc.

SaorsaTrump.thumb.jpg.51a9333e9d7afe0f5c9f5a50ec77f5ce.jpg

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12 hours ago, Dog said:

It's also the case that NATO was to counter the now defunct Warsaw Pact

As usual you are talking ignorant shit - the Warsaw Pact didn't even exist until the mid 50's - years after NATO was formed.

The Warsaw Pact was formed to counter NATO - exactly the opposite of your "understanding".

You ignorant bloviating fart sack.

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21 hours ago, shaggybaxter said:

Are you all missing the fact that forward deployment is a fundamental part of US defence policy?  

You lot act as if the only reason you have overseas bases is to help out the host nation. 

It’s more cost effective and better for US defence to have a tripwire force deployed offshore than at the borders.

Im not against it, just stop acting like it’s all about the host nation ffs. You built an entire mil industry that is dependent upon having a large military that your precious Senators need to keep both of in their home States to prevent a massive loss of jobs.

Bleating about it and crying poor me when it’s your policy and to your benefit? Fuck me, even Trump would be proud of thinking of that one. 

 Minor correction: A tripwire force is for political reasons, not military. It is there to deter an attack on another nation because they could only do so by destroying the small sacrificial, token US force left as a tripwire, providing political justification for US retaliation. It is a tactic for defending other nations, not the US. 

  You are still somewhat correct in saying it's not ALL about defending other nations though, it's also about defending US national interests, but who here has said that it's ALL about defending the host nation?? Who here "acts" as if it is? 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Mark K said:

 Minor correction: A tripwire force is for political reasons, not military. It is there to deter an attack on another nation because they could only do so by destroying the small sacrificial, token US force left as a tripwire, providing political justification for US retaliation. It is a tactic for defending other nations, not the US. 

  You are still somewhat correct in saying it's not ALL about defending other nations though, it's also about defending US national interests, but who here has said that it's ALL about defending the host nation?? Who here "acts" as if it is? 

 

 

 

G'day Mark,

Respectfully disagree in part. The concept of a forward deployed force, or tripwire, was to primarily benefit the US, not the host nation (note: nothing wrong with that). It's interesting when you look at the history. 

Prior to WWII, US foreign policy was largely one of isolationism. 

Post WWII, the  the USSR backed ideals of communism shifted the US foreign policy to one of containment. This lasted to the end of the cold war.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the cold war, the US has reverted at varying stages, depending upon presidencies, towards a somewhat more isolationist policy, but still one that recognised an active role outside of their borders, including OS deployed forces, was in the best interests of the US.

For the worlds leading superpower, it's surprising to note that post WWII a key fundamental of the US foreign policy was/is due to a sense of vulnerability. This still prevails today,  

The methodology used on how to combat this , ie: the formulation of the US foreign policy, can be lumped under three approaches, missionary (the promotion of the US democratic model) , economic and military. Each president has favored one or the other, but underpinning all is the rationalization.of first and foremost protecting the US.
The US has been the world's policeman since the end of WWII, and thank god it did. But the desire to protect other countries was never the principle reason, it was to protect the US, first and foremost. Forward deployed forces is simply an an by-product of this policy.  

 

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18 hours ago, cmilliken said:

At work, we have a saying .. "Bring me a rock".  In other words, the boss doesn't know which rock he wants,  he just wants you to bring rocks until he picks one.

That's 99% of Trump's negotiating.  "BRING ME A ROCK!   NO, NOT THAT ONE!  THE OTHER ONE!"

For a bunch of 'beautiful people' -(i.e., world leaders) who are use to people sucking up to them and who've never actually worked under such a boss, I can see how it's absolutely perplexing and, in fact, terriying.   No wonder the world is on edge - they're having to deal with what the peons have to deal with all the time.  GASP.

 I'm sure that's how nobility always felt just before the mob stormed the gates.

It interesting.... SWMBO and I were having that exact discussion just the other night.  She's been high up in the corporate world for quite some time and I'm only a newbie to corporate life and frankly I hate it.  Although fortunately I'm still somewhat insulated from the daily office life, I am bumping into it more and more since I retired from the Military.  But I digress......  Anyway, the point was she describes trump like some of the CEO's she's worked for.  She said the one common trait she's seen in many CEOs and management execs is a strong tendency to sociopathy.  Lack of empathy being one of the strongest markers.  And more than a bit of neuroticism.  The "Bring me a rock" analogy is perfectly apt.  

I've worked for some really great leaders and some occasional poor ones in the .mil world.  But the poor ones seem to get weeded out pretty quickly.  Every once in a while you get a poor leader who is able to BS their way into promotions, but eventually even they get exposed and hit a ceiling.  What SWMBO describes in the corporate world is just the opposite.  The corporate world mistakes "management" for "leadership" and they reward the people who are ruthless and sociopathic.  Trump is the epitome of the typical CEO.  He's not a leader, he's a manager at best.  

So yes, I can see how the beautiful people are terrified and on edge.  I can certainly understand it.  However, perhaps a good shakeup is needed for the beautiful people (i.e. World Leaders) to see what's really going on in the world rather than being content to just have people suck up to them.  

I continue to maintain that as much as trump is an incompetent, rude, and narcissistic  asshole - he is serving a valuable purpose to be a wakeup call to all of us.  On a global scale.  If we don't change our ways and wake the fuck up, we will get more trumps and worse than this one.  

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17 hours ago, Cal20sailor said:
23 hours ago, Shootist Jeff said:

Yep, you just can't have a rational discussion without TDS getting in the way.

And where did I use "retard" in that post?

You use the word retard in your posts randomly and some would say without thinking.  I sure as shit am not going through your posts but just stop it.  

So I'll take that as a "NO" I didn't use retard in that post.

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3 hours ago, Mark K said:
On 7/13/2018 at 10:54 AM, shaggybaxter said:

Are you all missing the fact that forward deployment is a fundamental part of US defence policy?  

You lot act as if the only reason you have overseas bases is to help out the host nation. 

It’s more cost effective and better for US defence to have a tripwire force deployed offshore than at the borders.

Im not against it, just stop acting like it’s all about the host nation ffs. You built an entire mil industry that is dependent upon having a large military that your precious Senators need to keep both of in their home States to prevent a massive loss of jobs.

Bleating about it and crying poor me when it’s your policy and to your benefit? Fuck me, even Trump would be proud of thinking of that one. 

   You are still somewhat correct in saying it's not ALL about defending other nations though, it's also about defending US national interests, but who here has said that it's ALL about defending the host nation?? Who here "acts" as if it is? 

Thanks Mark, I was going to respond to shaggy with pretty much the same thing, but you beat me to it.  I have never once claimed here US forces in Europe is ALL about NATO and defending Europe from Rooskie aggression.

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On 7/13/2018 at 8:32 AM, Mark K said:

That new government in the Ukraine...what a bunch of cunts. I wouldn't piss on it if it was on fire, let alone fight for it. 

Yep.

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14 minutes ago, Shootist Jeff said:

Thanks Mark, I was going to respond to shaggy with pretty much the same thing, but you beat me to it.  I have never once claimed here US forces in Europe is ALL about NATO and defending Europe from Rooskie aggression.

Oops, missed this part, got sidetracked, 

Noted, and I erred then Jeff, I had tossed you in the mix. 

The who is NM, Dog, Mickey, Fox, Trump, Bolton, insert here anyone that believes the primary reason for US involvement in Nato, and to their detriment, is to the principle or sole benefit of Europe. It is a farcical view, the fact it has any oxygen at all is just nuts.

 

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On 7/13/2018 at 11:58 AM, mad said:
On 7/13/2018 at 10:54 AM, shaggybaxter said:

Are you all missing the fact that forward deployment is a fundamental part of US defence policy?  

You lot act as if the only reason you have overseas bases is to help out the host nation. 

It’s more cost effective and better for US defence to have a tripwire force deployed offshore than at the borders.

Im not against it, just stop acting like it’s all about the host nation ffs. You built an entire mil industry that is dependent upon having a large military that your precious Senators need to keep both of in their home States to prevent a massive loss of jobs.

Bleating about it and crying poor me when it’s your policy and to your benefit? Fuck me, even Trump would be proud of thinking of that one. 

This was the point I tried to make to Jeff.....

@mad, as Mark correctly said - no one here, least of all me, is saying that the US forces in Europe are ALL about protecting the NATO alliance.  But having been a part of the forces in the NATO alliance and having been stationed in Europe - I can tell you that the primary purpose we are there is to fulfill our NATO commitments.  Most of our training was centered around Russian threats, russian tactics, defending specific European chunks of dirts, integrating and training with NATO forces so our ability to fight together against Russia was seamless, etc.  Yes, we also did other stuff when and as necessary.  We did the occasional deployment from our base in the UK to support operations in Iraq or Afghanistan.  But the bulk of the time, we concentrated on NATO.  The Continental US based forces (CONUS), BY FAR, did the bulk of the combat deployments to the Middle East both before and after 9/11.  

And YES, US bases in Europe certainly allow for a more rapid deployment capability forward from Europe in the event of a crisis somewhere else.  But the fact of the matter is, it doesn't really work that way.  In the event of a crisis in the ME, Africa, or Asia - it makes more sense to deploy US based combat forces than it does to pull them from Europe.  Unless we are talking WWIII, we would likely NOT pull European forces out of the theater before we used US based forces.  Because we would end up just having to backfill the European forces with US based ones.  So why move twice when you can just send US forces straight from the US to the conflict?  It's for the same reason we rarely use Pacific dedicated forces for the conflicts in the ME.  Yes, we used European based forces in combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, but usually only when we were out of US-based CONUS forces and we needed more.  

Aside from the combat forces stationed in Europe that are primarily dedicated to the NATO commitment, what many of the US bases DO provide is logistic staging points from the US into many other parts of the world, primarily into the ME and Africa.  So from that standpoint, yes the US bases in Europe do contribute significantly to US interests outside of Europe.  

So again, no one that I am aware of, certainly not me, is claiming that US bases in Europe or in other places overseas are there strictly for the benefit of the host nation.  The US wouldn't do it if it wasn't also in our own national interest too.  And there's nothing wrong with that.  But let's circle back around to both our contentions that Euro economies have benefited from US outsized spending on the defense of Europe.  It is indisputable, IMHO, and which you seem to agree with, that European economies have benefited from not having to spend on defense while they've enjoyed our protective military umbrella.

I would counter with what is wrong with the US now expecting Europe to step up to the plate and carry their own weight for a change now that you have a robust economy - one of the strongest in the world?  It was one thing in the past when Europe was in rubble after WWII to expect the US to shoulder most of the burden of protection from the Soviets.  We did that and did it willingly.  And for a long long time, the European economy as a whole was pretty weak.  But that is not the case anymore.  For the EXACT same reasons you said that some countries can better spend their money on domestic issues rather than weaken their economy by spending on the military - I contend the US needs to now do the same.  I am not in any way suggesting that the US should pull out of Europe completely or even significantly.  But NATO spending more of their fair share on their own defense would allow the US to spend some of that money at home on our crumbling infrastructure and other domestic problems.  What is so wrong about that????

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27 minutes ago, shaggybaxter said:

Oops, missed this part, got sidetracked, 

Noted, and I erred then Jeff, I had tossed you in the mix. 

The who is NM, Dog, Mickey, Fox, Trump, Bolton, insert here anyone that believes the primary reason for US involvement in Nato, and to their detriment, is to the principle or sole benefit of Europe. It is a farcical view, the fact it has any oxygen at all is just nuts.

 

Sorry, but the fact of the matter is that US involvement in NATO is to the principle benefit of Europe.  As I said above, US forces in Europe are primarily dedicated to NATO activities.  Not solely but primarily.  And yes, doing so DOES absolutely benefit the US.  But it also significantly benefits Europe.  There are capabilities that the US has that NATO simply cannot match and Yugely relies on the US for.  Transportation and logistics being one of the biggest.

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17 minutes ago, Shootist Jeff said:

Sorry, but the fact of the matter is that US involvement in NATO is to the principle benefit of Europe.  As I said above, US forces in Europe are primarily dedicated to NATO activities.  Not solely but primarily.  And yes, doing so DOES absolutely benefit the US.  But it also significantly benefits Europe.  There are capabilities that the US has that NATO simply cannot match and Yugely relies on the US for.  Transportation and logistics being one of the biggest.

and the USA bears about 22% of NATO cost..seems fair to me.

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1 hour ago, Shootist Jeff said:

So I'll take that as a "NO" I didn't use retard in that post.

Jeff, 

You of all people should never use the word retard.  So control your little vulnerable Napoleonic complex on this issue.  

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The reality of business is the 'purpose' is to generate money and psychopaths do a better job of that than average folks.  They just do.  They're more ruthless, more motivated, less caring, etc.  The point of a board of directors is to try and keep the CEO from being TOO ruthless, TOO psychotic, and to provide connections to advance the business.  Unfortunately, many boards now are also worthless as well, populated with other psychopaths or worse, just rubber stamps.

 

2 hours ago, Shootist Jeff said:

I continue to maintain that as much as trump is an incompetent, rude, and narcissistic  asshole - he is serving a valuable purpose to be a wakeup call to all of us.  On a global scale.  If we don't change our ways and wake the fuck up, we will get more trumps and worse than this one.  

That's a good point and I agree. 

Trump is what happens when you don't take elections seriously.  Trump is what happens when people sit home and watch CNN instead of voting.  Trump got less votes than Romney.  He didn't win because he was a good candidate.  He won because he had 25% of the republican vote when no other candidate could get more than 11%.  The public is fed up and angry at government and he became the sharp stick that rank and file republicans could use to poke back at the establshment.  Those 1 in 10 people who really do want to 'burn it down' found their avatar and went all in supporting him.  Liberals tried their version with Bernie but the Democratic Party had rules in place to minimize the chance of insurrection, had ONE establishment candidate to rally behind instead of 3-4, and were able put down the internal revolt.

Come the general election, at least Trump and his deplorables voted.  Only 25% of millennials planned to vote in 2014 and only 17% actually made it.  The numbers seemed similar in 2016 but were even lower in some battleground states.  One in six.  If you can't bother to spend 98 cents to absentee vote - where you don't even have to leave your house - then I'm sorry you feel angry but next time vote.  If you don't like one of the establishment candidates, vote for the one you DO feel embraces your view.

To me, its a BULLSHIT claim to say the minority parties don't matter.  National elections are won on 5-8 percent margins.  You don't think the two major parties aren't looking for blocks of 2-3% voters they can sway?   Your candidate may not win but any candidate that gets more than a couple percent has enormous impact on policy.

WE are the board of directors for the US.  The next test is in 5 months.  We'll see if this outrage becomes action or if it's just more whine with our cheese.  Vote your conscience.   But please, dear god, vote.

 

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7 minutes ago, cmilliken said:

WE are the board of directors for the US.  The next test is in 5 months.  We'll see if this outrage becomes action or if it's just more whine with our cheese.  Vote your conscience.   But please, dear god, vote.

 

I think it's more like we are the shareholders who elect the BOD (Congress) but then, you have the parties which represent the large institutional investors.

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2 hours ago, Shootist Jeff said:

@mad, as Mark correctly said - no one here, least of all me, is saying that the US forces in Europe are ALL about protecting the NATO alliance.  But having been a part of the forces in the NATO alliance and having been stationed in Europe - I can tell you that the primary purpose we are there is to fulfill our NATO commitments.  Most of our training was centered around Russian threats, russian tactics, defending specific European chunks of dirts, integrating and training with NATO forces so our ability to fight together against Russia was seamless, etc.  Yes, we also did other stuff when and as necessary.  We did the occasional deployment from our base in the UK to support operations in Iraq or Afghanistan.  But the bulk of the time, we concentrated on NATO.  The Continental US based forces (CONUS), BY FAR, did the bulk of the combat deployments to the Middle East both before and after 9/11.  

And YES, US bases in Europe certainly allow for a more rapid deployment capability forward from Europe in the event of a crisis somewhere else.  But the fact of the matter is, it doesn't really work that way.  In the event of a crisis in the ME, Africa, or Asia - it makes more sense to deploy US based combat forces than it does to pull them from Europe.  Unless we are talking WWIII, we would likely NOT pull European forces out of the theater before we used US based forces.  Because we would end up just having to backfill the European forces with US based ones.  So why move twice when you can just send US forces straight from the US to the conflict?  It's for the same reason we rarely use Pacific dedicated forces for the conflicts in the ME.  Yes, we used European based forces in combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, but usually only when we were out of US-based CONUS forces and we needed more.  

Aside from the combat forces stationed in Europe that are primarily dedicated to the NATO commitment, what many of the US bases DO provide is logistic staging points from the US into many other parts of the world, primarily into the ME and Africa.  So from that standpoint, yes the US bases in Europe do contribute significantly to US interests outside of Europe.  

So again, no one that I am aware of, certainly not me, is claiming that US bases in Europe or in other places overseas are there strictly for the benefit of the host nation.  The US wouldn't do it if it wasn't also in our own national interest too.  And there's nothing wrong with that.  But let's circle back around to both our contentions that Euro economies have benefited from US outsized spending on the defense of Europe.  It is indisputable, IMHO, and which you seem to agree with, that European economies have benefited from not having to spend on defense while they've enjoyed our protective military umbrella.

I would counter with what is wrong with the US now expecting Europe to step up to the plate and carry their own weight for a change now that you have a robust economy - one of the strongest in the world?  It was one thing in the past when Europe was in rubble after WWII to expect the US to shoulder most of the burden of protection from the Soviets.  We did that and did it willingly.  And for a long long time, the European economy as a whole was pretty weak.  But that is not the case anymore.  For the EXACT same reasons you said that some countries can better spend their money on domestic issues rather than weaken their economy by spending on the military - I contend the US needs to now do the same.  I am not in any way suggesting that the US should pull out of Europe completely or even significantly.  But NATO spending more of their fair share on their own defense would allow the US to spend some of that money at home on our crumbling infrastructure and other domestic problems.  What is so wrong about that????

An across the board scaling back may just happen rather than increasing the disparity between nations contributions. 

However, a US scale back definitely won’t happen with Trump in charge. 

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8 hours ago, shaggybaxter said:

G'day Mark,

Respectfully disagree in part. The concept of a forward deployed force, or tripwire, was to primarily benefit the US, not the host nation (note: nothing wrong with that). It's interesting when you look at the history. 

Prior to WWII, US foreign policy was largely one of isolationism. 

Post WWII, the  the USSR backed ideals of communism shifted the US foreign policy to one of containment. This lasted to the end of the cold war.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the cold war, the US has reverted at varying stages, depending upon presidencies, towards a somewhat more isolationist policy, but still one that recognised an active role outside of their borders, including OS deployed forces, was in the best interests of the US.

For the worlds leading superpower, it's surprising to note that post WWII a key fundamental of the US foreign policy was/is due to a sense of vulnerability. This still prevails today,  

The methodology used on how to combat this , ie: the formulation of the US foreign policy, can be lumped under three approaches, missionary (the promotion of the US democratic model) , economic and military. Each president has favored one or the other, but underpinning all is the rationalization.of first and foremost protecting the US.
The US has been the world's policeman since the end of WWII, and thank god it did. But the desire to protect other countries was never the principle reason, it was to protect the US, first and foremost. Forward deployed forces is simply an an by-product of this policy.  

 

  We are in agreement, it appears, a tripwire force is a political (policy) instrument, not a military one.  

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Looking over the reports of this NATO meeting it appears to me the Euro's kicked things off with a big whine about Crimea and the Ukraine, and Trump successfully changed the subject with a blitz- schwachsinn attack on NATO spending. 

 

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13 minutes ago, Mark K said:

Looking over the reports of this NATO meeting it appears to me the Euro's kicked things off with a big whine about Crimea and the Ukraine, and Trump successfully changed the subject with a blitz- schwachsinn attack on NATO spending. 

 

They are aware of the problem and have been so for some time.

Yet they create closer economic ties while Russia invades Georgia in slow motion.

 

 

 

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21 minutes ago, Saorsa said:

Trade is evil. Maybe we should talk about trading with the Saudis, perpetrator of the largest attack on American soil since WWII

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36 minutes ago, chinabald said:

https://www.dailywire.com/news/33089/ny-times-trump-got-nato-everything-obama-ever-joseph-curl

NY Times seems to think Trump got nato to do what Obama wanted. I don’t recall all the lefty angst when Obama wanted the members to live up to their end of the deal. 

Didn't hear much when he decided to go along with Russia in Syria either.

 

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17 hours ago, Raz'r said:

Trade is evil. Maybe we should talk about trading with the Saudis, perpetrator of the largest attack on American soil since WWII

Trade is not evil.  If the decision is that Russia is to be trusted with supply of critical materials then there is no need to maintain forces that counter them.

Like the old dead guy said

Washington

The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop. Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none; or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves by artificial ties in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.

 

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