Author Topic: NATO  (Read 12025 times)

DougMacG

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NATO
« on: September 02, 2008, 08:15:04 PM »
I would add to the thesis below, death of the UN also.

September 1, 2008
Farewell NATO
by Victor Davis Hanson

When I was growing up in the 1960s, we had a majestic Santa Rosa plum orchard on my family's farm. The trees were 40 years old and had grown to over 20 feet high. My grandfather would proudly recall how its once-bumper crops of big, sweet plums had helped him survive the Depression and a postwar fall in agricultural prices.

But by the 1960s, the towering, verdant trees were more a park than a profitable orchard. The aged limbs had grown almost too high to pick, the fruit there too few and too small to pack profitably. Yet my grandfather simply could not bring himself to bulldoze the money-losing, unproductive old orchard.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is like that noble Santa Rosa orchard. We all remember how NATO once saved Western Europe from the onslaught of global communism. Its success led to the present European Union. The Soviets were kept at bay. The Americans were engaged, while the postwar German colossus remained peaceful. A resurgent Europe followed, secure enough to prosper while complacent enough to slash defense expenditures and expand entitlements.

After the victory of the Cold War, NATO's raison d'etre became more problematic — even as its theoretical reach now went all the way to the old borders of the Soviet Union. Yet, without the Soviet menace that had prompted the alliance, what justified the continued need for transatlantic collective defense?

We saw NATO's paralysis in the European inaction over Serbia's ethnic cleansing in the 1990s. When NATO finally acted to remove Slobodan Milosevic in 1999, the much-criticized intervention proved little more than a de facto American air campaign.

Article 5 of NATO's charter requires its members to come to the aid of any fellow nation that is attacked. But when it was evoked after Sept. 11 for the first time, NATO — other than a few European gestures such as sending surveillance planes to fly above America — didn't risk much abroad to fight Islamic terrorists.

Australia, a non-NATO member, is doing far more to fight the Taliban than either Germany or Spain. Many Western European countries have national directives that prevent aggressive offensives against the Taliban and other Afghan insurgents, overriding NATO military doctrine.

Take away Canada, the United Kingdom and the U.S. from Afghanistan and the collective NATO force would collapse in hours.

The enemy in Afghanistan knows this. The savvy and sinister Taliban just targeted the French contingent. It figured the loss of 10 French soldiers might have a greater demoralizing effect on French public opinion than Verdun did in 1916, when France suffered nearly a half-million casualties in heroically stopping the German advance. But 90 years ago, France kept on fighting to win a war. Now, the French parliament may meet to discuss withdrawal altogether.

There is much talk that had Georgia been a NATO member, Russia might not have attacked it. The truth is far worse. Even if Georgia had belonged to NATO, no European armed forces would have been willing to die for Tbilisi. Remember the furor in 2003 when some NATO countries — angry at the United States — tried to block support to member Turkey should Saddam's Iraq have retaliated against Ankara for the American invasion to remove him.

The well-intended but ossified alliance keeps offering promises to new members that are weaker, poorer and in more dangerous and distant places, but its old smug founding states are ever more unlikely to honor them.

In the last two decades, the safety of a rich Western Europe also spawned a new continental creed of secularism, socialism and anti-Americanism that embraced the untruth that the United Nations kept the peace while the United States endangered it. But if a disarmed continent counted on continued expensive American protection, then it was suicidal to mock its protector.

If NATO dissolves, Europe will at least receive a much-needed reality check. It might even re-learn to invest in its own defense. European relations with America would be more grounded in reality, and the United States could still forge individual ties with countries that wished to be true partners, not loud caricatures of allies.

That stately Santa Rosa orchard? When it finally was toppled, uprooted and cut up, we all nearly wept — but my grandfather had new varieties of plum trees planted in its place by the next spring.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2024, 08:39:47 AM by Crafty_Dog »

bigdog

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Re: Death of NATO
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2017, 11:34:15 AM »
You were prescient, Doug.

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Death of NATO
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2017, 02:18:53 PM »
Nearly 7,000 reads for one post!  :-o

DougMacG

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Re: Death of NATO
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2017, 07:44:52 AM »
You were prescient, Doug.


Thank you BD.  I should give some credit to my co-author, Prof. Hanson.  )

Repeal and replace:  NATO
Repeal and replace:  UN

All the points VDH made in there were true then and becoming even more so. 

The article could have been used a blueprint for some celebrity to run for high office...

ccp

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Re: Death of NATO
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2017, 10:42:42 AM »
Yes VDH could be my favorite pundit.  I don't know how he can keep it up at the volume pace he does.

I wish I had that kind of talent.


Crafty_Dog

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Re: Death of NATO
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2017, 11:27:44 AM »
His erudition is very much part of the equation too.


Crafty_Dog

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Re: Death of NATO
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2017, 08:40:14 AM »
An interesting contribution Big Dog.

After a first read though I find that I still aligned with a point the article itself openly acknowledges-- the political virtue of simplicity for the diversity of twenty eight countries. 

Such simplicity allows, for example, the American president to state, as President Trump did today,  that if everyone paid their share, there would be $120 billion more. 

Such simplicity allows for serious political pressure to be applied e.g. a statement that we will Article 5 defend first those who meet their 2% responsibility.

bigdog

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Re: Death of NATO
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2017, 06:57:56 PM »
http://carnegieeurope.eu/2017/05/23/new-transatlantic-security-bargain-pub-70050

"Europe should propose to the United States a new security project of transformative significance. This could come in the shape of a joint Marshall Plan–like effort to shore up the fledgling democracies of North Africa, for example. The idea is to generate a security benefit—such as fewer terrorists with the potential to harm the United States—at a scale that would firmly imprint on American minds that a joint effort with Europe makes America safer."

G M

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Re: Death of NATO
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2017, 07:02:25 PM »
http://carnegieeurope.eu/2017/05/23/new-transatlantic-security-bargain-pub-70050

"Europe should propose to the United States a new security project of transformative significance. This could come in the shape of a joint Marshall Plan–like effort to shore up the fledgling democracies of North Africa, for example. The idea is to generate a security benefit—such as fewer terrorists with the potential to harm the United States—at a scale that would firmly imprint on American minds that a joint effort with Europe makes America safer."

Or, Europe and the US could start with securing their borders. Cheaper, easier and basic common sense.

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Death of NATO
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2017, 11:08:33 PM »
FWIW IMHO:

Europe is demographically contracting and substantial parts are already balkanized with Muslim (Turkey, Middle East, North Africa) immigration.  The Euro elites are afraid of confronting the fifth column .  Most of NATO does not even come up with 2% for defense, and quite a bit of it (Germany) is dependent on Russian gas.   The EU is economically and politically fragile , , , and Trump is looking to cut a deal with the Russians.

"After all, as the historian Robert Kagan observed in an interview, “What the U.S. has done over the past seventy years is unique. No one, not even the Roman Empire, has tried to sustain a global order. It is not a normal or natural state of things.”"

Exactly so.  We have moved from the bi-polar Soviet Empire vs. the US through the uni-polar moment and now we are in a new multi-polar era and tectonic plates are shifting.  I think Trump intuitively gets this and that America is badly overextended-- we have more on our plate than we can handle.  In this context I would advise the Euros to pay the fk up real soon , , ,

PS:  On whose side is Turkey?  Does Article 5 really reflect how they and we feel about each other?

The US mood for a new Marshall plan I would rate as really low.  Trust in our nation building capabilities (how did Hillary and the Euros do with Libya?) is near zero.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2017, 11:15:06 PM by Crafty_Dog »

DougMacG

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Re: Death of NATO
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2024, 08:19:32 AM »
https://firehydrantoffreedom.com/index.php?topic=1691.msg20655#msg20655

https://firehydrantoffreedom.com/index.php?topic=1691.msg103834#msg103834

(Hey, we should invite bigdog back.)


A question in 2024 in regards to "NATO" / Death of NATO:

Think about the interest of the US in defending Europe.  The US thinking goes, if Europe fell to Hitler, If Europe fell to the Soviet Union, If Europe falls to the next big threat, the United States will be next to be attacked and by then we won't have allies to help us, so we need to intervene earlier while we do have allies.
(Do I have that about right?)

My question, isn't China now the biggest threat, doesn't the threat of China's expansionist moves in Asia affect the rest of the world, including the 'North Atlantic' treaty members? 

Taiwan, is not a NATO member, probably should be, but if their security is important to the US, 8000 miles away, isn't it important to Europe as well?  Wouldn't having those 31 member states on our side and Taiwan's side help serve as a deterrence to prevent war in Asia, aka WWIII?

(I know we're not supposed to speak of defending Taiwan.  CCP makes the rules, and deterrence can be provocative.)

And if not, if that's not in their interest to defend an island nation a continent away from the biggest threat on the planet, if they will just hide and play neutral while the US risks it all, then why are we helping defend small states in Europe?

These treaties need updating.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2024, 08:29:30 AM by DougMacG »

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Death of NATO
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2024, 09:04:58 AM »
Great thread resurrection!!!

Body-by-Guinness

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Orange Man Bad in Brussels Too
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2024, 06:38:24 PM »
More panties twisting:

Trump Is Blunt and Right About NATO
Trump's NATO comments spark concern
•Cato Recent Op-eds / by Doug Bandow / Feb 23, 2024 at 9:18 AM
Doug Bandow

They just can’t take a joke. The former president Donald Trump made a sarcastic crack about encouraging Russia to attack NATO members that didn’t invest in their defense, and hysteria enveloped both Washington and Brussels. For some officials, the imbroglio appeared to signal the end of Western civilization.

,
Even worse, Europeans realized that they might have to do more for themselves militarily. The continent’s policymakers have begun thinking the unthinkable. Reported the New York Times, “European leaders were quietly discussing how they might prepare for a world in which America removes itself as the centerpiece of the 75‐​year‐​old alliance.” What is the world coming to if European governments can no longer cheap‐​ride the U.S.? The horror!

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has spurred European governments to spend more. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said 18 of 31 members will meet the alliance’s two percent of GDP standard this year, three times the number in 2016.

Trump’s comment should accelerate this process, probably more than all the complaining, whining, and demanding of prior presidents combined. He claimed that the leader of an unidentified large European country asked if Trump would send in the American cavalry if that nation failed to meet its NATO obligations. Trump responded: “I said: ‘You didn’t pay? You’re delinquent?’… ‘No I would not protect you. In fact I would encourage them to do whatever they want. You gotta pay.’”

,
Donald Trump’s limitations are obvious, but he understands Europe, its addiction to U.S. military welfare, and the resulting cost to this nation.

,
No serious person should take Trump’s comments as a formal policy statement. Rather, it sounds like a witty riposte to a whiny Eurocrat seeking to justify his or her government’s irresponsible refusal to fulfill a state’s most fundamental duty, protecting its citizens. What American angered by decades of European cheap‐​riding did not secretly cheer Trump’s statement, especially when a febrile gaggle of European officials responded by wailing that Uncle Sam might stop playing Uncle Sucker?

One of the more stunning admissions came from the usual unidentified source, in this case an anonymous European diplomat speaking to Fox News: “When Trump came along, it woke us up to the fact that the U.S. might not always act in European interest, especially if it goes against American interest.” That was quite the admission, as the source granted: “It sounds naive saying it out loud, but that was the assumption a lot of people made.”

Imagine! The problem is not that Europeans gloried in getting American officials to put Europe first—that is to be expected. Rather, the outrage is that American officials did so. And apparently did so routinely, without the slightest sense of shame. It took the undiplomatic, untutored, potty‐​mouthed Donald Trump to restore a sense of sanity to the U.S.–Europe relationship.

Treating the Pentagon as an international welfare agency for well‐​heeled clients is not the only problem with NATO today. Creating an alliance so heavily dependent on one nation encourages other states to fantasize at America’s expense. Their representatives often concoct grand military schemes for “NATO”—in practice meaning the U.S.

For instance, shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, a medley of Baltic government officials proposed imposing a “no‐​fly zone” over the latter. To be effective, such a ban would require shooting down planes operating over Russia as well, leading to full‐​scale war. Yet neither individually nor collectively do Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania possess anything approaching an “air force.” Obviously, they wouldn’t be enforcing a no‐​fly zone.

More recently, Estonia’s President Alar Karis pushed for naval confrontation with Moscow: “Western countries should establish a military presence in part of the Black Sea to ensure the safe movement of commercial and humanitarian aid vessels.” Estonia, however, has precisely six boats, two for coastal combat and four for mining. They are backed by two planes and two helicopters—for transport. Evidently someone other than Tallinn would have to do the confronting.

Foreign commentators promote equally ambitious plans. Simon Tisdall, columnist for the United Kingdom’s Guardian newspaper, decided that the sword was, in fact, more powerful than the pen and wrote a column urging use of “NATO’s overwhelming power to decisively turn the military tide” in Ukraine. Yet the U.K. military is shrinking and isn’t likely to be turning “the military tide” in Europe or elsewhere.

Two weeks ago, Peter Bator, Slovakia’s Permanent Representative to NATO, came to the U.S. to complain to Americans that the alliance—meaning them, the Americans—had not intervened on behalf of Ukraine. Rather melodramatically, he imagined his grandchildren saying, “You were the most powerful military organization in the world and you decided not to militarily support Ukraine. Please explain this to me.” Tragically, he couldn’t. “I would have difficulties,” he admitted. He said he could “find many fine arguments” of a “theoretical rhetorical” nature but would “still have problems just explaining it to myself.” So off to war the transatlantic alliance should go!

Slovakia has only 17,950 people in the military and deploys just 30 main battle tanks, 60 artillery pieces, 19 combat aircraft, and 37 helicopters. Obviously, that doesn’t constitute “the most powerful military organization in the world.” Bator must be thinking of borrowing someone else’s armed forces “to militarily support Ukraine.” Probably not those of the Baltic states or London. I wonder whose?

It is one thing to be self‐​sacrificing and generous with one’s own life. Indeed, that’s just Biblical. Alas, that’s not what Bator expects. He is offering to sacrifice the lives of others—in this case, Americans. If NATO ends up at war with Russia, we all know who would be doing the bulk of the fighting and dying—Americans. If the conflict were to go nuclear, we know whom the Russian ICBMs would be targeting—Americans again. As for Slovakians, Bator undoubtedly would lead them in praising the U.S. for remaining steadfast for all that is good and wonderful as its cities burn and people perish. After all, that is Washington’s role in NATO, and he would probably express his satisfaction when talking to his grandchildren. What could be better than that?

It has long been evident to all that the transatlantic alliance is unbalanced. When it was created in 1949, even its proponents insisted that the U.S. would not provide a permanent garrison. Dwight D. Eisenhower declared, “We cannot be a modern Rome guarding the far frontiers with our legions if for no other reason than that these are not, politically, our frontiers. What we must do is to assist these people [to] regain their confidence and get on their own military feet.”

Unfortunately, the Americans stayed even as the Europeans recovered. And spent the last 75 years cheap‐​riding on the U.S. NATO officials are now celebrating that a majority of members, supposedly gravely threatened by Moscow, are finally devoting two cents on the Euro to their defense. Meanwhile, the expansion of NATO helped radicalize not just Vladimir Putin but the Russian public and was an important trigger for Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Sixteen years ago, Fiona Hill, who gained notoriety after serving with the Trump National Security Council, warned President George W. Bush that inducting Ukraine and Georgia into NATO was “a provocative move that would likely provoke pre‐​emptive Russian military action.”

Perhaps most perversely, Washington has turned an alliance intended to augment U.S. security into an international dole. In recent years, NATO’s expansion policy has been bizarre, including nations whose militaries amount to rounding errors. Even the latest additions, Finland, added last year, and potentially Sweden, which awaits approval from Hungary’s parliament, are only minor powers despite their PR buildup. (What sets Helsinki apart is its outsize reserve.) Nor do they make America more secure. Rather, the U.S. has again expanded its responsibilities in confronting a major conventional military power which possesses nuclear weapons.

While NATO officials proudly boast about the alliance’s capabilities, many of its members matter not at all. Consider the weakest links which, like Slovakia, sometimes harbor grandiose ambitions that only America can fulfill. Slovakia’s armed forces, as mentioned, number 17,950. Allies with smaller militaries are Croatia, 16,700; Denmark, 15,400; Sweden, 14,600; North Macedonia, 8,000; Albania, 7,500; Estonia, 7,200; Latvia 6,600; Slovenia, 6,400; Montenegro, 2,350; Luxembourg, 410; Iceland, 0. In contrast, America has 1,359,600 men and women under arms.

This didn’t matter so much at the start. No one imagined a Soviet invasion of the original military midgets, Denmark and Luxembourg. They were geographically incidental to defending countries with significant populations and industrial potential, then France and Italy, and later Germany. Iceland offered bases for the West best denied to Moscow under any circumstances.

In contrast, the recent defense dwarfs are concentrated in the Baltic and Balkans, neither of which is of security significance to America. The former is of minimal geographic concern and difficult to defend. The latter still suffers from its toxic history of confrontation and conflict. Europe might believe either or both to be worth defending, despite the famed Iron Chancellor Otto von Bismarck’s observation that the latter “wasn’t worth the life of a single Pomeranian grenadier.” It is certainly not in America’s interest to do so. And it is America’s interest that should determine American military policy.

Europe deserves Trump’s harsh words, but diplomacy is necessary to disentangle the U.S. from the continent. Washington shouldn’t withdraw abruptly since its defense dependents have configured their militaries—that is, skimped on outlays and short‐​changed readiness for decades—in reliance on America’s permanent presence. They need time to adjust. But not too much.

It is essential that the U.S. set a definite deadline for terminating its security guarantee. Subsidizing the indolent and privileged is bad for Europe as well as America. The Western allies should remain close and continue to cooperate on issues of common concern. However, the relationship should be among equals about issues important to all.

Donald Trump’s limitations are obvious, but he understands Europe, its addiction to U.S. military welfare, and the resulting cost to this nation. President Joe Biden expects Americans to die for Europe. Trump believes Europeans should do the dying for their own countries. A serious foreign policy debate on this issue is long overdue.

https://www.cato.org/commentary/trump-blunt-right-about-nato

Crafty_Dog

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VDH: Death of Europe
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2024, 07:00:33 PM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wbul826yfp8


Tangent:  I saw the reference to Big Dog above.  I was talking with him last week and invited him to rejoin us but his college prof gig and football coach gig and his martial arts (he is an instructor in DBMA by the way) are taking his time.

Body-by-Guinness

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Seeking an Archduke Ferdinand Moment NATO can Call its Own
« Reply #15 on: February 29, 2024, 07:48:43 AM »
I’ve posted “Chiefio” pieces before, and one could argue he takes circuitous and polemic routes making disparate connections along the way, but dang, he gets to interesting places and treads on ground I don’t see others finding, dropping astounding bon mots along the way. For instance he states below Russia has a fire and forget nuclear tipped torpedo able to plant itself on the ocean floor off, say, off the coast of major NATO cities, and be detonated in a manner that caused a 100 foot plus local tsunami. Imagine that crashing into NYC. It’d make 9/11 look like a game of tiddlywinks.

Anyhoo, interested in what others thing of this perhaps rambling piece. I think he’s on to something: NATO nitwits are seeking to set up a circumstance that will pull it—and all its members—into a shooting war w/ Russia, one which NATO is grossly underprepared to fight—forcing the US to ride to the rescue of Europe for a third time—with things going to hell in a hand basket, toot sweet:

Ooh, edited to add might a chief executive’s handlers aware that their guy is down by every metric might decide that their guy who flat out stated he could go “toe to toe with Putin” might find a political advantage should a shooting war emerge?

NATO / USA Suicidal “Plan B” in Ukraine?

Posted on 27 February 2024 by E.M.Smith

From several other news sources, I’d observed small little announcements that one EU / NATO country or another had signed some pledge of “mutual support” with Ukraine. That had “raised a flag” and I was wondering “Why?”… Was it symbolic? Was it political, trying to make Putin think “Canada was in it to win it, so I better surrender?” (A little bit ;-) /sarc;)

Or more darkly was it a slow push to get NATO Direct Involvement via some NATO country taking damage and invoking “Article 5”? But how? Putin is not so dumb as to drop rockets on Poland just because there are some Polish troops in Ukraine pretending to be Ukrainians. Easier and safer to just chew them up in Yet Another Cauldron… as Russia has been doing already. Where was this any different?

Then I watched this video and had a “Penny Drop Moment”. I’ve not learned her name, but this is a Polish lady who wanders around Poland and Russia at various times, often just “fretting on camera” about some political risk du jour. Sometimes enjoying the architecture or history. I suspect she started as a “Travel Channel” and events changed her options. I’ve noticed a LOT of channels, blogs, and such who have had a change of focus as the world has gone more nuts and events have gotten way too serious. Channels where the name will be something like “Mary’s fine crafts” but they now have a story up about “Lawfare against Trump” or “Ukraine and Nuclear War Risk”…

But whatever. This is where it became clearer what The Game was, so this one gets the link. Her “about” box:

About

My intention for this channel is to inspire you to seek the truth, to remind you of your own power. and to introduce you to those people and places that will enrich your lives even more.

Ania K

So Ania. Searching for truth via traveling around…

“SEVERAL NATO AND EU MEMBER STATES WILL SEND THEIR SOLDIERS TO UKRAINE”, FICO, PM OF SLOVAKIA.

She starts off with some Travel Stuff about writers in Russia, then a bit about the pilot who killed himself by self immolation over Israel – ending his ability to do anything to help… At about 3 minutes, she transitions to reading a translation of what the Slovak Prime Minister had to say about being pushed to send troops into Ukraine. Originally in Slovak, translated to Polish, she then translates the Polish on to English. Unlikely to find that on the Nightly Snooze or the Beeb…

So one P.M. spills the beans and explains the other “mutual support” agreements.

NATO members, (most likely via the USA &/or EU) pushing member nation to get ready and send troops into Ukraine to fight against Russia. Fico refuses and says that, at most, they will do non-combat “de-mining” (training and equipment).

Which leaves open the obvious questions of:

What will troops from the other countries be doing?

What happens when they get killed “in theater”?

What happens when an equipment and staging / training depot just over the border outside of Ukraine gets blown up? (Either by Russia or as a False Flag excuse…)

To me, it looks like an “Act Of Desperation Plan B” by The USA / EU / UK / “Nato” bosses. But to what end? Just more cannon fodder to stuff into Ukraine (since that’s gone so well so far… /sarc;)? Goading Russia in the hopes of getting an Article 5 plausible response?

What is clear is that the “push” to do this is external to the individual countries (since Slovakia had to resist it…). So how many of the others were coerced, not voluntary? Eh? The “by whom” is as necessary to “out” as the “for what”…

Here’s the video:


I can’t see the sense of it. However, it does also clarify why Russia has 1/2 Million Man (or so) Army, that they have not used in Ukraine, spread around the borders of Russia and Belarus with Ukraine, and more stationed on the Finnish and other borders. They are there for when NATO declares an Article 5 War on Russia. Putin saw this a year+ ago. Good chess player…

So back at “Why?”. First “Why? Don’t ask why… down that path lies Insanity and Ruin. -E.M.Smith”. So, exploring why…

I can only see 2 realistic reasons.

1) Ukraine is out of men (and low on women…) to send into combat. Russia has destroyed, so far, 3 NATO Created Armies, and is busy routing the remnants at the line of contact. Got to get more bodies, so import a batch of “volunteers” from other NATO countries.

2) Get some direct NATO presence, maybe even a large one with lots of support from the NATO side of the border. Then goad Putin into an attack on them so you can declare an Article 5 Event even without Ukraine being in NATO. (And if Putin is smart enough, which I think he is, to NOT do that attack, stage a False Flag one and go ahead anyway).

The simple fact is that NATO (ex USA) is essentially out of ammunition and equipment to take to the fight, so #1 above is not going to fix that. There would be a marginal increase as nations would draw down their deeper reserves even more and become even more at risk. So mostly sending bodies into Ukraine will just result in the “Slaughter Of The Cauldrons” being full of Poles, Germans, English, and perhaps even the odd Canadian… instead of Ukrainian 70 year olds and teenagers.

Russia has done a great job of fighting a “Conservation of forces” war of attrition and NATO (via Ukraine) seems to still not “get it”. So “stopping Russian Advances” at the present line of contact would just return to the “Grind, envelop, and destroy” that eliminated the first 3 Ukrainian NATO armies. Lots of body bags flowing back to NATO. $Billions more equipment destroyed. Russia’s STATED GOALS continuing to be met (the destruction of the opposing army(s) and removal of the threat). I’d say “Our side can’t be stupid enough to do that” – but all we’ve seen so far says “Yeah, they have been that stupid and still are that stupid”. It’s been 2 years now and they still have not learned that Russia is NOT about capturing dirt, it is about “threat removal by destruction of opposing forces as efficiently as possible”. So I can fully see “us” sending in more threatening forces and pushing them up to the line of contact to be destroyed (since they will still have very little ammunition for artillery especially). Money and Bodies do not replace ammunition stores.

Which leaves me with option #2. Get all of NATO involved in a full on force on force war with Russia by pushing Proxy Countries forward to elicit an attack on them, then Cry Foul… and if that isn’t forthcoming, fake it.

The problem with this is that the EU / UK “forces” are barely enough for nice parades and are largely out of equipment and ammunition (having sent a load to Ukraine for destruction already…) PLUS we now have ample evidence that our Wonder Weapons are farts in the wind.

So that only really leaves the USA to pick up the slack. And that’s a lot of slack to pick up. This is a “Land War in Europe on the edge of Asia”. The USA is largely a Sea Power, and is on the opposite side of the planet. That just isn’t going to work well At All. Russia has used the last 2 years to figure out how to defeat our Wonder Weapons, Jam our communications and GPS, and wipe out our space facilities. They now know they can sink all our carriers with unstoppable hypersonic missiles (taking all the air power with them) and that our tanks are a nice target for their hunter killer groups and helicopters.

So when that happens, do “we” go nuclear? Against an adversary with more nukes than we have and more interesting ones too?

Sidebar on Weapons:

Russia has a nuclear torpedo that can be launched to travel around the world, lurk off your coastline, and when ordered, make a Mega-Tsunami a few hundred feet tall that wipes out your whole coastline. Bye Bye NYC, Wash DC, Virginia Naval and Marine bases, Cape Canaveral, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Pearl Harbor, Seattle… Are we really ready for that? How about London, Denmark, the Netherlands? And more…

Recent news has been all excited about some hypothetical Russian Nuke In Space. Um, folks, Russia has had the ability to put rockets in space with nukes on board for the last 50+ years. There isn’t much new here. They pledged not to, but “we” have broken just about every treaty with them, so they are no longer bound by them. Why does this matter? Because a nuke set off about 400 miles up destroys our satellites AND our sensitive electronic society with a huge EMP Electro Magnetic Pulse. I’m sure they have been “ready to do it” for 50 years IF it were ever needed. Only difference now is they are letting us know, AND our Idiots In Charge had not thought it through…

So who wins?

So any “NATO Article 5 In It To Win IT!” just results in the utter destruction of The West. The USSR had incredibly good Civil Defense plans. Most of the population of cities can get underground and find food and beds there. The West? We don’t have crap. Where is YOUR “Civil Defense Shelter”? Anyone check the food supply and best-by dates in the last 1/2 century? Is it sized for the whole population, or the population of 1950? Or half that population of 1950? Or are we all to just “Duck and Cover and Hope”…

No, the simple fact is that IF we of The West were STUPID enough to have a NATO on Russia war, then Russia would have a Very Bad Day – but recover; and The West would be utterly destroyed and in chaos.

FWIW, I’ve spent a fair amount of the last 50 years as a “Prepper” to some extent or another thinking this stuff through. Not serious enough to have a “bunker in the woods”, but enough to know what the real risks and likely results would be. The destruction of any population center over about 1/4 million is pretty much assured. Over 100,000 is likely. Then the plague, famine, and migration flood takes out most of what is left.

So the only remaining question is this: Are the Psychopaths in charge stupid enough, or evil enough, to want that and “go there”? Unfortunately, they have often said they want to eliminate 90% or so of the population, so I can’t rule it out. It might be a case of “This behaviour is by design” (quoting a Microsoft Support site about a bug in the mail server…)

What to do?

I don’t know that there is anything we can do. Our governments are no longer under the control of their citizens. The Psychopaths in charge act as though they can do anything with no consequences and are happy to “kill people & break things”. Their agenda is anti-human, anti-democratic, and devoid of reality centered thinking. Plus they have taken the levers of power. That’s a hard hill to climb.

I can see a couple of glimmers of hope.

1) Putin continues to be a far far better chess player than The West. He’s winning the game in ways they can’t even see.

2) Putin (and Russia collectively) has been extraordinarily patient and careful. Never doing enough at any one time to elicit too big a response. Always leaving things looking like Ukraine has a shot at a win somewhere (then closing the trap and destroying them in Yet Another Cauldron when appropriate, but slowly so as not to scare them away from sending more “support” and “reinforcements”… ). So unlikely to be the one escalating to W.W.III.

3) NATO is increasingly out of ability to wage such a war anyway. We won’t get the Grand Armee attacking in great force. Just “more of the same”. And the “why” is just “logistics”. NATO doesn’t have enough stuff, and what they do have is not where one would want it for attacking Russia, plus our people are mostly old, fat, and lazy, so not a lot of war enthusiasm to be found. One hopes they realize that prior to fielding more cannon fodder…

4) We’re in a Race Condition. Near as I can tell, the “NATO Schedule” is a 2025 readiness to “counterattack”. But that’s AFTER the Election in the USA (so some hope for Trump to step in and stop the madness). Plus, at the present Russian rate of advancement, this thing is over in 6 months (maybe 3) and neither the EU, nor the UK, nor the USA, nor NATO Collectively can move that fast to a ‘war footing’. My best guess is this is all wrapped up before the insane plan can get going.

5) The EU is “auguring in” economically and this will “focus the minds” of a lot of folks. EU Manufacturing depends on minerals and energy from Russia, so is busy packing up and leaving. Then the stupidity of attacking agriculture in the middle of all this boggles the mine. “An army moves on its stomach” has not changed, and the EU Stomach is already a bit hungry, with far worse to come if present plans succeed. We already have “regime change” in the wind in several member states. Picking a fight with Russia will only accelerate that discontent. I could easily see more “XXexit” in the wind. Probably Hungary & Slovakia first, with Greece, Italy, & Spain having potential; especially when German Money goes walkies due to no tax revenue from gone companies and a recession…

In Short: There’s no way that the EU can fight a war with Russia, so it won’t. It might be destroyed in one, but it won’t fight a Russian Army. The USA is not going to fight a war with Russia; the political risk of loss of power is too high given the present MAGA Mood of the country, and certainly not going to even try it until after the election (so a lot hangs on that…) BUT by then Russia will be at the gates of Kiev… And the UK? Good luck with that… Still good at Secret Agent Intrigues, still has a small good fighting groups sized army, but not a super power scale anything.

None of that is likely to stop our Idiots In Charge from trying. But I hold out hope that things like the Farmers Strike, and Truckers not delivering goods to the seats of evil (like NYC at present) will redirect the GEBs “concerns” to issues closer to home and away from war aspirations. Throw in losing a couple of Nations to the Traditional Rational side, and it might set them back a ways.

Me? I’m going to do more prepping and less “trying to fix”. I think we have until about November to be ready for “brown stuff hitting whirly thing”. So prepare accordingly. The W. Evil F. plans are increasingly on the rocks, the GEBs are outing themselves at breakneck speed. Their fear is in the air, and an ever larger part of We The People (globally) are choosing not to comply. So I’m going to be planning for more chaos in the cities, more international instabilities, and an ever more frantic group of GEBs yanking on the puppet strings of their Idiots In Charge ever harder, and getting ever less of what they want.

I just hope the GEBs power collapses as their economies collapse, and it doesn’t end up in a nuclear W.W.III. Because while I’m pretty sure I’m prepped enough to survive that, personally, I’m also certain that neither the USA, EU, nor UK as nations and cultures would survive. Hopefully the GEBs realize that: in a Free For All, they lose.

https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2024/02/27/nato-usa-suicidal-plan-b-in-ukraine/
« Last Edit: February 29, 2024, 07:52:50 AM by Body-by-Guinness »

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Death of NATO
« Reply #16 on: February 29, 2024, 04:10:22 PM »
 :-o :-o :-o

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An Imperial NATO Extends Scope to the Far East?
« Reply #17 on: July 10, 2024, 07:12:17 PM »
This sort of scope expansion appears consistent with other globalist goals:

Imperial NATO is On The Way
But it is unlikely to reach its goals


STEPHEN BRYEN AND SHOSHANA BRYEN
JUL 10, 2024
NATO is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.  The name should have been changed long ago, when NATO shifted its focus and operations south and eastward. NATO is shifting once again, most seriously by expanding its membership without any serous planning about how to secure its new flanks.

Outgoing NATO Chief  Jens Stoltenberg said last month that China should face consequences for its support of Russia. He wasn’t specific. "It's too early for me to say exactly… My message is that is… it's not sustainable and viable that China continues to fuel the biggest security threats ... for NATO allies, especially in Europe."

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Adding China, even theoretically, to the concerns of the Atlantic Alliance is a very big step and it widens the list of countries looking for NATO protection.

The limited good news at the NATO Summit is that the alliance actually recognizes its weakness.  The plan is to increase budgets and significantly enlarge the number of troops that can be committed if NATO goes to war. 

According to the internal plan, NATO must grow its deployed or deployable troop strength by 35 to 50 brigades.  The NATO leadership will need to convince its members to enlarge their armies, equip them, and have the transport and supply capability to support them in the field.

The US also has around 100,000 troops in Europe, with around 20,000 helping shore up NATO’s battlegroups.  NATO’s troop expansion is on top of the US troop presence.

A brigade in NATO is 3-5,000 troops, meaning that NATO could be short up to 250,000 troops in total.  Raising and training a large number of soldiers in NATO countries is a challenging task; it may also be impossible.

In most of Europe and in the United States, military recruiting is well below where it should be. In the US, only the Marine Corps and Space Command met their recruiting goals – the Army, Navy and Air Force fell short. The British and Germans missed their targets by wide margins.

Germany, which could again become a front line target if there is a war in Europe, has an army of 184,000 military personnel and 80,000 civilian personnel made up of Professional soldiers (57,365), Contract soldiers (114,243) and Voluntary military personnel (9,748); there is no conscription. Very recently, the proposed German defense budget was reduced by 5 billion Euros.  For Germany to comply with NATO's plan it would have to quadruple its defense budget and impose conscription.

Fat chance.

At present NATO does not have brigades – it has battlegroups, each of which has about 1,000 soldiers. There are presently 8 battlegroups and NATO is trying to add 4 more. This means is that in addition to creating 35 to 50 new brigades, it would also have to enlarge its 8 battlegroups into brigades. So far at least, there is no agreement on how to do so.

At the NATO Summit, new commitments have been made to shore up Ukraine by offering four new Patriot air defense batteries and additional F-16s (six of them) from Norway. Some NATO members are now also talking about shipping “squadrons” of F-16s to Ukraine, but that may be propaganda. (There is a good chance the US will end up paying for the Patriots.) The reason is straightforward: NATO knows that its grandiose enlargement plans are not going to happen, so it needs Ukraine as a buffer to Russia.  As long as Russia is tied down, NATO can avoid exposure of its shortcomings.

In the Pacific

While NATO is floating plans for enlargement of its membership and its capabilities, and putting China on notice about its own behavior, democratic friends in the Pacific are looking for a NATO umbrella.

Australia is attending the Summit, wanting to take advantage of NATO military know-how.  New Zealand, which wants to encourage the US as the leading NATO member, to protect it from China, has sent its Prime Minister to the meeting.   

Japan’s Prime Minister and South Korea’s President are there, apparently buying into NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg's vision that NATO must confront both Russia and China.  Japan has longstanding, unresolved issues over the Northern Territories (the Kuril Islands), occupied by the USSR at the end of World War II.   But the bigger problem is China, which Japan fears will soon take over the Pacific First Island Chain after "solving" the Taiwan issue; Taiwan sits right in the center of the chain. China has territorial claims on Japanese-administered islands, essentially the Senkaku Islands – which China calls the Diaoyu Islands. China also claims Okinawa, which is militarily important to the United States.

The US and Japan and the US and Korea have defense treaties (the 1960 Japan-US treaty was recently updated).  The US maintains a significant presence in both countries. In Japan there are 54,000 US military personnel and another 8,000 contractors (plus another 25,000 Japanese workers). The US home ports a nuclear aircraft carrier in Japan and maintains a significant air force and naval presence. In Korea, the US has 28,500 troops, primarily Army, stationed mostly at Camp Humphreys.  The US also maintains strategic missile defenses in Korea.

South Korea has mandatory military service for all males starting at the age of 18, producing a large army with 500,000 active troops and 3,100,000 reservists.  Its primary adversary, North Korea, has an even larger active army, now numbering 1,320,000 active troops and a reserve of 560,000.  Unlike North Korea, which has nuclear weapons, South Korea relies on the American "nuclear umbrella" for protection from its northern neighbor.

Japan, however, does not have conscription and has missed its Self Defense Force recruiting goal by more than 50%.  Young people in Japan today can get good jobs that pay well.  The Self Defense Force pays poorly and is unattractive as a career choice.

Who Benefits?

What would Japan or South Korea gain from a relationship with NATO – if not membership?  It is hard to see how NATO could be of any real help to either and it could complicate the US-Japanese and US-South Korean relationships by adding another command complex standing between them and their American sponsor.

Likewise, it is worth asking, what would NATO gain from a relationship with major US clients in Asia?  NATO does not have any power projection capability with respect to Asia.  There is not much that NATO can put on the table of any real interest to either Japan or Korea, other than politics.

In fact, it can be argued that many European “prestige” projects have squandered sensible efforts to strengthen conventional land, air, and naval forces.

Political Headwinds

NATO also faces some significant political headwinds.

One is from former President Donald Trump.  As president, Trump loudly demanded that the NATO partners increase their defense spending. While the US was spending 3.57 percent in 2018, only eight of the 29 allies at the time were spending the NATO goal of 2 percent. Some of the allies moved forward, some did not. Perhaps more worrisome, former Trump aides have suggested that Ukraine is a European problem, not an American one.  Stories that NATO wants to "Trump-proof" itself are all around, as European politicians fear that Trump won't favor a continuous war with Russia.

What is clear is that Trump's instinct is to negotiate with Russia, something Europe, aside from Hungary, rejects unequivocally. 

There also are serious and unavoidable economic issues.  Should French President Emmanuel Macron make concessions to the left,  it will be painful.  The left wants a 90% "wealth tax" and far greater social spending. (“Wealth” is already leaving France.)  France cannot do that and still put billions into Ukraine.  Current arsenals are badly depleted, so real funding for the future will have to come out of current operating budgets.  The consequences are an economic death spiral for France; one that could be repeated in the UK with its new Labor government.

NATO's Imperial Plans are mostly smoke, and if Asian countries have common sense, they will not tie themselves to NATO.

Stephen D. Bryen is a former US Defense Department official; Shoshana Bryen is Senior Director of the Jewish Policy Center.

https://weapons.substack.com/p/imperial-nato-is-on-the-way?r=1qo1e&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=email&triedRedirect=true

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WSJ: NATO: Free Rider Canada
« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2024, 08:58:16 AM »

Canada Is a NATO Scofflaw
The Trudeau government free rides on everyone else’s defense dollars, even as threats in the Arctic grow.
By The Editorial Board
July 10, 2024 5:49 pm ET


Canada is a member of the G-7 group of leading democracies, but why? Prime Minister Justin Trudeau isn’t leading anything, and he won’t even commit his country to meet its minimum obligation as a member of NATO.

When we wrote last year about Canada’s status as a defense scofflaw, it created a stir in Ottawa. But the Trudeau government remains as much a deadbeat as ever.

OPINION: POTOMAC WATCH
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This year 23 members of the North Atlantic alliance are on track to meet or exceed the 2% of GDP that each country committed a decade ago to spend on defense. Canada isn’t close. This year Ottawa is forecast to hit 1.37% of GDP, which is up from 1% in 2014. Canada appears to think the world hasn’t changed since Russia invaded Ukraine, China became aggressive in the Pacific, and both powers began cooperating to dominate the Arctic.

Of the eight nations below the 2% target, Croatia, Portugal and Italy spend more on defense than Canada as a share of GDP. Only Belgium, Luxembourg, Slovenia and Spain spend less. According to World Bank data, except for the period between 1982 and 1988, Ottawa hasn’t spent 2% of GDP on defense since 1972. Under its current plan Canada expects to reach a mere 1.76% by 2030.

On a visit to Ottawa last month, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg praised Canadian troops who on Europe’s eastern flank “lead NATO’s multinational battlegroup in Latvia.” But he also expressed dissatisfaction with Canada’s budgetary contribution. “It’s always easier to spend money on health, education, infrastructure and many other important tasks than to invest more in defense.” But “if you’re not able to preserve peace” the rest “will fail.” This means “that we need to invest in security and 2% is our minimum.”

Canada’s military abdication owes in part to a sense that it can free ride off the U.S. Another reason is that Mr. Trudeau’s domestic spending has made a hash of Canadian finances. Defense has lost out to the welfare state.

This is dangerous, and not merely for NATO. As the Arctic Ocean thaws, it is becoming another theater for economic and military competition. This includes greater Russian activity in the air and “a growing number of Chinese vessels and surveillance platforms,” according to a report in Breaking Defense based on a Canadian defense analysis. Submarines, long-range aircraft and hypersonic missiles are also making an appearance.

“We’re seeing some of the more assertive and even aggressive actions of potential adversaries who are really leaning forward in the Arctic,” Canadian Defense Minister Bill Blair said in May. “It really demands that we respond in an appropriate way.”

Yet to Mr. Trudeau the Arctic might as well be the Indian Ocean. Europe slept even as Vladimir Putin rearmed and threatened Ukraine. Canada is still sleeping, and if it doesn’t meet its alliance obligations, it will have no cause to complain if the alliance wonders if the country should remain a membe
« Last Edit: July 13, 2024, 12:17:55 PM by Crafty_Dog »

Crafty_Dog

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WSJ: NATO wakes up to China Threat
« Reply #20 on: July 13, 2024, 12:18:57 PM »
NATO Wakes Up to the China Threat
The allies recognize that Beijing’s help for Putin shows that the world’s threats are global.
By The Editorial Board
July 11, 2024 5:59 pm ET

Diplomatic summits are often forgettable, but it’s worth noting the substance emerging from this week’s North Atlantic Treaty Organization meeting in Washington. The Western alliance is hardening to the world’s dangerous new realities, which is all the more important as American voters choose between a weak President Biden or an unpredictable Donald Trump.

The alliance rolled out new long-term support for Ukraine, and another piece of salient news was the alliance’s rebuke of Beijing for underwriting Vladimir Putin’s war. China, the alliance said in a joint statement, “has become a decisive enabler of Russia’s war against Ukraine through its so-called ‘no limits’ partnership and its large-scale support for Russia’s defence industrial base.”

Correct, and Beijing’s support deserves more public attention. China “has sold millions of dollars’ worth of semiconductors, chips, ball bearings, navigation equipment, parts for fighter jets, and other components to Russia,” the Center for Strategic and International Studiessaid this year. The Biden Administration will have to follow up with real punishment after making support for Russia a red line with Beijing, as national security hand Matt Pottinger argued in these pages this spring.

But the NATO statement is still significant given that European allies have been reluctant to risk trade relationships with Beijing and slow to accept the threat posed by the Communist Party’s ambitions. The statement also underscores that the current world threats are global and what happens in Europe can’t be walled off from the Pacific.

Another welcome move is the U.S. and German announcement that the U.S. will put more long-range firepower on the European continent. The U.S. will in 2026 start “episodic” deployments of Tomahawk and other missiles, including hypersonics under development.

These long-range missiles pack a deterrent punch. “One of the challenges NATO faces is time and distance,” as Matthew Kroenig of the Atlantic Council puts it. If Mr. Putin rolled tanks into Estonia, NATO may not have the forward deployed forces to stop him, and sending troops takes time. Long-range fires can help NATO respond quickly.

The U.S. also desperately needs more long-range missiles in the Pacific, which means production will have to increase. That will require more defense spending, which brings us to the perennial question of whether the Europeans are pulling their weight. The NATO statement acknowledges that “in many cases, expenditure beyond” the target 2% of GDP “will be needed.”

That’s a disappointment compared with an explicit 3% of GDP target, as Baltic countries have advocated and are living by example with their own higher spending. Spending targets aren’t a perfect proxy for military power, and part of the challenge is procuring the needed weapons at scale across a deeply fractured and protectionist European industrial base.

All of this is modest progress but is no reason to get triumphant. Most of the press oxygen this week has been absorbed handicapping Mr. Biden’s fate. The backdrop is a world that is looking as dangerous and volatile as the early Cold War years and whether the U.S. can produce a leader prepared to meet the moment.