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POLITICS Nato No Longer Serves America's Interests

Discussion in 'Washington D.C.' started by slavenomore, Dec 8, 2019.

  1. slavenomore

    slavenomore US Gov Hears Foreign Corps More Than Nonunions

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    Brand: The Skeptics Tags: NATODonald TrumpMilitarySoviet UnionRussiaNATO Summit
    Quite simply, it makes no sense for U.S. taxpayers to subsidize the defense of nations capable of defending themselves. Shared interests will continue to justify military cooperation. However, the alliance as today constituted no longer serves American interests.
    President Donald Trump returned early from the London NATO summit. Staged to satisfy British Prime Minister Boris Johnson—the official 70th-anniversary meeting was held in April—the latest gathering featured only one, mercifully short, session, to reduce the likelihood of a Trump eruption. Even so, before arriving he improbably chided French President Emmanuel Macron for being “nasty,” “insulting,” and “disrespectful” in suggesting that the alliance suffered from “brain death.” Then the session’s minimal substance was overshadowed by the president’s personal spat with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
    Of course, the assembled leaders filled their limited time together with happy talk. The greatest alliance ever is more necessary than ever as Europe faces the greatest security challenges ever. The Europeans are spending more and cutting Washington’s burden. NATO is preparing plans both to defend its members from conventional attacks and confront new threats. The Europeans even are ready to tackle the huge new challenge posed by increasingly aggressive China. All in all, the alliance is prospering greatly.
    one. But fantasy nonetheless.

    NATO was formed in 1949 to shield European states from Soviet aggression as they recovered from World War II. The U.S. was only supposed to assist European governments in their defense efforts. For instance, Secretary of State Dean Acheson promised Congress that it would not need “to send substantial numbers of troops over there as a more or less permanent contribution.” Dwight D. Eisenhower, past wartime allied leader, first NATO commander, and future Cold War president opposed providing a permanent U.S. garrison which, he predicted, would “discourage the development of the necessary military strength Western European countries should provide themselves.”
    Alas, these sentiments were ignored as the U.S.S.R. tightened its control over Central and Eastern Europe. The Europeans recovered economically but failed to increase their defense outlays accordingly. Washington maintained its dominant military presence while constantly urging its allies to do more. They routinely said yes but did little.
    Soviet Union dissolved NATO’s survival seemed uncertain. So officials suggested that the transatlantic organization shift to, in former Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick’s words, “new missions that will fit the new era.” For instance, Robert Hormats, another lengthy public official, proposed that NATO shift to promoting “student exchanges, to fighting the drug trade, to resisting terrorism, to countering threats to the environment.” David Abshire, onetime U.S. ambassador to NATO, suggested coordinating “the transfer of environmental-control technology to the East.”

    Ultimately the alliance decided to expand its membership, even though the enemy had disappeared. Doing so violated multiple assurances given to Moscow. NATO also initiated “out-of-area” activities, which meant defending other than member states. This ironically turned the pact into an offensive instrument, first used to dismember Serbia in 1999. In essence, NATO had gone from a means to an end, with war the new means. Said Sen. Richard Lugar, then chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the organization would “go out of area or out of business.” And, as public choice economists would predict, no one involved in the alliance wanted the latter.
    The Soviet Union’s collapse triggered European disarmament, which in turn intensified American demands for greater burden-sharing, which the Europeans continued to ignore. The process continued for years, demonstrating, perversely, that the less Europe did the more America would. Hence the bizarrely named “European Reassurance Initiative” after Russia’s intervention in Ukraine: the Europeans were essentially promised that even if they did nothing Washington would remain at their side—though whining all the way. U.S. policymakers appeared to accept the need to subsidize the Europeans in order to keep them dependent. Washington opposed any proposals for independent spending and action, preferring that Europe do more, but only under America’s direction.

    The alliance continued to add members. Most recently it accepted Montenegro, with North Macedonia awaiting treaty approval by the 29 current members. Next up, the Duchy of Grand Fenwick, featured in the novel The Mouse that Roared!
    The latest out-of-area wars have been distant, unconventional conflicts: Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria, of which the latter triggered French President Emmanuel Macron’s complaint about a lack of allied coordination. Some NATO fans call the organization a “global alliance,” presumably ready to act as global cop. In every case, of course, the heavy lifting inevitably falls on Washington.

    Every recent president criticized Europeans for failing to make sufficient contributions for the common defense. Defense Secretary Robert Gates suggested that the alliance itself was at risk, since “there will be dwindling appetite and patience in the U.S. Congress, and in the American body politic writ large, to expend increasingly precious funds on behalf of nations that are apparently unwilling to devote the necessary resources ... in their own defense.” President Trump expressed similar sentiments, though more crudely.
    DCM_Doc likes this.

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