NATO Summit

Nebuchadnezzar

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A NATO summit is being held in Brussels this coming Thursday and Trump is scheduled to meet Putin for bilateral talks in Helsinki several days later. There is much speculation that Trump is about to initiate some major policy changes that could have serious security consequences for Europe.

Trump is has highlighted the disparity between European and American defence spending(in % GDP terms) and the the consequent imbalance in material commitment to NATO. The agreed target defence spend for NATO members is 2% but only USA and a small minority of other NATO states meet that target. Trump is particularly focused on Germany’s notably poor 1.2% GDP spend. A report last year highlighted the very poor levels of operational equipment within the German armed forces with only 30% of their combat aircraft and 50% of the tanks serviceable. Most other european NATO militaries serviceability levels are not much better. Germany and most of the others are gradually increasing their spend but not fast enough for Trump.

Trump said the following at a campaign rally in Montana recently...

I said, you know, Angela, I can't guarantee it, but we're protecting you, and it means a lot more to you than protecting us because I don't know how much protection we get by protecting you.
I'm going to tell NATO, you got to start paying your bills. The United States is not going to take care of everything.
We are the schmucks that are paying for the whole thing.
The Pentagon is currently conducting a study of whether to withdraw some or all of the 35,000 US troops based in Germany and the White House has requested that this be expedited.

A recent Telegraph article quotes an unnamed senior diplomatic source...

We could be in a situation where, between them, Trump and Putin will come up with some dodgy deal that they'll try to portray as a political win to both their countries but will ultimately leave Europe exposed and vulnerable at a crucial moment in our history with so much instability on the continent
He further speculates that Mr Trump could use the offer of cutting back the US military presence in Europe to secure a reciprocal assurance from Mr Putin in Helsinki that Russia will use its influence on Tehran to help secure the withdrawal of Iranian troops from Syria but that Mr Putin's ability to achieve Iran's withdrawal from Syria was questionable, and warned against Mr Trump making any offer in exchange for a false promise.

Russia pretends it can deliver to achieve these short-term aims. They just need the hook to get [Trump] on.

We need to be in a very strong position in the West to negotiate with Russia ... [which would be threatened by] cutting some kind of theoretical deal which sounds purely naive.
Is Trump about to trash the security architecture that has kept the peace and prosperity in Europe(mostly) for the the past 70 years?


http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/395882-5-things-to-watch-as-trump-heads-to-nato-summit


https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/07/07/nato-summit-fears-trump-may-pull-troops-europe/

Poor State of German Armed Forces Revealed; Only 30% of Fighters and Under 50% of Tanks Serviceable
 


SweenyTodd

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Is Trump about to trash the security architecture that has kept the peace and prosperity in Europe(mostly) for the the past 70 years?

Hopefully Not.
 

GDPR

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I think they must know by now not to trust Trump with any classified information.

His biggest secret to impart to Putin will be whether he uses Clairol or LOreal.
 

Nebuchadnezzar

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Is Trump about to trash the security architecture that has kept the peace and prosperity in Europe(mostly) for the the past 70 years?

Hopefully Not.
IMO as part of managing the Trump problem Europe needs to up its defence capabilities. Give Trump something that he can claim as a personal success at this meeting and so keep the USA committed to NATO. Don’t give him the justification to walk away.
 

Jack Walsh

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70 years of progress, of security, of largely peace, of prosperity and economic expansion as we have never seen.
Of monstrous strides in education, literacy, healthcare and life expectancy

All perhaps, pissed away on the whim of a moron, who feels closer ties with despots, tyrants and dictators is more preferable.

What could possibly go wrong?
 

Nebuchadnezzar

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But meanwhile the German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, of the Social Democrats(SPD) is playing politics on the issue, blocking Merkel’s modest attempts to improve Germany’s military capabilities. The Defense Ministry has calculated that only a fifth of its needs would be covered by the new budget in the coming years.
 

GDPR

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But meanwhile the German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, of the Social Democrats(SPD) is playing politics on the issue, blocking Merkel’s modest attempts to improve Germany’s military capabilities. The Defense Ministry has calculated that only a fifth of its needs would be covered by the new budget in the coming years.
Russia has always been infiltrating the SPD, a great party, that doesnt need that scum.
 

Old Mr Grouser

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Is Trump about to trash the security architecture that has kept the peace and prosperity in Europe(mostly) for the the past 70 years?

Hopefully Not
.
NATO's role now seems to be bombing Muslims: Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan.
 

Nebuchadnezzar

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NATO's role now seems to be bombing Muslims: Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan.
Would you rather that the USA, Russia or whatever else big power should be bombing without reference or consideration of any allies? ....because that is the prospect that we face if Trump disengages the US from NATO.
 

NYCKY

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IMO as part of managing the Trump problem Europe needs to up its defence capabilities. Give Trump something that he can claim as a personal success at this meeting and so keep the USA committed to NATO. Don’t give him the justification to walk away.
IS it a Trump problem or a Europe problem?
 

NYCKY

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European countries need to do more when it comes to spending on their defense budgets. The 2% of GDP used to be a target now it's a requirement, agreed at the Wales NATO summit in 2014. That said, they gave themselves 10 years to achieve the targets i.e. 2024 and we are six years away from that.

Three more countries will meet the target next year, bringing the total to eight countries. Obama and Bush have scolded European leaders many times about this and it was Bob Gates, the Defense Secretary who served under both of thems parting words to European leaders.

European NATO countries used to spend over 3% in the 80s, this had dwindled lower and now is about 1.5%. Only five countries meet their obligation, including oddly Greece.

In the Libya campaign, they ran out of munitions after just three months. When the Brussels airport was attacked by terrorists in 2016, Belgium had to acquire military gear for their soldiers, from who? The US of course.

For all Trump gets wrong, which is plenty, he is spot on about this but a bit more patience would go a long way.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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No
I for one would like to be the first to welcome our new Russian oligarch overlords. Mind you they have been around for a while.

Lord John Browne, formerly of BP, leads the Russian investment group LetterOne which has been investing over £14 billion around Europe in proceeds of the Sakhalin gas fields for the Russian government untroubled by sanction, notably.

Quite funny watching the news about how seriously serious everyone was about sanctions on Russia a few years back. Turn the channel and around the pitch in a Champions League game you get 'Gazprom', 'Gazprom', 'Gazprom' beaming repeatedly at you from the advertising ident.

I know which way the wind is blowing. City of London makes nish out of NATO spending. It makes a lot out of Russian oligarch spending.

I reckon Budapest is next for the sudden influx of Speznaz cunningly disguised as AirBnB tourists.
 

parentheses

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Hasn't Ireland signed up surreptiously to some agreement which means it will have to triple its military spending?

Looking forward to voting against this sh!te government!
 

GDPR

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European countries need to do more when it comes to spending on their defense budgets. The 2% of GDP used to be a target now it's a requirement, agreed at the Wales NATO summit in 2014. That said, they gave themselves 10 years to achieve the targets i.e. 2024 and we are six years away from that.
The 2% spending guideline is (perhaps unfortunately) not legally binding upon NATO member states. That is to say, it's not a requirement.
 

Catalpast

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Hasn't Ireland signed up surreptiously to some agreement which means it will have to triple its military spending?

Looking forward to voting against this sh!te government!
We agreed to it in Lisbon II IIRC?

ADD
Together with other 24 EU member states, Ireland joined the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) in December 2017. PESCO’s overall objective is to increase defence capabilities and co-ordination between member states with an end-goal of a better capability to respond to security threats.
https://www.rte.ie/eile/brainstorm/2018/0412/954015-what-will-eu-defence-project-pesco-mean-for-ireland/
 
D

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Why should the US pay for Europe's security?
It makes no sense in 2018
 

The Field Marshal

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Trump will make the grasping stingy Europeans step up to the plate on defense expenditure.

They have been freeloading on the coat tails of the USA since 1945.
 


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