It is very difficult to have any discussion about even the short term future of NATO when there is still the obvious elephant in the room - Trump.
While he remains a potential future POTUS (and how in the world is that still possible?), any responsible NATO member must remain doubtful that the organisation will still exist in just a few years time. How that man can have any followers left in the US after his recent comments about Putin is totally beyond me. We talk about Putin being deranged. He's not the only one.
How exactly is Trump going to get the USA to leave NATO, recall the adversarial political system that the USA has that Europeans are so critical of? How about when any POTUS wants to close bases and the congress disagrees, suddenly Trump is all that, other than talk and attempting to level USA trade deficits, how much military force and bases did he remove from Europe?
So not only is Trump the reason why Ukraine was invaded but a potential of Trump will be the reason why Europe does not defend itself, really?
Wow, is all I can say, wow.
My apologies. I had forgotten how much Trump had unified America and how highly he regarded Europe.
I must admit to finding it rather curious to be told by a US citizen, in a post now deleted, just how screwed up the UK is. The irony is not lost on me ..
The UK government
might be screwed up, but the rest of us? We largely ignore politics and get on with life as we always have.
This diversion into USA vs Europe in NATO leaves me feeling uncomfortable and to be honest, very sad.
A a time when the long-standing democracies in Europe and the USA should be standing together against Putin, we get this in-fighting, at least on this thread, which for me, ignores the last 60-70 years of history.
I'm 60 next month. I lived though 30 years of the cold war and MAD.
I didn't live through WW2, the vast majority of whose action was conducted in a devastated Europe, and none of it on the Continental USA, but I recognise the scars, both personal and political, that developed as a result. And I am shocked to be honest, at how moving on one generation can so effectively erase or distort the collective memory.
I get that our US colleagues think in terms of rapid deployment and force projection. Naturally so, as a future war won't be fought on their territory.
Europe? All throughout the cold war, the policy was to ensure that the European border along the iron curtain was properly defended
In Germany's case in particular, treaties and agreements were made that deliberately limited their military might, as a direct result of the horrific scars of WW2.
I find it somewhat discomforting to see them being criticised for a stance that they were long encouraged to take.
The world will always look different from different perspectives, and we should respect that.
The reality of NATO, for me (and it may be because of what I've done for a living) is that the status quo was ultimately protected by MAD.
As unpleasant and uncomfortable as that may be. But IMO WMD have prevented WW3 for over 70 years.
And for me, that's the context of the relationship between the US and Europe in NATO.
Only the UK and France in Europe possess WMD, and together I don't believe they provide sufficient threat of MAD to properly deter a determined Russia.
That's why strong links to the USA and its umbrella, through NATO are an essential part of the relationship between the strong democracies in Europe and the USA.
For me, that's the context of why Trump and his divisive comments about his so-called allies, and his very open support to Putin, are seen on this side of the Atlantic as such an existential threat. In my view, Putin can only really ultimately be stopped from his aspirations when threatened directly with MAD - something Europe can't do on its own.
I'll ask par13del
to ponder whether Putin having a complete confidence that the US wouldn't intervene in any way, least of all by threatening MAD, promoted by Trump's rhetoric, was a factor in the invasion of Ukraine. If you say "no", then sorry but I think you're wrong.
I'd just point out a couple of things.
1. The history of NATO
2. Whatever mud you want to sling, democratic
Europe is your emotional ally. Not totalitarian
Russia. Not totalitarian
I'd suggest that a world where Europe is truly independent of the USA militarily and develops its own complete arsenal of WMD, is not a look anyone in the States should be promoting.
I can only ask that as a set of posters on this thread, we stand back and take a slightly more strategic look at the partnership between Europe and the USA within NATO and stand together to condemn Putin for his actions, and stop him in his tracks.