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Revelation
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NATO and related topics discussion

Sun Dec 04, 2022 3:09 pm

Since the mods asked we take it out of the Russian Invasion thread, and since I was learning a few things from some the comments, here's a separate thread.

marcelh wrote:
Revelation wrote:
My favorite whataboutism is the German policy of being half way between Moscow and Washington. It implies moral equivalence between Moscow and Washington which is very disappointing, and it enabled a lot of now-regretted behaviors such as reliance on cheap Russian energy and lack of spending on defense. Basically the Germans chose to be fat, dumb and happy, and are now paying the price.

A typical US biased response. Blame the Germans for everything you want, but Berlin is way closer to Moscow than Washington.

Yep, really damn close in distance. Should have been factored into decisions long ago. Buy that cheap oil and gas, but use the money saved to strengthen the military to meet NATO commitments.

And your previous President has shown some true colors about the USA being a “reliable” partner.

How are you feeling about Putin's reliability these days?

The USA has always been reluctant to a more integrated, better performing European “column” within NATO. “Divide and conquer” because of the (in)famous American interests.

I don't get how the noble Europeans are helpless in the face of an American "reluctance".

marcelh wrote:
Something with cause and effect. In the end a small and inefficient European defense is favorable for the US, despite all the noise which suggest otherwise.
US nightmare would be a unified Europe with a efficient and highly integrated defense which is much less dependent.

What you aren't explaining is why Europe itself doesn't widely recognize this and act in its own interests.

It's pretty simple: Europeans prefer their tax money go into social programs rather than military spending. I agree, in an ideal world there would be no military spending at all, but this is not an ideal world, and only now are we seeing some EU countries advance their military spending to what it should have been for the last few decades.

marcelh wrote:
Focus of the US is in the Pacific - China and Europe has to become less dependent. IMHO not only with bigger defense spendings (the GDP “discussion”), but also with the European interests integrated. Will take some time, but maybe the war in Ukraine can be some sort of catalyst.

US post-WWII has always prepared for a two-front war, thus the size of the US carrier fleet. Pivot to one front doesn't mean abandonment of the other. China is getting more aggressive in building bases in the South China Sea where none were before. It's not like that should be ignored, though given Chinese construction standards those bases will be crumbling soon enough.

Klaus wrote:
What is easily forgotten now is also that a strongly militarized Germany would have been perceived with abject horror by many fellow european countries – the current enthusiasm for german military might has become fashionable exactly since the russian invasion into Ukraine when it would now be convenient to everyone if we had a massive military, but the exact same status would have had the polish PiS government shrieking at the top of their lungs just a few months ago (and they still keep the germanophobia at full blast even now during their electoral campaign) but would also have raised some understandable misgivings elsewhere.

Not sure I agree with the tone/direction of much of your post, but IMO this is worth pointing out, it is something not very visible to the average American.

Germany and many other EU countries had a simple excuse: just spend up to the GDP percentage that they agreed to do as NATO members, but never had till this invasion. Remind the Poles that this is being done within the NATO framework and they were/are free to do the same. Issue was neither side was all that interested in meeting their commitment.

Klaus wrote:
The idea above that – of all countries! – Germany should have sent a militarized brigade to Ukraine are so devoid of any historical understanding that it baffles the mind – quite apart from it not having worked as intended, beyond just looking for an easy scapegoat to blame for the invasion now.

FWIW, this suggestion didn't come from me. My posts already have said putting any armed NATO troops into Ukraine would have triggered a Russian invasion. Putin already uses the term 'nazi' to refer to anyone against Russia. German troops stationed in Ukraine would have been an instant trigger.

Klaus wrote:
The US has never been in Europe for charity, it was always a direct consequence of pursuing hard, substantial american interests.

I don't want to put words in your mouth, but to suggest that after sending troops to fight in both WW1 and WW2 the direct reason the US military was stationed in Europe during the Cold War was out of greed and/or lust for power is a very close-minded approach to the "actual motivations" . Of course the US had "hard, substantial american interests" in being in Europe, these were to try to avoid WW3. These things may have resulted in profits in some ways but came with losses in others.

I just don't get this whole "noble, meek Europeans were helpless pawns of corrupt, cocky Americans" line of reasoning. Maybe I never will. I can tell by the verbiage being used that it's a very polished set of talking points so I probably shouldn't waste my time trying to understand it better since those pushing it are convinced they are right.
 
GDB
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Sun Dec 04, 2022 3:32 pm

I agree, worth a thread, to expand on my points in the other one;
https://blog.nationalarchives.gov.uk/on ... tion-nato/

To expand a bit, on the domestic front too in both the UK and US;
https://tidesofhistory.com/2022/03/01/i ... an-threat/

Worth noting that as General Secretary of the largest Trade Union in the world at the time, the Transport and General Workers Union, Bevin prior to WW2 had traveled extensively, to Europe where he made many contacts at the political level, to the US where he met the big US Union leaders (and saw the New Deal which the UK was not getting, yet), this also meant he had no kneejerk anti US sentiment.
Just a zero tolerance for dictators, be they Mussolini, Hitler or Stalin.

But it wasn't just one man, other signatories;
https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/decl ... 137725.htm

In particular, one of the most significant figures in post war Europe, Robert Schuman.

A tweet by the author of a biography of Bevin, he's right y'know;
https://www.google.com/url?esrc=s&q=&rc ... 2CloYpGHI9

Now we have established that NATO was not some US plot to control Europe, or even have undue influence domestically, despite the opposition to it's continuation in some quarters on both sides of the Pond after the Cold War, basic principals of collective defence still apply. And hasn't this year proved it?
Think the Ukrainians care for these arguments?
 
wingman
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Sun Dec 04, 2022 4:03 pm

Revelation wrote:
Klaus wrote:
The US has never been in Europe for charity, it was always a direct consequence of pursuing hard, substantial american interests.

I don't want to put words in your mouth, but to suggest that after sending troops to fight in both WW1 and WW2 the direct reason the US military was stationed in Europe during the Cold War was out of greed and/or lust for power is a very close-minded approach to the "actual motivations" . Of course the US had "hard, substantial american interests" in being in Europe, these were to try to avoid WW3. These things may have resulted in profits in some ways but came with losses in others.


To put things more simply - profits did result for some. In fact, the profits were the greatest ever generated in a 75 year period of history and were earned and enjoyed evenly by Europe, North America and Asia. The profits weren't just money either, they were life itself, social mobility, and technological advancement beyond anyone's imagination. Looking at Europe of 1945 and Europe of 2022 I'd argue things have improved a tad. That wasn't American interest at play, it was American and European interests at play. Any argument to the contrary is ludicrous.
 
bennett123
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Sun Dec 04, 2022 4:36 pm

Revelation wrote:
Since the mods asked we take it out of the Russian Invasion thread, and since I was learning a few things from some the comments, here's a separate thread.

marcelh wrote:
Revelation wrote:
My favorite whataboutism is the German policy of being half way between Moscow and Washington. It implies moral equivalence between Moscow and Washington which is very disappointing, and it enabled a lot of now-regretted behaviors such as reliance on cheap Russian energy and lack of spending on defense. Basically the Germans chose to be fat, dumb and happy, and are now paying the price.

A typical US biased response. Blame the Germans for everything you want, but Berlin is way closer to Moscow than Washington.

Yep, really damn close in distance. Should have been factored into decisions long ago. Buy that cheap oil and gas, but use the money saved to strengthen the military to meet NATO commitments.

And your previous President has shown some true colors about the USA being a “reliable” partner.

How are you feeling about Putin's reliability these days?

The USA has always been reluctant to a more integrated, better performing European “column” within NATO. “Divide and conquer” because of the (in)famous American interests.

I don't get how the noble Europeans are helpless in the face of an American "reluctance".

marcelh wrote:
Something with cause and effect. In the end a small and inefficient European defense is favorable for the US, despite all the noise which suggest otherwise.
US nightmare would be a unified Europe with a efficient and highly integrated defense which is much less dependent.

What you aren't explaining is why Europe itself doesn't widely recognize this and act in its own interests.

It's pretty simple: Europeans prefer their tax money go into social programs rather than military spending. I agree, in an ideal world there would be no military spending at all, but this is not an ideal world, and only now are we seeing some EU countries advance their military spending to what it should have been for the last few decades.

marcelh wrote:
Focus of the US is in the Pacific - China and Europe has to become less dependent. IMHO not only with bigger defense spendings (the GDP “discussion”), but also with the European interests integrated. Will take some time, but maybe the war in Ukraine can be some sort of catalyst.

US post-WWII has always prepared for a two-front war, thus the size of the US carrier fleet. Pivot to one front doesn't mean abandonment of the other. China is getting more aggressive in building bases in the South China Sea where none were before. It's not like that should be ignored, though given Chinese construction standards those bases will be crumbling soon enough.

Klaus wrote:
What is easily forgotten now is also that a strongly militarized Germany would have been perceived with abject horror by many fellow european countries – the current enthusiasm for german military might has become fashionable exactly since the russian invasion into Ukraine when it would now be convenient to everyone if we had a massive military, but the exact same status would have had the polish PiS government shrieking at the top of their lungs just a few months ago (and they still keep the germanophobia at full blast even now during their electoral campaign) but would also have raised some understandable misgivings elsewhere.

Not sure I agree with the tone/direction of much of your post, but IMO this is worth pointing out, it is something not very visible to the average American.

Germany and many other EU countries had a simple excuse: just spend up to the GDP percentage that they agreed to do as NATO members, but never had till this invasion. Remind the Poles that this is being done within the NATO framework and they were/are free to do the same. Issue was neither side was all that interested in meeting their commitment.

Klaus wrote:
The idea above that – of all countries! – Germany should have sent a militarized brigade to Ukraine are so devoid of any historical understanding that it baffles the mind – quite apart from it not having worked as intended, beyond just looking for an easy scapegoat to blame for the invasion now.

FWIW, this suggestion didn't come from me. My posts already have said putting any armed NATO troops into Ukraine would have triggered a Russian invasion. Putin already uses the term 'nazi' to refer to anyone against Russia. German troops stationed in Ukraine would have been an instant trigger.

Klaus wrote:
The US has never been in Europe for charity, it was always a direct consequence of pursuing hard, substantial american interests.

I don't want to put words in your mouth, but to suggest that after sending troops to fight in both WW1 and WW2 the direct reason the US military was stationed in Europe during the Cold War was out of greed and/or lust for power is a very close-minded approach to the "actual motivations" . Of course the US had "hard, substantial american interests" in being in Europe, these were to try to avoid WW3. These things may have resulted in profits in some ways but came with losses in others.

I just don't get this whole "noble, meek Europeans were helpless pawns of corrupt, cocky Americans" line of reasoning. Maybe I never will. I can tell by the verbiage being used that it's a very polished set of talking points so I probably shouldn't waste my time trying to understand it better since those pushing it are convinced they are right.


My understanding is that Germany declared war on the US before the US declared war on Germany in WW2.

Not sure about WW1.
 
Klaus
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Sun Dec 04, 2022 6:07 pm

Revelation wrote:
Klaus wrote:
What is easily forgotten now is also that a strongly militarized Germany would have been perceived with abject horror by many fellow european countries – the current enthusiasm for german military might has become fashionable exactly since the russian invasion into Ukraine when it would now be convenient to everyone if we had a massive military, but the exact same status would have had the polish PiS government shrieking at the top of their lungs just a few months ago (and they still keep the germanophobia at full blast even now during their electoral campaign) but would also have raised some understandable misgivings elsewhere.

Not sure I agree with the tone/direction of much of your post, but IMO this is worth pointing out, it is something not very visible to the average American.

Americans not seeing something it does not mean that european neighbours were not seeing it.

A highly militarized Germany would have been convenient to the US and to other countries if the actual command of that military had not been in german hands, but that would of course have been impossible, so a militarily strong Germany has not been politically viable for decades.

As to the tone of my response, it was prompted by your breahtakingly toxic and factually false chunk of germanophobic propaganda here, if I have to remind you:

Revelation wrote:
My favorite whataboutism is the German policy of being half way between Moscow and Washington. It implies moral equivalence between Moscow and Washington which is very disappointing, and it enabled a lot of now-regretted behaviors such as reliance on cheap Russian energy and lack of spending on defense. Basically the Germans chose to be fat, dumb and happy, and are now paying the price.

To which an appropriate but still fact-based and topical rebuttal was absolutely necessary:
https://www.airliners.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1470285&p=23567705#p23567705

I do appreciate many of your more thoughtful posts including your extensive illustration of Putin's screed in the other thread, but that post was just an ideological hit job which did not contribute anything to any discussion.

Germany and many other EU countries had a simple excuse: just spend up to the GDP percentage that they agreed to do as NATO members, but never had till this invasion.

The Merkel administration mismanaged a lot of things and among them certainly the Bundeswehr, but the amount of german armament had next to nothing to do with Putin's invasion – he had and has no chance against NATO either way so that is a moot point.

Nobody has actually done more for the russian invasion than Trump and the GOP – remember how the Trump team's only objection to the GOP electoral platform had been that they fought tooth and nail to remove any hint of support for Ukraine from it - and succeeded? Or Trump basically on his knees before Putin in Helsinki and throughout his tenure, only barely stopped from pulling the US out of NATO which has always been Putin's favourite wet dream? Or his blatant blackmail attempt against president Zelensky: "I want you to do us a favour, though"? (trying to get him to fabricate campaign fodder for Trump) And the GOP announcing to still ride the same dead horse now?

Yes, there are plenty of issues to be resolved in NATO and rebuilding the Bundeswehr is one of them which is just starting now, but driving wedges between NATO partners is a primary tactic Putin has always employed – breaking Britain off from the EU saw russian money sloshing into the Tory party and into the Brexit campaign for that very purpose, with success as we have seen. Heck, Boris Johnson even made the well-connected son of a russian spy (a personal party buddy of his) a Tory peer, including access to critical documents!

Perspectives are massively skewed there if the german Bundeswehr is hyped up as the primary criterion for Putin whether to invade or not – there are much bigger threats at hand.

Klaus wrote:
The idea above that – of all countries! – Germany should have sent a militarized brigade to Ukraine are so devoid of any historical understanding that it baffles the mind – quite apart from it not having worked as intended, beyond just looking for an easy scapegoat to blame for the invasion now.

FWIW, this suggestion didn't come from me.

And I did not claim it was; I just referred to it from there because it was related.

Klaus wrote:
The US has never been in Europe for charity, it was always a direct consequence of pursuing hard, substantial american interests.

I don't want to put words in your mouth, but to suggest that after sending troops to fight in both WW1 and WW2 the direct reason the US military was stationed in Europe during the Cold War was out of greed and/or lust for power is a very close-minded approach to the "actual motivations".

That is an absurdly distorted misrepresentation of what american interests actually are – and what they are perceived as, both from the USA itself as well as from others.

As we have seen with the GW Bush and Trump presidencies those interests can be interpreted in a brutally hegemonial, selfish and shortsighted way, but that actually erodes them in reality.

For most of the post-WWII era the USA have tried to convince their allies to cooperate on many levels, not just militarily through NATO, because that does indeed create synergies, stability and prospoerity for all involved, notably for the US as well and often most of all.

Letting Europe descend into chaos or letting the Soviet Union or more recently Russia conquer it was never in the american interest, completely separate from any ethical impulses which have certainly also played a part, but not primarily.

The US military presence was first motivated to stave off further advances of Stalin's Soviet Union, then of "communism", then of autocracy, economic ruin and general instability, but the european presence was also a relatively cheaply operated (and even locally subsidized) operational base to project US military power to other regions, too, as we have seen with the Afghanistan and Iraq campaigns (the former with, the latter mostly without allied support).

It was never tyranny, but also never charity – it was mostly well-intentioned self-interest to station US troops in Europe and objectively it still is, but some US politicians who have personally more to gain from strife and division would still like it axed or at least to use it for blackmail since to those politicians common interests and ethical goals are alien and worthless everywhere.

In Europe attitudes are changing as we speak – but not against the US or against NATO, just towards more effective national and shared defense since Putin has made that an unfortunate necessity again and defense is more and more a shared interest and responsibility, so the inevitable frictions of maintaining many smaller and some medium-sized militaries are increasingly seen as wasteful and pointless when we're increasingly integrated in many other respects anyway and intra-EU wars have long become unthinkable anyway.

(Intra-NATO military confrontations are unfortunately not impossible as we're seeing with Greece vs. Turkey, because NATO has none of the multiple conflict resolution and other mechanisms the EU does.)

I just don't get this whole "noble, meek Europeans were helpless pawns of corrupt, cocky Americans" line of reasoning. Maybe I never will. I can tell by the verbiage being used that it's a very polished set of talking points so I probably shouldn't waste my time trying to understand it better since those pushing it are convinced they are right.

That is because those distorted ideas are only in your own head, nothing I or other europeans actually hold or advocate.

The whole point is that international relations are much more complex than a few simple slogans could ever capture, so it is really necessary to look at the complicated real facts and at the even more complicated actual people to understand these matters.

Oversimplifying ideologies fail for a reason, because they just don't work.
 
bennett123
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Sun Dec 04, 2022 6:28 pm

I keep hearing about President Trump saying that Europe should not buy Russian oil and gas.

What is less clear is if he was saying buy more US oil and gas.
 
Klaus
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Sun Dec 04, 2022 6:38 pm

bennett123 wrote:
I keep hearing about President Trump saying that Europe should not buy Russian oil and gas.

What is less clear is if he was saying buy more US oil and gas.

Not really relevant, as that is the stated intention of the EU and of almost all of its members anyway – Hungary may be the last Putin-dependent country standing soon.

Germany isn't getting russian gas any more but our tanks are full for now and alternative sources are being ramped up – it is a massive undertaking but it is in fact under way in almost all of Europe right now, whether Trump tries to hitch a ride on that topic or not doesn't matter one jot.

And getting away from fossil fuels at all is the primary goal anyway.
 
GDB
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Sun Dec 04, 2022 7:02 pm

Klaus wrote:
bennett123 wrote:
I keep hearing about President Trump saying that Europe should not buy Russian oil and gas.

What is less clear is if he was saying buy more US oil and gas.

Not really relevant, as that is the stated intention of the EU and of almost all of its members anyway – Hungary may be the last Putin-dependent country standing soon.

Germany isn't getting russian gas any more but our tanks are full for now and alternative sources are being ramped up – it is a massive undertaking but it is in fact under way in almost all of Europe right now, whether Trump tries to hitch a ride on that topic or not doesn't matter one jot.

And getting away from fossil fuels at all is the primary goal anyway.


Germany has done a good job in becoming non dependent on Russian fuel since the invasion, it's another mistake Putin made, albeit he was I think given some reason to think otherwise over the past few years. I do not think that however was at the forefront of his mind when he launched the war. Just a rough assumption and he made those about plenty of others too, including some he assumed would back him directly.

'Re-arming' is a loaded term for Germany, however what is being proposed, where much of the money, aside from some big ticket purchases such as F-35, CH-47, additional Typhoons, will be in sustaining forces, restocking to higher levels, fixing glitches with existing equipment.
Germany does have plenty of top of the line equipment, a substantial and innovative industry to support it, nothing wrong with the fundamentals, it's attention to detail when it comes to planning for conflict, the response generally (and I note 7 more Gephards are on their way), has been good.
 
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par13del
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Sun Dec 04, 2022 7:16 pm

Klaus wrote:
A highly militarized Germany would have been convenient to the US and to other countries if the actual command of that military had not been in german hands, but that would of course have been impossible, so a militarily strong Germany has not been politically viable for decades.

My understanding was that during the cold war, West Germany had one of the largest armies in the west because any expected Soviet invasion was going to commence in Germany. Reading your comment in two threads had me thinking that age was affecting my memory of those times, so as they say google is your friend and my mental comfort.
https://www.nato.int/nrfc/database/germany.pdf
https://www.bundeswehr.de/en/about-bund ... y/cold-war
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_German_rearmament

Only thing I will say is that the fear of one of the former enemies of WWII re-arming seems to have been more on Japan than Germany, indeed you do not hear much about German military and a fear of them but as Japan builds up its military there is much more discussions, what make them worse than Germany, from the perspective of the victors?
 
johns624
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Sun Dec 04, 2022 7:42 pm

par13del wrote:
Klaus wrote:
A highly militarized Germany would have been convenient to the US and to other countries if the actual command of that military had not been in german hands, but that would of course have been impossible, so a militarily strong Germany has not been politically viable for decades.

My understanding was that during the cold war, West Germany had one of the largest armies in the west because any expected Soviet invasion was going to commence in Germany. Reading your comment in two threads had me thinking that age was affecting my memory of those times, so as they say google is your friend and my mental comfort.
https://www.nato.int/nrfc/database/germany.pdf
https://www.bundeswehr.de/en/about-bund ... y/cold-war
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_German_rearmament

Only thing I will say is that the fear of one of the former enemies of WWII re-arming seems to have been more on Japan than Germany, indeed you do not hear much about German military and a fear of them but as Japan builds up its military there is much more discussions, what make them worse than Germany, from the perspective of the victors?
You are correct. Germany had a large military during the Cold War. It didn't shrink until they started spending the "peace dividend" on other things. The whole "the US wants Europe weak" mantra is just to assuage them of any guilt for letting their militaries to shrink too much. They also argue both sides--"The US wants us weak" on the one side and "The US is pivoting to Asia and is unreliable" on the other. Can't have it both ways. Then there's the "The US just wants us to spend more on our military so that they can sell us weapons" while forgetting that the A400, Eurofighter, Rafale, Challenger 2, Leopard 2, Aster missiles, all their destroyers/frigates, etc., have no US content.
 
GDB
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Sun Dec 04, 2022 8:09 pm

In fairness and perhaps rather forgotten about, was that the Cold War brought a whole new burden for a now reunited Germany, the East, it's problems, regeneration, a huge task it seems lost from recent history.
It wasn't all just a 'peace dividend' for them.
 
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par13del
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Sun Dec 04, 2022 8:25 pm

GDB wrote:
In fairness and perhaps rather forgotten about, was that the Cold War brought a whole new burden for a now reunited Germany, the East, it's problems, regeneration, a huge task it seems lost from recent history.
It wasn't all just a 'peace dividend' for them.

...and I think we all accept that, I also recall all the initial problems of reunification of those in West Germany thinking that East Germans would just follow meekly, so yes they had issues which they appear to have resolved. However, for someone now to claim there was a fear of Germany rearming after WWII (something they already did then downsized) is a bit out there,
flies in the face of history.
 
johns624
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Sun Dec 04, 2022 8:36 pm

GDB wrote:
In fairness and perhaps rather forgotten about, was that the Cold War brought a whole new burden for a now reunited Germany, the East, it's problems, regeneration, a huge task it seems lost from recent history.
It wasn't all just a 'peace dividend' for them.
Germany was just an example. I could've used Belgium or the Netherlands, instead. Both have gotten rid of all their armour, although NL has leased a company's worth from Germany to equip their joint brigade. Belgium is down to 2 frigates and their replacements are only going to have half the VLS tubes as their Dutch sisters. I'm sorry, but 8 cells just isn't enough in today's world. They're just being cheap.
http://navyrecognition.com/index.php/ne ... nounced%20
 
TheSonntag
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Sun Dec 04, 2022 9:07 pm

Somehow Germany Bashing has become a prominent Hobby for the extreme right in Poland (Kaczinsky), US (Bannon and Trump), France (Le Pen) and around.

Either we are all Nazis or we are lacking a Military or are unwilling to use it.

Maybe the real reason is that Germany has become a very stable anchor of multilaterism.

However, trump did have a point with North Stream 2 and Our Military underfunding.
 
GDB
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Mon Dec 05, 2022 12:53 am

johns624 wrote:
GDB wrote:
In fairness and perhaps rather forgotten about, was that the Cold War brought a whole new burden for a now reunited Germany, the East, it's problems, regeneration, a huge task it seems lost from recent history.
It wasn't all just a 'peace dividend' for them.
Germany was just an example. I could've used Belgium or the Netherlands, instead. Both have gotten rid of all their armour, although NL has leased a company's worth from Germany to equip their joint brigade. Belgium is down to 2 frigates and their replacements are only going to have half the VLS tubes as their Dutch sisters. I'm sorry, but 8 cells just isn't enough in today's world. They're just being cheap.
http://navyrecognition.com/index.php/ne ... nounced%20


The Dutch also have out of area responsibilities and were not shy in contributing to coalition operations either, let's face it, after decades of conflicts of mostly uncontested air superiority, NATO nations as a whole downgraded their AD, which now puts a limit, even with the US, in supplying and sustaining such systems for Ukraine.
So while unwise to ditch MBT's, at the time it wasn't as illogical as it seemed, with warships, F-35's to fund, for their size they also have a decent transport and attack helicopter fleet, plus tanker/transports, the latter which is driven by those out of area tasks.

Recently perhaps the biggest influx of Dutch warships to the UK since 1688 happened!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Td7Asa5SXaU
 
johns624
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Mon Dec 05, 2022 1:32 am

GDB wrote:

The Dutch also have out of area responsibilities and were not shy in contributing to coalition operations either, let's face it, after decades of conflicts of mostly uncontested air superiority, NATO nations as a whole downgraded their AD, which now puts a limit, even with the US, in supplying and sustaining such systems for Ukraine.
So while unwise to ditch MBT's, at the time it wasn't as illogical as it seemed, with warships, F-35's to fund, for their size they also have a decent transport and attack helicopter fleet, plus tanker/transports, the latter which is driven by those out of area tasks.

Recently perhaps the biggest influx of Dutch warships to the UK since 1688 happened!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Td7Asa5SXaU
You're another one fooled by "their size". The Netherlands, while small in area, have a relatively large population. They have a population almost twice that of Sweden and three times that of Denmark, Finland or Norway. They choose to have a small military because that's what they want, they could afford much more. Their GDP is also much larger than any of those four countries. Yet, their military isn't any bigger, overall. I don't really consider having a few colonies (or whatever their current PC term for them is) in the nice, sunny, warm Caribbean as having out of area responsibilities.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_E ... population
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_s ... P_(nominal)
 
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Kiwirob
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Mon Dec 05, 2022 5:59 am

GDB wrote:

Now we have established that NATO was not some US plot to control Europe, or even have undue influence domestically, despite the opposition to it's continuation in some quarters on both sides of the Pond after the Cold War, basic principals of collective defence still apply. And hasn't this year proved it?
Think the Ukrainians care for these arguments?


The cold war ended, the reason for NATO's existence ended, it certainly didn't need to be expanded and European NATO countries didn't need to be dragged into Americas 9/11 wars. The biggest threat to European stability is not Russia it's the millions upon millions of people wanting to illegally migrate to Europe from Africa.
 
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Kiwirob
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Mon Dec 05, 2022 6:06 am

johns624 wrote:
GDB wrote:
In fairness and perhaps rather forgotten about, was that the Cold War brought a whole new burden for a now reunited Germany, the East, it's problems, regeneration, a huge task it seems lost from recent history.
It wasn't all just a 'peace dividend' for them.
Germany was just an example. I could've used Belgium or the Netherlands, instead. Both have gotten rid of all their armour, although NL has leased a company's worth from Germany to equip their joint brigade. Belgium is down to 2 frigates and their replacements are only going to have half the VLS tubes as their Dutch sisters. I'm sorry, but 8 cells just isn't enough in today's world. They're just being cheap.
http://navyrecognition.com/index.php/ne ... nounced%20


What threats to the Belgium's face? To get to Belgium whichever mythical invasion force has to get through multiple countries first. The worse threat they face is Dutch people throwing Edam at them, or illegal immigration, frigates aren't going to help in either situation.
 
Newark727
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Mon Dec 05, 2022 6:10 am

Kiwirob wrote:
The cold war ended, the reason for NATO's existence ended, it certainly didn't need to be expanded and European NATO countries didn't need to be dragged into Americas 9/11 wars. The biggest threat to European stability is not Russia it's the millions upon millions of people wanting to illegally migrate to Europe from Africa.


Russia just launched the biggest European war since 1945 and you're saying a defensive alliance against it has no reason to exist? Russia's actions created more than seven million new refugees in less than a year (https://data.unhcr.org/en/situations/ukraine} and you're saying that it's those other migrants that are the real threat to stability? Like, have you just been asleep since February or something?
 
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Mon Dec 05, 2022 6:41 am

Newark727 wrote:
Kiwirob wrote:
The cold war ended, the reason for NATO's existence ended, it certainly didn't need to be expanded and European NATO countries didn't need to be dragged into Americas 9/11 wars. The biggest threat to European stability is not Russia it's the millions upon millions of people wanting to illegally migrate to Europe from Africa.


Russia just launched the biggest European war since 1945 and you're saying a defensive alliance against it has no reason to exist? Russia's actions created more than seven million new refugees in less than a year (https://data.unhcr.org/en/situations/ukraine} and you're saying that it's those other migrants that are the real threat to stability? Like, have you just been asleep since February or something?


Would that war have happened if NATO no longer existed or if it still did hadn't expanded to the east? The EU's expansion East is also problematic but for other reasons, the freedom of movement clause should have been suspended for a minimum 10 years before new members could take advantage of it. A friend of mine owns a medium sized business in Klaipeda, he wants to expand but there's no people anymore, Lithuania's population has dropped from 3.4m in 2004 to 2.6m today.

Ukraine refugees aren't really an issue, most of them will return home once the fighting ends, those that remain will assimilate into there new countries very quickly, within a generation of so you won't notice them. Several hundred million Africans changes things far more dramatically than Russia invading Ukraine.
 
petertenthije
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Mon Dec 05, 2022 7:05 am

johns624 wrote:
Belgium is down to 2 frigates and their replacements are only going to have half the VLS tubes as their Dutch sisters. I'm sorry, but 8 cells just isn't enough in today's world. They're just being cheap.

You could say the Belgians are cheap, and the USA are wise.

Another way to look at it, is that Belgium is wise, and the USA are spending like drunk sailors.

The truth, as always, is somewhere in the middle.

That said, not everyone has the unlimited resources and/or the willingness to buy fleets of littoral combat ships, only to find out they are trash and retire them before they are even 10 years old.

Or to design a destroyer so expensive yet ineffective, that despite spending an obscene amount of money it is not even activated (Zumwalt).
 
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Mon Dec 05, 2022 7:16 am

johns624 wrote:
GDB wrote:

The Dutch also have out of area responsibilities and were not shy in contributing to coalition operations either, let's face it, after decades of conflicts of mostly uncontested air superiority, NATO nations as a whole downgraded their AD, which now puts a limit, even with the US, in supplying and sustaining such systems for Ukraine.
So while unwise to ditch MBT's, at the time it wasn't as illogical as it seemed, with warships, F-35's to fund, for their size they also have a decent transport and attack helicopter fleet, plus tanker/transports, the latter which is driven by those out of area tasks.

Recently perhaps the biggest influx of Dutch warships to the UK since 1688 happened!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Td7Asa5SXaU
You're another one fooled by "their size". The Netherlands, while small in area, have a relatively large population. They have a population almost twice that of Sweden and three times that of Denmark, Finland or Norway. They choose to have a small military because that's what they want, they could afford much more. Their GDP is also much larger than any of those four countries. Yet, their military isn't any bigger, overall. I don't really consider having a few colonies (or whatever their current PC term for them is) in the nice, sunny, warm Caribbean as having out of area responsibilities.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_E ... population
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_s ... P_(nominal)


I am well aware of the size and population, been there plenty of times, you?
Out of area also means supporting everything from NATO led operations, to anti piracy, those Caribbean ops you mock are counter narcotics and similar, often working with the USCG, thus helping to prevent some of it reaching the US. Ungrateful enough?
Nonetheless doing this needs naval, auxiliary and transport resources, I note you don’t dismiss their lack of AD to donate to Ukraine with those, since beyond the Stingers they have sent, the US is in the same position there too. Aside from AMRAAM reloads for NASAMS.

Norway shares a border with Russia, major concerns about nefarious activity there, along with the UK Royal Marines, the Dutch Marines have long trained there, something revisited again more recently, for that you need amphibious support, which they have, so not only for sunning themselves with.

Aid sent so far, though not all are announced;
http://www.oryxspioenkop.com/2022/09/go ... itary.html
 
JJJ
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Mon Dec 05, 2022 8:59 am

Revelation wrote:
Germany and many other EU countries had a simple excuse: just spend up to the GDP percentage that they agreed to do as NATO members, but never had till this invasion. Remind the Poles that this is being done within the NATO framework and they were/are free to do the same. Issue was neither side was all that interested in meeting their commitment.


We have discussed several times why the 2% GDP in defence is a red herring because, for starters, different countries have different ways of measuring what military spending is.

Military pensions and healthcare which is a significant part of US military spending are not defined as military spending in many European budgets. A lot of military R&D goes through Ministry of Industry instead of Defence.

Let's talk specific capabilities, pooling etc. rather than an arbitrary threshold.
 
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Mon Dec 05, 2022 11:18 am

Kiwirob wrote:
Would that war have happened if NATO no longer existed or if it still did hadn't expanded to the east?
The fact that Russia's invasion of Ukraine didn't trigger an attack on Russia by NATO offers clear proof that Putin's (alleged) paranoia was baseless. But everybody knew that before Feb 24th. The simple fact is that Putin wants to go down in history as Puter the Great.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6UiEXrVrvg

Kiwirob wrote:
The EU's expansion East is also problematic
In your opinion Putin has the right to tell other nations how they are allowed to conduct their business?

Kiwirob wrote:
Ukraine refugees aren't really an issue, most of them will return home once the fighting ends, those that remain will assimilate into there new countries very quickly, within a generation of so you won't notice them. Several hundred million Africans changes things far more dramatically than Russia invading Ukraine.
That's probably the most callous display of lack of concern for other people's suffering I've read on this forum. That's really over the top.
 
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Mon Dec 05, 2022 11:52 am

Vintage wrote:
Kiwirob wrote:
Would that war have happened if NATO no longer existed or if it still did hadn't expanded to the east?
The fact that Russia's invasion of Ukraine didn't trigger an attack on Russia by NATO offers clear proof that Putin's (alleged) paranoia was baseless. But everybody knew that before Feb 24th. The simple fact is that Putin wants to go down in history as Puter the Great.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6UiEXrVrvg

Kiwirob wrote:
The EU's expansion East is also problematic
In your opinion Putin has the right to tell other nations how they are allowed to conduct their business?

Kiwirob wrote:
Ukraine refugees aren't really an issue, most of them will return home once the fighting ends, those that remain will assimilate into there new countries very quickly, within a generation of so you won't notice them. Several hundred million Africans changes things far more dramatically than Russia invading Ukraine.
That's probably the most callous display of lack of concern for other people's suffering I've read on this forum. That's really over the top.

No surprise there. "Putin-is-the-force" is strong with this one.

To
Kiwirob wrote:
Would that war have happened if NATO no longer existed or if it still did hadn't expanded to the east?

As I already mentioned in the other thread

Sure. Russia would extend to the Elba river. Or to Polish-German border minimum, right? Why would invade their already conquered territories?
No, they'd be planning on a dash to the Rhine, as a minimum, and basically to the Bay of Biscay.

In Russian geopolitics (Eurasian version; cue Dugin), Europe is a pimple to be squashed. A tiny corner of Eurasia, that thinks too much of itself. That pulls too much weight, compared to the space it occupies. Gotta fix that.

Even less radical versions agree that they cannot tolerate a constant threat from the Western direction. Ergo, need to eliminate that threat. You know, good old "defensive empire".

So no, they wouldn't invade Ukraine. They'd conscript Ukrainians to invade places further West.
 
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Kiwirob
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Mon Dec 05, 2022 12:08 pm

Vintage wrote:
Kiwirob wrote:
Would that war have happened if NATO no longer existed or if it still did hadn't expanded to the east?
The fact that Russia's invasion of Ukraine didn't trigger an attack on Russia by NATO offers clear proof that Putin's (alleged) paranoia was baseless. But everybody knew that before Feb 24th. The simple fact is that Putin wants to go down in history as Puter the Great.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6UiEXrVrvg


It didn't trigger an attack for a simple reason Ukraine isn't a NATO member. Putin is going down in history as a bit of a dick, there's no doubt about that.

Kiwirob wrote:
The EU's expansion East is also problematic
Vintage wrote:
In your opinion Putin has the right to tell other nations how they are allowed to conduct their business?


What do you think the US does ad nauseam?

Chances are if NATO was disbanded after the cold war ended and German reunification Putin may never have existed.

Kiwirob wrote:
Ukraine refugees aren't really an issue, most of them will return home once the fighting ends, those that remain will assimilate into there new countries very quickly, within a generation of so you won't notice them. Several hundred million Africans changes things far more dramatically than Russia invading Ukraine.
That's probably the most callous display of lack of concern for other people's suffering I've read on this forum. That's really over the top.[/quote]

My concern is for Europe being flooded with tens of millions economic migrants from African, this shouldn't happen, Africa is full of resources, just like the US shouldn't have to accept economic migrants from South American, and Australia shouldn't have to accept boat people from Asia.
 
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Mon Dec 05, 2022 12:20 pm

Phosphorus wrote:
Kiwirob wrote:
Would that war have happened if NATO no longer existed or if it still did hadn't expanded to the east?

As I already mentioned in the other thread

Sure. Russia would extend to the Elba river. Or to Polish-German border minimum, right? Why would invade their already conquered territories?
No, they'd be planning on a dash to the Rhine, as a minimum, and basically to the Bay of Biscay.

In Russian geopolitics (Eurasian version; cue Dugin), Europe is a pimple to be squashed. A tiny corner of Eurasia, that thinks too much of itself. That pulls too much weight, compared to the space it occupies. Gotta fix that.

Even less radical versions agree that they cannot tolerate a constant threat from the Western direction. Ergo, need to eliminate that threat. You know, good old "defensive empire".

So no, they wouldn't invade Ukraine. They'd conscript Ukrainians to invade places further West.


Now you're being an idiot, the end of the cold war was wasted, it was the perfect opportunity for the world to disarm, we screwed that up. There is absolutely no reason to suggest Russia would have tried to expand if NATO didn't exist.

An EU on friendly terms with Russia would be a far better outcome for everyone than the situation we have today. NATO should have ended 30 years ago.

https://www.thecitizen.in/index.php/en/ ... -Dissolved
 
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Mon Dec 05, 2022 12:32 pm

Kiwirob wrote:
There is absolutely no reason to suggest Russia would have tried to expand if NATO didn't exist.
Other than the fact that they did try to expand on Feb 24, 2022, just as the hawks predicted that they would in the early 90s. Putin isn't the first tyrant to lead Russia, and it's a good bet that he won't be the last.
 
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Mon Dec 05, 2022 1:51 pm

Kiwirob wrote:
Phosphorus wrote:
Kiwirob wrote:
Would that war have happened if NATO no longer existed or if it still did hadn't expanded to the east?

As I already mentioned in the other thread

Sure. Russia would extend to the Elba river. Or to Polish-German border minimum, right? Why would invade their already conquered territories?
No, they'd be planning on a dash to the Rhine, as a minimum, and basically to the Bay of Biscay.

In Russian geopolitics (Eurasian version; cue Dugin), Europe is a pimple to be squashed. A tiny corner of Eurasia, that thinks too much of itself. That pulls too much weight, compared to the space it occupies. Gotta fix that.

Even less radical versions agree that they cannot tolerate a constant threat from the Western direction. Ergo, need to eliminate that threat. You know, good old "defensive empire".

So no, they wouldn't invade Ukraine. They'd conscript Ukrainians to invade places further West.


Now you're being an idiot, the end of the cold war was wasted, it was the perfect opportunity for the world to disarm, we screwed that up. There is absolutely no reason to suggest Russia would have tried to expand if NATO didn't exist.

An EU on friendly terms with Russia would be a far better outcome for everyone than the situation we have today. NATO should have ended 30 years ago.

https://www.thecitizen.in/index.php/en/ ... -Dissolved

Uh, oh. So you say that pointing out -- obvious insecurity of rather small countries, who don't like to be overrun by revanchist expansionist rogue neighbours -- and thus prefer to band together into defence pacts -- is being an idiot. All right then, your views on intelligence, unsurprisingly, are confirmed again.

The revisionist school of thought (to which I stupidly also did subscribe, too, for a couple of years in 1991-93) that tiger does change his stripes -- err, that Russia can be a benign neighbour, co-existence with whom is possible, even for those who was part of their empire in the past -- has been proven wrong, and wrong again. Multiple times over.

Calling "being an idiot" people, who see this obvious failure, is actually raising serious questions about mental capacity of the author.

And a link to an article of a Russian shill on why "NATO should be dissolved" is disingenuous. Kremlin would agree with this opinion too, why should it have any value?
Rather, ask folks in Poland or Lithuania. Even Finland. Whether they think NATO should be dissolved.

Maybe, NATO is the only reason those Lithuanians are not sent, to clear snow, in Siberia, all over again.
What proportion of Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian population was shot, imprisoned and deported last time around? In Latvia, June 1941 deportations were like 1/6th of the population, correct?
 
GDB
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Mon Dec 05, 2022 2:02 pm

Vintage wrote:
Kiwirob wrote:
There is absolutely no reason to suggest Russia would have tried to expand if NATO didn't exist.
Other than the fact that they did try to expand on Feb 24, 2022, just as the hawks predicted that they would in the early 90s. Putin isn't the first tyrant to lead Russia, and it's a good bet that he won't be the last.


As you have been on the site for a relatively short time, not many years, your surprise at that callous comment and historically nonsensical view of Russia, NATO and Ukraine is understandable. Not for us who have been here years. It is after all pure Putin playbook.
Still, must be nice to live in a nation protected by NATO, a founder member, (while it seems always slagging it off), country of birth? Nope, New Zealand gets the same.
Begging the question is there anywhere that would meet the exacting standards of.......something.

Russia I suppose, meets all the ‘own the libs’ criteria , but not so keen on free speech there, however, still good enough for mere Ukrainians to be invaded, murdered, tortured etc.
War crimes investigations finding, already in just the liberated areas, victims of orchestrated sexual violence ranging from 4 to 85 years old, wonder why those East European nations wanted, not pressured, not forced, to join NATO.
Experience, within living memory.
If Kiwi wants to hitch his support to that wagon of course he is free to, ‘free’ being the operative word.
 
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Mon Dec 05, 2022 2:02 pm

Kiwirob wrote:
johns624 wrote:
GDB wrote:
In fairness and perhaps rather forgotten about, was that the Cold War brought a whole new burden for a now reunited Germany, the East, it's problems, regeneration, a huge task it seems lost from recent history.
It wasn't all just a 'peace dividend' for them.
Germany was just an example. I could've used Belgium or the Netherlands, instead. Both have gotten rid of all their armour, although NL has leased a company's worth from Germany to equip their joint brigade. Belgium is down to 2 frigates and their replacements are only going to have half the VLS tubes as their Dutch sisters. I'm sorry, but 8 cells just isn't enough in today's world. They're just being cheap.
http://navyrecognition.com/index.php/ne ... nounced%20


What threats to the Belgium's face? To get to Belgium whichever mythical invasion force has to get through multiple countries first. The worse threat they face is Dutch people throwing Edam at them, or illegal immigration, frigates aren't going to help in either situation.
Belgium is part of an alliance, in fact it is headquartered there. Each member is supposed to contribute according to their means, not how far they may be from the battleground.
 
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Mon Dec 05, 2022 2:05 pm

GDB wrote:
johns624 wrote:
GDB wrote:

The Dutch also have out of area responsibilities and were not shy in contributing to coalition operations either, let's face it, after decades of conflicts of mostly uncontested air superiority, NATO nations as a whole downgraded their AD, which now puts a limit, even with the US, in supplying and sustaining such systems for Ukraine.
So while unwise to ditch MBT's, at the time it wasn't as illogical as it seemed, with warships, F-35's to fund, for their size they also have a decent transport and attack helicopter fleet, plus tanker/transports, the latter which is driven by those out of area tasks.

Recently perhaps the biggest influx of Dutch warships to the UK since 1688 happened!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Td7Asa5SXaU
You're another one fooled by "their size". The Netherlands, while small in area, have a relatively large population. They have a population almost twice that of Sweden and three times that of Denmark, Finland or Norway. They choose to have a small military because that's what they want, they could afford much more. Their GDP is also much larger than any of those four countries. Yet, their military isn't any bigger, overall. I don't really consider having a few colonies (or whatever their current PC term for them is) in the nice, sunny, warm Caribbean as having out of area responsibilities.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_E ... population
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_s ... P_(nominal)


I am well aware of the size and population, been there plenty of times, you?
Out of area also means supporting everything from NATO led operations, to anti piracy, those Caribbean ops you mock are counter narcotics and similar, often working with the USCG, thus helping to prevent some of it reaching the US. Ungrateful enough?
Nonetheless doing this needs naval, auxiliary and transport resources, I note you don’t dismiss their lack of AD to donate to Ukraine with those, since beyond the Stingers they have sent, the US is in the same position there too. Aside from AMRAAM reloads for NASAMS.

Norway shares a border with Russia, major concerns about nefarious activity there, along with the UK Royal Marines, the Dutch Marines have long trained there, something revisited again more recently, for that you need amphibious support, which they have, so not only for sunning themselves with.

Aid sent so far, though not all are announced;
http://www.oryxspioenkop.com/2022/09/go ... itary.html
Yeah, I've been there several times. Even had a personal tour of the whole Arnhem battlefield as a birthday gift from my wife. I'll still hold to my opinion that the Netherlands and Belgium don't contribute to the common defense as much as much smaller countries with lesser populations and GDPs. Their geographic location shouldn't matter.
 
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Mon Dec 05, 2022 2:10 pm

petertenthije wrote:
johns624 wrote:
Belgium is down to 2 frigates and their replacements are only going to have half the VLS tubes as their Dutch sisters. I'm sorry, but 8 cells just isn't enough in today's world. They're just being cheap.

You could say the Belgians are cheap, and the USA are wise.

Another way to look at it, is that Belgium is wise, and the USA are spending like drunk sailors.

The truth, as always, is somewhere in the middle.

That said, not everyone has the unlimited resources and/or the willingness to buy fleets of littoral combat ships, only to find out they are trash and retire them before they are even 10 years old.

Or to design a destroyer so expensive yet ineffective, that despite spending an obscene amount of money it is not even activated (Zumwalt).
Not adding another 8-cell VLS when you already have the room for it and the associated sensors is foolish. It makes the ship much more vulnerable. I'm not going to defend the building of the LCS and Zumwalts because I think they were both mistakes. I will say that we were smart enough to continue to build more Arleigh Burkes, probably the best AD destroyer out there. We also learned from our mistakes and are building the Constellation-class frigates, which is an Italian-French design, for those who say that we never buy anything from Europe.
 
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Mon Dec 05, 2022 2:37 pm

Phosphorus wrote:
Kiwirob wrote:
Phosphorus wrote:

As I already mentioned in the other thread



Now you're being an idiot, the end of the cold war was wasted, it was the perfect opportunity for the world to disarm, we screwed that up. There is absolutely no reason to suggest Russia would have tried to expand if NATO didn't exist.

An EU on friendly terms with Russia would be a far better outcome for everyone than the situation we have today. NATO should have ended 30 years ago.

https://www.thecitizen.in/index.php/en/ ... -Dissolved

Uh, oh. So you say that pointing out -- obvious insecurity of rather small countries, who don't like to be overrun by revanchist expansionist rogue neighbours -- and thus prefer to band together into defence pacts -- is being an idiot. All right then, your views on intelligence, unsurprisingly, are confirmed again.

The revisionist school of thought (to which I stupidly also did subscribe, too, for a couple of years in 1991-93) that tiger does change his stripes -- err, that Russia can be a benign neighbour, co-existence with whom is possible, even for those who was part of their empire in the past -- has been proven wrong, and wrong again. Multiple times over.

Calling "being an idiot" people, who see this obvious failure, is actually raising serious questions about mental capacity of the author.

And a link to an article of a Russian shill on why "NATO should be dissolved" is disingenuous. Kremlin would agree with this opinion too, why should it have any value?
Rather, ask folks in Poland or Lithuania. Even Finland. Whether they think NATO should be dissolved.

Maybe, NATO is the only reason those Lithuanians are not sent, to clear snow, in Siberia, all over again.
What proportion of Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian population was shot, imprisoned and deported last time around? In Latvia, June 1941 deportations were like 1/6th of the population, correct?


NATO should have been dissolved 30 years ago, it's pointless doing it now, but if it had gone when it's time was over, we would IMO be living in a much safer world today.

Russia could easily have been a benign neighbour, many people believed this.

KISSINGER’S WARNING
Henry Kissinger, the former secretary of state of the United States, while writing for the Wall Street Journal in 2014 following the annexation of Crimea pointed out that Ukraine cannot act as an outpost for either parties but rather should act as a bridge between the West and Russia.

He said that Ukraine is an inalienable part of Russia’s history and identity - similar but in varying degrees to what Russian president Vladimir Putin claimed in his speech before the so-called ‘military operation’ in Ukraine.

“To treat Ukraine as part of an East-West confrontation would scuttle for decades any prospect to bring Russia and the West — especially Russia and Europe — into a cooperative international system,” Kissinger wrote for the Wall Street Journal.

Kissinger also suggested that Ukrainian independence is a relatively new idea since it has been only two decades that the nation is independent and power-sharing between both Ukrainian speaking west Ukraine and Russophone eastern and southeastern Ukraine should share power to better govern their country.


Plenty of far more intelligent and knowledgeable people than anyone on this forum has come to the same conclusions about NATO expansion.

In 1998, George Kennan, an American diplomat and historian known as the ‘architect of the Cold War’, said NATO expansion would mean nothing less than “the beginning of a new Cold War,” warning that it would be a “tragic mistake.”

“Of course, this will provoke a bad reaction from Russia. And when that happens, [those who made decisions about NATO expansion] will say that we have always told you the Russians are like that. But it’s just not true,” he said.

In 1997, 50 prominent foreign policy experts, including former senators, military leaders, and diplomats, sent an open letter to then-President Bill Clinton outlining their opposition to NATO expansion. “It is a policy error of historic proportions,” they wrote.

Conservative political commentator Pat Buchanan wrote in his 1999 book ‘A Republic, Not an Empire’, “By moving NATO onto Russia’s front porch, we have scheduled a twenty-first-century confrontation.”

The current director of the CIA, William Burns, said in 2008 that for Russia, “Ukraine’s accession to NATO is the brightest of all red lines.”

“I have not yet found anyone who would consider Ukraine in NATO as something other than a direct challenge to Russia’s interests,” he said.

These are just some of the statements made by major American political figures, but it would be possible to compile an entire book from forecasts made in the 1990s alone. And after the Ukraine crisis began in 2014, and Russia’s subsequent reabsorption of Crimea, opinions about the folly of further NATO expansion were heard more and more often in the West.

Over the past eight years, former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, Henry Kissinger, famed American scholar of Russian studies Stephen Cohen, and many other experts have issued warnings about NATO expansion.

Are you for peace or victory?

The decisions made by Western government officials over the past 20-25 years have clearly contradicted the recommendations of these experts.


The US lead West made a terrible blunder and now Europe has to pay for the consequences, because sure as chicken lay eggs the Europe is going to end up paying to rebuild Ukraine.
 
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Mon Dec 05, 2022 2:44 pm

johns624 wrote:
petertenthije wrote:
johns624 wrote:
Belgium is down to 2 frigates and their replacements are only going to have half the VLS tubes as their Dutch sisters. I'm sorry, but 8 cells just isn't enough in today's world. They're just being cheap.

You could say the Belgians are cheap, and the USA are wise.

Another way to look at it, is that Belgium is wise, and the USA are spending like drunk sailors.

The truth, as always, is somewhere in the middle.

That said, not everyone has the unlimited resources and/or the willingness to buy fleets of littoral combat ships, only to find out they are trash and retire them before they are even 10 years old.

Or to design a destroyer so expensive yet ineffective, that despite spending an obscene amount of money it is not even activated (Zumwalt).
Not adding another 8-cell VLS when you already have the room for it and the associated sensors is foolish. It makes the ship much more vulnerable. I'm not going to defend the building of the LCS and Zumwalts because I think they were both mistakes. I will say that we were smart enough to continue to build more Arleigh Burkes, probably the best AD destroyer out there. We also learned from our mistakes and are building the Constellation-class frigates, which is an Italian-French design, for those who say that we never buy anything from Europe.


The question you haven't answered is who is Belgium building these frigates to fight, it could easily be argued that Belgium doesn't need a navy, it's hemmed in by France with a powerful navy to the South, across the English Channel is the British with the RN, and to the North are the Dutch, but between Belgium any any potential threat are also Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Finland and the Baltic States, why does Belgium even need a defense force of any kind? A coast guard is probably all they really need.
 
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c933103
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Mon Dec 05, 2022 2:46 pm

Kiwirob wrote:
johns624 wrote:
petertenthije wrote:
You could say the Belgians are cheap, and the USA are wise.

Another way to look at it, is that Belgium is wise, and the USA are spending like drunk sailors.

The truth, as always, is somewhere in the middle.

That said, not everyone has the unlimited resources and/or the willingness to buy fleets of littoral combat ships, only to find out they are trash and retire them before they are even 10 years old.

Or to design a destroyer so expensive yet ineffective, that despite spending an obscene amount of money it is not even activated (Zumwalt).
Not adding another 8-cell VLS when you already have the room for it and the associated sensors is foolish. It makes the ship much more vulnerable. I'm not going to defend the building of the LCS and Zumwalts because I think they were both mistakes. I will say that we were smart enough to continue to build more Arleigh Burkes, probably the best AD destroyer out there. We also learned from our mistakes and are building the Constellation-class frigates, which is an Italian-French design, for those who say that we never buy anything from Europe.


The question you haven't answered is who is Belgium building these frigates to fight, it could easily be argued that Belgium doesn't need a navy, it's hemmed in by France with a powerful navy to the South, across the English Channel is the British with the RN, and to the North are the Dutch, but between Belgium any any potential threat are also Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Finland and the Baltic States, why does Belgium even need a defense force of any kind? A coast guard is probably all they really need.

So you think they should just ride on security capacity of other countries for free?
 
GDB
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Mon Dec 05, 2022 2:51 pm

johns624 wrote:
GDB wrote:
johns624 wrote:
You're another one fooled by "their size". The Netherlands, while small in area, have a relatively large population. They have a population almost twice that of Sweden and three times that of Denmark, Finland or Norway. They choose to have a small military because that's what they want, they could afford much more. Their GDP is also much larger than any of those four countries. Yet, their military isn't any bigger, overall. I don't really consider having a few colonies (or whatever their current PC term for them is) in the nice, sunny, warm Caribbean as having out of area responsibilities.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_E ... population
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_s ... P_(nominal)


I am well aware of the size and population, been there plenty of times, you?
Out of area also means supporting everything from NATO led operations, to anti piracy, those Caribbean ops you mock are counter narcotics and similar, often working with the USCG, thus helping to prevent some of it reaching the US. Ungrateful enough?
Nonetheless doing this needs naval, auxiliary and transport resources, I note you don’t dismiss their lack of AD to donate to Ukraine with those, since beyond the Stingers they have sent, the US is in the same position there too. Aside from AMRAAM reloads for NASAMS.

Norway shares a border with Russia, major concerns about nefarious activity there, along with the UK Royal Marines, the Dutch Marines have long trained there, something revisited again more recently, for that you need amphibious support, which they have, so not only for sunning themselves with.

Aid sent so far, though not all are announced;
http://www.oryxspioenkop.com/2022/09/go ... itary.html
Yeah, I've been there several times. Even had a personal tour of the whole Arnhem battlefield as a birthday gift from my wife. I'll still hold to my opinion that the Netherlands and Belgium don't contribute to the common defense as much as much smaller countries with lesser populations and GDPs. Their geographic location shouldn't matter.


Granted Belgium hasn't always been in the forefront of stepping up, I would rate the Netherlands contributions, in deeds as much as money, as being greater consistently.
 
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Kiwirob
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Mon Dec 05, 2022 2:56 pm

GDB wrote:
Vintage wrote:
Kiwirob wrote:
There is absolutely no reason to suggest Russia would have tried to expand if NATO didn't exist.
Other than the fact that they did try to expand on Feb 24, 2022, just as the hawks predicted that they would in the early 90s. Putin isn't the first tyrant to lead Russia, and it's a good bet that he won't be the last.


As you have been on the site for a relatively short time, not many years, your surprise at that callous comment and historically nonsensical view of Russia, NATO and Ukraine is understandable. Not for us who have been here years. It is after all pure Putin playbook.
Still, must be nice to live in a nation protected by NATO, a founder member, (while it seems always slagging it off), country of birth? Nope, New Zealand gets the same.
Begging the question is there anywhere that would meet the exacting standards of.......something.

Russia I suppose, meets all the ‘own the libs’ criteria , but not so keen on free speech there, however, still good enough for mere Ukrainians to be invaded, murdered, tortured etc.
War crimes investigations finding, already in just the liberated areas, victims of orchestrated sexual violence ranging from 4 to 85 years old, wonder why those East European nations wanted, not pressured, not forced, to join NATO.
Experience, within living memory.
If Kiwi wants to hitch his support to that wagon of course he is free to, ‘free’ being the operative word.


I only slag off Norway when it's necessary, as a taxpayer (and almost a citizen) it is my right to do so, my current beef is with the utter stupidity starting next year BEV taxation and the intention to consider fish farming as a resource that should be taxed like the oil industry. Fish farms will be taxed like the oil industry and the profits kept for future Norwegians. Great for Scotland, Canada and New Zealand who will benefit from this stupidity.

https://www.ey.com/en_no/tax/resource-r ... quaculture
 
GDB
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Mon Dec 05, 2022 2:57 pm

Kiwirob wrote:
Phosphorus wrote:
Kiwirob wrote:

Now you're being an idiot, the end of the cold war was wasted, it was the perfect opportunity for the world to disarm, we screwed that up. There is absolutely no reason to suggest Russia would have tried to expand if NATO didn't exist.

An EU on friendly terms with Russia would be a far better outcome for everyone than the situation we have today. NATO should have ended 30 years ago.

https://www.thecitizen.in/index.php/en/ ... -Dissolved

Uh, oh. So you say that pointing out -- obvious insecurity of rather small countries, who don't like to be overrun by revanchist expansionist rogue neighbours -- and thus prefer to band together into defence pacts -- is being an idiot. All right then, your views on intelligence, unsurprisingly, are confirmed again.

The revisionist school of thought (to which I stupidly also did subscribe, too, for a couple of years in 1991-93) that tiger does change his stripes -- err, that Russia can be a benign neighbour, co-existence with whom is possible, even for those who was part of their empire in the past -- has been proven wrong, and wrong again. Multiple times over.

Calling "being an idiot" people, who see this obvious failure, is actually raising serious questions about mental capacity of the author.

And a link to an article of a Russian shill on why "NATO should be dissolved" is disingenuous. Kremlin would agree with this opinion too, why should it have any value?
Rather, ask folks in Poland or Lithuania. Even Finland. Whether they think NATO should be dissolved.

Maybe, NATO is the only reason those Lithuanians are not sent, to clear snow, in Siberia, all over again.
What proportion of Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian population was shot, imprisoned and deported last time around? In Latvia, June 1941 deportations were like 1/6th of the population, correct?


NATO should have been dissolved 30 years ago, it's pointless doing it now, but if it had gone when it's time was over, we would IMO be living in a much safer world today.

Russia could easily have been a benign neighbour, many people believed this.

KISSINGER’S WARNING
Henry Kissinger, the former secretary of state of the United States, while writing for the Wall Street Journal in 2014 following the annexation of Crimea pointed out that Ukraine cannot act as an outpost for either parties but rather should act as a bridge between the West and Russia.

He said that Ukraine is an inalienable part of Russia’s history and identity - similar but in varying degrees to what Russian president Vladimir Putin claimed in his speech before the so-called ‘military operation’ in Ukraine.

“To treat Ukraine as part of an East-West confrontation would scuttle for decades any prospect to bring Russia and the West — especially Russia and Europe — into a cooperative international system,” Kissinger wrote for the Wall Street Journal.

Kissinger also suggested that Ukrainian independence is a relatively new idea since it has been only two decades that the nation is independent and power-sharing between both Ukrainian speaking west Ukraine and Russophone eastern and southeastern Ukraine should share power to better govern their country.


Plenty of far more intelligent and knowledgeable people than anyone on this forum has come to the same conclusions about NATO expansion.

In 1998, George Kennan, an American diplomat and historian known as the ‘architect of the Cold War’, said NATO expansion would mean nothing less than “the beginning of a new Cold War,” warning that it would be a “tragic mistake.”

“Of course, this will provoke a bad reaction from Russia. And when that happens, [those who made decisions about NATO expansion] will say that we have always told you the Russians are like that. But it’s just not true,” he said.

In 1997, 50 prominent foreign policy experts, including former senators, military leaders, and diplomats, sent an open letter to then-President Bill Clinton outlining their opposition to NATO expansion. “It is a policy error of historic proportions,” they wrote.

Conservative political commentator Pat Buchanan wrote in his 1999 book ‘A Republic, Not an Empire’, “By moving NATO onto Russia’s front porch, we have scheduled a twenty-first-century confrontation.”

The current director of the CIA, William Burns, said in 2008 that for Russia, “Ukraine’s accession to NATO is the brightest of all red lines.”

“I have not yet found anyone who would consider Ukraine in NATO as something other than a direct challenge to Russia’s interests,” he said.

These are just some of the statements made by major American political figures, but it would be possible to compile an entire book from forecasts made in the 1990s alone. And after the Ukraine crisis began in 2014, and Russia’s subsequent reabsorption of Crimea, opinions about the folly of further NATO expansion were heard more and more often in the West.

Over the past eight years, former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, Henry Kissinger, famed American scholar of Russian studies Stephen Cohen, and many other experts have issued warnings about NATO expansion.

Are you for peace or victory?

The decisions made by Western government officials over the past 20-25 years have clearly contradicted the recommendations of these experts.


The US lead West made a terrible blunder and now Europe has to pay for the consequences, because sure as chicken lay eggs the Europe is going to end up paying to rebuild Ukraine.


Russia launched attacks against it's neighbors long before the new NATO members joined, remember the first Chechen wars? Similar tactics to Ukraine, large Russian losses too.
Maybe that, as well as their own experiences, far from the safety of the other side of the world, these new members joined.
No one forced them to, however you try and spin it.

And this year has proved them right, Putin's deranged, ahistorical rant of an 'essay', his own Mein Kampf of sorts, is very revealing.
He does not think they have a right to exist, ditto the Baltic states.
You sound like a ghost from the past, the ones who kept making excuses for Hitler through the 30's, also those who parroted Stalin's lines too.
 
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Kiwirob
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Mon Dec 05, 2022 2:58 pm

c933103 wrote:
So you think they should just ride on security capacity of other countries for free?


In some respects yes, they clearly don't need a navy. It's a waste of money and resources.
 
johns624
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Mon Dec 05, 2022 3:27 pm

Kiwirob wrote:
c933103 wrote:
So you think they should just ride on security capacity of other countries for free?


In some respects yes, they clearly don't need a navy. It's a waste of money and resources.
It isn't to protect just Belgium, it's to contribute to the defense of all of Europe. They have one of the largest ports in the EU (Antwerp) so sea trade is important to their economy. They should contribute to it. Their army is almost all infantry so that wouldn't be a big contribution in a modern, industrial war.
 
JJJ
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Mon Dec 05, 2022 3:34 pm

johns624 wrote:
Kiwirob wrote:
c933103 wrote:
So you think they should just ride on security capacity of other countries for free?


In some respects yes, they clearly don't need a navy. It's a waste of money and resources.
It isn't to protect just Belgium, it's to contribute to the defense of all of Europe. They have one of the largest ports in the EU (Antwerp) so sea trade is important to their economy. They should contribute to it. Their army is almost all infantry so that wouldn't be a big contribution in a modern, industrial war.


In the context of NATO and common European Defence it makes perfect sense for some countries to be good at a particular thing and others in something else.

The thing dragging European Defence is not how much it spends, but it being spent here and there.
 
GDB
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Mon Dec 05, 2022 3:38 pm

JJJ wrote:
johns624 wrote:
Kiwirob wrote:

In some respects yes, they clearly don't need a navy. It's a waste of money and resources.
It isn't to protect just Belgium, it's to contribute to the defense of all of Europe. They have one of the largest ports in the EU (Antwerp) so sea trade is important to their economy. They should contribute to it. Their army is almost all infantry so that wouldn't be a big contribution in a modern, industrial war.


In the context of NATO and common European Defence it makes perfect sense for some countries to be good at a particular thing and others in something else.

The thing dragging European Defence is not how much it spends, but it being spent here and there.


In the Cold War Belgium went for naval counter mine warfare in a major way.

Post Cold War they indeed went too far in downgrading, they have not covered themselves in glory with supplying Ukraine either, largely due to that downgrading.
They have of course a very major small arms industry, so they have, in part leveraged that.
https://www.oryxspioenkop.com/2022/08/a ... apons.html
Last edited by GDB on Mon Dec 05, 2022 3:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
 
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Phosphorus
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Mon Dec 05, 2022 3:39 pm

GDB wrote:
Kiwirob wrote:
Phosphorus wrote:
Uh, oh. So you say that pointing out -- obvious insecurity of rather small countries, who don't like to be overrun by revanchist expansionist rogue neighbours -- and thus prefer to band together into defence pacts -- is being an idiot. All right then, your views on intelligence, unsurprisingly, are confirmed again.

The revisionist school of thought (to which I stupidly also did subscribe, too, for a couple of years in 1991-93) that tiger does change his stripes -- err, that Russia can be a benign neighbour, co-existence with whom is possible, even for those who was part of their empire in the past -- has been proven wrong, and wrong again. Multiple times over.

Calling "being an idiot" people, who see this obvious failure, is actually raising serious questions about mental capacity of the author.

And a link to an article of a Russian shill on why "NATO should be dissolved" is disingenuous. Kremlin would agree with this opinion too, why should it have any value?
Rather, ask folks in Poland or Lithuania. Even Finland. Whether they think NATO should be dissolved.

Maybe, NATO is the only reason those Lithuanians are not sent, to clear snow, in Siberia, all over again.
What proportion of Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian population was shot, imprisoned and deported last time around? In Latvia, June 1941 deportations were like 1/6th of the population, correct?


NATO should have been dissolved 30 years ago, it's pointless doing it now, but if it had gone when it's time was over, we would IMO be living in a much safer world today.

Russia could easily have been a benign neighbour, many people believed this.

KISSINGER’S WARNING
Henry Kissinger, the former secretary of state of the United States, while writing for the Wall Street Journal in 2014 following the annexation of Crimea pointed out that Ukraine cannot act as an outpost for either parties but rather should act as a bridge between the West and Russia.

He said that Ukraine is an inalienable part of Russia’s history and identity - similar but in varying degrees to what Russian president Vladimir Putin claimed in his speech before the so-called ‘military operation’ in Ukraine.

“To treat Ukraine as part of an East-West confrontation would scuttle for decades any prospect to bring Russia and the West — especially Russia and Europe — into a cooperative international system,” Kissinger wrote for the Wall Street Journal.

Kissinger also suggested that Ukrainian independence is a relatively new idea since it has been only two decades that the nation is independent and power-sharing between both Ukrainian speaking west Ukraine and Russophone eastern and southeastern Ukraine should share power to better govern their country.


Plenty of far more intelligent and knowledgeable people than anyone on this forum has come to the same conclusions about NATO expansion.

In 1998, George Kennan, an American diplomat and historian known as the ‘architect of the Cold War’, said NATO expansion would mean nothing less than “the beginning of a new Cold War,” warning that it would be a “tragic mistake.”

“Of course, this will provoke a bad reaction from Russia. And when that happens, [those who made decisions about NATO expansion] will say that we have always told you the Russians are like that. But it’s just not true,” he said.

In 1997, 50 prominent foreign policy experts, including former senators, military leaders, and diplomats, sent an open letter to then-President Bill Clinton outlining their opposition to NATO expansion. “It is a policy error of historic proportions,” they wrote.

Conservative political commentator Pat Buchanan wrote in his 1999 book ‘A Republic, Not an Empire’, “By moving NATO onto Russia’s front porch, we have scheduled a twenty-first-century confrontation.”

The current director of the CIA, William Burns, said in 2008 that for Russia, “Ukraine’s accession to NATO is the brightest of all red lines.”

“I have not yet found anyone who would consider Ukraine in NATO as something other than a direct challenge to Russia’s interests,” he said.

These are just some of the statements made by major American political figures, but it would be possible to compile an entire book from forecasts made in the 1990s alone. And after the Ukraine crisis began in 2014, and Russia’s subsequent reabsorption of Crimea, opinions about the folly of further NATO expansion were heard more and more often in the West.

Over the past eight years, former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, Henry Kissinger, famed American scholar of Russian studies Stephen Cohen, and many other experts have issued warnings about NATO expansion.

Are you for peace or victory?

The decisions made by Western government officials over the past 20-25 years have clearly contradicted the recommendations of these experts.


The US lead West made a terrible blunder and now Europe has to pay for the consequences, because sure as chicken lay eggs the Europe is going to end up paying to rebuild Ukraine.


Russia launched attacks against it's neighbors long before the new NATO members joined, remember the first Chechen wars? Similar tactics to Ukraine, large Russian losses too.
Maybe that, as well as their own experiences, far from the safety of the other side of the world, these new members joined.
No one forced them to, however you try and spin it.

And this year has proved them right, Putin's deranged, ahistorical rant of an 'essay', his own Mein Kampf of sorts, is very revealing.
He does not think they have a right to exist, ditto the Baltic states.
You sound like a ghost from the past, the ones who kept making excuses for Hitler through the 30's, also those who parroted Stalin's lines too.


Indeed, right out of 1930's indeed. The fact that "America First Committee" contained celebrities is well-known. It contained plenty of smart people too.
(Well, AFAIR informal IQ tests, ran in preparation to the Nuremberg trial, have shown most of the defendants to be consistently above 130. (Famous exception was Julius Streicher, who while above 100, was ridiculed as an idiot by fellow Nazi leaders).)
Meaning you aren't necessarily a good person, if you know your stuff.

Kissinger asked for carpet bombing of Hanoi, when he didn't like North Vietnamese negotiator's posture. Great humanitarian, eh?

Even Kennan, tbh, isn't a candidate to be expected to be even-handed. His views, helping shape the Cold War response of the West, were against threat of Communism to the US.
Once the threat of Communism from Kremlin was over, the mission was accomplished. Moreover, the new era was at hand, no? Isn't he to be expected to say that?
That "petty historical squabbles" were rattling that part of the world afterwards -- was actually a counterpoint to these ideas.
 
johns624
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Mon Dec 05, 2022 3:47 pm

GDB wrote:
JJJ wrote:
johns624 wrote:
It isn't to protect just Belgium, it's to contribute to the defense of all of Europe. They have one of the largest ports in the EU (Antwerp) so sea trade is important to their economy. They should contribute to it. Their army is almost all infantry so that wouldn't be a big contribution in a modern, industrial war.


In the context of NATO and common European Defence it makes perfect sense for some countries to be good at a particular thing and others in something else.

The thing dragging European Defence is not how much it spends, but it being spent here and there.


In the Cold War Belgium went for naval counter mine warfare in a major way.
I agree. It's why Canada concentrates on her navy and air force and why I wouldn't ridicule Germany for having a smaller navy, as long as their air force and army were well provided for. The Baltic states are all about light infantry and fighting a delaying action until heavier help arrives. Finland needs mainly an army and air force. Those are just examples.
 
Newark727
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Mon Dec 05, 2022 4:48 pm

Kiwirob wrote:
Would that war have happened if NATO no longer existed or if it still did hadn't expanded to the east?


All you're doing here is arguing from a counterfactual. I can do the same thing - if NATO no longer existed or hadn't accepted the eastern European states (by their own choice! nobody was forcing them!) would Russia have not attempted the same things it has in Ukraine in Latvia, Lithuania, et al? After all, the Baltic states have Russian speaking minorities for a sufficiently revanchist leader to "protect" as well.

So. Let's come back from hypothetical-land. Back here in observable reality, three non-NATO states have had uninvited Russian military presence since 1990 - Moldova, Ukraine, and Georgia. Zero NATO states have had the same. This fact, on its own, is already more than enough to argue for NATO's continued necessity
 
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Tugger
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Mon Dec 05, 2022 4:53 pm

Kiwirob wrote:
Newark727 wrote:
Russia just launched the biggest European war since 1945 and you're saying a defensive alliance against it has no reason to exist? Russia's actions created more than seven million new refugees in less than a year (https://data.unhcr.org/en/situations/ukraine} and you're saying that it's those other migrants that are the real threat to stability? Like, have you just been asleep since February or something?


Would that war have happened if NATO no longer existed or if it still did hadn't expanded to the east?
[...]

Yes, absolutely, the war and Russian expansion would have happened even if NATO did not exist.

Tugg
 
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Revelation
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Mon Dec 05, 2022 4:57 pm

Kiwirob wrote:
Would that war have happened if NATO no longer existed or if it still did hadn't expanded to the east? The EU's expansion East is also problematic but for other reasons, the freedom of movement clause should have been suspended for a minimum 10 years before new members could take advantage of it. A friend of mine owns a medium sized business in Klaipeda, he wants to expand but there's no people anymore, Lithuania's population has dropped from 3.4m in 2004 to 2.6m today.

C'mon, man, Russia's population growth has also gone negative since 2019 ( ref: https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/R ... population ) and they clearly aren't in NATO or the EU either.

Your friend in Klaipeda (another place I recently visited) is going to have to cope with the same thing most businesses in advanced economies are coping with, the fact that the huge cost of raising a child has been deterring many young couples from having more babies for many years now. China can blame the single child policy, but in the end, it all points the same way. Too many old people, not enough young people.

Kiwirob wrote:
There is absolutely no reason to suggest Russia would have tried to expand if NATO didn't exist.

The idea that NATO is the only thing triggering Putin is wrong, it goes far beyond NATO's existence.

My extended post on the topic: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1470285&start=10300#p23564845

Quoting Putin himself: "Russians and Ukrainians were one people – a single whole. These words were not driven by some short-term considerations or prompted by the current political context. It is what I have said on numerous occasions and what I firmly believe.".

Putin has constructed a complete ideology based on imaginary Nazis, Eastern Orthodox mythology and Russian imperialism. NATO is only a small part of the picture, a "short-term consideration". The long term consideration is his belief that Russians and Ukrainians are one people. The fact that so many Ukrainians are defending Ukraine with their lives puts the lie to all of that, but he's not going to give up on his ideology that easily.

Kiwirob wrote:
An EU on friendly terms with Russia would be a far better outcome for everyone than the situation we have today. NATO should have ended 30 years ago.

EU has been on friendly terms with Russia for decades now.

The real issue is Russia's paranoid, self-serving, imperialist ideology.

The Grand Duke of Lithuania once ruled all of Ukraine and Belarus, should Lithuania claim all that territory for itself too?

Russia and Ukraine are not one people, no matter how many times Putin and the Russian media repeat that slogan.

Phosphorus wrote:
What proportion of Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian population was shot, imprisoned and deported last time around? In Latvia, June 1941 deportations were like 1/6th of the population, correct?

I recently visited The Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights in Vilnius. A very sobering presentation of that era. I walked the same halls where many of those to be shot or deported were imprisioned.

My dad was born in Lithuania in 1938, my mom in 1940. Both of their families fled when the USSR occupied the Baltic States that they were "entitled" to via the secret protocols of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Treaty that Stalin signed with Hitler. Other family members did not flee and paid a huge price for that decision. All were impacted by the events of that time.

Kiwirob wrote:
Plenty of far more intelligent and knowledgeable people than anyone on this forum has come to the same conclusions about NATO expansion.

People who suggest Russia's right to have an empire outweighs the rights of Ukraine, the Baltic States and the former Warsaw Pact countries right to not be a part of Russia's empire aren't intelligent and knowledgeable people.

JJJ wrote:
We have discussed several times why the 2% GDP in defence is a red herring because, for starters, different countries have different ways of measuring what military spending is.

Military pensions and healthcare which is a significant part of US military spending are not defined as military spending in many European budgets. A lot of military R&D goes through Ministry of Industry instead of Defence.

Let's talk specific capabilities, pooling etc. rather than an arbitrary threshold.

It's not a "red herring" if it's the metric the NATO member countries all agreed to commit to.

Even if it's not the metric you want to use, the idea that the German Chancellor proposed an increase defense spending by 50% in one year is an admission that they have a lot of ground to make up with regard to defense spending.

One source that supports what I am saying is not a US right wing for-profit news corporation but a Swedish peace research institute: https://www.sipri.org/commentary/blog/2 ... y-spending -- it's from March so it's just about the proposal and not what was actually enacted, but, again, shows how much ground needs to be made up.

The metric being used by the German Chancellor is the 2% GDP metric, which to me is a validation of its merit in an operational sense. The article also points out the proposal still won't reach the 2% metric ("This leaves a funding gap of €25.2 billion in 2022 and €35.5 billion by 2026. All in all, the German government would have to invest an additional €151.5 billion over these five years to fulfil Scholz’s pledge."). It also points out the deferment in spending often means paying more for various platforms than one would have if they had been purchased earlier.
Last edited by Revelation on Mon Dec 05, 2022 5:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
 
GDB
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Mon Dec 05, 2022 5:04 pm

Done recently, a look at how the German response to Russia changed, due to not counterfactual history, not any perceived threat to Russia (unless you count being successful liberal democracies a threat, which Russia seems to, has always done so in fact), how events in real life, this year, has changed that. It's called admitting you were wrong and the German government has been grown up and sensible enough to do that and act accordingly;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_DFB1kuY_E
 
johns624
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Re: NATO and related topics discussion

Mon Dec 05, 2022 5:44 pm

Newark727 wrote:
Kiwirob wrote:
Would that war have happened if NATO no longer existed or if it still did hadn't expanded to the east?


All you're doing here is arguing from a counterfactual. I can do the same thing - if NATO no longer existed or hadn't accepted the eastern European states (by their own choice! nobody was forcing them!) would Russia have not attempted the same things it has in Ukraine in Latvia, Lithuania, et al? After all, the Baltic states have Russian speaking minorities for a sufficiently revanchist leader to "protect" as well.

So. Let's come back from hypothetical-land. Back here in observable reality, three non-NATO states have had uninvited Russian military presence since 1990 - Moldova, Ukraine, and Georgia. Zero NATO states have had the same. This fact, on its own, is already more than enough to argue for NATO's continued necessity
Well put!

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