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.