Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. “Interagency Consensus” DIME Not Worth a Plugged Nickel on NATO

 

NATO at 70Everyone in the vaunted “interagency,” is well aware of the concept of the instruments of national power. The old Army War College acronym is “DIME,” for diplomatic, informational, military, and economic tools. You will notice that each tends to rest primarily in different departments, different agencies in the “interagency.” This would be why you need multiple agencies to coordinate rather than always operating “in their own lane.”

Just as Madison Avenue is best at selling Madison Avenue, so too the permanent bureaucracy and its affiliates, allies, patrons, and petitioners all affirm competent and selfless expertise in the face of all evidence. Indeed, the reverence for the “foreign policy consensus” evokes the British Parliament’s ritual prostration before the NHS. Thank God that we finally have a president who feels no such compulsion, the first such since Ronald Reagan.

H.R. McMasters showed real professionalism in his honchoing of President Trump’s National Security Strategy. He actually ensured the “interagency” worked to produce a coordinated draft that conformed to the Commander in Chief’s clear intent, where “ commander’s intent” is a military term of art for guidance that must be fully supported. This baseline document was actually published within the first year of President Trump’s administration.

What has apparently been a great surprise to the Deep State is that this president actually meant what he published. There has been no turning on the primacy of our economic tools of national power, both in the trade and energy sectors. President Trump helps American workers, and businesses, and the energy consumers of the world, by opening the natural gas and oil “pipelines” wide, flooding the world market.

This week, while the media tells you, if at all, about NATO’s 70th anniversary, the real story is Germany and Russia back to their bad old ways. Once again, a German leader is conniving with a Russian leader to do a deal of mutual benefit, at the expense of the states unlucky to be situated in between them.

The German leader wants uninterrupted natural gas from Russia, not America, and does not want to be vulnerable to Putin’s next pipeline power play in Ukraine. Putin turns off the gas when he wants to punish a non-compliant Ukrainian people. Now, with a bilateral agreement, opposed by others including the United States, Nord Stream 2 will follow the sea bed from Russia to Germany, parallel to Nord Stream 1, doubling capacity.

This is the same Germany, and the same German leader, showing complete contempt for NATO and the United States, as it spends only half the mutually agreed target of two percent GDP on its own national defense. The once powerful, well equipped, and competent German military is a pathetic joke. Oh, they can muster the sort of special forces that have long been needed to deal with terrorists, from back in the 1970s when communist gangs were serious business. But the navy, and the formerly greatest tank force in the world? Jokes, very sad jokes.

The American foreign policy establishment’s answer has been to talk around and paper over reality. President Trump, like President Reagan, is having none of this. As he prepared to fly to London, Secretary of State Pompeo was hammering away on the latest numbers, showing that NATO countries had finally come around to actual increases in their own defense spending. This reality, although markedly uneven, conveys good messages to Putin, to the American people, and to the people of Europe, who have finally heard from their leaders that their nations are worth spending at least a small slice of the economic pie on national security.

The countries to the west of Russia, as a whole, dwarf the Russian economy. Indeed, Texas is bigger than the Russian economy. While it is true that Putin can spend a much higher percentage on military equipment and personnel, without losing political power, the sheer difference in scale of economies creates the potential for the rest of Europe to shut down any Russian dream of renewed empire in the west. And, as long as Donald J. Trump is president of the United States, the price of natural gas and crude oil has an upper limit, throttling Russian ambitions.

The use of economic and informational tools, along with some diplomacy, is far wiser than talk of armed confrontation between the only two countries in the world capable of rendering each other smoldering ruins in mere hours. I laid this out back in July of 2018, in “Loose Cannons and Nuclear Buttons: Dealing with Russia.” I quoted the relevant portions of President Trump’s NSS, with some explanation. Looking back, President Trump’s strategy has not changed and he is succeeding within the limits of European politics and U.S. constitutional powers.

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  1. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron MillerJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Even if Germany determined that Russia does not theaten Europe and therefore NATO is no longer necessary, would it be wise to keep our military personnel in Germany apart from NATO preparations? Should our troops remain as a check against possible changes in Germany (not imminent changes) or deterrence against Russian activities within the borders of their European allies? 

    • #1
    • December 4, 2019, at 6:54 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  2. Hang On Member
    Hang OnJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The problems of Nato are the same problems of the Delian League millennia ago. Nato was set up for one set of circumstances that no longer apply. Nato no longer has a clear purpose nor a clear adversary. Macron wants to make the adversary terrorist organizations and redefine its purpose accordingly. As a result, Russia would not be the adversary. That is very much to the dislike of the Interagency who continue to see Russia as the adversaries. The expansion of Nato is very much a clear indication of this assessment in trying to make Russia an enemy.

    It would be far wiser to drop Russia as “the” enemy, fire the people in the interagency who continue to cling to this outdated view (they were on full display in the Ukraine hearings) and take Macron up on his proposition. Macron is interested in the Sahel, we should be interested in this hemisphere with Mexico and Venezuela in particular.

    And all opposition to the pipeline should be dropped.

    • #2
    • December 4, 2019, at 8:05 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  3. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHillJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    To his credit, POTUS is focused on China. Domestic politics is the only thing that has kept Russia in the news. And because they’re all on the same side no one in the media seems to ask the Democrats, “If Putin’s aim is to divide Americans and undercut our faith in our leadership and institutions, why are you hell bent on helping them?”

    While the “Progressives” insist Trump is a Russian stooge, it is Merkel that is giving Putin the keys to the West’s front door. Double Germany’s dependence on Russian natural gas and one winter, when he sees it as being advantageous, he will simply turn off the spigot. 

     

    • #3
    • December 4, 2019, at 8:19 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  4. Arahant Member

    Merkel, Merkel? Where was she raised? The German “Democratic Republic,” you say? An East German colluding with the Soviets? Hasn’t changed much, has she?

    • #4
    • December 4, 2019, at 9:11 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  5. Hang On Member
    Hang OnJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    EJHill (View Comment):

    While the “Progressives” insist Trump is a Russian stooge, it is Merkel that is giving Putin the keys to the West’s front door. Double Germany’s dependence on Russian natural gas and one winter, when he sees it as being advantageous, he will simply turn off the spigot. 

     

    So? Let the Russians do this. They will only do it once. It would be to Norway’s benefit. 

    • #5
    • December 4, 2019, at 9:17 AM PST
    • Like
  6. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Democrats are aligned with Russia on anti-fracking politics in the West. See here. Lefties in the US freaked out about $40K in Facebook ads by people with Russian names, but gladly work hand in glove with Russia spending $95M to stop energy production in the West.

     

    The Centre for European Studies found that the Russian government has invested $95 million in NGOs campaigning against shale gas. Russia Today television ran endless anti-fracking stories, including one that “frackers are the moral equivalent of paedophiles”. The US Director of National Intelligence stated that “RT runs anti-fracking programming … reflective of the Russian Government’s concern about the impact of fracking and US natural gas production on the global energy market and the potential challenges to Gazprom’s profitability.” Pro-Russian politicians such as Lord Truscott (married to a Russian army colonel’s daughter) made speeches in parliament against fracking.

    • #6
    • December 4, 2019, at 9:28 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  7. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    I am heading toward the point of view that NATO has outlived its usefulness and needs to go. Not sure why we would tie ourselves to an organization that members do not feel like protecting themselves and it should be left to us. Best to be honest about it and remove our sacrificial forces from their countries.

    • #7
    • December 4, 2019, at 12:18 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  8. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Merkel, Merkel? Where was she raised? The German “Democratic Republic,” you say? An East German colluding with the Soviets? Hasn’t changed much, has she?

    One wonders what was in her Stasi file. A certain former KGB colonel certainly knows.

    • #8
    • December 4, 2019, at 2:38 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  9. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    Democrats are aligned with Russia on anti-fracking politics in the West. See here. Lefties in the US freaked out about $40K in Facebook ads by people with Russian names, but gladly work hand in glove with Russia spending $95M to stop energy production in the West.

     

    The Centre for European Studies found that the Russian government has invested $95 million in NGOs campaigning against shale gas. Russia Today television ran endless anti-fracking stories, including one that “frackers are the moral equivalent of paedophiles”. The US Director of National Intelligence stated that “RT runs anti-fracking programming … reflective of the Russian Government’s concern about the impact of fracking and US natural gas production on the global energy market and the potential challenges to Gazprom’s profitability.” Pro-Russian politicians such as Lord Truscott (married to a Russian army colonel’s daughter) made speeches in parliament against fracking.

    The Soviets supported and encouraged the anti-nuclear power and anti-nuclear movement genres for the same reasons.

    • #9
    • December 4, 2019, at 2:40 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  10. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    Even if Germany determined that Russia does not theaten Europe and therefore NATO is no longer necessary, would it be wise to keep our military personnel in Germany apart from NATO preparations? Should our troops remain as a check against possible changes in Germany (not imminent changes) 

    Well, there is that, and it is real, even if no one says so in polite company.

    • #10
    • December 4, 2019, at 2:42 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  11. Arahant Member

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Merkel, Merkel? Where was she raised? The German “Democratic Republic,” you say? An East German colluding with the Soviets? Hasn’t changed much, has she?

    One wonders what was in her Stasi file. A certain former KGB colonel certainly knows.

    Junior member.

    • #11
    • December 4, 2019, at 3:45 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  12. Duane Oyen Member
    Duane OyenJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I only quibble with this in one way. GW Bush was a good executive, listened to his people- but when they let him down, he was willing to disagree and ignore their advice. Condi Rice was a Foggy Bottom traditionalist who accepted the nonsense that the State Dep’t striped pants “talk forever, don’t rock any boats” consensus gang (Nick Burns, William Burns) promoted RE NOKO and Iraq.

    But to his credit, Bush politely let them pound sand when he saw that they were full of bat guano and still pushing the same failing positions. The Surge was a vivid demonstration of this, opposed by DoS official. He went outside his administration to listen to experts (e.g., Bing West) when fresh thinking was needed.

    • #12
    • December 4, 2019, at 7:51 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  13. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    Duane Oyen (View Comment):

    But to his credit, Bush politely let them pound sand when he saw that they were full of bat guano and still pushing the same failing positions. The Surge was a vivid demonstration of this, opposed by DoS official. He went outside his administration to listen to experts (e.g., Bing West) when fresh thinking was needed.

    Actually, he left the troops to twist after the summer of 2003 didn’t turn out so well, despite Congressional Republicans begging him to act quickly. He only acted after his inaction cost lives and control of the House of Representatives.

    Bush the Second was no Lincoln (who serially fired generals until he got one that would and could carry out his intent).

    • #13
    • December 4, 2019, at 11:11 PM PST
    • Like
  14. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    I am heading toward the point of view that NATO has outlived its usefulness and needs to go. Not sure why we would tie ourselves to an organization that members do not feel like protecting themselves and it should be left to us. Best to be honest about it and remove our sacrificial forces from their countries.

    This overstates a bit, as usual. Our forces in Europe have never been “sacrificial” or “trip wire,” as Russia wisely never chose to test.

    • #14
    • December 4, 2019, at 11:15 PM PST
    • 1 like
  15. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    But to his credit, Bush politely let them pound sand when he saw that they were full of bat guano and still pushing the same failing positions. The Surge was a vivid demonstration of this, opposed by DoS official. He went outside his administration to listen to experts (e.g., Bing West) when fresh thinking was needed.

    This overstates a bit, as usual. Our forces in Europe have never been “sacrificial” or “trip wire,” as Russia wisely never chose to test.

    Not my comment. Not sure what you did here.

    • #15
    • December 4, 2019, at 11:35 PM PST
    • 1 like
  16. Guruforhire Member

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    But to his credit, Bush politely let them pound sand when he saw that they were full of bat guano and still pushing the same failing positions. The Surge was a vivid demonstration of this, opposed by DoS official. He went outside his administration to listen to experts (e.g., Bing West) when fresh thinking was needed.

    This overstates a bit, as usual. Our forces in Europe have never been “sacrificial” or “trip wire,” as Russia wisely never chose to test.

    Just because the trip wire was never tripped doesn’t mean they were not a trip wire. The thing about obvious traps is that they are obvious, and the other person wisely avoids them.

    • #16
    • December 5, 2019, at 5:07 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  17. Skyler Coolidge

    Wasn’t it Germany and Russia who were the primary actors to stop the Azerbaijani oil pipeline?

    It’s time to end NATO. I don’t much care what happens to Europe. I care about nations that have been good to us, such as Poland, the UK and a couple others, but Germany in particular has been no friend lately. Perhaps they need a reminder of how bad it could get for them again.

    • #17
    • December 5, 2019, at 5:20 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  18. Skyler Coolidge

    Duane Oyen (View Comment):
    But to his credit, Bush politely let them pound sand when he saw that they were full of bat guano and still pushing the same failing positions. The Surge was a vivid demonstration of this, opposed by DoS official. He went outside his administration to listen to experts (e.g., Bing West) when fresh thinking was needed.

    That is a very charitable interpretation of events. The “surge” is overstated as some brilliant tactic. It was pitifully small, and it barely compensated for the fact that Bush started off so stupidly ”unsurged.”

    Bush set out to completely conquer and occupy Iraq with an army much smaller than the one used simply to push them out of Kuwait. And then when the northern wing of the attack was denied by Turkey, the invasion went forward without that part of this smaller army.

    Bush didn’t want to or try to oppose the deep state because as he might say, “The deep state c’est moi.” (Okay, I don’t know French, I hope I did that right.)

    • #18
    • December 5, 2019, at 5:29 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  19. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    But to his credit, Bush politely let them pound sand when he saw that they were full of bat guano and still pushing the same failing positions. The Surge was a vivid demonstration of this, opposed by DoS official. He went outside his administration to listen to experts (e.g., Bing West) when fresh thinking was needed.

    This overstates a bit, as usual. Our forces in Europe have never been “sacrificial” or “trip wire,” as Russia wisely never chose to test.

    Not my comment. Not sure what you did here.

    Drat. A pesky cut/paste problem, where the last clipboard entry dumps itself into comment in place of the original comment that should have automatically been quoted.

    • #19
    • December 5, 2019, at 6:20 AM PST
    • 1 like
  20. ToryWarWriter Thatcher

     

    George W Bush was an incompetent idiot whose policies directly led to the endless quagmire of Iraq and Afghanistan.

    After 9/11 he had Iran call up his state department and offered cooperation in Afghanistan. Instead of possibly working out real peace with that country and possibly normalizing relations with it, he listened to the neocons and created the Axis of Evil and who knows how many deaths of American soldiers. A friend of mine is convinced that it probably might not have worked out but he agrees that you should at least pick up the phone and find out what the offer is. Now Russia has major influence in that country and not the USA.

    W squandered the post 9/11 foreign policy consensus with his idiotic invasion of Iraq. Which tipped the balance of power in the middle east forever. As my barber who was from Kirkuk once said to me. “They killed Saddam 12 years ago, and we still don’t have electricity in my home town.” 

    But my favourite example of his ‘brilliance’ comes from the book Days of Fire. 

    June 12th 2005, the entire National Security team is gathered at Camp David to discuss the Iraq problem. The president has cleared his schedule to meet with everyone for the weekend. The first day is reviewing the situation with Sunday going to be the big day.

    “…A day of closed meetings just with the senior team and a few aides to as they wrestled what to do next.”

    However, the President decided that getting on a plane and flying to Iraq to do a photo op with newly minted PM Maliki. 

    “…The stealth trip set back any revision of strategy.”

    Instead the war would go on for another 2 years of fruitless waste.

    And let’s not even get me started on the Airlift of Evil. The biggest war blunder since Mark Clark let the 10th army escape outside Rome.

    • #20
    • December 5, 2019, at 6:47 AM PST
    • 1 like
  21. Skyler Coolidge

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):

    George W Bush was an incompetent idiot whose policies directly led to the endless quagmire of Iraq and Afghanistan.

    After 9/11 he had Iran call up his state department and offered cooperation in Afghanistan. Instead of possibly working out real peace with that country and possibly normalizing relations with it, he listened to the neocons and created the Axis of Evil and who knows how many deaths of American soldiers. A friend of mine is convinced that it probably might not have worked out but he agrees that you should at least pick up the phone and find out what the offer is. Now Russia has major influence in that country and not the USA.

    W squandered the post 9/11 foreign policy consensus with his idiotic invasion of Iraq. Which tipped the balance of power in the middle east forever. As my barber who was from Kirkuk once said to me. “They killed Saddam 12 years ago, and we still don’t have electricity in my home town.”

    But my favourite example of his ‘brilliance’ comes from the book Days of Fire.

    June 12th 2005, the entire National Security team is gathered at Camp David to discuss the Iraq problem. The president has cleared his schedule to meet with everyone for the weekend. The first day is reviewing the situation with Sunday going to be the big day.

    “…A day of closed meetings just with the senior team and a few aides to as they wrestled what to do next.”

    However, the President decided that getting on a plane and flying to Iraq to do a photo op with newly minted PM Maliki.

    “…The stealth trip set back any revision of strategy.”

    Instead the war would go on for another 2 years of fruitless waste.

    And let’s not even get me started on the Airlift of Evil. The biggest war blunder since Mark Clark let the 10th army escape outside Rome.

    I disagree. I think Bush erred in not using a larger army in Iraq, and then in not turning right from Iraq and left from Afghanistan and destroying Iran’s government. Instead, he got bogged down in Iraq, allowed Iran to meddle in Iraq, and allowed the Iranian controlled Iraqi government to tell us what to do.

    Then we erred by not requiring Iraq to have the Bill of Rights. If we conquer a nation, we have a moral obligation to make those people free. The Iraqi people I met were almost universally grateful for our removing Saddam Hussein. But when Bush allowed another Islamic republic to be established, and one controlled by Iran, we had a recipe for failure. That is where he was a complete fool.

    • #21
    • December 5, 2019, at 6:53 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  22. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    I am heading toward the point of view that NATO has outlived its usefulness and needs to go. Not sure why we would tie ourselves to an organization that members do not feel like protecting themselves and it should be left to us. Best to be honest about it and remove our sacrificial forces from their countries.

    This overstates a bit, as usual. Our forces in Europe have never been “sacrificial” or “trip wire,” as Russia wisely never chose to test.

    OF course they are. If Russia is serious on taking Europe those forces are gone. All they would do is force our hand politically in that once they were destroyed the American public would demand an action. With out them, if Russia took Europe the American public might decide it was better to take a more measured approach and stay out of it instead of defending a group of people that do not like us and ridicule us regularly. They are mainly there to be sacrificed so the American public would react the way the political class wants.

    • #22
    • December 5, 2019, at 8:19 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  23. Skyler Coolidge

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):
    They are mainly there to be sacrificed so the American public would react the way the political class wants.

    Well, don’t forget that they have been there a long time and are quite cozy there. Who would want to be stationed in Poland, where it makes sense, if they could live in Germany?

    • #23
    • December 5, 2019, at 9:56 AM PST
    • 1 like
  24. Hang On Member
    Hang OnJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The question comes down to: are you willing to die yourself or see millions of your fellow Americans die because under Article 5 of the Nato treaty, it would require a nuclear response. It’s either that or lose all credibility. It’s why expanding Nato to Eastern Europe was such a bad idea.

    Russia is not the Soviet Union. Russia is a regional power and the US is in a multi-polar world.

    Are you willing to die for Latvia? For Ukraine – as the members of the Deep State as seen in the hearings are so willing to sacrifice you.

    • #24
    • December 5, 2019, at 11:01 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  25. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    Hang On (View Comment):

    The question comes down to: are you willing to die yourself or see millions of your fellow Americans die because under Article 5 of the Nato treaty, it would require a nuclear response. It’s either that or lose all credibility. It’s why expanding Nato to Eastern Europe was such a bad idea.

    Russia is not the Soviet Union. Russia is a regional power and the US is in a multi-polar world.

    Are you willing to die for Latvia? For Ukraine – as the members of the Deep State as seen in the hearings are so willing to sacrifice you.

    As usual the political class and the bureaucratic class have desires and make promises then wants the plebs, the flyover people, the Deplorables to to enforce and pay for their agendas. Eventually the Deplorables and flyovers will stop going into the military, law enforcement to enforce the elites desire, will and graft schemes.

    • #25
    • December 5, 2019, at 11:11 AM PST
    • Like
  26. Skyler Coolidge

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):

    The question comes down to: are you willing to die yourself or see millions of your fellow Americans die because under Article 5 of the Nato treaty, it would require a nuclear response. It’s either that or lose all credibility. It’s why expanding Nato to Eastern Europe was such a bad idea.

    Russia is not the Soviet Union. Russia is a regional power and the US is in a multi-polar world.

    Are you willing to die for Latvia? For Ukraine – as the members of the Deep State as seen in the hearings are so willing to sacrifice you.

    As usual the political class and the bureaucratic class have desires and make promises then wants the plebs, the flyover people, the Deplorables to to enforce and pay for their agendas. Eventually the Deplorables and flyovers will stop going into the military, law enforcement to enforce the elites desire, will and graft schemes.

    It’s a lot more likely that we’ll run out of money for the military before that happens.

    • #26
    • December 5, 2019, at 2:44 PM PST
    • Like
  27. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    I am heading toward the point of view that NATO has outlived its usefulness and needs to go. Not sure why we would tie ourselves to an organization that members do not feel like protecting themselves and it should be left to us. Best to be honest about it and remove our sacrificial forces from their countries.

    This overstates a bit, as usual. Our forces in Europe have never been “sacrificial” or “trip wire,” as Russia wisely never chose to test.

    OF course they are. If Russia is serious on taking Europe those forces are gone. All they would do is force our hand politically in that once they were destroyed the American public would demand an action. With out them, if Russia took Europe the American public might decide it was better to take a more measured approach and stay out of it instead of defending a group of people that do not like us and ridicule us regularly. They are mainly there to be sacrificed so the American public would react the way the political class wants.

    Actually, there are no magic dice to roll or hands to wave, only real forces with real logistics tails and real relative training and material capabilities. There is no chance, outside of nuclear or massive chemical strikes, that the actual Russian military sweeps the actual American military off the European map. The real “trip wire” is the simple reality of Mutual Assured Destruction, whatever we want to call it at any given moment. Our two countries have been very careful to avoid undeniable direct combat between us ever since both nations had operational nuclear weapons. 

    • #27
    • December 5, 2019, at 4:27 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  28. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):
    They are mainly there to be sacrificed so the American public would react the way the political class wants.

    Well, don’t forget that they have been there a long time and are quite cozy there. Who would want to be stationed in Poland, where it makes sense, if they could live in Germany?

    I’m guessing that the younger troops, who still want adventure and good stories and who chafe under garrison/administrative duty would love to go somewhere new, where the people outside the camps would appreciate them.

    • #28
    • December 5, 2019, at 4:30 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  29. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    Hang On (View Comment):
    The question comes down to: are you willing to die yourself or see millions of your fellow Americans die because under Article 5 of the Nato treaty, it would require a nuclear response. It’s either that or lose all credibility. It’s why expanding Nato to Eastern Europe was such a bad idea.

    Actually no. Not since the Reagan revolution in military equipment and training. 

    • #29
    • December 5, 2019, at 4:32 PM PST
    • Like
  30. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    I am heading toward the point of view that NATO has outlived its usefulness and needs to go. Not sure why we would tie ourselves to an organization that members do not feel like protecting themselves and it should be left to us. Best to be honest about it and remove our sacrificial forces from their countries.

    This overstates a bit, as usual. Our forces in Europe have never been “sacrificial” or “trip wire,” as Russia wisely never chose to test.

    OF course they are. If Russia is serious on taking Europe those forces are gone. All they would do is force our hand politically in that once they were destroyed the American public would demand an action. With out them, if Russia took Europe the American public might decide it was better to take a more measured approach and stay out of it instead of defending a group of people that do not like us and ridicule us regularly. They are mainly there to be sacrificed so the American public would react the way the political class wants.

    Actually, there are no magic dice to roll or hands to wave, only real forces with real logistics tails and real relative training and material capabilities. There is no chance, outside of nuclear or massive chemical strikes, that the actual Russian military sweeps the actual American military off the European map. The real “trip wire” is the simple reality of Mutual Assured Destruction, whatever we want to call it at any given moment. Our two countries have been very careful to avoid undeniable direct combat between us ever since both nations had operational nuclear weapons.

    The chance of MAD is laughably small. In the case of a Democrat POTUS there is a better chance they will blow the middle of the country before anyplace full of non American. As long as there are no foreign attacks on US soil, America will not launch first. Maybe never.

    • #30
    • December 5, 2019, at 4:58 PM PST
    • Like

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