The Arms Race Is Back... With A Twist: US Congressman Urges NATO To Purchase French Warship Destined For Russia

Tyler Durden's picture

The saga of the French Mistral amphibious assault warship which was ordered by Russia years ago, and whose delivery - at least according to Putin - was the reason behind the US record $9 billion DOJ fine of French BNP (which the Russian president called "blackmail" by the US designed to intimidate France and prevent it from completing the transaction) just took a turn for the bizarre.

In a note written in the Atlantic Council's website, Democrat representative for New York's 16th district, Eliot Engel, has proposed that instead of letting France conclude its deal with Russia, now that even the BNP "blackmail" has failed to dent Hollande's intention to see the delivery to its end, that NATO (read the US) should step up and "collectively purchase or lease the warships as a common naval asset."

In other words, with cajoling, threats and even fines failing to make an impression on French weapon delivery intentions, and thus US foreign policy, it is time to start throwing away taxpayer money in order to spoil Putin's party.

Of course, this begs the question: what happens with the next order placed by Russia: will NATO step in and overbid Russia in the final instant (using US bond issuance proceeds to fund the transaction of course - bonds which are largely purchased by China, the Fed and, of course, "Belgium") again, and then again, and so on?

We wonder: are we the only ones who now see this as nothing more than the cold war arms race, in which the two sides would merely stockpile nuclear weapons in an attempt to have the greater "Mutually Assured Deterrence" fear factor, and which ultimately ended up bankrupting the USSR (or so conventional wisdom goes)? If so, who is getting the short end of the stick this time: because just how many useless and unnecessary military vessels can "NATO" accumulate before it finds they have zero impact on how Russia is truly waging New Normal warfare - using European energy flows?

Keep a close eye on this proposal to see if it gains traction.

Full letter by Eliot Engel below:

NATO Should Buy French-built Warships


[L]ast month I wrote to NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, urging a plan by which the alliance would collectively purchase or lease the warships as a common naval asset.


This avenue would give us a win-win-win solution.


First, we deprive Putin of this valuable military asset. Such a step would help reassure nervous allies and partners in Central and Eastern Europe that would most feel vulnerable by this force multiplier in the hands of the Russian military.


Second, we would greatly enhance NATO capabilities at a moment when many of its members have been cutting defense expenditures. There is already ample precedent for NATO to purchase shared assets, including the alliance's fleet of E-3A AWACS aircraft. If Russia does indeed remain an aggressive force, NATO will have to refocus its energy and resources on European defense. The future success of the alliance in turn will depend on all NATO members sharing this burden and commitment. Purchasing these ships would give NATO a much needed shot in the arm.


Lastly, this purchase wouldn't leave France holding the bill. At a time when the European economy remains fragile, we shouldn't allow one of our allies to endure such a heavy financial blow.


Eliot Engel is a member of the US House of Representatives for the 16th District of New York and the ranking minority member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

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The Phallic Crusader's picture

It is my understanding that Eliot Engel is a cunt.

edit: per wiki, his grandparents were Ukrainian, so I guess that's why he has a bug up his ass about Putin...

But I guess he's cool with Nuland et al picking Kiev's bankster regime.

Real salt of the earth, this guy...

peter4805's picture

It is my understanding that you are absolutely correct.

Headbanger's picture

What a fucking IDIOT!

It's just a fucking transport ship!

It's not like some advanced stealth submarine or bomber the French are building for Russia.

It just goes to show how fucking meddling the U.S. has become now that we fucked ourselves financially.


carbonmutant's picture

French... Stealth Submarine... lol

Pladizow's picture

There is nothing an idiotic polititian can do to save the US from the inevitable?

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

So, now we are going to use our fresh, hot of the press dollars to buy someone elses warships?  Lets just buy EVERYTHING then!!!

Manthong's picture

“picking Kiev's bankster regime”

Suggested edit:

“picking Kiev’s US backed, running dog lackey Nazi banker racketeers”

SoberOne's picture

World war is most definitely coming, unfortunately for us.

Anusocracy's picture

Notice the outstanding respect for contracts that the free country of the US has.

V in PA's picture

OT but I need to rant: Judging by Zerohedge's (owned by ABC media) Review our notice on Racial Discrimination, nearly every damn comment violates the policy. I know I am a year late but WTF!


The policy: Racism, to include any religious affiliation, will not be tolerated in ANY FORM on this site, including the disparagement of people in the comments section. 


To report any form of discrimination, please right click on the comment number, copy the link to the comment, and send the comment link to abuse [at] 


Any user found to be discriminating against ANY race, religion, or affiliation, will be banned immediately, and have their comments removed from the system.



Definition of Discrimination: treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person belongs rather than on individual merit


Edit: It's not the comments that bother me. I love the comments. It's the policy that bother's me.

Miles Ahead's picture

OT too.  Perhaps you should remind us who you are so we can decide why it is important for us to care about what you love and what bothers you so much.

ConfederateH's picture

Brain dead liberal racist screaming Zombie.  Why don't you go masterbate yourself with mein kamf.

TheGardener's picture

"nearly every damn comment violates the policy"

No, we are almost always politically correct because we dearly love the policy of our sincere new leaders.
Sarc/ off

And just in case we fail, we would eat them and you alive.

Monty Burns's picture

I have coined the motto 'beware of Tribesmen bearing financial proposals'.  It has served me well.

Monty Burns's picture

Edit: It's not the comments that bother me. I love the comments. It's the policy that bother's me.

And I think that's a blatant fucking lie. You're a member of the Thought Police, the ones who tend our moral micro climate for signs of forbidden thinking.

SafelyGraze's picture

as we continue to taper our outright monetization of treasury debt, we are please to announce a sterilized offsetting Outright Purchase of French-made Ships program

this program, in conjunction with MBS, will add real value to the asset side of our balance sheet, and will enable future transfers of merchandise by sea throughout the world


NeedtoSecede's picture

"and will enable future transfers of merchandise by throughout the world."

Do you mean we could actually send all of Germany's gold back in one shipment?  (That would be one big "accident" when that one sank though wouldn't it?  I know even with my small stacks, my canoe seems to get really "unstable" when I am over the deepest part of the lake...)

From my cursory study of failing empires and civilizations (compared to many well-read ZH commentators) it seems that one thing they share in common is that as they are sliding toward ruin, their actions become less rational with each passing year.  One more idiot clearing marching us foward to oblivion.

Conax's picture

Well, why not?

It worked on the ammunition supplies in the US.  Feds bought it all.

Now they will buy all the warships, all the tanks..

Print moar democracy, bitchezz!

Flagit's picture

The Detroit Police Dept. needs these ships waaay more than the Russians.

Chicago P.D. too for that matter.

And how the hell is Nestlé suppose to defend its right to bottle the worlds water?

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

WIN- WIN- WIN.  Now who's paying?


lakecity55's picture

"Skipper, I am detecting an espresso machine on that sub."
"So it's French."

Lea's picture

Espresso is actually Italian, not French.

JRobby's picture

USSA can never have enough ships! Print! Print?

Don't build from scratch and create US jobs. Screw that! Happy 4th!!!

Manthong's picture

With a big enough deposition printer, you can print a ship.

Husk-Erzulie's picture

If the human race actually manages to survive this slightly tight spot here then this is how we will be doing orbital construction.  Wake enough people up, throw the NWO fascist hegemons to the curb... perhaps we'll see it.

xtop23's picture

Have you ever owned a French car? The gd thing would probably sink in transit anyway.

And yes, Eliot ( like most of the parasitic sycophants in DC ), is a cunt.

FeralSerf's picture

Rhetorically, have you ever owned an English car? With Lucas electrics? How about a GM car?

Dick Gazinia's picture

That ship is french built.  It goes faster in reverse.

Miles Ahead's picture

While a certain other countries ships have auto-pilot built in programmed to steam fast forward to little undeveloped SE Asian countries (some landlocked) that don't have any ship of which to battle.

Analyse2's picture

@Dick Gazinia

In fact this ugly disdain and pitiful jokes come from the firm refusal of the French to join America in Irak, in 2003.

Since France refused to go to Iraq, American warmongers and neo-cons made French army look like cowards – as a punishment.


MachoMan's picture

Yep, nothing at all to do with bailing france out of WW2 or vietnam...

StychoKiller's picture

Well, at least they were able to extricate themselves from the tar baby known as Algeria.

Analyse2's picture

About Vietnam :

The French lost Dien Bien Phu because they were screwed by NATO (ie. the US).

They had to specialize in jets while others in Europe had to specialize in bombers.

And when it came to fight Communism (the Viet Cong, massively helped by Soviet Union and China's troops) ... guess what... the US refused the NATO to get involved.

They had to fight the war without bombers, as in 1954 they had very few of these kind of planes.

Another nice lesson from a long list for French morons who believe America is a reliable ally, and even a friend of France. For those who should have any doubt, the reading of French-bashing in ZH is instructive enough …

And guess what... who had to fight in Vietnam war after the US sabotaged French effort ?

Besides that, in 1954, when the French were finally defeated in Vietnam, they had 50,000 troops and their biggest planes were Douglas A26 and C47’s, and Vought Corsairs.

When the US was defeated by the same enemy some twenty years later, they had 550,000 troops, B52’s, napalm, missiles, big helicopters, the works …

Analyse2's picture

@Dick Gazinia

In fact this ugly disdain and pitiful jokes come from the firm refusal of the French to join America in Irak, in 2003.

Since France refused to go to Iraq, American warmongers and neo-cons made French army look like cowards – as a punishment.



RichardParker's picture

They don't call Lucas the "Prince of Darkness" for nothin'.

xtop23's picture

Actually the best cars I've ever owned ( read most reliable / least amount of upkeep ) were Korean.

Every Hyundai I've ever owned ran flawlessly.

Most "fun" car I've ever owned? A 1967 GT Mustang notchback w/ a 351 Cleveland ( 4-barrel head version ) that made roughly 620hp to the wheels and a top-loader 4 speed. Would turn 11's in the 1/4.

Assuming I didn't miss a shift :p

Analyse2's picture


It just happens that Renault-Nissan Group sold 8.1 million cars worldwide in 2012 - behind Toyota, General Motors and Volkswagen for total volume - but more than Ford (5.67 million cars)

and no mass recalls …


xtop23's picture

Which of the two designed the powertrain?

Just curious :)

Analyse2's picture

To satisfy your curiosity:  Both

Renault engines are not so bad as you think: Renault is regularly champion of Formula 1 for the motors (at the moment with Red Bull)

By the way, Renault is also the supplier for a lot of Mercedes motors: 1.5 DCI 90Ch: Class A, B, CLA   -   1.5 DCI 109Ch: Class B   -   1.6 DCI: Class C

Nobody Important's picture

Yes I have, and you are correct they stay in the repair shop more then on the road. I wouldn't expect anything better from their ships. If it doesn't spring leaks and sink on it's own, which I don't give a very high probability of happening, it WILL probably need major repairs every time it sails. Letting NATO buy it out from under them could be a win, win for both Russia and France.

rubiconsolutions's picture

Eliot Engel - "The whine list s'il vous plaît"

Canadian Dirtlump's picture

Eliot Engel, Victoria Nudelman. I don't think country of lineage is what the undercurrent here is. I think it's more people working for the US government who perhaps have 2 passports.

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Funny how people avoid, or skirt around, the obvious some time.

Monty Burns's picture

Not strange at all. Ask Helen Thomas.  Or Francis Sawyer. 

TheReplacement's picture

Are there any dual US-Russian elected pols?

Canadian Dirtlump's picture

a little dated perhaps but worth a read.


some might say the deck is being stacked against du3l citizens unless, well, you know..


See Ted "the ex-canadian dirtlump" Cruz.

stacking12321's picture

i hope to see the day when people evolve beyond the notion that allegiance ought to be sworn to a "nation", or a flag.

nations are an unfortunate illusion that most of humanity has endured, and they have no substance in reality, they are merely clubs, organized gangs of men with guns, who hold a monopoly on violence in a particular turf. we should recognize these nation-alists as threats to peaceful coexistence, and work to undermine them at every turn, not aid them or make excuses for them.


MeMongo's picture

Hey Phallic!

Mongo can splain it real easy!

Always remember! When somebodys been up to shenanigans one simply should lift the rock to see "whos" lurking underneath!

Hope that helps!