Trump's Right - NATO Is Obsolete For The US

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by George Friedman via,

Donald Trump deeply upset the Europeans when he raised the possibility that NATO is obsolete and that the European Union is failing.

But this isn’t the first time these issues have been discussed. I wrote about it last year, and the conversation has only continued.

What Trump has done is simply bring into the open the question of Europe’s relationship with the US.

The missions and motives of NATO and the EU

NATO was an alliance with a single purpose: to protect Western Europe from a Soviet invasion.

The basic structure of NATO didn’t change when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. It simply grew to include the former Soviet satellite states and the Baltic states.

The motive behind the expansion was to bring these countries into the framework of the Western defense system in order to give them confidence in their independence. And help support the development of democracies.

The motivation was roughly the same for expanding the EU. The bloc was primarily an economic union. Simply being an EU member was believed to enhance prosperity, so that even the economically weakest country would become strong after attaining membership.

The real goal was to expand the EU as far as possible. As with NATO, EU expansion had less to do with the EU’s primary mission than with political and ideological factors.

NATO is obsolete if it can’t support the US’ interests

The EU question is ultimately a European problem.

But NATO is an alliance. The US has important and legitimate interests. But there are questions.

First, with the Soviet Union gone, what is NATO’s purpose?

Second, how does NATO serve the American national interest?

Third, given that the EU has almost as large a GDP and almost 200 million more people than the US, why isn’t its collective contribution to NATO’s military larger than the US?

The automatic answer to the first question is fairly basic: NATO’s purpose is to guarantee its members’ security.

On the second question, it cannot be argued that NATO has served American interests since 1991.

It is true that NATO’s area of responsibility is focused on Europe. The US’ current wars are outside of this area. But from the American point of view, having an alliance with a region where large-scale warfare is unlikely makes little sense.

NATO must evolve with the needs of its members. If it can’t, it can be seen (as Trump put it) as obsolete.

This brings us to the third question, the size of the European force. A military alliance needs a military.

Many European countries, in times of wealth as well as constraint, have chosen not to create a force large enough to support American interests.

Even when NATO commits to fighting alongside the Americans, European capabilities limit their contribution. There is no automatic support from NATO. The countries that want to participate, fight with as much or as little as they choose to send.

This is their right as sovereign states. But this radically changes their relationships with the US. They would participate in a US-led war if it was in their self-interests.

Nations have the right and obligation to carry out their foreign and military policies as they wish. But an alliance holds nations to behave in a certain way given certain events.

Europeans must face two facts

First, the wars that matter to the US are being fought in the Islamic world. Second, Europe is not struggling to recover from World War II. Its military capabilities should be equal to those of the US.

NATO is obsolete if it defines its responsibility mainly to repel a Russian invasion. Especially since it refused to create a military force capable of doing that. It is obsolete in that it regards the US as the guarantor of Europe’s security when Europe is quite capable of incurring the cost of self-defense.

If European nations are free to follow their own interests, then so is the United States.

When we step back, we see a broader truth. First, the European Union is breaking. Europe is in no position to do unanimously supported NATO operations. For the Europeans, NATO is important because it means that, in the rare chance of a European war, the US must be there.

The United States wants to stop Russian hegemony over the European Peninsula. But the US can deal with that by placing limited forces in the Baltics, Poland, and Romania. The Europeans have devolved NATO into bilateral relations between the US and each NATO member. So, the United States can do the same. Also, the US can accept the status quo in Ukraine, written or unwritten. The US is not going to war in Ukraine. Russia is not going to war there either.

Trump’s approach to NATO has been forced on the US by the Europeans. NATO doesn’t work as an alliance. It is a group of sovereign nations that will respond to American requests as they see fit. The US knows this and at some point, someone was going to point out that NATO is obsolete.

The matter can be summed up the following way. What is the commitment of European countries to the United States? And what is the US commitment to Europe?

It is not clear that there is a geopolitical basis for this commitment any more. Interests have diverged. NATO is not suited to the realities of today.

*  *  *

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rahrog's picture

NATO exists to enrich America's military/security/intelligence industrial complex.


The EU exists to enrich central banks.


This is not complicated.


What are we prepared to do about it?


philipat's picture

Not entirely correct, the EU exists as a CIA construct to make it easier to rule over vassal Europe via a single State instead of having to deal with 28 diffferent Governments.

If that paradigm no longer exists because the US now wants to "Yankee go home" to take care of its own business and let the rest of the world mind its own businhess too, with which I completely agree, then the MIC Complex is fucked (which is why they hate Trump so much).

So now NATO will be replaced to some extent by a European security apparatus which will enrich the EU MIC at the expense of European, no longer American, taxpayers. That is, so long as the whole EU construct still survives, which, IMHO, isn't very long.

Either way, Europe is big enough to take care of itself and pay for its own defense. WWII finished 70 years ago and I think Trump understands that the US could continue to dominate Europe using the US Dollar reserve currency printing. For a while longer at least. But that is also growing old and tired, especially with all the US Debt.

Lore's picture

George Friedman seems to be writing to a shallow, mainstream audience. He doesn't even touch the more important contemporary issues such as those addressed immediately in the first couple of comments above, the most important involving the modern distinction between the people of that nation-state that we call the United States of America and the separate, tumor-like entity known as the Military Industrial Complex.  The problematique faced by the almost-completely self-serving MIC as we enter the 21st century is the need for a "Suitable Enemy."  All the old tricks are exposed.  Everybody here is well aware of all the false flags seen in recent years and the related attempt to gin up enemies and bogeymen.  Other branches of disconnected government stand exposed for similar tactics, like the "Global Warming" hoax.  What I think we're going to see more of in years ahead is a dynamic of increasing tension between parts of a nation's government that purport to stand up for their traditional and limited national mandates and interests versus those of the globalista and psychopathia in positions of power, that are completely at odds with simple and traditional popular concepts like nationalism and morality.  Stock up on popcorn, because the attempts to twist things and foist divergent narratives are going to create a very confusing environment for truth-seekers. 

Escrava Isaura's picture


Your statement has few flaws.

Global climate is influenced by human activates such as pollution and technology, nuclear waste being one of them.

Your statement about traditionalists versus power is, socially speaking, a correct statement, but, morally speaking, the traditionalists don’t have a leg to stand on, because their immorality is supported by a religion that gives cover to them. So, the traditionalist are no better.

Also, the traditionalists do twists things, because as power, they too are ideologues, meaning, they have strong believes and goals that they don’t, actually, can’t compromise so cooperation is impossible.


Lore's picture

Granted, everybody has an axe to grind, and government at all levels seems to be a magnet for ideologues and scum. But I think you'll agree that a small governmental tumor is comparatively easier to wrestle down than the massive instruments of overreach that we witness today. The octopus is not going to cede power. Conflict is already begun, exemplifed by things like the biological warfare that we call the "Muslim Migration," and it's going to get a LOT more violent and messy.

Escrava Isaura's picture

Thanks for an accurate post. We need more like this and less ideologies —idioticy.

Now, I don’t see Trump cutting NATO, because the US military industrial complex would be facing a depression. Trump, as a shrewd businessman, just want to have others pay for it. How do you think fortunes and power are created? By exploiting others.


X- x3's picture

"NATO exists to enrich America's military/security/intelligence industrial complex."

This is only one small part.

It's called *Full-Spectrum Dominance also known as Full-Spectrum Superiority*

Let me add, the *Morgenthau Plan* which called for the total destruction of Germany.

Did you know more than 9,000,000 German Civilians were murdered after WWII?

Over 1,000,000 German POWS were mudered AFTER WWII?

and, *Coudenhove-Kalergi Plan*.

"The EU exists to enrich central banks."

Almost. You forgot to mention their bosses; the ROTHSCHILDS & The City of London.

"This is not complicated."

Unfortunately it is.

Most relevant historical facts have been repressed.

"What are we prepared to do about it?"

LEARN! Know Thy Enemy!


"Crimes And Mercies", by James Bacque

"Other Losses", by James Bacque

The Coudenhove-Kalergi Plan - The Genocide Of The People Of ...


The (Secret) City of London, Part 1: History

MK13's picture

Friedman is a globalist stooge who is trying to hang onto jon with Mauldin's group - he doesn't believe what he has typed up here. It's more unelected global government for all - because masses don't know any better.

new game's picture

Dear Donald Trump, 

Pull out and determine the value of our aggregate contribution and set up a payment plan with euro states.

just like real estate, a mortgage. ownership passes when paid in full. they get the gear to kill other people and we get the fuck out of there shit.

and the empire stops back dooring russia, which is what nato has become. so will these derranged fuks in nato and washington actually let this happen? lol...

moorewasthebestbond's picture

The South shall rise again!

CrankyCurmudgeon's picture

Uh, dude, this newsletter is not "riveting".



Manipuflation's picture

I wonder about the gypsies.  I am considering selling everything I own:  The Harleys, the cars, the gunsnammo and the gold and silver.  I just want to wander around the planet.  I don't think the Russian woman/wife will go along with that idea. I did make a commitment to her. 

Power and wealth really isn't what I am looking for.  I am not sure what I am looking for but I will slowly find it.  I already found a woman in Russia.  That was a good deal.  

I guess I just really wonder why we all hate each other because of gods that do not exist.


Trek the globe my friends.  And don't be a tourist.  A Russian birthday party is not a tourist thing.  Learn the people and customs.

Lore's picture

@ Manipuflation: ++++.  Recognizing through first-hand experience that regular, upstanding people in other countries just want to raise their children, live their lives and be left alone is very helpful for keeping perspective and cutting through dishonest third-party narratives that would otherwise take advantage of ignorance. 

new game's picture

I guess I just really wonder why we all hate each other because of gods that do not exist.

i think you have hit the nail on the head (so hard the nail needs no second blow and is flush to the surrounding wood). an observer would say "perfect strike with that 16 oz hammer".

because it is the ultimate weakness of humans, exploited by humans. pass the plate so i can shit in it...

so in simplistic terms, we are as a species all going have to take a side or do as you suggest wander like nomads to avoid the conflicts and seek peoples that don't want to partake, which ironically is the majority.



great comment. cuts to the core and exposes the raw truth!

detached.amusement's picture

I guess I just really wonder why we all hate each other because of gods that do not exist.


The covenant is really just spiritual assistance to fuck over and rule above those not of the covenant, but few know that its not the real Creator that requires blood sacrifices, like yhvh does.

Ghordius's picture

"First, the wars that matter to the US are being fought in the Islamic world.

Second, Europe...('s)...  military capabilities should be equal to those of the US."

which of those two assertions ought to make American cousins more... thoughtful?

equal? seriously?

Russia spends too much for it's military. roughly, 80bn per year. the EU28 spend too much, too. roughly, three times that

the US spends only as much as the whole rest of the world including Russia and Europe and China

BobEore's picture

Sharp and concise.

Ghordo at the peak of his game is worth two tank armies in the war of common sense against media dissimulation.

The wars that matter in the US are being fought on behalf of a sole beneficiary which contributes \ZERO/ to the effort, and in fact sloughs off the biggest share of America's "aid" expenditures in the world's largest extortion racket.

Never forget that "George Friedman," no matter how and where he is "repackaged" in neutral guise, is the Stratfor sionist-in-chief whose job has been for years to bamboozle gullible westerners into buying into the "tiny outpost of democracy in the middle east" myth. Mauldin at some point last year dropped the association of Stratfor and Friedman in articles appearing under the latter's name. Who's fooling who?

His new "Geopolitical Futures looks to be the new "GATESTONE INSTITUTE" for the Trumpian Era upon us. Subtle is the new neo-con. Same ol same ol.

jcbudmo's picture

The onus is not on Europe to change, the onus is on the US to massively reduce its corrupt to the core MIC. The chart above alone should be clear enough to anyone with half a brain cell that something is not quite right - with the US.

Watch the excellent documentary Why We Fight, or read Chalmers Johnson if you want/need education on the subject.

webmatex's picture

Thats really true.

NATO countries had no choice concerning their membership - even France re-joined NATO in Sarkys time - he worked for over a decade at the state department before.

Germany is still occupied territory so no choice for them.

We all know the "cold war" was an arranged scam but they have forced CW2 upon us as the new fake news ghost story- whoooooo!

And don't forget what NATO have done to protect the Northern Atlantic area in Iraq, Afganistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen.

As Americans and Europeans we've spewed bullshit about NATO for over 70 years but we never suffered agression from ANYONE!

If you pay the bank and M.I.C. for our own enslavement you may be responsible for what you get.


HenryKissingerChurchill's picture

Germany is still occupied territory so no choice for them.

Yes, a peace treaty for Germany would be a nice start...

caesium's picture

The EU is the political wing of NATO. The USA or CIA was in at the start of both. Germany couldn't care less if either disappear. For them it's a numbers game: Less women have been raped by Muslim immigrants than by the Allies during the occupation.

NATO exists to remind them that the rapes and attrocities will start up again. A very expensive reminder.

MK13's picture

Germany couldn't care less if EU disappeared? Boy what have you been drinking. EU is yet another German attempt to conquer Europe financially this time - and it's a failure again. When this falls apart, watch out Europe - it's going to leave a mark on collective booty of Europe and europeons. W

HenryKissingerChurchill's picture

Germany couldn't care less if EU disappeared? Boy what have you been drinking. EU is yet another German attempt to conquer Europe financially this time

Germany is occupied and does not even legally exist as a sovereign country,

actual "Germany" is a temporary NGO to allow business ongoing during the occupation.

AgShaman's picture

North Atlantic Terra-rist Organization

Operation Gladio is like MK-Ultra....cooked up plans by demons are never shut down...just moved around

like pieces on the grand chessboard

SwaziRed's picture

Whatever you say, Putin puppet.

Joe A's picture

NATO serves one purpose only and that is act as a mercinary army for rogue capitalist interests.

But I agree, let's get rid of NATO. America off the European continent and an European army including nuclear weapons but not under the control of the EU. European countries should pay up for that. Let's see what happens if Europe asks America to leave though...

devnickle's picture

The whole thing felt like an ad. 

Cracker Pipes's picture

Trudeau is the new Merkel...just want to get this message out...

homonohumanus's picture

Hum, I think he is wrose, the kind canadians have no idea and they won't listem to Quebecquois far right warnings...

captain-nemo's picture

The globalists have been using NATO as a tool to expand their political agenda eastward and they need NATO badly now to reach their final political goals.  

To prevent Trump and other non-globalist American politicians from interfering they needed to keep the cold war and the Russian threat alive, because without this threat, they would have had nothing to bargain with to stop Trump.


That's why they are so desperate to demonize Russia and to keep Trump from normalizing the relationship. If Trump and Russia normalized the relationship and forms bilateral alliances without the globalists being able to control them, it's game over for the new world order.  

Sudden Debt's picture

The US is still in the NATO is such a big way because the war lobby is bribbing  politicians to keep buying expensive army surplus materials that makes a lot of people filthy rich.



quasi_verbatim's picture

NATO is running-dog and sock-puppet for US hegemonic aggression and exceptionalist delusion.

Friedman is ventriloquist's dummy and stenographer to the CFR.

NuYawkFrankie's picture

The USSA is a failed entity.

The corollary is that ZATO, the USSA's fig-leaf for its ZIO-Inspired Global Aggression, is also a 'failed entity'.

Neither can survive scrutiny - hence their reliance on FAKE NEWS and their increaingly hysterical attacks -via ZIO echo-chambers such The NYT, The Wash Post, The Lobotomist et al - on REAL NEWS.

BOTH the USSA & ZATO are obsolete - fighting phantasms projected by their own sick psychosis

Simple as that.

homonohumanus's picture

Cut the crap whatever is at work, it is worse than your Jewish conspiracy crappy rant. Look at a map, and think (harder I mean).

A persian type of empire running from Pakistan to Iran, an ottoman empire taking over the south of Russia and european orthodox land, a Fatimide Empire taking most of the left over of Europe. Then China, a more and more insulated and weak Russia, China being China, a Canada failing or fallen, same for the US...


Explain me again how that is supposed to work within your Jewish run greater cabbal? They will be back to Dhimmi status and forget about "ISraël", that is if they live...

orangegeek's picture
NATO is obsolete if it can’t support the US’ interests


Exactly - so Europe, do fuck off now.

PoasterToaster's picture
PoasterToaster (not verified) Feb 13, 2017 5:08 AM

Europe will be less of a threat to US hegemony if it shatters back into a hundred duchies and principalities.

Maestro Maestro's picture

Nothing the Americans or the Europeans say is true or sincere.

ISIS is as much a product of the West as is NATO.

You Americans and Europeans are full of shit and hell-bent on doling out as much suffering and destruction as you can. You just lie about it.

Muslim terrorists are you Americans' and Europeans' allies and these Muslims do the bidding of Americans and Europeans. The Israelis consider themselves Europeans too and sure act like it.

Americans and Europeans have proven themselves to be enemies of the human race.

Hence, they must be contained, quarantined and peaceably exterminated through non-violent means (like chemical castration or appropriate family planning) so as to save the human race.

Let us terminate the evil West and their CIA Muslim terrorists for the sake of life on this planet.


OrangeyTheAssHat's picture
OrangeyTheAssHat (not verified) Feb 13, 2017 5:29 AM

Trump is wrong about so many things, it is a good idea to point it out when he actually has a good idea.

Ital Scratch's picture

So, after 20 years of using nato as american banhammer all over them planet it's Europe's fault?

But, without it you could not spew the words like "international coalition", "support from our allies", "whole word is united against these evil dictators"...or get that chapter 5 or 6 that enables you AS RESPONISBLE TO PROTECT hence bombs away!


Scrap the whole thing, it belongs to recycle bin of history anyways.

Iconoclast's picture

The cost to the USA, in comparison to other members, is irrelevant. NATO exits to give the USA's unilateral exceptionalism an air of respectability on a global stage. Previous administrations realised that going it alone, versus for example Iraq and Afghanistan, would be unpalatable. Far better to broadcast a unified global consensus versus the phantom enemies of the military industrial complex.

bankbob's picture

But - those days are over.  Even if Hillary had won, NATO would still be obsolete.  And, the USA is making a general disengagement from the area.

The USA is getting out of the GLOBAL MANAGEMENT BUSINESS.


webmatex's picture

So we can all agree (almost) here on ZH that NATO is an uneconomic entity whose assets should be seized to recompense tax payers for fraud.

Or maybe just a Melkin type buyout - sell all the shit to the Chinese.

Manipulism's picture

As the US has this exorbitant privileg of the reserve currency the thesis is always here that because of that the world is financing the US standard of living.

If that is so, the world,not the US, is also financing the US military machine.


bankbob's picture

Fine. Choose another reserve currency.

BarkingCat's picture

who is the idiot war monger that write this??

archie bird's picture

Take the money spent on Obsolete NATO and reinvest in US infrastructure. Pay all the US soldiers who would've fought, to  come  home  and  rebuild.

BarkingCat's picture

Romans have used their legions for road building projects.

Ital Scratch's picture

From Civ 5: Legion

Unique front-line unit of the Roman civilization. Replaces the Swordsman. Requires Iron.

  • Special traits:
    • Extra strength (17 vs. 14)
  • Actions: