"Pay Up You NATO Deadbeats...Or Else!"

Authored by Eric Margolis via EricMargolis.com,

"We are the schmucks" thundered President Donald Trump.   The object of Trump’s wrath at his ‘Make America Great Again’ rally in Great Falls, Montana was the craven, stingy European members of NATO, only 16 of 22 members are on budget for their US-commanded military spending.  Trump wants them to spend much more. 

Infographic: Expenditure Of Nato Countries In 2016 | Statista

You will find more infographics at Statista

Trump and his fellow neocons want NATO to serve as a sort of US foreign legion in Third World wars in Africa and Asia. 

NATO was formed as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to defend western Europe, not to fight in Afghanistan and who knows where else?

Equally bad, according to Trump, is that the US runs a whopping trade deficit with the European Union which is busy shipping high-end cars and fine wines to the US.  The wicked foreigners don’t buy enough American bourbon, corn and terribly abused pigs.

Trump is quite right that America’s NATO allies, particularly Germany and Canada, don’t spend enough on defense.  Germany is reported to have less than twenty operational tanks. Canada’s armed forces appear to be smaller than the New York City police department.

But the Europeans ask, ‘defense against whom?’   The Soviet Union was a huge threat back in the Cold War when the mighty Red Army had 55,000 tanks pointed West.  Today, Russia’s land and naval power has evaporated.  Russia has perhaps 5,500 main battle tanks in active service and a similar number in storage, a far cry from its armored juggernaut of the Cold War. 

More important, Russia’s military budget for 2018 was only $61 billion, actually down 17% from last year.  That’s 4.3% of GDP.  Russia is facing hard economic times.  Russia has slipped to third place in military spending after the US, China and Saudi Arabia.   The US and its wealthy allies account for two thirds of world military spending.  In fact, the US total military budget (including for nuclear weapons and foreign wars) is about $1 trillion, 50% of total US government discretionary spending.

In addition, Russia must defend a vast territory from the Baltic to the Pacific.  The US is fortunate in having Mexico and Canada as neighbors.  Russia has North Korea, China, India, the Mideast and NATO to watch.  As with its naval forces, Russia’s armies are too far apart to lend one another mutual support. Two vulnerable rail lines are Russia’s main land link between European Russia and its Pacific Far East.

Infographic: The U.S. Is Pouring Money Into Air Bases Flanking Russia  | Statista

You will find more infographics at Statista

Trump’s supplemental military budget boost this year of $54 billion is almost as large as Russia’s entire 2018 military budget.  As for Trump’s claim that Europe is not paying its fair share of NATO expenses, note that that Britain and France combined together spend more on their military forces than Russia.

In Europe, it’s hard to find many people who still consider Russia a serious threat except for some tipsy Danes, right wing Swedes, and assorted Russophobic East Europeans.  The main fear of Russia seems concentrated in the minds of American neoconservatives, media, and rural Trump supporters, all victims of the bizarre anti-Russian hysteria that has gripped the US.

Equally important, most civilians don’t understand that neither US and NATO forces nor Russia’s military are in any shape to fight war that lasts more than a few days.  Both sides lack munitions, spare parts, lubricants, and battlefield equipment.  The overworked US Air Force, busy plastering Muslim nations, has actually run low on bombs.  US industry can’t seem to keep up supplies. There has even been talk of buying explosives from China!

These essentials of war have been seriously neglected in favor of buying fancy weapons. But such weapons need spares, electronics, fuel depots, missiles and thousands of essential parts.  As former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld observed, ‘you go to war with what you have.’  Neither side has enough.  A war would likely peter out in days after supplies were exhausted.  Besides, no side can afford to replace $100 million jet fighters or $5 million apiece tanks after a war, however brief.      

President Trump has learned about war from Fox TV. Europeans have learned from real experience and don’t want any more. 

Comments

Klassenfeind BigCumulusClouds Wed, 07/11/2018 - 04:54 Permalink

""Pay Up You NATO Deadbeats...Or Else!""

Isn't it ironic? All the Trumptards here on ZH are complaining that US politics has been hijacked by the MIC and the Deep State and that the US has been pushed into major wars (Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq) by reckless US politicians, but now you want Europe to 'join the party' and help you pay for your wars and your debt-based Petro-Dollar economic system that need to permanently expand by permanent military expenditures and conflicts?

Naaaa, I don't think so!

The US (& Trump) want their Cold War 2.0 against Russia, their Reserve Currency/Petro-Dollar  status, and 'regime change' projects in Ukraine, Libya and Syria? You want a HUGE military, aircraft carriers, a Space Force, and US troops stationed around the world?

Well fine! Good for you, but then YOU can fucking pay for it!

The Cold War 1.0 ended decades ago and NATO has nothing to do with peace-keeping any longer, it's just an extension of the US Deep State and the US MIC.

Reading tip: "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" by John Perkins.

https://www.amazon.com/New-Confessions-Economic-Hit-Man/dp/1626566747/r…

Edit: Trump is spot on about the MIC and the Deep State, the only minor problem is that he is in cahoots with them! Trump wants to even EXPAND the already enormous MIC budget? Why? Who's the enemy? Russia? Why should Europe go along with Trump's warmongering madness?! https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/president-donald-j-trum…

In reply to by BigCumulusClouds

new game Klassenfeind Wed, 07/11/2018 - 05:05 Permalink

NAP, nations against peace

just another billion dolla fuking joke against humanity

sponsored by the MIC for programming of humans...

well spent money to achieve anti-peaceful human existence.

pretty damned unbelievable how they continue to keep doing this

without outrage of the majority. oh, wait, our voice doesn't count.

 

In reply to by Klassenfeind

HopefulCynical Stan522 Wed, 07/11/2018 - 08:49 Permalink

The main fear of Russia seems concentrated in the minds of American neoconservatives, media...

(((neoconservatives, media))) - still seeking vengeance for the Pale of Settlement. "Fear" of Russia is simply a pretense for their malice.

...and rural Trump supporters...

What sort of bad crack is this guy smoking? TRUMP supporters, by and large, have NO problem with Russia, and wish the goddamned (((neocons/neolibs))) would stop trying to start World War Fucking Three.

In reply to by Stan522

silverer beemasters Wed, 07/11/2018 - 08:18 Permalink

USA debt to GDP = 108%

Russia debt to GDP = 16%

Who has a long term future of economic survival ahead of them? The US keeps fleecing the children of its taxpayers well into the future for its dreams of empire. And most of those children are not going to be "high end" producers, but rather socialist minded parasites. So the "Russian threat" appeared due to the downward march of the US, not the other way around.

In reply to by beemasters

nowhereman Klassenfeind Wed, 07/11/2018 - 09:02 Permalink

Thanks Klass, Alas, some sanity. thus the down votes I guess. For reasons of "National Pride" many many Americans are blind to their countries nefarious deeds. The "My country right or wrong" theme resonates here.  Americans have created the mess they find themselves in, Canada didn't make them do it, neither did Germany, nor China, or Russia.  Rather than being a confident country of innovative thinkers and doers, America has become a country which blames everyone else for their predicament.  We know the MIC calls the shots, but we just cannot separate the rhetoric from the reality.  And, I too recommend reading Economic Hitman, for no other reason than to understand how the world sees America, because, guess what?  It ain't nothing like you see yourselves.

In reply to by Klassenfeind

Offthebeach Klassenfeind Wed, 07/11/2018 - 09:48 Permalink

What war, you winp.

Vietnam, Iraq, Afganistan.........were side shows.  Exercises.  Training.  

They had no material effect on the US.  China losing 25 million against the Japanese,  Poland being ground to dust by the invading Nazis, the invading Stalin, the fighting between them and then the kindness of Soviet occupation, The Russians losing 7 million men, those are war.

So, calm down Francis.

Trump is rightly, and long over due, telling, yeah thats right, telling EU-peons to cough up.  A bit.  And you cheap, stingy,  broke, elderly, undynamic, sclerotic continent of pensioners, and legions of layers of buerocrats, file clearks, petite officials are going to have some panties bunched figuring out which of yous has to take a hit for the home team.  Inshallah

 

In reply to by Klassenfeind

t0mmyBerg BigCumulusClouds Wed, 07/11/2018 - 12:59 Permalink

"So the NATO tax is a progressive tax in that it is based on GDP. The more you make, the more we take."

Hmm.  It seems you do not understand the concept of what a progressive tax is.  In fact you sound like the confused liberal idiots who always complain about tax cuts for the rich.  Yeah if you make more to begin with and rates come down you get more absolute dollars back.

A progressive tax would be that the higher your GDP, the higher your RATE is.  So the US would pay 7% of GDP in military expense, Germany would pay 4%, Britain 3%, France 2.7%  and so on.  As it is the expectation is that everyone pay THE SAME rate.  Ie, NOT progressive by definition.

In reply to by BigCumulusClouds

jin187 DeathMerchant Wed, 07/11/2018 - 06:12 Permalink

We could probably cut our own defense spending by 30% if we pulled out of Europe.  NATO is just another part of our trade deficit, just like the UN.  I don't even understand why we give a fuck what happens in Europe.  Just because they're white, and mostly christian, and make nice cars, we have to save them from every poor decision, and every big bad they create?  How long are we going to keep paying taxes to King George and Napoleon?  Let that thousand year old Eurotrash aristocracy money pay for their own armies.

In reply to by DeathMerchant

Mustahattu DeathMerchant Wed, 07/11/2018 - 06:40 Permalink

NATO was created by US. Globalisation was created by the US. The European muzzie migration crisis was created by the US. The Russia “threat” was created by the US. So FUCK the USA.

Trump blames America’s past leaders, which is 100% correct. Dumb trumptards need to understand that YOU alone fucked it up.

End NATO. What’s the big deal, Russia will not invade Europe. The loss of life would be beyond anything seen before. Putin does not want this, he wants to do business.

Take all your yankee fuckers out of Europe and close the bases. Take your fucking nukes with you. Stop all trade, who the fuck cares, no wants or buys your shit. Boycott all US and Israeli products is the way to go.

In reply to by DeathMerchant

Offthebeach Mustahattu Wed, 07/11/2018 - 09:58 Permalink

Muzzies came in cause Europe killed off their working class males and their future, never to exist families. And the post war Brits brought Pakis to Jamaicans( even with white council boys unemployed, bring in Polish plumbers ) , France Africans and the used to be Nazis then just businessmen brought Turks to replaced dead Germans and freed east European slave labor.

The past 70 years, Anerican run Europe, has been the longest, peacefulness in it's history.  Ever.  

Thank you very much.

 

 

 

In reply to by Mustahattu

Offthebeach Cast Iron Skillet Wed, 07/11/2018 - 10:07 Permalink

We are not interfering.   We decide.  As we have for 70 years, and picked up the tab. Anytime you guys want to put on your big boy pants, and pick up the tab, and the increased taxes go right ahead.  

But, I could see a semi authoritarian Russia  calling the shots in a Europe that is well conditioned to ... authorities,(  unlike us uncouth, Billy-Bob, gun owning, coal rolling provincial hicks.)

In reply to by Cast Iron Skillet

sheikurbootie Rapunzal Wed, 07/11/2018 - 04:06 Permalink

All good things end, so must NATO.  The US can still have a treaty, just no more troops/exercises or pre-positioned material.  War in Europe will come from within.

The US will finally get the peace dividend of the collapse of USSR.

In reply to by Rapunzal

fulliautomatix Rapunzal Wed, 07/11/2018 - 04:07 Permalink

It would be nice to see the other side of the trade: who is getting paid? If Trump wants a lower barrel price, he's going to have to convince you to pay down your debt. That, or continue to pay to have the US military on permanent active service in the oilfields.

In reply to by Rapunzal

Thordoom Bobbyrib Wed, 07/11/2018 - 07:14 Permalink

Well last time i checked there has been Red Army flag waving  in Berlin since the"Germany's bitch" as you unwisely quoted them to be, broke the Nazis war machine. I know it doesn't sounds well with those who can't celebrate that victory because of their collaboration with the Nazis like Croatia or Romania but you will have to accept it.

In reply to by Bobbyrib