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Trump says no tickee no shirtee

Trump says No tickee, no shirtee.
Trump lays down the law to Europe.
The snooty Frogs and Krauts have had it too good for too long. The US has borne all the heavy lifting for the defence of Europe – at least defending against regular armies.

The US presence in Europe is better than a few million tourists a year for the Nato European nations, they benefit, but it is a huge outflow of US taxpayer’s dough just to essentially drill and train in a foreign country.

Mad Dog Mattis, (I love that name) is the first member of Mr Trump’s top team to visit Europe since Trump’s inauguration and he didn’t mince words when he got there. He heralded a bruising new phase in the relationship between Europe and the US. He wants to see the cash.

He soothingly told them that Trump’s support for the 28-nation alliance is a “fundamental bedrock.” Not just fundamental, not just bedrock, a fundamental bedrock. Gosh.

But, no tickee no shirtee.

“No longer can the American taxpayer carry a disproportionate share of the defence of western values. Americans cannot care more for your children’s future security than you do yourselves,” Mad Dog told them.

“America will meet its responsibilities but if your nations do not want to see America moderate its commitment to this alliance each of your capitals needs to show support for our common defence.”

Getting down to brass tacks he said that ministers must adopt a plan this year that sets dates for governments to meet the Nato target of spending at least 2 per cent of national income on defence. Aside from the US, four countries, including Britain, meet the goal, the rest are hangers on.

The US warning comes at the time Russian military activity from the Black Sea to the Baltic and nervousness in Europe about the White House’s determination to see Russia right in future relationships. “You all pay up or I’ll tell Putin I have no interest in what he is doing in Ukraine.”

It’s an updated version of the old Mafia protection racket.

Last July Trump was asked whether the US would assist a Baltic state “if Russia came over the border”. He said: “You can’t forget the bills . . . Have they fulfilled their obligations to us? If they fulfil their obligations to us, the answer is yes.”

Clear? Any Questions?

Of the three Baltic states, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, only Estonia meets the 2 per cent military spending target, along with Greece, Poland and Britain. Italy and Spain spend barely 1 per cent of GDP on defence. Germany and France are hanging on to their dough.

“I owe it to you to give you clarity on the political reality in the United States, and to state the fair demand from my country’s people in concrete terms,” Mattis said in the closed session, according to remarks released afterwards.

Sir Michael Fallon, the UK defence secretary, backed the US demand for all member states to meet the Nato spending target. “An annual increase that we are asking them to commit to would at least demonstrate good faith,” he said.

Sir Michael will hold talks for the first time with Mattis and reiterate Theresa May’s commitment to use Britain’s influence to push other Nato members towards the 2 per cent goal. Several countries in Europe are thought to be committed to meeting the target by the end of the decade.

Ursula von der Leyen, the German defence minister, her fingers in the vice, managed to cough out a reluctant statement that the US was right on defence spending. She says OK, OK, she will boost defence spending from the current 1.2 per cent. Practically double.

They laugh at Trump in the dingbat US media, it’s a different attitude in the Chancelleries of Europe.

By the way, Sweden is not part of Nato. Its battle plan consists of a Big Red Button on the desk of the Prime Minister. Should anyone encroach on Sweden’s territory, he or she presses the button and instantly loudspeakers all over Sweden plays a continual tape saying “We surrender” in most modern European languages.

As it did not have Arabic or Syrian on the tape the way was open for hundreds of thousands of army age young men to descend on Sweden and make themselves at home. Immigration authorities had no plan for them.

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Bushranger71 17/02/2017, 10:09 am

    The Truman Doctrine (1947) was the official beginning of an aggressive ‘peacetime’ intervention during which America became the world’s policeman; a major play to entrench American interest into Third World nations and to prop up governments considered to be favourable to America. The doctrine pledged American assistance to any nation that resisted communism.

    The implication and the discussion that surrounded the doctrine pledged hostility toward any nation that embraced communism. ‘Friendly’ nations were often bought off by supporting cooperative but repressive leaders. Unfriendly ones often experienced economic sanctions and the arming of their domestic opponents.

    In 1949, the prospect of further communist expansion prompted the United States and 11 other Western nations to form the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The Soviet Union and its affiliated communist nations in Eastern Europe founded a rival alliance, the Warsaw Pact, in 1955 (disbanded in 1991).

    NATO is in effect a shopfront for the US military-industrial complex that has spread its influence beyond the North Atlantic, now embracing Australia (through Obama) as an ‘Enhanced Partner’.

    The United States has repeatedly called on European allies to contribute more and in recent years NATO’s Secretary General described declining European defence budgets as “unsustainable” when compared with increased Russian spending on its military.

    In 2006, NATO allies set a target to spend 2% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on defence.

    Relating defence outlay to nebulous GDP is an entirely unrealistic and mostly unaffordable metric as GDP is not a measure of the spending capacity (revenue) of a nation.

    To illustrate the point; in Year 2010, US defense outlay was $698billion representing about 4.4% of GDP, but a staggering 33% of Federal Revenue, which was severely damaging for the American economy.

    The table at this link provides some interesting comparisons showing the unrealistic high world ranking of Australia. (The Editor might consider inclusion of the table): http://www.comw.org/wordpress/dsr/us-and-allies-dominate-group-of-top-military-spenders

    Budget numbers out of Canberra concerning defence expenditure projections are somewhat dubious, but present outlay may be somewhere around 8.5 percent of estimated Federal Revenue.

    An increase of expenditure from 1.6 to 2 percent of GDP, as colluded by the major political parties via so-called ‘bipartisanship’, will require massive unaffordable increase in defence outlay of tens of billions of dollars. The Government is already significantly funding Defence substantially via borrowings, without real strategic justification.

    Now, more than ever, Australia needs to establish its own benchmark for prudent defence spending, which would probably be around 7 percent of Federal Revenue considering the other economic imperatives facing the nation.

    We should not be responding to US diktat regarding outlay on defence.

  • Moree 17/02/2017, 1:58 pm

    It’s of no consequence that 2% of GDP is a good or bad metric. It is the figure agreed on, and the Europeans at large have welshed on the deal. The US and UK honoured the deal. Immediately the Soviet Union disintegrated the Baltic States and the new eastern states nearly broke their necks applying for NATO membership.
    Only Poland and Estonia paid up.
    I pity the Poles thinking they can rely on France and Germany if Boris comes over their boundaries.

  • Bushranger71 17/02/2017, 5:09 pm

    2 percent of GDP matters a lot Moree if it translates to an unaffordable slice of national revenue.

    A lot of Poles have long memories of their bad treatment by the Allies related to WW2.

    And it was the USAF that was going to drop 10 nukes across Poland to create a nuclear wasteland had the Cold War gone hot.

    Methinks too much is made of Russia’s perceived territorial ambitions, which might arguably be categorized as NATO propaganda.

    The US forces recently deployed in these eastern European States are really only token in strength and viewed by many as provocation to cause the Russian military to make counter moves.

    It will be interesting to see whether President Trump tells a few Generals to pull their heads in once he has had enough time with feet under the desk and got to meet President Putin.

  • Graham Richards 17/02/2017, 6:15 pm

    Solving the problem of the 2% of GDP for the 23 other nations non contribution is easy.

    The EU claims sovereignty over the whole lot of them,except Britain, so let the EU stump up for the 2% of the collective GDP of the EU.

    I bet they suddenly look for excuses which don’t compromise the ” sovereignty ” bit.

    Devious, immoral liars as are all Socialists!

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