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A Euro-army is fantasy land. We need our American ally
The Guardian ^ | March 29 2008 | Martin Kettle

Posted on 03/29/2008 6:17:18 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

Like pensions and insurance, defence is one of those subjects to which too many people only pay attention when things go wrong. You might think, in the light of the past decade, that this would have changed. But you would be sadly mistaken.

Even today, even after Iraq, few mainstream MPs without an immediate personal or constituency interest in the subject turn up in the Commons for defence debates. Many politicians who are thoughtful about a range of domestic issues still pass by on the other side when the conversation gravitates to the military. In this they reflect the British public's preference for a quiet life. But it means that debates on defence remain monopolised by the committed - those who have always championed the armed services uncritically on the one hand, and those who have always viewed them with reflexive distaste on the other. As a result, such debates rarely give any sort of sensible lead - and we are stuck with the worst-of-both-worlds policy that has been on display in Basra this week.

Nato, which has been at the heart of British defence policy for 59 years, is about to hold an extraordinarily difficult summit in Bucharest. Predictably, this fact has gone largely unnoticed except within these mutually dependent charmed circles. Nevertheless next week's meeting presents a succession of formidably divisive and important issues for the 26 Nato member states to grapple with. Thoughtful public opinion ought to grapple with them more seriously, too. Perhaps we would not have got to this difficult place if there had been more such grappling in the past - as well as better political leadership.

(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Canada; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Germany; Government; Mexico; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; Russia; United Kingdom; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 2008; afghanistan; airforce; allies; alqaida; apcs; armedforces; armedservices; army; balkans; barackhusseinobama; barackobama; belgium; bosnia; brussels; bucharest; canada; clinton; czechrepublic; defence; defense; defensebudget; defensespending; democrat; democraticparty; democratparty; democrats; election; electionpresident; elections; eu; euopeanunion; europe; france; frigates; geopolitics; georgianrepublic; gop; greatbritain; greece; hillary; hillaryclinton; houseofcommons; hungary; integration; iraq; islam; italy; jihad; jihadis; jihadists; johmmccain; kabul; kandahar; kosovo; macedonia; marines; mccain; middleeast; mideast; military; muslims; nato; navy; netherlands; newlabourparty; nicolassarkozy; obama; parliament; poland; potus; president; republicans; serbia; slovakia; spain; taliban; tanks; tories; ukraine; usmilitary; whitehouse
If Europe's GDP exceeds ours, shouldn't their defense spending, as well? It's not 1948 anymore, it's 2008.
1 posted on 03/29/2008 6:17:22 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The gravest threat that the euros face lurks in the nearest mosque. NATO is helpless in the face of the kind of cowardice that smiles and calls itsself ‘tolerance.’


2 posted on 03/29/2008 6:23:14 AM PDT by Clioman
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
“If Europe's GDP exceeds ours, shouldn't their defense spending, as well? It's not 1948 anymore, it's 2008.”

Thank you!

And those 75K troops stationed in Germany would be of better use in Iraq & Afghanistan.

3 posted on 03/29/2008 6:30:22 AM PDT by kellynla (Freedom of speech makes it easier to spot the idiots! Semper Fi!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
We spend more on defense than the rest of NATO put together. In fact, we almost spend more than the rest of the world put together. Europe would like to continue to be on Security Welfare. The problem is that the US will soon be in the position of Europe, i.e., trying to decide between guns or butter.

Our entitlement systems are going belly up. If nothing is done, by 2060, the combination of Social Security and Medicare will account for more than 71 percent of the federal budget. And that doesn't include the current 17 cents of every federal dollar being spent on servicing the national debt. Defense is considered a "discretionary" expense.

4 posted on 03/29/2008 6:30:42 AM PDT by kabar
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
It would seem so, but the continental western Europeans are militarily fat, lazy and complacent. When the military conquest of the parts of Europe not taken over by Moslem immigration takes place they will rue the day they accepted American help and forgot that it is their responsibility to defend themselves. (Is that a run-on sentence?)
5 posted on 03/29/2008 6:33:10 AM PDT by oneolcop (Take off the gloves!)
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To: kellynla

Which is why Germany is being reduced to two US Brigades and why German stationed US Brigades have been rotating to Iraq just like the rest (EG 2SCR).


6 posted on 03/29/2008 6:35:05 AM PDT by DJ Elliott
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
is easy to mock both Nato's and the EU's defence records. Both are in different ways cold war structures that have struggled to adjust to post-cold war realities. They duplicate and they overlap, providing lots of jobs for people who lead comfortable lives attending endless planning sessions at considerable cost but to quite modest effect

How does one apply for a job at NATO?

7 posted on 03/29/2008 6:46:39 AM PDT by Sawdring
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
If Europe's GDP exceeds ours, shouldn't their defense spending, as well? It's not 1948 anymore, it's 2008.

WELL SAID!

You had an excellent point...it just needed a little more pizazz ;-)

8 posted on 03/29/2008 6:47:29 AM PDT by NordP (Yeah...Clinton didn't inhale and Obama didn't know 'nothin' 'bout Rev Wright bein' wrong)
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To: DJ Elliott

I think the days of us defending a Europe unwilling to defend it self should be ended. Just reading some of the responses at the end of this article tells me these bunch of mooching lemmings should be left to their own self imposed fate. Fifty years of sacrificing our wealth and lives of our sons have bought nothing but scorn and jealously. F%^k’em!!!!


9 posted on 03/29/2008 6:47:37 AM PDT by ontap (Just another backstabbing conservative)
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To: kellynla
And those 75K troops stationed in Germany would be of better use in Iraq & Afghanistan.

Those 75,000 troops have been in Iraq and Afganistan. Many of them several times.

10 posted on 03/29/2008 6:55:44 AM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Hasn’t NATO outlived it’s usefulness? What purpose does it serve except to allow the European countries to cut their own defense spending and shift responsibility for their protection to us? The U.S. could easily withdraw from NATO without weakening our defense position in the slightest.


11 posted on 03/29/2008 6:58:07 AM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: ontap

Agreed. Well said.


12 posted on 03/29/2008 6:59:12 AM PDT by alarm rider ("The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -)
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To: oneolcop
"It would seem so, but the continental western Europeans are militarily fat, lazy and complacent. When the military conquest of the parts of Europe not taken over by Moslem immigration takes place they will rue the day they accepted American help and forgot that it is their responsibility to defend themselves."

The Muslim situation in Europe brings to mind the early days of Hitler, in the sense that there must be some Europeans who are asking themselves if now would be a good time to take advantage of the high Euro and purchase that "vacation" place in the US; if only for their children (assuming they buck the trend and have children).

Any Freeper real estate agents notice activity from Europe?

13 posted on 03/29/2008 7:02:25 AM PDT by LZ_Bayonet (There's Always Something.............And there's always something worse!)
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To: LZ_Bayonet
Any Freeper real estate agents notice activity from Europe?

I do believe you're onto something there... A lot of them go to Canada.

14 posted on 03/29/2008 7:05:38 AM PDT by oneolcop (Take off the gloves!)
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To: ontap
Actually, the main reason we still have military in Europe is so that we have bases closer to the real trouble spots. Forward bases make it faster and less expensive to project power to those regions of the world where it is needed.

I for one, would like them to be brought home and "forward based" on the Mexican border.

15 posted on 03/29/2008 7:10:32 AM PDT by oneolcop (Take off the gloves!)
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To: oneolcop

The number of European socialists qua Marxists who have bought property in the San Francisco Bay Area would astound you.


16 posted on 03/29/2008 7:14:46 AM PDT by Melchior
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To: oneolcop

Excellent!


17 posted on 03/29/2008 7:17:13 AM PDT by ontap (Just another backstabbing conservative)
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To: Melchior
No, it wouldn't. I've written off California to the extent possible. I still have a daughter and two grandkids there and I still collect a pension from there, but the state and especially SF are lost.

Sad- my wife was born and later served in the Army on the Presidio of San Francisco. To see what has happened there is so very sad.

18 posted on 03/29/2008 7:28:19 AM PDT by oneolcop (Take off the gloves!)
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To: ontap

The problem is we would be throwing the baby out with teh dirty water.
NATO is not just France and Germany. Several countries in NATO that are pulling their weight would also be abandoned... (EG Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Denmark, Poland,...)


19 posted on 03/29/2008 7:35:26 AM PDT by DJ Elliott
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To: DJ Elliott

No! The problem is we need to remove the baby from the basin and dispose of the filthy water and refill the basin with clean water. i.e. dump the moochers and let them fend for themselves and retain the true allies.


20 posted on 03/29/2008 7:40:06 AM PDT by ontap (Just another backstabbing conservative)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Did you all read the comments on the Guardian? I almost registered there (I came to my senses though) to tell them that the vast majority of Americans don’t care, or even notice, what they think about us. We just defend them out of some reflexive sentimentality. If they keep whining like geriatric relatives, they’ll get our attention and we’ll just say fine, take care of yourself, see ya. What they want more than anything is to be listened to, and we just don’t oblige them. :)


21 posted on 03/29/2008 7:51:14 AM PDT by Doug Loss
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I think for Europe, and maybe America, there might be a return to the “good old days”, before the 19th and 20th Century phenomenon of the gigantic “industrial armies”.

That is, for 1500 years, more or less, the Europeans relied on mercenary armies for most of the “small stuff”. The advantages are that mercenary armies are much cheaper, aren’t as stressful to a nation, and can be used for uncomfortable missions where you would rather not use your regular army.

The last major mercenary army, the French Foreign Legion, still exists and is a reasonably good model if such armies were to be built today. But even they are far more professional a force than is needed in most cases.

They need to be “offshore”, to keep them out of domestic politics, and you want them commanded by people loyal to your nation, not “free lancers” for sale to the highest bidder.

In the case of Europe, or just Britain, or even America, mercenaries would for the most part, not “fight our fights”, which is one of the big objections to their use, but instead we could use them for things such as “peacekeeping” in unpleasant places like Bosnia and Darfur, for things like drug interdictions against narco gangs, and for humanitarian missions.

It is not really a dramatic move, if you think about companies like Blackwater. They already perform much of what we would want a mercenary force to do: act as bodyguards and as a security service, and generally perform jobs that would be wasteful of our soldiers’ time.

They carry light weapons, move by ground vehicle and helicopter, and if they need more logistical support, the regular military can give it to them.

Importantly, were the US, Britain or Europe to set up such an army, it could be garrisoned in the Caribbean, away from the anti-military leftists who hate, fear and would either try to outlaw, or misuse them. If they didn’t want to do a revolting task commanded by a Moonbat, they could not be compelled to.

It could be full of non-citizens, the best foreign soldiers from around the world, and the US would have no problem lending control to NATO officers or even the UN, wearing their silly light blue berets. Something US soldiers dislike intensely.

If the George W. Bush had such a force, he might have sent it to Darfur or Somalia, or even to Bosnia to relieve some of our forces there. Our fighting men do not deserve to be put in such miserable places, with less than clear missions and surrounded by hostile people. But sometimes it is morally right to send *someone* to do so.

And mercenaries cost just a fraction of what one of our regular army units costs. So not only can we do what is right, we don’t have to waste our blood and treasure to do it.

Europe may no longer have the political will to create a standing industrial army, so they may have no other choice, though their bureaucrats would fiercely object, thinking themselves armchair generals happy to lead conscripts in their morning exercises. But once cruel reality intrudes into their fantasies, mercenaries are at least inexpensive.

The US, however, would keep its military as it is, just augmenting its abilities with mercenaries we could send to places we would prefer not to go ourselves.

As a final note, mercenaries also figure into economics, as corporations often need trained security personnel to protect themselves and their assets in unstable nations. This would keep these mercenaries employed in the “off season”.


22 posted on 03/29/2008 8:50:59 AM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: 2ndDivisionVet; All
What's really disturbing is reading the comments at the end of the article on the Guardian site. If these people are typical of the modern European, then they are no friends of ours and their decadence is insurmountable. They will be Eurabia within a decade or so.

Farewell former friends (though I doubt you will).
I sure wish we hadn't spent so much blood and fortune for your freedom!

23 posted on 03/29/2008 8:56:02 AM PDT by ROLF of the HILL COUNTRY ( Terrorism is a symptom, ISLAM IS THE DISEASE!)
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To: ontap
Just reading some of the responses at the end of this article tells me these bunch of mooching lemmings should be left to their own self imposed fate.

I noticed that too, and was outraged.

If you haven't ever read the blog, "Gates of Vienna", I would refer you to that to see that a civil war is brewing in Europe and is likely less than five years off.

What will be the US response to that, especially when it includes the deportment of Muslims, and street fighting between Muslims and the native Europeans who will be protrayed as neo-Nazis in our MSM ?

24 posted on 03/29/2008 9:06:26 AM PDT by happygrl
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

What are they talking about? There’s 54 million muslim residents of Europe. That’s one hell of an Army.


25 posted on 03/29/2008 9:16:25 AM PDT by Rebelbase
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To: Non-Sequitur
The U.S. could easily withdraw from NATO without weakening our defense position in the slightest.

Of course we could. However, then we would lose the legal cover for being the 300lb military gorilla that dominates the world with the other NATO members whose military we control under NATO, being our allies but really client states that do our bidding.

Just like the Warsaw Pact during the cold war that had many nations as members but only the most naive didn't realize that it was the Soviet Union that was the top dog and the others were client states and did its bidding.

26 posted on 03/29/2008 11:23:41 AM PDT by varon (Allegiance to the constitution, always. Allegiance to a political party, never.)
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To: ontap

You dont turn your back on your grandparents- even when they grow old and senile.


27 posted on 03/29/2008 11:24:09 AM PDT by ffusco (Maecilius Fuscus,Governor of Longovicium , Manchester, England. 238-244 AD)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy; All

Does America Need A Foreign Legion?
http://www.useless-knowledge.com/1234/new/article056.html


28 posted on 03/29/2008 11:13:23 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (http://www.fourfriedchickensandacoke.blogspot.com)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

America, always the innovator, would probably want a complex arrangement.

That is, a Blackwater type corporate organization, for their type missions; and a uniformed Foreign Legion, that could either be directed by the US or put under the operational control of friendly foreign forces, such as NATO or the UN.

But then a third group that would be an entirely humanitarian aid and relief mission—organized with foreigners but with logistics and operational direction from the US. This would be to insure that aid and relief went *only* to those it was supposed to go to, and not be squandered or stolen by corrupt local officials, a major problem today.

A little known fact is that for decades now, there has been no, zero, situation of extended famine *in the world* that *wasn’t* caused by a local government trying to starve a hated minority. Every single case is caused by a hateful local government. And this is why we need a “backed by arms” humanitarian mission.

But one that doesn’t cost as frightfully much as using conventional US military forces.


29 posted on 03/30/2008 6:59:56 AM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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