Germany rejects Trump's claim it owes NATO and U.S. 'vast sums' for defense

Germany rejects Trump's claim it owes NATO and U.S. 'vast sums' for defense

His remarks prompted a former US permanent representative to NATO to reply “that’s not how NATO works”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/18/trump-merkel-nato-germany-owe-money-tweet

And again: If the current arrangement wasn't in the US' interest, they wouldn't have bases all over Europe. Or does anyone actually think there is any altruism in US foreign policy?

That's not how any of this works.

Peace is a helluva lot cheaper than war.

However, the people putting money into the pockets of American Politicians think of it a different way:

"Peace is much less profitable than war."

Time for the US to start paying for the military bases it has in the Europe. Germany pays the US $1 billion a year for a military base that the US uses to co-ordinate it's drone strikes in wars that causes problems and instability in our neighbourhood.

The German people are also against these bases and want them gone.

Time for the US to leave or start paying Germany for this.

That's not something the Bannon Administration and its supporters care about.

Scientifically proven facts are relegated to Chinese hoaxes and debunked myths are elevated to "alternative" facts. They live in a make-believe world of their choosing, reality cannot affect them.

That's not how any of this works.

That sounds like a good title for a book on the Trump administration after it's over.

It's like a tupperware party.

Shit. "we're" just beefing with everyone these days. Smh

I see a few key differences between the Philippines and Germany that would make the same thing happening rather unlikely

Could Europe afford to have the same level of social problems if they could not rely on another country for protection?

Yes. For most countries we're talking about less than 1% of the gdp. The idea that Europe is an egalitarian place because of US protection is just downright silly. US could achieve the same without cutting military.

Everyone is Donald Trump's enemy - except for Russia, Israel, and Saudi Arabia.

Not with russia or israel or saudi arabia

Just remember who got all that money. It came from American taxpayers and it went to American defense companies.

A prime example: The bill which would have allowed 9/11 families to sue Saudi Arabia. Obama had spoken against the bill since April 16. He vetoed it. The GOP Congress overrode his veto. Then they freaked out because they finally saw the full political implications, and blamed Obama for not speaking out against the bill. Go figure.

Next you'll be telling me you are a Bowling Green massacre denier!!!

I am no Trump apologist, but I don't think that's what he means. He's a horrible communicator, but there is a belief that member NATO countries benefit disproportionately from NATO and the security they get by knowing the US will protect them at the end of the day. There's a great book on this called "Of Paradise and Power". IMO, it's a valid discussion to be had. Particularly, in a time where we like to compare US and European social programs. Could Europe afford to have the same level of social programs if they could not rely on another country for protection?

EDIT: fixed typo, replaced problem with program in 2 places

No country in the world does things out of altruism alone.

Imagine telling people in 1945 that someday the US President would be haranguing Germany to spend more on it's military.

My local Tupperware seller fills the boxes with weed and pills. He's pretty expensive but the customer service is totally worth it. Last week, I broke one of the lids on the container I use for my son's lunchbox. I called him, and he said he'd drop off a couple of replacement lids with my next shipment!

Plus when he was at our place a few weeks back, the neighbors were having a party as being really loud. When we ask them to tone it down they don't until we call the cops, but when he asked them they sent most of their guests home, and apologised the next day!

I guess I'm rambling, but I guess I really like Tupperware.

Came here to say this.

It's really ironic that our health care system not only doesn't work, it's also among the most expensive systems in the world.

But no, it can't be that our system is shit - it's them stupid foreigners forcing us to build aircraft carriers!

Exactly, and Trump should stop acting like the US has been spreading it's military purely out of altruism

The Philippines wanted the US bases in their county gone so we obliged them. Now China has invaded their off shore islands and is establishing their own military bases on them.

They're willing to spend a lot of money on helping people but not a lot of money on killing people??

Poland will start building bases across the German border!

The German people are also against these bases

BULLSHIT! Im German, and these bases are MAJOR factors of economy in our country. No city or fedaral state wants "its" base gone.

You know the Conservatives are gonna shit on them too for not immediately fixing everything

When this is what you vote for this is what you get. The next guy sure has a lot to fix. Do not really envy his job.

Rules of Acquisition:

34. War is good for business. 35. Peace is good for business.

How about "the orange dumpster fire of the early twenty first century"

I would actually take this opportunity to ask you what I've asked a Trump apologist since I thinkyou might be able to give me a good answer to this: even if we assume Trump is a horrible communicator, why does this relieve him of the responsibility for that poor communication?

He cannot expect a sane diplomatic discourse on the matter if his tone is both insulting and reckless. And while we can have this debate and ignore how Trump phrases his interests, I don't think we should have. The man has the authority and the responsibility for his words and he should not be treated like a five year old - "Thanks Donald for the input. It wasn't nicely said but in fact, if we go to the core of your idea, there is some truth to it, if I, you know, try to mold it over the facts - sooo Mum and Dad are gonna talk and you go play golf, okay?"

you can't actually expect international politics to treat him like that.

Hell, if the US dropped health spending to levels similar to the mid-EU spenders, with a similar system of provision, the US could probably afford quite a few new social programmes without touching military spending.

Or that nothing happened in Sweden.

He's not a licensed Tupperware reseller.

True, but it creates jobs everywhere else. And those are jobs that actually produce something useful.

I'm still a big fan of "The Tangerine Scream".

"NATO admits it has an "over-reliance" on the U.S. for the provision of essential capabilities, including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, air-to-air refueling, ballistic missile defense and airborne electronic warfare."

Spin it however you want. Germany, who at the same time is boasting an economic surplus and willing to pay $100 billion for refugees, and most of the countries in NATO aren't contributing their fair share, and they know they're relying heavily on America's defense spending to make up for it.

Sir the Mexicans are adamantly refusing to pay for the wall what should we do?

Make the Germans pay for it!

Might want to mention the 0.7% of gdp goal for development funding that the UN have since the '70s. The US spend <0.2% for decades which amounts to TRILLIONS the US owes the UN. That's how this works, right?

McConnel filibustered his own bill

Or that time because he only proposed it "knowing" the Dem's would be against it and he could use it for political capital.

I couldn't think of a more boring party. At least put some food in the Tupperware if you want me to buy it.

Russia benefits from a weakened relationship between the US and Germany.

Or that your microwave isn't spying on you.

Only five of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's 28 member countries last year met the alliance goal of spending at least 2% of their gross domestic product on defense. United States, 3.61%. Greece, 2.38%. Britain, 2.21%. Estonia, 2.16%. Poland, 2%. France, 1.78%. Turkey, 1.56%. Norway, 1.54%. Lithuania, 1.49%. Romania, 1.48%. Latvia, 1.45%. Portugal, 1.38%. Bulgaria, 1.35%. Croatia, 1.23%. Albania, 1.21%. Germany, 1.19%. Denmark, 1.17%.

Permanent meaning the existence of the post is permanent. The person who holds the post rotates term to term. NATO, the UN, and the EU are weird.

I have something to tell you about your Tupperware guy.. I hope you're sitting down, because this may come as a bit of a shock to you.

Nice try Sweden but I'm not assembling a jet myself.

Spence "when Donald trump said Germany owe the US and NATO millions, he didn't mean that"

The irony of all this is that the neoliberal/neoconservative US military expansion into Western Europe after WWII, through NATO, was all in opposition of the Soviet Union.

Now, when the neoconservatives, "liberal interventionists", or whatever they want to call themselves most need this vast military complex they helped build, they lost control of their own party and are now powerless.

I don't want to fear-monger too much about Russia, but after the invasion of Crimea, the election meddling, etc., right now is probably the most boldly confrontational Russia has been since the fall of the USSR. And yet neoconservatives and neoliberals are pretty powerless to deal with what seems to be an expansion of Russian influence.

I'm sure some Bush, Reagan, Obama era officials in the State Department are still attempting to influence things, but when the leadership of the executive branch seems apathetic to Russia at best, and conjunctive at worst, neoconservatives/neoliberals must feel powerless as they watch this all unfold.

The question is, Tupperwhere is he buried?

Good, so no reason for the US to act like it does.

former

permanent

I'm confused.

Every once in a while, declare peace. It confuses the hell out of your enemies.

Reichstag mysteriously burns down, classic Poland and their invasions

Eh I've always felt it's a matter of reliability and predictability. War is more reliably manipulated into profits than peacetime ventures. It's like the stock market. To the right person both ups and downs can be profitable. I can make profit by investing and watching a company grow. If I can reliably predict a company's demise then I can maneuver that into a position of profit too. So the economic predictability allows those in the right places to make reliable decisions to more easily generate wealth. However it is economic truth that peacetime is more profitable for all and that basic notion shouldn't be lost on us.

Because the cost of using US presence as a bulwark against Russian aggression is cheaper than the cost of building and maintaining your own military as a bulwark.

Might as well add the edit here: For all those Germans who think this is bullshit; ask your defense minister, ask the people in charge of your national security.

If Ramstein and all its neighboring bases leave, the region will become much poorer. Ask Mons how much economic wealth has entered the region since the NATO base was moved there from Paris, it is the same in your area.

-German who travelled through most US bases in Europe

The ones we should be most concerned about.

"SAD! The Story of Administration Donald."

I would think Europe would be the #1 beneficiary of Europe not being destabilized... But hey, you learn something new every day.

You're acting like the president understands the nuances of foreign policy.

Or that GCHQ didn't wire tap Trump on behalf of Obama.

That gave me a laugh. Although, I'm sure Trump will be tweeting angrily about it later.

I'm Canadian, and as far as I know, we're not spending our required 2% of GDP for defense. But I think we have to spend more, now that Russia's starting to get on our tail for the ownership of the Arctic.

Could Europe afford to have the same level of social programs if they could not rely on another country for protection?

The problem is that the answer to that is 'yes'.. Germany has a surplus that it could push into defence putting it above the 2% level for example, the UK has historically spent way more on defence, and at the same time maintained universal healthcare and (At the time..) free university tuition, subsidised council housing (which we don't actually build anymore..) and a slew of other benefits.

It's also worth noting that whilst some NATO countries should probably be spending more to increase their capabilities, the US spending isn't all geared toward NATO. The US spends vast amounts of money because it is a superpower and has taken the decision to be the worlds most powerful military too, it's not particularly efficient in how it spends its money (it could probably have the same capabilities for a lot less money if it acted a little mores sensibly in some areas and reduced waste) and it has huge commitments globally. Most EU countries don't need have the capability to protect Taiwan or Japan in order to defend themselves for example, they don't need to be able to project power over half the globe to ensure that they can meet their own defence needs..

But some of those countries should probably make sure that they can defend themselves against a Russian incursion, with the support of their allies and neighbours..

Just to add a little detail to this very accusation sounding comment: It's a goal to meet the 2% in 2024, not today...

Edit 2024 even, not 2022

Well in the end it's the US government voluntrarily spending their own tax money to expand their military all over the world.

No other country is forcing them to do it. So if they want to pull out like Trump said they can just do it whenever they want.

That's not true. The 2% commitment has been in place for quite some time.

You're probably thinking of how in 2014, because so many members weren't meeting that commitment, they were pressured to pledge to work towards it over the next 10 years.

But that doesn't mean the obligation starts in 2024, just that after many years of not spending enough, they were pressured to begin working towards it.

He wrote people and you are arguing with cities/states. I am German as well and most people I know are against those bases expecially ramstein.

Yep. Pity the people calling the shots can't see past their own terms in office....

There needs to be a separation of politics and finance or things will never change. As long as businessmen are the ones running countries, money will be the most important thing.

Trump, who's swindled thousands of people by refusing to pay what he owed them and telling them to sue him, is now pretending someone who didn't owe him anything owes him something.

Fuck this guy.

Now that is funny. I'll give you that.

Just for the record, both neoliberal and neoconservative are considered "conservative" ideologies in the modern political sense. And yes, that is confusing.

This was a popular opinion when Bernie said it

I mean, does that really help? The US doesn't spend all of this money for charity's sake. A peaceful world, particularly regarding trade, if anything benefits the US most of all.

Military contractors in the US are expanding rapidly right now. It's a good time to be in the industry.

China already took most those off shore islands before the USA left. And AFAIK the USA is still doing what they can to stop china from claiming the south Chinese sea because its in US interests to not have it claimed by China since it will make shipping routs a lot more expensive.

Make the Germans pay for it!

The amount of paperwork needed for this could be used to build the wall on its own.

Conway "he meant Germany has been listening to us through our light switches"

To some extent, sure. But when Halliburton charges the US Army $3 to wash a single t-shirt, that war sure is profitable for them.

Agreed, any war in any part of the world will harm trade and be bad for the US

I personally don't think it does relieve him. IMO he doesn't care though. He just wants to please his populist base, and he is speaking their language. He is relaying their view of these nuanced issues in a very abrasive, non nuanced, hyperbolic way and they love him for it. They feel like they are being heard. This is a serious problem that the left has to get their head around. We need to hear what they are hearing.

Peace doesn't create jobs in defense though.

Not to mention the amount we have to spend on refugees due to American interventionist policies destabilizing regions overseas. We should send Trump the bill for the costs of the influx of refugees we are seeing along with all the other EU countries feeling the strain. As for Defence spending you are correct about Russian subs entering our Arctic territory, time to engineer a submarine trap up north and start seizing their subs when entering our waters. Would be an awesome feat if we could track one down and somehow contain it and capture the crew temporarily.

Agreed, the only problem is Americans think geopolitics operates on morality (liberals and conservatives are guilty of this). So most Presidents have had to sell geopolitics as a matter of moral good, rather than cold pragmatism.

1 is "Once you have their money, you never give it back". You quoted 76.

Greece diplomatic situation with turkey never was very good and is becoming worse each year

In this 'discussion that must be had', consider for a moment the economic benefits the US has realised over the past 6 decades from a stable, American-aligned western Europe. Or how expensive it would be to protect American interests internationally without European support.

Denmark (my country) has had at least 51 killed in Iraq/Afghanistan because we followed our ally the US into those shitshows. Our fair share of those deaths were exactly 0. Also, the refugees from the US invasion of Iraq (which made room for ISIS), Europe is paying for those.

The US has been a shit ally for Europe as a whole for the last 16 years.

The EU exists. EU has common defenxe clause. EU has a bigger defence budget than China and Russia combined. We don't need to spend more.

Or man who has an incredibly tiny penis tries to overcome his feelings of inadequacy by acting like a huge dick.

All that would need is removing the veto-rights in the security coucil. Guess who would be the first to object.

No, see, good health care systems won't work in the United States, because mumble mumble mumble

You should really look up Ramstein Air base and Landstuhl hospital, if you believe the us only gets tangential benefits out of the bases in Europe. We literally have the HQ for Air Force operations in Europe and Africa right in the middle of Germany and the biggest Air Base outside the US with the giant communications network to go with which is vital for the US' war in the middle east. Your drone program would not be possible without this base since everything from simple data transfer all the way to analyzing is being done from there. The only thing remote is officially/supposedly the pulling of the trigger, if you want to believe that. Landstuhl is in turn the biggest US military hospital outside the US, again used to fly in personal from all over, especially the conflicts in the middle east.

If the US wanted to, they could have pulled out from here long ago and they are free to do so any minute now, they could also decide to reduce their spending to 2% and let the Europeans deal with their defense, but let's not kid ourselves. This is never going to happen. Trump even increased the budged for the DoD by a pretty large amount.

While I agree that it is completely reasonable to expect all NATO partners to invest the 2% in their own military, which is really in their own interest, this won't change anything about the amount the US pays for their military. It's not like the US needs to spend 3.3%, like anyone is forcing them or like this budget even is a "defense budget" in the classical sense that it purely defends the US from foreign countries declaring war and sending their troops over. It's power projection and no matter how much the others decide to invest, the US taxpayer won't be paying less any time soon.

You're acting like the president understands the nuances of foreign policy.

FTFY

You're acting like the president understands e nuance of fore policy things.

FTFY

Well, this a hillariously ignorant comment for today.

Imagine telling people in 1945 that West Germany is against spending money to protect itself against Russia.

I wonder why all of these nefarious industrial-complexes always choose something destructive to profit from. We have the military-industrial complex, the prison-industrial complex, we have the tobacco lobby, we have the oil-and-gas lobby, we have people gutting the EPA. If it doesn't hurt or destroy something, they don't want to profit from it.

Why not the puppy-industrial-complex? Why not the library-complex? Why not the free-unlimited-wifi complex? Why not the give-every-school-a-climbing-wall complex? There are endless possibilities for generating profit that don't involve destroying people's lives.

I think the reason is because the world is run by psychopaths.

and remember, before president Nixon it was illegal to acquire exorbitant profits from Health Care services/products.....

Because Merkel is too much of a pragmatist.

Yeah the amount you spend on refugees is nowhere close to what you'd need to spend on defense to make up the NATO "minimum."

Randall Tupper is rolling over in his sandy grave

How can he be a terrible communicator? He says he has the best words! Everyone tells him that!

Russia has 143 million inhabitants. Germany has 80 million, France 65, the UK 64 and the entire EU 500 million. The EU has a common defense strategy, so that last EU pop number is highly relevant.

But if Putin would instigate an invasion with troops on the ground of Germany and France, there would be no non-nuclear scenario.

No one's claiming it doesn't benefit Germany and the UK...The US still benefits far greater from Russian containment (insofar as it relates to American interests in Europe, i.e., fuck Crimea...). A destabilized Europe is bad news for American interests and economics.

This actually reflects American foreign policy in a nutshell: it's all about containment. In the Middle East, instability is accepted so long as it remains contained to the Middle East (we're seeing how that's changing...). American foreign policy has NO alternative. There's no plan to negotiate peaceful integration of various parties; there's no plan for the US to compromise and offer to withdraw influence from the region. Aside from continued containment (or, once that starts failing, doubling down to reassert containment) America has no other plan.

is it not mutually beneficial. The bases were to provide a defense against the USSR. Now they are used to strategic power projection.

They still have a benefit for Germany/UK etc