Friday, November 11, 2016

Paying for NATO - Trump has a point.

Me thinking aloud again. Dangerous practice. But open to correction through comment. The first duty of any political entity's is to protect its citizens from external threat. This has been the case since cave dwellers began organising themselves into groups. Also the case that as the scale of threat has grown, it's been necessary to arrange defence on a scale capable of resisting attack from ever stronger forces. Terms such as 'Balance of Power' and 'Mutually Assured Destruction' have emerged within international politics to describe the consequences of this process. In today's world in practice, it means firstly that many countries in the West have merged military capability into one (more effective) unit, and secondly that the United States, vastly more rich and powerful than any other state has to be a part of it. Which brings us to NATO - our 'All for one;'One for all' defence policy.

But who pays. This is the question that has landed on Western leaders desks today. Donald Trump thinks the US is being required to do much of the heavy financial lifting. The accepted NATO target is that all countries should chip in 2% of GDP. The UK does. I think Poland does - two states which remember the horrors of 1939-45 better than most. Of all the statements/promises the incoming Commander-in-Chief has made over the last few months/years, the most worrying have been about his commitment to NATO.

With Rusia's President Putin on manoeuvres along Europe's Eastern borders, there will be much nervousness developing in EU capitals. I do hope the EU integrationists don't see Trump's words as a reason to divert resources to EU armed forces to fill a gap. Without the US, the EU will not have significant capability. Seems to me the best course of action is to start talking seriously to President Trump. It may even be that the UK will be well placed to broker sensible resolution. Now there's a though in our Brexit world. But at the heart of this, every EU state is going to have to get serious about defence. We will all have to our bit - a bit more I suspect.

1 comment:

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

This is something I have commented on several times on your FB pages. I am in Trump's head. I really understood that he would win, that British politicians were SERIOUSLY in error making terrible comments against Trump. All that aside, Trump is not interested in bank-rolling free loading nations in Europe. Quite the contrary. Trump sees MASSIVE joint military exercisers including LIVE attacks. A new axis will form: USA/Russia, a US Russian Alliance (hereafter, "URA"). European ministers will have to fall in line with the policies of the URA or be NAKED. The 'cold war' is OVER. Other alliances will form under the umbrella of the URA. The counter will be China which will gather up its neighbours to form a competing alliance to include Pakistan. There will be difficult times. Assad will not fall - despite the work of the media and the British government to paint Assad in a very bad light, this leader is the EXACT opposite. That's how Putin sees him (and frankly, it is how I viewed Assad when he was up at Glasgow University the same time as I was there doing my PhD in chemistry). For some weird reason British policy and thinking has run counter to common sense. Assad will regain full control of Syria. That will be the Russia price for stopping Iran gaining some measure of direct access to the Mediterranean Sea. PS A new world order will take route, just not the one that Soros and the Bush and Clinton families wanted, but later there will be a free trade area between North America and parts of South America. Trump hates Soros. So expect 'noise' there. Also, expect a review of California - a push to split it into two states thereby creating a 51st state. This kind of thing has happened before but under quite different circumstances involving Unionist/Confederate differences wherein Virginia split into two states: West Virginia and Virginia (re: "following the Wheeling Conventions of 1861"; Wikipedia).