33 Comments
May 9, 2023·edited May 9, 2023

France and Germany are more interested in the big kow-tow with Xi and economic hegemony in Europe then actual defense.

Fortunately for Russia and China it appears that if left to their own devices they will collapse their own economies and become willing economic vassals of Beijing.

In the meantime? They will depend on Poland and other NATO countries that care about their national soul.

Expand full comment

France, Germany, and I suspect the UK (though they hide it well) dislike American leadership. The problem is that they can't agree on anyone else. The only other viable candidate would be Poland.

I remain convinced that the USA needs to make our NATO obligations contingent on other member's defense budgets...and acquisition policies. 2% of GDP doesn't go far when the primary purpose of your acquisition system is to prop up local industry. They don't have to buy American, they just have to show sense. Perhaps a consortium of European NATO members, to buy in bulk. And maybe, just maybe, we need to think about doing equipment swaps. France needs a second aircraft carrier...and the USN needs corvettes. Can we trade?

Expand full comment

The French were considering a modified QE for CATOBAR ten years ago. I doubt a Ford would work for them, but the working tech would be an assist.

Expand full comment

Maybe the French build us escort carrier hulls?

Expand full comment

Maybe even "light Carriers" say America Class and some F-35Bs for corvettes and SuffrenClass subs. Although I would prefer some type of swap with Japan for Mogami Frigates and Taigei submarines but its a different theater

Expand full comment

No 2%?

No NATO vote

Seriously though, Poland with 1250 tanks will be the largest modern armor force in Europe

Five times the German tank strength. And most of them are broke

Expand full comment

No 2%?

No NATO membership. We should be as ruthless as any HOA about paying dues.

Expand full comment

Gross expenditures aren't the best measure. Both Greece and Turkey rank fairly high in expenditures--the problem is that a good bit of those expenditures are focused at each other.

Expand full comment

The Greeks viewing the Turks as a threat, keeps their forces more combat ready, than any fear of the Russian Bear.

Expand full comment

I, for one, am extremely tired of my Euro friends - otherwise fine people - constantly bitching about US troops in the EU, US nukes in the EU, and US foreign policy makers treating them like Pinocchio. My typical response is "Fine, we will gladly take our toys and leave, but don't come whining around when a bigger dog grabs your neck and starts shaking, like you did the last two times."

Expand full comment

Hollow threat. Europe is a vassal to the US, unlikely the US will just pick up and leave.

Expand full comment

Want to bet?

Expand full comment

You want to bet that the US would willingly give up its empire? Absent a collapse or complete overhaul in Wall Street & DC, unlikely.

Expand full comment

"there is no doubt Europe’s hope of being able to tackle external threats alone was exposed by the Ukraine war"

Wasn't it exposed by Libya?

Expand full comment

UK vs Argentina.

Expand full comment

Couldn't we also list that as the first consumer TV war? Brief enough to follow on TV, no political drama here, easily consumed. We could even pick a side and root for the winner. I remember wondering why the Brits were up in arms over the Falklands.

Its success was followed up by the blockbuster "Shock and Awe"!

Expand full comment

The British Citizens of the Falklands wanted to remain under British Rule. We would have done the same if Japan or China tried to take over Guam.

Expand full comment

Why, why, why did the US support Europe's stupid intervention in Libya?

Expand full comment

You have it backwards. US interfered then dropped the soiled baby at Europe's door.

Expand full comment

Bit of a stretch on the historical analogy CDR, but point well made.

Expand full comment

Does Mr. Macron not realize that despite its problems, Nova Roma can at this time still crush the Franks? "AVENGE (whoever the Roman general was that the Franks defeated)!"

Expand full comment

“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so. “ – Mark Twain

Us keeps acting like Mexico is a friend, that is not so.

Expand full comment

Never has been.

Expand full comment

I'm not saying we're WILL, that's too optimistic. I'm saying I'm tired of expending blood and treasure on a bunch of ingrates.

Expand full comment

Costs of running an empire.

Expand full comment

As was pointed out by the late Professor Rood of Clairemont McKenna College, by the time the US entered WWII in late 1941, England and France were too spent to be true near-peer allies. So, it is the US thru NATO that will have to keep the peace for the two centuries, at least. More like a millennium.

We have another reason to maintain military power on the ramparts on the far sides of the Atlantic and Pacific. Again per Rood, America is an island nation surrounded by the Eurasian land mass. Our coast line is too long to contemplate defend our nation on our shores. Our wars must be fought over there.

And, for all the foolish talk of our "top men" over the last 30 years, the reality of what NATO is and what it managed to accomplish over the past 75 years is a true anomaly. Had we not been asleep at the switch, this current war in Ukraine would not have happened. As it is, we should thank Putin for starting the war when he did since it has exposed how badly we slipped and what we have to do to rebuild an industrial base to what will be needed to keep the tyrants in China and Russia down.

So far we are just supplying logistics. Withdrawal from our ramparts on the far side of the Pacific and Atlantic will only encourage more bad behavior that will ultimately draw our citizens into actual combat. And, for all the faults of corruption in Ukraine, all that pale to not a war, but a rolling war crime that Russia commits in odd lots each day this war continues. If not America, then who?

Expand full comment

Let the EU fight it's own wars, destroy themselves it is not our problem. We have China to deal with and he euro won't help.

Expand full comment

We need to recognize that there are a lot of circuses, and a whole lot of monkeys in them. We need to remember that we only have ONE circus, and cannot even keep the damn door on the cage shut.

All those other circuses and their monkeys are NOT our job. Sure we can provide advice, admonitions and encouragement if we want. But, not an American dollar or drop of American blood is automatically dedicated to anything not directly part of our vital national interests.

Taiwan has fallen under many flags over the centuries, and it is not a vital U.S. interest if they change again, for the first time since 1945, but not that was just the latest of many changes in masters.

Ditto Ukraine.

Yup, there are some despicable evil people in this world. If those oppressed by them rise up and overthrow the rotten SOBs, we can and should cheer. But, it is NOT OUR JOB to go get rid of despicable SOBs.

We cannot even secure our own border, which is allowing our country to be invaded by literally millions of invaders. If we cannot fix that, we have no standing to opine on events anywhere in the world.

Expand full comment

Well said!

Expand full comment

NATO lost it's mission year 2000 by then Russia was no longer a threat. It should have disbanded then. EU can learn to take care of itself o fall into war or servile chains. It is no longer a US problem we have been there 78 years.

Expand full comment

NATO needs to go the way of the dodo. It's mission was over in 1989. In the subsequent 30 years most of Eastern Europe has recovered from the Soviet occupation. They recognize that Russia is still a threat but understand after witnessing the last year in Ukraine that the major threat comes from a combination of undermining existing governments and nuclear weapons saber rattling.

We should support the Eastern European and Baltic countries to form a new defensive alliance. France, Germany, the Mediterranean members of NATO and the UK are not regarded as serious countries by Eastern Europe; they can stay home. The US would provide requested aid and training if the countries wished but would not provide a security guarantee. Ukraine could join this alliance if all parties agree without feeding Russian paranoia over 'NATO'. The one missing part is a nuclear deterrent; facing Russia these countries would need one (Does anyone think that if Ukraine had lost some nukes in the 90s to a 'tragic boating accident' that they would be in their current circumstance?). The naysayers can have spasms when one or more of these countries breaks out of the Non Proliferation Treaty. I'm not interested in going to war over Estonia, although I would support honoring the commitment if we had to. It is time to do some serious diplomacy so we don't have to in the future.

Expand full comment

NATO is just a way to disguise US hegemony. Not going away as long as the US can keep it going.

Expand full comment

Hegemony? Resorted to deep dive to understand & appreciate prior “lessons learned”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hegemony?wprov=sfti1

Expand full comment