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Clark Griswold

Time for the US to leave NATO?

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This comes up from time to time but I thought this was a well reasoned article on exiting the alliance at the extreme of options or changing our participation in the alliance to associate member (as really a fail-safe and firewall against nuclear intimidation).

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-skeptics/should-the-us-leave-nato-14534

Thoughts?

 

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Yes.  NATO's become a solution in search of problems.  The US would be much better off as an associate member, but NATO itself would crumble without its core member.

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I'm torn because for every time we see examples of a major western country like Germany not spending anywhere near the required amount I see first hand a country like Poland punching way above its weight with actual guys on the ground in crapghanistan.

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17 hours ago, HU&W said:

Yes.  NATO's become a solution in search of problems.  The US would be much better off as an associate member, but NATO itself would crumble without its core member.

Can't argue with that, given the fecklessness of most Eurocrats, I think it would be hollow as drum.  Basically Germany, Italy, Spain, et. al would need to almost double their military capabilities to be credible, put that in snowball in hell category.

16 hours ago, Lawman said:

I'm torn because for every time we see examples of a major western country like Germany not spending anywhere near the required amount I see first hand a country like Poland punching way above its weight with actual guys on the ground in crapghanistan.

Yeah, I would put the Dutch in the tough fighter for their weight class also, this article was also at the National Interest and related to the subject:

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/why-germanys-air-force-dying-14549

This is a somewhat older article but a list of proposed overseas bases for closure, http://www.g2mil.com/obcl.htm.  If departing NATO outright is a bridge too far, then associate membership with a WAY reduced presence is probably feasible.  Tell, American public we're bring 20,000 of the 30,000 troops in Europe home and saving X billions of dollars, that will pass after some isolationist name calling.  Really if the area of the world with 46% of the GDP can't or won't defend themselves, they aren't worth defending.

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Another article on the subject of NATO and our membership:

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-skeptics/it-time-america-quit-nato-15615?page=2

The author leaves it at re-examination of whether or not the US should be in the alliance, also found this one on Foxtrot Alpha:

 http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/u-s-allies-borrowing-munitions-to-drop-on-isis-as-u-s-1767362416

It may be a helluva change from the way things have been for the past 60+ years but putting our foot down maybe the only way to get some traction on change we say we want, the President was deriding this in an interview ("free riders"):

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/04/the-obama-doctrine/471525/

Consensus seems to be building for some change.  

 

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NATO has actually done some harm since the end of the Cold War. Without a substantial threat, our European allies have really let their military readiness go to hell all willingly and over reliant on the US.

The problem is, they don't know it and we aren't calling them on it. Our allies are running around in their Eurofighters and Gripens thinking they are just barely below US capes but they are FAR below, and don't know it.

I'm talking every level. They don't have tanker capacity, armament capacity and are reliant on the US in most ways past getting go #1 airborne.

I didn't know this until I saw it firsthand how bad they are, across the board, from the way they train, organize and if you think the F-35 is a shitshow, you should see the Eurofighter.....a $100m jet with $40m in capes.

It's really, really bad.


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My opinion in a nutshell:
NATO can't survive without us. The collapse of NATO would be a huge win for Putin.
Brexit, while not directly related to NATO, has an impact on the mindset of other NATO members. Without NATO, Russia will rise to fill the ensuing Eastern Europe power vacuum. Britain and Germany would rise to balance and we'd be looking at early-to-mid 20th century Europe all over again. Except the calculus would be significantly different because of nukes. Realists have been saying NATO would collapse since 1989, and it hasn't - mostly because we stayed in. Leaving NATO right now would be a huge strategic mistake and I just don't see that happening.


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Book on the subject (related subject really) - a reboot of NATO to version 2.0

https://www.amazon.com/NATO-2-0-Reboot-Sarwar-Kashmeri/dp/1597976644

and an article from the Wilson Center

https://www.wilsoncenter.org/article/nato-20

9 hours ago, di1630 said:

NATO has actually done some harm since the end of the Cold War. Without a substantial threat, our European allies have really let their military readiness go to hell all willingly and over reliant on the US.

The problem is, they don't know it and we aren't calling them on it. Our allies are running around in their Eurofighters and Gripens thinking they are just barely below US capes but they are FAR below, and don't know it.

I'm talking every level. They don't have tanker capacity, armament capacity and are reliant on the US in most ways past getting go #1 airborne.

I didn't know this until I saw it firsthand how bad they are, across the board, from the way they train, organize and if you think the F-35 is a shitshow, you should see the Eurofighter.....a $100m jet with $40m in capes.

It's really, really bad.

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I had heard there was some buyer's remorse on the Typhoon and I knew it was lacking in some capes but I thought they had fixed that with the LITENING pod and planned upgrade to CAPTOR-E radar (e-scan AESA), all that with the currently fielded PIRATE IRST, seemed like a potent 4+ gen fighter, not so much i gather... 

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03/03/eurofighter_nao_analysis/

4 hours ago, ThreeHoler said:

Yep. The EF2000 had to have targets designated by the Tornados in Libya. NATO countries also ran short on things to drop very quickly. And yes, tanker capacity outside of the US is dismal.

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Well... shit... a 1970's swing wing multi-role fighter strike aircraft (albeit highly upgraded) had to help the Typhoon?  That is a freakin' taco for basic capability. 

On tanker capability, I don't know of any NATO defined requirements for it as a total force but putting the Europeans feet to the fire and developing a requirement has got to happen, unless we want to commit to more KC-46s and ideally a KC-777 - actual numbers are not for this forum - but defining a requirement that they have to meet us half-way, that is they have to provide at least part of the tanker bridge if things go loud in Europe and they need the US to deploy in force there.  

Thinking sustain 4-5 AR orbits offset the NAT tracks at some point (probably just West of Iceland) for X number of 4 ships / or a T-tailer needing a plug.  

We have to require them to attain some greater basic expeditionary capabilities and expand their basic doctrinal requirements.  They may exist on paper but there's not enough on the ramp or armory to actually meet them.

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5 hours ago, Clark Griswold said:

On tanker capability, I don't know of any NATO defined requirements for it as a total force but putting the Europeans feet to the fire and developing a requirement has got to happen, unless we want to commit to more KC-46s and ideally a KC-777 - actual numbers are not for this forum - but defining a requirement that they have to meet us half-way, that is they have to provide at least part of the tanker bridge if things go loud in Europe and they need the US to deploy in force there.  

Thinking sustain 4-5 AR orbits offset the NAT tracks at some point (probably just West of Iceland) for X number of 4 ships / or a T-tailer needing a plug.

Agree that the European NATO nations ought to be contributing a hell of a lot more, if they want us to come riding to their defense if things go to shit in their backyards.  A few AR orbits for the airbridge is a good start.

Off the top of my head, the Dutch and the Italians are the only Europeans flying boom-equipped tankers; all the other Euro tankers are drogue-only.  Works out for the USN/USMC, not so much for the USAF.

Maybe a full-court press on the bigger Euro customers to buy a couple/few dozen KC-46s among them (maybe a "lite" version for the export market?), and shave a couple bills off the per-unit cost for all customers.  Or, they could push Airbus to figure out how to not break the boom off their A330, for the Euro nations that don't want to buy American.  Some of the smaller Euro NATO nations could go in on a few tails together, similar to the NATO C-17 operation at Papa (I have no idea whether that operation is working out or if it's a shit-show; it's just a thought).

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1 hour ago, JarheadBoom said:

Agree that the European NATO nations ought to be contributing a hell of a lot more, if they want us to come riding to their defense if things go to shit in their backyards.  A few AR orbits for the airbridge is a good start.

Off the top of my head, the Dutch and the Italians are the only Europeans flying boom-equipped tankers; all the other Euro tankers are drogue-only.  Works out for the USN/USMC, not so much for the USAF.

Maybe a full-court press on the bigger Euro customers to buy a couple/few dozen KC-46s among them (maybe a "lite" version for the export market?), and shave a couple bills off the per-unit cost for all customers.  Or, they could push Airbus to figure out how to not break the boom off their A330, for the Euro nations that don't want to buy American.  Some of the smaller Euro NATO nations could go in on a few tails together, similar to the NATO C-17 operation at Papa (I have no idea whether that operation is working out or if it's a shit-show; it's just a thought).

WTF?  I guess it's one fight two teams and screw putting a critical capability in one of my most important force multiplying / enabling assets... you'll just have to carry the burden yourself but come to my rescue immediately if I need it...

The Italians have already bought 4 KC-767s (not full up KC-46s) and I think that it is not a bridge too far to expect them to buy a few more (8-12) for expanded boom capable AR... looking at you Germany, Great Britain... the French have 14 boom equipped tankers, get with the program... of course this is for starters...

The full court press on them has to be cutting our permanent basing there in half to prove to them that we are serious about them self-actualizing and having their own capabilities. 

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I knew France had a dozen-ish C-135FRs, but I didn't realize they were boom-equipped... which is odd, because all their receiver-capable aircraft are drogue receivers.  I don't remember if the French -135s are advertised within NATO as boom & drogue tankers, or drogue-only (BDA?  MPRS?  Both?) - my brief web search didn't answer the question, but someone with ATP-56 access could.  France is buying A330 MRTTs to replace the -135s starting ~2018; in another brief search I couldn't find any purchase details (boom & drogue vs. drogue-only, specifically).

Looks like my NATO tanker operation idea was previously thought of, and already had contracts signed with Airbus for the A330 MRTT in July of this year.  Poland apparently backed out of the NATO tanker deal 3 days before contract signing with EADS, which I find interesting considering they've got some well-equipped Vipers in their fleet.

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On September 19, 2016 at 9:31 PM, JarheadBoom said:

I knew France had a dozen-ish C-135FRs, but I didn't realize they were boom-equipped... which is odd, because all their receiver-capable aircraft are drogue receivers.  I don't remember if the French -135s are advertised within NATO as boom & drogue tankers, or drogue-only (BDA?  MPRS?  Both?) - my brief web search didn't answer the question, but someone with ATP-56 access could.  France is buying A330 MRTTs to replace the -135s starting ~2018; in another brief search I couldn't find any purchase details (boom & drogue vs. drogue-only, specifically).

Looks like my NATO tanker operation idea was previously thought of, and already had contracts signed with Airbus for the A330 MRTT in July of this year.  Poland apparently backed out of the NATO tanker deal 3 days before contract signing with EADS, which I find interesting considering they've got some well-equipped Vipers in their fleet.

They have them but I have no idea if they maintain them (booms & the smooth operators) - the extent of my research is NIPR based and open source.

474-arme-de-lair-french-air-force-boeing

France is getting the the ARBS for theirs but the RAF is not as of yet.  

http://www.janes.com/article/59242/uk-raf-shows-interest-in-voyager-boom

https://airbusdefenceandspace.com/newsroom/news-and-features/france-announces-order-for-airbus-a330-mrtt-air-to-air-refuelling-aircraft/

From the second article:

In French service the A330 MRTT will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines, be equipped with a combination of the Airbus Refuelling Boom System and underwing hose- and-drogue refuelling pods, and can be configured in a variety of layouts carrying up to 271 passengers as well as medevac arrangements including the French MORPHEE intensive care module carrying up to ten patients as well as 88 passengers.

Edited by Clark Griswold
small fix

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As a rather ill-informed and graduating cadet, what's the feasibility of Trump's idea to essentially call-out and somehow penalize NATO members who don't pull their weight?  As already mentioned, there are some countries (essentially all of the Baltics, Poland, etc) who do pull their weight and really, really benefit from NATO.  I had a great opportunity to study in Latvia and Lithuania, and really the one thing that helps those citizens more of less overcome the fear of Russian aggression is NATO.  I'm not really sure about the implications of becoming an associate member, so would any of you mind shedding more light on the pros/cons of that option? I'll read these articles in the meantime.  Thanks!

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37 minutes ago, Thor said:

As a rather ill-informed and graduating cadet, what's the feasibility of Trump's idea to essentially call-out and somehow penalize NATO members who don't pull their weight?  As already mentioned, there are some countries (essentially all of the Baltics, Poland, etc) who do pull their weight and really, really benefit from NATO.  I had a great opportunity to study in Latvia and Lithuania, and really the one thing that helps those citizens more of less overcome the fear of Russian aggression is NATO.  I'm not really sure about the implications of becoming an associate member, so would any of you mind shedding more light on the pros/cons of that option? I'll read these articles in the meantime.  Thanks!

Feasibility with a President Trump of a call-out on the free riders?  Somewhere between good and really good.  

Looking at you Germany...

Implications of Associate Membership for the US to the Alliance?  Could be not that bad but it depends if they step up to the plate and take a leadership role.  

Looking at you Germany...

NATO should be lead by one of the strongest (economically) members with the most to loose from a meddling, aggressive Russia.

Looking at you Germany...

Cato think tank option piece on the subject:

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/should-us-leave-nato

From the article:

Retired Gen. Robert Scales, commandant of the Army War College, recently complained that: “At 30,000, there are fewer American soldiers protecting Western Europe, a piece of the planet that produces 46 percent of global GDP, than there are cops in New York City.” But why can’t an area that accounts for almost half of the world’s production (an overstatement, but never mind) and has a larger population than America provide its own soldiers for defense? Why can’t an area of such economic prowess, which has around eight times the GDP and three times the population of its only possible antagonist, Russia, deploy an armed force capable of deterring any threats?

We're going to have to kick them out of the nest or in the ass to get them (Germany and company) to self-actualize and basically double to triple their capabilities.  

For the life of me, I can't understand why the Europeans are not on the rapid build up with:

Russia overtly and covertly taking territory, aiding rebels and conducting hybrid warfare in Ukraine, getting aggressive in the skies over the Baltic Sea, refugees poring in from a war torn area not that far away and numerous terrorist attacks in their own nations.  Don't forget too that in about 5-10 years, Iran will be at least a nuclear weapons capable state with a ballistic missile capability and your principle defense strategy is a to rely on a country 1800 miles across an ocean that just elected a rather eccentric leader shall we say... I would buy my own gun(s) if I lived in their neighborhood rather than relying on my friend across town.

Edited by Clark Griswold
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1 hour ago, Clark Griswold said:

For the life of me, I can't understand why the Europeans are not on the rapid build up with:

Russia overtly and covertly taking territory, aiding rebels and conducting hybrid warfare in Ukraine, getting aggressive in the skies over the Baltic Sea, refugees poring in from a war torn area not that far away and numerous terrorist attacks in their own nations.  Don't forget too that in about 5-10 years, Iran will be at least a nuclear weapons capable state with a ballistic missile capability and your principle defense strategy is a to rely on a country 1800 miles across an ocean that just elected a rather eccentric leader shall we say... I would buy my own gun(s) if I lived in their neighborhood rather than relying on my friend across town.

Speaking frankly, Europe is far too concerned with developing new social welfare programs and importing unvetted masses of Arabs to even give a hard look at defense.

A German chick once told me (after learning that I wanted to serve in the USAF), "Why would you do that? In our country, the military is where the stupid people go". Pretty much summed it up for me.

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8 hours ago, Kiloalpha said:

Speaking frankly, Europe is far too concerned with developing new social welfare programs and importing unvetted masses of Arabs to even give a hard look at defense.

A German chick once told me (after learning that I wanted to serve in the USAF), "Why would you do that? In our country, the military is where the stupid people go". Pretty much summed it up for me.

True but I think that is starting to wear thin, Merkel is still the Chancellor so they are not there yet to assert sovereignty / control immigration, but getting close.

On your anecdote, they (average Germans) must not view or value engagement (military) outside of Germany as a priority or their responsibility...

A Quora thread on the subject with several posters stating they are from Germany and their responses:

https://www.quora.com/How-can-Germany-spend-so-little-on-defense-thus-rely-on-the-United-States-and-NATO-treaties-for-defending-them

From the thread:

Bernhard Støcker, Native German and "Kölsche Jung"
 
why should we spend more? our army is able to handle its tasks. germany is not interested in participating in any war, so the money spent to military only needs to cover the nessecity to self-defence. and since germany is in regards to engineering one of the leading countries, we are able to use very good technologies making it unessential to have a bigger army. we like to spend our money on important things like free education and social protection. something that is maybe also a good idea in the US, doesn't it?
 
Guy could be just a troll / poser but from the perspective of the average German, when America is willing to do the dirty, dangerous, unpleasant, expensive missions around the world to keep the current international order / stability / deterrence / etc... why do they need to do anything?  
 
Follow on:  If we don't want to leave NATO just restate our relationship that we'll come to help if the territorial sovereignty of the members is violated/increase deterrence presence if necessary/etc... then how much foot print do we really need there?  
 
sreuropeanbasingmap1750px.ashx
 
 
Edited by Clark Griswold
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23 minutes ago, Clark Griswold said:

A Quora thread on the subject with several posters stating they are from Germany and their responses:

https://www.quora.com/How-can-Germany-spend-so-little-on-defense-thus-rely-on-the-United-States-and-NATO-treaties-for-defending-them

I notice that some of these answers are from 2014 or so, but with that in mind: there was one comment about a guy not being concerned about Russia invading Germany... Obviously, Putin is not going to invade Germany.  The same comment goes on to imply that Germany doesn't have any enemies or threats.  Given that this has, as we've recently seen, changed, I'd love to see whether they're mindset has changed.

On a related note, one guy mentioned something about collective security for the European countries in NATO being a reason that cost is more spread out (and, thus, they don't pay the required, what is it, 2% of GDP?). Maybe I just have a different mindset, and that's completely plausible, but in my opinion, if I'd witnessed Putin's actions in Eastern Europe, the Baltics, and Georgia (few years back), combined with the recent terror attacks, I'd be very inclined to increase monetary support for the good of collective security.

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4 hours ago, Thor said:

I notice that some of these answers are from 2014 or so, but with that in mind: there was one comment about a guy not being concerned about Russia invading Germany... Obviously, Putin is not going to invade Germany.  The same comment goes on to imply that Germany doesn't have any enemies or threats.  Given that this has, as we've recently seen, changed, I'd love to see whether they're mindset has changed.

On a related note, one guy mentioned something about collective security for the European countries in NATO being a reason that cost is more spread out (and, thus, they don't pay the required, what is it, 2% of GDP?). Maybe I just have a different mindset, and that's completely plausible, but in my opinion, if I'd witnessed Putin's actions in Eastern Europe, the Baltics, and Georgia (few years back), combined with the recent terror attacks, I'd be very inclined to increase monetary support for the good of collective security.

Agreed but he is not above weakening, distracting, disorienting, intimidating, influencing in ways that border on aggression in several ways.  Breaking up the EU to further divide and conquer is probably the long term strategy.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-europe-idUSKBN14R0G8?il=0

All great powers meddle with lesser powers and to some extent push or probe other great powers but his tactics and goals cross lines we (usually) don't.  

Good article on whether or not NATO serves our or their purpose of collective defense:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/dougbandow/2016/02/03/obama-wants-u-s-to-spend-more-on-europes-defense-europeans-should-pay-instead/#1b726effb949

There's good place to put assets that could come home from Europe:

b51ab96a089633468f3cb729c82d84ad.jpg

 

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49 minutes ago, Clark Griswold said:

There's good place to put assets that could come home from Europe:

b51ab96a089633468f3cb729c82d84ad.jpg

Can we wait until McCain is gone to put more assets in Arizona? 

On a serious note, I appreciate the insight! 

T

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Can we wait until McCain is gone to put more assets in Arizona? 
On a serious note, I appreciate the insight! 
T


YW - just my opinions and worth what you paid for them

The world is changing and nothing does or should last forever, not giving up on Europe but making a change that is better for us is long overdue



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23 hours ago, Clark Griswold said:

The world is changing and nothing does or should last forever, not giving up on Europe but making a change that is better for us is long overdue

 

I always found it very curious that the Germans refused to jump in on the JSF buy to replace their Tornados, especially with Italy, Norway, UK and Netherlands purchasing jets. Kind of a sign that they don't see defense or NATO as any sort of a priority.

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I always found it very curious that the Germans refused to jump in on the JSF buy to replace their Tornados, especially with Italy, Norway, UK and Netherlands purchasing jets. Kind of a sign that they don't see defense or NATO as any sort of a priority.

Maybe, maybe not. They've got their almost-new Eurofighters. The UK has a specific role to throw the F-35B into, whereas that's not a capability ze Germans needed a replacement for. The Netherlands has a bunch of F-16s to replace. I'm not saying they're not slacking, just that they might not have been compelled to buy into the JSF for other reasons that NATO partners do have.
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