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elvis

End of Spangdahlem

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Well, I made my opinion on this clear in another thread. But my thoughts are "bye Felicia" (to Germany). 

Of all the countries we partner with and I've worked with I've felt the Germans are the most abusive to our generosity. Here is an example: 

https://www.stripes.com/news/europe/harassed-by-german-tax-offices-more-us-military-families-face-financial-threats-1.638976

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I'll believe it when I see it.

And Trump needs to do his homework.  He's moving troops out of Germany as he claims the Germans don't spend enough of their GDP on defense.

Italy and Belgium, the two places he's moving them to, pay even less...

image.png.379a6b5a90dff6e74372974aca758479.png
 

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, M2 said:

I'll believe it when I see it.

And Trump needs to do his homework.  He's moving troops out of Germany as he claims the Germans don't spend enough of their GDP on defense.

Italy and Belgium, the two places he's moving them to, pay even less...

image.png.379a6b5a90dff6e74372974aca758479.png
 

Very true but Italy and Belgium don't have the economic security Germany does either. 

I would rather see the majority of troops go CONUS though and if any stay OCONUS put them in PACOM. 

Edited by FLEA

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Haven’t we been talking about closing Mildenhall for a couple years now? Like M2 said, I’ll believe it when I see it. 

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3 hours ago, Homestar said:

Haven’t we been talking about closing Mildenhall for a couple years now? Like M2 said, I’ll believe it when I see it. 

The article also states that Mildenhall is no longer closing

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4 hours ago, FLEA said:

Very true but Italy and Belgium don't have the economic security Germany does either. 

I would rather see the majority of troops go CONUS though and if any stay OCONUS put them in PACOM. 

Having been stationed both in Europe and Asia, I would have to completely disagree from the point of view of the people being stationed overseas that Asia would be better.  For national security, maybe, although Russia isn't the Russia Hillary would have had you believe with the reset button.  And if the Korean War heats up again, the last thing we need is more people there to get slimed on day 1.

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23 minutes ago, Smokin said:

Having been stationed both in Europe and Asia, I would have to completely disagree from the point of view of the people being stationed overseas that Asia would be better.  For national security, maybe, although Russia isn't the Russia Hillary would have had you believe with the reset button.  And if the Korean War heats up again, the last thing we need is more people there to get slimed on day 1.

We have more national interest in the Pacific than we do in Europe. That's all I was getting at. The US interest in NATO is becoming more diminished each year. The Germans don't realise that which is why this move is so shocking to them. You can read my excerpt in the next presidents thread for why I feel this way. 

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19 minutes ago, FLEA said:

We have more national interest in the Pacific than we do in Europe. That's all I was getting at. The US interest in NATO is becoming more diminished each year. The Germans don't realise that which is why this move is so shocking to them. You can read my excerpt in the next presidents thread for why I feel this way. 

Please elaborate...

Russia is more of a threat to us militarily than China.  Economically, it's the other way around; but force presence is contingent on the military threat...

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8 hours ago, M2 said:


Russia is more of a threat to us militarily than China.  Economically, it's the other way around; but force presence is contingent on the military threat...

Disagree. No I won’t elaborate. 

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8 hours ago, M2 said:

Please elaborate...

Russia is more of a threat to us militarily than China.  Economically, it's the other way around; but force presence is contingent on the military threat...

Here is what I posted to a post from Prozac in a different thread on the topic regarding our national interest in the Pacific vs Europe: 

Noone here has forgotten the whole lesson about US involvement in European instability. However, that lesson is receiving heavy scrutiny now because of its cost. And it should receive scrutiny. There are no "natural laws" or "rules" in geo-politics. We should always be adjusting our thought. 

First off, I'm skeptical anytime mentions US foreign policy and "track record" or "history" in the same sentence. 200 years isn't history. Its a sneeze. China has seen continuous governance under a unified identify for over 3000 years. Sink that in a for a bit because its a bit amazing to think about. Sure they've had overthrows and invasions that took power, but they always remained predominantly identified as a single people (disregarding discussions of sub cultures like the Han, im talking specifically, how long has there been a "place identified as China"). So building trend data off of two events that happened only 20 years apart probably isn't prudent global planning on our part. 

Second, saying that a secure "Europe" is better for American prosperity is a bit dishonest. Europe is a geographical feature that says nothing about where the global balance of power lies. Pre-WW2, many of those powers happened to be conjugated in Europe. Today? Not a single European player (outside maybe France in the UK as notable exceptions) has global influence. The center of power has shifted dramatically from Western Europe to the Pacific. The top 6 military power centers in the world on the Global Firepower Index all have borders on the Pacific Ocean. (8 if you count Britain and France's Pacific holdings) 6/12 of the largest economies are on the Pacific, including the Top 3, the US, China and Japan. The problem with the above philosophy is it puts WAY too much importance on how much influence Europe has on the world order in modern terms. 

Third,  we tend to have a lens that puts too much emphasis on the WW's as what happened in Western Europe. We forget, that they were global wars, and especially in WW2, most of the fighting did not take place in Western Europe. I promise you the Chinese don't frame their historic perceptions of WW2 as something that mainly occurred in Europe. As our #1 adversary, that should be something that we take important note of. 

Fourth, having the basic premise that a continent cant organize their shit so we have to occupy and pacify them for our own successful aims just doesn't sound like a good long term strategy.

We invest 320K DoD personnel in Europe. That is literally 1/4 of our entire military, on one foreign continent. The largest military in Western Europe is the US military. Think about that for a minute, and then think about what your squadron could do with a 33% manning boost? To quote your terms, why are we spending "on peace and prosperity in Europe" when we should be spending on Peace and Prosperity in the United States, the largest threat to which, is in Asia. 

I totally understand and hear your point of view. But I find it outdated and irrelevant with what is actually going on in the world right now. I think there is a growing crowd of skeptics that question if Europe is "worth" our investment

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Based on that logic, 1/4 of our military should be in the desert and that's where we typically have fought our wars in the past several decades.

But this isn't a military decision, it's a presidential one based on politics.  I agree that we don't need such a large force in Europe, but the same elsewhere.  I don't think it's as much of a deterrent as we are led to believe.  If Kim Jong-un gets the harebrained idea to cross the DMZ, no number of conventional troops in the south are going to stop that.  That bloodbath will occur despite our presence.  

Our current presence in Europe is not about WWII, it's about a commitment to NATO which was never about preventing the rise of another Nazi Germany.  It was about the Soviet threat and while the name may have changed, that threat is still real and even stronger.  Countering it conventionally during the Cold War was actually easy as it could be done simply through numbers, but we still haven't figured out how to deal with new informational today and it's hurting our ability to shape and influence that part of the world badly.  Plus, none of this is about the overall mission of NATO and EUCOM, it's about Trump putting the screws to Merkel.  Not that she doesn't deserve it, but his claim that this is all due to Germany not putting enough of its GDP for defense is ridiculous when the countries that will benefit from this move spend even less.  Germany does have a stronger economy, but that is not the point.  This is an emotional move by Trump and one that makes no sense.  

And your point about a "33% manning boost" is moot.  You act like the forces in Europe are not doing anything, whereas in fact they train as much if not more than those CONUS.  That robbing Peter to pay Paul comparison doesn't increase our investment or capabilities.  It may reduce the cost of having forces (it's cheaper to station people in some of the shitty assignments Stateside versus Europe), but it doesn't make us more effective operationally.  In fact, I would argue the latter is the case.

Russia is kicking our ass informationally the same as China is kicking it economically.  COVID has put a bit of a damper on it, but they'll adjust and survive; but I believe much of the chaos in this country is due to the amount of misinformation being pumped into it from abroad.  To quote Agent K, "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it."  Society in general is gullible and will believe whatever the media (social or otherwise) tell them, and will respond accordingly as they don't know any better.  Ever wonder how one dog can control and corral hundreds of sheep?  Same analogy.

But anyone who thinks this move will somehow improve our influence worldwide is sadly mistaken.  It's politics pure and simple, and costly ones at that.  I've spent time at SHAPE and Patch, it will cost billions of dollars to accomplish and in the end nothing will change.  And I didn't add a 'STS' to that as literally we the taxpayers will be taking it up the ass for this decision...

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2 hours ago, brabus said:

Disagree. No I won’t elaborate. 

Why?  Educate us.

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1 hour ago, M2 said:

Why?  Educate us.

the data he's referencing is probably not fit for an open forum.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, M2 said:

Based on that logic, 1/4 of our military should be in the desert and that's where we typically have fought our wars in the past several decades.

But this isn't a military decision, it's a presidential one based on politics.  I agree that we don't need such a large force in Europe, but the same elsewhere.  I don't think it's as much of a deterrent as we are led to believe.  If Kim Jong-un gets the harebrained idea to cross the DMZ, no number of conventional troops in the south are going to stop that.  That bloodbath will occur despite our presence.  

Our current presence in Europe is not about WWII, it's about a commitment to NATO which was never about preventing the rise of another Nazi Germany.  It was about the Soviet threat and while the name may have changed, that threat is still real and even stronger.  Countering it conventionally during the Cold War was actually easy as it could be done simply through numbers, but we still haven't figured out how to deal with new informational today and it's hurting our ability to shape and influence that part of the world badly.  Plus, none of this is about the overall mission of NATO and EUCOM, it's about Trump putting the screws to Merkel.  Not that she doesn't deserve it, but his claim that this is all due to Germany not putting enough of its GDP for defense is ridiculous when the countries that will benefit from this move spend even less.  Germany does have a stronger economy, but that is not the point.  This is an emotional move by Trump and one that makes no sense.  

And your point about a "33% manning boost" is moot.  You act like the forces in Europe are not doing anything, whereas in fact they train as much if not more than those CONUS.  That robbing Peter to pay Paul comparison doesn't increase our investment or capabilities.  It may reduce the cost of having forces (it's cheaper to station people in some of the shitty assignments Stateside versus Europe), but it doesn't make us more effective operationally.  In fact, I would argue the latter is the case.

Russia is kicking our ass informationally the same as China is kicking it economically.  COVID has put a bit of a damper on it, but they'll adjust and survive; but I believe much of the chaos in this country is due to the amount of misinformation being pumped into it from abroad.  To quote Agent K, "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it."  Society in general is gullible and will believe whatever the media (social or otherwise) tell them, and will respond accordingly as they don't know any better.  Ever wonder how one dog can control and corral hundreds of sheep?  Same analogy.

But anyone who thinks this move will somehow improve our influence worldwide is sadly mistaken.  It's politics pure and simple, and costly ones at that.  I've spent time at SHAPE and Patch, it will cost billions of dollars to accomplish and in the end nothing will change.  And I didn't add a 'STS' to that as literally we the taxpayers will be taking it up the ass for this decision...

So lets first take a step back and ask ourselves as Americans "why do I care if Putin annexes parts of Europe?"

The point I was making in the above post to Prozac is largely, anymore, we don't. We don't have as strong an interest in Europe's defense anymore. There was a strong belief in the 1950s that Western Europe was the last bastion of free democracy in the old world and an overwhelming dominance by social marxism would threaten free economy capitalist ideals. Since then, the strongest free market economies have actually moved to Asia, Europe has become increasingly more left, and China seeks a seat of global influence where as Putin only seeks a seat of regional influence. 

But don't ask me, ask your NATO partners who are buying energy and weapons from the country they believe is going to come knocking their gate down. 

Edited by FLEA

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20 hours ago, FLEA said:

Well, I made my opinion on this clear in another thread. But my thoughts are "bye Felicia" (to Germany). 

Of all the countries we partner with and I've worked with I've felt the Germans are the most abusive to our generosity. Here is an example: 

https://www.stripes.com/news/europe/harassed-by-german-tax-offices-more-us-military-families-face-financial-threats-1.638976

Close tie between the Germans and the aholes in Qatar. 
 

We should move assets to Poland.  Poles have a strong love for Americans and would let us do whatever we want so long as we are protecting them. 

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10 hours ago, brabus said:

Disagree. No I won’t elaborate. 

Concur.

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12 hours ago, M2 said:

Why?  Educate us.

I realize I probably added nothing to this discussion with this statement since I can't elaborate on an unclass forum, my bad.  I guess what I'll try to add is PACOM is an extremely important AOR with actors that have far reaching implications beyond just that AOR's boundaries.  I agree with putting more effort towards PACOM than EUCOM if forced to choose.

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3 hours ago, elvis said:

Good luck getting any work done in Italy. Don’t get me wrong. I had many great TDYs to Aviano and anyone who has the opportunity to be stationed there should absolutely jump on it. That said, ever try getting dip clearances or even filing a flight plan with the Italians? “A-sorry a-sir. The route-a you file-a.....it not-a available on-a Tuesdays after 1600 when there’s a full-a moon. Come-a back a-tomorrow.” 

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Some of the old heads around Mildenhall were talking about this yesterday, said that Spang move had been discussed for the better part of a decade. Not quite as long as the now-defunct plan to move the tankers to Germany, but I found it interesting because it seems like some folks think this Spang move is out of the blue. 

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4 hours ago, Bigred said:

Some of the old heads around Mildenhall were talking about this yesterday, said that Spang move had been discussed for the better part of a decade. Not quite as long as the now-defunct plan to move the tankers to Germany, but I found it interesting because it seems like some folks think this Spang move is out of the blue. 

The concept of moving forces from Germany has been around since at least 2011 so I'm not surprised. 

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Spang won't be much of a problem to shut down once its F-16s move out, but moving HQ EUCOM to Belgium and HQ AFRICOM anywhere else will be expensive and problematic.

Much like Prozac's comments concerning Italy, anyone who has spent time in Belgium (and especially the Walloon area of that country) know that getting anything done is a tough and long road.  Simply getting a phone connected in our new house near Mons took weeks.  And SHAPE nor Chieves have the infrastructure to support such a large organization.  It is ridiculous to waste billions of dollars when the end result will be no better--of not worse--than what currently exists.

Ironically, I remember in 2004 when SecDef Rumsfeld wanted to move all US forces out of Belgium after it was reported he would go before the International Criminal Court in Brussels for war crimes!

As for AFRICOM, placement of its headquarters has been a contentious issue since its inception...

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19 minutes ago, M2 said:

Spang won't be much of a problem to shut down once its F-16s move out, but moving HQ EUCOM to Belgium and HQ AFRICOM anywhere else will be expensive and problematic.

Much like Prozac's comments concerning Italy, anyone who has spent time in Belgium (and especially the Walloon area of that country) know that getting anything done is a tough and long road.  Simply getting a phone connected in our new house near Mons took weeks.  And SHAPE nor Chieves have the infrastructure to support such a large organization.  It is ridiculous to waste billions of dollars when the end result will be no better--of not worse--than what currently exists.

Ironically, I remember in 2004 when SecDef Rumsfeld wanted to move all US forces out of Belgium after it was reported he would go before the International Criminal Court in Brussels for war crimes!

As for AFRICOM, placement of its headquarters has been a contentious issue since its inception...

Do be honest it's a complete mistake AFRICOM is not in AFRICA. For one that communicates something to our partners there but #2 is that it shows a lack of commitment to Africa which is a SERIOUS mistake on the US part. If you look at the conditions, Africa is about to have an economic explosion in the next century or so. They are suitably primed for it on many fronts and we are losing our soft power there to China which is going to be disasterous for us. 

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