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Thread: Trump’s Defense Cuts in Europe Will Backfire

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    Trump’s Defense Cuts in Europe Will Backfire

    Trump’s Defense Cuts in Europe Will Backfire | Foreign Policy

    Rather than distributing military burdens equitably, Washington’s rollbacks weaken both the United States and its allies.


    Pence in Poland.

    9/17/19
    Twice this month, the Trump administration moved to walk back critical efforts to strengthen the U.S. military presence in Europe, choosing cheap political points over essential projects and sound policy. First, the White House announced it would cut more than $770 million worth of military construction efforts meant to restore combat capability in Europe and to deter further Russian aggression, in order to divert funds to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Second, the United States is hoping to cut a deal with Germany that on its face appears to increase German military spending and decrease the U.S. share of the military burden in Europe but, in reality, serves to weaken the German military while burdening the United States even further. In both cases, the loser is the United States. The military construction projects on the chopping block include vital aspects of the U.S. scramble to rebuild its ability to fight in Europe. As the U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense in charge of Europe and NATO when Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014, I spent almost every waking moment pushing as much U.S. force structure back into Europe as I could to deter any further aggression by Russian The military construction projects on the chopping block include vital aspects of the U.S. scramble to rebuild its ability to fight in Europe. As the U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense in charge of Europe and NATO when Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014, I spent almost every waking moment pushing as much U.S. force structure back into Europe as I could to deter any further aggression by Russian President Vladimir Putin. I know firsthand how essential the projects in question are, and I know for a fact that eliminating them takes away tools the U.S. military needs in case of a conflict, including ammunition storage, runways for combat aircraft, facilities for special operations forces, propositioned equipment to set up forward air bases, and reinforced shelters for combat aircraft. The projects being cut are not military bands or barber shops but tools of war that would be needed immediately in case of conflict.

    In addition to providing funds for the wall, the cuts are likely meant to punish U.S. allies for falling short in their NATO pledges to increase defense spending. From the beginning of his presidential campaign, U.S. President Donald Trump has maintained that Europeans should pick up more of the tab for Europe’s defenses. In the United States, the need for European allies need to spend more on defense is a long-established, mainstream, bipartisan position. But cutting military projects essential for U.S.—not European—combat capability only hurts the country’s ability to fight. On top of the cuts, the administration is pushing for a bad deal with Germany that takes the wrong approach to the need for Berlin to spend more on defense. It will result in badly needed German defense euros going into an obscure NATO administrative fund, offsetting some of the U.S. share, rather than to the German military, which is desperate for more funding to keep its ships at sea and planes in the air. The measure allows the United States to claim a burden-sharing victory over Germany, without inducing Berlin to spend money where it is really needed: on the German military. Under Trump, the United States is willing to undercut its own goals if that means a slap to Europe. Great power competition with Russia in Europe is real, and the United States and its allies are way behind repairing the damage wrought by almost 30 years of benign neglect. The money taken from U.S. military construction in Europe takes weapons out of the hands of the U.S. military where it is needed most. And claiming a largely symbolic victory over Germany by having it move money away from its military and into a NATO administrative account only weakens the ability of the Germans to fight alongside the United States. A weaker German military only shifts more of the burden to the United States—the very thing Trump is trying to prevent.
    Amen. Trump funding cuts in Europe damage the US military posture there and circuitously strengthen the Kremlin's hand.

    Related: U.S. General: NATO's Advantage Over Russia Has 'Eroded'


    "Clearly, asking for personal favors and using United States assets as collateral is wrong." — former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

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    Re: Trump’s Defense Cuts in Europe Will Backfire

    Sorry, but MY money has been abused for too long. If the Europeans won't pay their fair share of the price of defense, to heck with them.

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    Re: Trump’s Defense Cuts in Europe Will Backfire

    Quote Originally Posted by gino View Post
    Sorry, but MY money has been abused for too long. If the Europeans won't pay their fair share of the price of defense, to heck with them.
    But you don't mind Trump abusing your money do ya bub?


    "Clearly, asking for personal favors and using United States assets as collateral is wrong." — former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

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    Re: Trump’s Defense Cuts in Europe Will Backfire

    Quote Originally Posted by gino View Post
    Sorry, but MY money has been abused for too long. If the Europeans won't pay their fair share of the price of defense, to heck with them.
    Then write your congressman, senator and President to get all US military back home in the US and to pull out of Nato
    Ignorance is Bliss, You seem very happy today

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    Re: Trump’s Defense Cuts in Europe Will Backfire

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Tammerlain View Post
    Then write your congressman, senator and President to get all US military back home in the US and to pull out of Nato
    I daresay, Congress wouldn't go for that, nor would the Pentagon or the MIC.


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    Re: Trump’s Defense Cuts in Europe Will Backfire

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Valley View Post
    Trump’s Defense Cuts in Europe Will Backfire | Foreign Policy

    Rather than distributing military burdens equitably, Washington’s rollbacks weaken both the United States and its allies.


    Pence in Poland.



    Amen. Trump funding cuts in Europe damage the US military posture there and circuitously strengthen the Kremlin's hand.

    Related: U.S. General: NATO's Advantage Over Russia Has 'Eroded'
    No reason to have all that money transferred out of our economy into theirs. We can use that money for ourselves.
    “There are no self-proclaimed villains, only regiments of self-proclaimed saints. Victorious historians rule where good or evil lies.” ― Glen Cook, Chronicles of the Black Company

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    Re: Trump’s Defense Cuts in Europe Will Backfire

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishking View Post
    No reason to have all that money transferred out of our economy into theirs. We can use that money for ourselves.
    Use it for what Congress appropriated it for. Not Trumps vanity/political projects.


    "Clearly, asking for personal favors and using United States assets as collateral is wrong." — former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

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    Re: Trump’s Defense Cuts in Europe Will Backfire

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Tammerlain View Post
    Then write your congressman, senator and President to get all US military back home in the US and to pull out of Nato
    No need for that. We just need Canada and the rest of the freeloaders to pay their agreed-to-share of the bill.
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    Only those indicted and found guilty by the Grand Jury.

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    Re: Trump’s Defense Cuts in Europe Will Backfire

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Valley View Post
    Use it for what Congress appropriated it for. Not Trumps vanity/political projects.
    You mean securing our borders?
    Quote Originally Posted by vegas giants View Post
    Che fought for freedom
    Quote Originally Posted by HumblePi View Post
    Only those indicted and found guilty by the Grand Jury.

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    Re: Trump’s Defense Cuts in Europe Will Backfire

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    No need for that. We just need Canada and the rest of the freeloaders to pay their agreed-to-share of the bill.
    No really just pull everything back and pull out of Nato
    Ignorance is Bliss, You seem very happy today

    Free Scotland

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