Ukraine

Obama Announces $1 Billion Plan To Flex Military Muscle in Europe

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White House

President Barack Obama today announced in Poland a billion-dollar plan to boost NATO's presence in Eastern European member states in response to a perceived threat from Russia.

The White House highlights its intentions for the "European Reassurance Initiative":

  • Increase exercises, training, and rotational presence across Europe but especially on the territory of our newer allies.  Many of the U.S. air and ground forces participating in these activities would rotate from the United States.
  • As we have done in Poland, deploy detachments of U.S. planners to augment the capability of our allies to design and host a broad range of training and exercise opportunities.
  • Increase the responsiveness of U.S. forces to reinforce NATO by exploring initiatives such as the prepositioning of equipment and improvements to other reception facilities and infrastructure in Europe.
  • Increase participation by the U.S. Navy in NATO naval force deployments, including more persistent deployments to the Black and Baltic seas.
  • Build the partner capacity of close friends such as Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine so they can better work alongside the United States and NATO, as well as provide for their own defense.

The proposal will go before Congress for consideration.

The U.S. is already the largest supplier of both military personnel and funding for NATO and already has 67,000 troops in Europe. The Obama administration already sent 600 troops to Poland and the Baltic states earlier this year to conduct exercises with allies and deployed warships in the Baltic and Black seas after Russia invaded and annexed Crimea from Ukraine. 

NATO itself is hosting a two-day meeting in Brussels to discuss "an action readiness plan, a stepped-up schedule for military exercises and the possibility of additional deployments," according to the Associated Press. 

Does Russia pose really pose a threat to NATO to justify Obama's latest military muscle-flexing? Although Russia's "unorthodox tactics" are threatening to tear apart Ukraine (not a NATO member) and could potentially trigger unpredictable instability elsewhere, Vladimir Putin likely could not afford to tread further west into NATO territory. His nation's economy is in the tank and it's not getting any better since taking on the burden of an even-poorer Crimea.

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  1. The White House highlights its intentions for the “European Reassurance Initiative”:

    Does anybody feel reassured?

    1. We’re helping Yuri with Euri!

  2. I thought we were shifting our focus to the far east?

    1. Well, in truth, we pivoted to asia. As long as we didn’t move our left foot, we won’t get charged with travelling.

  3. Yay! More military spending!

    1. You know there are people who would repeat your comment verbatim without the sarcasm.

      1. Oh? Can you introduce us?

        /General Dynamics lobbyist

        1. That’s not even a joke. An old coworker of mine used to work for GD. He said that it was routine for management to purposefully stretch out contract fulfillment times for the sole purpose of getting more money.

  4. Soo….. Best case scenario, we just wasted yet another billion dollars that we don’t have.

    1. Some will profit. Oh, to be a young unmarried soldier among the Czech, Polish and Baltic cuties.

    2. To “protect” nations we don’t live in.

      NATO is an abomination. Must be a good deal to not have to pay a dime to protect your nation. Think of the revenue that could be spent on social justice.

      1. NATO is an abomination.

        but hitler

        1. I think the original was “but Stalin”.

          1. The purpose of NATO was to keep “the Americans in, the Russians out, and the Germans down”, none of which has any relevance any more.

            1. I dunno, them Krauts can be kind of shifty….I volunteer to keep ’em down.

              HANS, BRING MORE MAULTASCHEN, JETZT!!! And where is that Spaetburgunder Herbst?!

              1. Gesundheit!

              2. At least they speak the language properly, unlike the Swiss.

                Of course, since the 1996 orthographic reforms, none of them write the language properly. 😉

                1. I REFUSE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE DUMPING OF THE

                  1. I denounce In der Schweiz kann man immer ?ss” schreiben

                2. since the 1996 orthographic reforms

                  Is that anything like the Third Reconciliation of the Last of the Meketrex Supplicants?

  5. PLEASE tell me he’s going to raise the funds by selling T-notes to the Russians!!!

    1. You ever see those bumper stickers that say “It’ll be a great day when schools get the money they need and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber”?

      Having an enlightened Nobel Peace Prize winner as President, I am sure we can expect lots of bake sales.

  6. Wiggle that big ol’ cock! Jam it in that international crazy and WIGGLE!

    1. I don’t know why I laughed at that, but I did.

      1. And now you have Wiggle by Jason DeRulo running through your head, yes?

      2. It feels good, right? You’ve got this big fat tool and you have to stick it somewhere. Look over there! That’s a sexy little nation-state over there, just itching for it. Go ahead, you’re helping them, tell yourself that. Just go on over and stick it in. It’s so stimulating to the economy, too. You’re doing good work. Jam it in and wiggle, they’ll love you for it.

        1. God gave ‘Murica the biggest dick so we could piss on everyone else.

          1. You mean Florida, right? I thought it just pissed on Cuba.

        2. I see you’re at a keyboard this afternoon. Is your phone broken? 😉

  7. The proposal will go before Congress for consideration.

    *** snort ***

    1. Let the people have their…traditions.

  8. He sure loves to spend. Our presence in Germany is much smaller than it was 25 years ago. But also less necessary.

    Instead of blowing a $billion on reassurances, why not move the remaining American forces in Europe further east to cheaper bases in places like Poland for a long-term savings?

    1. That’s crazy talk, Drake! Those Germans around our bases *depend* on us for their livelihoods!

      1. Know who else used to have bases the Germans depended on?

        1. The Teutonic Knights?

        2. The French?

        3. The North Africans?

        4. how do we know this is NOT Mel Torme?

        5. The Romans

    2. It’s a well known fact that Stalin is in frozen stasis in siberia. And that the minute we take our eye off the inner-German border his tanks will roll all the way to London.

      1. My trip to Siberia next year is being funded by the Kochs so I can reanimate his corpse and finally kill him off with a stake to the heart. That way, workers will never again have rights and the Kochtopus will reign supreme!

        1. I’d just like to say good luck, we’re all counting on you.

          1. +1 Leslie Nielsen.

        2. Huh, I totally misunderstood your travel goals. I thought you were going to bang Russian broads.

          1. The original plan was to wear addidas, drink Jaguar, and become a gopnik.

            Also, to build my krokodil drug empire.

            1. My co-worker returned from Russia yesterday. He loved everything about the country. People are rich, well-dressed, always smiled. I suggested he do an interview with Russia Today right away.

              1. And your own thoughts on the motherland?

                1. I prefer to keep my mouth shut not to sound like a hater, but it doesn’t always work.
                  https://reason.com/blog/2014/02…..nt_4297165

                  1. Yep, I’m a russophobe, but I’m allowed to be since I’m Russian.

                    I knew there was something about you*.

                    *your discussion on “heritage languages” caught my attention.

                  2. OH believe me, I share no particular fondness for the government nor the political culture of Russia. It is the fact that Russia has always been a tyrannical clusterfuck (from brutal Tsars to Soviet premieres to Putin) that to some extent sparked my interest in the place, in that Churchillian desire to unwrap the enigma.

                    I’m more genuinely curious about thoughts on the Russian people and culture outside of the political realm. Seems like any society that has endured the most vile ravages governments can dish out must be fully filled with some of the most cynical and hardened hearts imaginable. The language resonates with a sort of sinister beauty. Tha landscape embodies the place in its brutality.

                    1. I recently read an essay written by a Soviet dissident in the late 1960s. It has something to say about the contemporary Russians too.
                      http://www2.stetson.edu/~pstee…..lrik1.html

                      As I see it, no idea can ever be put into practice if it is not understood by a majority of the people. Whether because of its historical traditions or for some other reason, the idea of self-government, of equality before the law and of personal freedom and the responsibility that goes with it are almost completely incomprehensible to the Russian people. Even in the idea of pragmatic freedom, a Russian tends to see not so much the possibility ot securing a good life for himself as the danger that some clever fellow will make good at his expense.

                      To the majority of the people the very word “freedom” is synonymous with “disorder” or the opportunity to indulge with impunity in some kind of antisocial or danger ous activity. As for respecting the rights of an individual: as such, the idea simply arouses bewilderment. One can respect strength, authority, even intellect or education,– but it is preposterous to the popular mind that the human personality should represent any kind of value.

                    2. Does this mean that the masses have no positive ideas whatever, except the idea of “strong government”–a government that is right because it is strong and that therefore must on no account weaken? The Russian people, as can be seen from both their past and present history, have at any rate one idea that appears positive: the idea of justice. The government that thinks and acts in everything for us must be not only strong but also just. All must live justly and act justly.

                      It is worth being burnt at the stake for that idea, but not for the right to “do as you wish.” For despite the apparent attractiveness of the idea of justice, if one examines it closely, one realizes that it represents the most destructive aspect of Russian psychology. In practice, “justice” involves the desire that “nobody should live better than I do” (but not a desire for the much-vaunted notion of equalizing wages, since the fact that many people live worse is willingly accepted).

                    3. Every time I see something from Stetson University, I think of this.

                    4. Russians can be very hospitable and they like Americans. And, as you know, the language is beautiful. So, you’re likely to have a very enjoyable trip. Beautiful architecture: my co-worker absolutely loved St. Petersburg and Irkutsk (I’ve never been to Siberia, so I take his word.) Casual racism and homophobia are widespread but it’s entirely possible not to notice it if you’re a foreigner.

                    5. and they like Americans.

                      I was really bewildered by this. I went by myself to a beer hall in Prague and was sat with a Russian guy and a Greek couple. The Greek couple and I were talking and the Russian guy was drinking his beer and ignoring us until he saw my passport. Once he’d confirmed I was an American he was really animated and friendly. He invited me out to dinner the next night, but I had to be back in Berlin.

                      The Greek guy joked that he was just excited to have another superpower to talk to.

                    6. The Greek guy joked that he was just excited to have another superpower to talk to.

                      I’m sure there’s something to it.

                    7. Casual racism and homophobia are widespread but it’s entirely possible not to notice it if you’re a foreigner.

                      As a white heterosexual with some Slavic blood (albeit not much), I suspect it won’t pose a problem for me. A part of me wants to detour into Kazakhstan after jesse forwarded me an article about Astana, but I’ll likely stick to the trans-mongolia/siberia lines.

                      Interestingly though, I have heard that women in southern Siberia tend to like men with a more southern caucuses look. Perhaps the root of the casual racism among the men.

                    8. As a white heterosexual with some Slavic blood (albeit not much), I suspect it won’t pose a problem for me.

                      Be careful about criticizing Obama in Russia. You may not like why people may immediately agree with you.

                      My guess that most of racism comes from unfamiliarity with people of other races.

                    9. You may not like why people may immediately agree with you.

                      Truthfully, it won’t much bother me. While my criticisms of him register entirely on a policy and competence level, I at least prefer a naked racist to the sort of soft bigotry of the paternalistic Left. I also realize that few societies outside the Western hemisphere are anywhere near as tolerant and inclusive as we in the states are accustomed to and I accept that reality for what it is: a vestige of the long human tradition for skepticism of outside tribes.

            2. I’m giggling at the mental image of you in a track suit and gold chains.

              Maybe consider upscaling Russian tastes away from krokodil and making that your entry point to generating market niche?

              1. The only reason krokodil caught on is because of the ruthless efficiency with which the Putin govt was able to stymie the flood of heroin from the Afghans, so upscaling the opiate habits will prove difficult.

                If only I can find a reliable shipping route from Peru to Vladivostok, I may be able to get the Russian drug market exposed to cocaine.

                1. so upscaling the opiate habits will prove difficult

                  But just think, if you succeed your clientele won’t be a gangrenous mess and can keep buying from you for longer!

        3. “and finally kill him off with a stake to the heart. ”

          That’s a Rookie mistake. Stalin doesn’t have a heart. Duh!

      2. If Sudden doesn’t get him first, we can try unfreezing Sylvester Stallone.

        1. Are you in need of a sweater?

    3. why not move the remaining American forces in Europe further east

      Why not move them further west to the other side of the Atlantic then discharge them.

      Waaaaaaay cheaper.

      1. Unemployment’s bad enough as it is. What the economy to do with a bunch of young, able-bodied men and women with military backgrounds and technical applications?

  9. close friends such as Moldova

    Name *one* thing about Moldova.

    1. I met a Moldovan girl once. She was pretty hot.

      1. Good enough answer for me.

        1. Google image Moldovan women. You will not be disappointed.

          1. What, you think people take pics of the ugly ones?

    2. Their main export is insulated wire, followed by sunflower seeds and wine.

      1. Yeah, Rich, you want more people to get electrocuted? Do you? You selfish bastard!

    3. Name *one* thing about Moldova.

      O-Zone is from Moldova (you may know them from the execrable “Dragonstea Din Ttei” [popularly known as the “numma numma song”].

      A close Romanian friend HATES Moldova almost as much as he hates Gypsies.

      That’s two things.

      1. A close Romanian friend HATES Moldova

        I mean, the song is annoying, but hating a whole country over it….

  10. The U.S. is already the largest supplier of both military personnel and funding for NATO and already has 67,000 troops in Europe.

    which is why i’m totally fucking confused about Obama’s recent ‘$5billion Anti Terror Fund’ and this new ‘$1bn new Euro-derp’ spending = what the hell is all that *other* trillion$ going towards?

    I dont mind if you have to stick your dick in every problem on the planet, but for god’s sake, do you really need MOAR MONEY still? After we like, tripled the military budget over the last 15 years?

    We should have a Death Star by now.

    1. We would have, but then we realized the only planet we know of to explode is earth, so we scrapped it to fund crackhouse sting operations instead.

    2. There are always more cronies to funnel money to, GILMORE. Obama’s work never ends.

      1. There are always more scandals to distract from.

        1. But only so many aspirin factories worth bombing.

    3. We should have a Death Star by now.

      That would’ve been fucking awesome if the Empire were defeated because of the debt incurred by building 2 death stars instead of some homo’s dad chucking the empire into an inappropriately placed cavern that leads to outer fucking space.

      1. One cool thing about interstellar empires, federations, and other polities is that no one ever breaks a sweat about how things will get paid for.

        1. Sid Meier called. He begs to differ.

      2. That’s what he got for using union labor.

      3. The Galactic Empire collapsed because it had no clear vision or ideology beyond letting the Emperor sit on his throne and…bask in his evilness?

        Officers that joined the Imperial military had zero reason to stay loyal and, since Vader force-choked those that failed him, actually had incentive to sabotage their superiors since the fastest way to a promotion is having your boss fail.

        So more realistic than the Death Star having one seemingly minor weakness with the reactor shaft would be the rebels attacking and finding that 2/3 of the anti-aircraft turrets don’t work and the armor is some cheap knock-off easily blasted away by laser fire.

        1. You live by your handle.

          1. He does. It’s something of a problem.

            1. Well, you need to work on loosening him up then, ma’am!

      4. The entire star wars universe is nothing but inappropriately placed caverns. Why wouldn’t they have one on the death star.

      5. some homo’s dad chucking the empire into an inappropriately placed cavern

        You didn’t notice that the entire confrontation with the emperor and Luke had no effect on the ultimate outcome of the rebel battle with the Empire’s forces?

        Luke could have gone to the dark side and it would not have mattered…they all just would have been blown up by Lando Calrissian shot at the death stars reactor core.

        1. It’s worse than that: not a single thing any Jedi does in any of the six star wars movies had any effect on anything. They were completely superfluous to the plot.

  11. Spending more money always fixes everything. Just like the last time.

    When I get into debt, I fix it by spending moar.

  12. Or, we could engage the Russians in open commerce and encourage them to become ruthless capitalists like us.

    1. They have a little bit of a rule of law problem – my company, along with many others, has fled the market there.

      1. If that’s going to cause your company to pull up stakes, they’re eventually going to run out of places to flee to.

        1. Oh, we deal in some sketchy places – but there is a limit to what risk we can accept – Russia crossed that line.

  13. Hey do you guys remember when Reagan exacerbated the collapse of the teetering Soviet economy with an aggressive foreign policy that goaded them into spending greater and greater amounts of money they didn’t have on the military?

    Man the Rooskies must have been retarded to fall for that one.

    1. Good thing the US of A is too smart to fall for that one!

      I am so smart
      I am so smart
      s m r t…

    2. So Ivan Drago is the hero now? I must break you, Hugh.

    3. Well played Hugh

    4. A thing of beauty, this.

    5. Stealing that…

    6. Oh… This is a good comment.

  14. Now all we need is one of those troops being stationed there to defect to the Russian side so we can trade them any currently imprisoned Soviet-era spies for one turncoat schmuck.

    1. I’m afraid the Russians already have one American “traitor” that they can sell to the US for the right price.

      1. Something tells me he won’t be getting press conferences that hail him as a returning hero.

  15. Does Obama’s insurance just not cover viagra?

  16. Seems like Hilary’s reset button didn’t work….

  17. Why not just unleash our oil production at home and sell it abroad, especially to the Europeans who rely on Russian oil? It would vastly grow our economy, undermine Russia’s through competition, reduce Russia’s influence on Europe, and provide some real relief to those Eastern European member states under the Russian gun.

  18. OT: Feds investigating Phil Mickelson. I’m sure it has nothing to do with his complaints about taxes.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/na…..r-trading/

    1. I had that thought as well.

      The trades in question was from 2011, and he heeled pretty quickly to pressure. I remember it being one of the quickest apologies to the Church of Pregressivism ever. I wonder if he was ever threatened with this to walk back his statements.

      Or he could have known he did so illegally and thought to walk it back himself immediately after thinking “oh shit!”

  19. Wait a minute. Suppose someone is in debt, and has a horrid credit worthiness (not based upon the lies that are Moody’s and such. Tripple A for the USA!!??? Seriously wtf. A bunch of children could figure out the real rating…= F!!!) They suddenly decide, oh I need a billion dollars so I can buy some stuff and run a business too! No one is lending to that individual. How them does this person acquire the money? Would they take up arms and rob folks? Noooo, they might get shot. Welp, looks like they have to work, or find someone really generous.

    Yet folks think that these douche bag politicians, who debauch the currency, deserve more money after failure upon failure. Such nonsense helps to show that voting for politicians to be in government to “rule”, represent or what have you winds up being aggression against others, and is therefore antithetical to a free society.

    If these fools continually elect these folk that enslave us more and more, then WTF is the point of it all. To “hope one day that”. FUCK YOU!

  20. Vladimir Putin likely could not afford to tread further west into NATO territory.

    Your opinion on this is less important than his. And I think Vlad believes that Ukraine is just an appetizer for the recreation of the Soviet empire that he so obviously wants.

  21. Well, the good thing is that nothing can go worng'[pel2143%@#lkwer…

  22. For Tony, Am Socilist and shreek – fellators of government power and righteousness:

    http://dailysignal.com/2014/06…..-research/

    1. You can’t make omelettes of good science without breaking a few eggs of horribly attenuated premature infants.

    2. Did anybody profit though?

  23. Last weekend I finished Accelerando by Charles Stross and can’t recommend it highly enough. Considering it was published in 2005, I’m sure some of you have gotten to it already, but it was some damn fun reading. As an extra bonus, it gives you a pretty good idea of what it must be like to have ADHD (assuming you don’t have it, anyways).

    Feeling the buzz, I started Singularity Sky since it was his Hugo winning book, but so far I don’t find it nearly as good.

    1. The Singularity series is pure Sci-Fi and I liked it.

      Halting State and Rule 34 are brilliant scary near future books.

  24. Here is a perfect example of a chicken with its head cut off ..Obama is all over the place but nothing worthwhile is being accomplished

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