NATO

EU Doesn't Want to Pay Fair Share for NATO

EU Commission president says foreign aid is security spending-nice try.

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EU Parliament

Earlier this week, Defense Secretary James Mattis met his counterparts from other NATO member-states at a gathering in Brussels. There, he told them in diplomatic but no uncertain terms, that the U.S. expected other NATO countries to start spending their share on defense, that this was the "political reality" in the U.S. and a "fair demand." He was backed up by the defense chiefs of the U.K., which is one of a handful of countries that meets the NATO target of 2 percent of GDP for defense spending, and Germany, which is not. Mattis said if NATO members couldn't meet their commitments, the U.S. would have to moderate its own.

Yesterday, Mattis' reasonable and totally expected demand that NATO members spend as much on defense as NATO calls for was met with a bizarre response from the European Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker. At a speech at the Munich Security Conference, Juncker recommended that other European Union members who are also in NATO resist U.S. demands, arguing humanitarian aid and foreign development spending was also spending toward security. "It has been the American message for many, many years," Juncker said of Mattis' call on NATO members to meet their spending commitments. "I am very much against letting ourselves be pushed into this."

During the election, commentators freaked when then candidate Donald Trump suggested haphazardly in an interview that if Russia invaded one of the Baltic countries he'd have to determine whether they've met their commitment to NATO before responding. The Trumpian answer was interpreted as a threat to renege on NATO commitments. Less than a year later, it's Europe that's embracing ignoring its NATO commitments. Juncker's suggestion is preposterous. Foreign aid spending may contribute to security (though I doubt this assertion—such spending is just as if not far more likely to foster dependence and hinder development in recipient countries), but it is a wholly separate endeavor from NATO.

Of the EU NATO countries, Greece is the biggest spender as a proportion of its GDP—spending 2.38 percent. Debt-ridden Greece gets kicked around a lot by its fellow EU members, who are rightfully weary of bailing Greece out of its profligate domestic spending. If Greece can afford to meet its NATO commitments (and Estonia and Poland, two developing former Communist countries), there's no reason for the far prosperous Western European NATO countries to do the same. Germany spent just 1.19 percent of its GDP on defense last year—it is a fiscally responsible country that could easily meet the NATO target if it wanted to.

When I wrote about Mattis' comments earlier this week, I suggested the U.S. do both—demand Europe meet its commitments and moderate its own. Juncker's petulant and politically tone-deaf response to Mattis' call opens up the possibility for the U.S. to do both. Just because NATO members have for a long time failed to meet NATO spending targets does not mean such an arrangement is sustainable. The election of Donald Trump should've signaled that to Europe.

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  1. …Defense Secretary James Mattis met his counterparts from other NATO member-states at a gathering in Brussels.

    Wait a minute, other NATO members have defense secretaries? Fine, they’ll honor their commitments, but the United States is going to have to kick in to help cover the costs of Europe’s various social programs.

    1. What do you think our inordinate amount of defense spending is? We overspend on a giant military so our Euro “allies” can go batshit crazy with the welfare spending.

      1. ^^^^THIS^^^^

        We are enabling the nanny states of Europe…

  2. LOL – Europe doesn’t contribute because it doesn’t fear Russia. Only Crimea is in danger. So why should they pay anything? The whole point is so that the US and Russia spend billions to wage a fake war with each other, and Europe wants no part of it. Trump was a complete idiot (as usual) for threatening not to defend Europe. They called his bluff. Wow TrumPutin is SO STUPID – everyone is calling their bluff. What this means is that Europe will not spend more and the US will spend less on ‘defense’ (which is really just a protection racket). This is all too funny!

    Juncker’s petulant and politically tone-deaf response to Mattis’ call

    LOL – Ed is butt-hurt. LOLLLLOL!!

    1. I don’t know if poor Ed is actually “butt-hurt”, but everything else is spot on. It’s quite “arguable” that Europe already spends more on defense than they need to. According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, in 2015 Russia’s military budget was $66 billion, while United Kingdom spent $56 billion; France, $47 billion; Germany, $37 billion; Italy, $22 billion. And that’s not even counting Greece! Let Trump get as “tough” on Europe as he wants. Then let him wonder why they won’t impose sanctions on those bastards in Iran.

      1. Raw budgetary numbers don’t paint a full picture, as different nations allocate resources differently in their military budgets so one may have the same effective benefit as another at a substantially reduced cost. Case in point: Russia’s $66B vs UK+France+Germany’s $140B buys 845K troops (Rus) vs 577K (Big3), 15,000 tanks (Rus) vs 800 (Big3), 1,400 attack helicopters (Rus) vs 621 (Big3), and 3,500 aircraft (Rus) vs 918 (Big3). Now, Russian troops may be less well trained and their machinery of an inferior quality, but they clearly dwarf the Europeans militarily and could probably beat them if the US did not interfere.

        1. Even the military spending of European nations is mostly welfare. Equipment and readiness are second to paying people to do nothing. When you look what the taxpayers are getting for that money, you find that it often amounts to near zero.

        2. “quantity has a quality all its own”
          – some quote I heard in the ’80s regarding soviet military equipment

      2. You misspelled your name again.

    2. Europe is supposed to be afraid. Their leaders are insane. They are provoking Russia while crying that Russia is going to invade them. War is just waiting to happen there and Europe will be the battle ground. We’ll be watching from afar and we’ll send you blankets and first aid kits. Maybe we’ll send peacekeepers too once the fighting subsides.

  3. “I am very much against letting ourselves be pushed into this.”

    “This” being paying for part of your own stuff, as you previously agreed to do. Just call it “access” like activists in the states do for healthcare, housing, etc., and you’ll get away with it, Juncker (ie “We need access to quality defense systems.”).

  4. Though appropriate, I refuse to use the standard asshole statement that has been thrown around a lot lately.

  5. Does anyone know what percentage of its GDP the US contributes to NATO’s common military budget?

    1. Our contributions are in kind. By being a member of NATO, we place them under our nuclear umbrella and pledge to come to Western Europe’s aid in the event of an attack by anyone but really the Russians. So our entire military is effectively at the disposal of NATO if it is needed. So the US contributes whatever percentage of GNP it spends on defense to the common NATO military budget.

    2. The 2% isn’t to some common NATO budget. It’s what they’re supposed to be spending on their own militaries. The US could cut military spending more than a third and still meet the 2% NATO commitment.

      1. Ah, right you are. The answer to the question I was asking without knowing it is 3.62%.

        1. Sad when broke-ass Greece (there is a joke there I bet) actually meets the letter of the law, but other well of nations don’t.

  6. “Fair share”? A fair price is whatever price is mutually agreed upon, minus whatever can be weaseled out of paying by one side or the other. Trump the Master Dealmaker knows this, negotiations don’t end when the contract gets signed, that’s when negotiations begin. Frequently, negotiating to see whether or not whoever’s stupid enough to agree to a deal with Trump can figure out a way to make him keep up his end of the bargain. All the whiny crybaby shit about how unfair you’re getting treated is just a negotiating tactic – Trump said so himself.

  7. If they aren’t willing to defend themselves and to fund that defense, fuck ’em. Russia won’t invade Western Europe anyway and if they do and win we’ll just trade with them.

  8. FREAKCON 1: Trump administration considers mobilizing as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants.

    http://tinyurl.com/jnp97w4

    1. and if you haven’t totally vacated your bowels, there’s this from the AP:

      http://tinyurl.com/hlcoqmt

    2. I don’t see this happening. Is this just a way to get hits (like made up) or they put this together….Trump says no by comparison then looks reasonable such that he can also call them out for spreading fake news.

    3. I’m pretty sure that would be illegal per the Posse Comitatus Act.

    4. return to FREAKCON 5, people. Spicer and DHS are telling us that the AP report is fake news.

      1. Per Yes, Minister, that makes it even worse because now it’s been officially denied.

        1. LOL. Wouldn’t it be funny if this document was deliberately leaked by Trump and his circle as a means of detecting the leaker?

          1. That would actually be pretty intelligent of them.

            1. SOP in the intelligence business when you know you have a leak and want to bag the culprit.

  9. The less of the last 50 years that our political elite refuse to learn is that you cannot defend someone who does not have the will to defend themselves.

    In Vietnam, the US spent 8 years and 57,000 American lives defending South Vietnam. The US obtained a peace treaty in 1973 that ended the war and gave the South everything it wanted. Yet, despite that, two years later in January of 1975, the moment Ford said the US would never return, the North invaded and the South despite all that time and effort and aid from the US was unable to defend itself against a rag tag newly rebuilt North Vietnamese Army.

    In Iraq, the US spent 8 years, over a trillion dollars and 10,000 American lives trying to create a free Iraq. The US pulls out in 2011, and two years later, the Iraq army drops its rifles and runs at the sight of a bunch of ISIS idiots in Datsun pickups armed with AK 47s.

    We have been in Afghanistan going on 16 years and the Afghans still cant’ defend themselves from the Taliban.

    If Europe doesn’t have the will to defend themselves, there is no saving them. We should honor our commitment to NATO and help them defend themselves, but only if they show that they have the will to do it themselves. And if they are not willing to spend any money on defense and have effective armies appropriate to the size of their economies and population, then they don’t have the will to defend themselves and there is no point in our trying to do it for them.

    1. Great post, John.

    2. In a certain sense, though, aren’t they right? What exactly is it that Europe exactly needs to defend itself against? As much a tyrant as Putin is, he hasn’t shown much interest in having the Russian army overrun Western Europe. I guess you could say hordes of refugees from the Middle East, but Europe’s leadership seems more interested in inviting them in.

      1. Russia is a paper tiger. Europe has a much bigger population and much richer and advanced economies. There is no excuse why Germany and Poland alone couldn’t kick the shit out of the Russians in a conventional war. But as incompetent and backward as the Russians are, they do have one thing, a lot of people in uniform. And mass as they say has a quality all its own. So if Europe is going to defend itself, it is going to have to spend some money and build some fairly significant armies again. They don’t need to go full war socialism. They just need to get back to what they were in the mid 1980s. Do that and what is Putin going to do? Nuke them? He could but what good would it do him? Don’t do that and Putin can use his big army and air force to bully and intimate Europe all he wants. As long as Europe has to depend on the US to defend it, Putin can do whatever he wants knowing that the cost of anyone confronting him is risking nuclear war, and that is not something the US is going to do short of outright invasion.

        1. Russia also has the unity of being Russia. Germany and Poland are neighbors. It’s like saying a random all-star team in the NFL beats the Patriots. Maybe a weak analogy, but you get the point.

        2. Again, though, what particular interest has Putin shown in invading Western Europe? To date, his interest has largely been in maintaining his sphere of influence.

          Sure, a Western Europe that honored its commitment on military preparedness would be able to defend itself against him quite easily. That isn’t even in dispute. But, threat requires ability and intention. And Europe doesn’t see a particular intention from Russia. And that’s a reasonable assessment.

          Now, given that, we need to ask a question – given the lack of a credible threat as perceived by people on the ground (the Eurpeans), what value is there to us in committing our blood and treasure to their disposal. As I note below, the practical effect of it all is to cast the U.S. in the role of Europe’s bully-boy to allow them to exercise a lot more international leverage than they warrant.

          1. what particular interest has Putin shown in invading Western Europe?

            or any other place, for that matter. One key point of Trump’s presser yesterday was the apparent heresy of asking why it would be so bad if the US and Russia got along? It’s like no one else in the room, or perhaps DC, has ever considered that.

            No, Putin is not a Jeffersonian. And? Neither are a lot of people with whom we do business. It’s ironic how those who laughed at Romney’s assertion four years ago are now scouring under every bed for a Russian monster.

          2. From our perspective none. But you have to see it from his. Understand, Putin is more afraid of his own people than he is of us. Putin is an incompetent kleptocrat. The Russian economy has crashed under his leadership. The country is going broke and things seem to get worse all of the time. Yet, Putin is popular. Why? Because he gets people to ignore his steeling and mismanagement of the nation by being a strong leader and being seen as someone who will restore Russia’s honor. The Russians feel completely humiliated and paranoid by losing the cold war. The one thing that keeps Putin alive is his being a strong and aggressive leader seen as someone who restores and maintains Russian honor.

            The problem with having to be aggressive is, you always have to have an enemy. If and when Putin ever manages to absorb Ukraine, he will have to look somewhere else and find other ways to restore Russia’s honor.

            This is why dictators so often go to war despite there being from our perspective no rational reason for doing so.

            1. I get your point. The thing is, it doesn’t seem to match the actual facts. Putin’s activities have largely been, as I have said, more about keeping Russia’s sphere of influence intact. The only reason we’re talking about Ukraine is that Europe tried to wrest the country outside of Russia’s control (which it has been for the last 300+ years). The only reason Russia’s involved in Syria is that the Assad regime has longstanding alliance with the Russians.

              I’m not saying Vladimir Putin is a nice man I’d like to have over for Sunday dinner. But, if his regime is dependent on always maintaining a foreign enemy, we’ve done a pretty good job of providing him one.

              1. It amazes me how a bunch of self appointed international relations “geniuses” thought bombing Serbia to rip Kosovo off from it and expanding NATO right up to Russia’s borders wasn’t going to cause the Russians to get paranoid and nationalistic.

                These clowns spend their lives studying international relations and somehow didn’t get the memo about Russia being paranoid about invasion from Western Europe and feeling an emotional tie to the Slavs of Southeast Europe. You don’t really have to know much about Russian history to know that Russia has no natural barriers to invasion from the South, the West or East and has been invaded and stomped on beginning with the Tarters, then the Turks, the Swedes, Napoleon and then twice last century by the Germans. But hey, expand NATO right up to their borders. They won’t mind.

      2. Tell that to European leaders who strongly pushed for America to take action against Putin over Ukraine, or who pushed us to intervene in Libya and now Syria. The reality is that European leaders don’t have the position you do. They simply want to skimp on their own military spending knowing that the US will make up for it and conduct their interventionist foreign policies for them. They aren’t your average smug progressive.

        1. Tell that to European leaders who strongly pushed for America to take action against Putin over Ukraine, or who pushed us to intervene in Libya and now Syria.

          The people who have most lost their minds in the media over Trump are the hardcore internationalists like Kristol and Ann Applebaum and others. I really wonder how much those people are on the payroll of the European governments. More than anything Trump’s biggest sin against the establishment seems to be his desire to end the US being world policeman and acting as the effective army for both the EU and the UN.

        2. I’m not sure if that was directed at me, but it’s largely what I’ve been trying to argue. I just don’t see the logic of our expending our blood and treasure to be their muscle.

    3. The less of the last 50 years that our political elite refuse to learn is that you cannot defend someone who does not have the will to defend themselves.

      which very much sounds like the heart of what Mattis said and, on this score, I’m totally with the administration. Stretch the thinking to the UN, too, which puts the worst regimes on the high-sounding Human Rights Commission. It’s a worthless body. NATO once served a purpose but less so now, and it was interesting hear a career soldier like Mattis frame the argument in economic terms.

      In a way, it was a subtle way of saying, “all you people pissy about American military might and power, fine, put your money where your mouths are.”

      1. which very much sounds like the heart of what Mattis said and, on this score, I’m totally with the administration. Stretch the thinking to the UN, too,

        It would be far better to completely get rid of that den of thieves, knaves, and crooks…

    4. It’s not even that a united Europe will be militarily inferior to the Russkies. This isn’t 1861 Northern industrial might and manpower vs. Southern arrogance and less manpower. Europe could take Russia pretty easily if it had to. What they lack is men and leadership and dedication equal to the Army of Northern Virginia.

      1. As little as 30 years ago, Germany, the UK, France, the Netherlands, Italy and Norway all had significant and effective armies that would kick the Russians’ asses if they existed today.

        The other thing that needs to happen is Finland and the rest of Europe have to align. Finland is the front line against Russia and has been planning to defend a Russian invasion for 70 years now.

        1. Except Finland isn’t any more fond of Sweden than it is of Russia.

          They just want to be left the fck alone.

          Russia has recently annexed Crimea and parts of Ukraine. Reclaiming the Baltics and a northern sea port that doesn’t freeze up would be on Putin’s bucket list.

    5. No one ever pays for shit if they can easily get it for “free”. No one. Ever.

      Take away the free shit, and the bums will start paying if they really want and need something.

      1. Yes. And if they don’t, then they cannot be saved. Its like Ukraine. If the people are Ukraine are not willing to fight the Russians such that it becomes a giant sucking quagmire for Putin that ends up bankrupting him, then maybe they really don’t mind being under Russian rule again. You know?

        1. Ukraine is different to the extent that Stalin killed them all and replaced them with ethnic Russians.

    6. NATO is an artifact of the Cold War, and that war is over. NATO only existed because the UN was no guarantor of European peace.

      1. Yes. What is not an artifact of the Cold War is the threat of Russia dominating eastern and central Europe. That threat has been a constant since Peter the Great. Russia is a big nasty neighbor to have. If its neighbors don’t want to live under its thumb, they are going to have to arm themselves. It is that simple.

    7. Mostly correct, however, that “rag tag” NVA was larger and had more armor than the force Hitler used to Invade the Soviet Union. Even given that the ARVN held it’s own pretty well for about 48 hours but when word came down that we would not be returning to the fight, not even for Air Strikes they totally collapsed.

      1. Yeah. The North never respected the 73 accords. But the bottom line is the South was a very large country. Even without the US aid, it should not have collapsed like it did. It collapsed because it lacked the will to defend itself. No amount of US aid and blood could create that will.

  10. From the article:

    “If you look at what Europe is doing in defense, plus development aid, plus humanitarian aid, the comparison with the United States looks rather different. Modern politics cannot just be about raising defense spending,” [Juncker] said.

    There’s a lot to unpack here. First, is he arguing that, if the West doesn’t sprinkle money all over the world, the lumpenproletariat is going to rise up and destabilize western countries? Also, is he offhandedly trying to get credit for Europe for letting in bunches of immigrants from the Mideast? If so, I’m not sure that is paying the security/stability dividends he imagines. Also also, I hope he’s not under the impression that the U.S. is tightfisted with development and humanitarian aid.

    Also also also, good stuff, Ed.

    1. I wondered at that as well. If the U.S. included humanitarian aid both public and private what does our contribution look like on top of military spending? If he wants to use that metric, well I don’t see any issue in the U.S. using the same metric. Does he? I’m guessing yes, they would mind a lot.

  11. At this point, NATO has outlived its usefulness to the United States. At this point, rather than protecting Europe from an existential threat from the now-defunct Soviet Union, the alliance casts the U.S. into the role of bullyboy for largely ineffectual European powers. Looking over the last few years, Libya, Ukraine, and maybe Syria could have been averted, or at least wouldn’t have particularly effected us, if the U.S. weren’t stuck in NATO.

    1. Ukraine I give you, but Libya and Syria were all the Obama administration’s doing, man.

  12. Make’em fucking pay if you can if they’re freeloading at our expense, but this threat of withdrawing our military is so interesting coming from conservatives. The threat seems so fucking hollow considering what I know about so-called conservatives. If I were the EU or a democrat pol, I would call him on his bluff of withdrawing American forces.

    1. You realize Trump is president, right, not McCain and not some other garden-variety president. When has any US administration made the economic argument that Mattis put forth? Certainly no Pub and not even Dems who tend to oppose the military just because.

    2. You think Trump is a conservative?

      1. Methinks “conservative” here means “nominally a Republican”.

    3. It’s a good thing we’re libertarians and have been calling for military withdraw for years.

  13. “At a speech at the Munich Security Conference, Juncker recommended that other European Union members who are also in NATO resist U.S. demands, arguing humanitarian aid and foreign development spending was also spending toward security.”

    Three obvious implications:

    1) U.S. defense spending on NATO means U.S. taxpayers are effectively underwriting Europe’s humanitarian aid and foreign development spending–not to mention Europe’s social welfare state.

    2) If the United States stopped spending directly on defense in Europe, we could count our humanitarian aid and foreign development spending towards our NATO commitment, too.

    3) The European Union isn’t even psychologically prepared to take over defense duties from the separate countries that make up the EU. The dream of a truly integrated and functional EU is too absurd, even for its own bureaucrats to take seriously.

    1. The dream of a truly integrated and functional EU is too absurd, even for its own bureaucrats to take seriously.
      this goes back to underlying flaw of the multi-culti crowd: different people with some common values do not see themselves as interchangeable widgets. Italians, Germans, and Swedes are all Europeans; the Census here regards them all as white people, but to pretend they are identical is stupid. Yet, that’s the mentality the EU, either overtly or covertly, wants to instill.

      There is a vast gulf between a common economic market and a common political/social one. No one here tries to pretend that a person in California is the same as one in Alabama is the same as one in NY is the same as one in Iowa.

      1. Did you pay attention to the rhetoric around the popular vote lately?

        1. yes, and it makes my point – the national map is a giant red sea dotted with a few blue islands. NY and California, if anything, are outliers. And it’s not as if the entirety of either of those states went for Hillary. People are not widgets, a malicious truth for the multi-cultis but a truth nonetheless.

  14. OT: Fracking is making America Greener

    http://tinyurl.com/gszbmh7

    “…it was a shift in fossil fuels?not renewables?that was responsible for the majority of these reductions [i.e., 2.2 percent annual decrease in overall GHG emissions]. Specifically, it was the ongoing displacement of coal-fired power plants by natural gas-fired ones that did the heavy lifting for American climate change mitigation in 2015.

    1. We’ve been talking about this around here for a long time.

      The environmentalists who oppose fracking are doing so despite fracking being responsible for it having brought U.S. greenhouse gas emissions so low that we met what our Kyoto treaty emission reductions would have been if we’d signed the treaty. This happened because natural gas is fundamentally less expensive to tap than coal (no mining labor necessary, just pump it) and because burning natural gas releases about 40% less CO2 into the atmosphere to get the same amount of energy.

      The reason the environmentalists oppose fracking to get that natural gas is because their ultimate goal is to limit the absolute total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere–not just to limit the rate at which it’s released into the atmosphere. If you want to limit the total amount of CO2 that’s released into the atmosphere, finding new sources of the stuff is a bad thing.

      Note, the figures you’re quoting don’t say that we have less CO2 in the atmosphere than we did before. They’re saying that the rate at which more is being added has decreased.

      1. “The environmentalists who oppose fracking are doing so despite fracking being responsible for it having brought U.S. greenhouse gas emissions so low that we met what our Kyoto treaty emission reductions would have been if we’d signed the treaty”

        But since we didn’t sign the treaty, the US is a big poopyhead!
        /greeny

      2. “The reason the environmentalists oppose fracking to get that natural gas is because their ultimate goal is to limit the absolute total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere economic growth and human development.”

        FTFY

      3. To be fair, I think they have an honest concern about water contamination.

  15. It is one of the ironies. To get the NATO members to meet their 2% GDP requirement, we have to threaten to leave. But if they meet their 2% requirement, we are no longer needed.

    Maybe the better answer is what Eisenhower supposedly wanted to do in the late 1940s — essentially withdraw our troops over a 10 year period. Given the current threat if Russia to the Baltic states and (lesser) to Poland, we cannot leave immediately. 10 years is enough time for European NATO states to readjust budgets and rebuild their militaries.

  16. Here’s an idea, let’s ask actual high-ranking European military personnel whether they agree with Mattis’ assessment of the situation. But surely they’re less qualified on military matters than Brussels bureaucrats.

    1. If it’s anything like our own military, they’re too consumed by frantic attempts to implement pro-trans and queer integration polices and fit more SHARP classes into the schedule.

      1. They did that shit decades ago. Heck, some of them even have unionized military forces…

  17. Of the EU NATO countries, Greece is the biggest spender as a proportion of its GDP?spending 2.38 percent. Debt-ridden Greece gets kicked around a lot by its fellow EU members, who are rightfully weary of bailing Greece out of its profligate domestic spending. If Greece can afford to meet its NATO commitments (and Estonia and Poland, two developing former Communist countries), there’s no reason for the far prosperous Western European NATO countries to do the same.

    Actually Krayewski, the reason this is true is that Greece basically uses their military as an unemployment program and to bump up their statistics thanks to conscription. Oh, look at those unemployment figures, time to throw another couple thousand people back into the military. They have more personnel for their air force than other nations with air forces twice their size. It’s not exactly a good example of efficiency in military spending.

    1. Greece also had – and may still – compulsory military service. You may be right that some of those who go in stay in or are kept in for longer because it’s a paying job.

    2. even if it’s only a jobs program, it’s killing two birds with one stone

      1. Well, until there’s this thing called a war.

    3. Another reason is that Greece has a history of being Europe’s battle ground. And they don’t trust the fcking Turks.

  18. So anyone with a link to spicer/DHS saying AP on national guard is fake news? I hope so…would be a terrible policy and likely illegal + it will further damage the cred (what’s left) of the media

    1. And that’s another inference from yesterday’s presser: the CNN guy was ringing his hands over concern that Trump’s criticism of the media was eroding public trust in the press. No, the press has done that all by itself. Trump’s just giving a loud voice to something people have talked about for years.

      I had high hopes that one fallout from his election would be a media that returned to its role of watchdog instead of activist. But like the proverbial Browns’ fan, I am again let down.

      1. Yep good point. They just come off as nuts hating on someone cause of who they are and not watchdogs

  19. The military industrial complex is crumbling – and not a moment too soon. With the rise of Trump, Liberals are starting to appreciate the danger of a powerful and capricious government. They don’t want it to have huge military assets at its disposal to kill people by the thousands and millions. This is true across Europe and increasing across the US. Thanks Trump for being hysterical and calamitous and reminding us why we don’t want you ‘negotiating’ with North Korea or anyone else – again you undermined your fascist ambitions with your own radical derpitude.

    1. The military industrial complex is crumbling

      LOLWUT?

      1. Please, please, do not feed the vermin.

  20. The Trumpian answer was interpreted as a threat to renege on NATO commitments.

    isn’t that exactly the same as saying, “No, we’re not going to spend what we agreed to on defense?” i guess not – because its not a “threat*- its what they’ve already failed to do.

  21. “Wouldn’t it be good to be friends with Russia? I mean, wouldn’t that be nice to get along?” Trump repeated this many times during his campaign. This is why we voted for him – we want to be friends with Russia! It’s ridiculous to now insist that we need to beef up our ‘defense’ spending against them. If you need to defend yourself from your own friends then man you got a lot bigger problems.

  22. Russia is essentially a giant gas station run by a punk. not a superpower.

    Trump’s energy policies would suggest him and Putin aren’t in some sort of relationship

  23. Calling me ‘vermin’ or ‘pond scum’ only proves that you’re a Nazi. As will now be demonstrated:

    1. Take your fucking meds, Weigel.

      1. Please do not feed the vermin.

        1. Thanks again for showing off your Nazi street cred. You’ll no doubt make a lot of friends around here.

      2. You first, dd. And I am not Weigel or any of the other arch-nemesises that you all are completely convinced have returned to personally oppress you.

    2. This will be the only time I ever respond to you.

      Calling someone a name is not proof of being a Nazi or a fascist. If you cannot gronk this basic concept, I suggest you return to whatever middle school you are attending, study your ass off until you graduate high school and grow the fuck up.

      1. Piling on the insults and bullying with the Nazi fascists and then replying with “Nazis weren’t fascists you idiot!” is another Nazi technique, as will now be demonstrated:

      2. “This will be the only time I ever respond to you.”

        Don’t bother.
        Being called anything by what amounts to cockroaches doesn’t bother me one bit.
        Miserable little fucker can call me anything it pleases; just don’t feed it.

  24. Libertarian website demands that foreign governments increase spending…

    1. Actually:
      “Libertarian website demands others fulfill contractual agreements”
      But you knew that.

      1. “Libertarian web site demands that horse touchers be jailed because that’s the law we all agreed to.”

        1. the law we all agreed to

          …not quite

          1. As opposed to NATO commitments, right?

          2. Juice|2.17.17 @ 1:32PM|#
            “the law we all agreed to
            …not quite”

            If you pour ‘stuff’ into a pond, you get pond scum.
            Please do not pour anything which feeds pond scum.

    2. More like recipients of security services pay for those security services rather than receiving US-subsidized “welfare security”.

  25. Parsimonious Eurotrash retards. Fuck ’em.

    1. Well exactly! Libertarians should be rejoicing. I honestly don’t get it.

      1. I’m cautiously optimistic that this will lead to some sort of splintering of NATO, or at least a weakening of it.

  26. One problem with “NATO commitments” is that if Russia invades, say, Latvia, the US has to go to war with Russia? WTF kind of shit is that? So there could be global thermonuclear war over that? Yeah, it sucks total balls for Latvia, but are we going to risk the fate of human civilization over them? It’s a fucked up system.

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