Odds and Ends
21 3, 4:48am
Wow, you really don't get it, do you? You're right....successive administrations gently pressured NATO members to spend more, with little success. So what is smarter...doing the EXACT same thing and expecting different results? Or trying something a little different? What Trump didn't realize is that there was no saving you guys before the existential threat was on your doorstep. He was too early with the hardball tactics...now, MAYBE, you understand what is going on.
Odd are, though, that you don't. Oh, a few European countries are making the right noises at the moment, Germany foremost among them. And they'll probably spend a little more, for a little while. But the conflict in Ukraine will end, one way or another, and Europe will again grow complacent and start letting their defense spending slide, comfortable in the knowledge that America will always be there to protect them.
And they'll be right...for a while at least. But here's the thing...for as many of us (myself included, which you don't seem to understand) strongly support NATO and understand how important it is for our security, we are also very, VERY tired of all the freeloading. It made sense early on when you were recovering from World War II and trying to get your feet back under you, but certainly by the 1980s you were all back in business and well able to fully participate in your own defense. But instead of doing so, you bitched and moaned as Reagan (and Thatcher, and the Pope) won the Cold War for you, and then instead of preparing for the next phase of history you proceeded to slack off even more, convinced that history had ended.
That's a big part of why we hold Europe in such deep contempt. For all your pretensions of 'wisdom' and 'maturity', you are children. You have no idea why the world is the way it is, and even less idea of how to steer it in the right direction. And to top it off, when anyone (from Donald Trump down to internet randos like me) tries to explain it to you, you pitch a tantrum. Is it any wonder why so many of us are ready to give up on you?
Earlier I mentioned that we may be unable or unwilling to help you in the future. Let me explain those two cases a bit. Unwilling is the easy one...as I said, we are VERY tired of you people. Eventually we may decide that it's just not worth it anymore. And before you remind me how important NATO is (but not important enough for Europe to fun properly), let me point out that we (the United States) need NATO a lot less than you (Europe) does. Have you noticed that there is no NATO-like alliance in the Pacific? We don't have multilateral alliances there, we have partnerships. We work with like-minded countries in areas of mutual interest, and we've been just as secure in the Pacific since WW2 as we have been in Europe. There's absolutely no reason we couldn't disband NATO and do the same in Europe - we could work with the UK and a few other countries to secure our periphery, and let the rest of you hang. It might even be the best thing for the rest of you - it might shock you into being serious again.
The other possibility is that we're unable to help you. We have our own problems here at home - we have a LOT of Nisse Hults of our own, children who spend more time worrying about who is saying what on twitter than paying attention to what is going on in the world around them. These are the ones who are crying about Ukraine (which 99% of couldn't find on a map to save their lives) at the very same time they're trying to shut down energy and industrial production here. If we're lucky the current era of pain we are embarking on will shock enough of them to their senses that they stop being fools, and if we're not we'll have to take them out back and shoot them. That particular outcome may take us out of the global game permanently, so you'd best hope our Nisse Hults wise up, fast.
Regardless of how it all plays out, we may not be available to you when you need us most. As I've said previously in this conversation...good luck. You're going to need it.