Nato - Does he have a point?

#1
Although I'm not his number one fan, does Trump have a point about Nato?

Trump worries Nato with 'obsolete' comment - BBC News

Here are a few of my own question marks.

Still structured to fight the Cold War of 40 years ago.
Ill-equipped to deal with any asymmetric threat.
Many members not pulling their weight/picking up their share of the bill.
Over-reliance on US contribution.
An apparent reluctance to act according to treaty terms.
Top heavy with generals behind desks.
Turkish membership.
 
#2
One of the first things Trump will need to do upon inauguration, is get a brief from his departments. Some of them may expose his comments as extremely naive (although I doubt he cares).

NATO has restructured massively since the Cold War, with an emphasis on non-Article V operations as the default.

If anything, NATO is considerably unprepared for a Cold War style confrontation, as evidenced by the unseemly scramble to throw force packages Eastwards.


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#3
I'd agree on the following:

Many members not pulling their weight/picking up their share of the bill.
Over-reliance on US contribution.
An apparent reluctance to act according to treaty terms.

I think the actions of some members following 9/11 & the beginning of the AFG deployments were the nails in the coffin in some respects.
 
#6
A resurgent Russia and the POTUS (elect) is expressing views whether we still need NATO?

Have I just woken up. Is that coffee I can smell!
 
#7
I'd agree on the following:

Many members not pulling their weight/picking up their share of the bill.
Over-reliance on US contribution.
An apparent reluctance to act according to treaty terms.
I'd also argue we're guilty somewhat of the first point, we've neglected capability through various reasons for years, so although we maybe spending what we're required to, we're leaning on other nations to fill gaps.
I can't see how Trump can complain though, they're the world's most powerful military - greater than something like the next 3 nations' military combined? Of course any organisation with them in it is going to rely on them, and I'd suggest that they're well compensated, 99% of the time US Generals are the de facto commanders of these multinational task forces able to exercise US Foreign Policy and influence globally, that has to be a plus point for PEOTUS?
As an aside, a standing army alone of 0.5 million troops - what on earth are they going to do if USA becomes more isolationist?

With regards countries pulling their weight, I saw most of the nations of NATO represented in ISAF - if only at the headquarters level. Remember that Afg isn't that big and once the areas were divvied up amongst the heavy hitters, UK, US, Canada, Italy, France etc then there wasn't much country left to go around. Even Turkey was responsible for holding much of Kabul. But there were plenty small countries there, even if you only saw the odd OF-4/5.
 
#8
Although I'm not his number one fan, does Trump have a point about Nato?

Trump worries Nato with 'obsolete' comment - BBC News

Here are a few of my own question marks.

Still structured to fight the Cold War of 40 years ago.
Ill-equipped to deal with any asymmetric threat.
Many members not pulling their weight/picking up their share of the bill.
Over-reliance on US contribution.
An apparent reluctance to act according to treaty terms.
Top heavy with generals behind desks.
Turkish membership.
NATO was a product of it's time, but that does not mean it does not still have a part to play in modern life.

The purpose was two-fold. The main purpose was to prevent a spread of communist ideals in the European continent. Individually, the nations were unable to offer a credible resistance so a collective immunity scheme was seen as the answer. The fact that the main paranoia on all things Red emanated from the US, it comes as no surprise that it was American strength and the will to apply it that became the dominating feature of what became NATO. The secondary feature was that if we worked together, we were less likely to drift towards another devastating European conflict.

NATO is no longer seen as the barrier to Communist domination that it once was but there is no reason why the basic concept of combined strategic military co-ordination should not remain, and perhaps it is very much time for a route-and-branch review with the view to making the membership criteria clearer and if current members do not want to play then they can drop out.

Still structured to fight the Cold War of 40 years ago. Yes. And the threat remains similar if not the same, it has not really gone away.
Ill-equipped to deal with any asymmetric threat. Yes. Same as any organised military really.
Many members not pulling their weight/picking up their share of the bill. Fair one. If there was a contributory value that could be referenced that would be more useful but as it is, the manner in calculating what is supposed to be the "bill" would be useful.
Over-reliance on US contribution. Totally agree on that one. But then that is because they set it up that way.
An apparent reluctance to act according to treaty terms. Agreed. If you want the protection you have to contribute. If you do not play within the rules, don't expect to remain a member.
Top heavy with generals behind desks. That just shows a fundamental lack of understanding - typical of Trumpisms.
Turkish membership So?
 
#9
A resurgent Russia and the POTUS (elect) is expressing views whether we still need NATO?

Have I just woken up. Is that coffee I can smell!
There's no doubt that Russia would welcome the disbandment of Nato. But is anyone suggesting such a course of action? According to the BBC report "In an apparent contradiction, Mr Trump then said Nato was "very important" to him."

To me, it's only a contradiction if he had suggested the disbandment of Nato without replacing it with something better, more efficient and more suited for purpose.

With regards countries pulling their weight, I saw most of the nations of NATO represented in ISAF - if only at the headquarters level. Remember that Afg isn't that big and once the areas were divvied up amongst the heavy hitters, UK, US, Canada, Italy, France etc then there wasn't much country left to go around. Even Turkey was responsible for holding much of Kabul. But there were plenty small countries there, even if you only saw the odd OF-4/5.
Firstly, I'll acknowledge no personal knowledge of Afghanistan, but, nevertheless, I think that I can recognise a token presence when I see one. It seems to be that some individual Nato members were designing their own level of contribution according to individual national ethos rather than the needs and requirements of the situation.
 

Bouillabaisse

LE
Book Reviewer
#10
Perhasp its time for a new reflection of NATO where the EU armed forces participate as one entity. Those of us outside the EU would continue to contribute but the EU would then speak and act for the 190 million citizens for their defence. We might see a more unified procurement policy and less duplication. Its not just that no one is spending their 2% but that they're spending it on the same things.
 
#11
Perhasp its time for a new reflection of NATO where the EU armed forces participate as one entity. Those of us outside the EU would continue to contribute but the EU would then speak and act for the 190 million citizens for their defence. We might see a more unified procurement policy and less duplication. Its not just that no one is spending their 2% but that they're spending it on the same things.
But the EU is baaaaad......

Apparently.


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#13
Still structured to fight the Cold War of 40 years ago. No
Ill-equipped to deal with any asymmetric threat. No
Many members not pulling their weight/picking up their share of the bill. Yes
Over-reliance on US contribution. Yes, but.
An apparent reluctance to act according to treaty terms. No.
Top heavy with generals behind desks. Meh..
Turkish membership, who are now cosying up to Russia

Next rhetorical question?
 
#14
Perhasp its time for a new reflection of NATO where the EU armed forces participate as one entity. Those of us outside the EU would continue to contribute but the EU would then speak and act for the 190 million citizens for their defence. We might see a more unified procurement policy and less duplication. Its not just that no one is spending their 2% but that they're spending it on the same things.
Sadly not that simple. Individual states have their own deployment criteria and ROE. It is a fecking nightmare and the issue of body-bags eventually leads back to the only two European countries prepared to take them in quantity - the UK and France.
 
#15
There's no doubt that Russia would welcome the disbandment of Nato. But is anyone suggesting such a course of action? According to the BBC report "In an apparent contradiction, Mr Trump then said Nato was "very important" to him."

To me, it's only a contradiction if he had suggested the disbandment of Nato without replacing it with something better, more efficient and more suited for purpose.
He need's make his mind up. You can't make up complicated policy on the hoof though and then just send it straight out.

Trump's been criticised even by his own intelligence people for shooting from the hip through twitter and at Press conferences.

Announcing his views in this way doesn't do us any favours. It also doesn't do him any favours either.

I hope somebody takes his smart phone off him on Friday and say's "you can have this back in four years time Mr President."

Imagine waking up and reading "Hey guys, I just dialled in the codes and pressed the button. China's toast! See you around.... Maybe!"

Nightmare!
 

Bouillabaisse

LE
Book Reviewer
#16
Sadly not that simple. Individual states have their own deployment criteria and ROE. It is a fecking nightmare and the issue of body-bags eventually leads back to the only two European countries prepared to take them in quantity - the UK and France.
I know. But if Europe wants to unify their foreign policy etc then it needs to start addressing these issues. Its no good planning a EU army if there's no way to use it
 

DaManBugs

On ROPS
On ROPs
Book Reviewer
#17
Although I'm not his number one fan, does Trump have a point about Nato?

Trump worries Nato with 'obsolete' comment - BBC News

Here are a few of my own question marks.

Still structured to fight the Cold War of 40 years ago.
Ill-equipped to deal with any asymmetric threat.
Many members not pulling their weight/picking up their share of the bill.
Over-reliance on US contribution.
An apparent reluctance to act according to treaty terms.
Top heavy with generals behind desks.
Turkish membership.
And a question of my own:
Why is NATO simply an extension of the Septic foreign-policy department?

MsG
 
#18
And a question of my own:
Is Bugsy just another apologist for the Soviet Union that putin is so keen to recreate? Surely ALL imperialism is wrong, even that created by the inheritors of the grand traditions of mass murder and genocide he admires so much
 
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#19
I know. But if Europe wants to unify their foreign policy etc then it needs to start addressing these issues. Its no good planning a EU army if there's no way to use it
That's because most of the talk is talk. This is a political European Army not a Military one. I always ask my colleagues if they plan to rely on the French nuclear deterrent if everything goes tits up - no answer. The expectation is that the cavalry will turn up. They might not.
 

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