Nato - Does he have a point?

The core nations, Germany, Benelux, UK, Italy and Spain have a vested interest in maintaining the alliance as it forms part of their national stability and gives them close bonds to the US. France only restored its full status about 6 years ago and they're doing quite well out of the deal.
I think that Germany relies far more on the EU to maintain national stability, they are dyed in the wool Europeans. Angie recently made a statement to the effect that Germanys place is in a stable EU. The Bundeswehr is dramatically underfunded and has been for years. They were still operating F4s long after ours and the USAFs had been turned into coke cans (Oct 1992 last RAF F4. Last Luftwaffe F4 2012 or thereabouts). As there are a few problems with the A400 they're still using C160s, which were conceived for European operations, not world wide ops. The Luftwaffe helos are also knackered. Then there's the Army and the Navy with their own problems. On top of which in a volunteer force they are having recruiting problems, the armed forces just aren't regarded as attractive.
The term the Germans use for their forces is "kaputt gespart", death of a thousand savings cuts. The Defence Minister, von der Layen claims that spending will be increased, but there will of course be a considerable flash to bang delay.
 
I think that Germany relies far more on the EU to maintain national stability, they are dyed in the wool Europeans. Angie recently made a statement to the effect that Germanys place is in a stable EU.
I work with the Bundeswehr on a daily basis and all you say about them is true. It's actually far worse in many ways, especially in the way that they over-regulate the minutiae of daily work whilst neglecting the main equipment capabilities. In our base we have a Bundeswehr kindergarten with three staff that has no attendees. However von der Layen said every base must have one, so we do. Serving parents of children under twelve years old are allowed to finish work 15 minutes earlier than everyone else, and believe me the working hours are policed to the minute. Ridiculous! Undermanning in key skill areas is shocking, but I shall stay away from the details.

However I have never yet spoken to a German, civ or mil, who believes that their defence interests are better met with the EU than NATO. I have also never heard anyone say such a thing on broadcast media nor read it in the press. The Germans quite respect NATO as an alliance and rate the US, France and the UK as being much better militarily than they are.
 
I think that Germany relies far more on the EU to maintain national stability, they are dyed in the wool Europeans. Angie recently made a statement to the effect that Germanys place is in a stable EU. The Bundeswehr is dramatically underfunded and has been for years. They were still operating F4s long after ours and the USAFs had been turned into coke cans (Oct 1992 last RAF F4. Last Luftwaffe F4 2012 or thereabouts). As there are a few problems with the A400 they're still using C160s, which were conceived for European operations, not world wide ops. The Luftwaffe helos are also knackered. Then there's the Army and the Navy with their own problems. On top of which in a volunteer force they are having recruiting problems, the armed forces just aren't regarded as attractive.
The term the Germans use for their forces is "kaputt gespart", death of a thousand savings cuts. The Defence Minister, von der Layen claims that spending will be increased, but there will of course be a considerable flash to bang delay.
What is the reasoning in Germany behind not taking Russia seriously enough as a threat to do anything about getting their defence forces back into shape?

Do people not think the Russians are a serious threat, or are they confident for some reason that existing European conventional forces can handle the Russians?

If the former, why are the Germans so sanguine about it while their neighbours to the east are running around in a panic?
 
What is the reasoning in Germany behind not taking Russia seriously enough as a threat to do anything about getting their defence forces back into shape?
Trade. There are plenty of people with political contacts in that direction.

Do people not think the Russians are a serious threat, or are they confident for some reason that existing European conventional forces can handle the Russians?
Ukraine and Crimea are yesterday. Today we have Trump, who is a much bigger threat. Not for me but for certain scaremongers.

If the former, why are the Germans so sanguine about it while their neighbours to the east are running around in a panic?
Eastern EU represents a convenient buffer zone. Plus of course the former Warpac countries have had more than enough of Russian/Sov repression. Without the Soviet Union East Germany would have collapsed more or less overnight, which is what ultimately happened. So for a long time the Sovs were the big brother (der grosse Bruder) of East Germany. Now the former GDR is a solid part of the reunited Germany and all is well.

As an addition to my post 161 I would like to mention that with ref to increased spending, our Angie has said yes and no more or less together. In a late night talk show yesterday, the Kanzleramts Minister, Peter Altmeier (Angies right hand man) stated that the Bundeskanzlerin is solidly behind the 2% expenditure. Durng the security conference Angie stated that increased defence expenditure alone would not secure our safety, overseas aid also plays a big role. Now call be a cynical mistrusting sod, but overseas aids prime purpose is to line the pockets of dictators and their buddies, and lower down the scale to bribe civil servants. So how is overseas aid going to stop a Russian motor rifle division or three crossing the Elbe into Germany, or stop a Russian airborne div landing in Tempelhof
I rather doubt that either will actually happen, but that's not because the Bundeswehr will kick Russian Arrse big fashion, more likely the Poles will go ballistic and cause Armageddon. They hate the Russians in manner that is hard for us to comprehend.
 
In our base we have a Bundeswehr kindergarten with three staff that has no attendees. However von der Layen said every base must have one, so we do.
I remember that announcement, and the reaction of my mates in the Bundeswehr. I got the impression that they were not very enthousiastic. Nice one Uschi, she should have stuck to her old position of Familienministerin.
 
Eastern EU represents a convenient buffer zone. Plus of course the former Warpac countries have had more than enough of Russian/Sov repression.
The eastern EU isn't much of a buffer zone if there's not much there to do the buffering. Usually buffer states fulfil the role of giving the defending party time to react as the enemy crosses it. I can't see how the eastern EU will do that if Germany doesn't have anything to react with.

(...) Durng the security conference Angie stated that increased defence expenditure alone would not secure our safety, overseas aid also plays a big role. Now call be a cynical mistrusting sod, but overseas aids prime purpose is to line the pockets of dictators and their buddies, and lower down the scale to bribe civil servants. So how is overseas aid going to stop a Russian motor rifle division or three crossing the Elbe into Germany, or stop a Russian airborne div landing in Tempelhof
I suspect that Merkel is referring to security in a wider sense than just defence against Russian tanks. Propping up eastern Europe so they will act as buffer states instead of tinder is one example. Buying influence in and helping to settle down the Middle East so they will stop sending so many refugees towards the EU is another. It's worth remembering that the British Empire was built as much by handing out gold to the right dodgy foreigners as it was by soldiers and sailors.

However, the NATO 2% was predicated on being in addition to foreign aid, not as encompassing it. If "other factors" were intended to be included in the calculation, then the target would have been 3% or 4% (or whatever), not 2%.

I rather doubt that either will actually happen, but that's not because the Bundeswehr will kick Russian Arrse big fashion, more likely the Poles will go ballistic and cause Armageddon. They hate the Russians in manner that is hard for us to comprehend.
Regardless of how the Poles feel about Russia, they have limited resources with which to conduct a defence. Germany plus Poland could provide a credible defence. Poland on its own on the other hand would very likely lose any war with Russia for the foreseeable future.
 

Cynical

LE
Book Reviewer
Poland on its own on the other hand would very likely lose any war with Russia for the foreseeable future.
Which is, of course, why they are so keen for US and UK to position military capability there...
 

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
In my experience the Poles are not over fond of Germans either.....
Oddly ironic that, under the previous Bundeswehr structure, the roundout brigade of 7. Pz Div was a Polish cavalry brigade.
 

Cynical

LE
Book Reviewer
Oddly ironic that, under the previous Bundeswehr structure, the roundout brigade of 7. Pz Div was a Polish cavalry brigade.
I'm sure in the event of Russians heading West most Poles would welcome Germans heading East, although of course that turned out badly for them in the 1939 FTX.

Perhaps the Polish Cav Bde ( what is it with Polish Cav and Panzers?) might well have had the role of ensuring that the Panzers advanced rapidly into the Russians...
 
I remember that announcement, and the reaction of my mates in the Bundeswehr. I got the impression that they were not very enthousiastic. Nice one Uschi, she should have stuck to her old position of Familienministerin.
She didn't have much choice. She was made Defence Minister in the hope she would screw it up/suffer a scandal as she is about the only half way potential rival that Merkel has in the CDU
 
It's rather interesting that he considers the whole issue as being simply a matter of "politics" rather than about whether or not EU members are adequately defended.
That's one of the conclusions the select committee report linked to earlier made
 
Bollocks! The talking show of 29 is about to get another minnow.

'Macedonia's parliament has passed an amendment to the constitution to rename the country Republic of North Macedonia, as agreed with Greece to put an end to a 27-year dispute.'

Macedonia parliament agrees to name change
 
Well, apart from being very popular with large sections of the German population (who don't rely economically on US presence) and Poland who want to nail more Western boots to the ground, putting US troops closer to the Russian border solves logistic problems within NATO and targeting range issues for any Russian preemptive strike against garrison locations. So, everyone's a winner!

'An envoy of U.S. President Donald Trump suggested on Friday that Chancellor Angela Merkel's unwillingness to boost defense spending might give the United States no choice but to move American troops stationed in Germany to Poland.

'The comments by Richard Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, signal Trump's impatience with Merkel's failure to raise defense spending to 2% of economic output as mandated by the NATO military alliance. "It is offensive to assume that the U.S. taxpayers continue to pay for more than 50,000 Americans in Germany but the Germans get to spend their [budget] surplus on domestic programs," Grenell told the dpa news agency. Germany's fiscal plans foresee the defense budget of NATO's second-largest member rising to 1.37% of output next year before falling to 1.24% in 2023.'


 
Eastern EU represents a convenient buffer zone. Plus of course the former Warpac countries have had more than enough of Russian/Sov repression. Without the Soviet Union East Germany would have collapsed more or less overnight, which is what ultimately happened. So for a long time the Sovs were the big brother (der grosse Bruder) of East Germany. Now the former GDR is a solid part of the reunited Germany and all is well.

As an addition to my post 161 I would like to mention that with ref to increased spending, our Angie has said yes and no more or less together. In a late night talk show yesterday, the Kanzleramts Minister, Peter Altmeier (Angies right hand man) stated that the Bundeskanzlerin is solidly behind the 2% expenditure. Durng the security conference Angie stated that increased defence expenditure alone would not secure our safety, overseas aid also plays a big role. Now call be a cynical mistrusting sod, but overseas aids prime purpose is to line the pockets of dictators and their buddies, and lower down the scale to bribe civil servants. So how is overseas aid going to stop a Russian motor rifle division or three crossing the Elbe into Germany, or stop a Russian airborne div landing in Tempelhof
I rather doubt that either will actually happen, but that's not because the Bundeswehr will kick Russian Arrse big fashion, more likely the Poles will go ballistic and cause Armageddon. They hate the Russians in manner that is hard for us to comprehend.
Apologies for being a very late comer to this thread.

The fact a good proportion of foreign aid ends up in the coffers of the likes of Mercedes and BMW will not have escaped the bundesregierung. Nor the fact these manufacturers are in Merlel supporting lander.
 
I think that Germany relies far more on the EU to maintain national stability, they are dyed in the wool Europeans. Angie recently made a statement to the effect that Germanys place is in a stable EU. The Bundeswehr is dramatically underfunded and has been for years. They were still operating F4s long after ours and the USAFs had been turned into coke cans (Oct 1992 last RAF F4. Last Luftwaffe F4 2012 or thereabouts). As there are a few problems with the A400 they're still using C160s, which were conceived for European operations, not world wide ops. The Luftwaffe helos are also knackered. Then there's the Army and the Navy with their own problems. On top of which in a volunteer force they are having recruiting problems, the armed forces just aren't regarded as attractive.
The term the Germans use for their forces is "kaputt gespart", death of a thousand savings cuts. The Defence Minister, von der Layen claims that spending will be increased, but there will of course be a considerable flash to bang delay.
The last Luftwaffe F-4s bowed out from the Richtofen Geschwader (JG-71) at Fliegerhorst Wittmund in July 2013.
 
There's a widespread myth that the EU has guaranteed peace in Europe for the last 70 years, when in reality the EU has done no such thing.

The credit for the peace being kept in Europe goes to NATO.

Another fact the pro EU 'remainers' like to avoid talking about is after Brexit-if Brexit is not undermined by the usual anti-democratic traitors is 80% of NATO spending will reportedly be by non-EU countries.
 
The credit for the peace being kept in Europe goes to NATO.
Meh.

Europe was (is?) sick of fighting, and the long-term westerners have kinda stopped worrying.

NATO newbies (late of the Warsaw Pact) with Mother Russia on the doorstep feel more reason to be concerned.

America has always asked whether it's investment in European security delivers a return that justifies the outlay, and they will naturally bitch when (and this likely means us, people, in the near future, because we are already fudging it) NATO partners short-change on their spending commitments.

IMHO, America has a point.

Also IMHO it wouldn't hurt for UK Plc to belatedly acknowledge how extremely limited is our ability to influence America.
 
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Meh.

Europe was (is?) sick of fighting, and the long-term westerners have kinda stopped worrying.

NATO newbies (late of the Warsaw Pact) with Mother Russia in the doorstep feel more reason to be concerned.

America has always asked whether it's investment in European security delivers a return that justifies the outlay, and they will naturally bitch when (and this likely means us, people, in the near future, because we are already fudging it) NATO partners short-change on their spending commitments.

IMHO, America has a point.

Also IMHO it wouldn't hurt for UK Plc to belatedly acknowledge how extremely limited is our ability to influence America.
The main countries of western Europe need to be upping their game on defence spending-and that does include the UK.
 

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