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Topic: NATO nonsense (Read 32858 times)

  • rjhowie
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NATO nonsense
What a bunch of cold war creation NATO is. It should have been got rid of when the Warsaw Pact lot went. Now troops funnelled into Poland and the Baltic States. When did Russia indicate it wanted to invade the Baltics or Poland? And that clown who is the person in charge of NATO was on television saying how united everyone was. Yet the President of France said publicly that there is no problem with Putin or Russia re France. Greece and Italy said similar - so much for the so-called unity. And the President of the USA came on moaning about how most of the NATO members are NOT spending 2% of their GDP on military.
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • ersi
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Re: NATO nonsense
Reply #225
in my opinion it is extremely important that NATO supports an Islamic country ( I don't know if they still have the secular regime Ata Turk has founded).
Turkey is secular just fine. But also Islamic.[1] It may be a good idea to include an Islamic country, but it was not a good idea to include both Turkey and Greece at the same time. Other Islamic countries besides Turkey tend to be too far from "North Atlantic".

Due to the Armenian genocide and Cyprus and Kurdish conflicts, Turkey should have never been given any hope nor any significant privileges with regard to the EU. Just to be honest. But yes, politics and diplomacy are not honest, so I consistently fail at this art.
Just like Europe is secular and Christian: Church bells are ringing, but nobody goes to the church. In Turkey the imams are yelling, but barely anybody goes to the mosque.

  • jax
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  • Global Moderator
Re: NATO nonsense
Reply #226
NATO is a defence alliance, not a social or cultural alliance.  It was an alliance against the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. In this century it has been more a counter to Russia.

Turkey's role in the Cold War was obvious, but the country is important these days as well. It is better to look to the Black Sea rather than the Mediterranean, though clearly both are important.

There are three major powers around the Black Sea, Russia, the EU and Turkey. And we got Ukraine and Georgia as well. There are natural geopolitical reasons why Turkey would be opposed to Russia, but they are not absolute. And with three powers we either got EU + Turkey vs Russia, EU + Russia vs Turkey, or Turkey + Russia vs EU, and the first alternative is more attractive than the last.

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: NATO nonsense
Reply #227
Succinct and well-put, jax! But  Erdoğan's "reign" is troubling, no?
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • ersi
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Re: NATO nonsense
Reply #228
NATO is a defence alliance, not a social or cultural alliance.  It was an alliance against the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. In this century it has been more a counter to Russia.
In this century the USA tries to exploit NATO for various personal pet purposes, such as wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. These have nothing to do with Russia at all, and by being controversial to NATO members, they are weakening NATO and thus strengthening Russia. Thus they are counterproductive to the purpose of NATO. And the EU is doing nothing to bring the focus back where it belongs.

Turkey's role in the Cold War was obvious, but the country is important these days as well. It is better to look to the Black Sea rather than the Mediterranean, though clearly both are important.
Clearly the Mediterranean and Middle East are currently more important, because the USA has made it so, using NATO to serve USA's personal pet goals that have nothing to do with NATO's stated or natural goals.

Let's just recall the wave of Syrians and Iraqis that inundated the EU when the US failed in Iraq. Kurds were needed to reconquer Iraq from ISIS, but Turkey is anti-Kurdish. Some NATO members training Kurds and another NATO member killing them - what kind of alliance is this?

The inability of the EU - which is both a social and cultural alliance as well as economic alliance, and should be also a defence alliance - to formulate things properly even when it comes to its own direct interests is appalling. Already on simple social and cultural grounds Turkey cannot be included in the EU, much less on any other grounds.

There are three major powers around the Black Sea, Russia, the EU and Turkey. And we got Ukraine and Georgia as well.
In what sense have "we got" Ukraine and Georgia? In the same sense as "we got" Turkey and Russia? We haven't got them. They got us. EU has many times readily sacrificed its own Eastern members (such as Greece and the Baltic countries) to further ties with Turkey and Russia. What has become of this furthering of ties? Turkey and Russia still behave as per their character, but the interests of the Eastern member states remain damaged.

...we either got EU + Turkey vs Russia, EU + Russia vs Turkey, or Turkey + Russia vs EU, and the first alternative is more attractive than the last.
The last alternative is the least attractive, but actually in effect at the moment,[1] because of how utterly stupid the EU has been and how utterly uncaring the USA is of NATO.
Turkey, Russia in negotiations for potential Su-35 jet deal - the deal may not have materialised yet, but if NATO were an alliance worth the name, such negotiations could not have taken place at all.

  • jax
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  • Global Moderator
Re: NATO nonsense
Reply #229
Ukraine and Georgia are countries things are being done to, with little scope for much doing on their own.  Turkey is not a natural ally.  EU kind of is, but when it comes to doing unpleasant things to their neighbours Russia is in the best position. Time is not on their side, though.

Turkey is in position to seriously upset this balance. That would be to their serious disadvantage though. Russia is more powerful, and being junior partner to Russia is not very sweet, and Russia can't give Turkey what they want.

Turkey is also a smaller fish in the bigger pond, the Mediterranean.  The 2+1 in the Middle East is Israel + Saudi Arabia vs Iran, with Turkey and Egypt as outside influences. And yes, OakdaleFTL, Erdoğan has not been very helpful. 

You might like this one. As usual I don't share his takes, but who can argue with pretty maps?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCpL9JATq9I

  • rjhowie
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Re: NATO nonsense
Reply #230
NATO is a complete waste of time and dashed money. It was a front against the old Red days of the USSR and it's "colonies" and it cannot even get the money due from members. It is all routine USA control freakery and a total nonsense. once the USSR collapsed there was to be no further danger and I do not go along with some minds that waffle about as if that is still in existence in Moscow. It is an insult to intelligence for NATO to continue to conjure up nonsense. Russia is the largest country in the world but it is America that is more of a danger based on their long effort to go after places that do not go along with it.
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • jax
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  • Global Moderator
Re: NATO nonsense
Reply #231

Turkey is secular just fine. But also Islamic. It may be a good idea to include an Islamic country, but it was not a good idea to include both Turkey and Greece at the same time. Other Islamic countries besides Turkey tend to be too far from "North Atlantic".

Due to the Armenian genocide and Cyprus and Kurdish conflicts, Turkey should have never been given any hope nor any significant privileges with regard to the EU. Just to be honest. But yes, politics and diplomacy are not honest, so I consistently fail at this art.

There is another Muslim majority NATO member: Albania, and they are pretty much secular all over, while Turkey has an urban secular west and a more rural religious east, where much of Erdogan's base lie.

Erdogan has made a lot of enemies, and lost a number of friends, but he is politically flexible. He is going to do whatever keeps him in power.


  • ersi
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Re: NATO nonsense
Reply #232
Erdogan has made a lot of enemies, and lost a number of friends, but he is politically flexible. He is going to do whatever keeps him in power.
And therefore all good for membership?

  • jax
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Re: NATO nonsense
Reply #233
Assuming we could expel Turkey from NATO membership, why would we want to do that? What would you hope to achieve that couldn't be achieve better within the alliance?

While NATO is an alliance of democracies, there have historically been lapses, including Greek and Turkish juntas, that were at each others throats.


  • rjhowie
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Re: NATO nonsense
Reply #234
NATO was a pointless extension after the collapse of the Reds corner and a waste of time and propaganda to still have the dashed thing.
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: NATO nonsense
Reply #235
Even some prominent few here in NutJobLand™ mostly agree with you! And, yet, there's Putin...
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • jax
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  • Global Moderator
Re: NATO nonsense
Reply #236
NATO is not going away,  There one major question, and a few smaller ones. The major one is: Where will post-Trump USA go?

Troubles around the Baltic, Black, and Mediterranean seas are naturally going to be felt more closely by Europe than by North America. US interests will more likely go to East, South-East, and South Asia, and belatedly Africa. 

The Monroe Doctrine seems forgotten, at least for the moment, but it might return in some shape. (Side note: South American trade with EU is larger than with the US. Take that and smoke it, James!)

While the perspective and priorities differ, US and EU are much more aligned than you would expect two blocks to be. And in the fuzzy things, values, they are even closer, and they are converging, not diverging.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiIpymGeGoo

Brexit and NATO is another question. By the look of it the British are making an absolute mess of things, and will need someone to blame. That will pass. But without NATO, veering between EU and US would be trickier.  NATO is a good framework for heterogeneous members (Turkey after all is a member too). 

There will have to be some accord with Russia at some point. Not likely soon though. 

Turkey is tricky, even after Erdogan, with ups and downs (hopefully more of the former). 

If there were a US/EU divorce, NATO would still exist as a (likely French-dominated) European army. 



  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: NATO nonsense
Reply #237
While the perspective and priorities differ, US and EU are much more aligned than you would expect two blocks to be. And in the fuzzy things, values, they are even closer, and they are converging, not diverging.
I expect you're right, jax
(BTW: Who is James?)
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • krake
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Re: NATO nonsense
Reply #238
Declassified:
What is the sense of NATO?
Quote
It is to keep the Americans in, the Russians out, and the Germans down.
- Lord Hastings Lionel Ismay NATO's first Secretary General
One might wonder how much or if at all those goals have changed over the time...

  • jax
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Re: NATO nonsense
Reply #239
We are repeating ourselves a bit on this forum.

On the purpose of NATO: "To keep the Americans in, the Russians out, and the Germans down."

These days it most of all looks like the Russians are in, the British are out and the Americans are down, but give it time. There is some life left in that old Atlantic ocean still.

  • jax
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  • Global Moderator
Re: NATO nonsense
Reply #240
While the perspective and priorities differ, US and EU are much more aligned than you would expect two blocks to be. And in the fuzzy things, values, they are even closer, and they are converging, not diverging.
I expect you're right, jax
(BTW: Who is James?)

James Monroe, your number 5. Had to look him up, was not on first name basis. This was meant as an oblique reference to what happened after Monroe (from "stay away from the New World", towards "them Americas they are ours"). The US role in the Americas will go through changes too.


  • Belfrager
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Re: NATO nonsense
Reply #241
If there were a US/EU divorce, NATO would still exist as a (likely French-dominated) European army.
With that divorce there will be no American funding anymore and what's NATO without American funding? Not much more than Legion Étrangère.
A matter of attitude.

  • jax
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  • Global Moderator
Re: NATO nonsense
Reply #242
The funding of NATO is pocket change. 1/4 billion € civilian, 1 1/3 billion € military. Enough to keep the lights on in the Brussels headquarter certainly. But by comparison the Norwegian defence spending is about 6 gigaeuro. In other words Norway's budget alone, and Norway is hardly any major military power, is 3-4 times the NATO budget.

But sure, the US military spending vastly outnumber the EU, but only parts of that is in the North Atlantic theatre, like Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Somalia (and possibly soon Mali).

  • rjhowie
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Re: NATO nonsense
Reply #243
Rather poor assumption that view is. It is still money getting dished out for something that is pointless. It was created to be a stand against the old Red corner which is long gone and the millions re NATO is a load of nonsense much could be spent on something more positive. That they do not all pay their shade makes it kind of obvious the thing is ridiculous and it's members are not either in danger.
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: NATO nonsense
Reply #244
James Monroe, your number 5.
Went back and re-read your post... Sorry, for not paying attention: What you said was perfectly clear!

"... the US military spending vastly outnumber the EU, but only parts of that is in the North Atlantic theatre, like Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Somalia (and possibly soon Mali)," you wrote. Again I'll add my 2 cents: Let us hope the U.S. will wisely stop at providing some funding of missions in central Africa!
That likely depends on Trump's reelection.
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • jax
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  • Global Moderator
Re: NATO nonsense
Reply #245
No, it does not. Not even a little bit.

For one thing you are there already, have been for a while, and the operations have been scaled up under Trump. Besides I am taking the long term view, not what will happen under President Biden if Trump loses, or under President Ocasio-Cortez if Trump wins. The reason you are in the Sahel is the war on terror. That war will not end under Trump. nor under Biden, maybe not even under Ocasio-Cortez. But end it will, probably like the war on drugs.

The questions then are two. Will the US return to Africa? You might one day, but probably not soon, and not the traditional way. You will have to prioritise, and mediating in Asia will have priority and focus. Second, will NATO? Again, it might be better framed as "Will we leave?" However, I see no change, nor will to change. NATO countries are loath to do the heavy lifting, except literally as logistics support. NATO countries "advise" and "support", and the primary client is the AU, and regional groupings like ECOWAS. Generally speaking there is no need to involve the central NATO headquarter in Brussels, but of course that is a question of how much advice is necessary to give.


  • rjhowie
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Re: NATO nonsense
Reply #246
NATO is a hangover from the past and is a damnable pointless expense.  :irked:
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • jax
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  • Global Moderator
Re: NATO nonsense
Reply #247
I am sure you would want to replace it with the Support Mother Empire Russia Treaty Organisation if you could. Such a waste, such a missed opportunity.

  • rjhowie
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Re: NATO nonsense
Reply #248
What a load of immature control freakery propaganda rubbish. The old Red equivalent of NATO went decades ago so in the West we are brained by US control freaking. Think sensibly.
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: NATO nonsense
Reply #249
Uh, sir: the Warsaw Pact may be defunct and the Soviet Union devolved to a smaller federation (and some healthy independent states free of the Soviet), but Putin is still Putin and his Russia will again be a world-power, if he lives long enough! Even if the U.S. deserts NATO, a core of European nations  would continue it. Begrudgingly, perhaps; but competently.
After all, Russia looms... And memory is long, for some,
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman