Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Cause and Effect

So "critics" of the president's push to get NATO allies to spend more on defense say that allies who border Russia shouldn't have to spend as much on defense? Yeah, when you say it out loud that way, it sounds really stupid.


Critics say Trump's laser-focus on allies' spending understates the broader importance of key allies, particularly countries like Norway.

Norway plays a vital role gathering intelligence on Russian submarines and other maritime training activity. Much of Russia's naval training occurs in international waters near Norway, giving it a privileged perch for observation.

But we are to understand the reluctance of NATO states who are farther from the Russians because those states don't feel the threat.

And even Germany which has Poland as a buffer is understandably not too worried about Russia and so should get a pass. And Nazis, of course.

Norway should absolutely meet the commitment that they freely accepted to spend 2% of GDP on defense. The idea that their geographic position near Russia is an advantage to observing Russian military forces which allows Norway to reduce their defense burden is an embarrassingly stupid argument to make.

Even the New York Times editorial board admitted that the Trump NATO trip worked:

Trump Got From NATO Everything Obama Ever Asked For

But alliance members leave Brussels bruised and confused.

Mind you, that was wrapped around a lot of criticism of Trump, but that's the headline. Seriously, while saying it is good to get Europe (and Canada) to spend more on defense in place of their domestic emphasis, the editorial complains Trump is unlikely to cut American defense spending to divert money to domestic spending.

And perhaps the bruising and confusing Trump inflicted had something to do with the success, eh? Yeah, I left Army basic training bruised and a bit confused. I also left better able to defend my country. I think there was a connection.

He who does not kill you makes you stronger, as I noted earlier.