Trump to Make Allies Pay More to Host US Bases

(edited)

2 hours ago, shadowkin said:

Wait 10 years? For? You've already been proven wrong. The EU's largest and most important economy, Germany, barely escaped falling into recession last year. Meanwhile the US grew at a 3% clip and we have the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years.

You probably thought Trump wouldn't get elected. You probably still think he'll be impeached and you probably think he won't win reelection. You Europeans are holding on for dear life. That's not a strategy.

Germany is running a surplus not a trillion dollar deficit... which is better?

Edited by Enthalpic
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5 hours ago, Enthalpic said:

Germany is running a surplus not a trillion dollar deficit... which is better?

Cherry picking data always gets you in trouble. You are citing one year, 2018. From 1995-2013 Germany ran deficits except 2 and 1 year they were even. Didn’t seem to hurt them too much. Budget deficits are manageable provided they're not too large as percent of GDP.

US has a 22 trillion dollar economy. Germany 4 trillion.

Every big G20 nation is running deficits. UK, France, China, Japan. It’s more relevant to look at deficits as percent of GDP. 

This all circle’s back to Germany’s reliance on the US for her defense. That 2018 1.7% surplus is about $60 billion dollars. If Germany had to shoulder her defense by herself that surplus just vanished. Germany knows this all too well which is why she is keen to maintain the status quo.

One last note. Russia’s 2018 budget surplus 2.7%. Germany’s 1.7%. Which is better? Or rather, which country would you rather be?

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11 hours ago, shadowkin said:

Wait 10 years? For? You've already been proven wrong. 

proven wrong about what? What do you think I am trying to say? 

 

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15 hours ago, shadowkin said:

These are your feelings. 

On trade alone he's been successful. If you Europeans think a Democratic president will go easy on you, you're mistaken. Democrats are historically the party that like tariffs. Pelosi was actually criticizing Trump because his tariffs on China didn't go far enough! Trump has set a precedent. The Chinese are smart enough to know the trade wars are here to stay.

On defense too you will find no relief. Democrats want to cut defense spending. If they succeed Europe is very likely to bear the brunt. No Soviet Union and several wealthy countries who can pay for their own defense.

Look. I don't mind America cutting down on military spending. I think it would be good. And I actually also think Europeans should spend more and maybe more importantly - Europeans should spend differently. 

On trade I agree that specifically imbalances with China should be addressed, but personally I would rather an approach designed to create results rather than headlines - imagine the mutual negotiation power the EU and US would have had together. The problem as I understand it was Trump said : "we do it my way or I do it alone". Now, EU as a block is economically is larger than the US. So, of course they would have expected a say in how to go about it. A joint approach might not have created headlines or twitter material, but I think it would have created more and better results for Americans (to paraphrase : MAGA)

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(edited)

1 hour ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

Look. I don't mind America cutting down on military spending. I think it would be good. And I actually also think Europeans should spend more and maybe more importantly - Europeans should spend differently. 

On trade I agree that specifically imbalances with China should be addressed, but personally I would rather an approach designed to create results rather than headlines - imagine the mutual negotiation power the EU and US would have had together. The problem as I understand it was Trump said : "we do it my way or I do it alone". Now, EU as a block is economically is larger than the US. So, of course they would have expected a say in how to go about it. A joint approach might not have created headlines or twitter material, but I think it would have created more and better results for Americans (to paraphrase : MAGA)

The problem: Cold war is over(no its not).  Everyone thought Utopia had landed and forgot what made the Cold War winnable: Maintaining PREFERRED economic relations with LIBERAL democracy nations and NOT with dictators.  All the dictators got let into the same club.... Well, when this happened, there are a LOT more dictators out there then those who love rule of law, freedom, etc.   People, being people, went for GREED, farming out industries to dictator nations who do not have environmental regulations, justice, freedom of speech, etc. 

IF, greed and Utopian dreams of no war ever again had not won over pragmatism(how humans actually work), China would never have risen.  Vietnam would not be rising and all those industries etc would still be in USA/Europe and other like minded nations whose population has instituted democratic reforms and wish to improve THEIR country.   Massive Tariffs should remain on such nations until they start to change and when they start to change, start removing Tariffs etc.  NEVER remove tariffs on "PROMISES" to "change".  We all know those are lies. 

So, now we have emboldened dictators around the world, because Globalist Greedy people in the western world thought that the cold war was over.  HELL NO, the cold war is not over.  IT is NEVER over as the Cold war had NOTHING to do with Russia as Foe, but had EVERYTHING to do with the fact of nations who valued Democracy, Justice, Freedom, Rule of Law stuck together in face of thuggery, theft, injustice, slavery. 

So, we now have a bunch of Nations who sort-of value, democracy, rule of law, justice, etc.... except they DO NOT as they have FORGOTTEN what injustice, slavery IS.  So, of course NATO is falling apart. Until these nations put Justice, Democracy, Freedom BEFORE GREED for top 1% who farm out the jobs to dictators, the NATO alliance is dead. 

EDIT: IF Russia turned Democratic, rule of law, freedom, it would be let into NATO etc.  Obviously it is not.  Same reason Turkey is NOT in the EU.  Same reason a lot of the Balkan Nations are NOT.  Same reason Morocco/Tunisia are NOT.  The real question is: WHY THE HELL is Macedonia, Romania in NATO?  Same reason Turkey is... geography and "HOPE" they will change.  Hope is stupid.  Should kick them all out until they CHOOSE to change. 

Edited by Wastral

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12 hours ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

On trade I agree that specifically imbalances with China should be addressed, but personally I would rather an approach designed to create results rather than headlines - imagine the mutual negotiation power the EU and US would have had together. The problem as I understand it was Trump said : "we do it my way or I do it alone"

I'm not sure why you think the US should negotiate jointly with the EU about any US trade agreement with China. If you think it's because our joint negotiating position would be stronger I don't believe so. Chinese would just try to play us off each other. Jointly negotiating would be more in your interest than ours as we also bring the military piece to the table.

If you believe it's because we need to take your interests into account because it affects you, well, Germany didn't take our or Poland's or the Baltic's interests into account when she decided to go ahead with Nordstream 2 did she?

Did Germany really take into account the Greeks interests when they forced austerity on them? 

We are pursuing our interests.

12 hours ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

Now, EU as a block is economically is larger than the US. So, of course they would have expected a say in how to go about it.

Europeans are fond of saying this but let's be honest Germany is the EU economic bloc. Sure you can add up all the GDP and on paper it's a bigger economic bloc. Sometimes the EU acts as a state and sometimes it doesn't. Which is why France and UK (yeah UK situation is murky) are having difficulty exporting weapons to Saudi with German components because of Germany's ban. Italy makes an agreement with China without seeking approval from the EU. There is no reason to expect the EU to have as much say as the US when this is how the EU functions.

Moreover, being a large trading bloc doesn't translate into the influence the EU thinks they are entitled to. The military aspect brings this. EU wants to have their cake and eat it too. They want the influence but they don't want to pay the price. Why do you think the Chinese and Russians brush your concerns aside?

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1 hour ago, shadowkin said:

Jointly negotiating would be more in your interest than ours as we also bring the military piece to the table.

I don't understand. What military piece is needed in trade ? For defense MAD should be sufficient, rigth? 

You seem to be come at any problem from a viewpoint of "I win or we both loose". why? 

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6 hours ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

I don't understand. What military piece is needed in trade ? For defense MAD should be sufficient, rigth? 

You seem to be come at any problem from a viewpoint of "I win or we both loose". why? 

I’ll clarify a little. Military power matters with most of the world and especially the Chinese. Being wealthy and economically strong is one aspect of national power. Military is another. The Chinese will absolutely try to squeeze anyone they view as weak. Just a few examples are all those countries China will lend money to at usurious rates to make sure they are indebted to China and must repay at that rate or hand over some national asset like a port.

It is for this reason that I doubt the Chinese would agree to a joint negotiation anyway and insist on doing it bilaterally, like us.

So, I believe that from the EU’s perspective, yes, negotiating jointly with the US is an advantage but not the other way around.

I’m genuinely interested in knowing what you think the US would have to gain by US-EU jointly negotiating with the Chinese. It is also very possible that the EU would require stipulations in any agreement over the environment or human rights or hobble us in some other way through multilateralism or the UN. There is no way we’d allow the EU to dictate this to us.

I don’t believe ‘I win or both lose'. I just believe we can negotiate bilateral trade agreements and the EU can do the same.

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9 hours ago, shadowkin said:

I'm not sure why you think the US should negotiate jointly with the EU about any US trade agreement with China. If you think it's because our joint negotiating position would be stronger I don't believe so. Chinese would just try to play us off each other. Jointly negotiating would be more in your interest than ours as we also bring the military piece to the table.

Trade "wars" are not actual wars you know. :)

I really don't think the world is at the edge of global conflict like you seem to believe.  Excessive US military spending is a destabilizing force at this point.

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4 hours ago, shadowkin said:

I’ll clarify a little. Military power matters with most of the world and especially the Chinese. Being wealthy and economically strong is one aspect of national power. Military is another.

I don't disagree.

I will clarify my viewpoint - I think there's a reason we talk about defense or military rather than offense. Military capabillity matters, for sure. But in case of US / EU / China I don't think anyone has any plans to invade the other. 

4 hours ago, shadowkin said:

The Chinese will absolutely try to squeeze anyone they view as weak. Just a few examples are all those countries China will lend money to at usurious rates to make sure they are indebted to China and must repay at that rate or hand over some national asset like a port.

This is an example of economic power. Where (and we still need to see that) military power comes in is if China used that to enforce their economic "rigths / power"

 

4 hours ago, shadowkin said:

It is for this reason that I doubt the Chinese would agree to a joint negotiation anyway and insist on doing it bilaterally, like us.

I believe that the Chinese (and Russians for that matter) depends on exports. US and EU are their largest trading partners; I don't have the numbers but I assume that between us we account for at least 70% of their exports. If we found common ground and insisted on fair trading or we would both close our markets then I think we would stand a much better chance of reaching a fair compromise. United we stand, divided we fall. 

The challenge is of course to find common ground. 

4 hours ago, shadowkin said:

I’m genuinely interested in knowing what you think the US would have to gain by US-EU jointly negotiating with the Chinese. It is also very possible that the EU would require stipulations in any agreement over the environment or human rights or hobble us in some other way through multilateralism or the UN. There is no way we’d allow the EU to dictate this to us.

see above. 

To elaborate further - I am uttering an opinion on where the common ground should be. I am just saying that I have not seen much effort to be fair on either party. I recognize that this must be complicated and overlaps with domestic promises / policy, but it must be possible to find some common ground instead of this "my way or the highway". And this is why I am taking the time to engage in these discussions. We as voters has a responsibillity to think about the longterm as well as the short term.  

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6 hours ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

But in case of US / EU / China I don't think anyone has any plans to invade the other.

 

6 hours ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

This is an example of economic power. Where (and we still need to see that) military power comes in is if China used that to enforce their economic "rigths / power"

China has no plans to try to invade the EU but she doesn't need to. If there were no US to secure EU's shipping lanes the Chinese would definitely use this coercively. See her behavior in the South China Sea where she is denying neighboring nations the ability to develop offshore gas/oil. She will do this where and when she can.

The only thing stopping her from 'seizing' these waters and developing these resources herself is the US.

They don't quite have a blue water navy yet but up to about Sri Lanka I'd say they could cut off shipping lanes. That's why military power is important.

They can also use military force on those who refuse to pay or hand over 99 year 'leases' on ports. Again they're not quite there yet militarily except against those closest to them.

6 hours ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

I believe that the Chinese (and Russians for that matter) depends on exports. US and EU are their largest trading partners; I don't have the numbers but I assume that between us we account for at least 70% of their exports. If we found common ground and insisted on fair trading or we would both close our markets then I think we would stand a much better chance of reaching a fair compromise. United we stand, divided we fall. 

The challenge is of course to find common ground

Practically closing our markets overnight isn't realistic. It would have to be over time. Key industries first. Finding common ground amongst ourselves would be difficult. Germany for one depends on its car exports to China (and everywhere else) and exports in general. This is a weakness China will exploit. The US isn't as dependent on exports as Germany, and Germany has clearly shown she will pursue her interests even at the expense of other EU members.

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Does Freedom, Democracy mean anything?  If no, then throw up the tariff barriers and rip up NATO.  This allows at least some Liberal Democracies retain national self determination without being pounded into the ground by slaver oligarchs in nations who don't give a flying tinkers Damn about standards, rule of law, environment, liberty. 

The Slaver oligarchs will never band together, their figure head at top with all the power and ego to match will never allow it.  They will fight and destroy each other which will allow those who want freedom to once again band together for defense. 

Until then, NATO is dead.  Only handwavium motions is what is happening right now

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16 hours ago, Enthalpic said:

Trade "wars" are not actual wars you know. :)

I really don't think the world is at the edge of global conflict like you seem to believe.  Excessive US military spending is a destabilizing force at this point.

"When all you have is a Hammer, everything looks like a Nail"

For 2019, the US Department of Defense budget is $686,074,048,000

But while the US is throwing billions on military budget death rates for new mothers have almost doubled over the past two decades, putting the US in company with Afghanistan and Lesotho as some of the only countries in the world with rising maternal mortality rates. And the infrastructure is crumbling : roads, bridges, dams, water systems, electrical and airports have fallen into disrepair over the decades.

Perhaps it's time to spend less on defense and more on health and infrastructure. The US could cut half of the military budget and still be the country with the highest military spending in the world.

 

image.png.a7b1caa4d0fc6018a1e1b9ccacb83570.png

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16 hours ago, shadowkin said:

China has no plans to try to invade the EU but she doesn't need to

So you agree that cutting down on millitary spending is possible without risking being invaded? 

 

16 hours ago, shadowkin said:

If there were no US to secure EU's shipping lanes the Chinese would definitely use this coercively.

How? 

Disrupting shipping lanes would causes shipping prices to go up which would hurt Chinese exports. 

And on a sidenote - Europe does have some naval capabillity. Look at the anti-piracy mission off somalia. I don't have the numbers but I know it was mainly a European mission. Likely reason being that there were more European ships, sailors and shipping companies interests than American, 

16 hours ago, shadowkin said:

See her behavior in the South China Sea where she is denying neighboring nations the ability to develop offshore gas/oil. She will do this where and when she can.

The only thing stopping her from 'seizing' these waters and developing these resources herself is the US.

I agree that only America has the capabillity to put up a credible counter to china in South East Asia. But with MAD this could also be achieved with less resources than now. 

 

16 hours ago, shadowkin said:

They don't quite have a blue water navy yet but up to about Sri Lanka I'd say they could cut off shipping lanes. That's why military power is important.

See my above. Cutting off shipping lanes would do more damage to the Chinese economy than it would do good. 

 

16 hours ago, shadowkin said:

They can also use military force on those who refuse to pay or hand over 99 year 'leases' on ports. Again they're not quite there yet militarily except against those closest to them.

Conoco are in court trying to collect Venezulean debt. 

I know what you meant to say, but in this case the trouble is not that China can enforce the terms of the loan. It is that those terms were signed in the first. 

16 hours ago, shadowkin said:

Finding common ground amongst ourselves would be difficult.

I do not pretend that it would be easy. I personally just think that it would not be impossible. 

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7 hours ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

So you agree that cutting down on millitary spending is possible without risking being invaded?

By China yes, Russia maybe. But it is not possible to avoid being extorted by the Chinese (or Russians) without the US. I was never claiming Chinese want to invade. The logistics of invading are just not there and won't be, if ever.

A caveat to this is how China requires use of Chinese labor in development projects. What happens after? Do these laborers leave or are these bridgeheads for Chinese colonies. Then these colonies develop into bases or China claims this territory to 'protect' Chinese citizens. China is doing this in many places, including now in Europe's backyard in Montenegro. Here is a timely article about this.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/china-new-silk-road-europe-133900980.html

China will do this to all the weaker/poorer nations in Europe. Another reason I believe among the big EU states she was able to conclude an agreement with Italy, whose financial management isn't the greatest.

 

7 hours ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

How? 

Disrupting shipping lanes would causes shipping prices to go up which would hurt Chinese exports. 

Obviously they wouldn't now, but it is very naive to believe they wouldn't use the threat in a coercive manner. One possibility is basically taxing Europe to trade with SE Asia if Europe didn't agree to a trade agreement that wasn't favorable to them.

BTW China is very conscious that she also is dependent on exports and is attempting to move to an economy more driven by domestic consumption. When that happens and if she can develop a true blue water navy and surround Europe with bases in Africa and southern Europe this threat becomes much more tangible to Europe and any the damage done to her Chinese exports could be minimized if she did try to close these shipping lanes.

They are trying to be us.

7 hours ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

And on a sidenote - Europe does have some naval capabillity. Look at the anti-piracy mission off somalia. I don't have the numbers but I know it was mainly a European mission. Likely reason being that there were more European ships, sailors and shipping companies interests than American, 

You do but you have to know we are keeping those lanes open. I don't think even at this point you could stop China naval activity in this area if she could place base(s) for her ships to refuel, do maintenance etc. Coincidentally, China is actually active here and has a base in Djibouti.

 

7 hours ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

Conoco are in court trying to collect Venezulean debt. 

I know what you meant to say, but in this case the trouble is not that China can enforce the terms of the loan. It is that those terms were signed in the first.

Agree that Venezuela is not the place for this. Logistics and China's military capability rule this out. But a place like Sri Lanka it is very likely and already happened. She did not march in. She didn't have to. The threat was implied. She couldn't have gotten away with this intimidation 20 yrs ago. Like I said where and when they can use their military, or the threat of its use, to seize what they want, they will.

8 hours ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

But with MAD this could also be achieved with less resources than now. 

MAD has its uses but did not stop Russia in Ukraine or Crimea even though France/UK have nukes. 

 

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17 hours ago, shadowkin said:

Agree that Venezuela is not the place for this. Logistics and China's military capability rule this out. But a place like Sri Lanka it is very likely and already happened. She did not march in. She didn't have to. The threat was implied. She couldn't have gotten away with this intimidation 20 yrs ago. Like I said where and when they can use their military, or the threat of its use, to seize what they want, they will.

What I was trying to say is that China did not coerce anybody into signing those loan agreements. If Europe and the US were to do more to ensure that Africa, South America and other places developed economically and developed good governance loan agreements like these would not be signed. We could do achieve a lot through fair trade.  And trust me - fair trade is not what we are doing in Africa. Not EU, Not US. 

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(edited)

On 3/20/2019 at 6:30 PM, shadowkin said:

Revisionist history of course. Russians (Soviets) conspired with Nazis to carve up Europe. Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact ring a bell? BTW USSR could have never fought a war on 2 fronts like US did against 2 major powers with one being largely naval and won.

The Soviets only conspired  to buy time, which in the end turned out to be the best result. 

Before war broke out, the Soviets wanted a pact with France and England, but were turned down. 

The front that the Soviets fought puts all the other fronts into the shade, and as we know this was the major turning point in the war. 

Edited by Romka

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11 hours ago, Romka said:

The Soviets only conspired  to buy time, which in the end turned out to be the best result.

There's no question Hitler was buying time, he always wanted to attack the Soviet Union. The Soviets were probably buying time. But, there doesn't seem to have been a long term goal of Stalin to invade Germany as much as Hitler always wanted to invade Russia.

This doesn't change the fact both conspired to carve up Europe. Part of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact contained a secret protocol outlining this objective for both.

 

11 hours ago, Romka said:

Before war broke out, the Soviets wanted a pact with France and England, but were turned down.

There were good reasons for this as the Nazi-Soviet non-aggression pact attests. Both France and UK were skeptical of Soviets sincerity. As you say Soviets were buying time. They would have broken any alliance with UK/France when it became convenient. Same with Nazi Germany or Mussolini.

 

11 hours ago, Romka said:

The front that the Soviets fought puts all the other fronts into the shade, and as we know this was the major turning point in the war. 

In terms of casualties, yes. Most of this can be put down to stupidity on the part of Stalin in the beginning and Hitler in the end.

The Soviets knew Germany was massing on their border prior to the invasion but Stalin simply could not believe Hitler would betray him and so forbade his generals from taking any defensive measures.

Towards the end Hitler refused to allow his armies to retreat from bad positions allowing for entire armies to be encircled and annihilated.

Russia has always been a land power. It's speculation, of course, but I do not believe Russia could have fought a naval/infantry campaign all over the Pacific and SE Asia, and fought the Nazis on another, and won. Her seeking alliances is proof while the US maintained an isolationist stance.

Her naval history doesn't exactly give confidence either with the Japanese annihilating the Russian fleet in 1905.

Don't forget in the early years of Nazi-Soviet war, Soviets were receiving war material from the US under the lend-lease program.

And, Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor ensured a war with the US. This allowed Russia to shift divisions from Siberia to her Western front. Remember the Japanese were just across the border occupying Manchuria.

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