The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Our So-Called ‘Allies’

Posted on | March 20, 2018 | 1 Comment

If you’re old enough to remember the debates that preceded the Iraq War, a key point was the posture of our so-called “allies” in Europe. Many liberals argued that if European countries didn’t support the U.S., we couldn’t go to war against Saddam Hussein. In effect, liberals wanted to give Europe a veto over U.S. foreign policy. Americans had to endure the humiliating spectacle of our leaders basically begging France to join the anti-Saddam coalition, only to be rebuffed in the end.

Without regard to the specific issue of Iraq, however, that debate called attention to the general uselessness of our so-called “allies.” How many armored divisions can France put in the field? How many brigades of combat infantry can Belgium or Portugal deploy? How many attack helicopters and fighter aircraft do Spain and Italy have? If you scrutinize Europe’s military preparedness, you realize that even if they had wanted to join the U.S.-led coalition in smashing Saddam, they didn’t have very much operational equipment and manpower to contribute to the effort.

Consider the current condition of the German military:

Germany has come up short once more in meeting its military obligations to NATO. Leaked readiness data indicates that a key component of the NATO rapid reaction force, which Germany is to supply in 2019, is nowhere near ready to perform duties German said it could handle. The German armored brigade that was promised for 2019 is not able to fulfill its duties. Only about 20 percent of the armored vehicles (Leopard 2 tanks and Marder infantry vehicles) are fit for service. German military aircraft continue to have the lowest readiness rates in NATO and Germany continues, as it has for over twenty year, to promise the situation would be fixed but it never is. When the Americans press Germany to meet its NATO obligations (which includes spending at least two percent of GDP on defense) there are promises but no performance.

(Hat-tip: Austin Bay at Instapundit.)

All we ask is that our NATO partners spend 2% of their gross domestic product on defense, and they can’t even meet that obligation. Keep in mind that one reason for the creation of NATO’s rapid reaction force is the need to counter Vladimir Putin’s recent aggression in Eastern Europe. So while President Trump is accused of “collusion” with Russia, the reality is that our NATO partners are either unwilling or unable to do what is necessary to defend against Russian aggression.

Ask your liberal friends if they are aware of this problem. Our so-called “allies” in Europe are in a state of pathetic helplessness, unable to meet their military obligations, and how do they expect Trump (or any future American leader) to stand up to Putin, when NATO is dysfunctional?

 

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