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  • 1 Post By Freetrader

Gates attacks allies

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  1. #1

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    I haven't read any articles about this but it makes no sense. What is common defense? In his definition it would be the US homeland security wouldn't it? I don't think Afghanistan and Iraq as common defense.

    As typical no mention of jumping in to help Yemenese and Syrian people.

    Isn't the annual budget around $600 billion for the US military?


  2. #2

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    NATO is not all pulling their weight financially which is true but what the US miss here is the fatigue in Europe leaders for American wars that no one wants to pay for just to keep the America War Corporation in business. The sad thing is that the war lobby is so freaking powerful and that any US President who goes soft on foreign wars is not likely to win re-election.

    The US public are too tolerant and while the US citizenry is doing poorly those who benefit from these wars keep getting rich.

    Gates' speech is part of the US strategy and that of the President. White House spokesman referred to the last two wars that the US fought as being placed on the "credit card" and not sustainable.


    White House spokesman Jay Carney June 8, 2011 said this:

    "Q Senator Barrasso said today that government regulations and debt are like putting on the emergency brake to the economy. Do you disagree?

    MR. CARNEY: Well, I certainly think that, as the President does, that we need to get our fiscal house in order, we need to reduce our deficits and our debt, and we need to do it in a balanced way. We certainly think that the $10 trillion debt that he inherited is a drag on the economy as a significant portion of the debt that we have now -- a debt incurred in part by two substantial tax cuts that went disproportionately to wealthy Americans that were unpaid for, two wars that were put on a credit card.

    So, yes, we’re concerned about it. This President is very concerned about it. You have to remember, however, that when he came to office, we were in an economic freefall and we had to take dramatic action in order to prevent the Great Recession from becoming the second Great Depression."


  3. #3

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    Original Post Deleted
    By they, surely you mean the GOP and/or the Romney White House, if/when that happens? If not, why would you say this about the Obama administration?

    P.S. - Link not opening on my phone. Could we get a fair-use excerpt from the article please?
    Last edited by Dreadnought; 11-06-2011 at 04:15 PM.

  4. #4

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    Regarding the budget, it is entitlement spending, not the military, that is at risk of bankrupting the US goverment over the next 20 years - the military is about a quarter of the federal budget, even less when state and local government spending is considered. That said, Gates has been pretty forward in pushing for military spending cuts, although many believe he doesn't go far enough. It is certainly true that most European governments have ineffictive militaries and spend a probably too-small portion of their GDPs on defense. This represents both the rather pacificistic attitide that has prevailed in Europe since WWII, but more importantly, the expectation of the US as a defense guarantor. If I were a European politician, I wouldn't spend money on defense either - why bother when Uncle Sam will defend you if necessary. Gates is simply telling the Euros that they have to start pulling their own weight - which is a healthy message for all concerned.

    TigerSun's post, while I am sure it constitutes a satisfyingly anti-American rant for him, is based on the presumption that the issue is that there is too much US 'war mongering' rather than any other particular problem, e.g., European incapacity and a general over-reliance on the US. Certainly, the Euros are war-weary, but not a whole lot of effort has been requested of them overall. After 9/11, the NATO charter was invoked to go into Afghanistan - not one member dissented. That doesn't mean that the current US strategy there is correct (or that it isn't) but it does imply that the members have some sort of obligation to the alliance.

    The Obama administration is much different from the Bush administration in pushing for true alliances. That is much different that the Bushies, who were only too happy to go it alone and rely on American military power. We heard a lot of criticism of the US regarding unilateral US action during the Bush administration, and now Obama is trying to redress this by withholding US forces unless the Europeans get involved - as in Libya now (there is still mission creep as apparently the US is now flying the majority of missions in what is supposed to be a European show). As often happens with the US, any European complaining at this point is simply a matter of 'be careful what you wish for, because you might get it.'

    penguinsix likes this.

  5. #5

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    Original Post Deleted
    Sorry, Tiger, I saw your first post yesterday but didn't realize you had later responded to mine. Comments above.

  6. #6

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    There is a reason why Americans are called 'Yanks' as it's more to do with 'pulling the pud' than Yankee Doddle!