Bush, the EU, and a independent defense

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Sayhey, Oct 20, 2003.

  1. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #1
    The Bush doctrine is at it again in the form of pressure against the EU to stop its plans for an independent European defense force. Read the BBC story:

    link

    The Bushies aren't going to allow new superpowers to come into existence, even if it is in the form of our allies.
     
  2. whocares macrumors 65816

    whocares

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    #2
    Two thoughts come to mind:

    1. Is Bush really affraid on this tinpot army were gonna/wonna put together?
    2. Is it any of his god-damn business what we do over here to defend ourselves/our interests? We will/would be doing nothing different than what the US have been doing for the last 50 yrs.
     
  3. Frohickey macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Re: Bush, the EU, and a independent defense

    How many white flags will this new EU military need? :D

    Seriously, I say we let the EU do it on their own. Nothing like being responsible for their own defense to set the EU's priorities straight.
     
  4. Sayhey thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #4
    He is not afraid of the army as a threat to the US. He is afraid it could some day lead to a end to NATO or at least a lessening of the importance of US involvement in European defense matters.

    This move may have more to do with an attempt to drive divisions into the ranks of the EU nations than any particular importance the actual new force would represent. It is the growing economic powerhouse of a united Europe that the neoconservatives in the administration fear more than a military rival. We will see if Tony Blair plays the role of Bush's boy again.

    Oh, and of course it is not our President's business to tell EU nations what is acceptable in their own affairs. It is a growing arrogance in the White House that believes this kind of interference is ok.
     
  5. Frohickey macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Growing economic powerhouse? Where do you see this? Germany is in the midst of a recession, with high unemployment and rising welfare costs. I think the other EU nations are in the same boat, except, maybe Ireland. (PowerMacs are made in Ireland :D )

    I think that the EU should do it anyway. I think that the US should just quietly let the EU do their own defense establishment. Lets see if their economic powerhouse can pay for their own defense infrastructure. As it is now, the US is paying 25% of the NATO budget.
     
  6. Sayhey thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #6
    Hey, we agree on something! I'm for bringing those US troops home from Europe. Their mission has been successfully accomplished and now is a good time to close up shop on NATO. It's not going to happen, but I still think it's a great idea.

    Frohickey, recessions come and go. It is pretty obvious that a new united Europe will have tremendous economic power and even greater potential. That is if they can ever agree on a constitution. I do agree that along with Guinness, it is the power mac production in Ireland that is the secret engine that powers the whole EU. :D At least that is a reflection of my buying habits.
     
  7. Frohickey macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Been saying that we ought to have brought the troops in Europe home for a long time now.

    Now, if only we can change Iraq to be more like us. Religiously tolerant, constitutionally limited, respecting human rights... heck, with their oil reserves, I would bet they would be fighting Japan for #2 in the world economy if the only can suppress their religious fanatics.
     
  8. Inu macrumors newbie

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    #8
    As a matter of Fact, Oil alone doesnt make up a good base for a functioning economy.

    Usually, Oil brings in foreign cash, but it doesnt create that many workplaces, thus either leaving large portions of the population without the foreign money, or dependend on on the government to spend oil money for the welfare, as it happens in some of the oil rich countries in the arab world (Emirates, Kuwait).

    Since the Iraqi Govt. has been placed by the US who, themselves, want to cut welfare in their own country - I wouldnt bet on it.
     
  9. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #9
    I agree with sayhey about the economic issues. It's just the normal chess game of international politics. The overt or ostensible issues noted in the media rarely present the true causes.

    IMO, we haven't really needed US troops in Europe since 1991 and the collapse of the USSR. The Europeans have the responsibility for their own security. NATO made sense in the face of the foreign policy and the military power of the USSR, but not now.

    'Rat
     
  10. yamabushi macrumors 65816

    yamabushi

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    #10
    Most of the US forces in Europe should be moved elsewhere. Peacekeeping operations in the balkans can continue, but most everything else should go. A small base could perhaps be established in Bulgaria to support operations in the balkan region with medical care, air support, training, and recreation. Non-US NATO forces can maintain and operate from the old bases in Germany and Italy until a united European military authority evolves. Afganistan might me a good destination for many troops since a stronger US presence has been requested there.
     
  11. Frohickey macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    If you read my post, I did not say that oil alone would propel Iraq to #3 world economic superpower status. Oil would not hurt. Look at Japan. No natural resources of its own, and its #2.

    Work ethic, governmental non-interference are needed as well.
     
  12. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #12
    yamabushi, the Balkans are a part of Europe. Why can't the Europeans deal with the troubles there? Why us? Sorry, I don't see a bit of U.S. national interest there.

    I gotta rant for a minute. :)

    The EU, in aggregate, is as many or more folks than the U.S. Yet, for all their natter about how neat they are, and how much more they know than we about how to behave in worldly actions, why don't they aggregate anywhere near our economic strength? Why can't they work together to take care of their own security? WW II was over in 1945; the western Europeans have been rebuilt since the 1950s.

    If they want to be "equal in the eyes of the world" I think they oughta stand on their own hind legs and quit using us as their protector. "That dog don't hunt," as the saying goes.

    They let us save their bacon from the bad guys, and then chastise us for being uncivilized, barbarian cowboy upstarts.

    Ga-roo-vee! Let them clean their own sewers.

    Rant off.

    :), 'Rat
     
  13. yamabushi macrumors 65816

    yamabushi

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    #13
    The Balkans are unstable and the European militaries are currrently unable to stabilize the region by themselves. It is going to ba a long time before that region is going to be stable. Leaving some forces in SE Europe can help to maintain stbility in the meantime. Since we already have quite a few active forces in the region, having a base somewhere nearby is a good idea. We have many heavy tanks in Germany that aren't doing anybody any good right now. In SE Europe they would be much closer to current hot spots and would be able to respond to or deter aggression in the region more effectively.

    Germany has served as the primary base for advanced medical care. Similar facilities are needed somewhere close to the action in the mideast if the base in Germany were to close or transfer ownership. Bulgaria is about 700 miles closer than Germany is to the mideast. Bulgaria has also been a close ally and consistent supporter of U.S. interests(unlike Greece and Turkey).

    Bulgaria happens to be about the same distance from Moscow as Germany, which will please the hawks in D.C. that want to keep our long range bombers and medium range missiles in range of the Russian capital. Not a bad idea considering that the Russian Duma has refused to ratify the current START (treaty to reduce nuclear stockpiles).

    Until Europe has a cohesive defense policy and stucture in place it is not prudent to abandon them entirely. Moving to the SE corner of Europe and reducing force strength by 75% or so could send a strong message to the leaders in Europe to take responsibility for their own defense more seriously without destabilizing the region.
     
  14. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #14
    :) I'll buy your Bulgaria strategy. Sounds like something from StratFor.

    Still, I'm dubious about the Bosnia/Serbia/etc. stuff. We're not the only force there, and it just seems to me that the EuroGroup could find enough men and money to let us ease out. Doesn't have to be one swell foop.

    'Rat
     
  15. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #15
    Re: Re: Bush, the EU, and a independent defense

    Oh, I get it!! 'Cause the French are all pussies who surrender right away!!

    AHAHAHAHHAHAHA!!! That's like, so original and funny, dude. You should be a comedian or something.
     
  16. yamabushi macrumors 65816

    yamabushi

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    #16
    I haven't followed the actual numbers for a couple of years, but unless things have changed dramatically they really don't have the forces they need. According to some Jane's publications I used to follow, their total combined forces are less effective than the fraction of our forces that we have stationed there.

    As I recall, Britain, France, Germany, and Finland each have some fairly advanced equipment and Poland is catching up quickly. Most of the other nations can contribute mostly some outdated equipment and infantry. Their forces are also still separated and lack coordination, which may be their most serious problem.
     
  17. Pinto macrumors newbie

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    #17
    ... Developing nuclear weapons, making up lies to invade countries that are no danger to them, helping to overthrow democratically elected Governments, promoting religious fanatics to positions of importance, holding people in jail indefinitely without trial, Political cronyism, blah blah....

    Who wouldn't want all these American traits for their own country.
     
  18. Thanatoast macrumors 6502a

    Thanatoast

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    #18
    I find it amusing that the conservatives on this board are saying "let Europe fight for itself!" whereas the conservatives in the White House are pissed that they wanna try.

    Really, it's all about losing the axe we hold over the EU's head. If they no longer need us to "defend" them, then we no longer have *nearly* as much political clout with them. Why they might start disagreeing with us, competing with us, or *gasp*, forcing us to be decent international neighbors! The world would end! (probably because Bush'd nuke 'em if they gave him any ****) You know, basic mafia tactics.

    Apparently the current administration has gone back to the zero-sum game theory, where more power for anyone else automatically means less power for us. Funny, since they claim that economics works on the opposite principle to justify their tax cuts. :rolleyes:
     
  19. Frohickey macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    Maybe the conservatives on this board are not like the Republicans or Democrats that blindly vote for whomever the national party nominates? :)

    Also, Pinto's comment about being more like us. There, I meant it with all the positive attributes for a modern Iraq. To quote Sgt Oddball... "Whats up with all of the negative vibes?" :D
     
  20. Pinto macrumors newbie

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    #20
    Because you never seem to mention the negatives.

    You proudly comment about "being more like us", when halve the things you guys do is considered reasons for invasion when done by others.

    Get those rose-coloured spectacles off occasionally.
     
  21. yamabushi macrumors 65816

    yamabushi

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    #21
    I really hope that Europe becomes stronger and is better able to exert influence. I believe a stronger Europe will help to promote peace and may decrease the need for the U.S. military. My only worry is that Europeans may be just as arrogant as the U.S. in their policies in the future.
     
  22. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #22
    yamabushi, it might be seen as splitting hairs, but I don't think the policies, themselves, are arrogant. It's the execution thereof. Sorta like the way a bad cop can enforce a law with which we could all agree. We're against reckless driving, but that doesn't mean the driver should be yanked out of the car and slammed on the ground.

    One thing I've watched that doesn't seem to be taken into account in discussions of US doings around the world is that our government must deal with whatever government is in power elsewhere. This puts us "in bed" with a lot of sorry SOBs. Saudi Arabia is a case in point. Our physical quality of life depends on them and others like them. (And we'd need them even without SUVs, to recall to mind another thread here. :D)

    And, of course, there are a lot of foreign policy decisions which in hindsight look foolish, not arrogant. Not enough forethought or thought about the what-ifs of unintended consequences.

    'Rat
     
  23. yamabushi macrumors 65816

    yamabushi

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    #23
    Good points. I would like to express some reservations on just one, though. I believe that we are far too dependent on oil. We can boost our economy over the long run and protect our national interests better if we made very aggressive moves to support renewable sources of energy, cleaner coal technology, and reduce consumption of fuel oil. Gasoline is a more touchy subject, but some further encouragement to increase the average fuel economy of cars sold in the U.S. isn't out of line. Energy imports actually cause a good portion of our trade deficit. I strongly support moves to encourage energy independence.
     
  24. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #24
    :) No argument out of me. I'm in a minority as a proponent of nukes. And, having been around a fair number of drilling rigs and completed oil/gas wells, I'm not at all against development in areas that are now off-limits. I see these as a short-term help, however.

    I sorta work at ignoring a lot of what I first railed against, some forty years back. Don't need ulcers. Our society (IMO) has increased its spoiled-brattishness behavior insofar as consumption, be it junk from Wally World or the throwaway aspects of buying new cars far more often than seems needful. When folks go to worrying about the "statement" of a BMW or a Volvo, IMO their heads are in fundamental darkness. Or brie or latte or Gucci...

    Later,

    'Rat
     
  25. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #25
    Ah a few less government regulations should cure that right up....;)
     

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