Is it time to think international relations and security beyond NATO?

Jan 2016
1,167
Collapsed wave
I'm in the capital of a relatively minor(and to be fair non Baltic) EU state right now(that is taught to American children as one of several examples of places people fled to come to our country from) and one of my classmates got sick and they were able to go to the doctor without insurance for almost no cost(doctor didn't know what health insurance was), there's fancy public transit that looks centuries ahead of NYC's and when travelling the countryside, you constantly see construction and signs about EU projects. How much of this would be possible in our country if we weren't largely a mercenary state? Lots of Americans travel to Europe and those similar experiences and resentment is adding up quite a bit.

If it's not too much to ask, can you hint which country is that please?

:)

you can't blame the EU countries on the insanely huge US military budgets. These budgets are decided, approved and spent entirely under US discretion. It's the american military industrial complex and it's huge DC lobby that robs the american people of 600 billion dollars annually, not the EU.

Which war are we currently in? Where does the need for such insane military expenses come from? Did Germany demand the US to spend all this money on dangerous military toys?
 

Vaeltaja

Ad Honorem
Sep 2012
3,693
Libya. Iraq. Afghanistan (to some extent).
Libya was an operation done under the UN-SC mandate - which if you bother to check the UN-SC archives you can see was not a mere no-fly zone matter but instead in practice a carte blanche for anything short of sending ground troops. So there NATO certainly didn't overstep UN-SC but instead abided by its decisions. Iraq (2003) was not a NATO operation. USA tried to get to be such but NATO refused - which also handily outlines the fact that NATO is not a hand-puppet for USA either. Afghanistan was not a NATO operation. NATO only became involved in Afghanistan after the UN-SC sanctioned ISAF started operating there.
 

deaf tuner

Ad Honoris
Oct 2013
14,675
Europix
1)Well my views aren't the views of the American government. The American government has been very anti Russia and does incorrectly IMO view them as a threat(I reject the whole Russia conspiracy narrative, just doesn't make sense, I hate the current administration but there's little to nothing there from what I've seen) and a large part of US foreign policy post Cold War has been to treat the Russian Federation like the USSR and to oppose Russian supported regimes, Libya, Syria, Iran etc. Now I don't see American influence in the Middle East versus Russia's as something to be concerned about, I see influence in the Middle East as something that has caused the US great harm but many in the government don't agree and are trying to fight Russian influence in the region similar to the way, USSR influence was opposed. Lot of people have a narrative where they see Russian aggression in Europe and the Middle East as a serious threat and aren't looking at the overall context which is that basically the entire Iron Curtain is part of NATO and the land Putin invaded has been Russia's most important strategic port for centuries.

Another thing is, it's been less than 30 years since the USSR fell, US foreign policy was so based on the Cold War and opposing the USSR's interests, and their fall was so sudden, hasn't been much time to really change the focus of foreign policy. Kind of have had an identity crisis. The Balkans intervention also was very good PR for NATO and certainly led to a consensus that the organization does have a post USSR role(though again don't see why the alliance was necessary for that outcome to occur) especially seeing how it's really the only overly positive major example of military induced regime change in decades. 9/11 and terrorism also changed the focus away from conventional threats for awhile. So the answer to your first question is the Cold War is relatively recent and while the alliance isn't necessary that isn't clear to everyone, nor has their been an affirmative reason to leave it. Historically do alliances end the moment they've achieved their purposes?

2)Like I said, Europeans have a much stronger social welfare state than we do. In my country tens of thousands of people die a year from not being able to afford insurance and/or to use insurance (which requires co pays and deductible's), we have crumbling infrastructure(both transportation and water) and our relatively meager social welfare state is constantly under attack. Any efforts to pay for things to make the lives of Americans better is attacked by pro austerity forces who make no such attacks towards funding the military, which is so massive(in one of the other NATO country's, my ideal military budgets would make me look like a hawk and in the US I am probably seen as a dove in this regard) and which due to NATO is obligated to protect the rest of NATO, meaning the other NATO states don't actually need more than a nominal military and can spend their tax money on things that make sense. So I see it as the US paying for Europe's defense needs allowing Europeans to live a higher quality of life at the expense and detriment of my people. If the shoe was on the other foot wouldn't you be upset and a little hostile about that? I mean we also have a revenue problem due to austerity but it's an either/or sort of situation where if not for the bloated military that wouldn't matter.

Also most of the issues the US is spending so much money on are issues created by states(only a small minority of NATO member states who I'm not going to mention because it should be obvious who they are) who after decolonization retreated from the world and focused their funds on improving their societys while we haven't. I'm in the capital of a relatively minor(and to be fair non Baltic) EU state right now(that is taught to American children as one of several examples of places people fled to come to our country from) and one of my classmates got sick and they were able to go to the doctor without insurance for almost no cost(doctor didn't know what health insurance was), there's fancy public transit that looks centuries ahead of NYC's and when travelling the countryside, you constantly see construction and signs about EU projects. How much of this would be possible in our country if we weren't largely a mercenary state? Lots of Americans travel to Europe and those similar experiences and resentment is adding up quite a bit.
Thank You for the insight.

But it still doesn't answer my questions.

Why Americans (ofcourse, not all, but it's something I hear often, from our simple citizen's level up to high politicians) are complaining about paying for Europeans defence, but in the same time do not retreat from NATO, and in the same time they're against the idea of an European defence. It's illogical.
 
Apr 2018
726
France
I fear the idea of an European defence where every european nation can put its veto against any operation.

You want to stop the european force? corrupts or infiltrates one of the minor states.

It will not work unless Europe is strongly changed.
 

deaf tuner

Ad Honoris
Oct 2013
14,675
Europix
I fear the idea of an European defence where every european nation can put its veto against any operation.

You want to stop the european force? corrupts or infiltrates one of the minor states.

It will not work unless Europe is strongly changed.
If that's an answer to my question, it doesn't count: You're an European (and I won't even get further, on French and the rest :p).
 

M.S. Islam

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
3,333
Dhaka
Thanks for the clarifications. I retract my comment re NATO wreaking havoc for rest of the world.
 
Apr 2018
726
France
If that's an answer to my question, it doesn't count: You're an European (and I won't even get further, on French and the rest :p).
It was not a reply to your post, it is a doubt about the constitution with related resource absorption for a... what? force? national allocable quotas? vexillationes? :)

When you create an entire army, you need to have in mind his organization, command chain, how it can be used, what could prevent its usage, what are the boundaries in which it can be used. The current European organiztion massively prevents its usage.

This is a big point, because I, a European tax payer, don't see why I should allocate budget (my taxes) to something that could not been used because a nation X has done a massive disinformation/psyops/coup campaign in the small country Y to block the army or to prevent its use with a simple, really simple veto.

This is something to be considered.

So, for now, no alternative to NATO. When Europe will change, we will be able to discuss of a European defense.
 

zincwarrior

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
5,713
Texas
It was not a reply to your post, it is a doubt about the constitution with related resource absorption for a... what? force? national allocable quotas? vexillationes? :)

When you create an entire army, you need to have in mind his organization, command chain, how it can be used, what could prevent its usage, what are the boundaries in which it can be used. The current European organiztion massively prevents its usage.

This is a big point, because I, a European tax payer, don't see why I should allocate budget (my taxes) to something that could not been used because a nation X has done a massive disinformation/psyops/coup campaign in the small country Y to block the army or to prevent its use with a simple, really simple veto.

This is something to be considered.

So, for now, no alternative to NATO. When Europe will change, we will be able to discuss of a European defense.
Well many Americans, including it's President, believe there is an alternative to NATO. You may have no choice.
 

deaf tuner

Ad Honoris
Oct 2013
14,675
Europix
Well many Americans, including it's President, believe there is an alternative to NATO. You may have no choice.
If there's an alternative, why pushing the other members to raise their military budged ? Wouldn't be normal the "You guys do what You want, cause anyway I had enough, so I'm out of here" ?
 
Jun 2017
2,996
Connecticut
Thank You for the insight.

But it still doesn't answer my questions.

Why Americans (ofcourse, not all, but it's something I hear often, from our simple citizen's level up to high politicians) are complaining about paying for Europeans defence, but in the same time do not retreat from NATO, and in the same time they're against the idea of an European defence. It's illogical.
In the US this applies to all sorts of neo con policy. On a bi partisan basis Presidents campaign as(relative) isolationists and are noticeably more interventionist in office. Washington is run by people who want the US to stay in NATO. Politicians might complain about it to win elections and people might not generally be supportive of it but in the US if the forces defending it are influential enough that doesn't matter at all.