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

deaf tuner

Ad Honoris
Oct 2013
14,671
Europix
Maybe political propaganda in some of these European nations is why their governments choose not to spend on their own defense? Those social programs sure do garner votes.
Social programs, political propaganda ...

My friend:

-French military expenditure (% of GDP) in 2016 was 2.26%. President: François Hollande, socialist.
2.3% in 2017. President: Emmanuel Macron. Not a social programs promoter, one could say.

Do You see a significant difference?

-Hungary: 1,1% in 2016. PM: Viktor Orban (he passed from the "baby-Tatcher" globalist neo-liberal to nationalist anti-liberal ... not sure how socialist he can be ... not sure what exactly he is, ideologically ...)

-Romania: 2% in 2017. Socialist party winning the elections (based on a lot of social programs promises).

-Poland: 2% in 2017. National-conservative, christian-democratic.

-Belgium: 0.9% in 2017. Center-right, cutting (tempting to) a lot on social programs, social security, unemployment.

Do You see a pattern, a link, between "leftists-social-programs-propaganda" and military expenses?

I don't.

__________________
(and I can continue, with data on the evolution of each country for the last 2 decades. It's all available on-line).
 

Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,171
US
Social programs, political propaganda ...

My friend:

-French military expenditure (% of GDP) in 2016 was 2.26%. President: François Hollande, socialist.
2.3% in 2017. President: Emmanuel Macron. Not a social programs promoter, one could say.

Do You see a significant difference?

-Hungary: 1,1% in 2016. PM: Viktor Orban (he passed from the "baby-Tatcher" globalist neo-liberal to nationalist anti-liberal ... not sure how socialist he can be ... not sure what exactly he is, ideologically ...)

-Romania: 2% in 2017. Socialist party winning the elections (based on a lot of social programs promises).

-Poland: 2% in 2017. National-conservative, christian-democratic.

-Belgium: 0.9% in 2017. Center-right, cutting (tempting to) a lot on social programs, social security, unemployment.

Do You see a pattern, a link, between "leftists-social-programs-propaganda" and military expenses?

I don't.

__________________
(and I can continue, with data on the evolution of each country for the last 2 decades. It's all available on-line).
No. I don't. My main point with this comment was a nation can spend on social programs or defense, not absolutely of course. But there is basically an inverse correlation, unless taxes are raised.
 

deaf tuner

Ad Honoris
Oct 2013
14,671
Europix
My main point with this comment was a nation can spend on social programs or defense, not absolutely of course.
Or both.

The two aren't excluding each other. It's a question of means and will. (France could be an example in Europe).
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,918
Looking at this buildup from the standpoint of Russian leadership ;), the Russian Federation's strategy is interwoven with Mr. Putin's persona. His animosity toward the West is an important factor in the Russian asymmetrical warfare being currently waged by a more weaponized Internet. Russia is economically fragile, so deflection of some domestic criticism is served by those liberal Westerners being made to look like mortal enemies. Meanwhile Mr. Putin's personal economy evidently benefits from a net worth in the tens of billions of whatever currency you want to use in denomination.

Whether Russia possesses super weapons, or whether that is more propaganda than capability, projecting the image that Russia is as powerful as its principal rival enables them to interfere and promote division and unrest in individual NATO countries, attempting to weaken their collective resolve one or two members at a time. How many NATO/EU members have politicians and movements that are more favorably disposed to Russia - that are tending to suppress the liberal institutions and practices that Mr. Putin despises?

What better way than to concentrate on the US? If it is recognized that Russia is again a great power, there is little to be done about their interference in electoral activity and the functioning of Western/American institutions. (Cue voice of Boris Badenov "Vhat you are goink to do about it?")

So as in the 1970s and 80s, Russia spends capital and natural resources on military hardware while not emphasizing its domestic economic well being. Mother Russia rinses and repeats. Mr. Putin has been running a solo act for twenty years, but he is getting old. He is entrenched now with his billions and is too advanced in age to change. He longs for the aura of the USSR - without its restrictions on contemporary kleptocrats - and the USSR was seen as a great power that no one could attack. Under that type of umbrella troll farms and media manipulation can operate as aggressively as they can do it. So why spend the treasure on big boy weapons? Ask Mr. Putin.
Yep, I agree something like that.

Russia is consistently running interference with the EU, generally planting dismissive narratives in national debates based on tropes of "imminent collapse", "elite vs people", "morally moribund" (not military enough, too gay, or just to damn too feminine, not religious enough, controlled by the jews/Soros, etc.)

The dynamics of it all are otoh rather complex, so at the same time the union polls are MORE popular with the EU gen pop than it has in ages. While at the same time a majority of people in the EU nations now apparently poll as finding an EU collapse within their lifetime realistic.

Eurobarometer: Public opinion survey shows that EU is more appreciated than ever | News | European Parliament

Seven days to save the European Union | European Council on Foreign Relations

Part of it could actually be a realistic assessment of the fact that the EU does need to move forward, that it's not finished, that it cannot afford to just get stuck in place, so reform in necessary. There are glaring internal inconsistencies, and as a consequence strain inside the structure that need to be adressed.

But probably this still has more to do with how while people in the EU have currently found (or rekindled) an appreciation of the EU, they ALSO now feel that the EU is under attack in ways that are new. The fact that EU is taking so much beating from a certain kind of politics INSIDE the EU, which is aligned with great powers outside the EU also now being seen to want to dismantle it does bring home the message that the EU actually might be worthwhile. Why else have it in for it?

If Russia, China and Trump's US (still a hope there's another US struggling to get out) are all against the EU, and feeding the anti-union populists (like Trump's high regard for Orban), then CLEARLY the EU is doing something that might actually be worthwhile for the Europeans. It's as Churchill put it: "Do you have enemies? Good! That means you have stood up for something, sometime in your life."

Should have been predictable that the EU would get that kind of recognition only when it started to become clear that powerful entities in world politics would in fact prefer if it wasn't there.

So while the EU is more appreciated than ever, it is also seen as under greater threat than ever.
 

Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,171
US
Or both.

The two aren't excluding each other. It's a question of means and will. (France could be an example in Europe).
And France is in turmoil. Look, of course you can spend a good deal on both, but reality says revenue is limited. Raising taxes or cutting benefits or making people work more hours or take less paid vacation doesn't bode well. Once people have tasted the good stuff, they usually don't like going back to bread and water, so to speak. By the way, despite the reputation of the U.S. its social programs are quite extensive and costly. Providing for hundreds of millions is a bit more of a challenge than providing for 10 million.
Social programs in the United States - Wikipedia
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,918
And France is in turmoil. Look, of course you can spend a good deal on both, but reality says revenue is limited. Raising taxes or cutting benefits or making people work more hours or take less paid vacation doesn't bode well. Once people have tasted the good stuff, they usually don't like going back to bread and water, so to speak. By the way, despite the reputation of the U.S. its social programs are quite extensive and costly. Providing for hundreds of millions is a bit more of a challenge than providing for 10 million.
Social programs in the United States - Wikipedia
Not least if you have a public culture that doesn't value that kind of civil administration, and generally tends to paint it and its employees as little better than sponges squandering tax payer money.
 

Linschoten

Ad Honoris
Aug 2010
16,221
Welsh Marches
Poor benightened American, really should be learning from the infinitely superior Europeans!
 

Baldtastic

Ad Honorem
Aug 2009
5,537
Londinium
Sarcasm or irony isn’t any good to any political discussion, Linschoten!
Actually it's a very good, useful tool within the toolbox that language presents. Comedy helps cuts through the "waffle" and can highlight the most inane or ridiculous parts of life. As shown above.

Responding with "you shouldn't say/do that" is what really harms a political/any discussion. ;)