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 Post subject: Will Europe Ever Defend Itself?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 6:29 am 
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Spun off from the "Back to Iraq" thread.

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March 15, 2014

Dangerous Times: Will Europe ever Defend Itself?
By James Lewis

In purely cynical geopolitical terms, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin has completely outfoxed President Obama and the whole foreign policy apparatus of the West. The United States and our overfatted intelligence apparatus were caught with their pants down. The Europeans were just as badly suckered. Our National Security Agency may be able to track every email and phone call in the world, but it can’t grasp the plainly stated intentions of our obvious great power opponent, imperialistic Russia, which is now trying to reverse the breakdown of the Soviet Empire in the Cold War.

Putin has played a consistently brilliant chess game, snatching the Crimea -- and soon, parts of the Ukraine -- long before the West had any inkling. Even as Obama was shafting our closest allies in the Middle East, Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, Putin stood by Syria and Iran, his allies of convenience in that part of the world. With every East-West confrontation Obama has backed down. Now, with the collapse of Crimea without a shot being fired, Putin has finally revealed his plan.

Putin and his fellow KGB alums who now run Russia are long-distance chess players. Starting from a position of utter weakness with the breakdown of the Soviet Union and its colonies twenty years ago, they have systematically schemed to take power in Moscow, to centralize great chunks of the old Soviet Union, and to reorganize its broken economy on syndicalist lines --- a centralized crony capitalism. Russia is still far from its peak power level from Soviet times, but its low-cost reconquest of the Crimea, parts of Georgia, and soon, major parts of the Ukraine count as an unqualified success.

The question is whether renewed Russian encroachment on Europe can ever be stopped. Sixty years ago, at the end of World War II, much of Europe lay in ruins, and the United States stepped in with a credible nuclear guarantee against Stalin and his successors. The Soviets proved to be a greedy type of imperialism, most significantly turning China into an ideological clone threatening all of Asia. Today, Putin and China are once more considering the advantages of a strategic alliance. Just as Russia snatched parts of Georgia and the Crimea, China has laid claim to vast undersea territories hotly disputed by Japan and the Philippines. China is now the biggest imperial exploiter of African resources. Obama has simply ignored a new Sino-Soviet expansionism, the way he always does.

The United States has betrayed its allies in the Middle East, so that both Iran and the Sunni powers of Saudi Arabia and Egypt are turning to Putin’s Russia for protection -- against each other. That is a rational act, because the West has lost the will to guarantee the safety of our closest Arab allies against Iranian nuclear weapons, which are now a sure thing. Russia and China built the first Iranian nuclear reactor, only fifty miles across the Gulf from Saudi Arabia. Russia and China want to control Middle Eastern oil and gas supplies. As for Israel, since Putin is now the only credible big power able to stop Iranian nuclear blackmail, it has no choice but to forge closer ties to Russia. Putin has visited Jerusalem -- where he prayed at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Western Wall -- and had discussions with Israel’s cabinet. Putin’s mother was a devout Russian Orthodox believer, while his father was an atheist Communist. Putin regularly attends church services in Moscow, and is one of the few outspoken defenders of traditional Western values -- which somehow goes along with his thuggery in politics.

John Kerry is now traveling the Middle East with the aim of gerrymandering Jerusalem, the way the Democrats gerrymander majority black districts in Georgia. Both Obama and Kerry are geopolitical airheads, easily outmaneuvered by the likes of Putin and Iran’s mullah Rouhani. If Israel joins a Russian-led OPEC to control oil and gas prices from its newly discovered shale deposits under the Eastern Mediterranean, Putin might forge an oil alliance allowing Russia itself to keep its vital oil and gas exports priced high. With fracking bursting out all over the world, the Arab-Iranian stranglehold over oil supplies will fade quickly in the next decade. A giant oil-producing alliance could sustain the price of oil, just as the U.S. and Saudi Arabia have been doing since 1973.

Europe and America are run by useful idiots today -- none of them ever expected Russia to snatch the Crimea. These are the Mensheviks of Russian history, a type that Putin understands very well. Putin is not a Communist, but a syndicalist, combining relatively free markets with crony capitalism. He is much less of an ideological threat to the West, but he will exact his pound of flesh from flabby and cowardly nations in the West whenever he can. On the positive side of the ledger, Putin is ruthless with Muslim rebels and aggressors, showing far more spine and realism than today’s West can muster up.

So we have a new type of Russian ruler facing us. He is cunning and devious (but then so is Obama), but Putin believes in great power politics, which John Kerry recently deplored as so “19th century.” That seems to be Kerry’s fashion statement. In fact, great power politics has never disappeared, especially in the energy-hungry developing world. Power politics is never out of fashion.

Call it the metrosexual powers -- America and Europe in their decadence -- against the new power-hungry economic and military powerhouses of Russia and China. Metrosexuals have no capacity to defend themselves, the way the U.S. defended the West against Soviet and Chinese Communism for some 70 years. Metrosexual powers can’t even bring themselves to say the words “Muslim terrorism”. The West harbors the seeds of its own destruction, subversive leftists and Islamophiles blind to the dangers of 7th century desert raiders’ theology.

Putin isn’t blind to jihad, and neither are the Chinese. Their history has been forged by a thousand years of Muslim invasions from Central Asia.

Under Obama the United States is voluntarily retreating from a dangerous world. Everywhere we retreat, some hungry and ferocious power will fill the vacuum.

The great question today is whether the West can ever recover from its self-inflicted divisions and weaknesses, which are easily exploited by more serious powers. We have the human and physical resources. We have simply lost the will to defend ourselves. It may take a new generation to find an answer.

http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/03/ ... self_.html


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Otherwise: Screw Iraq. Screw Syria. Screw Libya. Screw Egypt. Screw Turkey. Screw Iran. And most especially: Screw the EU. I sorta hope to live to see the day Putin drives a tank through Brussels.



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It's telling that both you (KAding) and pamak see this as hate. If it was hate then I'd want the US to attack the EU. No, I just sorta want the EU to feel the full weight of the choices made since at least 9/11 if not before. To be completely unencumbered by any association with the big bad US of A.

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 Post subject: Re: Will Europe Ever Defend Itself?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:28 am 
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While the alarmist tone is certainly amusing (Iranian nukes a sure thing?), I would like to point out, that the military potential of the European NATO powers alone dwarfs Russia´s. That is not to say that improvements could not be made, but don´t inflate the Bear more than necessary in your attempt to make a point (US conventional presence on the ground in Europe is somewhat of a non-starter these days anyway, mostly logistics and airfields meant to support operations further afield)

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 Post subject: Re: Will Europe Ever Defend Itself?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:55 am 
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JDR_Dragoon wrote:
While the alarmist tone is certainly amusing (Iranian nukes a sure thing?), I would like to point out, that the military potential of the European NATO powers alone dwarfs Russia´s. That is not to say that improvements could not be made, but don´t inflate the Bear more than necessary in your attempt to make a point (US conventional presence on the ground in Europe is somewhat of a non-starter these days anyway, mostly logistics and airfields meant to support operations further afield)



I agree that there is military potential.

Europe is industrialized and could harness that industry to increase its military capabilities.

The question is, would it be willing to do so?
Would Europeans be able/willing to come together if it were threatened/in crisis?

Past examples such as the ethnic cleansing/genocide that went on in the Balkans/Yugoslavia are not exactly shining examples of that potential.

With the way that the EU is structured, consensus is required for things to happen. And as we have seen at times, consensus is not an easy thing to arrive at.

The current military of many/most European countries has shrunk/atrophied.

Yes, the potential to increase the militaries is there.

The question is, should the need arise, is the WILL there for agreement and for the nations of Europe to take military action, should it be necessary?

That is a question that only time will tell.

I am not a European (by heritage I am but not by birth/citizenship), so you (and other Europeans) can better answer that question than I can.

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 Post subject: Re: Will Europe Ever Defend Itself?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:02 am 
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The problem isn´t numbers or the will (the first is already present, the last is an unknown quantity, and it is not as tough lack of will is a European phenomenon exclusively). It is more a question of readiness and preparing for the wrong war. Fighting (or preparing to fight) the Russian army somewhere in Eastern Europe is something entirely different from conducting expeditionary warfare in Afghanistan. The last NATO country to conduct a conventional campaign against a near peer opponent was Great Britain, and that was in 1982 (Argentina). I fear that the capability to actually fight and win a conventional (or limited nuclear) war against a peer opponent is simply not present anymore within NATO. This is not a uniquely European problem though.

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 Post subject: Re: Will Europe Ever Defend Itself?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:10 am 
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If the Russians entered in East Ukraine, it is very possible that the Europeans alone would not unite to counter the Russians. But if the Russians invaded Poland (because for example the Pole whould have sent troops to Ukraine, to fight the Russians), the Europeans would certainly unite and fight the Russians, not of course under the EU flag, but under a new coalition. When the Soviets invaded Poland in 1920, the French sent military assistance.

We should not forget that two European countries have nukes. The French are ready to use them if their vital interests are threatened, and they would be if Russian tanks were in the heart of Europe. The question is if Poland is the heart of Europe for the French.


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 Post subject: Re: Will Europe Ever Defend Itself?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:11 am 
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Catlover7 wrote:
I just sorta want the EU to feel the full weight of the choices made since at least 9/11


Which choices? Post-9/11 the US decided it would intervene in the Afghanistan and the Middle East. Especially in the post-9/11 world there have been few occasions in which the US had to intervene on the behalf of European countries. On the contrary, it has been European countries who have been militarily engaged in support of our ally, the United States. It is European soldiers who have died in support of US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, not the other way around.

Sure, it is all too little for you, not good enough, half-hearted. You wanted more support. But you seem to deride European countries for supposedly following a policy that you yourself are promoting, namely one of less interventionism. There is no public appetite in Europe for military adventures abroad, there is no appetite for large military spending to fix problems which (despite yours and mdiehl's insistence) are not our problem either. Is ISIS seriously a threat to the EU? Is it really an issue for me here in the Netherlands that there is a civil war raging in the Islamic world? Is it really a problem that Russia might want to annex a part of Eastern Ukraine? You do not want to intervene because you do not see it as your problem. Well, neither do I see it as a European problem.

I do not promote isolationism per se, but I disagree with the assertion that US interventions in, say, the Muslim world are somehow to 'save the Europeans'. They are not and neither are they at the request of any European countries.

And the idea of Russian tanks in Paris is, quite frankly, ludicrous... And you know that of course. The Russian economy is barely 1/10th of the EU for example. Russia wants to restore its influence over its immediate neighbors, but it in the end it will be economic power and might that will be most relevant here, not military might.


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 Post subject: Re: Will Europe Ever Defend Itself?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:20 am 
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LaPalice wrote:
If the Russians entered in East Ukraine, it is very possible that the Europeans alone would not unite to counter the Russians. But if the Russians invaded Poland (because for example the Pole whould have sent troops to Ukraine, to fight the Russians), the Europeans would certainly unite and fight the Russians, not of course under the EU flag, but under a new coalition. When the Soviets invaded Poland in 1920, the French sent military assistance.

We should not forget that two European countries have nukes. The French are ready to use them if their vital interests are threatened, and they would be if Russian tanks were in the heart of Europe. The question is if Poland is the heart of Europe for the French.


Yes, I think that I have heard before about the willingness of France to use its nuclear weapons, on invading Russians, while they were in Germany.....
:lol:

I always wondered how the Germans felt about that. ;-)

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 Post subject: Re: Will Europe Ever Defend Itself?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:33 am 
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Look, I am also in favour of more military spending in Europe. But keep in mind that there is no 'European' army or real EU 'foreign policy'. European military capabilities will always be severely limited because the continent is not united at a political level.

But regardless, I think that by and large (and you can see that now again with Ukraine, Mali, Syria and Iraq) Europe and the US are very much on the same page on foreign policy. You can bitch and moan all you want about Europe, but our interests and political/cultural beliefs are still very much aligned with those of the US. You can berate us out of disappointment that we aren't the perfect allies, but it is still a hell of a lot better than most of the rest of the world ;).


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 Post subject: Re: Will Europe Ever Defend Itself?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:34 am 
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chijohnaok wrote:
LaPalice wrote:
If the Russians entered in East Ukraine, it is very possible that the Europeans alone would not unite to counter the Russians. But if the Russians invaded Poland (because for example the Pole whould have sent troops to Ukraine, to fight the Russians), the Europeans would certainly unite and fight the Russians, not of course under the EU flag, but under a new coalition. When the Soviets invaded Poland in 1920, the French sent military assistance.

We should not forget that two European countries have nukes. The French are ready to use them if their vital interests are threatened, and they would be if Russian tanks were in the heart of Europe. The question is if Poland is the heart of Europe for the French.


Yes, I think that I have heard before about the willingness of France to use its nuclear weapons, on invading Russians, while they were in Germany.....
:lol:

I always wondered how the Germans felt about that. ;-)

That would be for their good ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Will Europe Ever Defend Itself?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:38 am 
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LaPalice wrote:
chijohnaok wrote:


Yes, I think that I have heard before about the willingness of France to use its nuclear weapons, on invading Russians, while they were in Germany.....
:lol:

I always wondered how the Germans felt about that. ;-)

That would be for their good ;)


:lol: :lol: :lol:

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