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(Stars and Stripes)   Robert Gates goes off on NATO: "What do you do when, as is the case today with NATO in Afghanistan, some of your allies don't want to fight? Or they impose caveats on where, when and how their forces may be used?"   (stripes.com) divider line 177
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4721 clicks; posted to Main » on 23 Apr 2008 at 5:57 PM (6 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2008-04-23 07:04:19 PM
They aren't a superpower yet.

Emphasis on yet. They will be soon.
 
2008-04-23 07:05:46 PM
corn-bread: No. You quit if there is non-performance.
The resurgence of the Taliban and the U.S. using NATO as a troop stopgap measure certainly qualifies.

A five year commitment is a five year commitment. That's the time frame. The time frame was NOT "until Afghanistan is stable". That is the task to be performed.


Can you demonstrate with 100% certainty that all entities and agencies (excluding this one) will, if the time of commitment has expired and the end-goals not been met, subsequently abandon any further commitment?

Because for your argument to be true, that is what you must do. And I expect you to do either just that or concede the argument in your next reply to me.
 
2008-04-23 07:06:58 PM
zanovar: They aren't a superpower yet.

Emphasis on yet. They will be soon.


That could go to China, the EU, or, less likely, India and even less likely, Australia, Brazil or Canada.
 
2008-04-23 07:08:46 PM
Frank N Stein: madmann: Well, what ya do is, you sit down and talk with your allies and try to figure out why none of them think your "Bombing Brown People Of The Week" mission is worth playing.

Or are the members of NATO now part of the scary furriners we no longer wish to talk to because they're inherently evil and such? I have SUCH a hard time keeping the list of people with cooties straight.

Only when the cootie problem is resolved can we finally address the pressing issue of girl germs.

Please be quiet. Adults are speaking.


Really? Where? Surely not YOU, this is your only post. All I see is some kid with TF & a faux-hawk squeaking at me. The "cooties and girl germs" example is EXACTLY the way US foreign policy works at this point. Judging by your profile pic, I was already in the AF when you were still shiatting green. But by all means, use your only post thus far trying to be a dick, since you haven't contributed anything else. Oh, and before I forget, take a long hard suck on my farkstick.
 
2008-04-23 07:09:51 PM
Ready_Cents: It really saddens me that Germany is such a pussified country nowadays. We used to be so badass and now this. For shame.

How did being so badass work out for you guys btw?
 
2008-04-23 07:11:29 PM
Dr. Mojo PhD That could go to China, the EU, or, less likely, India and even less likely, Australia, Brazil or Canada.


Actually that's a point. Saying China was the only one with a shot at becoming the global power was an over simplification. The Indians and the EU are in with a good shot too.
 
2008-04-23 07:15:37 PM
Gee, other countries don't want to help in Afghanistan? Could that possibly be because, with American resources completely tied up in Iraq, there's no hope of assembling a large enough force to actually provide security over such a vast area?

The NATO mission, as it now stands, is a joke - we barely control Kabul, while corrupt warlords run rampant everywhere else. There's no hope for democracy or reconstruction in such a situation, so why should anybody spend blood and treasure on what is essentially window-dressing?

Hey, Mr. Gates - NATO was right with the US when we went into Afghanistan. It was your boss who decided to stab your allies in the back by running off to Iraq. Frankly, you should be on your knees in gratitude that NATO's still in Afghanistan at all.
 
2008-04-23 07:18:32 PM
Robert Gates goes off on NATO: "What do you do when, as is the case today with NATO in Afghanistan, some of your allies don't want to fight? Or they impose caveats on where, when and how their forces may be used?"

How about leaving them alone to do what the fark they want to do as sovereign nations and not expecting them to salivate whenever they hear you pull down your zipper?

I'm not going joyriding in a car with a drunk driver at the wheel, and yet this is exactly what idiots like this want when he wants other nations to get involved in some of the stupid shiat Bush & co. have us involved in.

/moran
 
2008-04-23 07:20:32 PM
Dr. Mojo PhD
Can you demonstrate with 100% certainty that all entities and agencies (excluding this one) will, if the time of commitment has expired and the end-goals not been met, subsequently abandon any further commitment?


I don't know where you're getting this from, but it's irrelevant to conversation at hand as all you're trying to do is expand the scope of topic.

The topic at hand is not other entities and what they would or would not do. We're talking about NATO and the member country obligations under NATO.


Because for your argument to be true, that is what you must do. And I expect you to do either just that or concede the argument in your next reply to me.

Dude, give up the L/D rhetoric. You're just no good at it.
Sticking to provable facts and what you know was working out so much better for ya.

Back to the task at hand:
I'll go ahead and just stick to the organization being discussed. And unless you can prove otherwise with documentation, it would appear that NATO has done exactly what they said they would (plus perhaps a little more).
 
2008-04-23 07:21:01 PM
used to work at the us mission to nato in brussels and spent 19 months at the embassy in kabul afghanistan so i would have gotten a kick out of these replies....
 
2008-04-23 07:33:58 PM
madmann: Really? Where? Surely not YOU, this is your only post. All I see is some kid with TF & a faux-hawk squeaking at me. The "cooties and girl germs" example is EXACTLY the way US foreign policy works at this point. Judging by your profile pic, I was already in the AF when you were still shiatting green. But by all means, use your only post thus far trying to be a dick, since you haven't contributed anything else. Oh, and before I forget, take a long hard suck on my farkstick.

Sorry, but when you start spouting off about the U.S.'s policy on the "brown people", you voluntarily remove yourself from any logical argument. It just makes you look stupid.
More on point; NATO decided to go into Afghanistan as one. The U.S. was under the impression that they would fulfill their roles to the up most in accordance to their agreement upon joining NATO. When some nations fail in this responsibility, the U.S. has a right to be angry about it. The tax paying public has to front the bill that our friends agreed to pay.

But you we're in the USAF, so I'm sure you have all the answers.
 
2008-04-23 07:39:11 PM
That should be were, obviously.
 
2008-04-23 07:39:39 PM
Frank N Stein
The U.S. was under the impression that they would fulfill their roles to the up most in accordance to their agreement upon joining NATO. When some nations fail in this responsibility, the U.S. has a right to be angry about it. The tax paying public has to front the bill that our friends agreed to pay.


So, was diverting resources away from Afghanistan and sending them to Iraq part of the deal too?

Granted, it is expected that NATO countries will contribute what they are able. But the same goes for the U.S. too.
 
2008-04-23 07:41:02 PM
Yank thread!

It's not like British, or Canadian, or Dutch troops might be dying too.
 
2008-04-23 07:43:58 PM
Uncle Karl - The USSR played a major role in getting WWII started in the first place. Stalin's cynical decision to sign the non-agression pact with Nazi Germany in return for a large section of Poland and the Baltic Republics opened the floodgates. The Soviet people paid the price for his adventurism.
 
2008-04-23 07:49:02 PM
corn-bread: I don't know where you're getting this from, but it's irrelevant to conversation at hand as all you're trying to do is expand the scope of topic.

I'm getting it from the fact that you insist that a commitment not met at the end of a term is reason to uncommit completely. A single counter-example would completely obviate this, of course.

The topic at hand is not other entities and what they would or would not do. We're talking about NATO and the member country obligations under NATO.

Yes, we are. And you're claiming, and I quote you here: "No. You quit if there is non-performance."

You accepted the broadening of scope, and now you must deal with it, or concede the argument. Too bad if you don't like where it's going.

Dude, give up the L/D rhetoric. You're just no good at it.

As was just demonstrably shown, I am quite good at it. I defy you to demonstrate otherwise (for one claiming to be well enough versed in L/D -- or as we people who are "no good at it" like to call it, rhetoric -- to be able to identify when one is and is not "good at it", I would at least expect you to demonstrate either an invalid argument or an untrue premise to back up your assertion, neither of which you have done).

I'll go ahead and just stick to the organization being discussed. And unless you can prove otherwise with documentation, it would appear that NATO has done exactly what they said they would (plus perhaps a little more).

I take it then that since this directly contradicts your earlier statements:

"NATO made a 5 year commitment that was suppose to bring about reconstruction. Six years later the country is no closer to stability than when we started."

and

"A five year commitment is a five year commitment. That's the time frame. The time frame was NOT "until Afghanistan is stable". That is the task to be performed."

Can you explain this seeming contradiction adequately, or is my original suggestion that you concede the argument what you are doing in a roundabout way to save face?
 
2008-04-23 07:49:26 PM
Yet another case of an American Politician biatching about the fact that other people won't do what they're told.

fark him.
 
2008-04-23 07:50:11 PM
FTA..."Nor, above all, should we forget the superb performance in combat and sacrifices of allies like the British, Canadians, Australians, Danes, Dutch, and others"



aftermathnews.files.wordpress.com
"Did he he forget Poland?"

/In 2001 the US was the largest foreign aid supporter($135million) to the Taliban...for reducing opium production from 90+% to 5% of world production.
//In 2008, the US is the largest foreign aid supporter of the Afghan gov't ($36 Billion by US military alone, based on 2007 expenditures not including State Dept aid) FYI opium production in Afghanistan is currently 93+% of world production (Mission Accomplished / War on Drugs moment)
///Obama believes we should devote MORE resources to "our" war in Afghanistan and expand it to Pakistan (oops I guess I'm just too liberal to understand it)
 
2008-04-23 07:51:29 PM
Zanovar - India and the EU may become economic powerhouses. Neither has the super-power capability to project force at this time. Only The U.S. and to a lesser degree, China and Russia have the logistical capability required to seize and hold territory. The EU would be dependent on an American supply chain and naval forces. India lacks the military logistical resources to fight anyone it does not share a border with.
In a way India and the EU have chosen the wiser path. Let the fools do the fighting while we make money.
 
2008-04-23 07:55:56 PM
i slept through this speech! right up until the SecDef started crying at the end...kind of a dry speech
 
2008-04-23 08:03:15 PM
Satyagraha --
US aid to Afghanistan in '01 bypassed the Taliban, regardless of the lies Mr. Scheer spread.
 
2008-04-23 08:05:12 PM
Gates, you stop sending 20,000 US soldiers and marines to do a 300,000 man force job. That's what you do.

You institute a draft. You know, the kind where your own son or daughter goes off and gets blown 200 feet into the air. That's what you do.

You quit trying to build an empire on the backs of volunteers who want to defend a Constitution your administration seems bent on destroying.

You talk to people instead of refusing to meet those people with whom you have differences.

But, Gates, I think the best thing you and yours can do is resign. Just leave. Let the military men who warned against going into Iraq come back into power and rebuild the military.
 
2008-04-23 08:10:33 PM
DNRTFT.. but.. arent a lot of countries willing to fight in Afghanistan? I thought lots of countries said they werent willing to fight in Iraq, and were withdrawing troops, but were leaving or increasing the number of troops they had in Afghanistan.

Maybe Gates needs to realise that just because people are pulling out of his Iraq quagmire, it doesnt also mean theyre pulling out of Afghanistan.
 
2008-04-23 08:14:40 PM
mediaho: If someone is habitually driving off the road, getting lost, crashing into trees, never admits an error and constantly asks you for gas money, you too might think twice about getting in that passenger seat. In fact, you might want to sit that person down and have an intervention.

I've been meaning to track down France and have a word...
 
2008-04-23 08:18:55 PM
Dr. Mojo PhD

I'm getting it from the fact that you insist that a commitment not met at the end of a term is reason to uncommit completely. A single counter-example would completely obviate this, of course.


As as the counter-example, you offer a personal statement about your job. Eh, no. Unless you just happen to be Chancellor of Germany or someone else of authority in this instance, sorry.

NATO says they will commit for five years. At the end of the five years, they no longer send troops.
Fulfilling the obligation != uncommit

You aren't showing HOW the obligation hasn't been met. Feel free to show how five years has not passed.


Yes, we are. And you're claiming, and I quote you here: "No. You quit if there is non-performance."

Ah, and then you conveniently cut off the example of the assertion that followed as well as the ghetto example of what YOU would do at YOUR job.

The difference between your example and mine is that mine is relevant to what NATO is doing now.

You accepted the broadening of scope, and now you must deal with it, or concede the argument. Too bad if you don't like where it's going.

I rejected outright the example of your job because no one cares and it is fallacy of logic.
Next.



As was just demonstrably shown, I am quite good at it. I defy you to demonstrate otherwise (for one claiming to be well enough versed in L/D -- or as we people who are "no good at it" like to call it, rhetoric -- to be able to identify when one is and is not "good at it", I would at least expect you to demonstrate either an invalid argument or an untrue premise to back up your assertion, neither of which you have done).


Self promotion. Nice.
You tell yourself what you have to. It's ok.
Fark understands.

You call it rhetoric. It's baiting, nothing more and is the antithesis of reasonable discussion. And judging from the thread discussions posted in your profile, it's a fallback position. And it doesn't reflect well on your "rhetoric" abilities.



I take it then that since this directly contradicts your earlier statements:

"NATO made a 5 year commitment that was suppose to bring about reconstruction. Six years later the country is no closer to stability than when we started."

"A five year commitment is a five year commitment. That's the time frame. The time frame was NOT "until Afghanistan is stable". That is the task to be performed."

Can you explain this seeming contradiction adequately, or is my original suggestion that you concede the argument what you are doing in a roundabout way to save face?


I don't see a contradiction in what I've said. In fact, I'll just go ahead and let NATO spell it out for you:

"The Alliance's aim is to help establish the conditions in which Afghanistan can enjoy - after decades of conflict, destruction and poverty - a representative government and self-sustaining peace and security.

NATO's role is a key part of the Afghanistan Compact, a five-year plan between the government of Afghanistan and the international community, which sets goals relating to the security, governance and economic development of the country."


I don't see where they said that they would ONLY stop sending troops once Afghanistan is secure.

If you have a reason as to why they haven't fulfilled their agreement, then hurrah it's finally time for you to contribute something other than conjecture and hearsay.

I'm not holding my breath.
 
2008-04-23 08:18:57 PM
Scuffer --
"Willing to send troops" does not necessarily mean "willing to send troops on combat missions" -- for instance, most of the German troops in ISAF appear to be doing reconstruction work, instead, and staying out of the more violent areas.
 
2008-04-23 08:19:19 PM
scuffer: DNRTFT.. but.. arent a lot of countries willing to fight in Afghanistan? I thought lots of countries said they werent willing to fight in Iraq, and were withdrawing troops, but were leaving or increasing the number of troops they had in Afghanistan.

Maybe Gates needs to realise that just because people are pulling out of his Iraq quagmire, it doesnt also mean theyre pulling out of Afghanistan.


I think the British are the only ones who have followed a (partial) Iraq withdrawal with a serious increase in strength in Afghanistan. The Spanish also withdrew from Iraq but they have less than 1000 troops in Afghanistan, and even those are limited in the role they can take.
 
2008-04-23 08:28:14 PM
Nabb1: keylock71: Maybe you should have a talk with your boss about unilateral invasions and cowboy politics. Mr Gates...

If we were talking about Iraq, I might see the point, but Afghanistan and the Taliban all but begged to be invaded.


Yes, and we pulled our troops from there to invade Iraq and left our allies to deal with the one place actually connected to 9/11. Why is this so hard to understand?
 
2008-04-23 08:29:37 PM
MasterThief: Nestea Plunge: Until asshole Bush came along, most countries took the USA's good word without asking.

Bosnia and Kosovo would like a word with you.


Except that those operations were successful and resulted in not a single US combat casualty. Apples and anvils.
 
2008-04-23 08:35:48 PM
Robin Hoodie: Considering the US spent 40 years keeping western Europe nations in NATO free, it seems like supporting us in this small operation would be the least they could do

I don't disagree with this. However, if it was so important to us, why did we leave it?

It's like a little kid who cries and cries about not getting the red car to play with, then he gets it and immediately drops it to go play with the blue one, but screams his head off if anyone touches the red one.

We want it both ways, but that just isn't going to happen.
 
2008-04-23 08:55:29 PM
iaazathot --
Leave? Any leaving for 'Operation Enduring Freedom' must have been quite temporary, as troop levels reach record high in Afghanistan incl. 32,000 US troops presently there, counting both those under ISAF and those not.
 
2008-04-23 08:59:44 PM
Let me summarize:

GATES: You buggin'
NATO: Eat me
GATES: Whu-eva
MEDIA: Oh snap!
 
2008-04-23 09:07:55 PM
Korovyov
iaazathot --
Leave? Any leaving for 'Operation Enduring Freedom' must have been quite temporary, as troop levels reach record high in Afghanistan incl. 32,000 US troops presently there, counting both those under ISAF and those not.



While that is good to see, a Center for Military History study said in 2002 that 300,000 occupation troops would be necessary to rebuild afghanistan in the same vein as after WWII.

Granted that's a little high (they also put forward "light" estimates of 20,000 and "medium" estimates of 40,000 - 60,000), but given that the Taliban is re-surging perhaps that number should be even higher.
 
2008-04-23 09:10:13 PM
(couldn't find the source document on that previous link)
 
2008-04-23 09:16:36 PM
Dearr Mr Gates: just kill those people yourself, you don't need no furriners or soldiers to help you.
 
2008-04-23 09:16:44 PM
NATO gave (gives) the US allies that were (are) right on the front with the USSR (Russia). They could (do) deploy assets there and use them as a staging ground if WW3 broke out. In exchange, they are supposed to actually show up there when stuff goes bad. The US loves NATO as much as NATO loves the US.

NATO should have never been involved in Afghanistan. It should have been a separate "coalition." If it happened to be the same nations, great, but they should not have been obligated to participate under any NATO rules.
 
2008-04-23 09:21:37 PM
scuffer
Maybe Gates needs to realise that just because people are pulling out of his Iraq quagmire, it doesnt also mean theyre pulling out of Afghanistan.

It's aimed against countries like Germany.
German troops (at least the officially deployed ones, there have been rumors about the special forces KSK..) stay in the north and have to avoid the hot fighting zones in the south for political/legal reasons.
The German constitution after WWII only allows a defensive military force and there's been quite a political fight among the members of parliament (up to the supreme court and the chancellor back then threatening his resignation) how far the (mis)interpretation of the constitution and terms like "peacekeeping force" or "help to rebuild" can be stretched to allow missions like Kosovo or Afghanistan.

Currently, to quote the former secretary of defense, "Germany is being defended at the Hindu Kush" is used as an excuse to deploy German troops outside of NATO area.
(which sounds to some people a bit like the "preemptive counterattack" justification to invade Poland in 1939)


There even was a big ruckus when Germany decided to send a handful of Tornados "strictly for reconnaissance purposes" some time ago - because the gathered reconnaissance information might be used by the allies in the south to stage attacks and aiding those attacks is hard to sell "defending Germany".
From that example you might be able to extrapolate the ensuing shiatstorm that would ensue in case someone decides to send additional troops and extend the orders of the German soldiers to "kick Taliban butt in the south".


And on a more practical note, apparently the German military (Bundeswehr) was mainly designed to stop Soviet tanks from overrunning Western Europe via the flat lands in Northern Germany and not to fight guerillas in Mountains thousands of miles away.
Which apparently makes them (still) rather inflexible at the moment.

Or as a political cabaret artist put it:
"The Bundeswehr's purpose is to stall the enemy at the borders until military shows up"

And, despite the occasional talk, attempting a serious reform of the military has been avoided for years because any military spending is frowned upon by the voters big time AND because it will lead to loud calls to get rid of the draft system that's still in place in Germany.
And the thing with the draft is that males who don't serve in the military (serving is the exception) have to do a social service year.
Which means hospitals, seniors' homes, youth hostels and lots of other institutions would actually have to hire and pay tens of thousands of people to scrub bedpans, carry the disabled around, do the dishes etc. which in turn will put serious strain on the welfare and healthcare system.
 
2008-04-23 09:26:42 PM
Gavino: It's almost as if they wish to use their own judgement over America's. Imagine that.

Perhaps you have a different understanding of the words "Treaty" and "Organization" than I do.
 
2008-04-23 09:36:11 PM
AirForceVet: NATO is not an organization at the beck and call of us, the US. Perhaps if our country's leadership hadn't dropped the ball, pulled US troops out, and run off into Iraq before Afghanistan was dealt with fully, maybe our allies could take us more seriously.

I mean Afghanistan did harbor & provided safe haven to the people who did 9/11. That's why NATO went into Afghanistan with us. I don't recall any Iraqi agents with the 9/11 hijackers, do you?

Why question how France, Germany or any NATO member meet their obligations now after we screwed up over five years ago? Seems like Gates needs to tell his Boss he FUed.


QFT. We would easily have enough troops to occupy and democratize Afghanistan if we hadn't launched the Iraq war (which had NOTHING to do with 9/11).

Sorry Mr. Gates, I'm having a RREEEEAAALLLL hard time giving a damn about your whining.
 
2008-04-23 09:38:18 PM
These same folks claiming Afghanistan isnt "our problem" are the same folks who scream for Bush to "Stop the Genocide. Now." in Sudan. And the same folks who wanted intervention in Rwanda.

Hypocrisy. Its okay to pull out of an area as long as its just those silly brown people are gonna suffer. The children's faces don't look as cute as the black kids do on those donation ads.
 
2008-04-23 09:38:46 PM
Why wasn't NATO in Vietnam again?
 
2008-04-23 09:40:01 PM
Funny how America is upset at NATO members for acting the same way America always does when it comes to troops. Talk about the kettle calling the pot black.
 
2008-04-23 09:43:53 PM
The problem is American went all ADD and invaded Iraq before NATO had finished up in Afghanistan. We should have launched one massive offensive in Afghanistan, pushed the Taliban into Western Pakistan and then, SURPRISE! been waiting for them over the mountains.

Instead we did it piecemeal and let them slip in through the cracks. Now it's a mess.
 
2008-04-23 09:44:44 PM
img155.imageshack.us
/But really, who doesn't love Eskimo pies?
 
2008-04-23 09:48:12 PM
The Voice of Doom: scuffer
And on a more practical note, apparently the German military (Bundeswehr) was mainly designed to stop Soviet tanks from overrunning Western Europe via the flat lands in Northern Germany and not to fight guerillas in Mountains thousands of miles away.
Which apparently makes them (still) rather inflexible at the moment.
.


That's why the Canadian army practically reinvented itself to fill that kind or role. We too were Cold Warriors until the 1990s. Then Rwanda and Yugoslavia happened, followed by Afghanistan.

I can't believe we've been in Afghanistan for 6 years.
 
2008-04-23 09:59:53 PM
What depressed me most in reading Gate's speech was the underlying message. In reciting Marshall, he said "Don't speak to the Press. Don't speak to Congress". I understand what he was saying about NATO but the the command message was, "Don't see, don't tell". That is deplorable in any language. But I could understand why the DOD chief would say such with all the books and stories coming out of Iraq.
 
2008-04-23 10:17:15 PM
denverbarndude: What depressed me most in reading Gate's speech was the underlying message. In reciting Marshall, he said "Don't speak to the Press. Don't speak to Congress". I understand what he was saying about NATO but the the command message was, "Don't see, don't tell". That is deplorable in any language. But I could understand why the DOD chief would say such with all the books and stories coming out of Iraq.


Yea, he spent quite awhile on that. Most of the speech was a thinly veiled ass chewing on Fallon.

Fallon pretty much did everything Gates was biatching about.
 
2008-04-23 10:23:06 PM
The Voice of Doom: scuffer
Maybe Gates needs to realise that just because people are pulling out of his Iraq quagmire, it doesnt also mean theyre pulling out of Afghanistan.

It's aimed against countries like Germany.
German troops (at least the officially deployed ones, there have been rumors about the special forces KSK..) stay in the north and have to avoid the hot fighting zones in the south for political/legal reasons.
The German constitution after WWII only allows a defensive military force and there's been quite a political fight among the members of parliament (up to the supreme court and the chancellor back then threatening his resignation) how far the (mis)interpretation of the constitution and terms like "peacekeeping force" or "help to rebuild" can be stretched to allow missions like Kosovo or Afghanistan.

Currently, to quote the former secretary of defense, "Germany is being defended at the Hindu Kush" is used as an excuse to deploy German troops outside of NATO area.
(which sounds to some people a bit like the "preemptive counterattack" justification to invade Poland in 1939)


There even was a big ruckus when Germany decided to send a handful of Tornados "strictly for reconnaissance purposes" some time ago - because the gathered reconnaissance information might be used by the allies in the south to stage attacks and aiding those attacks is hard to sell "defending Germany".
From that example you might be able to extrapolate the ensuing shiatstorm that would ensue in case someone decides to send additional troops and extend the orders of the German soldiers to "kick Taliban butt in the south".


And on a more practical note, apparently the German military (Bundeswehr) was mainly designed to stop Soviet tanks from overrunning Western Europe via the flat lands in Northern Germany and not to fight guerillas in Mountains thousands of miles away.
Which apparently makes them (still) rather inflexible at the moment.

Or as a political cabaret artist put it:
"The Bundeswehr's purpose is to stall the enemy at the borders until military shows up"

And, despite the occasional talk, attempting a serious reform of the military has been avoided for years because any military spending is frowned upon by the voters big time AND because it will lead to loud calls to get rid of the draft system that's still in place in Germany.
And the thing with the draft is that males who don't serve in the military (serving is the exception) have to do a social service year.
Which means hospitals, seniors' homes, youth hostels and lots of other institutions would actually have to hire and pay tens of thousands of people to scrub bedpans, carry the disabled around, do the dishes etc. which in turn will put serious strain on the welfare and healthcare system.



Sounds like Germany is actually consitutionally unable to meet its obligations to NATO and needs to withdraw from the treaty.
 
2008-04-23 10:27:29 PM
I can't believe this hasn't been posted yet...

www.spirit-of-metal.com
 
2008-04-23 10:27:56 PM
p00pd00d: NATO gave (gives) the US allies that were (are) right on the front with the USSR (Russia). They could (do) deploy assets there and use them as a staging ground if WW3 broke out. In exchange, they are supposed to actually show up there when stuff goes bad. The US loves NATO as much as NATO loves the US.

NATO should have never been involved in Afghanistan. It should have been a separate "coalition." If it happened to be the same nations, great, but they should not have been obligated to participate under any NATO rules.



Under NATO rules, they were required. Any member attacked must be defended by all. It doesn't matter if South Africa attacks a member nation, all must come to the fight. It was primarily in opposition to the Warsaw Pact but Europe was by no means the only theater NATO is limited to.
 
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