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Trump Demands Tribute from NATO Vassals

Trump Demands Tribute from NATO Vassals

Authored by Tim Kirby via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Regardless of whether one loves or hates President Trump at least we can say that his presidency has a unique flavor and is full of surprises. Bush and Obama were horribly dull by comparison. Trump as a non-politician from the world of big (real estate) business and media has a different take on many issues including NATO.

Many, especially in Russia were hoping that “The Donald’s” campaign criticism of NATO would move towards finally putting an end to this anti-Russian alliance, which, after the fall of Communism really has no purpose, as any real traditional military threats to Europe have faded into history. However, Trump as President of the United States has to engage in the “realpolitik” of 21st century America and try to survive and since Trump seems rather willing to lie to get what he wants, who can really say which promises from his campaign were a shoot and which were a work.

So as it stands now Trump’s recent decision to maintain and build US/NATO bases across the world “and make country X pay for it” could mean anything from him trying to keep his campaign promises in some sort of skewed way, to an utter abandonment of them and submission to the swamp. Perhaps it could simply be his business instincts taking over in the face of “wasteful spending”. Making allies have to pay to have US/NATO forces on their territory is a massive policy shift that one could only predict coming from the unpredictable 45th President.

The one thing that we should all understand, and which Trump perfectly and clearly understands, is that the members of NATO (and other “allies”) are a captive audience, especially Germany, Japan and South Korea, which “coincidentally” are the first set of countries that will have to pay the “cost + 50%” to keep bases and US soldiers on their soil. Japan’s constitution, written primarily by American occupation forces forbids them from having a real military which is convenient for Trump’s plan. South Korea, although a very advanced and wealthy nation has no choice but to hide behind the US might because if it were to disappear overnight, then Gangnam would be filled with pictures of the Kim family within a few weeks.

In the past with regard to these three countries NATO has had to keep up the illusion of wanting to “help” them and work as “partners” for common defense as if nuclear and economic titan America needs countries like them to protect itself. Trump whether consciously or not is changing the dynamic of US/NATO occupation of these territories to be much more honest. His attitude seems to be that the US has the possibility to earn a lot of money from a worldwide mafia-style protection scam. Vassals have no choice but to pay the lord so Trump wants to drop the illusions and make the military industrial complex profitable again and God bless him for it. This level of honesty in politics is refreshing and it reflects the Orange Man’s pro-business and “America will never be a socialist country” attitude. It is blunt and ideologically consistent with his worldview.

On the other hand, one could look at this development as a possible move not to turn NATO into a profitable protection scam but as a means to covertly destroy it. Lies and illusion in politics are very important, people who believe they are free will not rebel even if they have no freedom whatsoever. If people are sure their local leaders are responsible for their nation they will blame them for its failings rather than any foreign influence that may actually be pulling the real strings.

Even if everyone in Germany, Japan and South Korea in their subconscious knows they are basically occupied by US forces it is much harder to take action, than if the “lord” directly demands yearly tribute. The fact that up to this point US maintains its bases on its own dime sure adds to the illusion of help and friendship. This illusion is strong enough for local politicians to just let the status quo slide on further and further into the future. Nothing is burning at their feet to make them act… having to pay cost + 50% could light that fire.

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Forcing the locals to pay for these bases changes the dynamic in the subconscious and may force people’s brains to contemplate why after multiple-generations the former Axis nations still have to be occupied. Once occupation becomes expensive and uncomfortable, this drops the illusion of friendship and cooperation making said occupation much harder to maintain.

South Korea knows it needs the US to keep out the North but when being forced to pay for it this may push them towards developing the ability to actually defend themselves. Trump’s intellectual “honesty” in regards to NATO could very well plant the necessary intellectual seeds to not just change public opinion but make public action against US/NATO bases in foreign countries. Japan has had many protests over the years against US bases surging into the tens of thousands. This new open vassal status for the proud Japanese could be the straw to break the camel’s back.

Predicting the future is impossible. But it is clear that, changing the fundamental dynamic by which the US maintains foreign bases in a way that will make locals financially motivated to have them removed, shall significantly affect the operations of US forces outside the borders of the 50 States and make maintaining a global presence even more difficult, but perhaps this is exactly what the Orange Man wants or is just too blind to see.

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Olivia KrothJames PottVera GottliebSally SnyderAdrian E. Recent comment authors
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Adrian E.
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Adrian E.

I think this article contains dubious assessments of the military situation of different US vassals. The South Korean army is certainly strong enough for deterring the North Korean army without US troops (not even taking into account that North Korea would hardly be interested in starting a war that would devastate much of the Korean peninsula). The situation is even clearer in Europe. Yes, figures about European NATO military spending being much above Russia’s even without the US and Canada are somewhat deceptive because Russia’s defense industry uses money more efficiently, and on the whole the Russian army would still… Read more »

Sally Snyder
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Sally Snyder

Oddly enough, at the same time as he is berating NATO member states for not spending enough on defense, Donald Trump has come to the realization that the United States, Russia and China all need to cut military spending as shown here:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2019/01/donald-trump-and-global-arms-race.html

This move will not play well with America’s defense contractors.

Vera Gottlieb
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Vera Gottlieb

People of the world…not just NATO members…it is utterly shameful to watch you kissing the Yanks’ behind. Other than burnt lips, nothing good will come off of it.

Olivia Kroth
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Not only “burnt lips”, but “stinking lips” will come out of that shameful and disgusting behaviour, this slavish “kissing axxxxes” of the yanks. Phui! NATO is a shameful organization, invented by the shameful yanks; it is the NORTH ATLANTIC TERROR ORGANIZATION. Unfortunately, it does not remain in the area of the North Atlantic but is spreading worldwide, like cancer and AIDS.

Olivia Kroth
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That photo is very interesting: Trump in the middle, he is doing the talking – Bolton and Pompeo to the left and right.

They look like his jailers or body guards. If he does not say what they want to hear, they will twist his arms, burn his toes, waterboard him and will not let him sleep at night.

James Pott
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James Pott

I think this piece is a little behind the times. Germany for one is not too interested in Maintaining the status quo. They want a closer relationship with Russia and they want the American troops gone. They certainly on’t want to pay for something they don’t need. Most of the business world is absolutely not interested in keeping up this farce. On top of it, and probably besides the point,there is not much sense in trying to start a war with Russia. There still is some of the vassal business going on but don’t expect it to be very long… Read more »

Olivia Kroth
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Yes, James, you may be right that Germany wants the US troops gone. But how can they be spirited away if the US does not withdraw them? Germany has no military power at all. Germany has economic power but that is not enough to chase the US troops out.

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