Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Trump Sees the US Army As a Big Version of Blackwater

For years, President Donald Trump has complained that countries hosting American troops aren’t paying enough. Now he wants to get even, and then some.

Under White House direction, the administration is drawing up demands that Germany, Japan and eventually any other country hosting U.S. troops pay the full price of American soldiers deployed on their soil -- plus 50 percent or more for the privilege of hosting them, according to a dozen administration officials and people briefed on the matter.
The most charitable analysis is that Trump is a geopolitical moron who only sees dollar signs. The less charitable is that Trump wants to do this to weaken NATO, which benefits his boss in the Kremlin.

Trump may have been listening to Betsy DeVois's brother, who is a mercenary and has had dubious ties to authoritarian regimes. It's all about the buck for those guys.

For nations, basing troops overseas is a matter of geopolitical concerns. Forward-based troops allow for quicker reaction in a crisis. They protect our national interest. They are used as a stabilizing influence, to deter potential adversaries from becoming froggy in places where we have an interest. They're not there for the naked profit of the American treasury.

That such would need to be explained to a sitting president shows how far we have shrunken as a world power.


CenterPuke88 said...

The genuinely amusing thing about this truly disturbing idea is that it’s the first thing he’s suggested that might genuinely result in a “win” against some Radical Islam(Republican TM). The original genesis of the attacks against the U.S. was always the basing of U.S. troops in the Middle East, according to the fighters at that time. Now, even taking that with a grain of salt (and ignoring the Israeli connection), removal of U.S. troops would remove some provocations that are being used by recruiters, perhaps reducing their ability to supply footsoldiers.

On the other hand, in line with most Trumpian brainstorms, this one would cripple U.S. reactions and power projection worldwide. The other nice side effect will be a nuclear Japan and South Korea within 5 years. Post WWI, the U.S. pulled back behind the Atlantic and Pacific fortresses, and we see how well that worked out.

B said...

Yet countries like Germany depend on the US for defense and spend (what should be) their share of defense money on socialist social programs. South Korea is another major offender in this.

Making them pay for their defense is a bad idea how?

If Germany (and lots of others) spent the monies they should on their military, they'd not need us for defense. They'd have a readiness level above 15% too.

Instead, they hide behind the skirts of the US.

CenterPuke88 said...

Let’s see B., we get bases that allow power projection, in exchange for paying a portion of the cost of the base and having the country we’re making a base in buy a bunch of our military equipment. You’re right, that’s such a terrible deal that there’s no way that a good Conservative like GWBush would have established any new bases like that...er, well, a Conservative like GHWBush...er, well, a Conservative like RReagan...erm, well...a Conservative like GFord, yes, Ford would have never stood for this!

The point is power projection comes at a cost, and a carrier has limited inland projection capacity. You act like we get nothing for our spending on bases in Germany, Poland, Romania or South Korea, when the opposite is true. Or, it was till Donnie started pissing away our National Reputation and all the alliances we had nurtured for so long in order to snuggle into a sleeping bag with Vlad and Kim!

Comrade Misfit said...

Seems to me that there was a historical reason why everyone was more than happy to have large numbers of American troops (not to mention British and French) troops in Germany rather than demand that the Germans build up their armed forces.

Dark Avenger said...

Cheetolini is penny-wise, and force-projection foolish.

bmq215 said...

Hey, I say we make the oceans pay for our carriers too! After all, it's not our land they're defending...

CenterPuke88 said...

Interesting thought, we offer the current 30% of cost deal because:

1) We have basing and use rights, with only a few limits on what operations may be operated out of these bases, without host country approval.

2) Our troops in these countries are subject to U.S. military justice versus local justice in most cases, which is part of what really pisses off the Okinawan’s. Criminal acts by soldiers above the minor level normally cause intervention and the removal of the soldier from local to military custody.

3) Our bases are explicitly U.S. Overseas Territory.

We want 150%, just what are we willing to give up? We’d no longer be able to forward deploy anything secret or top secret if we don’t control the facility, we couldn’t afford to risk personnel in many locations to a potential corrupt or bias regime, the sabotage concerns would be huge, and do we really want to go to the government of Mali/Italy/South Korea/Iraq to ask permission to launch a strike to support a Special Forces team in distress?

Comrade Misfit said...

CP88, good point. The Status of Forces Agreements would all have to be negotiated. The principle will be the Golden Rule: He Who Has the Gold Makes the Rules.

Mercs work for the country that hires them. They follow their orders and are subject to their rules. German law would apply on the bases in Germany, and so on.

That would be a non-starter. Which would mean our troops would leave Europe. The winner there would be, no surprise, Russia.

DTWND said...

And all the ChickenHawk Republicans remain silent, standing quietly behind their man in the White House, while the United States of America slowly rots from the inside.


B said...

Rots from the inside.

You mean, like Socialists and their programs coming to power?

Is that the Rot to which you refer?

Comrade Misfit said...

I see that Lord Voldemort has blasted Trump’s grasp of foreign affairs. That’ll be a topic for another day.

Glenn Kelley said...

What about the Billions the US puts into Israel for which you get nothing .

Dark Avenger said...

B, unless you can show me the section of road your taxes paid for, you’re just as much a victim of socialism as the rest of us.

B said...

I like how you equate road taxes to socialism. Not the same thing, and you know it. You may be misguided but you ARE smarter than that. A VERY poor analogy. But one that Socialist Democrats keep spouting. (BTW, you can call it whatever you want, but it is still socialism)

Dark Avenger said...

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America.

Common defense and general welfare.

Think about it.

Fox News isn’t your friend.

B said...

I have. You should learn the difference between "common defense" and "general welfare" and socialism.

Yer smarter than this discussion makes you appear.

Dark Avenger said...

Some people say you’re breaking one of the House rules, B. Are you familiar with them?