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The Weaker NATO

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  Quote Illuminati Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: The Weaker NATO
    Posted: 29-May-2006 at 23:17

NATO Lacks Muscle To Help US
by Martin Sieff
UPI Senior News Analyst
Washington (UPI) May 30, 2006
Is the expanded "super NATO" America's greatest strategic ally, or is it in reality a hollow shell, multiplying American strategic commitments without providing any significant resources to deal with them?

The question is prompted by a report in the London Sunday Telegraph May 28 that reported Britain's small, but high quality armed forces are already being stretched beyond their limits by two modest troop deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Thousands of British soldiers in Iraq have had their tour of duty extended from six to seven and a half months because Britain's Royal Air Force does not have enough transport aircraft to move troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq at the same time, the Sunday Telegraph said.

Britain is the only major U.S. ally with significant capability to deploy thousands of troops relatively quickly to trouble spots or for strategic operations around the world. The British military commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan are not even large.

Britain only has 8,500 troops in southern Iraq, a far smaller figure than the number of foreign mercenaries hired by the U.S. Department of Defense through private security companies still operating in that country. And in Afghanistan, the British military presence is significantly smaller than Germany's.

The RAF has fewer than five Tristar troop transporters, each capable of carrying 266 troops at a time and equipped with protective anti-missile defenses, to handle its commitments in the far-flung Iraq and Afghan theaters, the Sunday Telegraph said

"The revelation undermines the claim that Operation Herrick - the deployment of 3,300 troops in Afghanistan - would not affect troops in Iraq," the newspaper said.

The paper said that the transportation and manpower crisis came as no surprise. It said former senior British commanders had claimed that soldiers' lives would be lost if the British Army was constantly asked to "do more with less".

"The problem has arisen because the troops serving in Afghanistan were due to be replaced after six months on operations at the same time that 7,500 troops are serving in Iraq," the paper said.

It said that the troops of 20 Armored Brigade, normally based in Germany, would carry most of the increased burden in Iraq. The unit began arriving in southern Iraq last month and could under normal conditions have expected to return home in October.

The British Ministry of Defense confirmed that a shortage of aircraft meant troops would spend longer in Iraq.

The Telegraph said that the British government was trying to deal with the problem by leasing three U.S. C17 transport planes. However, even so, "the RAF was unable to give assurances that it would be able to cope with transporting more than 20,000 troops over two weeks," it said.

The British dilemma highlights the growing paradox facing the venerable North Atlantic Treaty Organization, founded in 1949. Over the past decade, at the urging of successive U.S. governments and with the enthusiastic support of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the alliance has dramatically expanded in size so that it now numbers 26 member nations, the largest figure in its history. And more countries, including giant Ukraine, whose population and area are comparable to those of France, are eagerly knocking on its door hoping to get in.

Yet the growth of NATO, far from energizing the alliance, has actually dramatically weakened it in practical military, operational terms. Only three of its member nations, Britain. France and Germany, have proven both able and willing to deploy significant forces out of theater, and none of their commits amounts in size to as much as one seventh of the current U.S. troop commitment in Iraq alone.

Apart from Britain, every other troop deployment by NATO member states out of the European theater has been almost wholly dependent on U.S. aircraft and logistical capabilities to operate.

Yet the United States faces the possibility of military confrontation with Iran, with a population of 70 million compared to the 25 million in Iraq, in the near future. At the same time, U.S. relations China have deteriorated and China has for more than a decade been methodically building a huge troop and missiles deployment to control the Taiwan Strait and deny its use to U.S. nuclear aircraft carrier battle groups in the event of any Sino-American conventional military conflict over Taiwan.

NATO is routinely referred to by both U.S. and European political leaders as the largest, most successful; and most powerful military alliance in history. In terms of the nuclear capabilities of the United States, Britain and France, the power claim is literally true. But in terms of projecting and deploying conventional military forces around the world, NATO's resources are extremely limited.

Some 22 of its 26 member nations are in no condition to "export" any military power and security at all and only three that are -- Britain, France and Germany -- are extremely limited in their conventional military resources and by domestic political considerations from doing so.

The British manpower and logistics crisis is a sobering warning of NATO's hollow shell dilemma. The bigger it grows, the weaker it becomes.

Source: United Press International

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http://www.spacewar.com/reports/NATO_Lacks_Muscle_To_Help_US.html

Ignoring all the stuff about US operations. What do you think should be done wtih NATO?

I think this article highlights the fact that letting all these european nations, especially eastern european ones into NATO only weakens it, and in the future could actually burden the US and the other "muscle" nations by having to respond to a situation becuase the member nation can't defend itself. Is it better for the the US to leave NATO and jsut sign defense pacts with NATO's more powerful members?

If it is a better idea to stick with NATO, what is a good way of strengthening it. Because, as of now...the US is the only real notable power in NATO. The UK can barely transport it's own troops, and it's arguably the second strongest in NATO. One always has to consider domestic political considerations as the article mentions. NATO is pretty much a worthless organization if something prevents the US from deploying forces for whatever reason. All NATO really means for some nations is having the ability to say ..."If you touch us, the USA will destroy you."

Hypothetically, if the US had implemented the draft....then it wouldn't really be necessary to have any NATO allies in Iraq or Afghanistan. Other than the fact that the wars would cost more. Does the US really need NATO in the end? Or are we better off on our own jsut being allies with the UK and a few others.



Edited by Illuminati - 29-May-2006 at 23:51
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  Quote Genghis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2006 at 00:03
I think NATO serves mainly now as a way to keep America at the table in discussions of European security affairs.  Letting it wither away could be advantageous as it would keep America from enduring much of the burden for European security.  Bilateral alliances with selected nations who could pull their own share of the weight, and leave ones who can't to deal with their own affairs.
 
Regardless of my opinions, I think the United States will gradually remove itself from Western European security affairs and deploy smaller numbers of troops to selected Eastern European countries. 
 
Do you think this might cause the European nations to reinforce their own militaries?  Perhaps returning inter-European security competition to the world after a 50 year hiatus?
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  Quote Illuminati Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2006 at 00:08
Originally posted by Genghis

I think NATO serves mainly now as a way to keep America at the table in discussions of European security affairs.  Letting it wither away could be advantageous as it would keep America from enduring much of the burden for European security.  Bilateral alliances with selected nations who could pull their own share of the weight, and leave ones who can't to deal with their own affairs.
 
Regardless of my opinions, I think the United States will gradually remove itself from Western European security affairs and deploy smaller numbers of troops to selected Eastern European countries. 
 
Do you think this might cause the European nations to reinforce their own militaries?  Perhaps returning inter-European security competition to the world after a 50 year hiatus?


your thoughts seem to be in-line with mine somewhat. I think the real kicker here is how badly the US wants to limit Russian influence. The Ukraine wants in NATO. That would be a big slap upside Putin's head.

On one hand, ending alliances with eastern europe may make them buidl thier militaries up. On the other hand, they could fall back under the influence of Russia.

I think the US wants to see the EU as stronger militarily. Not to mention American public opinion is not quite in favor of deploying US troops all over the place right now, and won't be in favor of that anytime soon. Globally, the US and EU will slways remain allies. Political differences wil be there, but with the rise of China as a world power and the possible re-emergence of Russia, it's in the best interest of the EU and US to both be military powers.


Edited by Illuminati - 30-May-2006 at 00:09
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  Quote Genghis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2006 at 00:18
I agree with you about wanting to limit Russian influence, but a big cumbersome NATO does not appear to me to be the best way to do it.  Individual alliances with specific Eastern European nations would send a clearer picture, and I think in the end contain Russian influence better.
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  Quote Illuminati Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2006 at 00:24
Originally posted by Genghis

I agree with you about wanting to limit Russian influence, but a big cumbersome NATO does not appear to me to be the best way to do it.  Individual alliances with specific Eastern European nations would send a clearer picture, and I think in the end contain Russian influence better.


perhaps you coudl explain a bit. i don't quite follow you. I agree that the US is better off having alliances witha  few countries in Europe, but what about all the eastern European countries that have no real military power? even together, they are pretty weak and it would be in Russia's best interest to do everything possible to bring them back into their sphere of influence. Unless of course you're assuming that western and eastern europe will ally together, with the US only allying with a few countries.


Edited by Illuminati - 30-May-2006 at 00:24
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  Quote Russian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2006 at 00:43

Weel, Nato is exanding, and of course wants to limit russian influence, for this reason also Russia is only allowed 6000 or so tank and 10000 APC on western border, remember, Nato feared USSR greatly, feared it's tanks and artillery.

A bit away from the subject now: russia made this new thing, "Terminator" tank support vehicle, it has no gun but 4 rocket launcher tubes, rocekts are AT (Anti tank), and some machine guns, well, in short, it could be effective against tanks on very long ranges. Russia did it to counter this restriction on it's tanks and APC and so on, the vehicle entered full scale production.

Well, back to subject, Nato sees Russia rising very fast with petro dollars and good leader, so it is trying to limit russian influence, by including countries that border with Russia to NATO (Ukraine, Goergia, the yare talking about getting in NATO).

Not being able to transport 20000 troops in 2 weeks? RAF looks bad today.

I agree with Illuminati that NATO is not really functional organization.

Most countries that are there now got in because they feared USSR/Russian influence and figured that they should go NATO , then they will be free from russian "oppretion", well, I would say that NATO should be left alone, it will fall apart once a big state like Germany or France will go out of it. The longer it is there, the better for Russia, you have something that stands there for show and is not a real threat for you, why not?


How did NAto appear? As an allience against ovewhelming USSR land forces, to try to defend together, if big red bear would try to attack. The problem is that big red bear disappeared, and there is a smaller (but still pretty big) bear, which will not attack any european countries. So, do we need all these countries united against no threat and not really cooperation anyway? Nope, so, it is ther just for political reasons, to try to limit russian influence, pretty much like ABM shield US is trying to make.

anyway, that's my opinion, and I picked up some interesting info about NAto, that it is not working, and about RAF, thanks for interesting info Illuminati.
     

Edited by Russian - 30-May-2006 at 00:44
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  Quote Illuminati Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2006 at 00:58

Weel, Nato is exanding, and of course wants to limit russian influence, for this reason also Russia is only allowed 6000 or so tank and 10000 APC on western border, remember, Nato feared USSR greatly, feared it's tanks and artillery.

NATO still does fear Russia. Well, the Eastern European bloc does at least. Any miltiary power on your border is threatening in some regard, especially considering the soured relations that have arisen between russia and many former Warsaw Pact countries. Personally, as an American, I'm not afraid of Russia. It's not in the interest of Russia or the US to ever go to war with one another.


Most countries that are there now got in because they feared USSR/Russian influence and figured that they should go NATO , then they will be free from russian "oppretion", well, I would say that NATO should be left alone, it will fall apart once a big state like Germany or France will go out of it. The longer it is there, the better for Russia, you have something that stands there for show and is not a real threat for you, why not?


Which is exactly my point. NATO is jsut for show. The small countries love it because they don't have to spend too much on defense and fall back on Uncle Sam's muscle when they feel threatened. Awesome deal for them. Crappy deal for America.

the US leaving NATO would break everything up. The US would be fine. We'd just sign defense pacts with out long-time allies who were the other "muscle members." The rest of the european community would either be on their own and be forced to build up their military or take another route.

How did NAto appear? As an allience against ovewhelming USSR land forces, to try to defend together, if big red bear would try to attack. The problem is that big red bear disappeared, and there is a smaller (but still pretty big) bear, which will not attack any european countries. So, do we need all these countries united against no threat and not really cooperation anyway? Nope, so, it is ther just for political reasons, to try to limit russian influence, pretty much like ABM shield US is trying to make.


Firstly, I dont think the US ABM shield is aimed at Russia. The one in the US is jsut there for defense against anyone (more for China and North Korea). The one the US proposed using in Europe is more aimed at Iran I believe. Personally I think it's a dumb idea. let Europe deal with their own defense.

the only way to fix NATO is to demand that member nations build their own militaries up. NATO intervention should be a last resort. Nations should be responsible for their own defense.


Edited by Illuminati - 30-May-2006 at 01:00
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  Quote Russian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2006 at 19:32

Originally posted by Illuminati


Weel, Nato is exanding, and of course wants to limit russian
influence, for this reason also Russia is only allowed 6000 or so tank
and 10000 APC on western border, remember, Nato feared USSR greatly,
feared it's tanks and artillery.
NATO still does fear Russia. Well, the Eastern European bloc does at least. Any miltiary power on your border is threatening in some regard, especially considering the soured relations that have arisen between russia and many former Warsaw Pact countries. Personally, as an American, I'm not afraid of Russia. It's not in the interest of Russia or the US to ever go to war with one another.
Most countries that are there now got in because they feared USSR/Russian influence and figured that they should go NATO
, then they will be free from russian "oppretion", well, I would say
that NATO should be left alone, it will fall apart once a big state
like Germany or France will go out of it. The longer it is there, the
better for Russia, you have something that stands there for show and is
not a real threat for you, why not?
Which is exactly my point. NATO is jsut for show. The small countries love it because they don't have to spend too much on defense and fall back on Uncle Sam's muscle when they feel threatened. Awesome deal for them. Crappy deal for America.the US leaving NATO would break everything up. The US would be fine. We'd just sign defense pacts with out long-time allies who were the other "muscle members." The rest of the european community would either be on their own and be forced to build up their military or take another route.
How did NAto appear? As an allience against ovewhelming USSR land
forces, to try to defend together, if big red bear would try to attack.
The problem is that big red bear disappeared, and there is a smaller
(but still pretty big) bear, which will not attack any european
countries. So, do we need all these countries united against no threat
and not really cooperation anyway? Nope, so, it is ther just for
political reasons, to try to limit russian influence, pretty much like
ABM shield US is trying to make.
Firstly, I dont think the US ABM shield is aimed at Russia. The one in the US is jsut there for defense against anyone (more for China and North Korea). The one the US proposed using in Europe is more aimed at Iran I believe. Personally I think it's a dumb idea. let Europe deal with their own defense. the only way to fix NATO is to demand that member nations build their own militaries up. NATO intervention should be a last resort. Nations should be responsible for their own defense.


Agree here, it might be a pretty bad deal for US, also, agree that once US leaves, it will ruin NATO, all these small countries is a burden for US and other big states, also agree that it would be simpler for NATO to make alliences with big countries and leave the small once to deal with their problems.

Maybe you are right about shield, maybe russian ministry is just getting paranoid over it. Maybe Ramsfield jus wants some political instrument and a bit more political influence.
    
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  Quote Dampier Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jun-2006 at 10:16
Eastern Europe is not a fan of Russia. I was in Poland last year and only a few miles from the border. The Polish army was very much in evidence (though they were having exercises) and the border was quite stringent (not allowed to park out of sight within a few hundred meteres in case you have a mortar).
 
Britians trouble has more to do with the phasing out of the RAF, the poor spending of the government in relation to the extra tasks imposed and the like. Britians tactical airforce needs lots of work as does the strategic. Also Britian has interests, units and the like in over 20 other countries. What is needed is an overhauled Air force (which is happening, they are moving all air units into Fleet Air Arm or the Armies Air force) and an end to supply problems. Almost all this comes from government meddling and underinvestment.
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  Quote Cezar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jun-2006 at 13:21
OK, I've had it! Let's build up the Warszaw pact again. Then those who think that the presence of "small" countries in NATO is useless and a burden for the US (guys, how much did US spent for having Romania on it's side?) might change their mind.
My personal opinion is that we should have stuck with Russia. I don't think that things from the past should blurr our true interests in the future. The bear is closer than the eagle, anyway. We did gain our independence fighting along with the russians.
It's too late now, since we seem to be bound to get into the welfare of the EUConfused.

*NATO should at least change it's name. There's nothing (military) significant in the "North Atlantic" for Romania.

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  Quote Russian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jun-2006 at 17:15

Originally posted by Cezar

OK, I've had it! Let's build up the Warszaw pact again. Then those who think that the presence of "small" countries in NATO is uselessand a burden for the US (guys, how much did US spent for having Romania on it's side?) might change their mind.
My personal opinion is that we should have stuck with Russia. I don't think that things from the past should blurr our true interests in the future. The bear is closer than the eagle, anyway. We did gain our independence fighting along with the russians.
It's too late now, since we seem to be bound to get into the welfare of the EU[IMG]height=17 alt=Confused src="http://www.allempires.com/forum/smileys/smiley5.gif" width=17 align=absMiddle>.

*NATO should at least change it's name. There's nothing (military) significant in the "North Atlantic"for Romania.



Plus aren't you Slavic as well?
    
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  Quote Genghis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jun-2006 at 20:28
Originally posted by Illuminati

Originally posted by Genghis

I agree with you about wanting to limit Russian influence, but a big cumbersome NATO does not appear to me to be the best way to do it.  Individual alliances with specific Eastern European nations would send a clearer picture, and I think in the end contain Russian influence better.


perhaps you coudl explain a bit. i don't quite follow you. I agree that the US is better off having alliances witha  few countries in Europe, but what about all the eastern European countries that have no real military power? even together, they are pretty weak and it would be in Russia's best interest to do everything possible to bring them back into their sphere of influence. Unless of course you're assuming that western and eastern europe will ally together, with the US only allying with a few countries.
 
Well, look at it this way, if we want to contain Russian influence, the best way to do so would be to ally with nations like the Ukraine, Romania, and Poland.  A bilateral treaty with them could not be mistaken by Russia as anything other than a hands off statement to them.  NATO is filling that role now, but also ties us to guarantee the security of nations like Germany, Belgium, and Italy, which I don't think have such grave security risks that a treaty and all its entanglements are necessary to secure them from foreign domination.
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  Quote Russian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jun-2006 at 20:51
Generally agree with Genghis, and also, Russia is allying good with China and India.

There is not gonna be any big war fighting against Russia any soon, that's for sure, while it can destroy any country many times over, and even if NATO includes Ukraine and otehr states on russian border in it, Russia wouldn't care at all in term of military, only a bit politically, and would be pretty happy economically, becauswe Russia will start selling oil at bigger price
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  Quote Genghis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jun-2006 at 01:38

America is allying with India more so than I believe Russia is.  China and Russia are certainly allying much faster than America and India though.

For better or worse, we shall live in interesting times.
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  Quote Russian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jun-2006 at 02:35

Originally posted by Genghis

America is allying with India more so than I believe Russia is. China and Russia are certainly allying much faster than America and India though.


For better or worse, we shall live in interesting times.

    

well, I think Russia is allying with India more than US.

We do not live in interesting times, I would say that WW2, the end were interesting times, however, they were also very dangerous, but imagine the celebration in Moscow of the end of WW2, I would guess the celebration was BEAUTIFUL.

We live in times of HUGE progress, my opinion is this:

the more you progress, the faster it is then for you to progress even further, and you do it even faster, so, we in terms of this, live in THE most interesting times, in LATEST times, we are LATEST versions of humans, have you thought about this, We shall see major scientific developments and discoveries, such as energy sources that never run out, prolonging of human life, cloning of humans, maybe some major old dreams will come true, how to defeat death, how to go out in space, you know, these great things in science. However, this will happen after a major catastrophe, when we will run out of oil and many numbers of us will die out, because we are oil civilization, but still, our times will be interesting, you are right, but I see them interesting in terms of great physical discoveries, maybe smallest particle will be discovered, and there definitely IS smallest particle, maybe we will see through telescopes something interesting in Universe, although I doubt that anything will be discovered in universe, we are too small and insignificant to whitness something in Universe in just one generation, but still, I think some like MAJOR stuff will happen in science.

The times will be interesting.

How old are you guys?
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  Quote Cezar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jun-2006 at 09:25
Originally posted by Russian


Originally posted by Cezar

OK, I've had it! Let's build up the Warszaw pact again. Then those who think that the presence of "small" countries in NATO is useless and a burden for the US (guys, how much did US spent for having Romania on it's side?) might change their mind.
My personal opinion is that we should have stuck with Russia. I don't think that things from the past should blurr our true interests in the future. The bear is closer than the eagle, anyway. We did gain our independence fighting along with the russians.
It's too late now, since we seem to be bound to get into the welfare of the EU[IMG]height=17 alt=Confused src="http://www.allempires.com/forum/smileys/smiley5.gif" width=17 align=absMiddle>.

*NATO should at least change it's name. There's nothing (military) significant in the "North Atlantic" for Romania.



Plus aren't you Slavic as well?
    
 
We are a little more Slavic than the Inca. Romanian are a mixture of races but the latin/thracic traits are most preemptive. Anyway, we are considered latin. My idea was not about afinity but about pragmatism. Neutrality, unfortunately, seems to be out of our choices.
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  Quote Kalevipoeg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jun-2006 at 08:39
I don't mind NATO planes in Lithuania right now, flying over the Baltics now and then. But talking about transporting units to Iraq is not the same if a war would break out in Europe and thats what is NATO's mission. So if he can't fight in Iraq so what, its a US war anyway and fought for US goals.

Could it fight on the eastern European border against a possible threat, thats the question.
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  Quote the Bulgarian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jun-2006 at 14:48
I don't see any wars being fought in Europe any time soon. We must signifficantly reduce military budgets, because since there aren't going to be wars around here building tanks and securing the French-Spanish border is a senceless waste of money. And a lot of it. Terrorism is the big problem. And you don't need an army to fight terrorism.
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