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Pence offers 'unwavering' NATO pledge, leaves open questions

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By GEIR MOULSON and DAVID RISING

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Translation.

The defence lobby wants taxpayer money.

They have hugely overpriced toys that they want to sell to European governments.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

I read on CNN that 2/3 of F-18s are down due to maintenance.

Because of budget cuts and the new replacement fighter not being available yet.

Do yes they want money as the available equipment is being used beyond its intended lifetime.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I read on CNN that 2/3 of F-18s are down due to maintenance.

The maintenance issue is a cash cow for the defence contractors.

These planes are designed to require extensive and expensive maintenance on a regular basis, a $100 bolt there, a $50 screw there etc.

They charge the taxpayer $50 million for each plane and then they milk them for the next 20 years for parts, labor, upgrades, repairs etc.

After all, you can't exactly shop around for fighter jet parts, you have to go to the original manufacturer.

It's a racket.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

To be sure, Mike Dense had to be introduced to what is NATO before he shot his mouth off.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Pence is like the father of a disturbed adolescent who is wreaking havoc in the neighborhood. He goes to the neighbors' homes and reassures them that all is well and that the situation is taken care of. But the neighbors know differently and are constantly on the alert for the sound of breaking windows.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

So which is it -- Trump's view or Pence's view ?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Pence is like the father of a disturbed adolescent who is wreaking havoc in the neighborhood.

More like, reassuring them that we are committed to our obligation as a NATO member and to uphold the alliance, but to also put them on notice they have to pull their own weight and contribute more to the alliance and if that means, they have to cut certain entitlement programs to do that, then that's what they have to do, but this so called parent is telling the rest of the kids in the Kindergarten they either do their part or get time out.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

put them on notice

to use a highly technical military term, foxtrot oscar!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So which is it -- Trump's view or Pence's view ?

Pence's job is to calm nerves, distract observers and quell any potential opposition.

The agenda as always, proceeds forward behind the scenes.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

@brbush The agenda as always, proceeds forward behind the scenes.

Are you getting this directly from Nashi? What you're saying suggests, and I'm asking this question based on your previous comments saying Trump's Putin's boy, that Rex Tillerson has already done Trump's bidding and made plans with Putin and the oligarchs.

And please correct me if I'm missing the point. I ask because a US - Russia partnership, especially one with Putin leading Trump and the US military, one where US oligarchs join forces with Russian oligarchs, doesn't sound very appealing, - for about ten million reasons.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I ask because a US - Russia partnership, especially one with Putin leading Trump and the US military,

You seem to be alluding to some kind of conspiracy.

Theorize all you want, maybe even aliens from Zeta Reticuli are controlling Trump.

Actually, I expect to start hearing that soon from the left, their attempts to discredit the new duly elected president are getting more outlandish by the day.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

@brbush You seem to be alluding to some kind of conspiracy.

I call it conjecture. On that theme, you and other posters, including other Russians and rightists, said if Hillary's elected she'll enforce a no-fly zone in Syria leading to WW3. Would you call that a conspiracy theory? You couldn't have actually believed that Russia, a country struggling to stay ahead economically, would actually start a war with the US and its enormous military, could you?

their attempts to discredit the new duly elected president are getting more outlandish by the day.

I think all by himself he's doing a good job of discrediting himself, his constituents and the country. Though his friends like Bannon and Miller are helping him dig ever deepening holes, too.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I think all by himself he's doing a good job of discrediting himself, his constituents and the country. Though his friends like Bannon and Miller are helping him dig ever deepening holes, too.

This is something that bugs me when the left uses a bunch of 'hitler' and 'fascist' rhetoric - we don't need to use rhetoric. The guy discredits himself daily with the actual things he does.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

This is something that bugs me when the left uses a bunch of 'hitler' and 'fascist' rhetoric

Best get used to it seeing as its the only arrow in the quiver.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

You couldn't have actually believed that Russia, a country struggling to stay ahead economically, would actually start a war with the US and its enormous military, could you?

Well Putin seems willing to deploy his military throughout the world without worrying about a confrontation with the US.

In other words, he doesn't seem afraid and the US never dares challenge the Russian military directly.

Who knows, either it's the nukes, the subs or super cavitation, but the Pentagon always chickens out when it comes to Russia.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

In other words, he doesn't seem afraid and the US never dares challenge the Russian military directly.

Considering the president is an admirer, he has even less to worry about now.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The issue of NATO membership article three contributions, resilience in respect to military capacity, taking into account natural disasters, has been the subject of discussion for quite some time.

Barack Obama at news conference in November standing next to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras stated...

“I want to take this opportunity to commend Greece for being one of the five NATO allies that spends 2 percent of GDP on defense, a goal that we have consistently set but not everybody has met, Greece has done this even during difficult economic times. If Greece can meet this NATO commitment, all our NATO allies should be able to do so”........

Of course President Trump lacks political etiquette and diplomatic decorum, the understatement is deliberate out of respect Donald Trump Presidency. What grates is Trumps lack of discretion and inappropriate use of social media , I think Winston Churchill rightfully observed an American diplomat is sometimes like a bull who carries his own china shop around with him......

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The EU weakens NATO without providing anything useful in regional support. The UN acts in favour of dictators and warlords as they did in Somalia. Military aircraft parts will always cost a lot- they have to high quality standard with checkable and litigate-able quality and are made very demanding standard with expensive materials such as precipitated hardened steels- it is nothing like you would get from a hardware store.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Most of the countries in NATO are refusing to pay their previously agreed to fair share, but they still expect the U.S.A. to keep paying it's share.

In pledging the Trump administration’s support for NATO, Pence said the U.S. expected all countries to live up to commitments to spend at least 2 percent of gross domestic product spending into defense.

“Europe’s defense requires your commitment as much as ours,” he said.

Merkel reiterated that Germany is committed to the 2 percent goal though Germany currently only contributes about 1.3 percent.

“We will do everything we can in order to fulfill this commitment,” she said. “But let me add, however, that I believe while NATO is very much in the European interest, it’s also in the American interest — it’s a very strong alliance where we are united together.”

I suggest that the title of this article be changed to - Merkel offers 'unwavering' NATO pledge, leaves open questions.

Merkel, who met with Pence one-on-one following their speeches, acknowledged that Europeans couldn’t fight global issues like Islamic extremist terrorism alone.

“We need the military power of the United States,” she said.

Germany needs the military power of the U.S. but doesn't want to pay for it. Maybe it's time that Germany realized that it needs to meet it's agreed to financial obligations and stop expecting the U.S. to shoulder Germany's share of the burden.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Germany and Italy pay 30%...Japan pays 70-75% of the US military costs.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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