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  1. #1
    PerScientiam AdJustitiam bankside's Avatar
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    What is Europe's role to defend itself?

    So the US announces the end of its European Missile Defence Shield.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-21812161


    US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel has scrapped the final phase of its European missile defence shield, citing development problems and funding cuts.

    Upgraded interceptors were to have been deployed in Poland to counter medium- and intermediate-range missiles, and potential threats from the Middle East.

    Mr Hagel said the threat had "matured" and that the US commitment to Nato missile defence remained "ironclad".
    It raises the question, 20 years after the fact if you ask me, as to why the US would be defending a different continent . Europe has an advanced economy of its own. And I don't recall the Europeans building a North American Missile Defence Shield for example.

    This arrangement made sense to me after the Second World War: in the earliest days, Europe was rebuilding its economy, suppressing the dregs of facism in a process that took decades, and settling its own future as a continent of democratic values and human rights.

    Even more, the allies had to stick together for mutual security in the face of the Soviets. But to have Europe do the bulk of the militarisation would have undermined security by provoking the Soviets.

    It might have been smart international politics since the second world war, but since the definitive end of the cold war it seems quite unreasonable.

    The US should be criticised for spending an amount on its military that can only be justified by paranoid delusion and ego. But so too should situations like this where the US has been left holding the bag by its allies for something they can do themselves.

    The interceptors had been strongly opposed by the Russian government.

    It complained that they would be able to stop Russia's intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and undermine its nuclear deterrent.
    With crazy Russians right next to Europe complaining that a missile defence would undermine its ability to be provocative, isn't it time Europeans did something for their own defence?
    Last edited by bankside; March 16th, 2013 at 07:44 AM.
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte. And Joseph Wilcox.

  2. #2
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    Re: What is Europe's role to defend itself?

    There's a lot of "cold war lag" in our overall overseas military presence, imo, Bankside. The seriously laughable number of bases we maintain in Okinawa and Japan in general, as an example. I think it's quite safe to say that this is a military-industrial issue and a sluggishness to change within the military issue more than anything else... certainly there are no American voters demanding more military presence in Europe or Asia.

  3. #3

    Re: What is Europe's role to defend itself?

    Europe is long over due to defend its self. They have been capable of doing so for many years, but decided to save the money and let the US do it. MHO Also on the NATO wars, European countries send a Company or maybe a Batallion of troops, the US sends 2 or 3 Divisions, a Naval fleet and a few Squadtions of aircraft.

    Is still a mystery to me why Sadaam was thought to have weapons of mass destruction ( turns out he didn't) ,he was invaded and hung. North Korea is known to have weapons of mass destruction, is threatening to use them and he is only a naughty boy. Not worth the trouble. Maybe we should turn the South Korean's loose and see just how naughty he is. I suspect they could solve his problem in short order.

  4. #4
    Are u haleloo ya ? Telstra's Avatar
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    Re: What is Europe's role to defend itself?

    Shouldn't Europe pay to defense itself ?


    NEVER LISTEN TO A ONE SIDED STORY AND JUDGE.

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    Re: What is Europe's role to defend itself?

    Quote Originally Posted by kevin23 View Post
    Europe is long over due to defend its self. They have been capable of doing so for many years, but decided to save the money and let the US do it.
    I'm not sure this is true.

    No disrespect to Europeans, but Europe has never maintained a common European defense or policing force without the USA. Never. NATO has always been about America, not Europe.

    European forces were unable to prevent the genocide at Srebrenica in 1995, prompting US intervention in internal European affairs once again (an intervention the Clinton administration had been resisting).

    I don't doubt that Europe has the resources and technology to maintain such a force. But, Europe seems to lack the cooperation and volition necessary to operate such a force. It is too divided culturally and politically.

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    Re: What is Europe's role to defend itself?

    It is both our faults. Europe is perfectly content to live under a shield provided by our tax dollars and we are deluded into thinking providing such a shield gives us undeniable allies.

    Europe should invest in or suffer from the lack of investment in whatever security they feel necessary. We should back out of the very expensive overseas locations we maintain and yet continue developing diplomatic ties and unity of effort.

    The Navy and Air Force have acted fastest to accomplish this goal or a unified world force and reducing US Military expenditure. Some of you may not know but the Navy and Air Force have been contracting for the last fifteen years. Part of that has been extricating ourselves from costly overseas contracts that seemed indefinite at one point. Consider La Madd, Italy. We were there forever as a support detachment for Sixth fleet ships and a repair and replenishment station. Part of that mindset was based on WWII where we successful spanned the Pacific using island hopping... or setting up support across a large section of the globe. Yet the cost of those facilities is too much to justify. We now have the technological capability to 'float' wounded or disabled vessels across the Atlantic or Pacific on floating dry docks. While that effort cost millions it is still infinitely cheaper than paying local leasing fees for EVERYTHING.... last ship stop in port I was a part of cost the ship and the taxpayer almost half a million for 3 days. Now translate that across 365 days.

    The QDR identified a vision and ADM Mike Mullen solidified that vision of a unified multinational naval force that could tackle freedom of the seas type activities using a coalition of Naval forces. That is how we need to tackle the future. In a joint manner with dedicated allies.
    Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.
    ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.


  7. #7
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    Re: What is Europe's role to defend itself?

    What I just don't understand is why everybody thinks Europe cannot defend itself. Who could be a threat to us? China? North Korea? Too far away. Iran? They could perhaps reach the outskirts of Europe, but IF they start a war with anybody, it will be either with US client states, their "heretic" Sunni neighbors, or most likely Israel. Why would they attack Europe? It doesn't make sense. Nobody in Africa is a threat as well, this leaves only Russia.

    How deluded are Americans if they think Russia is a serious threat? The Russians have no desire to attack Europe. They are content to trade with us. The EU is the biggest trading partner for Russian imports AND exports by far.

    Now perhaps you will bring up Georgia. But you must understand that the former President of Georgia has to shoulder quite a bit of the blame for that war. Look it up. This doesn't mean that what the Russians did was in any sense justified. But they were provoked, and decided to "protect" the large Russian minority in Georgia.

    Overall you should also put yourself in the shoes of the Russians. The US is/was aggressively expanding NATO, encircling Russia and continually working to undermine Russian power in it's sphere of influence. What would you have done if Mexico would have joined the Warshaw Pact? Or if Russia stationed missiles in Cuba? ... Oh right, we nearly had a nuclear war over this issue. The US is doing something similar to Russia and somehow RUSSIA is the bad guy when they use aggressive rhetoric or force of arms to counter that. It boggles the mind.

    Missile Defense: The Poles didn't want it. The Czech didn't want it. It was pushed by the Bush administration and the (former) Polish and Czech governments. Many people saw it rightfully as a needless provocation against Russia. The argument about missiles from Iran was demonstrably false. The Obama administration retooled the program to be really aimed at Iran, but the damage was already done.

    So I am not unhappy that Hagel decided to scrap the program. Hopefully this will improve relations between NATO and Russia.

    And besides, did you know that the EU alone spends about 250 billion $ per year. compared with 700 billion $ for the USA and only 65 billion $ for Russia? The Russians spend about ONE FOURTH as much money on military as the EU! The European Union has the second highest military spending in the World. Why are so many Americans pretending as if Europe is somehow a military paper tiger waiting to be conquered, with only the USA between it and it's enemies? This is crazy.

    So even IF the Russians would try to attack us, it wouldn't work. And they would not do this anyway. They have nukes, we have nukes (France and the UK), so what should we be afraid of?

    Contrary to what many columnists routinely write in US media, NATO has never in it's history been as secure as now, except perhaps for a short time after the end of the Cold War.

    Now not everything is alright with the European military. Too much of us are still in a Cold War mindset, with us supplying mainly the bulk of the ground forces, and perhaps too much of our military is geared towards a Central European land war. That means we DO lack the capabilities to effectively project force outside of Europe, with the limited exceptions of France and the UK. But that "only" means that we cannot protect our interests abroad as well as we should. I am all in favor of a better pan-European or pan-EU military policy to rectify that issue, but currently the political realities make that impossible. But this is a far cry from Europe somehow not being able to defend itself without US protection.

    But I don't want you to think that we are ungrateful. At least I am really grateful for all that the US has done for Europe and the Europeans. Nevertheless I think it would be right if the US greatly reduced it's military presence in Europe. We no longer really need these troops to protect ourselves. But if the US wishes to keep troops in Europe that would be OK with me too. And remember that these European bases are not without value for you. Both the Afghanistan and the Iraq war would have been much more difficult without US troops stationed in NATO countries.

    TL,DR: The US is absolutely free to recall it's troops from Europe, Europeans already are capable of defending themselves.

  8. #8
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    Re: What is Europe's role to defend itself?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tengilethos View Post
    What I just don't understand is why everybody thinks Europe cannot defend itself. Who could be a threat to us? China? North Korea? Too far away. Iran? They could perhaps reach the outskirts of Europe, but IF they start a war with anybody, it will be either with US client states, their "heretic" Sunni neighbors, or most likely Israel. Why would they attack Europe? It doesn't make sense. Nobody in Africa is a threat as well, this leaves only Russia.

    How deluded are Americans if they think Russia is a serious threat? The Russians have no desire to attack Europe. They are content to trade with us. The EU is the biggest trading partner for Russian imports AND exports by far.

    Now perhaps you will bring up Georgia. But you must understand that the former President of Georgia has to shoulder quite a bit of the blame for that war. Look it up. This doesn't mean that what the Russians did was in any sense justified. But they were provoked, and decided to "protect" the large Russian minority in Georgia.

    Overall you should also put yourself in the shoes of the Russians. The US is/was aggressively expanding NATO, encircling Russia and continually working to undermine Russian power in it's sphere of influence. What would you have done if Mexico would have joined the Warshaw Pact? Or if Russia stationed missiles in Cuba? ... Oh right, we nearly had a nuclear war over this issue. The US is doing something similar to Russia and somehow RUSSIA is the bad guy when they use aggressive rhetoric or force of arms to counter that. It boggles the mind.

    Missile Defense: The Poles didn't want it. The Czech didn't want it. It was pushed by the Bush administration and the (former) Polish and Czech governments. Many people saw it rightfully as a needless provocation against Russia. The argument about missiles from Iran was demonstrably false. The Obama administration retooled the program to be really aimed at Iran, but the damage was already done.

    So I am not unhappy that Hagel decided to scrap the program. Hopefully this will improve relations between NATO and Russia.

    And besides, did you know that the EU alone spends about 250 billion $ per year. compared with 700 billion $ for the USA and only 65 billion $ for Russia? The Russians spend about ONE FOURTH as much money on military as the EU! The European Union has the second highest military spending in the World. Why are so many Americans pretending as if Europe is somehow a military paper tiger waiting to be conquered, with only the USA between it and it's enemies? This is crazy.

    So even IF the Russians would try to attack us, it wouldn't work. And they would not do this anyway. They have nukes, we have nukes (France and the UK), so what should we be afraid of?

    Contrary to what many columnists routinely write in US media, NATO has never in it's history been as secure as now, except perhaps for a short time after the end of the Cold War.

    Now not everything is alright with the European military. Too much of us are still in a Cold War mindset, with us supplying mainly the bulk of the ground forces, and perhaps too much of our military is geared towards a Central European land war. That means we DO lack the capabilities to effectively project force outside of Europe, with the limited exceptions of France and the UK. But that "only" means that we cannot protect our interests abroad as well as we should. I am all in favor of a better pan-European or pan-EU military policy to rectify that issue, but currently the political realities make that impossible. But this is a far cry from Europe somehow not being able to defend itself without US protection.

    But I don't want you to think that we are ungrateful. At least I am really grateful for all that the US has done for Europe and the Europeans. Nevertheless I think it would be right if the US greatly reduced it's military presence in Europe. We no longer really need these troops to protect ourselves. But if the US wishes to keep troops in Europe that would be OK with me too. And remember that these European bases are not without value for you. Both the Afghanistan and the Iraq war would have been much more difficult without US troops stationed in NATO countries.

    TL,DR: The US is absolutely free to recall it's troops from Europe, Europeans already are capable of defending themselves.
    Yes Russia.
    Can Russian neighbors such as Poland ... defend themselves ?
    The answer is no.


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  9. #9
    Rambunctiously Pugnacious JayHawk's Avatar
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    Re: What is Europe's role to defend itself?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tengilethos View Post
    What I just don't understand is why everybody thinks Europe cannot defend itself. Who could be a threat to us? China? North Korea? Too far away. Iran? They could perhaps reach the outskirts of Europe, but IF they start a war with anybody, it will be either with US client states, their "heretic" Sunni neighbors, or most likely Israel. Why would they attack Europe? It doesn't make sense. Nobody in Africa is a threat as well, this leaves only Russia.

    How deluded are Americans if they think Russia is a serious threat? The Russians have no desire to attack Europe. They are content to trade with us. The EU is the biggest trading partner for Russian imports AND exports by far.

    Now perhaps you will bring up Georgia. But you must understand that the former President of Georgia has to shoulder quite a bit of the blame for that war. Look it up. This doesn't mean that what the Russians did was in any sense justified. But they were provoked, and decided to "protect" the large Russian minority in Georgia.

    Overall you should also put yourself in the shoes of the Russians. The US is/was aggressively expanding NATO, encircling Russia and continually working to undermine Russian power in it's sphere of influence. What would you have done if Mexico would have joined the Warshaw Pact? Or if Russia stationed missiles in Cuba? ... Oh right, we nearly had a nuclear war over this issue. The US is doing something similar to Russia and somehow RUSSIA is the bad guy when they use aggressive rhetoric or force of arms to counter that. It boggles the mind.

    Missile Defense: The Poles didn't want it. The Czech didn't want it. It was pushed by the Bush administration and the (former) Polish and Czech governments. Many people saw it rightfully as a needless provocation against Russia. The argument about missiles from Iran was demonstrably false. The Obama administration retooled the program to be really aimed at Iran, but the damage was already done.

    So I am not unhappy that Hagel decided to scrap the program. Hopefully this will improve relations between NATO and Russia.

    And besides, did you know that the EU alone spends about 250 billion $ per year. compared with 700 billion $ for the USA and only 65 billion $ for Russia? The Russians spend about ONE FOURTH as much money on military as the EU! The European Union has the second highest military spending in the World. Why are so many Americans pretending as if Europe is somehow a military paper tiger waiting to be conquered, with only the USA between it and it's enemies? This is crazy.

    So even IF the Russians would try to attack us, it wouldn't work. And they would not do this anyway. They have nukes, we have nukes (France and the UK), so what should we be afraid of?

    Contrary to what many columnists routinely write in US media, NATO has never in it's history been as secure as now, except perhaps for a short time after the end of the Cold War.

    Now not everything is alright with the European military. Too much of us are still in a Cold War mindset, with us supplying mainly the bulk of the ground forces, and perhaps too much of our military is geared towards a Central European land war. That means we DO lack the capabilities to effectively project force outside of Europe, with the limited exceptions of France and the UK. But that "only" means that we cannot protect our interests abroad as well as we should. I am all in favor of a better pan-European or pan-EU military policy to rectify that issue, but currently the political realities make that impossible. But this is a far cry from Europe somehow not being able to defend itself without US protection.

    But I don't want you to think that we are ungrateful. At least I am really grateful for all that the US has done for Europe and the Europeans. Nevertheless I think it would be right if the US greatly reduced it's military presence in Europe. We no longer really need these troops to protect ourselves. But if the US wishes to keep troops in Europe that would be OK with me too. And remember that these European bases are not without value for you. Both the Afghanistan and the Iraq war would have been much more difficult without US troops stationed in NATO countries.

    TL,DR: The US is absolutely free to recall it's troops from Europe, Europeans already are capable of defending themselves.
    Ahh I see we are in violent agreement... lol

    To the entirety of your post I would say... MAYBE it would be a good thing if we couldn't easily execute war?? Still using our fleets and support services we could wage war with Hospitals and all aspects of an invasion just using ships as bases.
    Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.
    ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.


  10. #10
    PerScientiam AdJustitiam bankside's Avatar
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    Re: What is Europe's role to defend itself?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tengilethos View Post

    TL,DR: The US is absolutely free to recall it's troops from Europe, Europeans already are capable of defending themselves.
    Okay so if there is no military need to ensure stable relations with Russia, why is the US "free to leave?" Why isn't it told to leave? "Thank you for coming but we're good now." Or why isn't it just quickly agreed? (or is that essentially what is happening…)
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte. And Joseph Wilcox.

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    Re: What is Europe's role to defend itself?

    Did you miss Poland being in a military alliance which includes most of the rest of Europe? Turning the question around, could Hawaii alone defend itself against China or Russia? And do you really think Russia wants to conquer Poland?


    @ JayHawk: But exactly the people that always denigrate Europeans as weak pussies dependent on US protections are most often the people who absolutely don't mind the ability to wage war in the Middle East.

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    Re: What is Europe's role to defend itself?

    The Balkan area in particular has been a hotbed for controversy since post-Soviet Russia: Bosnia, Macedonia, Serbia, Kosovo which may have been a reason to stick around for a bit. However, I am a bit glad that the US should let Europe "take care of its own".

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    Re: What is Europe's role to defend itself?

    Of course no European politician tells the US to leave, for several reasons:

    1. It would probably cause backlash in the US. There are politicians who are quite happy with the continued US military presence in Europe. I can just image the headlines in certain (imperialist) publications: UNGRATEFUL EUROPEANS KICK US OUT AFTER WE SAVED THEM IN WW2! And you just don't tell your biggest ally to leave.

    2. We don't have anything against the troops stationed in Europe. Quite the opposite. It means free additional protection, and why would we ever reject that?

    3. US bases are a major economic boon. Why would we want that to change?


    Look, I certainly don't mind the US staying in Europe. It is also not our job to convince the US government to bring the troops home. So why should we have to tell them to leave?

    I was just defending against the accusation that Europe desperately needs the US troops to defend itself. That is false. The US is free to leave. But there is no need for us to "evict" the US, if they want to leave they should do it on their own.

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    Rambunctiously Pugnacious JayHawk's Avatar
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    Re: What is Europe's role to defend itself?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tengilethos View Post
    Did you miss Poland being in a military alliance which includes most of the rest of Europe? Turning the question around, could Hawaii alone defend itself against China or Russia? And do you really think Russia wants to conquer Poland?


    @ JayHawk: But exactly the people that always denigrate Europeans as weak pussies dependent on US protections are most often the people who absolutely don't mind the ability to wage war in the Middle East.
    This is true but I think the denginerate pussies ideology comes when NATO agrees to fight a war and then spends one millionth of the effort and some countries tell their soldiers not to conduct combat operations.

    I for one am quite aware that Russia defeated Hitler but can you imagine if we came over to WWII and told the ALlies we will be happy to cook some food and issue supplies but we wont be bothered with that silly fighting stuff.... but yeah go ahead and go to war....

    I think that is the dichotomy. If NATO wants to play war then they need to pull their britches up and go fight when they vote for it.

    P.S. don't take that as all encompassing either. Plenty of the European forces are excellent fighting corps and many stood shoulder to shoulder with us and took equivalent losses and made equivalent sacrifice. However, if their politicians want their cake and eat it to then the people should hold them accountable to vote correctly against war if they do not actually desire to join the fight.
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    Re: What is Europe's role to defend itself?

    The other issue with the NATO mentality is the European nations may have spent so much for a military but it is spread across multiple countries. SO they all have minimal assets and not the whole package. They are designed well to fit into a NATO coalition force but not so well in most cases to stand on their own. There are notable exceptions like France and the UK. Germany by design can not act very aggressive towards anyone. They don't have international reach.
    Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.
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    Re: What is Europe's role to defend itself?

    ^You need to revisit the 5 sitting permanent members of the UN council...

    China
    US
    France
    Russia
    UK

    Always remember those 5 countries whenever international affairs come up.

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    Re: What is Europe's role to defend itself?

    The way the United States got roped into the Libya war was definitely not right. Running out of bombs was certainly embarrassing. But it was not very hard to convince Obama to support the war. Still, as I said earlier, Europe is able to defend itself, but projecting force outside of Europe is another thing entirely.

    Regarding WW2, your analogy is fundamentally flawed because the Axis declared war on YOU, not the other way around. The Axis attacked the USA first, you defended yourself. And of course it was absolutely not in your interest to let Europe fall to the Soviets. Which doesn't mean that it was not a great thing that the US got involved.

    But regarding "we wont be bothered with that silly fighting stuff", I can give you the German perspective:

    Our foreign minister was adamantly against the war, thinking it a violation of international law and not in our interest. So Germany had a problem; every decision of NATO to go to war has to be unanimous. Do we really veto the war against the strong wishes of our allies? So we abstained at the vote, and then declined to participate, except to help supply the operation. Instead we make a token effort to increase the number of our troops in Afghanistan. Reaction of a big part of the US media: "Germany betrayed it's allies and the Libyan people." Can you image what would have happened if we really vetoed the war?

    At the time I was against this course of action and thought that we should support NATO in the war. In hindsight staying out of Libya would perhaps have been the better choice (see Mali), but either way I agree that we should have supported the rest of our allies if we don't use our veto. Point taken.

    But still, that is a debate that is worth to have. What exactly is NATO? It is a defense treaty. How much invading foreign countries really is to defend ourselves is open to debate. I would be happy to have such a debate, so that responsibilities could be equally shared. Europe could provide much more support to NATO's ability to project force abroad by abolishing the need for every small country to have every basic military unit, greatly reducing redundancy. Europeans could then truly shoulder their share of the burden.

    But then those Europeans would really have to get a say in how NATO's foreign policy is conducted, significantly reducing US influence in the Alliance. I think many Americans would not have much of a problem with it, but I doubt many of your politicians would see it the same way.

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    Re: What is Europe's role to defend itself?

    Quote Originally Posted by JayHawk View Post
    The other issue with the NATO mentality is the European nations may have spent so much for a military but it is spread across multiple countries. SO they all have minimal assets and not the whole package. They are designed well to fit into a NATO coalition force but not so well in most cases to stand on their own. There are notable exceptions like France and the UK. Germany by design can not act very aggressive towards anyone. They don't have international reach.
    Bah writing long posts in English takes too long

    I think it is exactly the other way around. Every small European state wants to have enough national defense to stand on their own, but really Luxembourg could not withstand Russia no matter what. They don't fit well enough into coalition forces. NATO needs more integration, with different countries supplying specialized units to increase effectiveness. We are not going to stand against the Russians on our own, only together are we strong enough to protect ourselves from them.

    And I admit that we in Germany especially are not pulling our weight militarily, but with the general sentiment in many places in Europe that we are somehow setting up a German-controlled EU dictatorship or something like that (some British tabloids are just a bit shy of speaking of a Fourth Reich), perhaps a strong military buildup would not be a good idea right now.

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    Rambunctiously Pugnacious JayHawk's Avatar
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    Re: What is Europe's role to defend itself?

    Well you have one up on me, because I will not be making any post in Deutsche.

    The analogy is equivalent but the result was luke-warm support. I think if your politicians oppose something then they should say so both in action and in word.

    Finally, you keep analyzing this from a Russia is the enemy perspective. They have not been the opposing force for two decades. They are still not an opposing force militarily. Economically they can hold a noose over Europe's neck with their vast gas resources. However, that is not responded to in the same way. Still forget Luxembourg or even Norway. As a whole you guys spend a lot on the military but have just about zero capability to act internationally on a major scale. That is why when NATO votes to go have a war somewhere other than Europe, they are voting for America to go to war and typically it is providing the US with international support and cover to act. The most security enhancing choice both Europe and the US could do is enhance our trading status between one another. Using the power of our economies we can hedge the world.
    Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.
    ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.


  20. #20
    Rambunctiously Pugnacious JayHawk's Avatar
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    Re: What is Europe's role to defend itself?

    As a side story, I was in Faslane at Helensbourough, Scotland enjoying a port visit after a multinational exercise when the twin towers were struck in New York.

    It was a shock to be at war in such an immediate and substantial event. As part of the many things I did on Submarines one of the most satisfying was verifying top side was secure before dropping down the hatch and securing it for sea. There was me and the Diver as the last folks down. SO I was up there just before we cleared Gare Loch where we would drop below and secure the hatch.

    Part of the exercise was a German Frigate of whom I have forgotten the name. However she steamed past and was to take the lead out of the Loch because we were much less maneuverable on the surface. As she did the crew unfurled a hand made banner from a bed sheet that simply said "WE STAND WITH YOU"

    You have no idea how much that meant in that moment. I kind of swell with emotion when telling this... every time I tell it.

    So consider that sometimes just having a friend or ally is what is needed for strength.


    i have a great deal of respect for all of the allies across the globe that have welcomed me both into their ports and into their homes. But when I talk about this stuff it isn't through some sense of misbegotten national pride, it is from a perspective of what is done and how it is done and who can do what.... it is bullets and beans for me not emotion. However, that strength in a time of trial is steeled with an ally regardless of their capability.
    Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.
    ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.


  21. #21
    Bammer's Papa
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    Re: What is Europe's role to defend itself?

    NATO needs a new formula for who supplies what troops, one based on population and GDP at the least. Just doing that would substantially reduce the US commitment. But such a proposal will never come from the European side, it will have to come from the US. Nor could it be done overnight; it's the sort of thing that should be spread over five years or more.

    On the missile shield issue, I sort of agree with the pontificating of a WWII veteran here (a Democrat who's always voted that way except for Reagan), when he said that the US and NATO should have invited Russia to participate in building a joint missile defense system -- he didn't think they'd do it, but wanted to mess with their minds. I don['t think they'd do it, either, but it would make them take a different way to look at the world. (Of course China would scream! but that might get Russia to consider it.)

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  22. #22
    veni, vidi, reliqui
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    Re: What is Europe's role to defend itself?

    It is time for the US to turn over the responsibility for defense of Europe to the EC.

    Just remember though, that the US economy is addicted to the military. That is why it has kept this up all these years.

  23. #23
    PerScientiam AdJustitiam bankside's Avatar
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    Re: What is Europe's role to defend itself?

    Quote Originally Posted by JayHawk View Post
    As a side story, I was in Faslane at Helensbourough, Scotland enjoying a port visit after a multinational exercise when the twin towers were struck in New York.

    It was a shock to be at war in such an immediate and substantial event. As part of the many things I did on Submarines one of the most satisfying was verifying top side was secure before dropping down the hatch and securing it for sea. There was me and the Diver as the last folks down. SO I was up there just before we cleared Gare Loch where we would drop below and secure the hatch.

    Part of the exercise was a German Frigate of whom I have forgotten the name. However she steamed past and was to take the lead out of the Loch because we were much less maneuverable on the surface. As she did the crew unfurled a hand made banner from a bed sheet that simply said "WE STAND WITH YOU"

    You have no idea how much that meant in that moment. I kind of swell with emotion when telling this... every time I tell it.

    So consider that sometimes just having a friend or ally is what is needed for strength.


    i have a great deal of respect for all of the allies across the globe that have welcomed me both into their ports and into their homes. But when I talk about this stuff it isn't through some sense of misbegotten national pride, it is from a perspective of what is done and how it is done and who can do what.... it is bullets and beans for me not emotion. However, that strength in a time of trial is steeled with an ally regardless of their capability.
    It is strange to know exactly what someone else was doing 12 years before you've (n)ever met them, and to know exactly what you were doing at the same time. My day was a bit less eventful; I was just getting up when news of the first plane was announced and then I watched the second tower get hit. The workday was bizarre…I made a trip to another office we have to prepare for a meeting, but the news was never off all day, and everyone was on the net with reports of the latest. The first effect here was the skies closing and everyone landing under SCATANA rules for the first time in their flying careers, and then later the Afghanistan campaign, which was felt significantly here because of the base.

    But that day, it was really just shocked resolve. Being allies or being neighbours…knowing that New York is an international city, that as the UN seat it is in some way our Capital…even having family in the state (safely upstate)…all of that was true, but the feeling couldn't really be pinned on any one thing other than outrage at the offence done to our common humanity, so aptly expressed in the idea that "We are all New Yorkers" now.

    "We have come to underscore our common humanity, expressed so profoundly in the music of this concert," states a declaration by the musicians before the beginning of the concert. "John F. Kennedy said during a critical moment of Berlin’s history, 'Ich bin ein Berliner.' In this horrible moment we say to you: 'We are all New Yorkers.' "
    Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in New York City. October 4, 2001.
    Last edited by bankside; March 18th, 2013 at 04:09 PM.
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte. And Joseph Wilcox.

  24. #24
    Fantasize it's Fun
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    Re: What is Europe's role to defend itself?

    Quote Originally Posted by bankside View Post
    What is Europe's role to defend itself?
    Good question. I'm sure they must have one. Otherwise, why would "We the People" leave?
    Last edited by Yuki Sohma; March 18th, 2013 at 08:22 PM.

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