“If Europe Is Under Attack We Will Never Come to Help You” – EU Top Official Quotes Trump

Yves here. Note that concerns that Trump would reduce US support for Europe are long-standing, given his earlier demand that NATO members pay their full share of their 2% of GDP commitment to the security organization. The last time I looked, no NATO member aside from the UK did, and some of its contributions were funny-money-ish. But to try to thwart Trump, the US included in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024, enacted on December 22, 2023, a provision barring the President from withdrawing from NATO absent a 2/3 vote of the Senate or a bill passed by both houses. Of course, a future President and a majority of one house of Congress could conspire to budget-starve NATO.

Admittedly, EU members have been making a lot of noise about increasing military spending in the light of the evil Russian bear mauling Ukraine and fear-mongering that Putin will soon be riding into Paris. But there are several problems. One is that higher energy costs due to the loss of cheap Russian gas have increased inflation and are deindustrializing Germany and (less often discussed) Italy, the two manufacturing powerhouses of Europe. That means lower growth and budget pressure when Eurozone members are committed to hairshirt spending limits. It specifically means sacrificing social spending in favor of arms. Deteriorating economic conditions for average citizens are typically accompanied by shifts in political sentiment to the right…which in the EU also means nationalist, as in NATO-skeptic.

Second and even more important, although still not sufficiently well recognized, is the US military is running on brand fumes. Russia is beating not just the US but also Europe….when the classic view of war is that the combatant with the bigger economy wins. Here, Russia is showing that it is the force with more manufacturing heft, given sufficient raw materials and manpower. But on top of that, Russia has demonstrated superiority in many important weapons categories, such as air defense, signal jamming, and hypersonic missiles. It has also very impressively been using Ukraine as a testing/learning ground, both for tactics and for armaments, and has been making improvements as the war is underway (for instance, upgrading some of its drones to be quieter and adding night vision capabilities). And of course, we now have the US demonstration of impotence in the Red Sea with its shelling of Houthis, which independent experts see as not even remotely able to inflict enough damage to get the Houthis to back down. And as many commentators have pointed out, an invasion would produce a worse version of Afghanistan (the Houthis would surely take out a lot of naval assets before any landing were to succeed).

As Alexander Mercouris pointed out in his Saturday talk, a more mature Administration would have chosen Plan C: call the Houthis’ bluff. Tell shippers to avoid the Red Sea. It would increase costs and transit time. This would not be the first time commercial carriers have had to go around the Horn of Africa. The Suez Canal was closed for five months, in 1956, due to the Suez Canal crisis, and then for 8 years after the 1967 Six Day War.

But even worse, as Andrei Martyanov explains in an important new post, the US is so mired in old-think as to be constitutionally incapable of recognizing that its current way of war is a guaranteed loser, and only a top-to-bottom restructuring around new doctrines (and then new strategies and tactics) could turn things around. As a small symptom, recall how during the great oversold Ukraine counteroffensive that the various leaks and sometimes even official statements talked about the apparent US one-trick pony, combined arms warfare (as if that was even being done then, given the lack of air support).

From Martyanov, reacting to a John Meaeshimer talk on US military capacity:

It is not just about manufacturing capacity–in theory the US may build, in the next 10+ years, some facilities to increase production of 155-mm shells or drones. But it will not be able to match industrial capacity of Russia in this respect….The issue here is not just quantity–the target impossible to reach due to utter destruction of US manufacturing base and an extremely complex supply chains for military production. This all is just the tip of the iceberg. The main body of the iceberg is a complete catastrophe that the US military doctrinal and, as a result, procurement development is.

I spoke about it for years–some gaps, such as in air defense or missilery the US will not be able to close, because as I type this, this gap continues to grow. It is measured not in years but in generations. This is, as an example, the result of misguided and illiterate approach to air defense based on… air power. You have to literally undo the whole thing, and this requires not just building some facilities, but a complete rethinking of America’s defense or, rather, “offense” philosophy which doesn’t work….The US has no courage, intellect and will to do so because it leads to a destruction of America’s mythology….

After the US strategically and operationally “planned” VSU’s “counteroffensive”, the question of the competence of the US military establishment arose and was answered–it is incompetent! …Russia will not allow the US to unleash the war in Europe while thinking that the US can sit this one out again behind the ocean. Doesn’t work like this anymore, especially with the construction tempo of Russia Navy’s subs such as 3M22 Zircon carriers Yasen-class subs and frigates which already have Zircons deployed. These are technologies the US simply doesn’t have and are nowhere near of getting them. China can rely on them, and much more from Russia in case of the US deciding to commit suicide, the US cannot.

Now to the main event:

By Uriel Araujo, researcher with a focus on international and ethnic conflicts. Originally published at InfoBRICS

According to a recent POLITICO news report, during the 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos, then US President Donald Trump told European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, in a private meeting, the following: “you need to understand that if Europe is under attack we will never come to help you and to support you, and by the way NATO is dead, and we will leave, we will quit NATO.” Trump said so according to Europe’s Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton, who was also there, with von der Leyen and former European Commissioner for Trade Phil Hogan. Breton is quoted as adding: “it was the president of the United States of America — he may come back. That was a big wake up call … So now more than ever, we know that we are on our own, of course.” The context of such a story is Thierry Breton pitching vast investments for the European defense industry – after all, he reasons, the clock is ticking and, referring to Trump, “the potential candidates remind us that we must take care of EU’s defense by ourselves.”

Breton, who is also responsible for the European Union’s defense industry, wants to increase the European Defence Investment Programme (EDIP) to €3 billion – €1,5 billion have already been earmarked. Such is expected to be proposed alongside the European Defence Industry Strategy (EDIS). In the long-term, however, Breton aims for a huge €100B defense fund.

Breton favors such vast investments to increase the EU’s defense industry production capacity in order to de-risk their investments, in the context of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The “bad news” (to some) is that the current confrontation might end sooner than expected, with top figures in the Western Establishment calling for a “land-for-peace deal”, while Russian and Ukrainian generals are reportedly negotiating peace, “with or without Zelensky.”

Europe’s continental defense, in any case, needs more than just billions of euros, though: the block lacks a common legal and bureaucratic framework. Moreover, there simply is no common EU defense market. Of course, with the political will, all of that can arguably be arranged, in terms of policy framework, legislation, and agreements – albeit not quickly (it would require intense European coordination). However, there is a baser problem, of a more material nature, namely deindustrialization. That too could be solved, right? Or could it?

As I wrote before, for Western Europe, “re-arming” itself would require re-industrializing itself, something which, ironically, the US has opposed time and again. In fact, whenever Europeans try to articulate an industrial policy, Washington steps in. As Sophia Besch (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace fellow) and Max Bergmann (former member of the US Policy Planning Staff) wrote March last year, when the EU made its plans for new weapons systems and for a European Defense Fund public, then US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis (under Trump), strongly objected and heavily lobbied for American companies “to have access to the paltry EU funds”. This has by no means changed with the current Joe Biden’s administration, which has worked hard to maintain American access to the continent’s defense market.

The whole European (huge) subsidy initiative being discussed since November 2022, in fact, emerged in the context of a subsidy war, to counter Joe Biden’s subsidies package which was basically aimed at wiping out the rival European industry. So much for trans-Atlantic friendship and partnership! The North American-European “disconnect” extends to energy interests, as I have written – and to Ukraine’s conflict itself, which greatly harms post-Nord Stream Europe while benefiting American weapons manufacturers.

It is no wonder then that Emmanuel Todd (French anthropologist, political scientist and historian at the National Institute of Demographic Studies in Paris), one of France’s main intellectuals, has just declaredthat “the disappearance of the United States would be the best thing that could happen to Europe.”. He adds: “once the United States agrees to withdraw from their empire, from Eurasia and all those regions where they maintain conflicts… Contrary to what people think – people say ‘what will become of us when the US no longer protects us?’ – we will [actually] be at peace!”

One should keep in mind that France itself (under general Charles de Gaulle) did withdraw from NATO’s so-called integrated military structure in 1966 and even expelled all of its headquarters and units on French territory. And it in fact took 43 years for Paris to change its course: it was  President Nicolas Sarkozy who ended his country’s “estrangement” from the organization in 2009.

Today, as the idea of “strategic autonomy”, promoted by French President Emmanuel Macron, gains momentum in Western Europe, some wonder whether Paris and Berlin could lead the continent towards such autonomy – and away from its Atlantic “ally”. It is still a far shot.

Since the aftermath of WWII, Europe has relied on Washington for security, while relying, at least up until 2022, on Moscow for gas. Such has been the latent geostrategic-geoeconomic contradiction within the European bloc and such is the European tragedy, so to speak

To recap, Europe needs reindustrialization. To accomplish that, it needs Russian energy sources. Trading links pertaining to oil and gas are, after all, largely dictated by geography and not mere political will. The hard truth is that Russian-European energy cooperation was always a mutually beneficial strategic matter for these two parties. The US agenda in turn has been to disrupt any such Eurasian cooperation, and, as an example of how far Washington is willing to go to pursue that, the shady circumstances of Nord Stream’s explosion speak volumes. This, mind you, is no “conspiracy theory”: according to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh, there is good reason to believe the Americans did it, as Joe Biden himself had promised last year, on on February 7: “If Russia invades … there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it.”

While Western media focus on Russia being a “threat” with an “imperial” appetite that could pose dangers to Western Europe itself, American political scientist John Mearsheimer writes that “Russia and Ukraine were involved in serious negotiations to end the war in Ukraine right after it started on 24 February 2022 … everyone involved in the negotiations understood that Ukraine’s relationship with NATO was Russia’s core concern… if Putin was bent on conquering all of Ukraine, he would not have agreed to these talks.” The main issue, of course, has always been NATO expansion.

All things considered, as Arnaud Bertrand, a French entrepreneur and commentator on economics and geopolitics, argues, it would be tempting to assume the former US President handed the EU its strategic autonomy “on a silver platter” – that is, if Thierry Breton’s story about Trump in Davos is to be believed. In this scenario then, it would seem, as Bertand puts it, that the Europeans leaders in turn begged Trump to just remain “vassalized”.

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    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I suggest you actually look at the chart before getting tart. The reason I did not bother is there is a lot of garbage in and garbage out even when the target is claimed to have been met. As I pointed out in the text, when the UK (along with the US) was one of the few to then meet the 2% target, it was via a lot of budgetary games were non-hard dollar (as in in-kind, subject to valuation games) or dual-use expenditures were counted as part of the 2% when they did not represent outlays. This chart is produced by NATO, and not an independent body. NATO has incentives to report progress. NATO members have incentives to play UK-type games. And the chart has the label “in 2015 constant US dollars” which raises questions at to flattering FX assumption

      1. DJG, Reality Czar

        Yves Smith: Thanks for your comment on chart junk. Statista allows anyone to graph any kind of data set. I’ve seen plenty of whoppers.

        The biggest flaw in the chart is that these monetary figures shouldn’t even be a bar chart. As a bar chart, what the chart shows, embarrassingly, is that the U S of A is spending way too much on “defense.”

        However, the bar chart obscures the data, which is why it is suspect. What one has to see are the absolute numbers: Look at mighty Lithuania, home of the primeval Gs. One cannot discern the bar. So did the Lithuanians raise the military budget? And by seven dollars and thirty-eight cents?

        A compliment: “To recap, Europe needs reindustrialization. To accomplish that, it needs Russian energy sources. Trading links pertaining to oil and gas are, after all, largely dictated by geography and not mere political will. The hard truth is that Russian-European energy cooperation was always a mutually beneficial strategic matter for these two parties.”

        Exactly. The U S of A is dominated by the too clever by half. They are only too happy to get the two-fer: The attempted dismantling of Russia and the economic wreck of Europe. I suppose that this plan also has a strong whiff of the English ruling class, too.

        Meanwhile, here in Italy, just what is the benefit of U.S. occupation? I read an article that maintains that the U.S. of A. has 116 military bases in Italy. Now that article was by an advocacy organization–so that estimate may be too high. Yet the question remains: The occupation is to keep Italy under control, right? Not to defend Italy from external enemies–which over the course of history have mainly been the Austrians and the Germans. Oh.

        So: 116 military bases to protect Italy from Tunisia? Come on. I’m not ready to vote for the Italexit Party, which exists, but getting out from under NATO? I’m leaning in that direction.

        1. scott s.

          When I read about things like “116 bases” I have to think, “what does his even mean”? If I look objectively at military power, I see Caserma Ederle in Vincenza (173rd AB Brigade) and Aviano AB (31st Fighter Wing). US Navy has HQ and comms facility in Naples, and homeports the 6th fleet command ship in Gaeta. NAS Sigonella on Sicily is home to USN CTF-67 Maritime Patrol/Recce force, P-8A and MH-60 aircraft. BITD there was a strategic Sub base on Sardinia, now closed.

          Mostly Italy serves as USN hub for the entire Mediterranean, aside from Rota, SP.

        2. Aurelien

          Don’t forget that most of the data here is time-series, from 2014-23 and primarily reflects budgetary changes over time. The only way to present such figures is in a single currency and at a single date, and the way it’s presented here is absolutely standard since at least the 1970s, to my knowledge. NATO has always presented comparative defence expenditure in US$, there being no obvious equivalent, and, depending on the dates chosen, this can inflate or reduce apparent spending. In addition, financial years differ between countries, as do accounting conventions about which year to count unspent money in. In addition, the standard NATO definition of defence expenditure (a highly complex and controversial subject) differs from that of many national ones. Thus, figures produced nationally and figures produced by NATO are seldom identical. There is, of course, a great deal of polishing of the figures to look good by every government, but in most cases you can check the figures against national declarations, budgets passed by parliament etc. and most nations include technical notes explaining how the figures reconcile with those of NATO. In other words, the figures are as subject to criticism as any official figures are, but they are essentially based on national reporting, and are as reliable as any you will find.

          On bases, well, US European Command doesn’t think it has that many. It says that

          “Italy hosts important U.S. military forces at Vicenza and Livorno (Army); Aviano (Air Force); and Sigonella, Gaeta, and Naples — home port for the U.S. Navy Sixth Fleet. The United States has about 11,500 military personnel stationed in Italy.”

          And military bases.com provides details of them. As you see, we seem to be missing a hundred or so. It would be interesting to get to the bottom of this ‘hundreds of military bases meme.’ I suspect it ultimately comes from a misunderstanding of official US figures for locations around the world where there are US military personnel. That would of course include every Embassy (since they have Marine guards and most have defence attachés) and probably legations, certain consulates and places like the US Mission to the EU, as well as every single NATO installation, including the NATO Defence College, in Rome as it happens. It would include every other nation’s military HQ around the world to which the US has appointed a liaison officer- nations do this a lot. After an investigation a year or two ago, one “US military base” in Africa turned out to be a desk in Accra airport which acted as a coordination centre for US personnel travelling around the region. There are probably several such in Italy, to receive and process incoming US personnel. Of course, by the same logic the Russians have dozens of military bases in Europe, since they have defence attachés in nearly every country ….

            1. Aurelien

              The discrepancy is really part of my point. There is no agreed definition of a “base”, but most people would assume it is an establishment with at least one operational unit in it. Your link lists, for example, the Naval Support Activity Naples, which is an office block near the airport. Here’s Wikipedia (I can’t find anything more authoritative.)

    2. NN Cassandra

      IMO the 2% defense spending is another nonsensical number, like 2% inflation or 3% debt. As if small landlocked country should spend the same like some post-imperial state with overseas colonies and ambitions for global fame. And to top it up, it’s measured relative to GDP. Apparently, to build army it doesn’t matter what terrain it should defend, nor what the adversary is capable of, all that matters is how rich the population under NATO “protection” is. And of course there is this West industrial production debacle in Ukraine, which showed how much GDP numbers relate to actual ability to make things useful for war.

      Almost as if this isn’t about defense or even offense, but about endless stream of free money for merchants of death. Just permanent grab on piece of economy.

  1. Altandmain

    Judging from the comments of Putin, I think that the Europeans may have burned bridges with the Russians to a much deeper degree than the European political class understands.


    Europe may be dependent on the Russians for their economic prosperity, but that doesn’t mean they are entitled to Russian resources and that the Russians have to cooperate.

    To put it bluntly, what’s in it for Russia? They have found other buyers for their resources and Russia has begun a massive industrialization program. It’s become clear that the trade with the West was holding the Russian manufacturing industry from reaching its potential.

    More importantly, the European countries and the US tried to install another puppet like Boris Yeltsin and engage in a wholesale looting of the Russians, with the ultimate goal of breaking the nation up. That kind of thing is hard to rebuild relations with. The only precedent that I can think of is German Soviet relations after WW2.

    As far as the military of Europe, what is the point of spending so much? The Russians have no desire to attack. Any military spending would, as the article notes, just cannibalize what limited resources the European countries have, resulting in lower social services and even lower living standards for the people who live in Europe.

    Even if the European countries could attempt to achieve parity in conventional military forces (unlikely in my opinion to come anywhere near what forces Russia has), it won’t add any value. The European countries are not about to come under attack unless they themselves are crazy and stupid enough to provoke a war (or blindly follow the US into provoking one).

    The truly smart option for Europe would be for the European countries to expel the US and the especially the neoconservatives, leaving NATO, then truly adopt a neutral approach.

    In that regard, as Arnaud Bertrand observes, the EU should actually root for Trump to win. It would mean autonomy, something that the Europeans seem to fear.

    1. Acacia

      The European countries are not about to come under attack unless they themselves are crazy and stupid enough to provoke a war (or blindly follow the US into provoking one).

      They’re blindly following quite well, methinks. I hope this will stop, but it hasn’t yet.

    2. vao

      To put it bluntly, what’s in it for Russia?

      There still is something in it for Russia, but as it de-industrializes, Europe will be less and less able to bring something truly valuable to the negotiation/trade table. At some point, because of sanctions against Russia (cutting a variety of critical industrial inputs) and China (cutting a large critical market), Europe will either no longer manufacture the industrial (including military equipment) and mass-consumer goods seeked by other countries, or be incapable to manufacture them competitively.

      There will still be a huge amount of works of art from museums and private collections to sell off, though.

      1. steppenwolf fetchit

        Or perhaps to maintain in place. EUrope may become a cultural petting zoo for Chinese tourists.

    3. Froghole

      “It would mean autonomy, something that the Europeans seem to fear.”

      The Europeans seem to be in thrall to the Belloc doctrine of geopolitical subjugation: “Always keep a-hold of nurse,/ For fear of finding something worse.”

      Europe’s bid for strategic autonomy will likely fail because European prosperity has been based for several centuries on access to discounted commodities from the Global South. Well, Europe has just completely lost any residual control over Africa, with the rapid collapse of Francafrique. Having burnt its bridges with Russia over Ukraine, Russia will likely charge the Europeans a premium for resources even if Europe splits from the US. In effect, Europe could become an appendage of Eurasia – it might become to the Sino-Russian pact what 18th century Venice was to the great powers of the time: a picturesque and moribund curio (indeed, it is already that to a large extent).

      As to the UK, its present policy passes all understanding. The more its economy declines (as a result of rent-seeking which its free ride on dollar seigniorage made possible via the 1950s revival of the City as an outhouse of Wall Street) and the more enfeebled its military power becomes, the more it has to double down on its ‘auxiliary’ status viz. the US, and the more it has to pose as being ‘more catholic than the pope’. It’s participation in the bombardment of the Houthis recalls Menzies’ Suez Canal Users’ Association in 1956. The best (or least worst) strategy for the UK would be for it to break up, and for the resulting English, Scots and Welsh republics to adopt strict neutrality. This would allow the ex-UK to escape from the trap of residual or auxiliary great power pretensions: it would not have to join NATO or any other alliance, and it could cede its Security Council seat to India. It might also permit the ex-UK to gain access to Russian commodities, and so prevent the US/Canada from acting as monopoly suppliers.

      US policy is also deeply perplexing. Why on earth does Biden think that reviving inflation via a general conflagration within the Middle East is a good strategy in an election year? Or is it that he is only in office, and not in power, and that it is the neocons who get to remain in office, regardless of who wins in November?

      1. Rolf

        Biden seems physically incapable of directing any strategy that recognizes that the world has changed. “America is back”? But then what did he do? Supplying the matches and fuel to start multiple fires across the globe will not endear him to anyone outside the MIC, particularly given his failure to deliver much of value to the folks at home. The fact that he seems to actually believe he is “protecting democracy” suggests that Trump actually had the better grasp of C21 Realpolitik.

      2. steppenwolf fetchit

        Would the City Of London try to become an independent City-State, like Singapore? Would it try to become the “Singapore” of tax-havening and money-laundering?

        1. Froghole

          Of course many people were playing the Singapore card in 2016. However, what is often overlooked is that the City was playing the part of a deregulated proto-Singapore from the foundation of the eurocurrency markets in 1955-57. The City had been losing massive business to the US during the 1940s and early 1950s, aggravated by the 1949 devaluation which accelerated the decline of sterling as a medium of international exchange.

          So the City (initially the Midland Bank and the Bank of London & South America) started to broker international transactions within the City using dollars deposited in the City. Under the Glass-Steagall Regulation Q there was a ceiling on the interest rates for short term deposits. There was no such ceiling in the City, so dollars started to accumulate in the City to take advantage of this. Wall Street connived in this, and it was actively encouraged by the Bank of England under Cameron Cobbold in a bid to revive the City. The big five clearing banks in London were cartelised since 1939, and were encouraged (note, not forced) to apply controls recommended by the Treasury in order to limit the expansion of credit within the UK. They therefore only handled a limited amount of this new eurocurrency (eurodollar and eurobond) business. The effect of this was to encourage the growth of fringe/secondary banks which did handle eurocurrency business. As a result the big five lost increasing amounts of business to the fringe banks, and this led to the breakdown of the cartel and the elimination of all credit controls in 1971 and again (following the secondary banking crisis of 1973) in 1980. The growth of the eurocurrency markets was also assisted by Comecon, as a number of communist countries also decided to deposit funds in London where it would be less vulnerable to blocking by the US authorities (as in 1956 in retaliation for the suppression of the Hungarian uprising).

          Credit flows to where it is least taxed, and in 1963 and 1965 taxes on the imputed rents and capital gains derived from owner occupation were removed. So, in 1971-73 and from 1980, once credit controls were eliminated, credit flowed freely into housing markets, causing house prices to rise remorselessly, regardless of supply and demand constraints. It is in this way that the UK has gradually devoured its own prosperity and potential. The deregulation of the City therefore had significant adverse effects upon the British economy in the long term, albeit to the great financial advantage of a large and electorally potent rentier class.

    4. paul

      Any military spending would, as the article notes, just cannibalize what limited resources the European countries have, resulting in lower social services and even lower living standards for the people who live in Europe.

      That would seem to be a primary policy goal in these circles.

    5. Morincotto

      If anything it seems that people with lower living standards are better and more willing fighters.

      Even in wealthier countries the poor are the only ones you can get to fight.

      Obviously this is desired by the elites no matter what, but at appears genuinely to be the case that the poor are usually more patriotic and self sacificing, which is part of why they are poor and the selfish, sociopathic rich are rich in the first place.

      Material comfort truly does seem to tend to breed people neither willing nor capable of putting their heads on the chopping block.

      So the perverse calculus is that by systematically impoverishing the lopulation the elites will increase the pool of available cannonfodder for their wars, especially if they manage to direct the unavoidable and well warranted anger and hatred at a designated external scapegoat/enemy.

      And manage to “toughen them up” a bit, which they probably believe can be achieved by a steady diet of proaganda.

      They’d get bigger armies and reduce the surplus of useless eaters and deplorables, reduce consumption on part of the undeserving, an allaround win.

      Freely combinable with the citizenship in exchange for military service and re-introduction of draft concepts.

      There remain plenty of Problems of course, Like the fact that even the poor in Western countries have “grown soft” in comparison to earlier generations, are in terrible shape and largely lacking in practical skills, at least the urban poor and at least in many european states there aren’t enough country people left, western elites are too greedy and miserly to make the military financially attractive as even an employer of last resort, the attempt to direct anger away from domestic elites seem to work nowhere near as well as in previous eras, nobody is willing to die for the feeble and unattractive currently ruling ideologies, etc, etc, etc.

      The later point I think is what is completely dooming such efforts in the EU, because they really are too dumb to let go of their ideological programms even for strategic reasons while US elites are probably more consciously hypocritical and calculating and thus more flexible in their means if not in their goals (and even in their goals at least the US neocons are perhaps more purely focused on power for power’s sake sans the impractical ideological ballast of their more true believing euro counterparts) and perhaps more importantly they retain a big pool of reactionary, militant, hyperpatriotic christofascists they can and probably will begin to court and pander to once more.

      Those true deplorables only relatively recently we’re willing to supply the groundpersonal for the the Empire’s campaigns of murder and torture while having become heavily alienated from the imperial elites only in the very recent paths.

      I think returning to the pre Obama era and renewing this traditional alliance should be doable and the imperial elites probably won’t consider jettisoning woke ideology too high a price.

      Western european countries largely don’t have a comparable pool and haven’t had one for much longer, with the segment by far best suited for combat invariably being the very neonazis that have already shown their mettle in Ukraine but whom (thankfully) euroelites are yet reluctant to openly court in their own countries (not for any genuinely moral reasons of course, but because it would be the final, embarrassing and impossible to take back or rationalize away admittance that everything about european civilisation that they have built their supposed moral superiority on ever since wwII, all the lessons they supposedly internalised, have all always been complete lies).

      A big fundamental problem for both the US and european oligarchs and deep states (but as usual perhaps even more so for the Euroscum) is that the basic idea that you can turn todays newly impoverished that remember not only all the false promises of wealth but also the very limited taste of IT they once had only to have it brutally and deliberately yanked away far too well.

      They will never again become the tough, lean and hungry patriotic fighting poor that were the foundation of Europe’s world conquering armies for the last three to five centuries, at the very least certainly not within a generation or three.

      1. vao

        Even if impoverishing the European populace could turn it into a lean and mean warrior horde, this will not happen for a very simple reason: demographically, Europe is old.

        The median age in European countries is generally above 40 years (and rising), and in cases like Italy and Germany, it already reaches 46-47 years. I do not see any scenario in which impoverished, middle-aged people, disillusioned with the EU, will make passable fighters.

        Yes, there are all those young and very young people migrating from Third-World countries to Europe. But for one, Europe does not want them; and then, with very few exceptions (such as, historically, Swiss guards), mercenaries do not constitute reliable armies that will fight to death for their patrons — rather, they have a deplorable tendency to betray them, or usurp power from them.

        1. Morincotto


          Though was thinking they just might believe they can stabilize the population on a lower level after simply allowing or actively engineering a great (more effective than covid) dieoff of all the oldies.


          That would leave what younger people are still there and poor, non old people have plenty of babies, right?/s

          1. Morincotto

            I forgot to add I believe we really have to consider the fact that many of our “betters” have a tendency to truly believe in all sorts of convenient scifi scenarios, including plenty that may be very unlikely to be ever realized,at least Not soon enough or on a sufficient scale, but that nonetheless may very well figure into the “serious” planning of the elites.

            It might very likely turn out to be completely unworkable but by Nyarlathotep, they will try to make it work!

            Not long ago there was for example a link about the Pentagon’s “vision” of eventually fielding modified and augmented with technology supersoldiers.

            Though I suspect the Europeans might be ever so slightly more oldfashioned in this regard than the Yanks.

            Then unfortunately much closer to realisation there are all the swarms of fully automated, AI controlled killer-robots the early suicide drone version thereof we are actually beginning to see materialize on the battlefields of Ukraine.

            So whatever flawed interim solutions there might be to buy time until the proper droid armies are ready to be fielded in earnest, in the twisted imagination of the power elites IT probably would suffice for it to be Just that: A just good enough interim solution until the Terminator comes to save them.

            1. vao

              Once again, perhaps the USA might be able to pull that robotic, AI-driven, drone-platformed military off, but not Europe. Because:

              (1) Europe is well behind in drone technology and deployment;

              (2) it does not have its own AI and computing technology and infrastructure at scale (all relevant providers of the required size, from electronics to software to cloud are from the USA and increasingly from China);

              (3) de-industrialization prevents it from building the tens/hundreds of thousands of devices and associated ordnance required to wage such a war.

              With (4) the demographic considerations above that makes it impossible to field large armies, all of this means that, militarily, Europe is becoming irrelevant All those fancy re-armament plans will soon prove to be, as the nice German expression goes, “Makulatur”.

              1. Morincotto

                Again, I of course agree on every point.

                None of what I wrote was meant as something that is ever going to happen.

                Just what wishful thinking MIGHT be going on in our local capos’s tiny, twisted brains.

                And of course we know that they allow their wishful thinking to heavily influence their decisions.

                Obviously the Europeans won’t ever pull a glorious Robot Utopia (or rather dystopia) but I think a lot of them (especially in Germany) genuinely retain some childlike adoration for and sentimental attachment to their american masters and STILL think that somehow, contrary to all the evidence before their eyes, for some reasons, the Americans WILL share the bounty of whatever AI driven techno liberal consumerist paradise they imagine them to be creating with them.

                I for one welcome irrelevance and oblivion for Europe.

    6. Feral Finster

      “Judging from the comments of Putin, I think that the Europeans may have burned bridges with the Russians to a much deeper degree than the European political class understands.”

      I doubt the european political class cares.

      Similarly with “defense” spending and the concomitant decline in european living standards. The european political class is indifferent, since they personally will not suffer. In fact, the european political class flaunts how out of touch they are, how little they care for voters or their petty concerns, jejune matters such as “eating” and “housing”.

      Did not Baerbock herself tell german voters point blank that she did not care if they froze or starved, Ukraine comes first?

      1. Altandmain

        Effectively this means that the Europeans will consist of a number of banana republics with very limited industrial capabilities.

        What they do have will be quite expensive and not as good as Russia or China.

        Their bark will be worse than their bite. By contrast, had they sided with Russia, they will have access to Russian resources and be relatively strong economies wirh a good standard of living.

        Had they turned into real social democracies, then good living standards.

        The greed of the elites has doomed their own nations.

    7. Not Qualified to Comment

      the EU should actually root for Trump to win

      I despise Trump and would have to hold my nose to be in the same room as him, but I agree with this comment. Not being an American I don’t give a damn about the consequences of his election to the US, its infrastructure, its Constitution or its people. If he gets the US out of the face of the rest of the world he’d be doing us all a favour I suspect no other US ‘politician’ is capable of.

  2. clarky90

    I think of the war in Ukraine, and the war in Palestine, as “one single war”. The war in Ukraine began with the ethnic cleansing of Russian peoples in Eastern Ukraine. The war in Palestine started with the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians.

    This One Single Hot War is now being fought in two different theatres.

    Both wars were started and funded by a group of oligarchs with infinite Magik Money, and the ensuing delusions of grandeur. Nobody has ever told them “No”! Thus (metaphor) the stamping of feet, threats, hysteria, kicking, biting, crying,…. the demands…. the ultimatums..

    Closer to home…., the destruction of health care, the third estate, schools, universities, infrastructure, the commons, affordable housing, justice,….. that is taking place in western countries.. is not unrelated,….. but, in fact,…. another incipient theatre of this unfolding, single war….

    1. DJG, Reality Czar

      clarky90: Thanks for this comment. I agree. It is one single war.

      One of the reasons that it has to be portrayed as one single war is to get everyone into negotiations. Only some kind of peace talks will calm things down.

      Also, I don’t want to see the horrifying spectacle of U.S. and U.K. liberals thinking that a ceasefire in Palestine means that they can go back to their most recent fantasy–wrecking Russia and the evil man-spreading Putin.

    2. timbers

      Agree with One Single War line of thought and add: the curious lack of appreciation from those who detest what Isreal is doing to Palestinians, that the same thing was being done to Russians, though at a lesser scale. But so many do not see Russians as victims but aggressors.

      1. Valerie in Australia

        @ timbers
        That seems to come from propaganda. I have friends – not unintelligent in other circumstances – support the Ukrainian War against Putin and be 100% on the Palestinian side. When I try to discuss this with them, they espouse all the Putin is Hitler, wanting to take over the world and if Russians didn’t like Putin they would overthrow him rubbish.

    3. Carolinian

      I agree and would go further and say that the reason we have a war in Europe right now is that the Israel defenders in the USG–who are legion–need an aggressive non isolationist US foreign policy because it is really Israel, not Europe, that is totally dependent on US protection.

      Meanwhile the notion that Putin or Russia would want to invade Europe is silly. What would they do with it? It’s Russia that is still developing and has all the resources making it far more likely that Europe would invade them–if they could–and already have in modern history.

      Plus hegemony is undoubtedly a goal in and of itself and so our would be Masters of the Universe in Washington can’t stand the notion of a Russian or Chinese rival. We have an ancient set of rulers who are living in the past. The mere thought that Trump might change things (which he undoubtedly won’t) provokes them to hysteria.

      1. Feral Finster

        “The mere thought that Trump might change things (which he undoubtedly won’t) provokes them to hysteria.”

        The reason that Trump gives the political classes the vapors is the fear that American european vassals might be less willing to blindly follow orders if such a gauche loudmouth were in charge.

        Around 2008, someone pointed out that the election of Obama would be the best thing for the American Empire, since the antiwar movement in the US and eruopeans in general loved Obama and did not want to be seen criticizing St. Barack.

        1. Lefty Godot

          I have to ask myself: Would we have been that much worse with McCain in 2008? Or going back further, with Dole in 1996? Or Romney in 2012? Or, maybe more relevant, with Trump in 2020?

          I’m willing to bet Gore, for all his faults, would not have messed things up to the extent Bush-Cheney did. Kerry in 2004 I’m not so sure about. HRC would’ve started World War III already, so it’s good she lost. But all those other elections seemed to enable the Democrats to avoid the short, sharp punch to the chin that might have gotten them to rethink their upper class Wall Street/Silicon Valley/MIC love affair and to maybe recapture some populist appeal. Now they’re too far downward in their drain circling and almost need a massive defeat in 2024 to either bring them to their senses (unlikely) or make the party break up.

          1. Feral Finster

            “I have to ask myself: Would we have been that much worse with McCain in 2008? Or going back further, with Dole in 1996? Or Romney in 2012? Or, maybe more relevant, with Trump in 2020?”

            Well, if a swaggering loudmouth such as McCain were to have been elected in 2008, the european political class might be less all-in for America’s imperial adventures.

    4. Kouros

      Actually, on a long arc of history, that is not really true.

      The occasional war and famine and revolutions, and the occasional “autocrat” provide a handful of precedents. There Are Alternatives…

  3. Rain

    Great summary!
    With so many EU nations lurching to the ‘right’, with increasing economic problems, I cant see them dismantling NATO or developing a defence industry of their own. Perhaps the Nordic countries still have an industrial base and a reasonable source of cheap energy?

    With Finland joining recently, and probably undergoing militarisation on its eastern border with Russia… (such a shame, beautiful country doing great tourism, soon to be covered in US/NATO bases) there may be wiggle room for individual countries to become the new industrial centre.

    However I had to laugh at the UK-Ukraine security pact announcing a big chunk of the funds were for developing Ukraines MIC. It only took 2 Russian missile barrages to wipe out most of what they already had!

    As a minor side issue, I note most of West Asia’s media, including Saudi, do not use “Houthi” anymore – Houthi is a tribal or clan name, but they include much more than just a single clan now. They “evolved” LOL.

    may not be official with a piece of paperwork, but they identify themselves as the “Armed Forces of Yemen” or AnsarAllah as the name of their political Party, as for all intents and purposes, they are the de facto government/administration of Yemen. Although the West wont recognise them as such, it seems most of the West Asian region does through their media outlets.

    Like Hezbollah is now a legimitate recognised political Party in the Lebanese government.

  4. Johnny Conspiranoid

    ” This, mind you, is no “conspiracy theory”: according to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh, there is good reason to believe the Americans did it,”
    If there is good reason to believe a conspiracy theory is true why would that stop it being a conspiracy theory?

    The behaviour of Europe’s leaders can be accounted for by their being in a conspiracy with the ruling groups in the US.

    1. Lefty Godot

      “Conspiracy theory” is a derogatory term dreamed up after the Warren Commission report was released to discredit anyone who questioned the official lies. That’s the sense that Hersh is using it in. Obviously there are conspiracies going on all the time in the world, and the PTB are quick to point them out when no one in the elite is included as one of the “bad guys”.

      1. steppenwolf fetchit

        As they say about ” conspiracy theories” . . . its not a theory if it happened. Or is happening.

  5. Aurelien

    I’m not sure what qualifications the author has for writing on this subject: a little background research would have improved his argument no end.

    Europe has, and always has had, a large defence industry, and has provided most of its defence needs from its own resources. It has also exported widely, even to the US. The problem is that different equipment cycles, budgetary cycles, operating environments and political and strategic constraints make it very difficult to produce common equipment. The European Defence Agency, established twenty years ago, has been trying to harmonise requirements where it can, but it’s an uphill struggle. Some collaborative projects have worked, like the Franco German C160 Transall, but most of them have resulted in different versions of equipment, costing more and arriving late. (This is the story of the Franco-German Alphajet and the Tornado, for example) There is absolutely no reason to think that involvement of the Commission, which has been trying to get into this game for the last thirty-five years, and has no expertise in defence issues, would improve the situation. It’s just an attempted power grab which at best will duplicate what is already happening. There is no possibility of the “common EU defence market” that Brussels has dreamed about for decades.

    The idea of the US “protecting” Europe was nonsense and always recognised as such. The vast majority of NATO forces in any war up to 1989 would have been European. US forces were partly a guarantee of US interest in the event of a crisis in Europe, which the Europeans thought could potentially stabilise a dangerous situation, and partly hostages to make sure that the US wasn’t tempted to abandon Europe in a crisis, which was something western leaders were continually afraid of. As the old saying had it: “make sure the first soldier to die is an American.”

    1. pjay

      – “The idea of the US “protecting” Europe was nonsense and always recognised as such. The vast majority of NATO forces in any war up to 1989 would have been European. US forces were partly a guarantee of US interest in the event of a crisis in Europe, which the Europeans thought could potentially stabilise a dangerous situation, and partly hostages to make sure that the US wasn’t tempted to abandon Europe in a crisis, which was something western leaders were continually afraid of.”

      So “keeping the Americans in” was basically a *European* idea? Please correct me if I am misreading, but this almost makes it sound like the poor, naive US has been duped into maintaining their *dominant* presence in NATO by the “Europeans,” serving basically as “hostages” to guarantee their security.

      I say this with all sincerity. I truly wish the US was as naively innocent in creating the Postwar world and driving post-Soviet developments as you often imply. But we’re not. The massive Atlanticist-Neocon reaction to a clueless US President who would even hint at such a view as Trump supposedly expressed here is a reflection of our *total* commitment to a global project our “elite” view as existential. Recent policy so obviously undermines European economic interests (while serving those of the US) that I can’t get my head around such an interpretation.

      1. Carolinian

        Perhaps not Europe as a whole but there seems to be considerable evidence that UK influence on our US policy elites is considerable. The sun never sets on the Anglo/American Empire?

      2. JonnyJames

        The way I see it, NATO is not about “protecting” anyone: it is about exercising influence and control over Europe and supporting the security/weapons/war/surveillance industries. NATO should have been dissolved in 1993, or thereabouts as the USSR and Warsaw Pact were no more. There is no reason for NATO, and no reason for expanding it further.

        The “threat” of a Russian invasion is ridiculous and NATO is incapable of a land invasion of Russia. They can’t even win a proxy war until the last Ukrainian.

      3. Aurelien

        Well, I was describing the origins of the situation in the late 1940s, which is all exhaustively documented and written about. I don’t think the US was naive, but it was persuaded in those days by the Europeans that its goal of keeping the Soviet Union out of Western Europe would be greatly assisted if there was actually a security treaty. The US wasn’t initially enthusiastic, and put significant limitations on the final document because of fears of Congressional refusal to ratify, but it did sign. Then of course, the panic which followed the outbreak of the Korean War convinced everyone that another war in Europe was imminent, which led to the formation of NATO as we now have it. It’s hard to say what would have happened otherwise.

        As I’ve pointed out many times, all sides have seen-and still see-different advantages in NATO, not all of which can be publicly aired, and some of which are mutually opposed. But the US generally took the view during the Cold War that if there was to be a crisis in Europe then, because it would inevitably become involved, it wanted to have a dominant voice. This suited many Europeans, for example those worried about a revanchist Germany. But actually getting what you want from the Americans is a sport I have seen practiced all over the world: it’s easy if you allow them to think that they’ve won.

        By the way, the situation in Ukraine has nothing much to do with NATO, or indeed pressure from the US. As I’ve set out exhaustively, the European Liberal elite hate the Russians with a pure hatred that few in the US can match, and are quite prepared to destroy their own economies if they can destroy Russia in the process.

        1. JonnyJames

          The “liberal elite” (authoritarian, neoliberal, right-wing is more of an accurate description) of Europe are prepared to destroy their own countries to destroy Russia? That’s not only irrational, it’s quite unrealistic. Their attempt to destroy Russia has backfired, now they only have economic self-destruction and increased dependence on the US. Are these “elites” really that stupid? Ivory-tower hubris?

        2. pjay

          “By the way, the situation in Ukraine has nothing much to do with NATO, or indeed pressure from the US.”

          Well now I’m really confused. We must be using similar terms to refer to completely different realities. All those articles and cables from various US officials over the last three decades warning of Russian fears of NATO expansion, all those pleas by Putin over that time, up to his addresses of February 2022, all those videos and tapes of Nuland, McCain, et al. leading up to Maidan, all those articles about NATO and CIA adjacent coordination and even bases being constructed after 2014 – if NATO and the US had little to do with Ukraine then I guess a lot of supposedly knowledgeable people were fooled.

          So irrational hatred of Russia by European elites is great enough for them to destroy their own economies today? Well, how ancient is this apocalyptic hatred? Because it certainly was *not* that great a few decades ago, when many, if not most, European leaders (at least in the West) had much more pragmatic attitudes toward Russia, even before the fall of the Soviet Union. I don’t deny the existence of irrational fears and xenophobias toward other people or nations. But I simply do not believe that to be the primary cause of such suicidal European policies that represent demonstrable *regression* from the relatively recent past. Rather, I see them as convenient cultural prejudices used as ideological foils to justify policies that, while hurting many European citizens, apparently benefit *someone*. But *who*? And *how* was this rather startling transformation carried out so rapidly?

      4. Daniil Adamov

        It is possible that the Europeans have miscalculated, you know. They tied themselves to America (and thus, America to themselves), which assuaged their fears (rational or otherwise) for a while. In the longer run, this led them into a quagmire. Of course it’s also worth remembering that this isn’t so bad for European political elites overall, it’s only the common citizens who are really in trouble.

        As for Americans, they don’t need to be naive for this explanation to work. They simply went along with it for reasons of their own (off the top of my head, sabre-rattling against the USSR was useful for domestic politics and the MIC, and of course some people also had a fixation with playing the Great Game – great for the ego and career alike). But I’m not sure that the American elites wanted this entanglement more than the Western European elites. They had even fewer truly binding interests at stake here.

        1. hk

          The flip side is that there is very little that ties so-called “American” elites to America any more. Many of them are busy cooking up grand schemes out of their own perceived self importance to remake the world to their liking and are surrounded by hucksters who feed their delusions to make quick bucks. (Yes, I think placing the blame mainly on MIC or MickyMac or whatever is a mistake: elite delusion/detachment comes first–MIC etc are just using them as money tree.).

          Seems to me that the problem is that very few of the “leaders” in the West are really grounded. In 1800, Lord Macartney, a British diplomat sent to negotiate trade treaty with China on pretext of congratulating Chienlung Emperor’s 80th(?) birthday was amused to receive a delusional edict from the senile emperor. The shoe may well be on the other foot now.

      5. hk

        I don’t know about Europe, but I can definitely say that that was true with respect to Korea. Having US forces in Korea made it unnecessary for Korean policymakers to make their own way for decades, decide where Korea stood relative to its neighbors, what their foreign policy and defense orientation should be, and how much resource they should shell out for them.

  6. Benny Profane

    Mecouris was flippant about the diversion of shipping away from the Red Sea, but I don’t think it’s that easy, although I’ve never piloted one of those monsters. Not only does it add cost in time and energy, but the Cape is one of the world’s more dangerous water passages. Do these giant cargo ships survive in those kind of seas well? Also, to say that, oh, the Suez was closed in the 60s and 70s anyway, is comparing this situation to a very different time, when containerized shipping was in its relative infancy, and China and the east were making hardly anything and not relying on a vast export market. This will be much more disruptive.

    1. Not Qualified to Comment

      This will be much more disruptive.

      Yes, disruptive almost entirely to European imports and exports to the rest of the world that isn’t the US.

      The US getting Europe to shoot itself in the competitive foot with sanctions against Russia was a brilliant betrayal of a friend. Getting the Red Sea route closed by stirring up the Houthies as a way of delivering the coupe-de-grace to European commerce and industry would have had even Brutus green with envy.

  7. Felix_47

    I wonder how the most powerful force in Europe plays into all this…….migration from the global south. In Germany and France and England the native population is becoming demographically irrelevant. A generation is generally considered 25 years. A third of Germans have a migrationshintergrund today and a much higher birthrate than the biodeutsch. France does not keep records but assuming the numbers are similar the nature of Europe will be much more like North Africa, Subsaharan Africa and Egypt and the national cultures between France and Germany and even Italy will be much more similar and this should end up playing a factor in industrialization, war and peace and nationalism.

  8. carolina concerned

    I have not seen any discussion about and would like to see some speculation about what would happen to the US economy, military, and general culture if Europe, Russia, and China would become more integrated, and the US military bases would be forced to be closed down.

    1. Thorn

      Honestly, (as a Brazilian) I fear that they would just ramp up the already intense oppression of Latin America, since it’s “their backyard”, in order to remain at least the sole superpower of the Americas in the foreseeable future. They are already (since Obama at least) showing a renewed dedication to promote coups and extreme-right wingers in power to suck our resources dry again, this time focusing on certain metals.

  9. eg

    The West is apparently a slow learner. Recent military events in both Ukraine and the Middle East reveal that force projection, especially over distance, is increasingly difficult. The advantage is clearly now with the defenders. This has immense consequences for geostrategic and geopolitical outcomes and arrangements, none of which are favourable to ongoing Western dominance.

    But we are led by donkeys.

  10. TomW

    The historical enemy of Europe has been Europe itself. And, Europe hasn’t fought in 80 years. Achieved by NATO. A truly unified Europe is more of an aspiration (or fantasy)— there is plenty of nationalism and ethnic rivalry sloshing around there. So why not structure things so the only possible war is the hugely unpopular one with Russia. Which Napoleon himself couldn’t pull off, followed by WW 2.
    So…the purpose of NATO is really to largely disarm Europe to save it from itself. The purpose of the Russian rivalry is to create a sufficient external threat to dampen internal ones. But one that could never be fought again with nukes in the mix.
    As far as re-industrializing Europe, the energy intensive industry are the less desirable basic materials and commodity chemicals industries. Which can (and will be) migrating to lower cost energy destinations. They want higher value added sectors anyway…always easier said than done. Although they seem to be winning in commercial aviation against the hapless Boeing.
    Anyway…Europe never had it so good. Only the US Neo-Con morons want to actually fight anyone. Which only works to expose the weaknesses of the entire scheme.
    From this perspective, the weakness of the US military is the only thing saving America from itself. The US no longer has the troops or infrastructure for a serious war. As well as a logical place to even fight for.

  11. Mikel

    “Deteriorating economic conditions for average citizens are typically accompanied by shifts in political sentiment to the right…”

    I look at the early 20th Century global fascism and that being promoted today and I see one of the biggest astroturf playbooks of all time. Fascism might be the mother of all astroturf movements. Just follow the money on any fascist movement.
    Also, there aren’t any choices allowed to end up on ballots that aren’t more to the right.

  12. Phichibe

    In recent months and certainly post 10/7 I’ve been clocking what Lt.Col Douglas MacGregor has been saying in i/v’s because he is very well connected w Trump-world. When Trump put a new top team in DoD post 11/2020, MacGregor was made #3 person in the DoD (for six weeks but it still tells you where he stood in Trump-world.). MacGregor is adamant about US isolationism and retrenching the deployment of US forces overseas. Suggests Trump will be at war w/t PMC and MIC. The mood of the country seems to be more aligned w Trump than Biden. Max Blumenthal (The Grey Zone) is a frequent guest on Judge Andrew Napolitano (ex-Fox News) show. Like Noam Chomsky hanging w Pat Buchanon. Common ground is isolationist foreign policy. This is a political earthquake in the making,IMHO. Reminds me of how US opinion in the 1920s went from gung-ho militarism in WW1 to cynicism and anti-interventionism as post-war disillusion set in. Trump and Bernie in 2016 were a bow-wave for this tidal wave. Not saying it’s good or bad, just saying the mood of the country post Iraq, Afghanistan, GWOT is very similar to 1920s.

  13. JonnyJames

    The quote from DT is just typical blah blah BS from a serial conman. Europe is not going to be attacked, and the US/NATO is not capable of launching any ground invasion of Russia. The US won’t abandon NATO, even if DT becomes POTUS again. NATO is not about protecting anyone, it is about control, and economic interests as usual.

    Germany’s de-industrialization appears to be driven by US imperial policies and is intended to make Europe more dependent on the US.


    As Yves’ has posted many articles outlining how German “elected” officials are undermining the economy and society to serve their overlords. Michael Hudson was one of the first to predict this situation, the invasion of Ukraine is more about keeping the EU dependent, rather than damaging Russia. However, expanding NATO, prying Ukraine from Russia, and threatening Russia plays nicely into this scheme. It’s a two-for-one benefit for the US

    Zbig B. outlined and predicted what is happening in Ukraine in his 1997 The Grand Chessboard.

    1. Darthbobber

      And it’s not even a quote from Trump. It’s an unsubstantiated claim that he said this in 2020. And it apparently wasn’t thought worthy of mention until now. Sure.

      Anyway, since nobody has any intention of invading Natolandia, it hardly matters.

      And it would certainly be sound advice for them to consider the possibility that American “support” is unreliable.

  14. Rip Van Winkle

    If only Trump had been around in 1912 …

    I wouldn’t voluntarily sacrifice my daily coffee money for any European, includes Brits by the way.

  15. ChrisRUEcon

    NATO should be disbanded … period.

    “The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was created in 1949 by the United States, Canada, and several Western European nations to provide collective security against the Soviet Union.”

    The Soviet Union no longer exists.

    “NATO was the first peacetime military alliance the United States entered into outside of the Western Hemisphere. After the destruction of the Second World War, the nations of Europe struggled to rebuild their economies and ensure their security. The former required a massive influx of aid to help the war-torn landscapes re-establish industries and produce food, and the latter required assurances against a resurgent Germany or incursions from the Soviet Union. The United States viewed an economically strong, rearmed, and integrated Europe as vital to the prevention of communist expansion across the continent. As a result, Secretary of State George Marshall proposed a program of large-scale economic aid to Europe. The resulting European Recovery Program, or Marshall Plan, not only facilitated European economic integration but promoted the idea of shared interests and cooperation between the United States and Europe. Soviet refusal either to participate in the Marshall Plan or to allow its satellite states in Eastern Europe to accept the economic assistance helped to reinforce the growing division between east and west in Europe.”

    Russia is no longer a communist country.

    Why does NATO need to exist today given the reasons for its creation in 1949?

    cf (via history.state.gov)

  16. steppenwolf fetchit

    If President Trump effectively takes America out of NATO by making America’s continued presence too poisonous for EUrope to be able to tolerate, will NATO collapse?

    And if it does, will EUrope come together as its own defensive bloc? The North East Atlantic Treaty Organization? ( NEATO)?

    NEATO! An idea whose time is coming?

  17. spud

    the gigantic mental midgets in this administration and their private sector supporters in academia who are now touting a industrial policy, came into power in 1993 touting the wonders of free trade, and its going to create a world wide utopia.

    of course many of them with either con artists, or flat out fascists.

    but i am sure some were true believers.

    from 1993 till 2000 when i completely gave up on PBS and PBR, we were barraged with the true believers, shills, fascist etc., touting just that, with almost no push back.

    they need to be tracked down for when or if we ever get a truth commission.

    many of these mental midget types now tout industrial policy, and i doubt they have a clue as to what industrial policy even is.

    most of them probably never worked in a factory in their whole lives, nor even know anyone who did or does now.

    they tout the supply chains without even knowing what they are or entail.

    trump was far better at it then these dummies.

    if you ever worked in a factory you would know not only about shipping, but receiving.

    and if the factory had three shifts, most did in my days, there was shipping, and receiving all three shifts.

    the companies that factories receive stuff from, is that vaunted supply chain.

    those companies supply not only the one factory type that the intellectual midgets now say must be protected, but that supply chain supplies many other factories cranking out all sorts of stuff not related to the factory and supply chains the mental midgets want to protect.

    so to keep those supply chains healthy and profitable, you would have to protect a lot of other non related industries protected also. smoot hawley here we come.

    then of course we need to reverse bill clintons disastrous dismantling of the new deal, modernize it, to get wall street and the fire sector off of our backs.

    can’t be done anymore. and the U.S.A. is now punching way over its weight, the brics know this, and the U.K. might not even exist in the future as is.

    europe, stick a fork in it.

  18. ISL

    Regarding the commentary on the article, Alexander MErcouris is wrong. The point is not that shipping is going around the cape – look at:


    plenty of Suez traffic – but not a single ship for Eliat in the Red sea. Lots for Jordan, though. The US is there to try and break the Houthi embargo of Israel, and not successfully at the marine traffic map shows – there is little traffic to Haifa, is very small, too.

  19. sausage factory

    Biden already said it, in case of low yield tactical nukes in Ukraine US will not intervene to assist Ukraine or Europe. Article 5 is meaningless unless it directly effects the US and even if it does indirectly they will use the proxy meat market to combat it (ie. ukrainians, Poles, Balts, Germans, British) right down the order until no one is left and they have to fight themselves at which point they will back down. Article 5 is simply a list of martyrs to be sacrificed so that US doesnt have to directly engage with any capable enemy. I’m sure that soon they will be offering 72 virgins as an inducement.

  20. WJ

    “the US included in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024, enacted on December 22, 2023, a provision barring the President from withdrawing from NATO absent a 2/3 vote of the Senate or a bill passed by both houses.”

    Does this kind of provision actually have any legal force? Doesn’t the President of the United States have the power to enter into and exit from foreign treaties?

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