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90

Complaining is Cheap, Building is Expensive Simply put, it takes very little money and effort to complain, even on a diplomatic stage. (This is also why the most common reaction to a problem on the international stage is an expression of deep concerns.) It makes RF look more peaceful than it is, implicitly puts a defensive spin on some of the military ...


64

This is a great question about both politics and history. It relates directly to the changing nature of what a "country" is. First, let me directly answer your questions: Given that France, Germany and the UK have larger economies than that of Russia, why do they spend less in defense than that of Russia and always seem to be scared of Russia? ...


56

A missile defence system that can intercept ICBMs is a tricky proposition. ICBMs move very high (above the atmosphere) and fast. Hitting them in the orbital coasting phase is nigh-on impossible, certainly for ground-based interceptors. Hitting them in the terminal phase is possible, since their trajectory is well defined at that point, but problematic ...


51

Mostly true First claim: exaggerated In the three decades before Trump's election, NATO spending declined by two-thirds. On page 4 of this 1987 report(pdf) on NATO military spending, we learn that in 1987 they were globally spending 5.0% of their GDP on defense. More precisely: USA: 6.6% Canada: 2.1% (Western) Europe: 3.4% In 2016, i.e. year 1 before ...


38

It is impossible to understand Russia's preoccupation over seven decades with military power without understanding the country's experience in WW2. The war had a huge impact on the national psyche of all participants, including the US, Britain and France. But if you look at the cost in terms of lives lost, the western losses bear no comparison whatever to ...


28

Using military force is one way for NATO to counter aggression against one of its members, but not the only one. Article 5 of the North Atlantic treaty reads: The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack ...


27

The previous answer gave plenty of numbers, so let me focus on How true are Trump’s claims that the US is unfairly paying for Europe’s defense [...] ? Once upon a time, the US and their Western European allies were menaced by the Soviet Union and their Eastern European allies. The Group of Soviet Forces in Germany stood ready to roll through the Fulda ...


26

NATO could, but doesn't have to. Article 5 of the north-atlantic treaty reads: The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective ...


25

No, internal conflicts and secession attempts do not qualify as “armed attacks” under the North Atlantic Treaty (itself based on the UN charter, article 51, which only covers actions between states). The most obvious historical example is the Algerian War, in which Algeria – then a part of France and covered by the treaty, as explicitly acknowledged in ...


24

Given that these countries spend so much on defense, Why do these countries seek US help/alliance to counter Russia? Because Russia has a cheaper military than Europe does. According to Wikipedia, Russia has 3,364,000 members of the military. By your numbers, the United Kingdom is second in military spending in that group, but they only have 248,250 ...


23

Russia is a much larger country, geographically. It has more border to defend and wants to maintain the capability to fight on two fronts. The UK and France maintain strategic nuclear defence capabilities, which are the final safeguard against an invasion. Despite the absolute spending values, the EU militaries are generally higher-tech than the Russian ...


21

There were many preexisting diverging views on international law. The open disagreements about e.g. the NATO intervention in Kosovo don't constitute the main problem, because in such a case the disagreement is made explicit, everyone knows what the differing views are, problems can then be prevented. The main issue are the many cases where Russia believes ...


20

MAD can be considered desirable Your proposal, where both USA and Russia have effective anti-ICBM systems, would mean the end of mutually assured destruction. This is not necessarily a good thing, as this means that whoever has an advantage (or merely thinks they have one) may be motivated to do a destructive first strike without fearing retaliation, ...


19

They aren't legally obliged to: Nowhere in the NATO Treaty does it mention that they have to put 2% towards defense, it is simply the recommended sum. As a part of this several NATO countries have populations which believe that 2% isn't a requirement to have a functional military e.g. Canada Other NATO countries like Germany claim that: "Two per cent ...


19

As of December 2017, the Security Council continues to produce resolutions that condemn terrorism and authorise (resolutions 2395 and 2396). There does not appear to be a resolution that notes the defeat of any terrorist group in the region. Article 5 was not written in anticipation of a terrorist conflict, instead it expects war with a State actor that ...


18

Short answer: it is not allowed to join NATO. By the end of WW2 Austria and Germany were occupied by the Allies. In 1955 Austria signed a treaty with the Allies, which - in essence - ended Allied occupation in return for a declaration of perpetual neutrality. This is the reason why there are foreign military bases in Germany (e.g. Ramstein Air Base of the ...


17

Because the voters of said countries prefer their taxes being employed elsewhere. In many countries here in Europe raising defense expenditure is one of the few things that governments would love to do, to make good friends with the USA as well as projecting a more powerful image, but they're really afraid of potential voters backlash. You can raise defense ...


17

The treaty is geared towards international threats, so that would be unlikely. It could theoretically trigger article 4 of the treaty. The latter states that: The Parties will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the Parties is threatened. It got used only a few ...


15

That post nicely summarizes the requirements as of now: http://www.rferl.org/content/article/1099020.html Also notice official Membership Action Plan or MAP which highlights the requirements: http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/official_texts_27444.htm Notice the below: 2.b: to demonstrate commitment to the rule of law and human rights; 2.d: to establish ...


15

Historically, United Nations never had any chances to interfiere the will of United States or any of their allies. Syria is not an isolated case and we need to see two examples about the US behavior in the foreign policy to understand this point of view: Cuba's embargo: Since 1992, every year, the United Nations (specifically the General Assembly) approves ...


15

Can a NATO member call Article 5 after being attacked outside its national borders? The area covered by the treaty is stated in article 6 of the North Atlantic Treaty: Article 6 For the purpose of Article 5, an armed attack on one or more of the Parties is deemed to include an armed attack: on the territory of any of the Parties in Europe or ...


15

The issue around the Eurofighter Typhoon not being able to carry American nuclear weapons would not have been resolved by switching to a sharing agreement with another European nuclear-capable country. This is because the only other EU country that has both nuclear capabilities and operates the Typhoon is the UK - and they withdrew their airborne nuclear ...


14

Why would the NATO not defend its members against Russia? Lack of political will basically (for which one can find many reasons or justifications, of course). Each NATO country can choose how to respond to an article 5 invocation. This is why Trump's discourse (about maybe not defending a member) worries people. After a bit of digging, the promises in art. ...


13

In the specific case of Germany, they are still bound by the Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany Some examples of the limitations set: Armed Forces of no more than 370,000 personnel - of whom at most 345,000 were to be in the Army and Air Force No manufacture, possession or control of NBC weapons Full application of the Nuclear Non-...


12

Trump is only calling out Germany in particular because he just recently had a meeting with Merkel and it was topical. It is generally Trump's position that all NATO members should pay a higher amount. Trump has claimed this multiple times. While Germany is on track for its 2024 target, NATO membership does does dicated that it should be funded at a 2% GDP ...


11

Article 5 explicitly applies only to attacks taking place in Europe or North America. See http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/official_texts_17120.htm?selectedLocale=en.


11

So basically you have two questions here: Why use the military spending share of the GDP as a measure? Why to choose 2% as the specific threshold? Why use the military spending share of the GDP as a measure? The total military spending as percentage of the GDP has been long been a measure to evaluate the so-called status of burden-sharing within NATO, see ...


10

Usually when country A declare war to country B, it is for one of the following reasons: Country A wants to have control over natural resources of country B Country A wants revenge for a previous war, or get back territory lost to country B Country A wants "to protect" ethnic minority A within country B About natural resources Russia already has an ...


10

There are several possible reasons 1) Military spending may not be a good indicator of military capability and it is not necessary easy to directly compare domestic spending between different countries, especially when currency values are volatile and relationships between state and private business are non-transparent. 2) Most European countries do not ...


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