Saturday, June 03, 2017

Europe Reckons With Its Depleted Armies...fiscal sanity requires our allies to pay more.

via Wall Street Journal.
Across NATO’s European member states, shortfalls riddle land, sea, and air forces following years of defense cutbacks, leading officials to acknowledge that U.S. President Donald Trump has a point that spending has to rise.
The ugly truth?  Europeans are more concerned with global warming than they are with their own defense.  Even uglier?  The news media, the establishment and others have given cover to Europeans over Trump's complaint (he's only echoing past administrations) that they need to pay their fair share.

What do we see instead? Check out this Dept of Defense press release...
 The Defense Department's fiscal year 2018 budget request includes nearly $4.8 billion for the European Reassurance Initiative to enhance deterrence and defense and improve the readiness of forces in Europe, the U.S. European Command director of strategy, plans and policy said today.

Air Force Maj. Gen. David W. Allvin held a telephone briefing with reporters, speaking from Eucom headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany.

ERI funding for next fiscal year is up $1.4 billion over fiscal 2017, he said, noting that the funding increase will support the deterrence of future Russian aggression and malign influence through increased joint air, sea and land force responsiveness and expanded interoperability with combined multinational forces.

"This is one of our nation's commitments to Europe, and it demonstrates our strong dedication to the trans-Atlantic bond and the defense of our allies," Allvin said.

After Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine in 2014, the United States authorized ERI at $985 million in 2015, $789 million in 2016 and $3.4 billion in 2017. Operation Atlantic Resolve, funded partly by ERI, demonstrates to NATO allies and the world the 'U.S. intent to fulfill NATO treaty commitments to respond to threats against allies.

Drink in those figures.

4.8 billion dollars and the lives of US servicemen to defend Europe.  Not the US but Europe.

We are defending 1st world nations that have a higher standard of living than we do!  Does that make sense?

Fiscal reality requires that we DEMAND our allies pay more and for those funds to be reprogrammed for our OWN defense needs.  How many programs are being deferred that can make use of that funding now!  The ACV, the AMPV, speeding up the JLTV, new service rifles, new tankers....everything could be sped up if we used that money for modernizing our own forces.

Our current strategy is not only unwise but its downright foolish.

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