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Monday, November 27, 2006

Protection Racket

Insane headline du jour: Bush to press allies on defense spending
President Bush's agenda at a
NATO summit this week will include pressing alliance members to increase defense spending. Aides say many U.S. allies are ill-equipped for modern military operations.

The defense outlays of some NATO partners are less than half those of the United States as a percentage of gross domestic product.
Discussion of Afghanistan, where NATO has 32,000 troops battling the Taliban and working on reconstruction, is likely to dominate the alliance's summit. But the Bush administration hopes to use lessons from NATO's first major combat mission to make the case for broader spending.

"I think that the president will address the issue of the need for more resources for NATO and for NATO countries to spend more for defense," said Judy Ansley, senior director for European affairs at the National Security Council. "This has been a pretty consistent theme for us."

Nicholas Burns, the U.S. undersecretary for political affairs and a former NATO ambassador, said Bush will make the case, as he did at NATO summits in Istanbul and Prague, for increased spending on systems and capabilities "that are absolutely necessary for success on the modern battlefield and in modern peacekeeping."
More weapons for "modern peacekeeping." Orwell would be so proud. We drag NATO into a pointless quagmire in Afghanistan, then insist that they buy more American-made death machines so they can kill more Afghans for us.

China and Venezuela, facing fairly obvious threats from the US, expand their militaries to only a tiny fraction of ours, and Condi complains about it. On the other hand, European countries, facing no obvious threats, are supposed to try and keep up with our insane level of military spending. My guess is that this is an attempt to impoverish Europe as we did the USSR, making it available for sweatshops in the future. I do hope the other NATO countries tell Bush to take his wars and shove them.