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Trump is not Nato’s biggest threat Europe's leaders are stumbling into war

Donald Trump in New Hampshire last month (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Donald Trump in New Hampshire last month (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)


February 15, 2024   5 mins

Donald Trump, we’re told, is “dumb”, “shameful” and “un-American”, at least according to President Biden. He’s a warmonger verging on a war criminal, a global threat who “intends to give Putin a greenlight for more war and violence” in Europe. Yet what if Trump has actually done the continent a favour?

When Trump boasted at the weekend that he would “encourage” Russia to attack any Nato member that did not meet its defence spending quota, many drew the (rather hyperbolic) conclusion that, if he wins in November, the US will leave Nato — and the Red Army will start marching across Europe while America looks the other way. In one fell swoop, the age of America’s global guardianship would be over. Cue an inevitable outburst of Trump hysteria.

Imagine the surprise yesterday, then, when it was revealed that a majority of member nations — 18 out of 32 — will meet Nato’s spending target of 2% of GDP on defence this year. While this is hardly a substitute for America’s 80,000 troops on the continent, it certainly suggests that Europe is successfully boosting its defence capabilities and preparing for a possible American disengagement from Europe, if not Nato itself. Suddenly, Trump’s inflammatory comments carry less of a sting. Indeed, some saw them as a much-needed “wake-up call” for Europe. Does this mean a Trump presidency could be an opportunity rather than a threat to Europe?

The answer, I suspect, is that it would be neither. Even accepting the questionable premise that a US disengagement from Nato would be a problem for Europe, there is no evidence that Trump, if re-elected, would really pull out. When he was president, Trump described Nato as “obsolete” and threatened multiple times to withdraw the United States from the bloc — but never did. At a Nato summit in 2018, for instance, he railed against European leaders for not meeting the spending goal and threatened that the US would “go its own way” if military spending did not rise. But that didn’t happen, and nor did he take any serious steps in that direction.

Similar claims that Trump “aligned himself with Russian President Vladimir Putin” while in the White House — and that therefore his re-election would be a “gift to Putin” — are equally groundless. Contrary to the fictional narrative of a Trump-Putin “bromance”, Trump actually escalated US military support for Ukraine; indeed, it was under him that the US started selling weaponry to Ukraine for the first time. The objective, the US Naval Institute explained, wasn’t just to arm the Ukrainian army, but also to “improve [its] interoperability with Nato” — signalling that Washington would begin treating Ukraine as a de facto Nato member regardless of its formal status. Elsewhere, Biden’s recent suggestion that Putin would view a Trump victory as a “green light” for further invasions also clashes with the obvious fact that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine happened under Biden himself, not Trump. Overall, it’s hard not to conclude that the doomsday “death of Nato” scenario envisaged by Trump’s critics is grounded mostly in fantasy.

But let’s assume for a moment that Trump’s critics are right and that, if re-elected, he would pull the US out of Nato and destroy the transatlantic military alliance. Would this really be such a tragedy for Europe, as the continent’s leaders claim? Only if one believes the rose-tinted narrative of Nato as a purely “defensive alliance” working for peace and security in Europe.

Alas, the reality is quite different. Far from being an alliance among equals, Nato is one of the key institutions through which the US has exercised its control over post-war Western Europe. As the researchers Rajan Menon and William Ruger argue in a recent paper: “Nato’s continued existence ensures that Europe remains a strategic subordinate to the US, which explains why the US, though it has complained often about inequitable burden sharing, has never demanded a dramatic increase in European military power, let alone a Europe with an autonomous defence policy.” Rather fittingly, it was none other than Lord Ismay, Nato’s first Secretary General, who observed that the purpose of the Alliance was to “keep the Russians out, the Americans in and the Germans down”.

“Nato is one of the key institutions through which the US has exercised its control over post-war Western Europe”

So perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that this is exactly what the US has achieved by dragging the whole of Europe, via Nato, into a proxy war with Russia in Ukraine. It has allowed the US to reassert its waning hegemony over Europe; it has driven a deep wedge between Europe and Russia; and it has condemned Germany to deindustrialisation.

Of course, one could argue that European leaders have largely brought this upon themselves. But it is also the natural outcome of an “alliance” that has always treated European nations as subordinates. The result, as this week has demonstrated, is an infantilised political class terrified at the prospect of losing its transatlantic overlord. Which brings us to the alternative view: that a more isolationist America under Trump would be an opportunity for Europe to finally develop its own strategic autonomy.

Under normal circumstances, this might be true. I have long argued that Europe needs to free itself from the geostrategic grip of the United States. But this would require Europe to have a truly autonomous vision of how the continent could ensure its security and prosperity in a multipolar world — something which would mean rejecting America’s New Cold War approach to non-Western powers and re-normalising relations with neighbouring Russia.

Regrettably, alternative views of this kind are a rare commodity. With few exceptions, Europe’s political elites have internalised America’s geopolitical strategy to such an extent that today they are even more Russophobic than their American counterparts — not only in Eastern and Baltic states that have long been weary of Russia, for obvious historical reasons, but in Western Europe as well. As a result, a “European Nato” would arguably be even more bent on antagonising relations with Russia than the current US-led Alliance is.

And so, what is framed as an epic clash between the post-war transatlantic order and America’s looming isolationism is in fact little more than a minor disagreement about whether Europe would be better off preparing for war with Russia, deemed all but inevitable, under the US security umbrella or whether it should go it alone. Biden and the Democratic establishment would prefer the former; Trump is partial to the latter. But both scenarios imply Europe’s subordination to whatever the US happens to identify as the interests of the “collective West” — and a future marked by a permanently militarised new Iron Curtain and the permanent threat of nuclear war.

Indeed, Trump himself wants a militarily autonomous Europe, not a geopolitically autonomous one; consider the efforts his administration put into stopping the construction of the Nord Stream pipeline. In this context, suggestions that the EU should develop its own nuclear arsenal — with Germany playing the role of America’s lieutenant in Europe — are far from reassuring.

This isn’t to say the entire of Europe is willing to accept this reality. Hungary’s premier Viktor Orbán has notably opposed the EU’s military-victory-at-all-costs approach to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, urging a diplomatic solution and maintaining cordial relations with the Kremlin. Meanwhile, in Germany, Sahra Wagenknecht has just launched a new Left-wing party based on a radically alternative geostrategic vision for Germany and Europe as a whole. It calls for an end to arms supplies to Ukraine and to the oil and gas embargo against Russia (the main reason for Germany’s collapsing economy), as well as the re-establishment of long-term economic relations with Russia. This, Wolfgang Streeck writes, could potentially lay the groundwork for a new Eurasian security architecture, and provide “an alternative to a hostile division of the continent at Russia’s western border”.

Away from the hysteria over another Trump presidency, this is the kind of debate we should be having in Europe. We are already engaged in two Nato wars, in Ukraine and in the Middle East, for which we are already paying a very high price in economic and political terms. Meanwhile, Nato is ramping up its presence in the Indo-Pacific in view of a conflict with China that is deemed just as inevitable as war with Russia. This isn’t “great-power politics” — it’s madness. And whether Europe succumbs to it depends more on the choices of our own leaders than those of whomever ends up in the White House.


Thomas Fazi is an UnHerd columnist and translator. His latest book is The Covid Consensus, co-authored with Toby Green.

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Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
3 months ago

I feel the need to remind people both Bush and Obama complained about NATO members not meeting their military spending obligations. They were both brushed off by an arrogant Western Europe. I find they are in no position to whine about rudeness now. There is an expectation that the United States has an obligation to go out of their way to protect those who have little interest in protecting themselves. It is not unreasonable to expect reliable military assistance from your allies if a crisis occurs. Could the United States rely on men and tanks from the alliance? What is the point of NATO if they cannot? Do Western European countries really care about their security? If the United States sees the alliance as a detriment, what happens if it leaves? These questions make you uncomfortable? You know you could have just spent your 2%.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
3 months ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

America subsidised (and subsidises) European defence to keep Europe from turning eastwards. The entire post-war era was about securing liberty and capitalism for Europe and American financial interests. America can leave NATO if it likes but it will realise it has been taking Europe for granted just as Europe has been taking it for granted.
What use does Europe have for America First? If America withdraws, Europe can easily turn back to Russia for cheap energy (once the pipelines are rebuilt…) and back to China for cheap goods. America will have to rely on the rest of the Anglosphere as conduits for its foreign policy. Oh no, Canada, Australia and Great Britain – that’ll keep Xi in check.

Charlie Dibsdale
Charlie Dibsdale
3 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

I am not sure China is such a medium and long-term threat. It faces a financial crisis that makes sub-prime in the West look like a tea party. It also faces one of the world’s worst demographic catastrophes with some pundits claiming the Chinese population may halve by 2050. The US is rapidly re-shoring industry and many Western companies are withdrawing from China. Mexico (with the expansion of their basic industries and no demographic problem) and the US with NAFTA seem to be better insulated from some major issues the rest of the world will face. If China chooses a military option it only has a small window of opportunity. It is also strategically weak with its reliance on energy and agri (fertilisers etc.) and other raw goods which can easily be choked off by the US Navy blockading at a distance from China (Malacca straits and off the Middle East). China would begin to starve after a year of blockade. Europe needs to get its act together in terms of energy, we need cheap energy with a mix of gas, nuclear and renewables. Germany insanely switched off its Nuclear (A moronic strategic decision) and years ago could have followed France’s lead with its nuclear programme. The UK’s energy policy has also been pathetically short-termist, wasting away our then world leading nuclear expertise with political idiocy by all parties. We need to drill for our gas and make a real effort in Nuclear to balance the unpredictability of renewable energy. Shame we chose HS2 instead of transforming our energy situation.

Andrew F
Andrew F
3 months ago

Great post apart from China population dropping by 50% by 2050.
Maybe by 2150.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
3 months ago

Great post, some excellent points!

P Branagan
P Branagan
3 months ago

China can get all the oil, gas, coal, fertiliser, iron ore and all other commodities from Russia through their mutual 1000km + land border.
China manufactures more goods than the US, EU, UK and Japan combined.
They make for the perfect geopolitical partnership.

Wake up and try to live in the 21st century.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
3 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

The Americans are of course always the (only!) bad guys in any foreign policy discussion. Just the power which actually prevented Marxist Leninist domination of even more continents than the huge Asian one it already did.

So, let’s get this right. You want Ukraine to be conquered by Russia and Taiwan China. Europe can remain a mercantilist geopolitical pygmy, whose security lies entirely at the whim of these military giants (at least compared to any forces the Europeans might put together).

Andrew F
Andrew F
3 months ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Great post.
Russian stooge Fazi is pedling his usual pro Putin fantasies.
It was Germany and France appeasement of Russian aggression in Georgia and the Ukraine, which led to Ukrainian war.
Idea that Baltic States, Poland and Finland would trust any European independent deterrence led by France and Germany is just mad.
Yes, European countries should pay for their own defence and not expect USA to foot the bill.
Complaining about Trump pointing out this obvious problem is both pathetic and immature.

B Emery
B Emery
3 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

‘It was Germany and France appeasement of Russian aggression in Georgia and the Ukraine, which led to Ukrainian war’

Inaccurate. This started as a civil war between Ukrainians after the maidan revolution in 2014 with the eastern regions wanting to maintain ties with Russia over Europe. There is also the point that America funded terrorist organisations in Ukraine at this time which probably didn’t help either.

‘Yes, European countries should pay for their own defence and not expect USA to foot the bill.’

I remember talking to you last year. Have you forgotten the American RAND corporations documents that called for ‘extending russia’. This was American foreign policy and that is well documented. Well you tried to extend them and have ended up extending yourselves. And us. So I think America should continue to put its money where it’s mouth is at least until ukraine has regained the ground it’s lost barring the eastern regions and crimea that voted for independence or ukraine can make a break through that will push putin to the negotiating table in their favour. I’m not sure that’s even achievable at this point, poor planning and drip feeding of weapons by Americans have made ukraine very vulnerable now.
Trump can spout what he likes but America is far more culpable for the mess in Ukraine than either France or Germany. I’ll put boris on the blame list too since he went out there involving the UK. If America didn’t want to foot the bill it should have kept its nose out in the first place. Now it wants to run away. Just like Afghanistan.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
3 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Seriously, you need to read more and I don’t mean Facebook…

Ex Nihilo
Ex Nihilo
3 months ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Well said. Many European NATO members are soon to discover that rebuilding credible defense involves much more than money, which BTW they have don’t really have. It depends upon the development of the human aspects of military forces that do not currently exist. Airplanes, tanks, and missiles are only hardware that requires an infrastructure of personnel trained, not only in its use, but also in the difficult art of orchestrating multiple weapons systems to common ends in variable circumstances and properly maintaining them with highly-skilled personnel. How will Europe recruit (or conscript?) these large numbers of military people? What officer-class (which doesn’t yet sufficiently exist) will educate and direct them and how long will it take to accumulate the experience necessary for competence? The military-educational apparatus of the US armed services is massive. The storied military academies like West Point are only the tip of the iceberg. Anyone in the US who has served or had a family member in the services knows how many schools and continuing training the enlisted are sent through. Military service in the US is still a culture unto itself with living traditions. Are the young people of Germany, Sweden, and the UK who will be the target of recruitment inclined to such service, or will they in Gen Z style just say “uh, yeah… no” and go back to their lattes and video games? How many who do enter the military will do so only as an employer of last resort because they have little to offer other employers? How many or few will make careers of it? Absent the continuity and experience of career military members any force is substantially diminished in effectiveness. How many immigrant Europeans now comprising a large part of that generation have allegiance to the notion of defending anything “Western”? Finally, the US has sadly sent thousands of its soldiers, sailors, and airmen to die for God knows what all over the world; that grim reality has as one of its byproducts a substantial experience with actual combat that confers an advantage over any untested force and will be difficult for any European country to imitate.

B Emery
B Emery
3 months ago
Reply to  Ex Nihilo

‘Military service in the US is still a culture unto itself with living traditions.’

‘that grim reality has as one of its byproducts a substantial experience with actual combat that confers an advantage over any untested force and will be difficult for any European country to imitate.’

The British army would kick the arse of the American army any day of the year. I’m pretty sure it’s considerably older than the American army too. Not sure they would want to imitate the Americans your track record is sh*t. Or that British or European armies are ‘untested’ – unfortunately we had to follow your dumb arses into the middle east and God knows where else. We also did ww2 properly and have actually had our cities bombed to nothing, something America has never experienced. I don’t think you had to ‘dig for victory’ over there did you? You realise this is still within living memory over here? I think America is a bit of an ‘untested force’ in that respect don’t you?

Ex Nihilo
Ex Nihilo
3 months ago
Reply to  B Emery

I won’t disturb your flawed reverie about events long past and forever gone, but you might want to educate yourself about the pitiful current state of the UK military. Here is one salient example: the Royal Navy has no carrier-based jet aircraft, having mothballed its last Harrier (ancient technology) in 2010. There are many recent sources to consult. Here are two:
https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm5804/cmselect/cmdfence/26/report.html#heading-4
https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKCN10L18I/

B Emery
B Emery
3 months ago
Reply to  Ex Nihilo

Is that the best you can do?
Flawed reverie – I don’t think so.
The UK military probably does need more investment. London should be looking at that. Right now.
You didn’t answer my questions. There’s a war in Europe at the moment you helped to stoke and are now neglecting to fund – any chance you could send your oh so superior military to help? Or some of your oh so superior kit? It’s alright having it and spouting your superiority, why don’t you demonstrate that in real life? Or are you all too busy bleating over there about your prolific domestic problems?

Ex Nihilo
Ex Nihilo
3 months ago
Reply to  B Emery

Do you live in a cave? Have you bothered to view any of the readily available information on the NATO support of the Ukraine war? As of the end of 2023 the US has contributed $75 billion in total aide to Ukraine of which $45 billion was in arms, more than any other NATO nation by wide margin and 5 times more than the UK. The number of US weapons systems provided is vast. US missile defense systems are the only reason Kiev is not a pile of rubble. Plus, dozens of Ukrainian pilots have been training at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas on F-16’s that will soon be deployed. Here is a list complied by the US Department of State comprising the weapons systems supplied by the US to date. It is a vast expenditure of highly advanced weapons.I know you won’t read it because you are too busy waving your Union Jack to be bothered by facts, but never the less:

https://www.state.gov/u-s-security-cooperation-with-ukraine/#:~:text=Deliveries%20to%20date%20include%20almost,Allies%20are%20vital%20and%20appreciated.

BTW, no reputable student of military history supports the notion that the UK would have prevailed in WWII absent the intervention of the US. To say otherwise demonstrates only ignorance. Please offer something more than jingoism and fake history or don’t expect me to dignify any more of your ravings with a reply.

B Emery
B Emery
3 months ago
Reply to  Ex Nihilo

Do you live in a cave?
No. But I wish I did. There’s a lovely one Wales by a lake that I’ve got my eye on.

‘Have you bothered to view any of the readily available information on the NATO support of the Ukraine war?’

Probably far too much, I could repost all of my comments on the subject which have numerous sources attached to them from last year but it would blow up the comments box.

‘ As of the end of 2023 the US has contributed $75 billion in total aide to Ukraine of which $45 billion was in arms, more than any other NATO nation by wide margin and 5 times more than the UK’

Your country is considerably larger than ours to be fair, I’m sure the UK is at least five times smaller than you are. Keep things in proportion please.
Can you send more? It’s just that America has helped to stir the pot in Ukraine and did say it would support them. I’m not sure how good you are at military strategy but cutting the weapons off from your allies when the jobs half done sounds like a bad idea to me.
Well done for sending everything on that list then. Give yourselves a pat on the back, again, can you send more and stand by what you said? Because you said you would help ukraine.

‘the notion that the UK would have prevailed in WWII absent the intervention of the US.’
Thank you for your help. A lot of you are descended from British and European people since we are the ones who colonised America in the first place, so you know it made sense for you to help us. And you got to be all hegemonic and sh*t afterwards so you didn’t do too badly did you?

‘. To say otherwise demonstrates only ignorance. Please offer something more than jingoism and fake history or don’t expect me to dignify any more of your ravings with a reply.’
I said nothing of the sort. I said America has never been attacked like the UK and Europe and that you are an untested force in that respect.

Ex Nihilo
Ex Nihilo
3 months ago
Reply to  B Emery

“The British army would kick the arse of the American army any day of the year.” 
If that isn’t jingoism (hallucinogenic), nothing is
“Keep things in proportion please.”
The per capita GDP of the US is 30% greater than the UK. The US expenditure to Ukraine is 500% greater than the UK.
“you got to be all hegemonic”
If memory serves it was Great Britain that historically gloated conspicuously about the “sun not setting” on its vast empire, the consequences of which torment this world far more than America’s dubious recent hegemony.
 “can you send more”
There it is: the UK as Oliver Twist asking for more. If it wants to be taken seriously by Americans the toothless Lion needs to at least purchase some dentures with which to nip Putin’s arse.

B Emery
B Emery
3 months ago
Reply to  Ex Nihilo

‘If that isn’t jingoism (hallucinogenic), nothing is’
Oh it absolutely is – but I love it.

The per capita GDP of the US is 30% greater than the UK. The US expenditure to Ukraine is 500% greater than the UK.

Jolly good. Keep it coming then or don’t stand by what you said. Don’t we buy a lot of our weapons from you anyway? The Americans military industrial complex had billions upon billions poured into it last year, I have an article on it somewhere. I think that’s good for your gdp. In the UK we don’t have the resources or manufacturing capacity the us does, if you make your weapons cheaper we could buy more from you? They are very expensive at the moment.

‘There it is: the UK as Oliver Twist asking for more.’

Lmao. Go beg China to buy more of your debt d*ck head.

.’ If it wants to be taken seriously by Americans the toothless Lion’

Nobody takes America seriously at the moment. I do not wish to be taken seriously by Americans either. I do not expect you to take me seriously. That is up to you.
Toothless. Absolutely not. At this point you relying on insult over sound arguments. I reserve the right not to take you seriously.

‘If memory serves it was Great Britain that historically gloated conspicuously about the “sun not setting” on its vast empire’

‘Two world wars and one world cup. Used to have an empire then we grew up, lost everything who gives a f*ck’ – Jamie t. Chaka demus – https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=C1ytlFKM2kc

We are well past that now. Nothing to do with me, I’d have been a pirate back then anyway. To use your own words against you – ‘I won’t disturb your flawed reverie about events long past and forever gone’

Ex Nihilo
Ex Nihilo
3 months ago
Reply to  B Emery

You poor sad man. You accuse me of insult over argument while call me a d***head and ignore that I have been parrying all that you spout with multiple quantitative verifiable sources. Pirate! Give me a break. You’d be the same thing you are now. Go ahead jump up and take a look in the mirror. See any pirates? Toodles

B Emery
B Emery
3 months ago
Reply to  Ex Nihilo

I’m a lady. And nearly a pirate. You just lost your comment battle to a girl.

Ex Nihilo
Ex Nihilo
3 months ago
Reply to  B Emery

And I thought anyone so dim couldn’t be a woman. I read nothing in your comments to suggest you bested me at anything except crudeness. Review my comments and you will be more informed than you previously were. Review your comments and there is nothing that edifies or informs, only silly invective. Do everyone here a favor and keep your fingers off the keyboard.

B Emery
B Emery
3 months ago
Reply to  Ex Nihilo

Sorry, fingers off? Not yet. I’m busy blowing RAND docs on another article atm. Only to be done by serious people that can put up with the serious blowback.
You will find yourself better informed than you previously were if you come across them.

You only get silly invective if you start with bullsh*t in the first place.
I am crude. I prefer to own it.

Ex Nihilo
Ex Nihilo
3 months ago
Reply to  B Emery

Crude and proud of it. Serious people. What a laugh!!! Much in the way of education, experience, or accomplishment or is it just all uninformed opinion? Just what the world needs. You are not informing anyone of anything. You are just another opinionated screamer trolling sites like this and deluding yourself that you are part of the larger game.

B Emery
B Emery
3 months ago
Reply to  Ex Nihilo

You are delightful.
We could keep up this back and forth all day.
I am everything you say I am and worse, I’m sure.
You are obviously a much better person with far more accomplishments than I have, that would not be difficult.
Well done. Give yourself another pat on the back.

laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
3 months ago
Reply to  Ex Nihilo

Grim, but true.

Right-Wing Hippie
Right-Wing Hippie
3 months ago

NATO’s biggest threat is NATO itself.
Well, that and plesiosaurs.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
3 months ago

Is it just me, or is the hysterical bloviating over Trump more annoying than ever? Clearly, the comments lit a spark under Europe’s ass and it worked. He’s a 78 year old blowhard who knows how to negotiate. The world won’t end with his second term.

By the way, excellent essay by Fazi. It’s time Europe put on its big boy pants and exercised its own agency. Maybe then you can tell Trump to piss off, rather than whining like school kids.

Martin M
Martin M
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Excellent article apart from the folly of thinking relations with Russia should be “normalised”.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
3 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

Why not, it is only the Americans and their stooges in the media that condition us into thinking the Russians are bad, it is the US that screws us all, good riddance I say, just need to get rid of Shultz and the elitist Liberals.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Yeah but I doubt that Europe will grow up. They are all too complacent relying on Daddy Sam. They can hardly even cooperate with eachother for gods sake. And I very much doubt any country would be keen on a defensive effort led by the French or the Germans, it’s clear that their goals are to replace the US and use the rest of Europe for their own ends. Most of the rest of Europe would be choosing one overlord for another.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
3 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Do we actually need a deterrent though? Sure we need a reasonable sized force, but it is so unlikely Russia would be a problem, Putin wanted to join Nato, it is the Americans that provoked him with the intention of weakening Russia and destabilising the West, do we want those sorts of ‘friends’ what has Russia done to us? It was the US that destabilised the middle east and Libya causing the migrant crisis, it is pure Machiavellian, America first crap.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Couldn’t agree more re: ‘hysterical bloviating’ as this is also happening stateside and there has yet to appear a similar article like this outlining the stakes and addressing Trump’s outbursts with a keener eye. TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) is real and is making those on the American Left dumb & myopic. It’s pants-on-fire time for the Democrats until they can secure another term for their senile candidate and his clownish sideshow, Kamala Harris.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
3 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

And the fact that Dems donated $10 mill to the most MAGA candidates during the Republican primaries is just waved away and memory holed.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

At last your sensible posts have returned, totally agree.

Peter F. Lee
Peter F. Lee
3 months ago

Trump knows if he does not put ‘the fear of God’ in to the countries of NATO they will never pay the 2%GDP that they all promised to invest in their military. The stupidity of people not to realise what the end game is, shocks me (or is TDS). It has been 75 years that Europe has left it up to the US to pay a lot of the bills. In fact I do not think there is a single country other than the US that has invested 2% every year since 1949.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter F. Lee

Done be so damned greedy, the US did very well indeed in 1914-1919 and 1939-1945.
Generosity and the US are mutually incompatible.

j watson
j watson
3 months ago

It’s never solely altruistic. But the US knows the western liberal order generates the vibrant capitalism that sustains it’s own position and so much of what it’s people value. That vibrant capitalism cannot exist in a World where Autocrats control much more. So battle-lines will always be in a foreign theatre.

B Emery
B Emery
3 months ago
Reply to  j watson

You do understand the contradictions between this comment and the one you have posted below? Brexit was about free trade. Freely trading with all nations. That is the basis of generating ‘vibrant capitalism’.
The us maintains its position not through ‘vibrant capitalism’ but by maintaining and weaponising dollar hegemony.

j watson
j watson
3 months ago
Reply to  B Emery

No that’s a ‘stretch’ BE. Brexit reduced free trade not increased it. Just go to Dover and have a look. But regardless I’d still see vibrant western capitalism as encompassing Brexit Britain, the EU and much of the rest of western democratic order. Some ‘system’ clashes are much bigger fundamental than minutiae about trade deals, although Putin will have delighted in Brexit too.

B Emery
B Emery
3 months ago
Reply to  j watson

What is a stretch? That free trade promotes ‘vibrant capitalism’ or that America maintains its position using dollar hegemony?

If brexit had been delivered on the free trade mandate it was based on it would not have reduced free trade. Do you have solid figures for that? Go to Dover to look at what? That doesn’t sound the like the basis for any credible or sound research. Is that what you are basing your arguments on?
Boris and his merry band of d*ck heads have put paid to Brexit by failing to deliver the mandate they were elected to, now we are embroiled in all kinds of geopolitical f*ck ups that make the idea of creating a free trading nation nearly impossible anyway.

‘Some ‘system’ clashes are much bigger fundamental than minutiae about trade deals’

If you want vibrant capitalism im afraid trade deals are not ‘minutiae’ but fundamental to the functioning of any countries economy.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
3 months ago
Reply to  B Emery

Very true, good post.

Peter F. Lee
Peter F. Lee
3 months ago

Your comment in the current context of Ukraine, US aid to foreign countries and meeting NATO’s 2% is not even worthy of discussion. Whilst one can criticise US Foreign Policy on many levels, lack of aid and financial support is not one of them.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter F. Lee

AID!
What a wonderful euphemism, it is only more jobs for Americans at the end of the day is it not?
Or do the wretched Ukrainians really have the capability of producing all this super expensive hardware?

Bruce V
Bruce V
3 months ago

“more jobs for Americans” ? not so sure on that one. From this side of the pond an awful lot of the more blue-ish collar jobs have gone overseas along with their positive cultural incentives and that’s why we have this huge cancerous problem of poverty/crime/drugs et al in places like Oakland, Chicago etc.

Peter F. Lee
Peter F. Lee
3 months ago

CS. To answer your question No it is not.
The US currently donates over $70billion to 180 countries annually. Even the wonderful UK gets $25K US. Whilst approx. 23% in 2020 was categorized as military spending, only 50% of which resulted in jobs for Americans ie military equipment mfg. It is probably higher than that at the moment due to wars in Israel and Ukraine. It still hardly warrants your caustic comment “Generosity and the US are mutually incompatible”

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter F. Lee

Donates? You mean lends with interest I think.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 months ago
Reply to  Carl Valentine

‘We’ used to call that usury did we not?

Andrew F
Andrew F
3 months ago

You are so ennoying on occasions.

USA sacrificed many of their citizens in both European wars.

Without USA where would UK be now?
Speaking German or Russian?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

ANNOYING, FFS!

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
3 months ago

Charles, he is not worth your ire, calm down and bask in the pleasure of my up vote!

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
3 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

The US has its own interests don’t pretend it does it for love, its all about money and power, didn’t you get the memo?

Martin M
Martin M
3 months ago

This was making a bit of sense up to “re-normalising relations with neighbouring Russia“. Russia will never be able to be trusted, because it’s political system throws up a succession of war-mongering tyrants who hanker for the days when Russia was “great“, of which Putin is merely the latest. If Europe once again becomes addicted to Russian hydrocarbons, then things will not end well. Never mind 2% of GDP. Europe needs to spend 3% of GDP to make up for letting its military atrophy. It also needs to get itself some nukes (I know France has some, but relying on France for anything military is sheer folly).

j watson
j watson
3 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

Agree and a consistent error on Fazi’s part. Autocrats can’t allow liberal democracies to thrive as their people inevitability see that and want it too. The mere existence of western liberal order is almost existential to the Autocrats. That is why they have to undermine and sow division. That will not change if some sort of deal got done in Ukraine in Putin’s favour. It’s incredibly naive and dangerous to think that.
Ukraine probably does though need to accept Crimea not coming back any time soon, and besides why take on a region with 2m Russians and the insurgency that would then perpetuate. NATO and EU guarantees on a border and economic help and then all hands to help turn Ukraine into a S Korea ‘miracle’ part 2.

j watson
j watson
3 months ago

Fazi is probably right that kicking European nations to meet their 2% and become more defence self-reliant, whilst needed, has a few other perhaps unintended consequences. One is the potential to further diminish the position of the UK. Germany spending 2% (properly) would have them with a much larger military capability than the UK and thus inevitable a greater role in leadership. UK, having weakened it’s ‘Atlantic ‘bridge’ role with the Brexit folly could find that further weakened – although Five Eyes does give us something European allies have not…for now.
If elected Trump will soon lose interest in US domestic politics. Capitol Hill will grind to halt without bi-partisan leadership which he can’t offer and he’ll likely be enmeshed in legal battles too. Thus, and like most US 2nd term Presidents he’ll focus on foreign policy and his legacy in that sphere. A US withdrawal from key strategic areas of a complicated and challenging World thus unlikely. Who wants to be the President who ran away from the Autocrats and ceded the World order to them?

Peter F. Lee
Peter F. Lee
3 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Stick with Biden my friend, and have a happy life.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter F. Lee

What! Shackled to a corpse! I think not.

Peter F. Lee
Peter F. Lee
3 months ago

Just Joking CS or should I write *
*clue a joke

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter F. Lee

Touché.

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
3 months ago

Forgive my naivety. I read daily in the corporate media about the threat of European war, comparisons between Putin and Hitler, the dangers of appeasement, nice little charts showing how many tanks and planes everybody has, articles about how Gen Z will not be up to the task of fighting etc.
Has anybody got any evidence that Putin wants to invade and occupy Western Europe? If so, please link it for me to educate myself out of my credulousness because a cynical part of me just thinks this is all about transferring taxpayer money to the military-industrial complex and Blackrock.

Peter B
Peter B
3 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Western Europe – no.
But he has demanded NATO withdrawal from Poland (on his Christmas list in 2019) and is interested in strategic parts of Eastern Europe. Which happen to be in NATO. If you doubt Putin’s ability to interfere in and manipulate other countries, you clearly haven’t being paying attention ! Do you seriously doubt that he wouldn’t stir up trouble in Latvia or Estonia if he saw some benefit in that ? Or that he hasn’t already done so in Moldova ?

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

If that is, indeed, the case, which I’m not convinced of, then perhaps it is time we pulled out of NATO because these countries are not our concern, and we can’t afford to defend them.

Peter B
Peter B
3 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Eight point draft treaty issued by Russia’s foreign ministry in December 2019 includes this:
“The demands, spelled out by Moscow in full for the first time, were handed over to the US this week. They include a demand that Nato remove any troops or weapons deployed to countries that entered the alliance after 1997, which would include much of eastern Europe, including Poland, the former Soviet countries of Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, and the Balkan countries.”
I’m surprised you’re not more familiar with this. All part of Putin’s fantasy “wish list” issued in December 2019.
Are you convinced now ?
And fortunately most people in the UK disagree with you (about “those countries”). Of course, we also have substantial populations from “those countries” in the UK now.

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Nope.
Putin believes, as he stated in the interview with Carlson, as he has stated before, as has been argued repeatedly by Mearsheimer, amongst others, that NATO made an agreement with Russia not to expand.
He believes we welched on that agreement.

Peter B
Peter B
3 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

What part of the Russian foreign ministry draft treaty is it that you don’t understand then ? It tells you exactly what they want.
You are also denying the freedom of countries like Poland to choose their defence and security policy for themselves and creating a set of “second class countries” with fewer rights. I know who I’d trust more about defence if I were Polish and it’s not Russia and Putin.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Poland has good reason to distrust Russia and Germany, although whether you like it or not the leaders are different from 80 years ago and no where near as unpleasant, the American ones however don’t seem to have changed.

Andrew F
Andrew F
3 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

There was no agreement about NATO not expanding.
Anyway, it is not for Russia to decide what alliance countries like Poland and Baltic States join.
All based on long experience of Russian genocidal imperialism.
But the was agreement about Russia guaranteeing territorial integrity of Ukraine in Budapest memorandum of 1994.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

That is not convincing at all, try again

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Putin has his hands full in Ukraine. Poland has the largest military in Europe. There is no way he invades Poland. He’s better off invading Germany.

Peter B
Peter B
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I think you’ll find that the route to Germany goes through Poland !
Or do you think the Russians can do this all with paratroopers ? Or a naval assualt ?

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I think Turkey has a bigger army and they are in NATO too (at the moment) Germany will I am sure accept an invading Russian army with open arms as long as they accept Trans and green policies…

j watson
j watson
3 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

A full invasion the last resort for an Autocrat, but what Autocrats can’t allow is vibrant, liberal democracies to develop nearby. They know their own people will grow to demand similar and in the modern information age they can’t quarantine themselves like they used to. So they’ll undermine via other methods first and then the threat of invasion used when needed too.
We can theoretically reach accommodations with Autocratic states, but what are the ‘terms’? If the ‘terms’ are they be allowed to constantly seek to undermine the western liberal order we should not be naive about how we must respond. That does not mean the West does not make mistakes, but the fundamentals of the clash should not be downplayed.

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
3 months ago
Reply to  j watson

I would no longer describe our country as a ‘liberal democracy’. We live in a technocratic state that may as well be an autocratic one. It is ruled by a Uniparty without any regard to the wishes of the electorate, who, having made the ‘wrong’ choice on Brexit, will never be allowed to have any democratic input on anything that matters ever again. We may have a little more freedom than Russians currently, but not for very much longer. Our choices are very constrained now, as will become readily apparent when we get to compare the electoral manifestos later this year.
Sorry, but I don’t believe Putin is any threat to me or my family, unless the Uniparty makes him one.

j watson
j watson
3 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Liberal democracy is not always easy nor a bed of roses. But think you might need to spend some time living in a real autocratic state to appreciate what you do in fact have.

Mrs R
Mrs R
3 months ago
Reply to  j watson

I think Nik Jewel understands what we had but is aware that it is being dismantled piece by piece and it is not being done by enemies outside of our borders.

j watson
j watson
3 months ago
Reply to  Mrs R

Another one who needs to go and live in a real Autocratic state. I fear it’s conspiracy stuff confusing folks who can’t handle complexity, or who sometimes don’t like/abhor some outcomes from democracy. Well the latter occasionally goes with it, but it’s better than any other system

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
3 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Raight ho chief! Let’s send a couple of gunboats up the Don to sort him out, eh?! (seeing as our new aircraft carrier has broken down).

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
3 months ago
Reply to  j watson

You are American I am guessing? The gun and drug centre of the world, such an inspiring ‘democracy’

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
3 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Well said. I would rather contend with some pink haired bureaucrat than a real authoritarian.

Peter B
Peter B
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Bureaucrats and authoritarians are not exclusive though. States like the Soviet Union relied on armies of bureaucrats.

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

It’s not about the blue hairs. You will be contending with an AI. “Computer says no”.

Andrew F
Andrew F
3 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Yes, you are similar to people who advocated appeasing Hitler in Munich, because “who cares about far away lands”
Then 2.5 years later bombs were falling on London.
Your comparison of UK to dictatorships like Russia or China is frankly disgusting.
Go to Russia and argue that invasion of Ukraine was wrong.
Or go to China and say that Tibet should be independent.
Let’s see how long you are free?
And you are spouting this rubbish in uk fully aware that nothing happens to you.

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
3 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Why would Putin want to invade Western Europe? Show me the evidence he wants to do so, as I asked for in my OP.
Western Europe is a deindustrialising mess with too many people and no resources. Nobody in their right mind would want to invade and occupy us. Wake up, Europe is done, it’s over.
As soon as the CBDCs are ready, look to China for our future of social credit systems.
We are not free now. We will be less free then.
Worry about our future, not the future of Moldova.

Cal RW
Cal RW
3 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

He probably wouldn’t need to invade Europe if people who think like you carry the day. All he would have to do is install his surrogates and dictate what he wants from you. Welcome to the Warsaw Pact.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
3 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Agreed, however the jury is out over Brexit, if we can knock some heads together and get rid of the American overlords, who knows cheap oil, no more US wars and make friends with our neighbours. The US elites are despicable.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
3 months ago
Reply to  j watson

‘Vibrant Liberal democracies? Are you joking? We are a laughing stock, our leaders are corrupt and powerless, just doing the bidding of the US, you seem quite naive?

Ian McKinney
Ian McKinney
3 months ago

Excellent demonstration of horseshoe theory. Top Marks.

Chris Whybrow
Chris Whybrow
3 months ago

A weak and defeated Russia is in Europe’s interests. And who cares about trying to appease them anyway? Putin has always considered us his enemies and always will.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 months ago
Reply to  Chris Whybrow

No, he hasn’t. Putin has talked to multiple US presidents about fostering closer ties and even joining NATO, whose purpose went away with the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Peter B
Peter B
3 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Just explain to me what the benefit of fostering closer ties with a corrupt and kleptocratic regime is for us. Or why adding the corrupt and dysfunctionla Russian military to NATO would be of any value ? Or how Russia meets the entry criteria for NATO ?
If events in Ukraine don’t persuade you of the continuing need for NATO to protect Eastern Europe, I don’t know what more to say.

B Emery
B Emery
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Just explain to me what the benefit of fostering closer ties with a corrupt and kleptocratic regime is for us.

Well we have done very well for cheap energy from Russia and cheap goods from China, importing from both these countries wasn’t an issue before, now apparently they are ‘kleptocratic regimes’ we must fight and we should dictate how they run their governments.
What a load of b*llsh*t.
Unfortunately we are now that heavily committed to ukraine I don’t see any choice other than to support them until we can negotiate with Russia. Various heads of the us military have said this will have to end in negotiation, what that looks like now for the west is anybodies guess – perhaps the us should have formed better ties with Russia in the first place rather than p*ssing them off? Would have saved a fortune and a lot of lives.

Peter B
Peter B
3 months ago
Reply to  B Emery

Do try to keep it civil …
But it was an issue before. Some of us recognised Russia and China for what they were a decade or more ago. But people like Blair, Clinton, Cameron and Osborne decided to take the easy, short term option.
You may not agree that Russia is a kleptocratic regime in which private property can be confiscated at the drop of a hat. But both recent events and Russia’s long history say otherwise.
The West is far from perfect, but it is at least built around the rule of law and protection of private property. Without which lasting freedom and prosperity are not possible.
Where exactly do I say that we should dictate how Russia and China should run their governments ? You’re just making that bit up.

B Emery
B Emery
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Do try to keep it civil …

I write like I speak, sorry about that.

Russia is kleptocratic and all the rest. I feel like it is beside the point, I suppose your point, which is a good one – But people like Blair, Clinton, Cameron and Osborne decided to take the easy, short term option. – is kind of the point I’m trying to make too, western foreign policy is absolutely packed with contradictions especially when it comes to trade. On one hand we buy their stuff, to the point we have become pretty dependent on them, especially China, then on the other hand we are gearing up for war with them. With high inflation and an increasingly unstable shipping situation, as well as the fact the west is resource poor these contradictions are starting to hurt us.

‘Where exactly do I say that we should dictate how Russia and China should run their governments ?’

You didn’t to be fair, but aside from the west many countries are subject to corrupt regimes – bear with me while I try to get to my point, Brexit was about free trade, if we want to trade freely with the world in general (free trade promotes peace and prosperity yes?) we are getting rather picky about what governments we should trade with, we are becoming isolationist from that perspective and I think it is dangerous. We are dependent on global trade, we can’t keep cutting it off because we don’t necessarily agree with the government of any country. Imposing western style democracy hasn’t gone well in the middle east and historically free trade has been shown to improve relations between nations as well as fostering peace.

As far as a war with Russia goes I feel we are nearly too far down that road to turn back now, negotiating windows have been and gone, I think trump is being a massive d*ck head and America could have handled the situation in Ukraine a lot better. That is the ‘better ties in the first place rather than p*ssing them off’ part. Ukraine needs admitting to NATO and the EU ASAP. It’s paying the price for being stuck between the west and the east and poor policy and planning on the part of the west at this point in my humble opinion.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
3 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Very true however, few on here are interested in facts.

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
3 months ago

NATO expanded successfully to protect the borders of their little Baltic members.
But then it refused to admit the Ukraine and didn’t send out much of a positive message there on EU membership.
A neoconservative push to ‘liberate’ the Ukraine politically has since resulted in Russian control of the Black Sea and a failed war in the east of the country which has also become pro-Russian.
The latest contradiction is the failure to admit Sweden. Turkey seems to get away with playing both sides, yet neither Sweden or Russia are interested in a war with each other.

Peter B
Peter B
3 months ago

It all starts so well – at last a Thomas Fazi article that makes sense. The part about Trump’s bark being worse than his bite and the hysterical predictions about what he would do (did he do any of those last time ? no).
But he just can’t stay on track, can he ? The familiar meander off into fantasies about the US somehow holding back Europe (what exactly is preventing the EU/Europe from pursuing “strategic autonomy” – apart from a coherent plan, consensus and the will to fund and realise it ?). And obvious nonsense about “two NATO wars in Ukraine and the Middle East”.
We can argue about whether Ukraine is a “NATO war”. But the Middle East !!! Come off it Fazi.
He’s equally incorrect about “Nato is ramping up its presence in the Indo-Pacific”. Wrong. An alliance of rightly concerned regional countries are working with the US – Japan, South Korea, Australia, etc. Are these in NATO ? No. Is this “madness” ? No.

j watson
j watson
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

To add – there is nothing stopping specific countries having a bi-lateral security arrangement with Ukraine. It doesn’t have to be via NATO, esp if likes of Orban or Erdogan blocked that. A significant group of Nations could provide the guarantees separate to NATO. And as you draw attention to, that’s much the case in other parts of the World anyway.

B Emery
B Emery
3 months ago

. Yet what if Trump has actually done the continent a favour?

No. America is sh*ting itself because it’s low on ammo, has gone steaming ahead with its yes we will support ukraine and destroy russia rhetoric and now realises this approach was a lot easier said than done. A faction of the American right wing is holding up the next military aid package to ukraine, costing soldiers lives and the gains the Ukrainians made previously. The window for any negotiation was missed long ago and no amount of back tracking on Americas part is going to change that. They need the military aid NOW.
Russia has used wagner in africa to roll it their way, the Americans are under attack in suez and the red sea and China is lining up to f*ck them over Taiwan. Israel is also in need of American support and America has become effectively trapped in the middle east by its own stupidity and poor execution of its own wars and policy. None of this looks good for American hegemony, Israel, Taiwan or Ukraine and now the sea lanes are about f*cked too. The dollar is hanging in there for now, but for how long nobody knows really, where America is going to borrow yet more money from to finance it’s wars and add to its already enormous debt pile is any bodies guess. Now the dumbasses in the white house are clucking like f*ck on both sides of the political divide and blaming everybody but themselves.
So Europe is now between a rock and a hard place, we have no choice but to continue the war in Ukraine, you can ask putin nicely to negotiate but I feel that it’s very unlikely at this point to happen, given all of the above – just why would he?

‘America’s looming isolationism is in fact little more than a minor disagreement about whether Europe would be better off preparing for war with Russia, deemed all but inevitable, under the US security umbrella or whether it should go it alone. Biden and the Democratic establishment would prefer the former;Trump is partial to the latter’

Trump can b****r off on that one. Especially since America got the blue and yellow flags out in the first place, helped to stoke the political tensions in Ukraine since pre 2014 without regard for the consequences and may or may not have been involved in the nord stream exploding which has destroyed the main industrial base of Europe – which Europe actually probably needed so it could make more weapons to defeat russia. We did not impose sanctions during ww2 – they are backfiring on us spectacularly. Nobody mention that though. You will get a sh*t load of grief and hassle.

In conclusion, the west is pretty f*cked at the moment, felled by the stupidity of American, British and European leaders. We will be entirety f*cked if shipping is disrupted much further, if China has a go for Taiwan in the meantime – you can upgrade that to entirely f*cked.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 months ago
Reply to  B Emery

A faction of the American right wing is holding up the next military aid package to ukraine, costing soldiers lives and the gains the Ukrainians made previously. 
Are a half million dead Ukrainians not enough for you? I’m sorry but this conflict is not the business of the American taxpayer or the US itself. Of all the issues facing my country, propping up a corrupt state is not on the list. There is always time for negotiation. Unless you just want to see more people killed so you can tell everyone how wonderful you are by committing other people’s money to supporting an oligarchy.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
3 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

The money has to flow into Ukraine. That’s where the Biden family money is laundered.

B Emery
B Emery
3 months ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

This started long before Biden. You need to go back to Hillary Clinton’s escapades pre 2014.

B Emery
B Emery
3 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

I spent an enormous amount of time and energy last winter on this board calling for negotiation. I was the ONLY person doing so bar one other American poster. I have been subject to excessive surveillance and intimidation by my own state for doing so as far as I can tell.
It’s too late for that now. If America pulls its aid you can look forward to many more thousands of dead ukrainians.

‘There is always time for negotiation’

On what basis will russia negotiate. There was one window last November that was missed.

B Emery
B Emery
3 months ago
Reply to  B Emery

Sorry, can’t edit, not last November, November 2022.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
3 months ago
Reply to  B Emery

‘I have been subject to excessive surveillance and intimidation by my own state for doing so’
Are you serious? Unherd is not that great, you think the ‘Feds monitor it or GCHQ?

B Emery
B Emery
3 months ago
Reply to  Carl Valentine

Yes I am deadly serious. Who monitors what and why I’m really not sure. It’s not important, I go with the those doing nothing wrong have nothing to fear approach. I take exception to being told I don’t care about it or that I ‘just want to see more people killed to tell them how wonderful I am’ though by the above poster when I took a serious amount of time and spent thousands of words calling for a negotiated peace deal and have had to put up with quite a lot of sh*t off the board for doing so.

martin logan
martin logan
3 months ago
Reply to  B Emery

Face something called “reality” for once.
Putin cannot make peace with the pathetically small area he’s taken already.
It wouldn’t justify the horrendous cost in men and treasure.
Likewise, no Ukrainian govt could or would give up territory. Nor could a Russia-friendly govt be elected.
Moreover, a ceasefire or “peace treaty” just enables him to prepare for a war he HAS to continue.
Because, without war, his regime collapses….

B Emery
B Emery
3 months ago
Reply to  martin logan

I agree, putin won’t make peace now. Americans calling for that are over a year too late.

‘Putin cannot make peace with the pathetically small area he’s taken already.’ – Agree, I don’t think they are doing as well as they hoped either, but russia has been busy all over the place this year, it’s going to be a long war so we will see.
Maybe they should send NATO in already and kick their arses out before he makes anymore gains. Be prepared for America to run away though – that’s what they are gearing up for and that is what they are good at. It’s quite funny it’s the hard core gun slinging right wing Americans that want to negotiate now.

We’ll see, hopefully America isn’t as dumb as looks right now but I’m not hopeful. Trump is more orange than ever and biden is ancient. I have missed p*ssing them off on here, I will be shuffling off again anyway before they get too p*ssed.

Apparently putin could nuke space according to the paper today – thoughts on that?

‘Likewise, no Ukrainian govt could or would give up territory’
At this point I don’t blame them. Im starting to feel like we should perhaps just missile attack the kremlin already and get it over with.

Malcolm Webb
Malcolm Webb
3 months ago

Sorry to say but this article is so full of gross inaccuracies and ridiculous hypotheses that it is just not possible to take it seriously.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
3 months ago
Reply to  Malcolm Webb

oh, such as???

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 months ago

We’re told many things about Trump, all of them reliably false. Before he was elected in 2016, the same suspects were braying about the parade of horribles that would follow. None of them happened. All the man asked was for NATO countries was to live up to their pledge in funding this increasingly irrelevant organization. But just as they laughed when he suggested that Germans perhaps consider alternative fuel suppliers, they ignored that request, too.
Europe cannot have it both ways. The continent cannot whine about being a series of US vassal states being led about by the nose and also want to be protected like a small child. By the way, war with Russia is anything except “all but inevitable.” Putin has been in power for more than decades and has yet to attack a single NATO member state. Why would he start now?

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 months ago

Genghis Khan said it is not the height of the walls that matter or the number of soldiers on the wall but the fighting spirit of the soldiers on the wall.
Ibn Khaldun said when men are protected by garrisons and walls they lose their uprightness and manliness.
Lt Col David Walter MC and Bar
Lt col peter walter highly decorated soldier with the sas nicknamed %e2%80%98the rat%e2%80%99 for his grit and resourcefulness %e2%80%93 obituary | Blog | Vets – The Next Step (vetsnextstep.com)
 His maxim was “Any bloody fool can run and everybody can run like rabbits when under fire. It is whether a soldier can march long distances, carrying all his kit, across all terrains, in all weathers … and still be fit to fight. That is the mark of a good soldier.”
What percentage of those in present NATO forces are prepared to undergo the sort of training required by Lt Col P Walter? Even if they bring back conscription the average toughness of West European males is low. The reason why so New Zealanders and Rhodesians were in the Long Range Desert Group was because they were very tough practical farmers who had been brougth up playing rugby, boxing, cricket and shooting.
How many years of training and what percentage of West European Males would be achieve the average fitness, toughness and practical skills of a Rhodesian or New Zealander of 1939 ?
Of course there are those who pass Commando and Parachute Regiment training but how many males in West Europe could pass the toughness required of a British Commonwealth infantryman of WW2? The issue is that no company or school makes money out of producing fit tough men with the fighting spirit, only selling arms. Since the late 1930s, Orwell noted, the left wing intelligentisa has mocked, patriotism , physical courage, the military and British culture which includes the sports of rugby, boxing, rowing and cricket. Without spirit and heart, the willingness to be tempered by adversity and have one’s mettle tested by adversity, one cannot even start hard training, let alone complete it.
As a SAS sergeant said ” What is more dangerous a pair scissors or sub-machine gun. Wrong question. Who is more dangerous the prison holding the scissors or the sub- machine gun.
One person asked a spartan king and asked why did the city have no walls. The King pointed to his warriors.
When Putin, Hamas, Iran and China look at Western Europe who looks dangerous to them ?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 months ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Mind you Epaminondas and his army of ‘botty bandits’ soon put a stop to such arrogance at Leuctra did they not?

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 months ago

True but Sparta did well at Thermopylae and Plataea.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 months ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Except for poor old Aristodemus!

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 months ago

He redeemed himself at Plataea. The Romans said they conquered Greece because the Greeks had lost their martial valour. After all the EU is an attempt to recreate the Holy Roman Empire of Charlemagne.
After losing the battle of Cannae Rome had perhaps 70,000 killed and 10,000 captured but still defeated Carthage.The losses suffered by the Merchant Navy in 1940 to 1942 were in excess of 33 % yet they did not capitulate. One convoy from Venezuela comprising 11 oil tankers, 10 were destroyed.
I do not not see much evidence of the Roman martial valour in Europe today.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 months ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Aristodemus’s bravery was admired but he was posthumously and quite correctly castigated for ‘breaking ranks’, something a Hoplite should NEVER do.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 months ago

True, but he had martial valour.

martin logan
martin logan
3 months ago

Another ingenious, unserious article from Mr.Fazi.
Fact is, alliances always make their members stronger–the reason why we are “allied” in these things called “nations.” And Europe allying with the US, et al, happens to make its members collectively the world’s strongest.
Nobody ever attacked a nation that was “too” strong.
Fazi simply parallels Donald Trump’s idea of “America going it alone.”
It’s called “isolationisim,” and cost the world 50 million+ lives many decades.ago.
Indeed, how is Brexit going just now?
The beauty of the current alliance is that nations are only obliged to DEFEND other members. No one had to go on Bush’s useless foreign adventures.
It’s fun to play a game of “pretend” and turn reality upside down.
Children do that quite often. Ditto for Marxists.
But we all eventually have to outgrow our fantasies, and accept the unanimous lessons of history.

B Emery
B Emery
3 months ago
Reply to  martin logan

‘Indeed, how is Brexit going just now?’

Absolutely Sh*t. It was not an isolationist mandate though like trumps. We were going to be a free trade nation that could accept immigration from across the world and trade with anyone, not just Europe.

martin logan
martin logan
3 months ago
Reply to  B Emery

Precisely as Putin would wish.
Thankfully, most who support caving in are too stupid to see how stupid they are.

They will always make the same easy, bad choice.

Inevitable…

B Emery
B Emery
3 months ago
Reply to  martin logan

What putin wished brexit would be absolutely sh*t?? Do I need to go to London and beat the russian oligarchs there with my handbag?
Being a free trade nation has nothing to do with caving in, I direct you to the Austrian school of economics mises.org.
Britain is an import economy, free trade makes sense for us.
As I said elsewhere though – we are now embroiled in that many geopolitical f*ck ups any idea of being a free trade nation is pretty much scuppered. Nevermind. I’m hoping to get a job making munitions soon. It’s nearly time to start pushing for a war economy over a free trade one.

G M
G M
3 months ago

“For us, who’s better, Biden or Trump?” Russian TV correspondent Pavel Zarubin asked President Putin.
“Biden,” Vladimir Putin replied in a flash. “He’s more experienced, he’s predictable, he’s an old-style politician.”

Peter F. Lee
Peter F. Lee
3 months ago
Reply to  G M

Didn’t notice the flash GM, but it was obviously an anticipated question. I don’t think you should glory in the answer. Putin probably should have said, if truthful, that he thinks Biden would be better from a russian perspective. We are all aware Dear Old Joe is suffering from dementia.

G M
G M
3 months ago

It’s like with a group at a restaurant where some want to pay their fair share of the meal bill and others refuse.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
3 months ago
Reply to  G M

No it is like being made to eat a rubbish dinner by your parents and having to be thankful

Andrew Holmes
Andrew Holmes
3 months ago

Mr Fazi has an underlying premise that Russia operates like governments in Western Europe. Therefore it’s the same to orient to the East as West. As Putin has put it, Russians don’t think the same way as the West. I see no evidence in the Russian past to dispute his conclusion. So dealing with Russia is much different than dealing with France, Canada, or even the US, and based upon a recent record of invasions, poisonings, and blackmail, far more dangerous.

Peter F. Lee
Peter F. Lee
3 months ago

I still believe there was a window of opportunity for a negotiated settlement before the Ukraine war began. This settlement would probably have been similar to what they are going to settle for, on cessation of hostilities. The war will have changed nothing. Ukraine will never be part of NATO.

martin logan
martin logan
3 months ago

Pathetic wish dreams…
–As Putin himself says, Russia has no borders.
–Russia is seeking revenge for its own collapse in the 1990s.
–It has switched to a war economy (Interest at 16%, inflation at 7%). Even if Putin tried to switch back, the whole economy would collapse.
–The war justifies the current oppression. It it stopped, Putin knows the opposition would become a threat again.
Putin can’t afford NOT to keep fighting–whether in Ukraine or elsewhere.
A ceasefire, it will just mean another war in the near future, with a Russian army rearmed and reconstituted.
Sometime you just have to accept that reality is real…

Göran Rosenberg
Göran Rosenberg
3 months ago

Can Europe have security without a transatlantic alliance? Well, two world wars say something else. If the US pulls out of Nato (no reason to doubt Trump) we are in a new world. If US pulls the plug on Ukraine we are already there. Make no mistakes, this will be a world ruled by authoritarian powers in which Europe once again will be reduced to its all too small and weak constituents. Sacrificing Ukraine will set a dire precedent.

Campbell P
Campbell P
3 months ago

Some sobering realities have not been taken into account in this article and by some of the comments.
America will not and cannot with impunity cross the Atlantic to help in any WW3.The US army and navy are for the most part currently well below professional fighting capability.Britain, as most European military and some political leaders acknowledge, is the only country in Europe with the competence and experience to run a military campaign despite the fact that the US army has more cooks than we have infantry.Trump much prefers trade to war, and trade without any moral hang-ups preventing it.The list goes on…..

laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
3 months ago

Perhaps it’s my age, but this drumbeat-to-war that’s suddenly part of our zeitgeist seems even more foolish and disconnected from reality than the Saddam Hussein thing of twenty years ago.
Please explain: Why, exactly, are we heading toward war with Russia? China? Am I the only one who thinks that either one would be a really, really, seriously BAD IDEA?

Dick Barrett
Dick Barrett
3 months ago

Excellent analysis.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
3 months ago

As usual Fazi’s analysis falls down by implicitly assuming that non western rivals do not have any agency of their own.

War may well be madness, but it might be equally appalling for Ukraine and Taiwan to be simply abandoned. Any idea that Fazi’s preferred Marxist socialism would somehow be advanced by this agenda, if so he thinks, is complete fantasy.