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Why America’s Allies Should Develop Nuclear Weapons

August 9, 2018 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

Germans are losing their trust in America’s security guarantees.
Believing that U.S. troops would always defend Europe, Berlin has
allowed its military outlays and capabilities to wither. German
defense spending at present barely breaks 1 percent of GDP. With
only slight overstatement, political scientist Christian Hacke
recently said of the German military, “nothing flies, nothing
floats, and nothing runs.”

For years, Washington officials have whined about Europe’s and
especially Germany’s failure to take defense seriously. Yet the
U.S. also continued to spend money and deploy troops to “reassure”
its allies, giving them less incentive to do more.

Despite his tough rhetoric, in practice, President Donald
Trump’s policy has proven to be more of the same. He criticized
America’s defense commitments to Montenegro, yet allowed it to
enter NATO. At the latest alliance summit, his subordinates
advanced new subsidies for member states. This year the
administration is putting another $6.5 billion into the European
Deterrence Initiative, formerly called the European Reassurance
Initiative.

Nevertheless, the president’s crude hostility and
unpredictability have set him apart from his predecessors. Thus,
many Germans and other Europeans worry that he might walk away from
NATO.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been particularly vocal.
Last year she defiantly responded to President Trump’s criticism by
calling on Europeans to “take our fate into our own hands.” She
remains committed to bumping her country’s military outlays up to 2
percent of GDP, despite opposition from her coalition partners.

Proliferation is a good
thing if it means relieving some of America’s numerous security
guarantees.

Other Germans want to do even more. For instance, shortly after
Trump’s election, Roderich Kiesewetter, a member of the Bundestag
and former German general staff officer, suggested creating a
European military budget to expand the French and British nuclear
arsenals. Berthold Kohler, publisher of the influential
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, urged direct German
support.

Two weeks ago, the Welt am Sonntag ran an article by
Christian Hacke that argued Germany was no longer under America’s
nuclear umbrella and that “national defense on the basis of a
nuclear deterrent must be given priority in light of new
transatlantic uncertainties and potential confrontations.”
Criticism of his idea was fierce — a former intelligence
official denounced it as “reckless, foolish, and incendiary.”

U.S. commentators also dumped on Hacke’s proposal. Jim Townsend,
a one-time deputy defense secretary, argued: “Trump
notwithstanding, the U.S. nuclear guarantee is not going anywhere.”
That, of course, is the conventional wisdom inside the Blob, as the
Washington foreign policy establishment has been called, which also
believes that America must forever defend Europe, Asia, and the
Middle East; fix failed societies and sort out foreign civil wars
everywhere; and underwrite every authoritarian regime that claims
to …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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