And perhaps if President TwitterFingers spent more time studying and understanding the alliance, instead of tweeting about it, he would have known this as well, instead of going on one of his infamous Twitter seizures on the heels of that “great meeting” he had with German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week.
So, in case you were wondering how the alliance funding works, lemme ‘splain.
No, the United States does not spend 73 percent of NATO. That number refers to our defense budget compared to those of other NATO allies. Given the fact that we’re YUUUUGE, and they’re small, it makes sense that our total defense spending – even at a reasonable 3.6 percent of GDP will be much higher than theirs.
In other words: The United States defense budget ($664.1 billion) / the sum total of all NATO allies’ defense budgets, including the United States ($918.3 billion) = .72. The United States defense budget comprises 72 percent of the sum total of defense budgets of all NATO allies. OK?
Each country decides how much it will spend on its own defense.
NATO recommends that member nations spend at least 2 percent of their GDP on their own defense. It has other recommendations, vis-a-vis defense budget breakdowns, but none of these benchmarks are requirements. Nations decide for themselves how much to spend on their defenses.
Currently, maybe 5-6 NATO allies meet that standard, including the United States, Great Britain, Poland, Greece and Estonia. A number of other countries have committed to increasing their defense spending – not because Trump demanded it, but because they see the resurgent, aggressive Russia as an increasing threat, and since that’s why NATO was created in the first place, it’s a pretty logical turn of events.
NATO members do contribute some funds to common funding projects via direct contributions. This is where NATO members’ costs are assessed by the alliance based on nations’ GDP. The United States, being the biggest, baddest, and strongest member of the alliance pays roughly 22 percent of that figure. The UK pays about 9.8 percent, France pays 10.6 percent, and Germany pays 14.6 percent.
NATO is a treaty obligation for us, but members are not required to participate in all NATO operations. For NATO missions, each member decides how much they will contribute, if at all. The only exception is when NATO engages in an Article 5 collective defense operation, which requires the participation of all alliance members. Know how many times NATO invoked Article 5? Once. Know when? After the September 11 attacks on the United States. So yes, after terrorists attacked the United States, NATO members stood together and declared that an attack on the United States was an attack on all of NATO. But once again, there’s no size requirement. Allies contributed as much or as little as they assessed they could.
And no, we don’t provide defense to Germany, or any other NATO ally. We are NATO’s biggest partner, and we’re the leader of the alliance, but that doesn’t mean we give other NATO allies a penny, and that certainly doesn’t mean they owe us, considering the only time the Article 5 collective security guarantee was invoked was after an attack on US.
There are varying opinions about whether or not NATO is even needed today. Hardcore Libertarians (read: those who have no comprehension of how the alliance – or really human nature – works, and who will immediately call you ignorant and unaware of America’s oh-so-evil history of interfering in other nations’ affairs, blah, blah, blah) are screeching the alliance should be disbanded, as it’s no longer needed. I’m not even going to get into the vast numbers of conspiracy theories out there spewed by some of these nutjobs! Use your Google-fu, if you really are that interested in the crazy.
Suffice it to say, I disagree with the derpapotomi, given Russian aggression over the past several years, but that’s not what this post is about.
I would submit that the U.S. Commander-in-Chief, who ostensibly is ultimately in charge of all matters concerning our military and foreign policy, should at the very least know how America’s most significant alliance works!
And instead of once again using injudicious language on Twitter, perhaps he should spend more time studying that about which he tweets, so he doesn’t make us look like utter jackasses.
I didn’t watch 45’s speech to the joint session of Congress last night, not because I was boycotting it, but because husband, buddy, and I went and grabbed some dinner. Service was a little slow, so by the time we got home, I saw the last maybe 15 minutes of it.
I won’t get into content too much. I heard him say “…based on our very strong and frank discussions,” NATO partners are beginning to meet their financial obligations. I shook my head a bit at him taking credit for this, considering former secretary Bob Gates in 2011 delivered a much more stringent message to our NATO allies before he left office about their defense burdens and the need to increase defense spending.
“The blunt reality is that there will be dwindling appetite and patience in the U.S. Congress, and in the American body politic writ large, to expend increasingly precious funds on behalf of nations that are apparently unwilling to devote the necessary resources … to be serious and capable partners in their own defense,” he said in an address to a think tank in Brussels.
The NATO defense burden of 2 percent of GDP is a benchmark. It’s a recommendation that only five partners so far are meeting – the United States, Estonia, Poland, Greece, and the UK – but it’s not a requirement, and most allies haven’t met that benchmark in decades, despite previous promises to do so.
But let’s put that aside, because that’s not what I want to discuss today. I’ve read the transcript. It’s surprisingly… presidential. Pleasantly so. I find myself agreeing with Van Jones – VAN FUCKING JONES – when he lauded Trump and conceded that “he became President of the United States in that moment – the moment he honored the widow of a slain Navy SEAL, who was in the audience last night. I agree with Van Jones. Mark this one in your calendars, boys and girls. It doesn’t happen often.
Look, I’m not one of those frothing jackasses who believes that losing a loved one in battle automatically affords one moral authority. (See: Cindy Sheehan) But I do believe being a Gold Star family member at the very least entitles one to some decency from one’s fellow humans.
Apparently, that’s just too much to ask for.
As Congress stood and applauded Carryn Owens for several minutes, and as she was moved to tears by the respect and love shown to her in that chamber last night, there were – as usual – a few hysterical, deranged, filthy colostomy bags who took it upon themselves to spew hate during a moment that, by all standards of decency should have been a bipartisan one.
Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, who looked like someone was giving her an atomic wedgie laced with hot tar and ground glass during the impromptu tribute to Carryn Owens, and Keith Ellison, who sat frozen, as if he sharted and couldn’t move for fear of it seeping out of his pants, were two notable Democrats who refused to look at the widow, let alone stand up or applaud.
(Note: There’s been some controversy/doubt over whether Wasserman-Schultz and Ellison remained sitting, whether they stood initially, but didn’t stand the entire time, and whether the screen cap here is of the same moment. Snopes claims it’s false based on a screen shot from the White House webside, which shows both did stand at some point, but I did not see either one applaud, even as they turned toward Owens.)
Other usual suspects screeched on social media about Trump using a Gold Star widow for his “agenda,” because dog forbid the President of the United States acknowledge a woman who lost the man she loved just a few weeks ago in a military operation that is ultimately the responsibility of the Commander-in-Chief! It couldn’t possibly be genuine. It couldn’t possibly be heartfelt. Because TrumpHitler literally has no feelings!
But one fucktastic cockbite went a step further and attacked Carryn Owens herself, claiming she was “clapping like an idiot,” because you know… she’s obviously too stupid to see that she’s being used by the Manchurian Cheeto. This is a woman who lost her husband a few weeks ago. She was applauding in recognition of her love. She was applauding in acknowledgment of the heartfelt condolences she was receiving from the floor. She was applauding in gratitude for the time she had with him and the appreciation and love she no doubt felt from all present.
But no. Dan Grilo, whose Twitter account has since gone the way of the dodo, and whose page on his employer’s site has also been deleted, decided to denigrate Carryn Owens as an idiot for not recognizing what he, Dan Grilo of the superior intellect, immediately saw – that Trump was using her!
The reaction from Twitter was swift and vicious.
Grilo tried to walk back his statement as a “poorly worded tweet” instead of acknowledging that he acted like a vicious, contemptible, vile, deranged fuck weasel. He tried to claim how “moved” he was by all the comments (moved like when one ingests too many Haribo sugar-free gummy bears), but in the end, he locked his account (Brave move, Danny boy! Viciously attack a Gold Star widow, and then run away.), and then deleted it. His profile page on his employer’s site has also been taken down.
Maybe Grilo wasn’t as bright as he thought he was. Maybe he thought “poorly worded” = noxious, mean-spirited, and cruel. Maybe he didn’t consider that his words had consequences. Or maybe… he’s just a dick.
He certainly forgot just how unforgiving the Internet is.
Reasons don’t matter. Actions do. There may be mitigating circumstances, but I can’t see one here.
How can one be so deranged, so unhinged, and so filled with noxious bile that they would publicly attack a grieving widow?
Yes, you can disagree with 45 all you want. You can dislike him. You can criticize his speech, his mannerisms, his policies, his background, his hair, his orange tint… whatever. That is your right as Americans.
But to behave like malevolent, steaming turd toward a fellow human being who has just experienced an agonizing, unimaginable loss, makes you an execrable bag of rancid effluvia. If you can’t even put your political biases aside long enough to refrain from senselessly and maliciously attacking a grieving woman, you might be a paunchy, odious troll, who was stupid enough to think that using his work headers on his Twitter account would amuse his employer.
If nothing else, Carryn Owens deserves some human decency. This hate-consumed bag of shit-covered dicks couldn’t even manage that.
And by the way, friends on the left, if you think this type of behavior will endear you to the rest of America, you obviously haven’t learned your lessons from this last election.
UPDATE: Looks like this dildo no longer has a job.
So apparently Phildo, instead of backing slowly away from the Sarah Nyberg pedophilia fiasco or at the very least advocating some mental help for that particular burning dumpster, is now doubling down on the Teh Stoopid™. Because according to PedoPhil, exposing Sarah Nyberg’s twisted urges is much more reprehensible than her actually having them and having admitted to them publicly.
What. The. Hell.
My response to Phildo is above.
“@Nero” refers to the awesome Milo Yiannopoulos on Twitter, the Breitbart writer who pulls no punches in telling it like it is and does it in such a way as to make SJW heads explode all over the Interwebz. Phildo doesn’t like Milo much, because Milo is a gay man who refuses to conform to Phildo’s “gay people are victims of society and privilege” narrative. That makes me like Milo even more, but that’s beside the point. This is about Phildo, who doesn’t seem to think that finding children sexually appealing is an issue, but writing about it and exposing it is.
You know, I really hope Phildo continues down this road of assbaggery. All it’s going to do is is damage his side even more.
— Nicki (@Nicki_F) September 6, 2015