Donald Trump Turning Military Into Mob Protection Racket
All the My Generals have left the building, and Grandpa Gangster is wilding out! We've known forever that Trump wants to turn the US military into a protection racket. Because when you're a dimwitted thug, a collective security agreement that keeps the planet out of another world war and leaves the US as undisputed hegemon is clearly a sucker's game.
For the past two years, Mattis, McMaster, and Kelly managed to keep a lid on most of Commander VD's worst impulses. But no more! Now the only ones left are nativist loons like Stephen Miller, who actually believe that shit, and power-humping sycophants like Pompeo and Bolton, who know better but don't care.
Bloomberg reports today that Trump is actually ready to pull the trigger and turn the US military into a lean, mean profit-making machine.
Under White House direction, the administration is drawing up demands that Germany, Japan and eventually any other country hosting U.S. troops pay the full price of American soldiers deployed on their soil -- plus 50 percent or more for the privilege of hosting them, according to a dozen administration officials and people briefed on the matter.
American GIs are wildly unpopular in Okinawa, and opposition to deployment of the US anti-missile shield in South Korea almost swung the last presidential election there, but ... sure, Poppy! Foreign governments will just bust open their piggy banks for the privilege of hosting the American military on their soil. For the record, Japan actually does pay the lion's share of the cost for US troops. But think of how much more power we'll exert when we switch to a fee-for-service model!
As well as seeking more money, the administration wants to use it as a way to exert leverage on countries to do what the U.S. demands overseas.
As evidence, they say officials at the Pentagon have been asked to calculate two formulas: One would determine how much money countries such as Germany ought to be asked to pay. The second would determine the discount those countries would get if their policies align closely with the U.S.
And of course it's possible that the independently elected governments of our democratic allies might pay off some of their "bill" to us by bending their countries to our will. OR, they could all tell us to pack our shit and go home. At which point we'll have no military hospital in Germany, no leverage in the South China sea, no place closer than Guam to stage a counter-strike against Kim Jong Un, and we'll have ceded the entire Pacific to China. Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping couldn't ask for anything more! Not to mention how thrilled Mohammed Bonesaw would be to see those annoying American troops pulled out of his rival Qatar. (Just kidding, the Qataris will bail out Jared again, and we'll be there forever.)
Remember during the debates when Trump said that Japan, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia should get nukes so we wouldn't have to waste so much money defending them? Don't worry, kids, he knows more about this stuff than the generals!
Bloomberg's sources are at pains to say that this is just a preliminary plan, a mere twinkle in the lunatic's eye, one of many ideas they're kicking around. Which translates roughly to, HELP US, OBI LINDSEY, YOU'RE OUR ONLY HOPE! Because if there's anything that would be a bridge too far for Lindsey Graham, this would be it. And yes, we do realize that's a big IF, but he seems to have talked that idiot out of just walking out of Syria and handing the keys to Recep Erdogan, so -- credit where credit is due.
"Even raising this question feeds a misinformed narrative that these facilities are there for the benefits of those countries," said Douglas Lute, a former U.S. ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. "The truth is they're there and we maintain them because they're in our interest."
In Germany, for instance, the U.S. relies on several crucial installations: the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center and the Ramstein Air Base. Landstuhl is a world-class medical facility that has provided emergency care to U.S. soldiers wounded in Iraq and other trouble spots.
Germany is also home to the headquarters of the U.S. Africa Command. Estimating how much Germany ought to pay for those bases, which serve so many other interests, would be complicated.
And speaking of "complicated," someone please 'splain us how Trump thinks sticking our allies up for all the cash in their pockets will magically make them increase their own defense spending under NATO.
The president's team sees the move as one way to prod NATO partners into accelerating increases in defense spending -- an issue Trump has hammered allies about since taking office. While Trump claims his pressure has led to billions of dollars more in allied defense spending, he's chafed at what he sees as the slow pace of increases.
You know what .... don't. BECAUSE THAT MAKES NO FUCKING SENSE. So now we're stuck depending on Mike Pompeo, John Bolton, Lindsey Graham, and hell, even that little weasel Tom Cotton, to talk that idiot off the ledge. And in case you weren't already clear that the Defense Department is losing its shit, look what broke five seconds after this story dropped this morning.
Hey, kids, who wants to sing the Duck and Cover song?
Duck And Cover (1951) Bert The Turtle www.youtube.com
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.