Let me first state that I am a NATO agnostic. I am neither really for it or all the effort required to get rid of it and to refashion western military alliances. But the below statistics and analysis should make one feel more relaxed if NATO goes. And if it does, I propose a new Anglo Trade and Military Alliance (ATMA) while the rest of Europe can surely figure out its own alternatives.
We can see in the past thalf century that the UK has been the only fully loyal European state of military consequence to move in sink with US military global aims. Australia has been too but is not a large state.
This behaviour may not always be wise but loyalty should be appreciated. Given the common language and likelihood for even greater economic integration between the U.K. And the United States such a pact would recognize the special relationship and common dedication to entrepreneurial and security values, as well.
Let us face it, Chancellor Merkel of Germany has put such overlapping values on security and immigration into some question, as well as the full maintenance of certain southern EU boundaries.
One might feel aghast in some security quarters that a continental Europe without a US military alliance partner will be easy tidings for the Russians. I think not.
Let us say only one European military came to defending against a very theoretical invasion of Western Europe. Look at the comparative statistics.between Russia and Germany.
Germany itself, a small land based area compared to Russia has about 50 percent of the soldiers Russia has. And we can be certain that the German ones have more modern equipment and support on average but not totally so. As far as fit for service, Germany has 60 percent of the manpower of Russia.
On economics, Germany has almost ten times the GNP of Russia. The manufacturing capacity of Germany to turn out more tanks, armoured vehicles is high as well as nuclear weapons, if need be. In less than a year it could have a serious capacity to turn out many nuclear bombs, tactical or otherwise.
I would suggest even if only Germany countered Russia by itself to stem off a theoretical invasion, it could probably stop it. The Russians would get bogged done anyway in parts of Russia unfriendly Eastern Europe that still had bad memories of the Russian led Warsaw Pact and Russian invasions under the Communist Soviet Union.
Putin knows fully from Afghanistan what happens when Russia invades truly unfriendly parts of the world. Crimea with its Russian speakers and history is very much another matter. And he only did that after being highly provoked by CIA/State Department dark elements.
Now let us presume that the Europeans would join against an invasion into Western Europe and likely Eastern Europe beyond the Baltics, at least. How many troops are we looking at?
There are 30,000 French soldiers, some of whom are battle hardy from their experiences in fighting in very difficult places like West Africa. The French are well known as being some of the best fighters, anywhere -period.
So when we combine French forces with the Germans, we can say within reason that almost quantitaively and quantitatively combined that they are almost the same in numbers as Russia. Though Putin has vastly improved the Russian military for more than a decade.
I have to objectively say that the French-German force togethet including French nuclear capability would qualitatively have a major advantage especially if Russia invaded Western Europe. Putin is not crazy and knows this.
Then add Italy and Spain, there is another 60,00 soldiers. NATO excluding the UK and USA (never mind Canada, so small size an army) remains formidable. You might say, if NATO crumbles Spain might not fight initially.
So be it, as just France and Germany alone can defend the continent. I doubt Italy and Spain are just going to sit back and watch Russia swallow up territory. And England and the US, NATO or no NATO within and Europe being such an important economic area to it would not allow Europe to get swallowed by Moscow.
So the idea of NATO fighting Russia is largely ridiculous unless Europe was taken over by a Hitler like madman and Russia, too. It will not happen unless NATO fully provokes Russia by the zealotry of neo-cons and liberal-interventionists like Nuland (Asst Secretary of State) who has been thankfully put off the Russian dossier, anyway. And let us not forget Senator McCain who the former House Speaker, Newt Gingrinch thinks is relatively toothless particularly now that Trump is in power.
If NATO needs to expand, it is for the massive upcoming “crusading” fight against Islamic terrorism and to keep its borders free of massive influxes of refugees from certain horribly run Arab and Islamic countries.
Instead of seeing NATO in terms of fighting Putin and Russia, it should focus on terrorism and may I add promoting intelligent development in poor countries where it is invited to do so. Everyone knows that horrible governance and poverty provide fertile ground for extremism and poorly thought out, unnecessary interventionist policies by the West.
Given all, the above I think the talk about yes or no to NATO is not so relevant. The West needs to get its act together rather in cooperation with Russia and even with China possibly and other sound emerging market countries to eliminate ISIS.
Russia and NATO’s policies towards seeing Russia as a major threat should be sideshows as advertisements for the zealots and dark elements (fifth columnists) of the military-industrial complex.
If Europe wishes to have its own defence force, so be it as it worries that NATO might be abandoned. But as I said, the EU has so embarassed itself over BREXIT, Trump and various elections leading to rising populism that I doubt a EU defence force could come about or in large numbers.
But if Europe goes its way, France should fully upgrade its nuclear Force de Frappe big time as Europe’s key but not exclusive nuclear deterrence against any nation that could land a nuclear bomb in the European space.
The US contributes 75 percent of NATO’s budget while it has the biggest pile of debt and Germany has a powerhouse economy, one of the largest in the world and that even by itself dwarfs the Russian one.
On this basis I have become a NATO agnostic and even towards a European Defense to counter the Russian threat in a Trump era. I am not an agnostic on the matter of the civilized world cooperating together to defeat ISIS and to keep it spreading internally within our civilized worlds in particular. Or to use NATO to keep out disruptive illegal immigration from its vulnerable borders, especially in the south and Balkans.
In that sense, according to the above statistics and analysis, I believe President Trump’s policy on NATO is realistic and I would further predict NATO is not going away at least for now. But if it does, no one should worry about it too much except possibly the arms industry.