Speaking Of Tanks…

Tanks for nothing, Germany.


The nerve of Donald Trump to come along and suddenly demand, like out of the blue already, that NATO countries start living up to what they promised to do way back when in that warm and cuddly Obama year of 2014 (that each NATO country spend two percent of its economic output on defense). Since when is an agreement that you agreed to an agreement you have to actually live up to?

Only three NATO countries (other than the US) have kept their word: Greece, Estonia and the United Kingdom. Germany only came up with 1.24 percent of its GDP in 2017.This is a vast improvement from the year before, however. Then it had only been 1.2 percent of its GDP (the number keeps getting bigger, see?).

Money doesn’t grow on trees, you know. And sometimes things get lost in translation. The German government has interpreted this agreement to mean “to move in the direction of two percent.” They’re heading there, folks. In fifty or sixty years you’ll see.

Er fordert, dass alle Bündnispartner spätestens ab 2024 jährlich mindestens zwei Prozent des BIP für Verteidigung ausgeben und verweist dabei auf einen Nato-Beschluss aus dem Jahr 2014.



Not at all. It’s called freeloading.


Germany and two percent for defense – it’s complicated.

Lofty goals of European and NATO cooperation abound here at the Munich Security Conference, but who will pay the bill?

Top German leaders here have managed to put a damper on the expectation that Berlin would radically ramp up its defense spending, as Washington would have it, stressing instead that gradual boosts and integration with foreign development would yield better results than military might alone.

“We no longer recognize our America.” No, Sigmar. I guess you don’t. That America where nobody bothered to call it freeloading up until now, I mean.

German Of The Day: Freeloader

That means freeloader. Actually, the German word for that is Schmarotzer but this is so-called Neudeutsch or New German (English) so relax about it already.


Anyway… Germany must increase its military spending and take a more active role in conflicts to avoid being seen as one of the world’s biggest freeloaders, an influential diplomat said on Wednesday.

Wolfgang Ischinger, chairman of the Munich Security Conference and Germany’s former envoy to Washington, urged the country’s would-be government coalition partners to reverse their restrictive stance on arms exports and formally back commitments to NATO.

Damn. And this is a diplomat talking here so you can imagine the words less diplomatic folks like you and me would use.

“We should not develop the reputation of being one of the world’s best freeloaders.”

It’s Not Just About The Two Percent We Promised To Spend On Defense As A NATO Country

And still aren’t spending (1.3 percent the last time I checked), Angela Merkel explained to Donald Trump.


It’s also about “what a country makes available to NATO and what capabilities we have,” whatever that means. The Oktoberfest and world class table tennis talent or what?

Citing this week’s attack in the English city of Manchester, Trump told fellow alliance leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel that NATO should focus its efforts on combating terrorism. Yet of the 28 member nations, 23 “are still not paying what they should be paying and what they’re supposed to be paying for their defense,” he said.

“Wir freuen uns auch, dass in Zukunft nicht nur gefragt wird, wie viel wird für Verteidigung ausgegeben, sondern auch, was stellt man als Land der Nato zur Verfügung, welche Fähigkeiten haben wir und welche Beiträge leisten wir. Ich glaube hier kann sich Deutschland sehen lassen, und das werde ich auch hier deutlich machen.”