Ukraine crisis highlights NATO defense spending problem: Hagel

WASHINGTON Fri May 2, 2014 3:09pm EDT

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel delivers remarks on NATO expansion and European security at the Wilson Center in Washington May 2, 2014. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel delivers remarks on NATO expansion and European security at the Wilson Center in Washington May 2, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Russia's actions in Ukraine have shattered the myth of European security in the post-Cold War era and underscored the danger NATO allies have created by failing to meet their defense spending pledges, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Friday.

The Pentagon chief, in a speech on the future of the 28-nation alliance, said Russia's seizure of the Crimean peninsula and other actions "reminded NATO of its founding purpose" and "presented a clarifying moment for the transatlantic alliance."

"NATO must stand ready to revisit the basic principles underlying its relationship with Russia," Hagel said in remarks at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington.

He also raised a longstanding U.S. concern about NATO defense spending, noting that American outlays on security are three times that of the other 27 partners combined, even though the U.S. gross domestic product is smaller than their total GDP.

"This lopsided burden threatens NATO's integrity, cohesion and capability - and ultimately, both European and transatlantic security," Hagel said at the think tank. "We must see renewed financial commitments from all NATO members."

Only four of the NATO partners met their agreed target of spending 2 percent of GDP on defense in 2013 - Estonia, Greece, Britain and the United States. France and Turkey fell just shy of the 2 percent goal.

Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman, said later Hagel was talking not just about "pouring more money into defense" but about better coordinating spending with the allies to avoid duplication so that taxpayer money is used in "wise, efficient ways."

"We want to make (spending decisions) in concert with our partners because some of them have capabilities that, frankly, we don't have or that they can develop in ways we can't develop or shouldn't have to develop," Kirby said.

Hagel said a big obstacle to defense investment among the Western allies was that many people believe the end of the Cold War has eased the risk of conflict among nations.

"Russia's actions in Ukraine shatter that myth and usher in bracing new realities," he said. Given Moscow's actions in Ukraine, NATO in the future "should expect Russia to test our alliance's purpose, stamina and commitment," he added.

Hagel's address came amid increased violence between Ukrainian loyalists and Russian separatists despite an international peace deal, and echoed calls by other U.S. officials this week for renewed commitment to NATO.

On Friday, pro-Russian rebels shot down two Ukrainian helicopters, killing two people, as Ukrainian forces tightened their siege of separatist-held Slaviansk.

The United States and European allies have been watching carefully the movements of 40,000 Russian troops massed on Ukraine's eastern border and the takeover of buildings in cities in eastern Ukraine by armed pro-Russian militants.

U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday called on Russia to persuade the pro-Russian military groups to stand down, and he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that key sectors of the Russian economy would face sanctions if Moscow disrupts Ukraine's plan to hold elections on May 25.

BOOST MILITARY SPENDING

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday urged NATO allies who are not meeting the 2 percent defense spending benchmark to boost their payments to the alliance in the next five years.

To help meet the goal of increasing defense spending, Hagel called for NATO members' finance ministers or budget officials to attend an alliance meeting to discuss the issue.

Spending imbalances among the NATO partners has been a longstanding complaint of U.S. defense secretaries.

Three years ago, then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates used his final speech in Europe as Pentagon chief to warn that NATO members risked "collective military irrelevance" unless they bore more of the burden and boosted military spending.

His remarks came in the context of the Western-backed 2011 ouster of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi's government, which exposed a number of weaknesses among the European partners' militaries, such as a lack of intelligence and reconnaissance aircraft and specialists needed to identify bombing targets.

(Additional reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Bill Trott and Paul Simao)

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Comments (3)
nose2066 wrote:
It seems rather odd that this story refers to the NATO military intervention in Libya as being an example of why Europeans should spend more money on the NATO military.

The NATO intervention in Libya was originally supposed to be a “no fly zone”, but NOT a mission to change Libya’s government. Then the intervention was supposed to “protect civilians”, but NOT change the government of Libya. But, NATO took on the role of being the rebel air force and the completely destroyed the previous government of Libya, contrary to their stated mission.

Wouldn’t that result indicate that the NATO military establishment has already grown out-of-control and needs to be cut back???

May 02, 2014 7:53pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
gerrydwelder wrote:
Hey, it could be worse says Merkle>

Angela can’t even get her NSA file??

…. uh oh!

Angela, looks like your not part of the ‘real’ elite globalist club?

Uh oh ….

I guess you’d better prepare for ‘regime change’ yourself.

Hopefully, on your way out, you won’t get anal violated like your predecessors .

Haven’t you noticed Germany’s gold has also been confiscated while the IMF’s gold hoard keeps piling up?

…get it yet Angela? All you are is a useful puppet, until your not useful anymore.

Who, exactly, gets to see the US taxpayer funded NSA files if even Merkel can’t?

Hey Angela, here’s who sees your files:

Understand the problem and your already on your way to fixing it.

Check out the last 30 seconds of 2, then watch the whole thing:

Obama and Rockefeller 1
http://youtu.be/K6C24GpgQTQ

Obama and Rockefeller 2
http://youtu.be/M8vFSqYXJ8U

-

And look who else gets to sleep in the White House:
Listen to the last 3 minutes and ask why NOT A WORD FROM THE UN (sarcasm):

youtube: The Rothschilds Exposed 3/3
http://youtu.be/47WM2BhklmM

youtube: Slave Queen
http://youtu.be/vrsfll_QLUw
by TruthNeverTold

May 03, 2014 10:10am EDT  --  Report as abuse
gerrydwelder wrote:
Hey there’s plenty of money if you cut back on this:

The federal government, now so huge and growing; NSA, DOE, FDA, EPA, IRS, DEA, CIA, FBI, DEP, NPS, TSA, DHS, CIA, DNR, USDA, DOT, NFS, ATF, USPP, DPS, FEMA (and FEMA camps), etc., etc., etc., federal agencies (each now armed and with their own SWAT Teams) becoming predatory towards it’s citizens, that produce nothing and generate no revenue but require massive funding from a dwindling, overtaxed and over regulated private citizen work force.

One dollar spent on a ‘FEDERAL’ level cost 10 times more than if that same job was done on a ‘STATE’ level, logic would point to keeping federal government no bigger than our constitutional mandate, notice the federal government taking states property and states rights away form states? yoo hoo

Any tax federal workers pay is just from cannibalization of private sector revenues and only decelerates the inevitable.

Do these millions of federal workers realize what happens next, think they have a pension waiting for them?

Obama gets to be dictator at this point.

Outright confiscation of private citizen’s property and wealth is all but carved in stone to feed this monster (and you wondered why all those FEMA camps? How else can they fund all these expanding federal agency complexes, vehicles, salaries, junkets, conferences (parties) and pensions?).

Now add in the UN and the inefficiency of ‘world’ dollars:

US citizens (working and paying taxes) fund 22% of the entire UN world budget & our ‘federal’ regulatory is also back door funding the UN (with your taxes, especially the EPA). We have been funding the United Nations University Institute for Sustainability and Peace (UNU-ISP) since 1972. How’s that sustainability & peace working out? How many of their ‘professors’ & administrators are now comfortably retired on obscenely fat tax funded pensions? The UN includes the ‘World Tourist Agency’, and it is tax funded.

When our own US citizens were furloughed, why wasn’t the massive 22%++ of US tax funding of the UN and it’s countless agencies, organizations and commissions withheld or even mentioned by MSM?

Wikipedia the UN and see how HUGE it now is with all it’s agencies, peace keeping forces, organizations, committees and each comes with their own building complexes, vehicles, uniforms, equipment, support complexes, staff, salaries, travel, security, food and energy expenses, conferences AND the now tens of thousands of UN retirees (mostly foreign) and their pensions, perks and benefits.

YOO HOO, who do you think is paying for all of that?

WAKE UP, maybe next time you look at your pay check or worry about your own pension.

The IMF and World Bank are UN agencies (yep) of now countless agencies, commissions and organizations, one big Trojan Horse and tool of a few dynastic families, sucking the wealth, sovereignty, freedoms and life out of the world.

Lagarde’s (IMF) salary is over $300,000 + per year PLUS thousands in ‘stipends’. and she PAYS NO TAX.

“most UN employees pay no tax”.

But, for their own empowerment and wealth, globalist hypocrites like Lagarde are pushing for ‘world’ wealth taxes, ‘world’ global warming taxes on everybody else.

The IMF is the third biggest holder in the world of gold after the USA and Germany (where did IMF get all that gold? … ask NATO).

The IMF is supposed to help struggling countries with the gold but instead the world is going broke while the IMF is getting fantastically wealthy, more powerful and authoritarian and is demanding more world taxes while it’s own hoards of gold pile up.

It’s no longer ‘the’ gold, it’s now ‘their’ gold.

YOO HOO!

10 nations that control the world’s gold – MarketWatch
Oct 20, 2012 … The International Monetary Fund is the third-largest official holder of gold, with more than 2,814 tonnes.

The IMF is ANOTHER UN agency, it is not a ‘nation’, it has been deemed ‘supranational sovereignty’ (deemed by the UN’s ‘International Court of Justice’ -yep, another UN agency). so the UN creates an agency to deem itself and it’s other agencies supranational sovereignty over the world and makes it’s own laws, decides it needn’t pay any tax nor provide any revenues -sweet deal if your a UN employee.

UN? Proven corrupt, unelected, made up mostly of 3rd world dictatorships.

NATO, the UN, (and all it’s agencies including the IMF and World Bank, and all of it’s commissions, organizations, etc), all have the same boss, they’re all really just tentacles of one giant, globalist vampire squid.

Notice the elimination of individual accountability? ‘NATO’ decided this or that, the ‘UN’ deemed this or that, and we must all comply regardless of our rights, freedoms and laws of OUR OWN COUNTRY. Any official that your taxes fund needs to be thrown out if they support the UN. The working tax payer needs to be mobilized against funding the UN.

We have to stop giving credibility and decision making powers to unelected foreign entities that we are forced taxed to fund while they supplant our own country’s laws, individual freedoms and sovereignty and take control over our resources.

The UN and it’s agencies, the IMF and World Bank, produce nothing, are not subject to the laws of any country it operates in, pays no tax, generates no revenues, is confiscating your wealth through taxes and complicit federal government agencies.

The UN is ramming ‘Agenda 21′ and ‘Common Core’ down the throats of the world, the UN’s World Bank is complicit in forcing poor farmers off their own land in Africa and South America for corporate and university endowment ‘tree farm/carbon credit’ investments, is deeming sovereign resources off limits, trying to eliminate (citizen’s only) the right to bear arms, our country’s sovereignty and our individual freedoms and now trying to force a ‘world’ climate change tax and ‘world’ wealth tax on us.

… time to reduce federal to it’s constitutional mandate, re-coup our state’s rights, take back federal land -our state’s property from the feds), time to take back control of our own waterways and de-fund the UN, kick them out of our country, claw back pensions and restitution of it’s assets.

The IMF is nothing more than a world asset stripping debt collector for the western alliance.

Global taxation, a ‘one world’ currency and open borders are all part of the globalists plan to eliminate sovereignty of nations.

With their huge international investment exposure and influence, wouldn’t you expect the Rothschilds and Rockefellers to be just a little more concerned and vociferous, as the would ‘s economic structure is crumbling toward chaos and war and people’s freedoms are systematically taken away?

Unless they are orchestrating it.

May 03, 2014 10:12am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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