Sicherheitspolitik oder mehr?

Security policy or more?

The accuracy of language is important, and even slight changes in how people call something may create a completely different narrative and change the support an idea receives profoundly.
That's why sometimes political advisors test different names in order to determine how to call a political proposal or program in a way that mobilises the most support or the most aversion.

I contend that the inflated use of the word "Sicherheitspolitik" = (national) security policy is such a manipulative word.

The word implies that the policy is about providing security, which is no doubt an easily justified and important function of a government.

The actual use of the word nowadays isn't about providing security, though: That's what the old word "Verteidigungspolitik" = defence policy was and is about.

So all the talk about Sicherheitspolitik is misleading at best, clearly manipulative and I actually think an outright lie. The difference between Sicherheitspolitik and Verteidigungspolitik is not about any activities which create security for us. In fact, plenty activities included provoke hostility and thus reduce our security.

The confusion is noticeable. I've seen written works arguing for intervention capabilities and mistakenly believing these would increase our nation's national security. We should return to a greater clarity of language in order to achieve a greater clarity of the thinking.
It makes no sense to throw the intervention stuff into the same basket as the actual defence stuff, as it clearly serves different purposes (if any legitimate ones at all) even though some tools are dual use tools.
Let's be honest and call it Interventionspolitik - intervention policy.

This won't happen, of course.The interventionists couldn't make the case for the budgets they want if they couldn't siphon legitimacy from actual defence policy. They enter the debate with the unfair advantage of having manipulated the narrative in their favour.



  1. That would be commensurate with the gradual maturing of German political institutions.

    As Germany's economic leadership in Europe and its dependency upon free global trade-routes strongly suggests, the constitutional and then military wherewithal to participate in such missions far away from Germany are an essential element of the continuing economic performance.

    Forever being de facto 'parasitic' to/dependent upon other Navies' capabilities certainly has not been a particularly dignified position to maintain.

    With the costs of Re-Unification gradually evened out, Germany has now to catch up with its global responsibilities.

    Whether you'd call it "Sicherheitspolitik" or "Interventionspolitik" all depends upon the 'spin' you want to put on a particular mission. Either label will become a regular part of political and military-strategic discussions to indeed defend the freedom of trade and ever so hard-won democratic institutions.

  2. "essential element of the continuing economic performance"

    Besides, almost no "Sicherheitspolitik" is about fending off substantial threats to maritime trade anyway. It's almost all about meddling in affairs on the ground.

    ISAF has zero relevance to Germany's economy other than being a small drain, guarding elections in Congo had zero relevance to our economy as well. Bosnia, Kosovo - all irrelevant to our "economic performance". The only actions which had at least a tiny effect were the mine countermeasures in the Persian Gulf '91 and the cost-inefficient Atalanta nonsense.

    It's always amazing how the pro-intervention folks can always make shiny arguments about prestige, ethics or economy without ever being able to make an actually solid, argument based on math in their favour.

    1. Same with "maturing".
      Seriously, that's just a feeble attempt to rig the discussion by defining the narrative.
      Your "maturing" is "deterioration" or "wandering off the course" to me.

  3. If you sat in on a discussion on 'other' war-colleges where mid-to-high-mid-level folks discuss why their burdens are higher than proportional to their economic 'share', Germany's absence is duly noted.

    Whether in Congo, Afghanistan, future peace-keeping in Syria and elsewhere, or just motivated long-endurance and able presence in the world's major seaways, Germany cannot continue to mostly call-in their money-deposits and formulate notes-of-sympathy but actually has to do the 'heavy lifting' other civilized democracies' navies, armies and air-forces have been doing for so long now.

    Absenteeism from direct hands-on participation while benefitting as a stable economy from the daily stabilizing work of others is not helping Germany's image any.
    For instance America's taxpayers end up with less for domestic policies - including support for the needy - since 'others' continue to 'wash their hands' of respective responsibilities, quoting unique (and self-serving) 'constitutional' impediments.

    Fortunately, the recent adjustments to the German Constitution to allow support-action in Afghanistan in provinces initially presumed to be more 'peaceful' has established solid precedent, apart from teaching hard costly and bloody lessons about 'participation' in time and locations other than 'NATO-guaranteed perpetual peace' such as under US nuclear umbrella over Cold-War Germany.

    Standing by fairly passively, beyond handwringing, hoping, praying (?), (perhaps sending some supplies and volunteers, and money)
    - while folks get massacred in various locations, or
    - others scheme to leverage a failed state to run a global terrorism-network yielding astonishing successes with minimal investment, or
    - just writing checks (again ?!) and sending a plane or two when a Pacific Tsunami would require direct presence with medical facilities, generators, water-makers, heavy earth-moving equipment, massive helo-capability, ample security-forces, insisting on 'moral' arguments to maintain that posture may soothe the challenged mind in a closed chamber, but does not 'cut it' out in the open policy-market-place of ideas elsewhere much.

    Any 'agit-prop' that would paint every and all 'foreign' support and intervention as inherently 'evil'/uncivilized/'adventurous' etc. seems rather innocent of the role of the ever-intrusive German economic power when one Euro investment in, say, Africa routinely extracts 1.2 Euros in returns...

    Decades of such successful economic aggressiveness only works if someone else guarantees the political (relative) stability that allows such returns in money and German jobs. Which means no 'innocence' can be pleaded for 'non-interventionism'...

    "Nation-Building' has multiple dimensions to it, incl. as the German case to dramatically illustrates, via initial military intervention.

    And pretty much all other informed observers do know that. As do a fair number of German political leaders on all sides in waiting.

    1. Everything you wrote and everything I ever hear or read of the pro-intervention and "free rider!" crowd is based on the premise that the interventionist policies and/or the high military budgets actually deliver value at least equivalent to their costs.

      These folks have NEVER EVER brought forward evidence for this assertion or implicit assumption.


      In absence of a good reason for a spending proposition, it's wise to simply refuse it. You folks don't really debate "maturely" or "wisely" or "seriously" about interventions: You're following a childish urge to play games and a primal instinct to boast with strength.

      You have never and you can't make a good case for your implicit and 100% critical assumption that your proposal is worth the effort.

  4. Would you then argue against current progressively positive political realities of a growing range of peoples reaching towards greater democratic values and daily practices in the after-math of reconfiguring certain geometries in the Middle East ?

    Delayed by 30 tragic years, courtesy of good ol' Uncle Ho, even Vietnam is beginning to more and more urgently
    seeking western economic, political and even military alliances.

    Sure there are massive growing-pains and distinct risks. That is why having a US Carrier-Strike-Group and an Amphibious-Ready-Group ready both north and south of the Suez-Canal to at least extract Americans if not intervene locally on what hopefully would be the 'preferable' side.

    But without any such robust capability to be present and able, sitting in the distant bleachers to just 'observe' does not 'cut it'. Germany needs as a stable Egypt for instance for both economic and political reasons. Thus, it would be useful for Germany to assume such a robust capability.

    There is no moral superiority in aggressive economic expansionism wrapped in a mantle of pseudo-'meek' de facto 'isolationism'.

    No moral ethical dignity in this.
    No political plausibility.
    And zero economic 'Nachhaltigkeit/Sustainability'.

    To run and live in an economic power-house like Germany takes certain operational expenditures - including potent military capability.

    1. Now you're not only pretending that intervention or the threat there of pays, but also that it's effective at all.
      You're moving even more away from reality.

      Read up on the Suez Crisis of 1956, when two nuclear-armed great powers which still had vast empires failed to impose their will on Egypt and created the opposite situation of what they wanted.

      You pretend that spending more on German military would among other things help us secure maritime traffic through the Suez Canal? You're ignorant about intervention history, and you refuse to examine the implicit assumptions of your beliefs.

      Besides, Germany does not need a stable Egypt. That's just another unfounded assumption and assertion of yours.
      More than 40% of our imports and exports (in €) are through air freight. Much else is by rail, river shipping or truck. Another share goes across the Atlantic only. Almost none of our oil imports are from the Persian Gulf region.
      Ships could easily carry the remainder around the cape; shipping companies are operating well below capacity anyway.

  5. Calling 'names' this early in this exchange seems surprising.

    Not engaging the challenge of aggressive economic expansionism while claiming swords-into-plowshares rhetoric is also odd.

    Instead, you'd just 'tweak' the Asylanten-Recht some more to keep those pesky political and economic migrants at bay 'elsewhere' - say, around Lampedusa ?

    The reality is that failed economies and states affect all of their neighboring states for the worse, never mind pushing some of their most motivated folks to more promising prospects - including Germany.

    As to history-lessons, there is clearly a lot to be studied yet.

    Fundamentally of course, a good number of other European nations are building 'muscle-tone' you deem irrelevant. Add to their efforts those of Japan, Australia, South Korea, even poor Philippines and Vietnam, and of course the US, you may find your idiosyncratic philosophical preferences to indeed be progressively 'isolationist'/self-isolating... until reality knocks on even your door, and you'd be compelled to 'contribute' in treasure and blood.

    Which would break this arc of leaping over and beyond hard realities in mid-flight.

    1. No name calling here. I was just describing the problem.

      Interventions tend to be about warfare, and warfare drives refugee movements. Your implicit assumption that interventionism is a counter to migration instead of pushing for it is yet again just counterfactual.

      Besides, yes, we can simply stop migration if it exceeds the threshold of our tolerance. Spending more billions on the military and killing people abroad is not going to be nearly as effective against migration as a simple, comparatively cheaply enforced law.

      And yet again, you imply a cost/benefit superiority of interventionism without doing the math. Because you cannot do it.
      It's all hot air and by now also concern trolling.

  6. ..."trolling." ?

    The intention is purely a modest call to military obligations the come hand-in-hand with massive economic power. The most strident isolationist rhetoric cannot make those disappear.

    Therefore Germany, as a direct function of Germany growing into her role as a full-fledge member of the community of democratic civilizations, will inevitably come to respond to these, by stepping up to the plate with increasingly robust capabilities to carry her proportional global burdens.

    For us to belabor here whether 2-plus-2 = 4 - my argument - or "Not !" - yours - won't matter... Defending hard-won democratic values and institutions requires certain investments. And as the economic doldrums subside, the obvious will be done in Berlin as well under the time-honored principle of 'better late than never'.
    I hear that it will start with a small VSTOL carrier in the 20,000tons range, with some proposing the 'Konrad Adenauer' name for the lead-ship in recognition of stone-cold-sober statesmanship after a catastrophic era of perverse self-centeredness. I'd guess that "Willy Brandt" would be next.

    As a footnote on your preference for 'Metrics', even a cursory back-of-the-envelope calculation of destroyed-lives-per-square-kilometer of national territory - pick the three known such areas across the 20th century - will reveal an astonishing 'violence-coefficient' for the geographically not so imposing footprint of past Germanies and its various regimes.

    In light of that tragic legacy generations since have had to carry historically, no wonder you'd argue for less blood-loss caused. Few would not share that sound mindset. But to avoid more requires national economy-matching capabilities to do just that. Absenteeism, being 'constitutionally' AWOL, or just claiming "I'd rather not..." is not a plausible angle.

    1. No, there are no such obligations. The treaty obligations in the North Atlantic Treaty are minimal and were only violated by Germany in '99 when it participated in air attacks on Yugoslavia. The interventionist NATO members violate that treaty often.
      The Lisbon treaty has no such obligation as you speak of either.
      Basically, interventionists made up the idea that a large country shall be interventionist.
      Again, you're unable to confirm your implicit assumption because there's no evidence for it. You should REALLY start to look at whether your assumptions are founded in reality or just made-up bullocks.

      And your tying of "democratic values" (aka 'freedom') to interventionism is just as artificial. You cannot defend democracy by going to blow up an, maim and kill in distant places. You do so with actual defence, by deterring and if necessary fighting at the frontier of your alliance against an aggressor. Not by being aggressor or bully.
      Again, again, again - your implicit assumptions have no connection to reality.

      And the old rhetoric trick of dismissing a German's rejection of interventionism as being emotionally compromised by history is just another attempt to dodge the horrible truth that interventionists cannot stand and fight for their ideology in the territory of their critical assumptions.

      (1) Interventions and intervention preparations (inflated peacetime mil budgets) do not net benefit the interventionists' countries economically.
      (2) Warfare does not reduce, but increase migration to interventionist countries.
      (3) Democracy and freedom are defended by defence policy, not by interventionist policies.
      (4) The size of a country or its economy does not even come close to dominate its need for military power and actions. Its geographic location relative does.
      (5) There is no ethical imperative for egoistic interventions at all.
      To the contrary, the burden of proof is on those who are in favour of killing and in favour of spending more. You never need to prove why you should not kill or spend resources.

      Look at your assumptions: They're all bullocks, merely made up to cover that interventionists cannot resist with ratio their childish urge to play games and the primal urge to boast with strength.

  7. We could have ourselves a very involved time in going down your rich set of assumptions that define tour items 1 through 5.

    I'd win - you lose... and then you'll be back to postulating points of beliefs that not too many in Germany share.

    If you think that evasion, avoidance, eluding are plausible morally-ethically 'principles' to guide a massive player like Germany, then this is clearly your urgent choice of self-definition.

    But voice like mine are only growing in tenor and reach. Nothing beats searing embarrassment to motivate folks to do 'the right thing'. And thus it shall be done, particular idiosyncratic 'metrics' notwithstanding. Few folks follow those who claim their own laws of Physics...

    To indeed belabor the ever-so-obvious, the existence of the post 1949 Federal Republic of Germany is one of the potent positive examples of indeed massive interventionism, along with the tragically-delayed reintegration of the ex-GDR folks some 40 years later.

    Without the Western Allies carrying that colossal burden, you might have heard about the 'Internet' from some underground news-sources, but you'd be without a voice to freely express your personal perspective.

    And more power to you in this free market-place of ideas.

    I suspect though, that another metric assessment might reveal that the 'odds' are against your personal vision of economics, politics, military-power, democracy etc.

    The next steps in the reintegration of Germany into a global understanding of self-conscious, self-defending democratic systems will be how much Germany will devote to the emerging NATO-project to match a US Marine Corps Marine Expeditionary Brigade-size formation of amphibious assault power.

    USMC sure is discussing the ins and outs of the 'best mix'. And NATO would somewhat multiply that discussion times the various fractions within its membership. However, once even tiny Denmark is doing ABSALOM etc., things are off to a good start.

    1. "(...)a massive player like Germany(...)"

      See? You think security policy is a game. I'm not for gaming when the chips are actual humans' lives and fortunes. Antisocials and sociopaths do.

      But you are about right for a change: The more distant the experience of war becomes, the more the interventionist / warmonger crowd gains ground.
      It will push countries into stupid wars, and thus will be proven to be idiots as the Neocons proved themselves to be idiots.
      Sadly, mankind hasn't a good-enough collective memory.

  8. The English language is one of he richest in words. 'Player' is a commonly-agreed to term of multiple direct and indirect meanings. Unlike our French friends seem to insist on, there is no 'language-police' in this linguistic realm.

    So Germany is a massive player indeed, immensely proud of its industrial capabilities and thus global trading role. And with that come clear-cut unambiguous foreign-political and military responsibilities.

    As to your other preferences of words ('antisocials', 'sociopaths', 'war-mongers' etc.) these may well express personal aesthetics. Well, why not ?!

    However, if your focus is indeed "actual human lives and fortunes", would you then have a hierarchy of 'good' deaths at the top and 'bad' ones on the bottom ?

    A dead father or child is dead either way. With the family-gathering again and again showing the missing loved-ones. Photos with long lost faces.

    I take it then that in light of the enormous loss of lives and maimings in routine car-traffic to work, to go shopping for Christmas or to pick up friends, that you would be arguing on some other much larger website against the evils of car-accidents ravaging European society year after year to numbers not even the most 'rabid' Neo-Cons could ever produce in their worst manias ??

    Or you'd be railing against 'suicide-by-overeating' ??

    Either of these two example feature much larger annual ever-repeating numbers, than a whole host of actual wars individually and to quite an extent taken together - never mind even the most 'pernicious' influence by Neo-Cons across a very limited period of time in one country.

    Which of these deaths would be deemed 'necessary'.

    Which would be 'good' ?

    And which ones 'will always be bad' ?

    And how will you share your personal judgment on these horrors with the survivors ?

    Nobody is playing any 'games' here, no matter how dismissively you seem to see other folks' critical faculties - all just to make what point ? That 'war is bad' and 'peace is good' ?

    To summarize: The moment you are a member of a massive economic power with all-encompassing global ambitions and reach - that very moment you are part of a massive 'interventionistic' machine that has and will continue to apply - if need be - Structural Violence,
    - if it keeps German factories humming,
    - that will sell almost everything to almost all however cruel potentates,
    - to get the right results in the next election,
    - to further diversify the global trading portfolio to steady domestic political balances.

    And if we then happen to find new high-end German 'dual-use' industrial products both in Saddam's Bagdad and in Ghoum, then all 'innocence' has been traded away for the sake of domestic affluence and stability.

    What then remains as your position of claimed superior moral standing over other robustly self-defensive democracies ??

    1. (a) You just repeat the made-up bullocks about "responsibilities". You never ever provide actual evidence for any of your assumptions, which just shows off how you're driven by feelings, not by analysis. You can't defend your critical assumptions because you don't even look at them. Instead you make stuff up or repeat what others made up.

      (b) "(...)you would be arguing (...) against the evils of car-accidents (...)"
      Just to show you how much you operate without root in fact, and how comfortable you are in this useless mode: Look up "bus drivers" in the blog search function on the left.

      (c) "deaths": "necessary (...) good (...) always bad"
      Use search function for "evil". Your categories for deaths are useless, as all your other stuff as well.

      Your stubborn resistance to the idea of examining the own assumptions was predictable. Cognitive dissonance prevents it. After all, you'd run a risk (p=1) of discovering that your critical assumptions are unfounded.
      I really just kept arguing here to expose the warmonger's ways to others: Stubborn repeating without any introspection and attempts at saturating the discussion till others follow. Meanwhile, no substance whatsoever. Decades of interventions ranging from ridiculous to unsatisfactory to disastrous and interventionists still assert that military power is important for our economies into the face of an actual economist. If only societies had a better memory.

  9. So, we both got 'our way' then.
    - You got to demonstrate for the umpteenth time how deficient everybody else's reasoning is, never mind their memory.

    - And I got to show your doctrinaire refusal to examine even just Germany's own history and current position as a basis for unarguable realities and thus hard decisions.

    You have added another level to the 'Ivory-Tower' of exquisite wisdom.

    And I /'the rest of us' will move right along, anyway...


    1. I didn't refuse that. In fact, I showed you how non-vital even the Suez Canal is to German trade and that there's actually a case study in how interventionism BLOCKED the canal instead of keeping it usable.

  10. The basic claim in your argument is that 'interventionism' is inherently...some-kind-of-socio-pathologic/antisocial/'Bollocks"-driven mania etc., etc.

    And yet without such 'Intervention' you'd never have arrived at the 1945/49 mile-markers that returned Germany towards a path of quite sustainable reason - otherwise impossible to attain with the previous '33-'45 policies.

    Or, without the 'interventionism' via the construction of a US-centric Internet, the Mimeograph-machine would be running hot.

    Or without the US-centric "Bretton Woods" (as in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, USA) organizations such as WorldBank and International Monetary Fund, you have no World Trade Organization... which are major 'Interventionistic' ventures with a fair bit of collaboration from its 159 members counting on at times quite intrusive sovereignty-reducing interventions.

    Your narrow definitions do not even work on their own terms, such as in the case of the Suez Canal, since it would get cold and dark around your location quite soon if this and other such trading-passages were disrupted without deterrence by 'Interventionists'.

    While some Americans strain to enjoy their incoherent dreams of (continental) Isolationism, by virtue of its structure, topography and history just about no place in Europe, never mind in NATO or under the EC could wrap themselves in such splendid isolation.

    Which makes Germany as dependent upon every one of these systems of Agreements Conventions, Pacts, and a whole load of daily assumptions to just get any insurer to underwrite that shipment from Frankfurt to Abu Dhabi,r just the Mall in the Northwest sector of Moskva, or Elizabeth, NJ, USA.

    Germany is inextricable integrated in this dense web of interrelationships; and nobody in Berlin or Frankfurt would have it any other way. Hence the move towards progressively shouldering respective military/interventionistic' burdens as well.

    Of course much of this 'word-splitting' on your side this far reminds one of those lost souls in the '70s wandering the streets of various western European contries attempting to preach some socialistic gospel while typically hurridly pointing out that none of the extant flavors of socialism/communism between Christiania and Vladivostok or Hainan were 'the real thing'.

    Sven Ortmann, you are quite comfortably riding around on the back of a massive economic interventionist (Germany), which to a high degree is (happily) dependent upon a much larger economic and military 'interventionist' (USA) and a dense system of both economic and military interventionistic pacts - which makes your urgent 'wisdom' somewhat less than plausible.

    Since you are part of that 'matrix', why claim the opposite ??!!

    1. Stop the lying and nonsense now.

      Not a single power of WW2 considered the world war an "intervention", and both the U.S. and the Soviet Union were dragged into the war only when they were declared war on, not because they decided to join the massacre.

      You are also either ignorant or lying about the internet. Arpanet's creation was a response to WW3 concerns, not the slightest bit related to interventions.

      Your confusion of international cooperation institutions with interventionism is ridiculous and a tell-tale sign for confusion and moving goalposts.

      Your take about Europe not being able to be non-interventionist only shows how you can't keep confusion out of your thoughts. The proximity to noticeable military power Russia means Europe cannot withdraw very much from actual defence, but the whole thing is utterly unrelated with interventionism.

      Relationships do not require interventionism. Interventionism often undermines relationships and international institutions as the UNSC. The UN's ban on wars of aggression would be more respected if the US and UK didn't ignore it frequently under cover of their UNSC veto rights.

      This time you spewed so many lies and so much BS that I rate you now as troll. Forget about submitting any comment unless you filtered the lies and BS out first.

    2. Both of you are interesting to read. Sven has a very typical German background and reflects what most Germans think. We don't want wars and we don't like interventions.
      The US perspective is quite different. They have been indoctrinated with a different story.
      I don't know what's right.
      Perhaps Sven should write an article about "Under what circumstances can interventions be legitimized?" It would help a great deal to get a seemingly bias out of this blog that intervention equals a bloodlust for war = sociopathic warmongering.
      The current US interventions are part of a great power game for global positions under the disguise of different moral justifications.
      The scutum on the top of this blog reminds one of another people, who did just the same and Germans all know about the Battle of Teutoburg Forest against them. It's part of the German history. The US has a very different attitude towards the Roman ways, seeing it as a predecessor in many ways.

    3. Actually, I wrote that 2.5 years ago already:



      And actually, my opinion is not mere indoctrination. I was pro the 1999 Kosovo intervention and only had my "War is a racket" moment only around 2001 when it became publicly known that most of the pre-war allegations were made up by UCK and warmongers and how stupidly and egoistically the military branches of the attacking countries waged the war.

    4. How do we handle an imperfect world in which powers make geostrategic gains by their interventions? Can future German access to strategic resources be secured with a policy that does not howl with the wolves?

    5. Other countries pour money into the military to play geostrategic games, grab some oil fields (astonishingly inefficient!) or ore mines?
      Fine, we can invest in our own country instead and come out on top being able to pay a fair price for what's being offered on the world markets.

      Look at the example of Japan, a country which ran into near-doom by pursuing resources supply security through military strength and actions, but only entered a phase of prosperity for all when it reduced its military ambitions to self defence.
      Germany, Italy - same story.

      The standard example for a country supposedly benefiting of resource wars are the United States, allegedly their activities even benefit others.
      Fact is, the United States could have been be independent from crude oil imports since the 90's if it had allocated the resources it spent for Persian Gulf meddling to this end.

      USN activity in the Persian Gulf extended the Iraq-Iran War and its supply restrictions (and aided the aggressor), U.S. embargo policy in the UNSC reduced oil supply from Iraq from '91-'03 needlessly and the invasion of Iraq kept oil supply artificially low and prices high '03-approx. '10.

      Many people just assume that interventions, "power projection" etc are directly or indirectly profitable. That's just an assumption; rarely anybody ever attempts to actually calculate costs and benefits.
      Anon; you too implied that the others make "gains" and I suppose you mistook those "gains" for "net gains".

  11. US fans say a nation "abandon his obligations" when said nation don't use his money and troops to support US objectives

    1. Anonymous,

      it is more about a misunderstanding of the concept of national interest. Many US citizens have difficulties to understand that NATO worked quite well until 1990, because the national interests of the USA and various central European countries were nicely aligned.

      In the last two decades we have now the obvious situation that these interests diverge. However, this new situation does not lead to a more nunaced US approach, i.e. showing a claer understanding that US national interests are not necessarily our national interests, but to the continued use of the old concept. The result is indeed what you in a little bit unfair manner have described as "abandon his obligations" :-)


  12. Something to note that SO has said previously - why spend your own blood and treasure when the US is already spending it for you? That's the whole economies of scale bit arising from a military alliance, anyway.

    1. Actually, I didn't.
      I did repeatedly write that the U.S. overspends on the military and that its bullying and invading habit isn't even useful.
      What you asserted I "said previously" is what the "free rider" folks commented here.

      The last useful U.S. intervention was the Desert Storm up to the land campaign (the land campaign was unnecessary because Saddam was already withdrawing his forces).
      This served to solidify the ban of annexations, while the way the Kuwait annexation was handled did actually incur economic costs (embargo => higher oil price, ODS+DS costs). This intervention was UNSC approved, had huge support in the region and was a multinational one.

      The economies of scale of an alliance are about defence only. Effective defence becomes possible and even for great powers cheaper in an alliance. You don't need to prepare against your ally and the ally adds his forces to yours. Obviously, this is cheaper.

    2. Do accept my apologies for conflating your thoughts with those of the commenters.

      Still, more cynically, even "free riding" is not wholly free for the subordinate members of the alliance. The US still does gain a raft of benefits from a military alliance such as NATO, even if fellow NATO members do not want to participate in the same great power games as it.