"Of Psychopaths and Presidential Candidates"

While there is no set score that officially renders someone a psychopath, it’s revealing to see who scores in the top 20 percent of all people who have been evaluated with the PPI-R. The table highlights those with scores in this upper quintile, which are somewhat lower for women than for men.
The verdict on the candidates: Trump, Clinton and Cruz all scored in the upper quintile in Self-Centered Impulsivity and Coldheartedness. Trump landed in the top 20 percent across the board on psychopathy traits, with a total score that placed him between Idi Amin and Adolf Hitler.
Scientific American MIND Guest Blog

Well, Trump's chances to become POTUS have been calculated as about 15% only, so we may pass on that one. Yet we have extremely questionable persona as head of state or head of government in Turkey and Hungary, and Berlusconi had a suboptimal character as well.

The North Atlantic Treaty - and other treaties - doesn't include any provisions to cope with really, really bad leaders of members that appear for a few years or even last in office for decades. All members.
It's not always a political culture that yields terrible policies, sometimes it's simply a terrible party or a terrible leader. The allies are caught up in this, and whatever damage is done may endanger them as well.

In theory, a member could simply leave the alliance, but this is de facto impractical for many members.
Imagine the situation: The hardcore "transatlantic"conservatives in Germany wouldn't even imagine such a thing, and a whole network of think tanks, journalists and old politicians would start an all-out communications offensive if any public figure ever uttered such an idea. Germany leaving NATO would collapse the defence of NATO's Eastern members almost instantly (unless we begin to think of the EU Treaty as an alliance treaty). The port capacities in the Adriatic Sea are pitiful (even Trieste) compared to Hamburg and Rotterdam, and the Baltic Sea ports would be very hazardous. The strategic logistics of NATO for Eastern Europe defence would largely be cut if Germany left the alliance. It would take years to adapt, a substantial window of vulnerability.
 To leave NATO is no practical option for Germany, Iceland and Eastern European members. This means there's no practical alternative to enduring being allied with a dangerous idiot government sooner or later.


P.S.: Of course, all this talk after the quote is little more than an excuse for quoting the "between Idi Amin and Adolf Hitler" part. I couldn't resist that one.I had the topic largely covered in 2008/09 already, as the links show. 

BTW, the damage GWB did in Europe was considerable, an election of Trump to POTUS would in my opinion create a 50/50 chance of a decades-lasting split between Europe and the U.S. that would become very costly for both. Turning away from NATO is impractical for German conservatives, but not so much for social democrats and it would be almost welcome to our greens, certainly so to our socialists. Many NATO members do not really need NATO. Portugal, Italy or France, for example.


  1. Treaties go both ways, and NATO does not do very much for the protection of North America, particularly Canada and the USA.

    NATO remains a great boon for Europe, but not so great for those of us on the other side of the Atlantic.

    A few years ago some Chinese officials made the outrageous claim that the Chinese were entitled to Canadian Artic resources - it was laughable threat at the time and unthinkable; but everyone knows that no European country, with the possible exception of the UK, would ever honor their NATO obligation to support Canada in a fight against the Chinese.

    NATO was a great idea in its day, but no one with any sense sees western European countries as capable or reliable allies in the 21st century.


    1. This wasn't about the utility of NATO, it was about possible unacceptable affiliations (and troubles) in NATO.

      I wrote about utility and non-utility of NATO earlier.
      and those two posts are in stark conflict with your claims and assumptions about NATO.

      You're also apparently in extreme ignorance about the military powerhouse that is European NATO:

      Besides, I would call your claim about "everyone knows" unsubstantiated if I would insist on politeness, but it actually is an obvious lie. And I cease to be polite when being polite means to tolerate actual offences against good manners.

    2. The lynch pin of western militaries is their air forces, but the ineffectiveness of European airpower was well demonstrated in Libya. Running out of bombs, C2, and tanker support in the middle of operations (that Europeans chose to participate in) is an embarrassment.

      The lack of collective political will to address Vladimir Putin in any effective way is visible on a daily basis.

      As to the "extreme powerhouse that is European NATO" - 1) the current and former SECDEFs do not believe it - hence the wrangling about NATO budgets, and 2) if it were true, European countries would politely thank all non-European members of NATO for their support and then ask them to remove their forces. Either the EU "has it" or it does not.


    3. They ran out of selected PGMs, and that was a problem because they didn't want to kill civilians nearby or go low into ManPADS range.

      European air forces have many times more munitions than were expended in Libya, of course. It's not ideal, but then again even the lavishly budgeted USAF had a severe HARM shortage a couple times.

      The U.S. does pretty much nothing about Putin, and its government is utterly stuck at the highest levels. So there's little Americans can blame Europeans about concerning political cohesion without an unhealthy dosage of hypocrisy.

      You fell for the most obvious SecDef propaganda. Of course they want more budget, more recognition, more TV time, more personnel for THEIR ministry. That's utterly predictable from the heads of bureaucracies. I covered this many times.

      Europe has no quantity or budgeting shortfall. It has army sluggishness, air force laziness and navy irrelevance issues as well as varying degrees of procurement system rot.

      And you clearly didn't read or understand my post on the utility of NATO. The reason why even Europe as a military powerhouse remains in NATO is quite obvious to people with West German background; it's the same motive as behind (West) Germany's grand strategy.

    4. The North Atlantic Treaty is a military alliance that calls not just for the defense of Europe, but also the defense of *North America*.

      This blog advocates positions that, if followed, would ensure that Europeans lack meaningful capabilities applicable to the defense of *North America*.

      American Secretaries of Defense are political (and bureaucratic) creatures, but their pointed and public criticisms of European defense policy, correct or not, reflect American concerns that
      Europeans expect the USA to come to their aid, but have no intention of returning the favor. President Clinton has also said as much.

      I am happy to concede these points if you can refute them, but a NATO that is unwilling (or unable) to defend North America is a worthless to Canada and the USA.


    5. A fraction of European land and sea power would suffice to protect CONUS against whatever imaginary threat it might face. You're plain wrong with your "ensure".

      I think you're also wrong with your interpretation of American politicians. They don't complain that Europeans don't plan for the defence of the U.S.. That may be what some Tea Partiers say.

      The SecDefs know that USN air power and army NG alone would already suffice for ACTUAL defence of the United States.

      American politicians criticize European military policies because they hope for more auxiliary forces to become available for stupid Neocon-style wars.

  2. On the one hand: Brexit, Hungary’s plan to double the fence with Serbia, Austrian elections, and European ‘racism, islamophobia and anti-refugee stance’ (especially the Visegrad group and the Baltic states) are EU problems. In that respect the Visegrad group and the Baltic States resemble more their Slavic cousins, the Russians, as they do not tolerate to see and smell other skin colours, dressing habits, spices and religions/beliefs. Western and Mediterranean Europe have a more phlegmatic stance toward immigration.

    On the other hand: Turkey’s crackdown on ‘supposed opponents’ and its intervention in Syria against PKK-affiliates and daesh attacks are internal and cross-border problems.
    Conspiracy theories have already emerged: the failed coup in Turkey was an enormous orchestrated scenario, etc. inside job like 9/11; I don’t want to get into that.

    By the way PKK held a pacific demonstration on August 28th 2016 afternoon, at Place de la Bastille in Paris, with music, PKK red flag and red star, Abdullah Öcalan flags and communist (soviet) flags (The hammer and sickle).

    Turkey has the right to self defence against daesh and any other terrorist organisation in Syria, the same way as other NATO members do: Belgium, France, USA or UK (with bombing and troops on the ground). Syria does not control that territory.
    What is pitiful is how Turkish and Kurd leaders cannot come to an agreement on anything?
    PKK multiply terrorist attacks inside Turkey, Turkey crack down on PKK, it’s a vicious circle, and USA in somewhere in there, ally of Turkey and sponsor of Kurds (YPG and SDF).

    I think there is a bigger concern for NATO to have Russia extend its influence in the Mediterranean (Tartous) with air base and naval base and the deployment of modern EWC, air defence etc. One might know when the Russians come, but one does not know when they will leave. They could be able to repeat the Crimean scenario again and build a 2nd Kaliningrad in Syria. Russian ultimate dream it Istanbul, and that is not a secret since Stalin.
    Anyways, it’s a move that Tel Aviv does not appreciate and they told that to Washington: they don’t like the Russia – Iran – Hezbollah – Assad – (China) alliance so close to their borders. And since Israel’s words are like God’s Words…