NATO. The price of US ‘protection’ soars

By MANLIO DINUCCI

No2NATO-Banner-NewCr(March 12) – The United States will no longer consider its allies as protectorates. Therefore, they ask them to pay the cost of their protection, otherwise they will withdraw. This was announced by President Trump on January 17 at the Pentagon, which was presented in February at NATO, but was released only this week. A decision that applies to all allies, from Japan to Germany. The problem is that Washington is also asking its allies to align with its positions … as they did as protectorates.

It is not only the mafia who demand a ransom in exchange for his “protection”. “The rich countries we protect – warned President Donald Trump in a threatening speech in the Pentagon – are all warned: they will have to pay our protection.”

President Trump – Bloomberg [1] – will present the plan “Cost Plus 50” which provides the following criterion: Allied countries that host US forces on their territory will have to cover the full cost and pay the US an extra 50 per cent in exchange for the “privilege” of hosting them and thus being “protected” by them.

The plan provides that the host countries also pay the salaries of the US military and the costs of managing aircraft and warships that the United States keeps in those countries. Italy should pay not only the salaries of about 12,000 US military personnel based at home, but also the management costs of F-16 fighters and other aircraft deployed by the US to Aviano and Sigonella, as well as costs of the Sixth Fleet based at Gaeta. According to the same criteria we should also pay the management of Camp Darby, the largest US arsenal out of the mother country, and the maintenance of US nuclear bombs stored at Aviano and Ghedi.

We do not know how much the United States intends to ask Italy and the other European countries that host their military forces, since we do not even know how much these countries are currently paying. The data is covered by the secret-defence. According to a study by the Rand Corporation, the European NATO countries bear an average of 34 per cent of the costs of the US forces and bases present on their territories. But we do not know what is the annual amount they pay in the US: the only estimate – $ 2.5 billion – is 17 years old.

The figure paid by Italy is therefore also secret. We know only certain positions: for example, tens of millions of euros to adapt the Aviano and Ghedi airports to US F-35 fighters and the new B61-12 nuclear bombs that the US will begin to deploy. Italy in 2020, and about 100 million for work at Naval Air Station Sigonella, also responsible for Italy. In Sigonella only the Nas I, the administrative and recreational zone, is exclusively financed by the USA, while the Nas II, operational departments, and therefore the most expensive, is financed by NATO, thus also by Italy .

In any case, he predicts – the researcher from the Rand Corp. – that with the “Cost Plus 50” plan, the costs for the allies “will skyrocket.” We are talking about a 600 per cent increase. They will be added to the military expenditure, which in Italy amounts to about 70 million euros per day, intended to climb up to about 100 according to the commitments made by the Italian governments at NATO headquarters.

It is public money, out of our pockets, away from productive investment and social spending. But it is possible that Italy could pay less for US forces and bases deployed on its territory. The “Cost Plus 50” Plan provides for a “good behaviour rebate” for “allies who align closely with the United States, doing what they ask for.”

We are sure that Italy will benefit from a large rebate because, from government to government, it has always remained in the wake of the United States. Lately, sending troops and warplanes to Eastern Europe on the pretext of containing the “Russian threat”; and by promoting the US plan for the burial of the INF Treaty to deploy in Europe, including Italy, nuclear missile sites pointing to Russia.

These being the target of possible retaliation, we will need to “protect” other US forces and bases. That we will have to pay, but always with the discount.

Note

[1] “ Trump Seeks Huge Premium From Allies Hosting US Troops,“ Nick Wadhams and Jennifer Jacobs, Bloomberg , March 8, 2019.

Marie-Ange Patrizio Translation

Source 
Il Manifesto (Italy)

 

 

 

 

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