It was always about burden sharing

It’s easy to pick on President Trump for his treatment of allies, given his willingness to call out countries like Germany for not spending their fair share on defense. It’s also easy to gloss over the fact that Europe has taken for granted a strong US presence that guarantees security. Relying on the US to be the muscle in any fight is one thing, but purposely passing the buck and not defending your own nation is another.

Not anymore. An op-ed in the Norwegian news site DN.no written by Professor Janne Matlary outlined a new policy spelled out by the new Secretary of Defense Mark Esper:

“Secretary Esper’s message to NATO countries were that “if you receive infrastructure that we [USA] are building, it’s just fair that you are paying for it”, and Matlary states that the same policy will be valid for Norway and the building of new shelters at Rygge Airport. Matlary states that European countries (including Norway) have avoided the self-imposed 2 percent goal while at the same time believing that burden sharing is limited by that number, now challenged by Secretary Esper’s new policy. Professor Matlary also referred to Ambassador Braithwaite’s NATO op-ed in VG on August 12, asking if Norway’s security should be more important to American tax payers than for Norwegians. She is puzzled the Ambassador has not received any response, asking if Norwegian media and politicians are taking United States for granted, or if it’s too unpleasant to respond to.”

We need allies in any future fight. That is a given. But allies are worthless if they can’t do the basics of providing for some sort of defense of their own country. It would take the US some time to muster forces to defend or possibly liberate any European country, and the fact that Norway, like many other countries, has taken a constant US presence for granted is sad. Our alliances should not be an excuse to stand quietly by while other countries avoid burden sharing.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

Bill Belichick’s Antonio Insurance Now in Play

Penny: Here you go, (to Leonard) Quesadilla, (to Howard) Salad, (to Raj) Here’s your pizza. And thanks to Sheldon’s heated discussion with my manager, one barbecue bacon cheeseburger, barbecue sauce, bacon, and cheese on the side.
Sheldon: Thank you!
Penny: Go ahead. Eat it. I dare you!

The Big Bang Theory: The Panty Pinata Polarization 2008

There was a rather amusing moment yesterday after the Patriots unexpectedly released wide receiver Antonio Brown Friday afternoon. Sean McVey is at a press conference and is asked if the Rams might be interested in Brown, here is the response.

Remember this is the same Antonio Brown who was voted 7th best player in the NFL for this season right behind Tom Brady and who caught a touchdown pass from that same Tom Brady last Sunday.

There are many reasons why the Patriots might have released Brown after only 11 days. Maybe they decided the charges against him are credible, maybe the text messages were the last straw, maybe they figured that the league was going to make him ineligible anyways and figured to get a jump on things, maybe after only 11 days they figured the distraction level wasn’t worth it or perhaps he just wasn’t picking up the system.

But one thing is sure, that the dynamic I mentioned in this post is now in play:

What’s the downside for the Pats if they cut him? The worst that happens is the betting line get slightly worse on them AND the best that happens is Tom Brady has yet another motivation to prove himself to the pundits who will all declare how losing Brown hurts the Pats chances.


Meanwhile what’s the downside for Brown? You not only become the guy in a contract season who has confirmed to every GM in the league that you are uncoachable,

Now in fairness to Brown this likely has more to do with new revelations that being coachable, but consider this.

If you’re Kansas City, or Baltimore or the Chargers or Dallas or Seattle or the Rams before the Patriots signed Antonio Brown you might have been thinking that the 7th best player in the league might be just the guy to put their team over to top to dethrone Brady and Co

Now that the Patriots have ditched him after only 11 days do you think there is going to be a single team out there that’s an actual threat to the Pats that will take the risk, and that’s of course assuming the league allows him to play?

Signing Antonio Brown on the roster for those 11 days might turn out to be the greatest insurance policy every written for a NFL team.