Dump NATO? Maybe …   Leave a comment

In his farewell address, George Washington warned against entangling alliances. For most of US history, the government mostly followed that advice. We were friendly trading partners with a lot of countries, but official allies with few. Thus, we chose to stay out of World War 1 until after Woodrow Wilson had been elected to a second term by extolling how he had kept America out of the war. We similarly stayed out of World War 2 until Roosevelt worked events around to make the American public think it was their idea. Following that world-wide conflagration, we seem to have forgotten Washington’s advice and gone whole-hog into the folly of military alliances … apparently thinking we’re somehow special and we won’t get any of human nature’s smelly muck on our hardly clean hands.

Do I sound jaundiced? I mean to. Just so you are not mistaken … I think the world would be a better place without manipulative interfering agencies like the UN and Nato.

Image result for image of NATO

Last summer, Donald Trump made a splash when he mused that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was obsolete. He hinted that it might no longer be worth the huge American investment. As always, he hit a nerve and then moved on without offering many details. That’s back in discussion during the transition. European allies are concerned.

Interestingly, the British press admits that the United States pays an inordinate percentage of the funding for these alliances. The US pays 72% of NATO’s funding and more than one-fifth of the UN’s budget. That’s not including our actual military commitment across Europe.

The Soviet army is no longer a threat to Western Europe, which was what NATO was created to guard against. The alliance has been unwisely expanded from its original 12-nation membership to include 28 countries, absorbing many of the old communist Warsaw Pact nations and some former Soviet republics. NATO may have meant well to offer security to these vulnerable new alliance members, but it’s unlikely Greeks and Italians will volunteer to die to keep Russia out of Estonia. Today’s NATO pledges to many of its newer participants are about as believable as British and French ridiculous 1939 guarantees to protect Poland from its Nazi and Soviet neighbors. No NATO member during the 40-year Cold War invoked Article Four of the treaty, requiring consultation of the entire alliance by a supposedly threatened member. Turkey has called for it four times since 2003. The idea that Western Europe, beset with radical Islamic terrorism and unchecked migrations from the war-torn Middle East, would pledge its military support to the agendas and feuds of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s increasingly Islamist and non-democratic regime is pure fantasy. Few NATO members meet the alliance’s goal of investing 2 percent of gross domestic product in defense spending. Instead, socialist Europe expects the United States to carry most of NATO’s fiscal and military burdens. RELATED: The Counter Putin, More

NATO may have meant well to offer security to these vulnerable new alliance members, but it’s unlikely Greeks and Italians will volunteer to die to keep Russia out of Estonia. Today’s NATO pledges to many of its newer participants are about as believable as British and French ridiculous 1939 guarantees to protect Poland from its Nazi and Soviet neighbors. During the 40-year Cold War, no NATO member invoked Article Four, requiring consultation of the entire alliance by a supposedly threatened member. Turkey has called for it four times since 2003. The idea that Western Europe, beset with radical Islamic terrorism and unchecked migrations from the war-torn Middle East, would pledge its military support to the agendas and feuds of Turkish president Erdogan’s increasingly Islamist and non-democratic regime is foolish insanity, but that is what the NATO agreement could lead to, so it would likely be American troops fighting and dying for Turkey.

Few NATO members meet the alliance’s goal of investing 2 percent of gross domestic product in defense spending. Instead, socialist Europe expects the United States to carry most of NATO’s fiscal and military burdens. Europe is increasingly seen as defenseless against Islamic terrorism, and unable to stop the immigration of legions of young male Muslim migrants from the war-torn Middle East. It is also viewed as a fat target for unstable (and increasingly nuclear) regimes. Many European nations count on U.S. subsidies to trim their defense costs so they can fund socialist entitlements. The European press than caricatures America as an over-militarized superpower bully for becoming what they have demanded we become for their benefit.

Meanwhile, NATO forces have not proven their utility in most instances. They were next to useless in Afghanistan and completely disastrous in Libya.

So is Trump right and we should let NATO die on the vine? Is a future without the alliance preferrable to the present costly and flawed NATO?

The past is prelude. Lord Ismay, NATO’s first secretary general, said that the alliance was formed “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.” I personally think the United States would be better off without it, but Europe probably wouldn’t be. The Soviet Union no longer exists, but Russia is still nuclear and aggressively expands wherever it senses weakness. They will always have to be watched. Germany is now in the European Union, and which has a larger population and economy than the United States. Germany still earns suspicion in Europe, whether because of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s destructive immigration policies or the equally unwise practice of rich German banks recklessly lending to bankrupt Mediterranean nations. A headstrong robust Germany will always have to be intergrated into any military alliance. The European Union never managed to unite its disparate nations into something cohesive and similar to the individual states of America. There are those who point out that the United States will always have a natural self-interest in preemptively keeping kindred Europeans from killing each other.

The West is increasingly under assault, the target of radical Islamic terrorists, gradually losing its superior position against Russia and China, and considered weak by rogue regimes such as Iran and North Korea. The issue is not whether NATO is still useful, but whether the alliance can reform itself before it implodes.

First, NATO must stop growing. It’s senseless imperialism to offer guarantees to nations that it would not protect in the real world. Yeah, the Baltic States are vulnerable to Russian aggression, but NATO troops in the Baltic nations threatens Russia’s sovereignty and ramps tensions up to the point of war. If Europe has a right to protect itself from Russian territorial aggression, should not Russia have a right to protect itself from European territorial? Turkey is, at best, a buffer state between Europe and the Middle East but autocracy and Islamicization are contrary to NATO principles and should be grounds for expulsion.

NATO should be wary of using its forces outside of Europe. Peacekeeping could be outsourced to individual members acting on their own.

Greater European military buy-in in the form of expenditures, equipment and troops should be required if the U.S in the alliance.

This is no longer the post-War era when the United States had a healthy robust economy while Europe was rebuilding from the ravishes of war. The US is $21 trillion in debt. We can’t afford to remain Europe’s military defense nanny. Things have to change. Europe’s economy is larger than ours. It’s time for them to step up to the plate and start acting like grownup nations defending their own borders.

Ultimately, I see NATO as one of several ways for World War 3 to come about. All it takes is a misunderstanding between Russia and NATO, or for Turkey to be invaded by ISIS, and the alliance becomes galvanized, requiring the United States to come to the rescue of our allies and drag the whole world into a conflagration there is no easy escape from. Have we learned nothing from the wars in the Middle East? Consider World War 2 or World War 1 when European entangling alliances dragged all of Europe and North Africa into war. The United States was able to stay out of those wars until later because we weren’t allied with Europe. Today, that is no longer the case. What happens if the inevitable happens and Europe comes under attack? Do we really think that at $21 trillion in debt, we can afford to fight another World War? NATO was never a very smart idea for the US anyway, but under current conditions we’re just asking to see what fighting a war you can’t afford on someone else’s behalf looks like.

Uh, wait … wasn’t that called Iraq? Syria? Libya?

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Posted December 27, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Foreign policy

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