This is no secret by any stretch of the imagination. NATO has definitely become a dried turd husk of what it was and what it was meant to be. Perhaps I’m being too harsh, especially seeing as I don’t necessarily agree with the general interpretation of a post Cold War NATO’s duties and responsibilities. It is also undeniable that more than any other time in its history, NATO is but a front for Euro weenies flexing their puny muscles with the USA sweating under the burden of actually getting the job done.
All that said the post 9/11 World offered a possible stay of execution for NATO but the quagmire of Afghanistan,the international financial collapse and the bullying by the neo-Soviets have pretty much snuffed that too.
STRATFOR had an interesting bit on NATO and that was pretty much the stimulus for this post.the following comes from that piece with me in blue.
Atlanticists: Led by the United States, Atlanticists want the alliance oriented toward non-European theaters of operation (e.g., Afghanistan) and non-traditional security threats (think cybersecurity, terrorism, etc.); an increase of commitments from Core Europeans in terms of defense spending; and a reformed decision-making system that eliminates a single-member veto in some situations while allowing the NATO secretary-general to have predetermined powers to act without authorization in others. The latter is in the interests of the United States, because it is Washington that will always have the most sway over the secretary-general, who traditionally hails from an Atlanticist country.
This is the American position and a position not inconsistent with the founding of the Treaty. threats are threats no matter where they strike or where they emanate from. The ultimate precedent here is the NATO support of the initial Afghanistan operations.
This is also a key position to hold when one confesses that the UN is a completely useless entity when it comes to anything other than years long diplomatic chattering while bodies and suffering mount up.
I support the Atlanticist position with a side of Intermarum,more later on that.
Core Europe: Led by Germany and France, Core Europe wants more controls and parameters predetermined for non-European deployments (so that it can limit such deployments); a leaner and more efficient alliance (in other words, the freedom to cut defense spending when few are actually spending at the two percent gross domestic product mandated by the alliance); and more cooperation and balance with Russia and more consultations with international organizations like the United Nations (to limit the ability of the United States to go it alone without multilateral approval). Core Europe also wants military exercises to be “nonthreatening,” in direct opposition to Intermarum demands that the alliance reaffirm its defense commitments through clear demonstrations of resolve.
This is exactly where the Euro-Weenies reside. This position has now and for the foreseeable future have some serious strength. The Euro’s are very sensitive to what they see as the sin of combat operations. Equally they have a strong and not always incorrect opinion on hard diplomacy;however,they fail to see that in our never to be perfect world it is a necessary evil. The other component to the new-found strength of the CE position is the financial crisis. Europe is undertaking serious austerity measures and the military will bear a heavy strike in the pursuit. This is not good for two reasons. #1 there really isn’t any future friendships brewing here and there can only be a growing wedge. This will ultimately destroy the Alliance,unless…#2 the neo-Soviets are in my opinion only playing nice they will eventually act against the Euro-weenies. Most likely via economic measures but also through the pursuit of its own new alliances.
Intermarum: The Central Europeans ultimately want NATO to reaffirm Article 5 both rhetorically and via military exercises (if not the stationing of troops); commitment to the European theater and conventional threats specifically (in opposition to the Atlanticists’ non-European focus); and mention of Russia in the new Strategic Concept as a power whose motives cannot be trusted (in opposition of Core European pro-Russian attitudes). Some Central Europeans also want a continued open-door membership policy (think Ukraine and Georgia) so that the NATO border with Russia is expanded farther east, which neither the United States nor Core Europe (nor even some fellow Intermarum states) have the appetite for at present.
Fucking hey! These are the countries that know first hand what will happen as the neo-Soviets strengthen. They’ve been there,done that and still have the crappy red tee-shirts. The nations that make up this position want security and relevance in the world. Fair is fair,when you blab all day long about the importance of international entities you eventually have to pony up. The UN fails here miserably and as for the IMF/WB well that just sucks too much. No a NATO stake is not only safer (in a several directions) it is understandably far more palatable to countries that want to maintain their own sovereignty.
Perhaps NATO will survive. I don’t know. I do know though that the world would benefit more from an Atlanticist/Intermarum ticket and that keeping NATO around may be a very good idea indeed.
- Is NATO Relevant? (outsidethebeltway.com)