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The Future of NATO

multilateralism NATO United States Europe Russia Germany France Great Britain military defense Canada

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#1
caltrek

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Trumps recent trip to Europe and the dust he has raised there has resulted in many news articles and proclamations being issued regarding NATO.  There are some indications that is all much ado about nothing and that when the dust settles, nothing will be different. Other indications are that we may be seeing a fundamental shift in the force and alliance structure that will at least transform NATO as we know it.

 

Trump cannot be predicted.  His rhetoric weaves to and fro the way a drunk walks down the street. It is difficult to know where he will end up and if he even knows where he is going.  Perhaps that is the nature of the times, or perhaps that is the nature of his own personality.  Perhaps a combination.

 

Whatever the causes, a cloud on uncertainty seems to have appeared on the horizon.  So, I am starting this thread to track the development of that cloud. Perhaps it will simply dissolve away, in which case the thread can safely make its way to the back pages.  Or perhaps the headlines will continue to be forthcoming regarding this topic, in which case this thread might have a long life with many views and posts.  Part of that depends on you readers. So, I do hope many offer your opinions and perspectives, even if I don't particularly agree with some of those perspectives.      

 

Without further introduction, here is the first article that I am posting to this thread:

 

Lessons That Should Have Been Learned From NATO's Destruction of Libya

 

Introduction:

 

(Counterpunch) The summit meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the military alliance that is expanding its deployments of troops, combat and surveillance aircraft and missile ships around Russia’s borders, took place on July 11-12 and was a farce, with Trump behaving in his usual way, insulting individuals and nations with characteristic vulgarity.

 

Before the jamboree, NATO’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg (one of those selected for a Trumpian harangue), recounted in a speech on 21 June that “NATO has totally transformed our presence in Afghanistan from a big combat operation with more than 100,000 to now 16,000 troops conducting training, assisting and advising.”  But then he had a bit of a rethink when he was asked a question about whether NATO had learnt any lessons that might make it think about “intervening in the future.” To give him his due, Stoltenberg replied that he thought “one of the lessons we have learned from Iraq, from Afghanistan, from Libya, is that military intervention is not always solving all problems.”

 

He is absolutely right about that, because the US-NATO military interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya have been catastrophic.

 

It is intriguing that NATO’s secretary general can at last admit that military muscle doesn’t solve every problem, but he did not expand on the subject of Libya, which unhappy country was destroyed by US-NATO military intervention in 2011, and it is interesting to reflect on that particular NATO debacle, because it led directly to expansion of the Islamic State terrorist group, a prolonged civil war, a vast number of deaths, and hideous suffering by desperate refugees trying to flee from Libya across the Mediterranean.

 

The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#2
funkervogt

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The leaders of Europe are also thick-skinned, lifelong politicians who know how the "game" is played, and none of them will be so rash as to leave NATO or support its fundamental alteration because of Trump's meaningless hot air. They're all aware of the fact that he could be gone in as little as 2 1/2 years. Your early statement that Trump's tumultuous visit to NATO "is all much ado about nothing and that when the dust settles, nothing will be different" is almost certain to be the case. 

 

Trump is right about one thing: NATO's member states should be spending more money on their militaries. His 4% of GDP demand was silly and dead on arrival, but 2% is doable. 

 

Also, before we speak about a "fundamental shift in the force and alliance structure that will at least transform NATO as we know it," let's remember what NATO's fundamental purpose still is: to prevent Russian from taking over Europe. Thanks to underfunding of their militaries, NATO's European members are collectively failing to uphold the basic premise of the alliance. So instead of thinking about how NATO can be fundamentally shifted or transformed, let's first make sure it has "mastered the basics" and is capable of repelling an all-out Russian attack. Getting everyone's defense spending up to 2% of GDP would go a long way to accomplishing this. Getting the poorer, ex-Communist members to finally rid themselves of Cold War weapons like AK-47s and MiG fighter planes and to upgrade to Western weapons should also be an important objective, as it would harmonize logistics and military training regimens across the alliance and save money in the long run. 



#3
YourGuest

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let's remember what NATO's fundamental purpose still is: to prevent Russian from taking over Europe. Thanks to underfunding of their militaries, NATO's European members are collectively failing to uphold the basic premise of the alliance.

 

This underfunding is taking place exactly because European elites are well avare of real likelihood of this "Russian invasion".

USA is another story, they are the slowly declining empire obsessed with maintaining of their eroding hegemony. Of course they are angered by the fact that "allies" (in fact vassals) are not willing to share the "common burden".



#4
caltrek

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With a thanks to Sciencerocks for finding this on the internet.

 

 

 

wuc180710-1160.jpg


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: multilateralism, NATO, United States, Europe, Russia, Germany, France, Great Britain, military defense, Canada

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