Friday, October 29, 2010


So, Georgetown's Dan Nexon, or at least FLG assumes that's the Dan Nexon who writes over at Duck of Minerva, has a post up critiquing Stephen Walt's assessment that NATO is irrelevant. (By the by, FLG became aware of Nexon when FLG was in GU's bookstore and saw a book called Harry Potter And International Relations and thought to himself, sweet merciful crap, how many bong hits does it take to go down that road?)

Walt even had a debate in one of his classes, the premise of which made FLG's heart sing, Resolved: This House Believes NATO Should be Disbanded.

Nexon addresses three specific points -- Afghanistan, defense cuts, and Turkish foreign policy -- but FLG finds the larger debate more interesting.

Nexon summarizes Walt's position thusly:
realists have been proclaiming the death of NATO since at least the end of the Cold War. Their fundamental reasoning lies in an understanding of alliances as balancing coalitions; with the passing of the Soviet threat, NATO's purpose disappeared. Since then, NATO has searched for a rationale: policeman of Europe's turbulent frontiers (e.g., the Balkans), democratic security community, global rapid reaction force, etc. Realists are predisposed to view each of these purposes with suspicion anyway, and every piece of evidence that they're fraying provides, for realists, another nail in NATO's coffin.

Nexon then explains his view of why this is ultimately wrong:
realists lack adequate appreciation for the ways in which political and social ties--including alliances--texture international relations. They see international politics as patterned by "anarchy" and "the distribution of power." All the rest is merely "process." But it should be obvious that NATO profoundly structures Eurasian political and military relations, and will still do so even if its ability to act collectively further declines. Whether or not one agrees with my assessment of how NATO structures Russia's strategic opportunities, it strikes me as difficult to argue that NATO's impact on western Eurasia has no significance for the future of East Asian security relations. At the very least, it does so not only by shaping the political, military, and economic environment confronting Moscow, but also that of policymakers in Washington, DC.

Perhaps, then, it would be most accurate to say that whether the future includes "live NATO" or "Zombie NATO," NATO will hardly be irrelevant to global politics.

FLG won't reiterate his arguments against NATO.
Instead, he'll simply say:
NATO delenda est.

1 comment:

George Pal said...

Paperless illegals (Muslims) are flooding into Greece along their border with Turkey. EU rapid deployment forces (Frontex – formed over the last two years) are being sent to secure the Greek border. Under an EU agreement, The Dublin Regulation, illegals in any member country of the EU may be sent back to the country from which they first entered EU borders – in this case a Greece already on its knees economically. Also, Greek NATO troops have in the past few years been deployed in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and training Iraqi troops.

Meanwhile, Germany, the most powerful economy in the EU with an active personnel army ninety thousand strong, has fifty-five thousand American NATO troops and twenty-three thousand British NATO troops stationed on its soil. The British NATO troops in Germany are the largest deployment of British troops anywhere in the world – second, Afghanistan, about nine thousand – German NATO troops in Afghanistan – thirty three hundred.

One could go on and on about this but it doesn’t get any funnier – just more pathetic.

NATO delenda est!

EU delenda est!

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