Thursday, March 24, 2011

Nato Delenda Est

Regular readers will know that FLG hates NATO. Hates it with all his being because its and anachronistic organization whose raison d'etre disappeared along with the Warsaw Pact.

Most people seem to think of NATO that since the alliance won the Cold War it is therefore useful to keep around. It's not. The alliance didn't win the Cold War. Or at least the institution that is NATO didn't really win it. The West won it. NATO just happened to be a vehicle to help make that happen. It's not really useful anymore.

But, FLG, if it was a vehicle for the West to take action in the Cold War, then surely it can be a vehicle in the future. FLG disagrees. The existential threat of the USSR focused minds. All the West was focused on countering that threat. Now that the threat is gone, and its been 20 years mind you, NATO doesn't have a core mission and keeps thrashing around trying to find one. No USSR, no threat, no focus, no real alliance. Just a bickering club and irrelevant bureaucracy.

Again, some say, well, that's true. But what's the big deal of keeping it around. No harm.

Well, NATO is dangerous, in FLG's opinion. First, it let's the Europeans free ride. Knowing that they have the US as an explicit guarantor of their security has to have some deleterious effect on their security spending commitments. Second, to the extent that people want to keep the alliance around, for whatever fuck all reason they can come up with or simply unthinkingly, then there is pressure to commit forces where the United States has no business doing it.

For example, see this passage excerpted by Ross Douthat from Adam Garfinkle:
The French and British know in their heart of hearts that we cannot let them fail miserably at this, or that’s what they suppose. I suppose they’re right.

What this means is that the President may before very long be forced to make the most excruciating decision of his life: to send American soldiers into harm’s way to save the Western alliance—even from an operation that is not explicitly a NATO mission!—in a contingency that has no strategic rationale to begin with; or not, leaving the alliance in ruins and Qaddafi bursting with plans to exact revenge.

Nato delenda est.


George Pal said...

The progressively putrescent West, seeking a raison d'├ętat - expanding the brand ‘democracy’ – and a raison d’etre for NATO, other than hopeless worldwide incompetence, should both go. Here’s to a sick economy preventing the US from continuing to play ‘save the chestnuts’ of friend and foe alike.

It’s pretty much assured Libya - and other colorful stick pins of interest on the map - will exist status quo ante long after the West has spent itself dry and become a danger and concern of nobody but its own citizens.

Withywindle said...

Breaking News: NATO will take over the no-fly zone operations in Libya. Since the Libyans haven't flown any planes since the no-fly zone was declared, NATO is in command of ... nothing. Or nearly.

FLG said...

Au contraire, Withy.

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