Sunday, April 7, 2019

NATO Membership

From PJB at Chronicles:
No matter how supportive we are of Ukraine, we cannot commit this country to go to war with Russia over its territorial integrity. No Cold War president from Truman to George H. W. Bush would have dreamed of doing such a thing. Bush I thought Ukraine should remain tied to Russia and the Ukrainian independence movement was born of "suicidal nationalism." 
Trump has rightly demanded that Europeans start paying their fair share of the cost of NATO. But a graver question than the money involved are the risks involved. Since the end of the Cold War, NATO has added 13 nations: the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, the Baltic states of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, and six Balkan countries—Bulgaria, Rumania, Slovenia, Croatia, Albania and Montenegro. Also attending the NATO gathering in Tblisi a week ago were Sweden, Finland and Azerbaijan. Are these three also candidates for U.S. war guarantees? 
The larger NATO becomes, the further east it moves, the greater the probability of a military clash that could lead to World War III. Yet none of the nations admitted to NATO in two decades was ever regarded as worth a war with Russia by any Cold War U.S. president. When did insuring the sovereignty and borders of these nations suddenly become vital interests of the United States? And if they are not vital interests, why are we committed to go to war with a nuclear-armed Russia over them, when avoidance of such a war was the highest priority of our eight Cold War presidents? Putin's Russia, once hopeful about a new relationship under Trump, appears to be giving up on the Americans and shifting toward China. (Read more.)

Also from Chronicles:
For the time being NATO has won, but “the West” has lost. The war has undermined the very principles that supposedly constitute it. The notion of human rights can never provide a basis for either the rule of law or morality. Universal human rights, detached from any rootedness in time or place, are open to the latest whim of outrage or the latest fad for victimhood.

The misguided effort to transform NATO from a defensive alliance into a mini-U.N. with out-of-area self-appointed responsibilities has resulted in new and even more dangerous adventures elsewhere. After the 1999 bombing of Serbia the Russians in particular saw the state of global affairs more clearly, and refused to buy any more the slogans about free markets and democratic human rights. They realized that the defensive alliance of 1949 had morphed into a blatant aggressor tainted with criminality. Better than any other post-Soviet event, the Kosovo war created a new security equation. A decade later the National Security Strategy, approved in May 2008 and reiterated several times since, rightly identified NATO as a threat to Russian national security.

The war NATO was fighting in the spring of 1999 was not intended, or willed, by anything which can be called “the Alliance.” The use of force was plotted in Washington in 1998. The ensuing submission by America’s NATO satellites had created a media-led political process that leaves national decision-making meaningless, beyond a formal cheer-leading, submissive function. It was subsequently admitted that the chief war aim was ‘keeping the Alliance together’, but we were not told at the time what disciplines it implied, and how easily, and bloodily, it could be repeated. (Read more.)

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