NATO: Solution or Problem?

On Tuesday, I gave a talk to the Group of 78 in Ottawa on the topic of ‘NATO: Solution or Problem?’ You can watch it below.

Along the way, I discuss some of the reasons for the dismal failure of NATO’s mission in Afghanistan. Events have already overtaken me, as the Afghan government collapses like a pack of cards. I will write up a piece on that topic for later today or tomorrow.

11 thoughts on “NATO: Solution or Problem?”

    1. On some issues indeed it feels it might not be that difficult to reintegrated it into some type of renewed Warsaw Pact. 😉

      What about Hungary?

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      1. Well, what about Hungary?

        Hungary joined NATO after a failed and invalid referendum. So much about democracy. We should leave this useless, wasteful, and murderous organization.

        Civilizing the ‘savages’, aka the natives, is not Hungary’s mission. It’s what the West has been doing for centuries. The results of such Western zeal can be found by ground penetrating radar, as in Canada recently.

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  1. Great presentation, Professor. 😉

    As nitwit on matters, I appreciate your lightness on the issue. Meaning: Factualness? Maybe? Absence of ideology? Just as much as the occasional irony or humor, in fact.

    Now that I once again, as European or German, have to be protected against Russian bombs, I may as well admit, I never felt threatened. Neither then, nor now.

    One thing that puzzled me slightly though, while fully agreeing with your assessment there doesn’t seem much of an antiwar movement nowadays. I do have troubles to understand both the Quincy Institute and the aligned Institute of Responsible Statecraft as easily definable on the right. Realist? Yes, no doubt. No idealists?

    Neither did Antiwar.com nor its frontman ever felt easily classifiable as right to me. Surely, I realized that the tradition the late Justin Raimondo may have considered himself part of, might have been Isolationists in the late 30s/40s. …

    When Jim Lobe, gave up his blog, he referred his readers to the Institute of Responsible Statecraft. Jim surely was never part of the right.

    Concerning Quincy Institute. Without doubt, the Koch Foundation seems to have provided part of the initial financial support next to Soros, as Wikipedia mentions. But is that enough to classify it as right?

    Or are realists generally considered more on the right in International Relations nowadays?

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  2. Yes, NATO is a problem and NATO is the problem. However one could say in the same breath, America is the problem.
    NATO is one of the main instruments of foreign policy for the USA.
    And for that reason, Americans do not complain much for the cost of funding this military institution to the level of 70%.

    NATO is the bond that keeps the “Western alliance” together. But they do need a catalyst and that is where Russia comes in. Lately they also begun to ruminate about China. That however will be more problematic for NATO. The European vassals are not keen on going that far. The Americans will have more success with the 5 eyes of the Anglo sphere when it comes to China and South-East Asia.

    For all its economic strength and soft power of the American culture,
    America still has to work hard to keep the alliance healthy. Because now and then, one or two vassals refuse to sing from the same book. Sometimes they even want to trade with Russia. Still, USA being the leader of the NATO is also profitable. Much of the weaponry and hardware is American made and NATO members are obligated to buy for the reasons of standardization.

    From the vassals point of view, it is important to keep the relationship in good order. For the most developed vassals it is the American market which they need to keep their economy healthy. That includes Canada. As for the less developed vassals, are the handouts that USA sometimes throws their way.

    Germany is the key to the NATO alliance as it has been since 1949.
    UK can always be counted on. The Brits are keen. France at times can be a challenge. But France generally does what Germany does. Italy, Spain, Holland matter but the rest of them are but hangers on. And there is a whole bunch that are knocking on the door to be let in, thinking that all their problems will be solved with the membership.

    For the Americans, NATO works. They will not allow its dissolution.
    But the fact remains: what ever they touch they make a mess of it.
    Yet I can’t even imagine a word without NATO.

    As for Russia? She can always be counted on being at times mysterious, at times frightening, at times brilliant, at times surprising, but always herself. A proud and large nation which can not be conquered. Just what NATO needs for her existence.

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    1. That’s a good general summary of NATO. The EU is just 27 shades of brown-nosing the yanks.

      However, it’s not clear what the Eastern European satraps, such as Hungary, really gain from NATO membership. Most of our trade is with other EU members, not with the US. The required spending on NATO, 2% of the GDP, is a huge burden and a total waste for these impoverished periphery lands. They should spend not 2% but rather 20% on R&D instead.

      NATO is indefensible from a moral standpoint too. These Eastern European clowns constantly whinge about being the past victims of great power realpolitik, but then join the most murderous organization on the planet. Hungary keeps commemorating, with teary eyes, the 1956 Russian invasion, but then joins the much more bloody US invasion of Iraq. You can’t sink lower than that.

      The choice is clear for Europe. To fulfill its true potential and become an independent, sovereign pole of the world, it has to leave NATO. Being subordinate to the US will lead to further decline. The pandemic has shown how far we already are from China. Sadly, things have to hit rock bottom before a new generation of leaders might realize this. The American crusade against China is doomed to fail, imho. Size matters and the US+EU combo is still just half of China’s population.

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