--Free Ride, Paresh Nath (UAE)
Make yourself a mule,
and someone will ride you
U.S. Department of Defense Secretary Robert Gates accused NATO of "collective military irrelevance" in a recent speech in Brussels, a long-time stance of RangerAgainstWar.
NATO has been superannuated since the fall of the Soviet Union, and was irrelevant in the 1970's and 80's -- it has always been a legerdemain foisted upon the American taxpayer.
From The Week's "Putting NATO in its Place":
"(fr. Madrid's El Mundo): The European countries (who else would be in Nato?) have slashed their defense budgets, with the result that, while the U.S. used to count for half of Nato's funding, it now makes up 75%. ... Only 4 of Nato's other 27 members spend 2% of their GDP on defense, as required by the treaty." [Pablo Pardo's report can be read @ "The UN, NATO and Nuclear Weapons".]George Will recently wrote that the Libya imbroglio "is igniting a reassessment of NATO, a Potemkin alliance whose primary use these days is perverse: It provides a patina of multilateralism to U.S. military interventions on which Europe is essentially a free rider" (Libya and the Potemkin Alliance). Will suggests that some legislators are awakening to their job, in the face of Obama's disingenuous assertion that the U.S.'s involvement in Libya does not constitute a war. Fellow WaPo columnist Eugene Robinson asked poignantly in "Obama's Novel Definition of "Hostilities":
"The advent of robotic drone aircraft makes it easier to wage war without suffering casualties. But without risk, can military action even be called war? Or is it really just slaughter?"
This is a question that demands an answer.
There is no discernable military threat to the European conglomerate, so WHY is there still a NATO structure sans a threat? From Saudi Arabia's Arab News ("End of NATO?"):
"What will it take for the West to face the reality that the Cold War is over and the NATO is long past its sell-by date? It might have had its uses and played its role in checking communism. But it’s time to give it a decent burial. If the world needs an international peace keeping force to deal with trouble spots like Libya, it should exist under the UN command. "
In addition, NATO's activities should be clearly defined. For instance, it is spurious to label NATO's actions in Libya Peacekeeping (PKO) since PKO's are supposed to be neutral and humanitarian in nature. The Libyan venture is an undeclared war of aggression, plain and simple.
Now, after a NATO airstrike killed 9 civilians this weekend, Moammer Gaddafi now calls for Global Jihad against the U.S. and the West. Twenty years of grooming "the madman", down the drain. Faint traces of another fouled up "intervention" termed success waft by . . .
"Heckuva job, Brownie."
[cross-posted @ milpub.]