Wednesday, June 27, 2012

NATO has a "fine mess" on its hands

"Well, here's another fine mess you've gotten me into," the catch phrase of Laurel and Hardy comedies, could be the new slogan for NATO.

NATO is in one "fine mess" thanks to Syria's shooting down of a Turkish reconnaissance plane because Turkey, you see, is a NATO member. According to the NATO charter, any attack on any NATO member constitutes an attack on all NATO members. Anyone care for a war with Syria? Turkey has invoked Article 5 of the NATO charter, which establishes that one-for-all, all-for-one principle, but so far no other NATO member has declared war on Syria or countered Syria's belligerent action. With any luck or sanity at all, that won't happen.

Which raises the question of what is NATO good for, anyway. NATO was founded as a military alliance to protect western Europe against the Soviet military threat. The Soviet Union ceased to exist 20 years ago, but sensible proposals at the time to disassemble NATO were rejected. NATO, in fact, expanded by taking in some of the newly independent former Soviet republics. As for Turkey, an Asian, Muslim nation on the Mediterranean, what connection does it have to the North Atlantic or the European democracies NATO was created to defend? Expansion of NATO simply exposes the members to military commitments in places where NATO has little interest and no business.

This "fine mess" exposes the fallacies of NATO's existence.

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