The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Future of NATO?

When I was part of the NATO alliance we made jokes that if the romping stomping Red Army came across the Fulda Gap,   We made jokes that we would be speedbumps for the 8th Guards Army out of Weimar.
      patrolling the 1K zone was sobering duty for a young soldier, we had to be ready all the time to go to war so we trained accordingly.  I considered my time in the Big Red One out of Cooke Barracks one of the highlights of my Army time 

I have done other NATO postings here

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Organisation du Traité de l'Atlantique Nord

Flag of NATO[1]

NATO countries shown in green
By Robert D. Kaplan
Whatever one thought of the Libya intervention, the details make for a bad advertisement about NATO. As one U.S. Air Force planner told me, "It was like Snow White and the 27 dwarfs, all standing up to her knees" -- the United States being Snow White and the other NATO member states being the dwarfs. The statistics regarding just how much the United States had to go it alone in Libya -- pushed by the British and French -- despite the diplomatic fig leaf of "leading from behind," are devastating for the alliance.
More than 80 percent of the gasoline used in the intervention came from the U.S. military. Almost all the individual operation orders had an American address. Of dozens of countries taking part, only eight air forces were allowed by their defense ministries to drop any bombs. Many flew sorties apparently only for the symbolism of it. While most airstrikes were carried out by non-U.S. aircraft, the United States ran the logistical end of the war.
"Europe is dead militarily," a U.S. general told me. In 1980, European countries accounted for 40 percent of NATO's total defense spending; now they account for 20 percent. One numbered air force within the U.S. Air Force is larger than the British Ministry of Defense. Western Europe's military budgets are plummeting, even as their armed forces are not allowed by local politicians to do much besides participate in humanitarian relief exercises

Read more: NATO's Ordinary Future By Robert D. Kaplan | Stratfor

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