Gates cautions on NATOs survival

Do you think that NATO is on the brink of collapse?

  • In fact the collapse has begun

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • NATO is quite near the critical point

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • The problem is serious but NATO is far from collapse.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • NATO has some minor problems, that's all.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • NATO is so strong that the collapse is impossible.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    0
#1
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080210/ap_on_re_eu/gates_europe

Survival of the NATO alliance, a cornerstone of American security policy for six decades, is at stake in the debate over how the United States and Europe should share the burden of fighting Islamic extremism in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Sunday.

"We must not — we cannot — become a two-tiered alliance of those willing to fight and those who are not," Gates told the Munich Conference on Security Policy, where Afghanistan was a central topic.

"Such a development, with all its implications for collective security, would effectively destroy the alliance," he added.
 
#2
Is this to make us even more reliant on the USA?

Not taking on more, or not putting enough in place in the first instance is always a reciept for potential disaster, unless it's the Brits, who will turn it around in most cases, given the political will of their masters. .. .. :wink:

How many of those now in senior jobs in politics and civil service are ex military and really understand what is going on? (UK)

Overstreatch killed the Germans in WW2.
 
#3
Clear the Septics are losing patience with it.
 
#4
alib said:
Clear the Septics are losing patience with it.
Have been losing patience with it since about the time Mike Jackson told SACEUR to feck off, over attacking Russians in Kosovo.

On the other hand, its continuing existence means Europoliticians can continue (disingenuously) to spend the minimum on defence, and for their Spam counterparts, it is a mechanism to bind ever closer to Unca Sam, the Russian Bear's erstwhile partners in the Warsaw Pact.

Conclusion - as a military machine it's looking somewhat of an irrelevance lately, but it's a long way from being a dead political duck.
 
#5
To be frank, I believe the US is correct on this one. Let us not forget, British soldiers are amongst those 'fighting and dying' US Sec Def Gates talks of - along with Americans, Canadians, Dutch and Australians - note not even a NATO member.

Meanwhile, the Frogs, Boxheads, Eyeties and other chocolate nations so called soldiers are confined to completely safe areas, and even then do not patrol at night! What sort of contribution is that to stabilisation? I am sure the market vendors are glad of the business, but it is hardly the kind of activity required to defeat the Taliban and bring an end to the chaos and war that are all the people of Afghanistan have known since 1979.

If Western governments have any sense of responsibility - to their own countries, never mind Afghanistan, they should recognise that only by establishing a lasting peace and stimulating the economy so that ordinary Afghani's can enjoy even one or two of the luxuries we take for granted
will Afghanistan not revert to a rogue state that will launch devastating attacks on the west for a very long time to come.
 
#6
Gates may be venting some legitimate annoyance, but hismethod of doing so struck me as a teddy-hurling bad-boys-won't-do-what-they're-told tantrum.

If anyone breaks NATO, it'll be the US deciding to take their ball home since they don't like the rules anymore, but I very much doubt that'll happen with Georgie-boy out of the picture. The alliance still has a lot of political mileage left in it, especially with Mother Russia growling from her cage again.
 
#7
smartascarrots said:
Gates may be venting some legitimate annoyance, but hismethod of doing so struck me as a teddy-hurling bad-boys-won't-do-what-they're-told tantrum.

If anyone breaks NATO, it'll be the US deciding to take their ball home since they don't like the rules anymore, but I very much doubt that'll happen with Georgie-boy out of the picture. The alliance still has a lot of political mileage left in it, especially with Mother Russia growling from her cage again.
More likely the alliance will be broken by the idle euro trash who look apathetically on while their supposed allies fight and die for their collective security.

What's the point in allies who won't fight? They just get in the way.
 
#8
GROWNUPS_BEWARE said:
smartascarrots said:
Gates may be venting some legitimate annoyance, but hismethod of doing so struck me as a teddy-hurling bad-boys-won't-do-what-they're-told tantrum.

If anyone breaks NATO, it'll be the US deciding to take their ball home since they don't like the rules anymore, but I very much doubt that'll happen with Georgie-boy out of the picture. The alliance still has a lot of political mileage left in it, especially with Mother Russia growling from her cage again.
More likely the alliance will be broken by the idle euro trash who look apathetically on while their supposed allies fight and die for their collective security.

What's the point in allies who won't fight? They just get in the way.
Or, from another point of view, the ones who insist on not being steamrollered into something they didn't agree to in the first place.

What's the point of allies who think they are the only ones who get to make the decisions? They just get up your nose.
 
#11
Does that mean NATO should wait until its attacked before doing something about threats? I remember Article 5 of the NATO treaty being invoked just after 9/11, doesn't that count as an attack on a NATO member?
 
#12
TopBadger said:
NATO is a defensive alliance. Its not intended to fight expeditionary warware, let alone wars of ideology.

TB
You have great sense of humor.

"...NATO entrenches American political influence and military power on the Eurasian mainland. With the allied European nations still highly dependent on U.S. protection, any expansion of Europe's political scope is automatically an expansion of U.S. influence. Conversely, the United States' ability to project influence and power in Eurasia relies on close transatlantic ties.

A wider Europe and an enlarged NATO will serve the short-term and longer-term interests of U.S. policy. A larger Europe will expand the range of American influence without simultaneously creating a Europe so politically integrated that it could challenge the United States on matters of geopolitical importance, particularly in the Middle East." (A geostrategy for Eurasia by Zbigniew Brzezinski). http://www.comw.org/pda/fulltext/9709brzezinski.html
 
#13
smartascarrots said:
The alliance still has a lot of political mileage left in it, especially with Mother Russia growling from her cage again.
ON the Russian Bear: I noted in the Sunday Times culture pages this weekend gone, a review of a book on the state of Putin's Russia (don't recall the title).

Important point. Current Russian economy is approx about the same as Holland + Belgium (oh - and with defence expenditure even lower - on an Army that is itself increasingly manned by soldiers from Moslem ethnic groupings).

Makes the Bear about as big as the one you say Gates was hurling: in turn, that prob'ly makes the Europeans feel a bit better 'bout the state of their armies.

Fact is, the islamic terror thing has yet to hit all NATO nations. America took the hardest hit in 2001, UK plc (accustomed to managing Fenian lunacy) has had the 7/7 wake up, and Spain the Barcelona atrocity.

What of Berlin, Rome, Paris etc. etc. They'll not commit to fighting that which they do not fear. So far, they have been given no reason to do so.

You might reasonably ask whether (given the paltry resources committed to AFG reconstruction) even the UK plc genuinely fears the consequences of the State failing around Kabul.

One has a strong and depressing sense that Brits killed/injured in that dust-bowl, are the victims of gesture politics, rather than prosecuting a conflict in which the British gunmint is determined to prevail. 8)
 
#14
Stonker said:
smartascarrots said:
The alliance still has a lot of political mileage left in it, especially with Mother Russia growling from her cage again.
ON the Russian Bear: I noted in the Sunday Times culture pages this weekend gone, a review of a book on the state of Putin's Russia (don't recall the title).

Important point. Current Russian economy is approx about the same as Holland + Belgium...
Sunday Times?

http://1rre.com/news/doc/3674/

In 2007 the Russian economics in the GDP amount became the world seventh. The Russian Federation vice premier and minister of finance Alexey Kudrin said it at the Russia forum.
...
in purchasing-power parity (PPP) in 2007 the Russian economics GDP took the seventh position in the world leaving behind such countries as Italy, Brazil, France.
...
In the GDP amount determined by PPP currently Russia is only inferior to the USA, China, Japan, India, Germany and Great Britain. According to the long-term strategy project the Russian economics should become the world fifth by 2020 outstripping such states as Great Britain and Germany.
 
#15
KGB_resident said:
In 2007 the Russian economics in the GDP amount became the world seventh. The Russian Federation vice premier and minister of finance Alexey Kudrin said it at the Russia forum.
...
in purchasing-power parity (PPP) in 2007 the Russian economics GDP took the seventh position in the world leaving behind such countries as Italy, Brazil, France.
...
In the GDP amount determined by PPP currently Russia is only inferior to the USA, China, Japan, India, Germany and Great Britain. According to the long-term strategy project the Russian economics should become the world fifth by 2020 outstripping such states as Great Britain and Germany.
Well, you'll forgive me, I hope - given that I've never heard of this Kudrin fellow, but - given Russia's recent history of mafioso plutocracy, combined with the ascent to power of a former KGB officer, who isquite happy (apparently) to allow or even encourage radiological assasination for political reasons, on the soil of other sovereign nations, on top of an earlier history of airbrushing the inconvenient truths out of the picture - I don't think I'm quite ready to beleive anything a self-seeking Ruski politico may say about the Russia's alleged wealth.

I'll stick with the self-serving independent researcher, whose assessment can be challenged on the basis of freely available economic statistics.

To further take the edge off the squeaking of Putin's Russian teddy, here's a bit more from the Sunday Times review of THE NEW COLD WAR: How the Kremlin Menaces Both Russia and the West by Edward Lucas:

The problem with Russia, as policy-makers have been complaining since Victorian times, is that it is simultaneously too strong and too weak. The weak side is also set out in this book. Putin’s Great Power is largely a mirage built on a high oil price and delusions of military grandeur but masking a failed health system, a population that is shrinking by 1m a year, epidemic levels of alcoholism and armed forces in collapse. In a generation, the army will have shrunk by a quarter and up to a third of its conscripts will be Muslim. Despite Russia’s apparent resurgence, its spending on defence is just 4% of that of America, and its economy is still only the size of Belgium and Holland combined.

The new Russian elite is also hardly the Taliban. The same officials who fulminate against wicked British policies have bought houses in St John’s Wood and send their children to British public schools. It is telling that, as a compromise on the British Council dispute, the Russians have paid Britain the compliment of asking for visas to be granted more easily.

IN FULL: http://entertainment.timesonline.co...tainment/books/non-fiction/article3328525.ece
Of course, if we in the west haven't the commitment to ante-up the resources needed properly to resolve the chaos that arose in AFG partly 'cos we were happy to walk away once the Red Army had been done over, it's hardly a surprise that Putin-the-bare-chested should start puffing himself up in hopes of intimidating us again, is it?
 
#16
Stonker said:
KGB_resident said:
In 2007 the Russian economics in the GDP amount became the world seventh. The Russian Federation vice premier and minister of finance Alexey Kudrin said it at the Russia forum.
...
in purchasing-power parity (PPP) in 2007 the Russian economics GDP took the seventh position in the world leaving behind such countries as Italy, Brazil, France.
...
In the GDP amount determined by PPP currently Russia is only inferior to the USA, China, Japan, India, Germany and Great Britain. According to the long-term strategy project the Russian economics should become the world fifth by 2020 outstripping such states as Great Britain and Germany.
Well, you'll forgive me, I hope - given that I've never heard of this Kudrin fellow, but - given Russia's recent history of mafioso plutocracy, combined with the ascent to power of a former KGB officer, who isquite happy (apparently) to allow or even encourage radiological assasination for political reasons, on the soil of other sovereign nations, on top of an earlier history of airbrushing the inconvenient truths out of the picture - I don't think I'm quite ready to beleive anything a self-seeking Ruski politico may say about the Russia's alleged wealth.

I'll stick with the self-serving independent researcher, whose assessment can be challenged on the basis of freely available economic statistics.

To further take the edge off the squeaking of Putin's Russian teddy, here's a bit more from the Sunday Times review of THE NEW COLD WAR: How the Kremlin Menaces Both Russia and the West by Edward Lucas:

The problem with Russia, as policy-makers have been complaining since Victorian times, is that it is simultaneously too strong and too weak. The weak side is also set out in this book. Putin’s Great Power is largely a mirage built on a high oil price and delusions of military grandeur but masking a failed health system, a population that is shrinking by 1m a year, epidemic levels of alcoholism and armed forces in collapse. In a generation, the army will have shrunk by a quarter and up to a third of its conscripts will be Muslim. Despite Russia’s apparent resurgence, its spending on defence is just 4% of that of America, and its economy is still only the size of Belgium and Holland combined.

The new Russian elite is also hardly the Taliban. The same officials who fulminate against wicked British policies have bought houses in St John’s Wood and send their children to British public schools. It is telling that, as a compromise on the British Council dispute, the Russians have paid Britain the compliment of asking for visas to be granted more easily.

IN FULL: http://entertainment.timesonline.co...tainment/books/non-fiction/article3328525.ece
Of course, if we in the west haven't the commitment to ante-up the resources needed properly to resolve the chaos that arose in AFG partly 'cos we were happy to walk away once the Red Army had been done over, it's hardly a surprise that Putin-the-bare-chested should start puffing himself up in hopes of intimidating us again, is it?
Let's look at Wikipedia Stonker

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)

According to the CIA World Factbook (reliable source for you I believe)GDP (PPP) are (in millions $$)

Russia = 2,076,000
Netherlands = 638,900
Belgium = 378,900
Netherlands + Belgium = 1,017,800
 
#17
The future of NATO is a big question, but before we get ahead of ourselves, Sergei, let's not forget that both Gates and his Boss are going to be out on the arses in 11 months.
 
#18
crabtastic said:
The future of NATO is a big question, but before we get ahead of ourselves, Sergei, let's not forget that both Gates and his Boss are going to be out on the arses in 11 months.
Yes, but what about those who's interests Bush represents (and I don't mean US public), are they going to be out of the picture?
 
#19
Domovoy said:
crabtastic said:
The future of NATO is a big question, but before we get ahead of ourselves, Sergei, let's not forget that both Gates and his Boss are going to be out on the arses in 11 months.
Yes, but what about those who's interests Bush represents (and I don't mean US public), are they going to be out of the picture?
That would mean that there's some sort of great plan and would suggest that Bush knows what he's doing. Do you see how that could cause some problems in your deductive reasoning?
 
#20
crabtastic said:
Domovoy said:
crabtastic said:
The future of NATO is a big question, but before we get ahead of ourselves, Sergei, let's not forget that both Gates and his Boss are going to be out on the arses in 11 months.
Yes, but what about those who's interests Bush represents (and I don't mean US public), are they going to be out of the picture?
That would mean that there's some sort of great plan and would suggest that Bush knows what he's doing. Do you see how that could cause some problems in your deductive reasoning?
Not necessarily.
Someone has to benefit from all the mess Bush is presiding over. Who are these people, and would they be able to continue pulling the strings of US president after Bush is out?
 

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