Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by KGB_resident, Feb 10, 2008.
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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. .. ..
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.
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.
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.
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.
NATO is a defensive alliance. Its not intended to fight expeditionary warware, let alone wars of ideology.
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?
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
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.
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:
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?
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