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Is NATO stating to pull itself apart?

#1
NATO Sec Gen is trying to reduce the Military Command Structure - completely ignoring the fact of ISAF. Nations are fed up paying money they don't have for nothing other than pointless commitments that they don't fill. major troop contibuting nations are becoimng fed up with both paying and contributing troops and taking most of the casualties - while other bit plaers play volleyball.

Who will be first to blink?
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#2
I think the key os the United States. It has to chose between giving visible and effective leadership and putting the nations of Europe on notice to step up to making a proper contribution, or saying to the EU that since the EU thinks it is so clever, the US is going to pull out and Europe can sort itself out. That might concentrate minds as, even if it could get its component nations to act collectively, its collective force is probably insufficient to make it a credible world player.

That said, a combing out of command and staff functions might be no bad thing; but I don't know anything about that.

It has to be remembered that the Lisbon Treaty means there is to be one and only one European foreign policy, and that therefore no European nation can act on its own in future, only inline with what Brussels dictates. For instance we have signed away our right to defend Gibraltar or the Falklands; we can posture all we like but the EU could LEGALLY jam anthing like that..

There are some confusing overlaps and underlaps between NATO and the EU but that detail I leave to others.
 
#3
The 'gravity field' holding NATO together is shaped like this: $/£/€

As long as Euro nations thaink it is cheaper to remain under the US defence umbrella (NATO) than to go "European" or "Solo", they'll be in no hurry to pull the plug. Likewise, for Unca Sam, NATO is a useful extension of his own military capacity (Slick Willy and The Shrub both understood this in different ways), and so there is a brake on his enthusiasm for unilateralism.

But everybody is skint. And there is still a lot of pointless stuff inside NATO.

I wouldn't book the funeral just yet,
 
#4
NATO is not going to "pull itself apart". It is going to quietly expire by mutating from a military arm of the US "global interests" into some "half-global" defence structure.
 
#6
There is a huge amount of fat to be trimmed from NATO's command structures, committees, etc, much of it of no relevance to ISAF or anything else of consequence. But NATO itself will survive, although it will bear increasingly little resemblance to something intended to fight WW3.

C_C
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#7
I suspect that much of the fat in NATO is due to countries insisting on representation without regard to what the minimum numbers are to get the job done; countries afraid that if they haven't got a rep on the spot, they will miss out on a slice of the cake. Only suspect this, mind.
 
#8
NATO ceased having a reason to exist when Soviet Union collapsed. Even now with a resurgent bit of spending on it, the Russian military is in no way capable of conducting a campaign against the West... not that there exists the slightest impetus for such a venture as the same notional opponents are buying the natural gas, oil, and petrol that keeps the Kremlin financially solvent.
 
#9
A group of nine countries led by France and the USA are at the forefront of this initiative to trim down NATO.

The current ministerial meeting is supposed to discuss this issue and different scenarios all already circulating.

Most estimates are around a 30% reduction of NATO HQs and Agencies manpower but many countries that have a JFC, a CC or whatever else on their soil are dead set against any reduction even if the said HQ is useless.

I have heard, and it needs confirmation by someone who knows better, that only Norway has so far volunteered to close down its NATO HQ in Stavanger as a sign of goodwill. Not that Norway needs NATO money anyway...
 
#10
Maybe the Commie Commizzars of Eurineland are hoping that the Eurineland Army, Navy and AirFarce will eventually take the place of NATo in the years to come.....
 
#12
Europes heading into a major round of defense downsizing.

EU just doesnt have the money to pay for a european military.

Russia continues to cause trouble on Europes fringes.

Terrorists are a constant threat that Europe lacks any credible deterent against on a solely european basis.

Nato future is secure for next 10 years atleast. Its actually better postioned now then it was even a few years ago.
 
#13
Siddar said:
Europes heading into a major round of defense downsizing.

EU just doesnt have the money to pay for a european military.

Russia continues to cause trouble on Europes fringes.

Terrorists are a constant threat that Europe lacks any credible deterent against on a solely european basis.

Nato future is secure for next 10 years atleast. Its actually better postioned now then it was even a few years ago.
Deluded...
 
#14
Domovoy said:
uncle_vanya said:
Maybe the Commie Commizzars of Eurineland are hoping that the Eurineland Army, Navy and AirFarce will eventually take the place of NATo in the years to come.....
And NATO isn't a farce now?
As opposed to the mighty military of the Russian Federation?

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSL8262192
http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=35951
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article4583383.ece

Still with your SCO friends, when they're not too busy ethnical cleansing each other, you should be fine. :D
 
#15
fantassin said:
A group of nine countries led by France and the USA are at the forefront of this initiative to trim down NATO.

The current ministerial meeting is supposed to discuss this issue and different scenarios all already circulating.

Most estimates are around a 30% reduction of NATO HQs and Agencies manpower but many countries that have a JFC, a CC or whatever else on their soil are dead set against any reduction even if the said HQ is useless.

I have heard, and it needs confirmation by someone who knows better, that only Norway has so far volunteered to close down its NATO HQ in Stavanger as a sign of goodwill. Not that Norway needs NATO money anyway...
Most recently NATO Defence Ministers discussed reform and resources. As the financial crisis has put enormous pressure on defence budgets in all NATO countries, and to ensure that the money is spent on what really matters, on what is really needed now and in the future, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen presented options to the Defence Ministers for making NATO’s structures – NATO HQ, the Command Structure and NATO Agencies – leaner, more effective and less costly.

The Secretary General highlighted a number of recent reform measures already decided:

“We have just completed a review of our military budgets, which will lead to savings and deferrals amounting to 1.5 billion Euros.

They have agreed a range of measures to set clear spending priorities, improve auditing, and make sure we have clear visibility of the costs of everything we do.

And we will cut the number of committees in this building by three quarters, to less than one hundred. So we will all spend less time in meetings, which I consider a significant contribution to efficiency”.

Ministers tasked work to develop generic proposals on a streamlined Command Structure, as well as Agency Reform, which will be presented to Defence Ministers in October 2010, with an eye to the Lisbon Summit in November 2010.

All good stuff but the reviews were not carried out outside Brussels, merely by International civilians in NATO HQ. The NCS and Agency reviews will have huge knock on effects politically and remember NATO is a Political Organisation. So when it is proposed that an agency be removed from say France or Luxembourg the local political effects (job losses etc) will come home to roost.
 
#16
Khyros said:
NATO ceased having a reason to exist when Soviet Union collapsed. Even now with a resurgent bit of spending on it, the Russian military is in no way capable of conducting a campaign against the West... not that there exists the slightest impetus for such a venture as the same notional opponents are buying the natural gas, oil, and petrol that keeps the Kremlin financially solvent.
You think the reunification of Germany would have been possible without NATO? The transformation of Eastern Europe into (more or less) functioning liberal democracies? Do you think Europe would have been able to reverse over 2000 years of history and establish a zone of peace just years after the bloodiest 3 decades in the history or the world? Ever heard of Op Active Endeavour? Ocean Shield? Operation Eagle Assist for that matter?

If you were a leader of a NATO country, would you commit political suicide and get involved in ISAF: a war that has bankrupted the military of the second most capable NATO member and threatens to do the same to the first? All the while doing so without a projected end in sight and without an existential threat being posed to the survival of any member state. the time to engage the NATO members and have them invested in the future of Afghanistan was right after 9/11, but as we all know, the previous US administration- ardent proponents of US supremacy and opponents of any multilateral institution which might inhibit them- chose to rebuff the decision to invoke Article 5.

NATO has a LOT of problems, but the political will for it to exist is still as strong as ever. I have not heard of a single serious politician call for total withdrawal and so long as that is the state of affairs, NATO will continue to exist. Right now, it's another rough patch:they tend to come along every few years, there's a lot of histrionics in the press and in academic literature about crisis, but they are always storms in teacups. Even in the midst of the arseholing about the Iraq war in 2003, both sides- at least the people who mattered- kept the issue squarely on the question of Iraq and didn't question the wider value of the alliance. For better or for worse, it was not a subject open for debate. When France finally did rejoin the IMC they were welcomed back with open arms and so eager were the Americans to have them, that they were given a number of senior positions that were viewed by many as not necessarily warranted.

The problems with NATO stem from organizational and bureaucratic infighting and everyone is to blame there. For example, did you know that Gibraltar- one of two gateways to the Med- played no role in NATO planning because the UK refused to allow any Spanish input at all into how the place was run? Control of the Eastern Atlantic is a nightmare because of petty rivalry and spats between the Portuguese and the Spanish.

Any force transformation efforts have been hampered by two things (apart from money): national priorities and bargaining at the level of the alliance. That's why we ended up with 6 HRFs- every candidate country that asked to host one was granted one even though only 3 were needed. It's also why Norway- one of the coalition of angels- has decided to develop its niche in the NATO structure not by making their forces much more deployable, but instead focusing on patrol craft, littoral operations and arctic warfare expertise: al of which are absolutely vital in Afg as I'm sure you'll agree. This is largely because the Norwegians are still shit-scared of Russia but there are strictly domestic interests at play too. Countries with comparatively large, undeployable forces are not about to start mass layoffs in the current economic climate and many states use those forces for internal security also. Defence procurement is a also a parochial mess, as we all know.

Of course, money right now is a bigger driver than anything else. Even the boxheads are running budget deficits in excess of the Growth and Stability Pact Criteria. Spain's defence budget is taking a 20% hit this year, we might be looking at the same soon and even the Americans are saying that things are getting a bit out of hand. The economic crisis is already leading NATO to scale back on its lofty goals of establishing a security community able to widen the zone of peace and stability and, instead, have it return to a more collective defence organisation.

All that being said, for the NATO enthusiast, there exists the possibility that the economic crisis might manage to do what, for the past 60years, has been impossible: the deeper integration of national military structures. Hardly anyone on the European side of things thinks they're going to fight a major war by themselves any time soon and so they might choose deeper integration and harmonization as a means to achieve economies of scale. Furthermore, The scaling back of NATO goals to a more defensive posture, rather than trying to be the world's policeman, will arguably allow for the decision-making process to be simpler as right now, trying to get 28 members to agree on anything more complicated than the lunch menu is just about impossible.
 
#17
DrunkenIrish said:
Domovoy said:
uncle_vanya said:
Maybe the Commie Commizzars of Eurineland are hoping that the Eurineland Army, Navy and AirFarce will eventually take the place of NATo in the years to come.....
And NATO isn't a farce now?
As opposed to the mighty military of the Russian Federation?
DrunkenIrish, everyone knows that the USSR/Russia was/is weak/ pathetic/ undemocratic/ etc.

This thread is about NATO.

If NATO is not a farce, how come it is performing the way it does and its internal relations remind of a communal kitchen in old Soviet block of flats?
 
#18
crabtastic said:
1. the reunification of Germany would have been possible without NATO?

2. The transformation of Eastern Europe into (more or less) functioning liberal democracies?

3. Do you think Europe would have been able to reverse over 2000 years of history

4. and establish a zone of peace just years after the bloodiest 3 decades in the history or the world?
1. Absolutely.

2. Where? Come to that, what is "liberal democracy"? Is it when the population on one country "democraticaly elects" a US citizen to be their president as it happened it two Baltic countries?

3. You can't reverse history.

4. Shall we pretend that Yugoslavia never happened and NATO involvement did not create a conflict time bomb in the heart of Europe?

NATO as it is now is bankrupt (I'm not talking about money); it will survive only if it will be compleatly restructured to represent the interests of all its members and to safeguard them from geo-political escapades in favour of one.
 

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