N.A.T.O. -- Future Of

#1
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/26/world/asia/26cnd-afghan.html?ref=world

America’s European allies remained noncommittal about sending additional troops to Afghanistan today,...........
France and Germany continued to limit their combat role; both countries have refused to deploy troops in the south of the country, where Taliban forces are strongest...............................
http://www.voanews.com/english/2007-01-26-voa80.cfm

But the remarks by Undersecretary Burns were the most pointed to date, with Burns suggesting that the future of the alliance itself may be jeopardized..........
We feel this is an existential issue for NATO," he said. "And I mean it quite sincerely, an existential issue. NATO is all about collective work together, solidarity, and when you have 26 allies in Afghanistan, and you have four countries doing a majority of the fighting - Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States
So is he bluffing or deadly serious?
What do ye think?
 
#2
The Frog and ze Kraut will not fight King George's war, just too much political capital on the line to do so.
Georgei Boy is a failed leader and he will go totally insane, for thoes that the Gods wish to destroy they first send Mad.
He will bluff, bluster and threaten for he knows he has failed, Pappy told him not to do it, but like the spoiled child he carried on. His his wailings will reach all, the blame will be placed on thoes too wise, to join his military adventures.
john
His Legacy is ALL.
 
#4
jonwilly said:
The Frog and ze Kraut will not fight King George's war, just too much political capital on the line to do so.
Georgei Boy is a failed leader and he will go totally insane, for thoes that the Gods wish to destroy they first send Mad.
He will bluff, bluster and threaten for he knows he has failed, Pappy told him not to do it, but like the spoiled child he carried on. His his wailings will reach all, the blame will be placed on thoes too wise, to join his military adventures.
john
His Legacy is ALL.
They wont fight anyone's war.
 
#5
Just the odd one or two against each other.
 
#6
As expected the Dwarfs said to the Snowhite that they are not eager to be cannon folder.
 
#7
KGB_resident said:
As expected the Dwarfs said to the Snowhite that they are not eager to be cannon folder.
sorry sergey, it is gibberish what you have just said.
 
#9
There does need to be a serious thought about the future of NATO. Action in Afghanistan is not an option, as 9/11 was declared as a Clause 5 attack under the NATO Treaty: "an attack on one is an attack on all." For countries now to weasal out of what is needed is appaling.

We now need NATO to split into 2 parts.

Part 1: USA, Canada, UK, Holland and possibly France from NATO, and open to Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea and a few others. Would need a new name. These countries would be used for war-fighting and peacemaking operations.

Part 2: The rest of NATO countries, possibly merge with the WEU organisation. Used for low-scale peacekeeping, but door kept open for joining the other organisation in the future.
 
#10
lanky said:
There does need to be a serious thought about the future of NATO. Action in Afghanistan is not an option, as 9/11 was declared as a Clause 5 attack under the NATO Treaty: "an attack on one is an attack on all." For countries now to weasal out of what is needed is appaling.

We now need NATO to split into 2 parts.

Part 1: USA, Canada, UK, Holland and possibly France from NATO, and open to Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea and a few others. Would need a new name. These countries would be used for war-fighting and peacemaking operations.

Part 2: The rest of NATO countries, possibly merge with the WEU organisation. Used for low-scale peacekeeping, but door kept open for joining the other organisation in the future.
Why would a part 2 country want to join a part 1?
 
#11
lanky said:
There does need to be a serious thought about the future of NATO. Action in Afghanistan is not an option, as 9/11 was declared as a Clause 5 attack under the NATO Treaty: "an attack on one is an attack on all." For countries now to weasal out of what is needed is appaling.
Lanky,

Action in Afghanistan is an option. Please read Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty in full:

Article 5

The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall immediately be reported to the Security Council. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security.
It is the first line of the Article that allowed NATO to cop out of helping us to regain the Falklands - it wasn't in the geographical area specified!

Now, as regards September 2001, who actually attacked the USA? Was it the state of Afghanistan? Was it the Taleban, the government of Afghanistan?

The current combat activities in Afghanistan have NOTHING to do with September 2001, they have everything to do with US hubris and failed nation building! Moreover, it has nothing to do with maintaining the security in the North Atlantic area - see the actual words of the Article above.

al-Qaida did indeed launch a ghastly terrorist action in September 2001, but they are not the state of Afghanistan and they are not the Taleban. Sadly, the US has virtually given up trying to resolve that problem!
 
#12
Lanky,
No matter what G.Bush and others might wish us to believe 9/11 was a crime not an act of war fom one nation state to an other.
If it had been an act of war from a nation state, like a first strike in war like Pearl Harbour there would have been some sort of follow through.
There hasn't been.
NATO didn't join in with Britains battle with the I.R.A. did it?
 
#13
semper said:
KGB_resident said:
As expected the Dwarfs said to the Snowhite that they are not eager to be cannon folder.
sorry sergey, it is gibberish what you have just said.
Semper. What is NATO? It looks as a union of the Snowhite (from the White house) and some European dwarfs. Let's agree that in comparison with huge American military machine other countries looks as dwarfs.

Not so long ago some dwarfs previouly lived in the Bear's house decided to join the union led by the Snowhite. But they were mainly interested in diamond mining (the Dwarfs have own business). As for epical battles with evil oriental magicians then they are less enthusiastical.

Now the Snowhite (though sometimes She is not white-skinned) demands that her team should supply her with cannon fodder against ... God know whom.

All members of the union (may be except Tommy) are not sure about it. So likely the Snowhite will fight with evil forces mainly alone.
 
#14
merkator said:
lanky said:
There does need to be a serious thought about the future of NATO. Action in Afghanistan is not an option, as 9/11 was declared as a Clause 5 attack under the NATO Treaty: "an attack on one is an attack on all." For countries now to weasal out of what is needed is appaling.
Lanky,

Action in Afghanistan is an option. Please read Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty in full:

Article 5

The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall immediately be reported to the Security Council. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security.
It is the first line of the Article that allowed NATO to cop out of helping us to regain the Falklands - it wasn't in the geographical area specified!

Now, as regards September 2001, who actually attacked the USA? Was it the state of Afghanistan? Was it the Taleban, the government of Afghanistan?

The current combat activities in Afghanistan have NOTHING to do with September 2001, they have everything to do with US hubris and failed nation building! Moreover, it has nothing to do with maintaining the security in the North Atlantic area - see the actual words of the Article above.

al-Qaida did indeed launch a ghastly terrorist action in September 2001, but they are not the state of Afghanistan and they are not the Taleban. Sadly, the US has virtually given up trying to resolve that problem!
But... the attack was in North America. And at the time the European NATO leaders said that Clause 5 applied...
 
#15
I thought that all members of NATO invoked clause 5 of the charter after the attacks on Sep 11. Whilst they have deployed, they obviously are content to stay in the quieter areas of the country.

But the future of NATO ? Seems to me like its the same as the future of the UN. Doomed to fail. You will never get a consensus as each country has its own agenda. 2 or 3 might agree but rarely more than that - especially when it means fighting and spending.

There's nothing to do with NATO going on in Helmand.
 
#16
lanky said:
But... the attack was in North America. And at the time the European NATO leaders said that Clause 5 applied...
I'm afraid Lanky that you've been listening to far too many bar-stool analysts who suddenly become experts after a couple of Stellas.

Point 1. It's Article 5 not Clause 5. Are you getting confused with the infamous Clause 4 of the Labour Party manifesto? :D

Point 2. As I stated above, the attack was by al-Qaida not the state of Afghanistan nor the Taleban movement.

Point 3. This is how it works, in very basic terms, Article 5 is invoked.

On being attacked, a NATO member requests help from fellow members. The request details the nature of the attack and the help requested. In September 2001, the US invoked Article 5, and requested that NATO assist. NATO members approved help in 8 areas on 4 October 2001, none of which involved combat operations outside the geographical limits of the North Atlantic. One of the 8 areas of help was the provision of NATO AWACS aircraft to the US. This could have been involved combat operations, but since the terrorist attack has proven to be a one-off, they stayed for a while on patrol, then went home.

NATO member states did, however, agree to assist the US with its initial military operation, and subsequent humanitarian mission in Afghanistan outside official NATO structures.


As SLRBoy mentionned above, 11 September was a criminal act, not an act of war - thus Article 5 is irrelevant to current opertions in both Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and anywhere else you choose to mention.
 
#17
In my personal opinion NATO in its original form will not be used much anymore. The French et al don't see as much need for it now as there is stability in Europe and they have the EU. Also they don't like the Americans much.

I can't actually remember what the last art 5 operation was. Most of the operations it does now are "non-Art 5 operations" ie crisis management, Kosovo etc.

NATO is going through a weird stage at the moment. Most of the members do not want to get rid of it as it could always come in handy. They are however trying to reinvent it, the non art 5 ops are ultra vires (out of the power given to it in its constitution). They don't seem to want to put them into the constitution though.
 
#18
NATO has always been a political alliance. It is not, and never was, a military formation. Anybody who thinks otherwise has no idea as to what NATO really is.

Warfighting will always be fought by individual states or ad hoc coalitions who join together under a 'lead' state who either contributes the greatest number of forces or has the greatest interests at stake. The name NATO will simply provide international political legitimacy in the same way that a UN force exists.

NATO will continue to exist as a convenient 'common security' organisation and will continue its drift into political territory currently held by the UN. The US has already given up on NATO as a (reliable) combat force generating agency.

Political Alliances such as NATO have no role in warfighting in this day and age. Let's face it, if the Cold War turned hot, we would have all been fighting under US Command not NATO!
 
#19
NATO is, and always has been a farce. I worked in NATO and it is the biggest c0ck up ever. I also worked iwith the ARRC and if it wasn't for the Brits, it would be less than 10 pc as effective.
 
#20
I've been doing some thinking about this recently. Here's the problem in a nutshell. (Well, fairly long for an internet post, but shorter than a book.)

1. Since the end of the Cold War there has not been a clearly designed role or purpose for NATO.

2. Different memebers want different things. The new members- they're still sh1t scared of the Russians. For others its seen as a reward for signing up to Western norms- democracy capitalism etc. and its a means to integrate themselves further, politically and economically, with Western Europe.

3. Of course, in the language of the greatest political commentary in the world (Yes Minister) "The more members an organization has, the more arguments it can stir up. The more futile and impotent it becomes". NATO, was established with a limited number of members with a very specific goal, i.e. repelling the Red Menace and so, from an operational standpoint, it was fairly easy to use the consensus method of decision-making used to this day. However, apply it to a larger membership facing nebublous threats and a conflict that, strictly speaking, is outside the alliance's remit and you're bound to have problem.

4. In this specific case, the Spams in 2001 didn't make life easy for themselves. Just go back at Rummy and Wolfowitz's dismissive, sometimes insulting comments when Lord Robertson actually went to them and offered troops, ships and aircraft and was dismissed out of hand and you'll see a very good reason why a lot of European governments aren't really interested in ponying up. You see, the Spams want it both ways. They want the European allies to assume more of the burden for their defense, but they have no inclination to let them have a say in how things are done.

5. Rumsfeld's thing was what we term a "soft" coalition. To use his phrase, the mission determines the coalition, the coalition does not determine the mission. Obviously, you look at the clusterfcuk that was the running of the Kosovo campaign, and you can't deny that Rummy had a point. Military operations tend to be a lot more slow and plodding when it's a broad coalition effort. On the other hand though, working through a coalition does provide legitimacy to the effort and commitment to the efforts success (as well as burden sharing) and as the Spams are now learning, it's easier to get people to sign up early, before things have a chance to go South, than it is to get people to sign up to something that is already going badly.

6. We also must consider that the US, at least going into Afghanistan and Iraq were ridiculously myopic. Until very recently (and in many cases even now) it's been almost an article of faith in the Pentagon, and Washington in general, that Peace Support Operations are beneath the mighty US armed forces. Just look at the comments that are out there, such as Condi Rice saying that the 82nd Airborne should not be helping Kosovar Grandmothers across the road, Robert Kagan's arrogant assertions that "America creates the menu and the the Europeans clean the dishes", or American bemusement at the fact that people like the French or the Italians won't commit Gendarmes or the Carabinieri to ops (forgetting that they are needed in France and Italy) and you'll start to see the picture.
 

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