Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by petergriffen, Jan 19, 2013.
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Panetta: NATO Needs to Join U.S. Rebalance to Asia-Pacific | Defense News | defensenews.com
The Chinese won't like it.
Sounds like a spoiled child trying to get his own way. USA wants to re-focus from Europe to the Asia/Pacific region but can't afford to go it alone so tries to drag the rest of NATO into protecting US interests.
How many countries in NATO actually have a real military these days? Outside of the UK and France do any of the rest have the ability to deploy military forces to the Pacific even if they had any interest in doing so?
The answer to the first question is "not many" and to the second, "none at all".
Of course, Panetta might care to reflect on the term North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and how that might be relevant to AsiaPac. Does anyone here remember its stillborn brother, SEATO?
Have we any interests in the Asia - Pacific region?
We certainly do. Brunei, Malaysia - and the sea routes to and from China - are all of strategic significance to us.
Maybe the Americans should try to resurrect SEATO and ANZUS in some modern form, instead of shoe-horning NATO into a different hemisphere.
I think over the years the original reason for the Treaty has been overtaken.
So perhaps it is worth looking at helping the SPAMs in Asia/Pacific?
Same for other countries with such interests.
As opposed to the 50 year period when the US paid to protect NATO interests while we constructed a vast welfare continent with the savings..
I'm not suggesting NATO should be prepared to go East in any meaningful way (if the Americans want to play there then that's their business), but the extent of Europe's dependence on US logistical capability is still visible every time NATO tries to do something remotely difficult beyond the geographical borders of its European members.
Washington would probably settle for Euro-NATO being able to take care of the business in its own back garden without having to call them for help - and business is likely to be brisk in the coming years.
NATO is more of a standardisation group now anyway, the 'all for one, and one for all' concept has been breached so many times.
It doesn't have to be NATO en masse goin in to the Pacific. Just NATO members. Although, apart from France (non NATO) I can't think of any NATO country with interests in the Pacific.
France went back into NATO in 2009.
The UK has interests in the area. You could probably say any of the big countries in NATO do considering how much of our trade will be with China beside any defence considerations.
Just a thought I'm throwing out there rather than a serious one I actually advocate.
Maybe if were thinking about the interests of the UK its time to get out of bed with the US and in to bed with China and Asia in general. The US is coming to the end of its time on top and China is getting ready to take its place. Again just a thought.
Not sure what we could offer the Chinese much past what we already do - a market for their goods and an entrepot for their investment. I can see us going East of Suez again, mind, we have distinct interests in the region and, as good allies to Uncle Sam (not being sarcastic here, the defence and intelligence relationship with the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand is unique and absolutely must be preserved, in our own interest), should be prepared to look after those interests.
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