Geoffrey Wheatcroft: Why are we pretending we would fight for Georgia?
(First off, aren't the men and women in the military not stretched thin in the never ending saga in Bush's middle eastern affairs, called McCain's 100 year war? Americans are trying to get the troops home, away from fighting the politician's war that never was legitimate and killed men and women on all sides unnecessarily)
Why are we indeed? This article focusses on the original purpose of Nato and how, after the break-up of the USSR, Nato's purpose, instead of being equally dismantled like Russia's military reach, turned into, what Wheatcroft called >"almost without anyone's noticing, into an arm of US policy – and an outlet for Tony Blair's zealous "humanitarian interventionism".
A short history lesson for the blogo attention deficitizens;
The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation was created in 1949 as a "one for all and all for one" mutual defence alliance between west European countries, of which Great Britain was then militarily much the most important, and the United States, guarding Europe against Soviet aggression. By the terms of the treaty, "an armed attack on any member in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and ... if such an armed attack occurs, each of them ... will assist the party or parties so attacked by taking forthwith... such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area."
>"...Nato was expanded to include not only the former Warsaw Pact countries Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria, but the Baltic states that were part of the Soviet Union only 20 years ago. One didn't have to be a Russian nationalist to see this as deliberate provocation of an angry and wounded country. With all its brutality, Russia has legitimate security concerns and national interests. When Georgian membership of Nato is flaunted, one wonders what the US reaction would have been if Leonid Brezhnev had invited Mexico to join the Warsaw Pact. Russian policy may sometimes have a paranoid tinge but, as the saying goes, paranoiacs have enemies, too."
Nato is not 'united' and hasn't been for a while;
The main problem is to be found in Afghanistan, where the alliance has had its first prolonged taste of real combat in command of the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf ). More than 42,000 troops are under its command, coming from 39 countries including the full complement of 26 Nato members.
However, its future is now in doubt following a Canadian threat to withdraw 2500 combat troops from Kandahar.
On the one hand, the US and its main ally, Britain, want Nato's European members to make a greater military contribution to the war effort to offset the Canadian threat. On the other hand, most of the European governments in Nato believe that the impasse in Afghanistan is more likely to be solved by the imposition of law and order and the subsequent implementation of education, economic aid and a modern infrastructure.
Nato in Afghanistan; Europe and America: Sharing the Spoils of War
The consequences of that disagreement over policy and its effects on the future of the 59-year-old alliance were put into context by a senior British Army officer when he said:
"Nato held its own against Soviet military power throughout the years of the cold war. Now it's in danger of being brought to its knees by a handful of hawk-faced men armed only with Kalashnikovs, RPGs and an overwhelming sense of their own worth."
The heart of the quarrel remains troop levels, but there is another problem beneath all the posturing about who does the most to make Nato more effective in Afghanistan. In the months ahead, once the weather gets warmer, the Taliban will be reopening their military campaign, and Nato commanders know that it promises to be what one senior British officer called "a massive punch-up".
For Nato it will be a testing moment and one that will be the measure of the military deployment, but some seasoned veterans with long experience of Afghanistan, including Rory Stewart, a former diplomat and Black Watch officer, have already questioned whether more firepower is the answer. "I think we have to be very careful, above all, of appearing to be engaged in colonial politics, " Stewart argued in a television interview last week. "I think Afghans are justifiably very suspicious of foreigners coming into their country, particularly with over 40,000 soldiers.
The alliance was formed to defend the West against attack from the Soviet Union.
During that time it never fired a shot in anger, and now it has been tasked to fight what many believe is the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Nato is an extension of US policy? Well, why do Nato members send their sons and daughters in for someone else's warfare?
Read more in The death of NATO