How Afghanistan Became a War for NATO

The official line of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), the NATO command in Afghanistan, is that the war against Afghan insurgents is vital to the security of all the countries providing troops there. In fact, however, NATO was given a central role in Afghanistan because of the influence of U.S. officials concerned with the … Continue reading “How Afghanistan Became a War for NATO”

NATO Summit Unlikely to Answer the Most Important Questions

To adapt to secular use a phrase from medieval mysticism, “the cloud of unknowing” deepens as the war-waging countries of North America and Western Europe approach their NATO “summit,” beginning Friday in Lisbon. The phrase is appropriate because in the past it spoke not only of the unknown, but the unknowable. The meeting’s avowed purpose … Continue reading “NATO Summit Unlikely to Answer the Most Important Questions”

A New Season in Military Fashions

President Barack Obama has promised a fundamental review of American policy towards Afghanistan this December. In the meantime, his decision seems compromised by the continuing military and civilian “surge” to Afghanistan  ordered soon after Obama took office in 2008. The Pentagon is constructing bases for the new arrivals on a giant scale with all the … Continue reading “A New Season in Military Fashions”

Obama’s New Security Strategy Looks Much Like the Old One

President Barack Obama’s speech to the West Point graduating class last Saturday was meant to convey a “new” American national security strategy, less evident in his words than in the manner in which the White House pitched the speech to the press, the press following official inspiration. The “new” strategy emphasizes cooperation with allies and … Continue reading “Obama’s New Security Strategy Looks Much Like the Old One”

What Next for NATO?

The European Union doesn’t know where it stands at this moment. NATO thinks it knows and is gambling. Has the EU a future, or has disintegration set in? The behavior of the Germans under the conservative Merkel government is taken by many to signal that the end, if not nigh, is foreordained. Germany in this … Continue reading “What Next for NATO?”

Defending Everything Is Defending Nothing

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright recently led a panel of experts in coming up with a report, “NATO 2020,” which will be used to draft a replacement for NATO’s current strategic concept, adopted in 1999. The report [.pdf] essentially advocates a continuation and expansion of NATO’s quest to be all things to all people. … Continue reading “Defending Everything Is Defending Nothing”

The NATO Nuisance

Large and firmly implanted bureaucratic organizations are almost impossible to kill, even when they have no reason to continue to exist, as NATO has not since the Soviet Union, communism, and the Warsaw Pact all collapsed. There is no equivalent to driving a stake into the heart of a bureaucracy, whose impulse to live is … Continue reading “The NATO Nuisance”

US Allies in Europe Begin to Pull Back

Last Friday five NATO governments made it known that they want American nuclear weapons removed from their territory. They include the Benelux three, together with Germany and Norway. The five reportedly will ask that all the European NATO governments endorse their position before a meeting in New York in May. The Dutch foreign minister described … Continue reading “US Allies in Europe Begin to Pull Back”

Obama’s Big Speech

President Obama will announce his big decision about Afghanistan on Tuesday. The sanctioned leaks about what he’ll say are coming fast and furious. According to various reports, he’ll commit somewhere between 30,000 and 34,000 extra U.S. troops to the region. When he announces that, NATO nations will maybe send 6,000 extra troops. That adds up … Continue reading “Obama’s Big Speech”

Bleep NATO

Tom Shanker of the New York Times tells us that NATO defense ministers have given their "broad endorsement" to Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s plan to escalate the Afghanistan war into a full-Monty counter insurgency effort. NATO defense ministers love Afghanistan; it justifies their phony-baloney jobs. Like much of the U.S. military, NATO became irrelevant when the … Continue reading “Bleep NATO”