Is NATO a Pretend Alliance?

From Kim Holmes, the Foundry: Afghanistan is a “NATO operation” in name only. In quality and quantity, most of the forces there are from the English-speaking countries – the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada. Without a doubt, some NATO nations like Romania, Poland, and Denmark clearly understand how important this mission really is, especially regarding America’s future commitment to the transatlantic security alliance. In contrast, NATO heavy-weights like France and Germany are barely present and accounted for in Afghanistan. Although Paris and Berlin are happy to micromanage their national deployments in safer parts of the country, they have been reluctant to respond with support that NATO really needs – things like trainers and helicopters. …

The charade is getting old. If they are not worried about being weak and desultory members of NATO, then neither should we be. America should form new flexible alliances with countries that not only need it, but are also willing to truly share the burden of the common defense – like Poland, the Czech Republic, the UK, Australia and South Korea. We need not abandon NATO; but neither should we pretend that NATO is the an alliance whose members are all equally dedicated to the task of common defense and security–or, for that matter, is the centerpiece of America’s alliances. They are not. It’s time we admitted it.  (photo: NATO)

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