Time for the United States to leave NATO

Convert NATO into a European partnership, wholly owned and operated by Europeans

From Andrew J. Bacevich, New York Times:  The United States has done its job and ought to go home. Convert NATO into a European partnership, wholly owned and operated by Europeans , thereby allowing Washington to focus its attention and resources on more important priorities.

The devolution of NATO into a European alliance should occur in phases, but the place to begin is with this basic proposition: In 2023, the United States will withdraw from the alliance. That will give Europe an entire decade to figure out how to defend itself from the nearly non-existent threats that it faces and to get used to the fact that the Cold War has, in fact, ended. Somehow or other I think they’ll be able to manage.

But wait! The "new" NATO has long since shed its identity as a defensive alliance. Over the past two decades, it has become an instrument for intervention "out of area," not only within Europe, but also further afield. Surely, one might argue, the U.S. departure from the alliance would reduce NATO’s ability to project power. It would indeed. Without the participation of U.S. forces, today’s interventionist NATO possesses only a negligible capacity to intervene. Or to put it another way, whether in Kosovo or Afghanistan, NATO serves chiefly to camouflage and thereby legitimate what is substantively a unilateral action by the United States.

Andrew J. Bacevich is a professor of history and international relations at Boston University and a retired Army colonel.  (photo: Bundeswehr/Bienert)

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