Monday, May 21, 2007

NATO: Burden-Sharing or Burdensome?

NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer is at the Crawford ranch meeting with the president.

I have to say, reading the initial press accounts, it is not a particularly heartening conversation. This goes back to an earlier complaint of mine about NATO's seeming inability to mount overwhelming force and numbers.

Are we going to continue to expand the alliance so that we can can have, on net, 500 troops from each country as their "admission" to the game? If NATO truly were based on burden-sharing, shouldn't we have far more troops in Afghanistan than the small force currently present? Shouldn't the average be 2000 or 4000 troops per member, rather than it being a US-Canada-British mission with small "other" contingents?

Comments:
Yes.
 
Yes, it should, but it won't be.

Everyone wants to join when the "enemy" is a weak Russia who no one seriously thinks is going to be sending tanks against Warsaw Prague or Budapest anytime soon. But start talking about Afghanistan, Iraq or Iran and see how quickly the enthusasism dries up.
 
The old world invasion and occupation scenarios are costly bloodly endless, and impotent fruitless wastes of blood and treasure against 4th generation warfare threats.

Intelligence, covert and special ops., diplomacy, and coordinated police actions are the only effective means to defeat an unseen, unconventional 4th generation warfare threat, - NOT LAND WARS, and the huge amount of support logistics and costs related to supporting those land wars.

The fascist warmongers, profiteers, and pathological liars in the Bush government are singularly focused on and entrenched in this ancient and fruitless waste of the peoples blood and treasure - because they singularly and exclusively PROFIT from these old world tactics and strategies.

19 jihadists, (15 of them Saudi's) defeated every office, agency, organization, and individual in the Bush government on 9/11 with box cutters and our airplanes.

The US spends half a trillion dollars a year on defense and another $44bn in blackworld ops combatting "evildoers" (excuse me while I laugh my ass off) using AK-47's, RPG's, and IED's.

The underlying math is hopelessly awry.

Few other nations are willing to join the fascists in the Bush government in wasting their peoples blood and treasure, for the singular and exclusive profits of the fascist warmongers, profiteers, and pathological liars in the Bush government in the costly bloody endless fruitless and doomed to FAIL old world invasion occupation strategies and tactics.

America is (with well justified reasons) alone in these impotent and fruitless endeavors.
 
What about contributions potential NATO countries could make other than numbers? For example, strategic positioning for missile defense platforms, or better than average intelligence? Also, shouldn't the quality of the soldiers count towards the contribution? From what I've heard, I'd rather have 500 Dutch Royal Marines behind me than 1000 soldiers from Cyprus.
 
Cyprus isn't in NATO.

And the performance of the Dutch in Bosnia doesn't inspire confidence.

And those Ukrainians who evacuated their positions in Iraq to insurgents wasn't a good omen either.
 
I was under the impression that there was some talk of Cyprus joining NATO. Hadn't it been blocked by Turkey?

Also, the performance of the Dutch in Bosnia was due to their ROE, was it not? Not the quality of their soldiers?
 
Adrian, Cyprus is not in NATO and hasn't tried to join--the problems with Turkey are over the EU.

Quality of soldiers versus quality of rules of engagement is an interesting distinction, but I don' t see them changing their ROE anytime soon, just as they haven't in Afghanistan.
 
I want to caution you against using NATO forces out side of Europe.

It will be percieved as an imperialistic and thus will be resisted.

I also want to caution you against introducing NATO forces into Muslim areasof the world: it will become a religious war of Christians vs. Muslims.
 
Perhaps all this points back to a suggestion Nick made earlier on--the need for a new "American Legion" to provide the manpower that citizens of the developed countries don't want to provide.
 
Oh boy. Not back to the American Legion or mercenary discussion again.

The Iraq war is putting a burden--and rightly so. This is what forces the citizens and citizen volunteers to assess policies. Having mercenaries or non-citizens fight your wars simply gives a blank check to the executive.
 
This little tidbit of information http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/013/562ahjrw.asp?pg=1 shines an even more searing light on the fact that in the future, America will be increasingly isolated, and the fascist ambitions and designs of the warmongers, profiteers, and pathological liars in the Bush government will be countered, defended against, and combatted.
 
"Shouldn't the average be 2000 or 4000 troops per member, rather than it being a US-Canada-British mission with small "other" contingents?"

So Germany is providing only a "small" contingent with 3000 troops?
I guess, more German soldiers have to die for a failed NATO strategy until their contribution will be acknowledged.

Regarding your suggestion of " 2000 or 4000 troops per member": Yeah, absolutely, tiny Austria and Denmark should provide the same number of troops as the Brits, French and Americans.

More on the number of troops:
http://atlanticreview.org/archives/373-NATOs-Increasing-Involvement-in-Afghanistan.html

What you fail to see is that some countries have major caveats, i.e. their troops cannot work effectively. This is more important than the number of troops.
 
Well, then what's the point of an alliance that can't really provide true burden sharing. How could the kingdom of Denmark 300 years ago put more troops into the field than today?
 
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