Saturday, June 18, 2011
The future of NATO - that is, does it have one?Stephen Walt has been on a roll lately. One of his particularly interesting items is Gates to NATO: Drop dead? Foreign Policy 06/13/2011. It's Walt's commentary on outgoing Secretary of Defense Robert Gates' recent challenge to our NATO allies, as reported here by the PBS Newshour 06/10/2011:
As Walt explains, he's surprised that NATO is still alive and as active as it is. Because he thinks it's fundamentally a moribund alliance:
Well, duh. NATO has been on borrowed time ever since the Soviet Union collapsed, because military alliances form primarily to deal with external threats and they are hard to hold together once the threat is gone. In a sense it is remarkable that NATO has persisted as long as it has, but that was mostly because the United States could afford to subsidize European security and because Washington saw NATO as a useful tool for maximizing U.S. influence in Europe.In other words, he's suggesting that NATO is kind of a zombie alliance. Unconventional in terms of the mainstream discussion. But Walt is one of the über-Realists, after all.
Tags: nato, robert gates, stephen walt
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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