Let’s Look At NATO

Now that the hoopla about Dear Leader’s dress down of NATO is in the past….I would like to take serious look at NATO away from the Trumpian BS spin……

If one knows anything about foreign affairs then they will know that NATO, like it or not, has done well at protecting a peace in our time…..the problem is that it becomes a political hot button when few realize just what NATO does in this world…..

NATO is slowly unraveling…….

Human beings often choose self-delusion over painful reality, and so in the days and weeks to come, we will hear reassurances that the NATO alliance is in good shape. After all, there have been spats in the past—over the Suez crisis in 1956Vietnam in the 1960s and ’70s, missile deployment in the Reagan years and, of course, Iraq. American presidents have been complaining about shortfalls in European defense spending for decades. President Trump is not wrong to criticize Germany’s pipeline deal with Russia. As for this week’s fractious summit, we are urged to focus on the substance, not the rhetoric. U.S. forces in Europe have been beefed up in recent years, and new plans are in place to resist Russian aggression. On the ground, the alliance still functions.


Is it possible that we could witness the end times for NATO….an organization that the US and Western allies formed to protect the world from the USSR….

These days, Europe’s NATO observers are a bit like members of a doomsday cult waiting for the end of times. Many are bracing for this week’s NATO summit with grim determination, all the while counting down to the apocalypse by collecting the insults that President Donald Trump is lobbing at NATO. Within a week, he has proclaimed that the alliance is “as bad as NAFTA” (the North American Free Trade Agreement that Trump loves to hate), that “NATO is killing us” and that the European Union is “as bad as China.” And, of course, there was his already infamous statement at a rally in North Dakota late last month: “Sometimes our worst enemies are our so-called friends and allies.”

Only the most devoted NATO fans are likely to know the alliance’s official motto, “animus in consulendo liber” – a phrase so obscure that even NATO admits it doesn’t have a satisfactory translation (what does “man’s mind ranges unrestrained in counsel” even mean?). But almost everyone is familiar with the alliance’s unofficial motto, coined by the first NATO secretary-general, Hastings Ismay: “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.” Today, however, European attitudes are much more complex than Ismay’s tripartite formulation. In April and May, the European Council on Foreign Relations sought to track the views of political elites in European Union member states through a survey of researchers that incorporated interviews with more than 150 policymakers and analysts, along with extensive research into policy documents, academic discourse, and media analysis. This scorecard suggests that stakeholders in the EU member states, 22 of which are NATO members, – disagree – in some cases with one another, but almost always with Trump – on each vector of this once-unifying narrative: the role of the United States, Russia, and Germany.


There is more on the possible demise of NATO…….

President Donald Trump’s recent journey to a NATO summit in Brussels and to a summit with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki turns the page on an epoch of American foreign policy that traces back to Harry Truman, George Marshall, Dean Acheson, George Kennan, and the other founders of the post-World War II U.S.-created international security order. The grand strategy that dates from roughly 1947-48 is no more; all that’s left is eroding institutional habit and some optical detritus that takes the form of what will prove to be akin to the ephemeral lingering images one sees on occasions of flash photography.


Dear Leader has made economics the center stone of his attacks on our allies and NATO……

“Disastrous,” was how the Financial Times yesterday described Donald Trump’s visit to Europe. Were you to extend Trump’s influence indefinitely into the future, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the bedrock of US foreign policy for the past seventy years, would be finished.

If, on the other hand, Trump is repudiated in 2020 – my guess is that he will be – the future of NATO depends on what happens in the Congressional elections of 2018 and 2020, and the presidential elections of 2020 and 2024.

That means the discussion of NATO can go forward, at least tentatively, pretty much without reference to Trump’s boorish behavior in Belgium and Britain last week. That future has relatively little to do with whether member nations will spend more of their gross domestic product on defense.


The whole story of NATO has yet to be written but if Dear Leader has anything to do with it it will be written out of history books.

7 thoughts on “Let’s Look At NATO

  1. I think the motto means that men don’t take advice. (Counsel) That sounds about right, but it’s a strange one for NATO. 🙂
    Personally, I would like to see the back of it. There are too many members with other agendas, like Turkey.
    (Which is also a long way from the North Atlantic.)
    Best wishes, Pete.

      1. It’s an English (certainly London) expression for wanting to see it gone. As in “I will be pleased to see the back of him”, indicating that someone is departing, not staying.
        Regards, Pete.

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