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Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Let's pretend that NATO exists ....

The United Nations, as I never tire of reminding the ignorant, was originally the name of the military alliance that opposed the Axis powers in WWII. Britain, the USA, Russia and China. And at the very end, elbowing their way in to ensure they wouldn't be left out, France. That's why these five nations are permanent members of the Security Council. The young seem to imagine the UN was created out of an upswell of global altruism drenched in love and egality. It wasn't. It was forged from the shrapnel of war. The Atlantic Charter, originally an agreement created and edited by Churchill and Roosevelt in the dark days of 1941, grew into the UN charter. It exists as a forum to prevent wars of aggression through international jaw-jaw

However when jaw-jaw fails we must most reluctantly fall back on war-war. And that's what NATO is for. Formed in a Bipolar world, it fell into decline when the globe became unipolar but today in a Tripolar world it needs a resurgence of commitment - from the old nations of the world and those since 1945 founded on democracy, nations that have eschewed national aggrandisement and aggression and are committed to a defensive alliance.

And that is the big problem. There has arisen in Europe a new empire, a nascent Reich, that has very much not eschewed aggrandisement and pushing out its borders to create lebensraum. It wants all of Europe from Sweden's Iron Ore to Ukraine's wheat fields, from North Sea oil to the Mosul oilfields of Iraq. It wants armed forces to win and govern its territories, global-scale arms research and manufacturing capability and more than anything else it wants the 2% of GDP that its member nations have hitherto committed (in theory, anyway) to NATO.

Britain wants no part of this madness. The US may not be perfect, but at least American citizens are allowed to elect their President. And they have law and courts not under political control. And America, as Churchill said, always does the right thing. Eventually.

And that is the background against which the members of NATO meet this week to celebrate 70 years. I guess those years break down as 40 years of genuine mutual commitment, 20 of splurging the dividend saved from the wall coming down, and the past 10 with France, Germany and the western European EU nations just going through the motions and pretending that they're still a part of it.

The EU's strategy is clear; while we're in their 'transition' phase, they want the US and UK to defend Europe from Russia and China, for free. Once they've got their own army they won't need us any more. Everyone knows this. It's hardly a secret. Yet mutual security is so important that for public consumption we must all pretend it's not the case. But I'd love to be  a fly on the wall to hear what they actually say to each other this week.

24 comments:

r_writes esq. said...

You don't need to be a fly on the w Raedwald, the Donald is there and he will keep us informed with the general thrust of events, he is, after all, driving them.

My fear is that the Tory Party has already chosen its foreign policy and unfortunately, it is looking towards Berlin.

DeeDee99 said...

By "We want no part of this madness" who do you mean, Raedwald. The British people, or the Establishment?

Because Treason May and the Remainers certainly did. So do the LibDems and pretend Conservatives like Heseltine. And I expect Corbyn would rather put our military under the control of Brussels than remain in NATO, whatever the Labour Party Policy actually says.

"WE" certainly doesn't include Farage and the Brexit Party though .... does it. No wonder Boris, Corbyn and Swinson don't want to talk about defence!

JPM said...

How ever does an "it" "want" anything?

Only people can want.

Where are the millions, amongst the people of the European Union, and their leaders, who want the foolish imaginings asserted here?

DiscoveredJoys said...

@JPM

In principle you are correct - only people can want. But which people? There lies the meat of the desire to Leave... the people who 'want' things for the EU, and are in a position to work towards achieving them, are not the general EU population but a band of bureaucrats.

A band of bureaucrats safely insulated from democratic control. The modern day equivalent of the divine right of kings but without the god stuff.

r_writes esq. said...

@DJ :)

I am sure that indulgences are available, if you can afford them.

wg said...

Yes, as stated above - "Britain wants no part of this madness." doesn't seem to be the case in some quarters of our British hierarchy.

It seems to me that the EU-governing scum are now intent on war - civil and against external nations.

JPM said...

DJ, but this "band of bureaucrats" are wholly accountable to the European Council, that is, to the twenty-eight elected leaders and their consensus, or indeed, often their unanimity.

All of the (member-nominated) Commission's proposals have to get past our MEPs and Council of Ministers too - also appointed by the members.

The European Union is not some weird, disembodied psychic entity, capable of desire or intention, as Raedwald seems to suggest.

John Brown said...

At the signing of an extension to the 1963 Elysee Franco/German military cooperation Treaty in January this year Mrs Merkel explained the need for an EU army thus :

"To protect against EU populism and nationalism” (viz democracy).

Anonymous said...

"All of the (member-nominated) Commission's proposals have to get past our MEPs"

I think this is incorrect.

Ultimately, the Commission gets its way, and the pretendy parliament can't stop it, they can only advise.

Dave_G said...


NATO has been a cover for America to project its policies anywhere with impunity and NATO 'members' are (sort of) cowed into not making noises about what they do.

America even abuse their own Constitution in 'making war' without the explicit consent of Congress in the full knowledge that the vast majority of their potential critics won't say or do anything.

Russia ceased to be a threat a long time ago - even before the wall came down - and have been used as the Bogey Man to justify policies of aggression across Europe and the Globe to suit a Globalist agenda.

NATO should, if all things were honest and even, called for Russia to join but that particular ship sailed a decade or more ago and they've had no choice but to align themselves on a Silk Road basis - a quite sensible plan IMHO.

The 'polarisation' of countries has only ever been as a vehicle for Military-Industrial profiteering and even the EU's move is indicative of needing alternative (additional) spending routes to stave off financial collapse.

If the UN worked as people expected a UN to work (independently, with authority and non-politically) then a NATO wouldn't even be required.


mongoose said...

Politics (like religion, as it happens) is fine until you organise it and give it an overhead. The overhead then becomes the thinking brain of the organisation that does indeed "want" things. Everywhere and in everything the status quo has a wife and kids and a car on the drive of a house on which payments must be made regardless of duty, right or honour.

Sackerson said...

@JPM: surely you meant to say that this "band of bureaucrats" are ho-ho-wholly accountable... Christmas is a time for merriment.

Span Ows said...

Excellent piece Raedwald, very good and perfetcly true.

DeeDee has a point though. Last weeks of December and Q1 2020 are going to be VERY interesting.

JPM, I do not believe you are really so naif.

Dave_G, I believe Trump wants to change that and wants the rest to pay their way precisely to have a stronger whole and not a grpup of US lapdogs; it is amusing to see anti-hawk Dems suddenly becoming very pro hawk just to oppose Trump (case in point McCain love-in before he popped his clogs...they hated him until he hated Trump)

mongoose, indeed.

Dave_G said...


Trumps interest in a 2% GDP NATO spending policy is purely on the basis that most of the member countries have no arms industries therefore 'must' make their purchase of American manufactured wares even if all that means is the countries 'take on board' a missile cover system etc. Kills two birds with one stone - protecting the US MIC and projecting US military where ever it is installed.

But.... isn't it less of a TRI-polar world but becoming a multi-polar world instead - to include a Moslem (or ME) aspect in the future?

It all points to instability in as much as the drive to a UNI-polar World Government seems less likely today than it ever has? And wouldn't that be a threat to peace?



mongoose said...

I found this today.

It was the truths that made the people grotesques. The old man had quite an elaborate theory concerning the matter. It was his notion that the moment one of the people took one of the truths to himself, called it his truth, and tried to live his life by it, he became a grotesque and the truth he embraced became a falsehood.
~Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio

Ho hum.

DiscoveredJoys said...

@JPM

"DJ, but this "band of bureaucrats" are wholly accountable to the European Council, that is, to the twenty-eight elected leaders and their consensus, or indeed, often their unanimity.

All of the (member-nominated) Commission's proposals have to get past our MEPs and Council of Ministers too - also appointed by the members."

In this country I cannot vote for or against the UK 'elected leader', only for or against an MP of the same party. I can vote for an MEP, although proportional representation means there may be no direct relationship with me. Similarly the European Council and MEPs are practically and historically supporters of the bureaucrats and have signally failed to remove or punish some examples of egregious misbehaviour. They are part of the insulation not part of the fresh air.

Smoking Scot said...

They've got their work cut out for them. Erdogan is royally pissed that he's not getting 100% support from all NATO members for:

Invading northern Syria.

Not agreeing that the YPG is a terrorist organisation.

And sourcing his missiles (that are streets ahead of the Yank ones they have in Saudi and Israel) from Russia.

So he's pouting - it's what he does - by blocking.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/dec/02/turkey-denies-blackmailing-nato-over-baltics-defence-plan

Anonymous said...

Trumps interest in a 2% GDP NATO spending policy is purely on the basis that most of the member countries have no arms industries therefore 'must' make their purchase of American manufactured wares even if all that means is the countries 'take on board' a missile cover system etc. Kills two birds with one stone - protecting the US MIC and projecting US military where ever it is installed.

Where does this come from?

The largest military powers in europe.

UK
France
Germany
Italy
Sweden
Greece
Turkey
Spain

Uk uses mostly UK only aircraft. Solely UK only light weapons and armoured vehicles.
France is an all french affair
Germany uses mostly European equipment.
Sweden is all Swedish

Norway. Netherlands and Belgium use all USA aircraft. But their forces combined are only half the size of the royal air force.

Europe has a larger arms industry than the Russia.

JPM said...

Anon.

Poppycock.

The so called rubber-stamping European Union Parliament for instance refused to rubber-stamp TTIP, remember?

The puny UK alone won't have that luxury, I doubt.

But law is made on a consultative, not adversarial basis, so proposals go round the loop several times subject to amendments before approval, or, in some cases final rejection.

The remit of the Lisbon Treaty is nearly all uncontroversial, consensus areas anyway, such as sensible environmental, food, medicine, workplace and product safety anyway.

Not that that will stop some people working themselves up into a lather about what they've wrongly been led to believe it "could" or "might" do.

Mark said...

Well let's see how mighty "Europe" deals with Turkey over drilling for oil around Cyprus shall we.

As long as Vlad keeps the gas flowing of course.

I had the fuhrer in the back of my G4 staff car once.

JPM said...

Well, let's remind ourselves, of what Al Johnson, as then head of the, er, UK diplomacy, called Erdogan, shall we?

It almost rhymed with "Ankara", as I recall.

Most of the leaders seem fairly breezy and convivial bar Trump and him, whatever.

Mark said...

So Boris spoke the truth about this cretinous wannabe sultan?

Oh the humanity!

If only he stick to shagging goats!

JPM said...

Speaking the truth he might indeed have been, but this was a supposed NATO ally.

And AJ was head of the diplomatic corps.

It's all been overshadowed by Mr. Thinskin taking his bat home now though, hasn't it?

Mark said...

"Supposed NATO ally"

What like "give us money, be our bitch or we'll flood you with 3 million barbarians"

Yes, speaking the truth indeed.

Didn't granny shagger Macron say something similar? "Refugee" camps in Kent.

Sheesh, your trolling is getting beyond desperate!