Quo vadis, NATO?

Quo vadis, NATO?

[Ed. – I know, I know.  If VDH is asking, the question should be in Attic Greek.  Hey, knock yourself out.  Post entries in the comments section.]

An aging and tired NATO now suffers from three existential problems. Perhaps none are fatal in isolation. But when they are taken together, it is easy to see how NATO might soon unravel or be rendered irrelevant.

First, the military weakness of Europe has long meant that for all practical purposes, NATO is ATO — the American Treaty Organization. The European Union may have a gross domestic product and population larger than the United States, but on average its members spend far less than half of what America budgets for defense. …

Second, Putin has compromised many NATO members through Russia’s many lucrative gas and oil deals. What would happen if Russia spread its aggression from Georgia, Ukraine, and Crimea to other former Soviet republics? Tiny NATO member Estonia, with its large Russian minority, would seem a likely next candidate for Putin’s machinations.

Russian intervention in Estonia probably would not prompt NATO to invoke Article 5.  …

Third, the expansion from twelve to the current 28 members vastly complicated the alliance’s responsibilities — and vulnerabilities. To paraphrase Frederick the Great, protecting everything now means often protecting nothing. Turkey is now becoming an obvious problem.

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