The Nudnik File

Nudnik - n. U.S. colloq. Esp. in Jewish usage: a pestering, nagging, or irritating person

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, it has seemed that NATO is an anachronism. What role is there for an alliance including most of Europe and the US in a world where there is no European enemy. Most of the explanations for its continued existence had to do more with the political integration of former Soviet republics into the Western world, than with any military necessity. After 9/11, and NATO's invocation of the mutual defense clause of the alliance in order to help (or at least show support) for the US, the alliance had its first real opportunity to validate itself in a post-Soviet world. As Andrew Apostolou shows, it failed miserably.
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan was supposed to demonstrate NATO's ability to operate outside of its traditional European theatre. Letting non-U.S. members of NATO command and man ISAF was their opportunity to contribute to the war against terrorism.

Instead, NATO has failed to deliver on its promises. Non-U.S. NATO, with over two million troops, has scraped together just 8,500 soldiers for duties in and around Kabul. NATO's October 2003 pledge to expand ISAF's role outside of Kabul remains largely unfulfilled.
In effect, militarily NATO is non-existent. The question then is, why do we still need it?
|| Nudnik 11:54 AM
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