Murray Dobbin on the weakening of NATO and the growing possibility that the US (and Canada) will be isolated from the EU:
With the end of the Cold War, many analysts and policy makers imagined that the developed world might actually move away from its irrational attachment to militarization and war. The most optimistic envisioned a huge, international peace dividend, shifting untold billions previously spent on conventional and nuclear weapons to tackling poverty and inequality around the world.
Alas, the U.S. had no intention of dismantling NATO. For the U.S., it was simple: NATO provided the sheen of legitimacy for the extension of U.S. power well beyond its original mandate of Europe.
But ironically the Bush administration — the most imperial of U.S. governments in generations — may well go down in history as the one that crippled NATO and effectively left the U.S. isolated.
If there is a silver lining to the grotesque destruction of human life in Iraq and Afghanistan and the inexplicably stupid adventure in Georgia, it is the possibility that the U.S. will lose its already reluctant EU partners in making the world safe for U.S. oil companies.
NATO risks, if not outright dissolution, then certainly a credibility crisis leading to political and military paralysis. NATO watchers repeatedly declare that losing in Afghanistan simply “isn’t an option.” But as virtually every analyst not on mind-altering drugs is saying, losing in Afghanistan with the current commitment of NATO partners is, in fact, the only option. The longer they stay, the more inept and indecisive they appear. To even maintain the status quo there needs to be a doubling of the troop levels, and this simply will not happen. European populations have no stomach for body bags from a war that is not in Europe’s interests. France is now rethinking its existing commitment, despite its president’s statement to the contrary.
When, not if, the EU members of NATO pack their bags, it will be the end of any extra-territorial adventures. The U.S. will be totally on its own, save for Israel and, regrettably, Canada.
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