NATO still doesn't get it:
Because of Afghanistan, NATO has shown itself to be incapable of fighting any war if it can't bomb its adversary into submission. This is because, in its heart of hearts, NATO really demands to be a political alliance that replaces the UN led by the US.
Georgia and Ukraine are considered to be democracies because their current political elites want nothing more than to submit to NATO's 'democracy' only to legitimize the same regimes that are anything but democratic.
Watching NATO today was like watching a bad picture show. The acting is bad, the script sub-standard, and the plot senseless. NATO believes its mission is to save the world. At sixty NATO is an old ugly man who should retire.
When NATO foreign ministers in Brussels today agreed to resume high-level formal ties with Russia, some members within this political-military bloc grumbled that Russia was being prematurely rewarded for “bad behavior.” Of course the “bad behavior” was a reference to Russia’s reaction to Georgia’s aggression against South Ossetia last August. This is only one small example of how out of touch the Atlantic alliance is with reality.
Russia does not need NATO, nor does it fear it. What vexes Moscow about the alliance is how it is so out of step with the times. NATO is not a pillar of the international security architecture; it is an obstacle to creating a security order to face 21st century realities. And its lecturing attitude to this day toward Russia borders on farcical. For NATO to succeed in any of its missions, it needs a pragmatic relationship with Russia.
NATO’s condition at present is precarious to say the least. It continues to have thousands of troops (or peacekeepers) in Kosovo. After a decade of “policing” this impoverished and artificial state, it has not created the conditions for the troops to leave anytime soon. In Afghanistan the situation is far worse. Because of what are called “caveats,” many troops from individual NATO countries simply refuse to fight. But this hasn’t stopped NATO troops from being killed (and witness many – actually the majority – of members shirk their responsibilities in this conflict). Because of Afghanistan, NATO has shown itself to be incapable of fighting any war if it can’t bomb its adversary into submission. This is because, in its heart of hearts, NATO really demands to be a political alliance that replaces the UN led by the US. (How this will be played out under Obama, I can’t say yet).
NATO is a very strange political beast. No military alliance in history has spent more money preparing for war. But when war is the order of the day, NATO prefers meaningless political language in the name of democracy – at least as it defines this concept.
How does NATO define democracy? Well, you tell me. From the get go Russia is not a democracy. This is not because of objective conditions, but because Russia will not submit to NATO’s worldview (which is to submit to NATO’s global political ambitions). Georgia and Ukraine are considered to be democracies because their current political elites want nothing more than to submit to “NATO’s democracy” only to legitimize the same regimes that are anything but democratic. Then we have the Baltic republics where every year WWII veterans can be seen marching in Nazi uniforms. And these marches are sanctioned and in some cases financially supported by the state.
Then there is today’s example. Lithuania stalled for hours NATO’s decision to re-engage Russia. (I suppose it was Lithuania’s turn to be the spoiler within NATO representing the other refusniks in New Europe). Since when has the refusniks done anything to promote international security? They only talk and demand others to work to protect them from treats that do not exist.
The heavies in NATO simply heard out the pesky Lithuanian and then pronounced the alliance’s consensus. This is just more democracy on the cheap.
Let’s have a look at the other side of the coin. NATO desperately needs Russia’s help. Without Russia’s help, NATO will be forced to pack-up and leave Afghanistan in a matter of months without the “mission accomplished” banner for the commentariat to peddle. The world will be a worse place as a result. There are other issues as well, like non-proliferation, international piracy, arms control, dealing with Iran and North Korea. None of these issues can be resolved without Russia’s involvement. But at the same time, NATO still supports Washington’s anti-missile defense plans in Eastern Europe. When NATO needs Russian support on so many issues, it still backs something that Russia considers an existential threat to its security.
Watching NATO today was like watching a bad picture show. The acting is bad, the script sub-standard, and the plot senseless. NATO believes its mission is to save the world. At sixty NATO is an old man who should retire. The glory days are in the past. It is time for a very different and more dynamic security arrangement to be conceived. Russia has proposed as much. Sadly few are listening as NATO continues it dive into redundancy.