Has NATO Outlived Its Usefulness ??

NATOThe Alliance Remains Vital. NATO is as important as it has ever been. Challenges to its members are different than they were when it was created in 1949, different from 12 years ago when it launched its first out-of-area operation in Afghanistan. But they are no less important, the rising austerity in which it today acts makes the institution ever more vital. Typically, the questions we ask regarding NATO are posed from a singular perspective, not the most important one. The debate normally starts from the position that because of significant defense cuts among the NATO members in Europe and North America, NATO no longer has the capabilities it needs to act. If it is no longer capable, perhaps it is no longer of value? We should be focusing on an alternate question: What are security challenges NATO members face today and in coming decades, do we have sufficient commonalities to harness the interests, will and the capacity to address them through NATO? To this last question the list is long, ranging from conflicts in the Middle East to energy security, cyber espionage and Iran’s nuclear program (many listed in the new strategic concept released in November 2010). Member states have many common interests here, and, as Libya’s el-Qaddafi found to his detriment, there is will also. While the capabilities are diminishing, particularly in military arena, they are certainly not insignificant. Challenge for NATO is to push the bureaucracy and the politicians to take a fresh look at today and tomorrow’s challenges and, through this lens, to consider new priorities. Then, a realistic assessment of capabilities should be considered that goes beyond traditional (and particularly expensive) hard military assets. The problems we face will not be better addressed unilaterally. Alliances are hard to manage, but they are better than facing our challenges alone.

Room For Debate: http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/04/23/has-nato-outlived-its-usefulness


Acerca de ignaciocovelo
Consultor Internacional

One Response to Has NATO Outlived Its Usefulness ??

  1. Professor Uziel Nogueira says: NATO was an important foreign policy tool for Washington during the cold war for two reasons. First, NATO was the legal structure used to counter any military threat from former URSS to countries/regions considered areas of influence of Washington. Second, the alliance allowed Washington to conduct certain military interventions without exposing its overwhelming superpower status. The alliance has been losing relevance for decades. The final coup was the homeland attacks of 9/11/01. The military alliance ended when the Bush administration decided to invade Iraq in 2003. The Bush-Obama doctrine of war on terrorism splits even further the alliance. The US is in a permanent state of global warfare, fighting terrorist entities like Al-Qaeda.

    As the old saying goes: Europe followed the US to the gate of a cemetery but refuses to be buried together. Money, source of solution when plenty available but conflict when scarce, does not favor NATO unity, either.

    Taxpayers money in the EU are now being used to pay debt and finance what is left of the welfare state. Military spending is no longer a priority even in Great Britain. The Pentagon, in turn, is preparing for a new era of tight budgets. The decision making process of going to war will change. The budget constraint becomes an important element in strategic-military decisions. Before going to war, the White House will ask the in-house Treasury economist whether money is available.



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