Saturday, July 9, 2011


What is the US problem with Nato. Nato is a defense agreement not an expeditionary force agreement. Gates running around talking about it's irrelevance is a bit absurd. NATO has been less relevant since the USSR fell apart. It is still good for incorporating the states into a common military structure, getting the smaller states good training with larger member states, and if necessary acting in the common defense of Europe. There are to many states with separate national interests in NATO to be an effective expeditionary force type treaty. That is why Britain and France have teamed up to share an aircraft carrier, Germany France and Poland are creating a joint force (even though Germany's disapproval of the Libyan mission and Frances enthusiasm flies in the face of that being valuable for expeditionary missions), and Poland is now leading the mild counterbalance force against any Russian aggression. Vicegrad (good post at TRDefence) is likely created by insecurity on the part of some of the new NATO members. They worry about the alliances willingness to defend them. They still have a huge deterrence benefit of being in NATO
 (ex; would Russia have invaded Georgia had it been in NATO and would NATO have responded if it had been). NATO is simply the top tier of a multi tier alliance. It has been this way for a long time now so there is nothing new here. Coalitions of the willing run around on there expeditions in Iraq, Afghanistan (not a NATO required mission because it was an attack by a non-state actor group), etc. The US goes out on its own all the time like in, Vietnam, Panama, etc. The only time a NATO state was arguably attacked was the Argentinean invasion of the Falkland Islands (it is a colony) and the Brits handled that solo.  

Another benefit to the alliance is the cooperation on military equipment. They make most of the worlds arms to one standard so if a war were to break out they can often influence who will be the victor by giving or denying spare parts and replacements. Also they know the strengths and weaknesses of said arms so if faced by them have a distinct advantage in the electronic warfare aspects do to the denial of source codes to many of the users that they believe are unreliable or untrustworthy.

So, no. NATO is not irrelevant.