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June 10, 2011

NATO: What Is It Good For? Practically Nothing

So says outgoing Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

“The blunt reality is that there will be dwindling appetite and patience in the U.S. Congress, and in the American body politic writ large, to expend increasingly precious funds on behalf of nations that are apparently unwilling to devote the necessary resources . . . to be serious and capable partners in their own defense,” he said in an address to a think tank in Brussels.

...“Future U.S. political leaders, those for whom the Cold War was not the formative experience that it was for me, may not consider the return on America’s investment in NATO worth the cost,” he said.

Ah, the beauty of retirement and the freedom to say what you are really thinking.

This isn't some theoretical situation either. We need to look no further than what's going on in Libya right now.

Lex (retired US Navy aviator) notes that NATO is well near exhausted from 3 whole months in Libya and let's just say he's less than impressed with their fortitude.

Yes, it’s very stressful for seven tier one nations to bomb the sh!te out of a singular third world hellhole, day and night. On the off chance that one golden BB finds the lunatic in charge and magically transforms the place into a Jeffersonian democracy.

But at least they’ve got their social safety net. “Free” health care, and so on.

And via Galrahn, the Norwegians are pining for the fjords so they are heading home.

Norway says it will scale down its fighter jet contribution in Libya from six to four planes and withdraw completely from the NATO-led operation by Aug. 1.

Defense Minister Grete Faremo said Friday she expects understanding from NATO allies because Norway has a small air force and cannot "maintain a large fighter jet contribution during a long time.

Oh everyone understands, most of all the US pilots who are the most likely candidates to have to do even more now.

You know, Barack's Excellent North African Adventure really isn't quite the thing is it? I mean, it's not like they are going to add another verse to the Marine Corps Hymn about it or anything like that.

So, while Europe packs up what little defense capability they have (hey, you know the once mighty Royal Navy is pretty much a shell of its former self, right?), we need to keep in mind we're pretty much it when it comes to watching out for our interests and we're going to be more or less on our own in doing it. That's probably something policy makers should keep in mind as they consider cutting defense spending.

The reality is when push comes to shooting...it's always going to be a US show. You can say we shouldn't be the world's policeman and that if no one else cares, we shouldn't either. But you know who does care? China and Russia. It's not simply a question of sticking it to the lazy Euros but whether or not we will let countries who don't have our best interest at heart (to say the very least) dominate the international political and military scene for the next few decades.

The emotional response is...screw 'em, let them deal with this crap for awhile but that's simply not acceptable and everyone but Ron Paul knows that.

Meanwhile, Syria continues to slaughter their own people.

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posted by DrewM. at 10:07 AM

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