At terrible risk of provoking one of those - uh - legendary premature you know what maxes, it may also be regarded as heavy petting foreplay before the world famous Münchner Sicherheitkonferenz kicks off right before St Valentine's Day.
See, it's been like an article of faith (even amongst the faithless) with historians, Internat'l Relations cats and the democrazies throughout Cold War and into the new millennium.
Great Satan created and sustained regional alliances - toting most of the combat burdens while allies provided bases, training areas with a handful of nat"l military capabilities and enjoyed a robust era of nigh drunken pacifistic phatness.
NATO"s combat bona fides include doing Balkania (twice) racking up the tally of dead civies in the Stan (genau - Dutch und Deutsch truppen have killed more innocents in a year than Great Satan or Great Britain have in a decade!) and allowing Great Satan to lead from behind in Libyavention
“We acted in time and without Europe nothing would have been done at the global level or at the UN level.”
Uh, say what, Herr Euro President?
What he meant was that without European nagging the U.S. would not have intervened, in which case nothing would have happened.Great Satan's Master Plan worked: Her posse of prosperous and populous allies—now with around 10 times the GDP and 3 times the population of Russia—can handle their own Def/Sec chiz. Doesn"t look like Commonwealth Russia is going to catapult scores of panzers amd motorized infantry battalions across Deutschland's panzer friendly Fulda Gap enroute to the coast of Spain anytime soon
Actually, about the only thing Europe is good at militarily is taking credit. Leading Europeans have been promoting the idea of a separate continental defense identity for nearly 60 years. The latest ineffective iteration is the so-called Common Defense and Security Policy.
Even during the Cold War, the European members of NATO rarely fulfilled their promises to spend more on their militaries. With the end of the Cold War the very raison d’être for the alliance disappeared. Moscow’s allies even switched sides, rushing to join NATO.
Between those willing and able to pay the price and bear the burdens of alliance commitments, and those who enjoy the benefits of NATO membership – be they security guarantees or headquarters billets – but don’t want to share the risks and the costs.
For all but a handful of allies, defense budgets – in absolute terms, as a share of economic output – have been chronically starved for adequate funding for a long time, with the shortfalls compounding on themselves each year. In particular, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets are lacking that would allow more allies to be involved and make an impact.
Several of these allies have managed to punch well above their weight because of the way they use the resources they have.
In the Libya operation, Norway and Denmark, have provided 12 percent of allied strike aircraft yet have struck about one third of the targets. Belgium and Canada are also making major contributions to the strike mission. These countries have, with their constrained resources, found ways to do the training, buy the equipment, and field the platforms necessary to make a credible military contribution.Since Great Satan is getting all PACRIM happy and retaining some abilities to take out the trash in the ME, is her hook up with NATO at an end?
NATO was created at a different time in a different world for different circumstances. It is time for Europe to take over responsibility for its own defense. The U.S. and Europeans would still have much on which to cooperate—economically, politically, and militarily. But the time for America to act as Europe’s defense guardian has passed.
Pic - "Before she gets to riding so high, she ought to think right, she ought to do right by me"