Summary: We have bought a house, so our time as homeless vagabonds will end soon. Meanwhile, William Lind explains hidden truths about the real cost to our membership in NATO. Obvious truths that journalists seldom mention — because it would quench the new Cold War hysteria.
By William S. Lind.
From Traditional Right • 18 July 2018.
Posted with his generous permission.
President Trump is right to raise the issue of Europe’s NATO members not spending enough on defense. For decades, those countries have been NATO’s welfare queens, expecting the U.S. to defend them when they have been entirely capable of defending themselves. They’ve had the ships, they’ve had the men, they’ve had the money, too. Since the 1960s they have also had their own nuclear umbrella in the form of France’s nuclear weapons. Quite apart from the American deterrent, the Soviet Union could not risk invading Western Europe because a nuclear exchange with France would have reduced the USSR to a tenth-rate power, unable to compete with America or even China.
But why should Europe’s welfare queens go off the dole so long as America is dumb enough to keep paying the bill? President Trump is doing what earlier American presidents should have done but didn’t, mainly because the Washington Military-Industrial-Congressional complex feeds richly off the NATO game.
But mere billions of wasted dollars are not the principal cost of NATO to the United States. Greater is the strategic price we pay for NATO: it locks us into an obsolete grand strategic orientation.
NATO was formed for only one purpose: containing Communism. After World War II, Europe was exhausted. It lacked the military, financial, or industrial strength to take on the Red Army or even Soviet attempts at subversion such as that in Greece. The U.S. made what was intended to be a temporary commitment to defend Europe, a commitment that was intended to last only until Europe could again defend itself. When NATO was founded, then-General Dwight D. Eisenhower said that if we were still defending Europe after ten years, NATO would have proven a mistake. That was seventy years ago.
When Communism fell, NATO’s purpose fell with it. There was no threat from the east for NATO to defend against. At that point NATO should have been dissolved. Failing such a dissolution, the U.S. should have pulled out, leaving Europe to defend itself against—what?
Europe did, and does, face a threat, one at least as dangerous as Communism: the threat from the south. The new enemy is Islam, the invaders are labelled “refugees” or “asylum-seekers”, and they come armed with a violent religion, defective cultures, or both. Immigrants who cannot or will not acculturate are a greater threat than invading armies. The armies eventually go home, but immigrants stay and permanently change the cultural landscape, often in highly undesirable ways. European women will not enjoy living under Sharia.
In re-orienting to the south, Europe should have either formed a new alliance including Russia or invited Russia into NATO. Russia holds Christendom’s vast flank that stretches from the Black Sea to Vladivostok. Should that flank collapse, the West would suffer a defeat at least as damaging as the fall of Constantinople to the Turks. Thanks to President Putin’s efforts to strengthen the Russian state, that now seems unlikely.
But Western elites’ ideology of cultural Marxism forbids them to acknowledge the threat from the south: to do so is to reject “multiculturalism” and embrace “racism”. Cultural Marxism welcomes any and all allies in its battle to destroy Western culture and the Christian religion, even allies such as Islam that will cut the cultural Marxists’ own throats.
So instead those elites have moved heaven and earth to re-start the Cold War, again presenting Russia as a threat, which is absurd. It is to be expected that Russia will seek to reabsorb areas on her periphery that were historically part of the Russian Empire, especially those which have a predominantly Russian population. But this is no threat to Europe or the United States. The likelihood of Russian divisions again rolling into Berlin is small.
President Trump senses that NATO’s anti-Russian orientation is strategically wrong, and he wants normal relations between Moscow and Washington. Yet both his Secretary of Defense and his Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have proclaimed that the U.S. armed forces are to de-emphasize the real threat, which comes from Fourth Generation, non-state elements of many kinds, and instead puff up nonexistent dangers from Russia and China. Why such strategic lunacy from obviously intelligent men? Because Fourth Generation war does not justify vast defense budgets. The demands of the Military-Industrial-Complex complex trump strategy — unless President Trump trumps the M-I-C game.
Eastern Europe has sufficient resources to defend against Russia. Western Europe is far richer than Russia. Neither needs us. Perhaps the nations of Europe are not “welfare queens” and that they do not spend more to defend against Russia because they do not see Russia as a serious threat.
For another perspective on this, see Craig Murray (former ambassador of the UK): “No Need For Nato.”
About the author
William S. Lind’s director of the American Conservative Center for Public Transportation. He has a Master’s Degree in History from Princeton University in 1971. He worked as a legislative aide for armed services for Senator Robert Taft, Jr., of Ohio from 1973 to1976 and held a similar position with Senator Gary Hart of Colorado from 1977 to 1986. See his bio at Wikipedia
Mr. Lind is author of the Maneuver Warfare Handbook (1985), co-author with Gary Hart of America Can Win: The Case for Military Reform (1986), and co-author with William H. Marshner of Cultural Conservatism: Toward a New National Agenda (1987).
He’s perhaps best known for his articles about the long war, now published as On War: The Collected Columns of William S. Lind 2003-2009. See his other articles about a broad range of subjects…
- Posts at TraditionalRight.
- His articles about geopolitics at The American Conservative.
- His articles about transportation at The American Conservative.
For More Information
Ideas! For shopping ideas, see my recommended books and films at Amazon.
- How the Soviet Menace was over-hyped – and what we can learn from this.
- Let’s stop the 2-minute hate on Putin & think before we reignite the Cold War.
- How the world looks from Russia. It’s a picture the US media don’t show.
- Notes from the Victory Parade in Moscow about our amnesia, & peace.
- Did NATO betray Russia, breaking the deal to stay out of Eastern Europe?
To better understand our mad foreign policy
Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War.
By Andrew Bacevich (2010).
From the publisher…
“The bestselling author of The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism critically examines the Washington consensus on national security and why it must change
“For the last half century, as administrations have come and gone, the fundamental assumptions about America’s military policy have remained unchanged: American security requires the United States (and us alone) to maintain a permanent armed presence around the globe, to prepare our forces for military operations in far-flung regions, and to be ready to intervene anywhere at any time. In the Obama era, just as in the Bush years, these beliefs remain unquestioned gospel.
“In a vivid, incisive analysis, Andrew J. Bacevich succinctly presents the origins of this consensus, forged at a moment when American power was at its height. He exposes the preconceptions, biases, and habits that underlie our pervasive faith in military might, especially the notion that overwhelming superiority will oblige others to accommodate America’s needs and desires – whether for cheap oil, cheap credit, or cheap consumer goods. And he challenges the usefulness of our militarism as it has become both unaffordable and increasingly dangerous.
“Though our politicians deny it, American global might is faltering. This is the moment, Bacevich argues, to reconsider the principles which shape American policy in the world – to acknowledge that fixing Afghanistan should not take precedence over fixing Detroit. Replacing this Washington consensus is crucial to America’s future, and may yet offer the key to the country’s salvation.”