Do we need a national conversation about NATO?

Last Friday, I was watching a presentation about a trip to Germany. The lady making the presentation told us about the museums, the churches, and all the benefits they have, such as health care, education, early retirement, etc. I thought to myself that it must be nice to be protected by the U.S.

Like many of you, I grew up during the Cold War. I understood the Soviet threat or the idea of Warsaw Pact tanks marching in, as happened in Hungary in 1956 and in Prague in 1968.  

Didn’t everything change when the U.S.S.R. collapsed and countries like Poland and Germany were given a second chance? How long are we supposed to be committed to defending prosperous countries that don’t pay their NATO dues, open their borders recklessly and do not have babies to maintain their populations?

According to Francis P. Sempa, this is 2024 not 1949.  This is what he wrote:

Formed in 1949 in the face of the threat of Soviet-communist expansion across the Eurasian landmass in the wake of Europe’s devastation as a result of the Second World War, NATO extended the U.S. security umbrella–including atomic weapons–to France, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Iceland, and Canada. Three years later, Turkey and Greece joined. In 1955, West Germany became a member. Spain joined in 1982. It was a defensive alliance against possible Soviet military aggression. The sole reason for the existence of that alliance was to prevent the Soviet Union from militarily overrunning Western Europe. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, NATO’s original mission ended.

But like any huge bureaucracy, NATO sought other reasons to continue its existence and to expand. It intervened in the Balkans during the Clinton administration. It intervened in Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States. It intervened in Libya to overthrow the Qaddafi regime in 2011. It has worked in Iraq to train Iraqi security forces. NATO’s website shows just how far it has strayed from its original purpose. It bills itself as a “crisis prevention and management organization” that can “undertake a wide range of military operations and missions.” It boasts that it is “engaged in operations and missions around the world,” including “cooperation with the African Union,” and “disaster relief operations.” NATO troops remain in Kosovo, and NATO ships provide maritime safety in the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization apparently seeks to extend its reach to the western Pacific and China’s threat to Taiwan.

Coincident with its new missions and operations, NATO has more than doubled in size. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, 16 more countries have joined the alliance. So as the Soviet threat first receded then ended, NATO got bigger and moved closer and closer to Russia’s European border in a fit of hubris and reckless diplomacy that George F. Kennan called “the most fateful error of American policy in the entire post-Cold War era.” Kennan foresaw that NATO expansion would revive the worst aspects of Russian nationalism and imperialism. And so it did. The tragedy of the Ukraine War has its roots in unfettered NATO expansion.  

Please don’t misunderstand me.  I’m no fan of Putin and the invasion of Ukraine is criminal.  Yes, I support helping Ukraine because a Putin victory there is bad.  

However, I am talking about NATO, and this commitment to defend countries that don’t want to defend themselves.   Over time, many NATO countries created vast welfare states while relying on our boys to guarantee their security.  How long is that supposed to last?  At what point do we say that it’s an alliance and not a free lunch?

Here’s my suggestion:  Let’s have a conversation about NATO and whether it’s in our interest in 2024.  It was in 1949 or 1962 or 1980 but is it today?

P.S. Check out my blog for posts, podcasts and videos. (American Thinker)

2 thoughts on “Do we need a national conversation about NATO?”

  1. We need to support NATO and Biden should have helped Ukraine more. Trump is wrong in what he said last week. So how does any American born in Cuba defend that? Communism is alive and well, it never left the Cold War is not over. Hopefully soon we will get another Ronald Reagan btw Trump is not Ronnie. Marco Rubio estás equivocado, maybe being born here affected your brain. But hey the Senator gig is good right? Just remember Eisenhower gave Cuba to Castro in 1959. Will Trump just hand over Ukraine??

  2. Also wanted to add that Truman allowed Batista to overthrow Prio. So if you can’t support Freedom in your own neighborhood, America is the worst Allie.
    Like my father would say. That’s why are here now and not the third generation of free Cubans in Cuba and how any Cuban could have supported Obama?
    I wonder what Gloria’s opinion of him is now after the love fest in Havana. The Obama’s don’t stand for freedom.

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