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My point is that after the Great Powers granted Hitler the Sudeten, the implication was that that was it, and that's why the invasion of Poland prompted a declaration of war.

NATO may be strained to the breaking point soon. Already in many NATO countries the US administration is seen as the greatest threat to world peace by public opinion [this has been brought out by polls repeatedly]. I wonder what the governments think, if they agree they keep it private. The US might overstretch itself to the point of being forced to request NATO assistance for a war opposed by its NATO allies, and then demand that assistance.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jul 23rd, 2006 at 06:25:13 AM EST
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The US might overstretch itself to the point of being forced to request NATO assistance for a war opposed by its NATO allies, and then demand that assistance.

to some extent this is a done deed.

what remains to be seen is whether certain European NATO members' reticence to participate will be recognized and discussed, and what bearing the reluctance will have on the future of NATO.

Other problems include the reluctance of NATO countries to contribute troops and aircraft to deployments in the first place. The Netherlands debated for months before committing about 1,000 troops, and Denmark and Sweden took weeks to agree to far more modest personnel contributions. This disconnect between NATO's high command and individual member states has been evident since 2003, when NATO first took over the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.

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by cigonia on Sun Jul 23rd, 2006 at 06:52:19 AM EST
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Yep, the fact that the US is trying to pull out all its troops from Afghanistan and turn over the mess to its NATO allies is a huge problem. The US operations are not limited to 'peacekeeping' or even acting as an 'interposition force', but as an active belligerant.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jul 23rd, 2006 at 06:55:15 AM EST
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By the way, would you mind diarying this about ISAF and NATO?

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jul 23rd, 2006 at 06:56:35 AM EST
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I know. Shame on me. I promised to diary this weeks ago.

[life and various emergencies have gotten in the way].

I've been thinking about it, though, gathering sources. I'll see if I can't get a project together in the course of the coming week.
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by cigonia on Sun Jul 23rd, 2006 at 07:15:32 AM EST
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I remember.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jul 23rd, 2006 at 07:31:47 AM EST
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This, by the way, is a direct consequence of the Bush administration's hubris and impatience after 9/11. NATO members invoked Article 5 for the first time in history, making 9/11 an attack on all of them, and the US turned down the offer of assistance and went into Afghanistan alone. They also did not seek UNSC authorisation for retaliatory action. Had the Afghanistan operation been carried out by NATO under UN auspices, it would have been much different from the start. But the Pentagon planners and the White House wouldn't have that. Now, 5 years later, I doubt that NATO members will have forgotten the fact that the current mess is the result of 1) a US snub to their offer of help; 2) the US cutting its efforts short to pursue the Iraq invasion.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jul 23rd, 2006 at 07:02:39 AM EST
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This go-it-alone strategy is becoming a thorn in the USs side. If there is European resistance to NATO, and it is effective, perhaps the US will be forced to reconsider its unilateral policy.

The primary reason for the unilateralism is that the US can thus maintain control over defense management, equipment, and subsequent rebuilding efforts, which of course represent Colossal budgets / profits.
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by cigonia on Sun Jul 23rd, 2006 at 07:31:16 AM EST
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There must be a tipping point after which even with a reversal of the go-it-alone policy the European allies won't be willing to take part in missions furthering US strategic objectives. The Bushies may have damaged NATO beyond repair, but that can only be known with hindsight, which we don't have.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jul 23rd, 2006 at 07:36:56 AM EST
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My sense is that we may have arrived at the tipping point, with the US' handling of Israel / Lebanon.

Interesting the Deutsche Welle article from this morning cites polls indicating that 75% of the German population is against the attacks. France has been very outspoken as well [even if it amounts to blah-blah at this point]. There's little doubt in my mind that popular polls would show similar figures here. Spain? Britain? Scandinavia?

The present crisis may well turn into something of a test of European institutions and governments. Will Europe's leaders, EC and EP, respond to opinion or cave in to what is no doubt acute external pressures.

The results are likely to be telling.
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by cigonia on Sun Jul 23rd, 2006 at 08:28:30 AM EST
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In Spain public opinion, the press, and the left-wing government, are for a ceasefire. Only the hard core of the People's Party is unabashedly pro-Israel (and they can tie this to their 'Zapatero is capitulating to the terrorists' narrative). In Britain, The Times is pro-Israel, The Independent pro-ceasefire. I saw too many British [or British-resident] lebanese with Hezbollah flags yesterday assembled at Whitehall.

The fact that the official German position is similar to the one of Spain's PP leads me to believe that (at least in the EU-15) the European People's Party reamins Atlanticist while the Party of the European Socialists is getting away from that position.

Really, NATO seems like a place where Bush, Blair, Aznar, Berlusconi, the Kaczynski brothers, Klaus, Rasmussen and, to go back to the diary, Olmert, would feel comfortable.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jul 23rd, 2006 at 10:01:46 AM EST
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in Spain public opinion, the press,

well, not the partisan right-wing press.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jul 23rd, 2006 at 10:05:30 AM EST
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