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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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