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NATO is the equivalent of the Delian League. It's not a league of equals but a structure submitting a number of powerful countries to the dictate of the US. NATO's purpose is not to prevent its members from engaging in aggressive war, but a mutual assistance agreement. The key is "Article 5" which "states that any attack on a member state will be considered an attack against the entire group of members". The first time this was ever invoked was after 9/11, but the US declined the offer of NATO assistance for "Operation Enduring Freedom" on Afghanistan, presumably because the US knew the European allies would be too squamish to join the kind of war the US was about to wage. The invocation of chapter 5 was sontaneous, that is, not requested by the US, as far as I can tell. I would fully expect Israel to demand that it be applied to every attack it suffers. We could now find ourselves treaty-bound to support Israel's crimes in Lebanon.

Why can't we phase out NATO and superimpose it onto the UN, the Security Council.  War crimes are war crimes, countries being unfairly attacked are countries being unfairly attacked.  Why are we picking favorites.  It seems that if all countries would be assured that we would come to their aid if they needed it, regardless who they are, it would be a beautiful thing.  Apply the same standards and criteria to everyone.  More consistency.  More accountability.  That's what we shoudl be moving toward.

That is not in the interest of those running the US foreign policy apparatus.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 05:27:49 PM EST
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