NATO’s Grim Fate-O?

Posted: November 30, 2010 in Uncategorized
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NATO was arguably once the world’s most important international alliance. Now it seems ready to fade away as overexpansion and a loss of purpose may have marginalized its usefulness.

From Defense News:

U.S. Adm. James Stavridis said Nov. 29 he is “confident” NATO member states will adopt the Obama administration’s plans for a European missile shield.

Yes, getting missile defense for almost nothing is a total no-brainer for NATO. But is it at a non-fiscal cost of making the NATO tent so big as to lose all meaning?  Just asking, because the Russians are said to be a part of this missile defense effort as well.

Meantime, during a CSIS-sponsored forum in Washington, Stavridis was upbeat on NATO-Russian relations. He said Moscow “is really reaching out,” adding his NATO superiors are pushing to find “zones of cooperation” with Russia.

Zones of cooperation, eh? Sounds more like zones of annihilation are more interesting to Russia based on this from the WSJ:

According to the U.S. assessment, Russia has expanded tactical nuclear deployments near NATO allies several times in recent years. An example is Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave between Poland and Lithuania. A State Department cable from April 2009 said Russia had warned it would take countermeasures, including putting “missiles” in Kaliningrad, in response to expanded U.S. missile defenses in Europe.

“Missiles,” hmm. Shifting back to the Defense News article, what’s the future hold for NATO?

…NATO must continue shrinking its command structure, he said. Officials are moving ahead with plans to get to just six headquarters, down from 40 in 1990.

That structure will focus more on challenges from aging populations, cyber threats, piracy and narcotics trafficking, among other things, he said.

What, no shout-out about NATO’s efforts being “for the children” or combating climate change? I’m shocked, shocked, but in fairness, maybe those fall in the “among other things” category.

NATO’s job jar sounds more like a mission for the police corps and the Peace Corps.


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