10. NATO learns defense modernization is a useful concept (although it clearly needs more study and debate). This lesson has moved up a notch from number 11, where it had been since 1992, an incredible run of 988 weeks.
9. If Libya had a viable WMD program, NATO’s own efforts wouldn’t even have been a glistening in the Fogh. Can you say “Dear Leader” or “I’m a dinner jacket”? Dropping from number two.
8. NATO learns vigorous and realistic training is useful when you want to destroy an adversary. Moving up from number twenty nine with a North Korean sourced rocket.
7. NATO learns there is no free security lunch. Given the financial condition of the welfare states, this former number one lesson seems destined to tumble down the list into uncharted territory.
6. NATO learns not to conduct a war during the traditional European holiday times: it makes manning the various NATO command centers difficult. Creeping up slowly during the summer holidays from number 8.
5. NATO learns it’s hard to target things when you have almost no organic or highly-capable ISR. Holding steady at number five.
4. The U.S. administration learns it’s quite easy to participate in
war conflict hostilities whatever is going on in Libya. Number one four short weeks ago, this “not a War Powers Act” lesson will be soon headed off the charts as a media-tracked event.
3. NATO learns it needs a defense industrial base. As NATO runs out of people, money, and bombs, could this important lesson become a new number one? Our Libyan Top Ten Trend Tracker thinks so.
2. Russia learns NATO has little to no self-defense capability. This new number two won’t stop Russia from whining about NATO, alternately condemning and wanting to participate in missile defense, and vacuous saber-rattling. Bears need self-constructed threats, too.
1. China learns the West, when it includes NATO in its current construct, can’t even manage to overthrow a tin-pot despot.
Remember NATO: keep your head in the clouds and keep reaching for cigars.