Monday, May 21, 2012

Taking our ball and going home.

So the leaders of NATO gathered in Chicago to discuss... er... plans for the best way to defend the Fulda Gap from the Soviet 8th Guards Army? How to keep the Red Banner Northern Fleet from sortieing through the GIUK Gap? Whether they should fund continuing NATO operations by charging Tom Clancy retroactive jargon licensing fees?

What the whole NATO summit has made me wonder is this: While I get as much schadenfreude out of a trust-fund hippie taking a hickory shampoo vigorous enough to dislodge his iPod earbuds as the next kid, is it really worth spending untold kiloSagans of money we don't have on continued membership dues in an organization whose very raison d'etre is as dated as an "I Like Ike" campaign button just so we can watch this live-action Punch and Judy show every couple years?

I mean, seriously, if the Frogs and Jerries are still worried about Tsar Vladimir I, let them cut a few social programs and reactivate an armored division or two on their own dime, but it's been a long time since the most crucial U.S. foreign policy flashpoint on the globe was someplace where the street signs bore charming Gothic script. Let Europe look to its own defenses.

25 comments:

Joseph said...

Judging by the number of troops the Euros send to fight in Iraq/Afghanistan, I think they'd have a difficult time holding off a boyscout troop.

As for Germany activating armored divisions, firstly, France would certainly surrender proactively and secondly how are those tanks gonna bail out Greece?

Noah D said...

the best way to defend the Fulda Gap from the Soviet 8th Guards Army? How to keep the Red Banner Northern Fleet from sortieing through the GIUK Gap?

You make me want to break out some hex paper and cardboard.

Anonymous said...

Keeping Ivan out and Hans down was a worthy investment.

However, today Ivan cannot march anywhere without shoes and Hans is helping world peace by committing self-indulgent suicide.

Let's do what we should have done in '92 and bail already.

Shootin' Buddy

Bram said...

Two thoughts.

1. If they really had important secret stuff to talk about, they would be meeting at Minot Air Force Base, ND or somewhere else just as remote.

2. If Germany, Russia, or anyone else were to invade France and Greece - then they would have to try to govern the place. Makes national defense kind of redundant.

Tim said...

Internationalism is still a feature of the official state religion. For the time being, solidarity is the order of the day.

Divemedic said...

Bureaucratic inertia keeps all government programs alive, even after they are no longer needed. The chief reason that many programs still exist is to give government employees a reason for continued employment.

docjim505 said...

Divemedic beat me to it: NATO exists to keep a lot of bureaucrats in a job.

Anonymous said...

How soon we forget.

Just last year NATO prevented Libya from invading Europe right?

Gerry

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

"You make me want to break out some hex paper and cardboard."

I suspect you've just stumbled on what they're really doing at this summit.

Obama: Okay, Merkel's "magic missile" spell does 8 damage to the lich."

Hollande: I use my fighter's power attack. [rolls dice]

Obama: Ohhh, a critical miss. You trip on a loose rock, miss the lich, and impale yourself on your sword for [rolls dice] fifteen damage. You're dead.

Ken said...

@Noah D, I still have a copy of Victory Games' NATO, and GDW's Third World War: Battle for Germany. Had some fun with both of those, back when.

Tam said...

Ken,

Me, too.

Actually, I have unpunched copies of all 4 GDW TWW games. I kid myself that someday I will actually set them up all at once and play them.

mostly cajun said...

As formerly one of the big reasons the commie hordes never rolled through the Fulda Gap (US Army '68-'77, German '74-'77) I stand to say that NATO needs to go away. Let the Europeans sort themselves out. Of course, last time we let this happen, Parisian restaurants had to print menus in German.

MC

B.S. philosopher said...

I spent some time at Lanstuhl, Ramstein and Kaiserslautern in the late 90's. One of the most intriguing things that I discovered is how well the ex-pat and active duty folks there have blended in to the local German community and integrated into the economy.

I actually had to go out of my way to find a place where they didn't speak English. Many of the places I would go to had 50 years of memorabilia relating to the US military.

Now, I'm, all for getting along and everything, but when you have the grandkids and great grandkids of your conquerors/liberators still hanging out, and the bad guys are long gone, it seems to me that its time to go home.

Exurbankevin said...

I was noodling this over myself this weekend....

Warsaw Pact may be gone, but Russian expansionism isn't.

But.

Up until last year, I'd have made an argument for NATO based on Thomas Barnett's functioning core vs gap theory, but with Greece, Spain, Ireland, et al, the core ain't functioning all that well right now.

Ed Foster said...

NATO (Needs America To Operate).

I can see cooperating with them on naval matters. Way too much water out there, and the Brits and Frogs do pull their weight in policing the Atlantic. Also, the Poles of all people have an exceptional minesweeping capability for working in littoral waters, which they did very well in the Gulf.

Getting some ABM's into eastern Europe is a good thing too, but otherwise NATO is a bucket under a bull. Except for Air Farce bases that might be of use for refueling or staging needed raids, and whatever security people we need to keep them and the ABM's working, we should pull every American soldier out of Europe.

The German government has been stabbing us in the back every chance it gets, but insists on our keeping troops in Germany because of the money they spend in otherwise poor rural areas.

Areas that often would have to be abandoned otherwise, the way Germany has abandoned virtually it's entire south-east, shutting off all water and electricity to force the few remaining diehards to resettle in government housing farther west.

The place is dieing, the Euro will fold in two years or less, and it's time for America to cut it's losses and look for greener pastures.

An independent Germany with a restored Deutchmark and six or eight million young, fertile Slavic immigrants replacing deported Kurds and Arabs might just survive and help stabilize the region.

But as long as they have Uncle Sam to hide behind they can't grow up and look at the real world.

Scandinavia and the Medditeranean, along with the urban areas of France and Belgium, are lost, and the Moslems are welcome to them. To quote Steinbeck, the flies have captured the flypaper.

Britain and Europe east of Germany are headed for a rerun of the 1930's, with not much more than subsistence economies, and the Mussolinis, Mosleys,and Pilsudskis will be back in force.

But this time we should close our borders and watch from afar. They did it to themselves, starting way back in the 19th century, when they gave the right to vote to the lumpen proletariat without first giving them several generations to work their way up into the middle class.

Knowing how to read without knowing how to think is an integral part of the leftist catechism. Time for some tough love, or more simply, constructive avoidance.

Borepatch said...

The rationale for NATO: many fine lunches and dinners are enjoyed.

Quite frankly, any talk of cuts to the Military are idiotic without a reassessment of the mission. That can be cut, as NATO spectacularly shows.

Oh, and I think it was Bayou Renaissance Man who pointed out over the weekend that we have more Admirals than the Navy has ships. There's some cutting that can happen. Take away 80% of the Admirals, and force effectiveness may measurably improve ...

Bet that the Army and Air Force are in the same, err, boat.

Atom Smasher said...

Even if the Russkies did decide to put some engines in their tanks and actually putt-putt into Europe, would we notice a difference these days? What would we be defending?

I agree with those who say that that mission's over and done and won, time to RTB.

RevolverRob said...

I took an interesting tour today, of the German Military History Museum (in Dresden). It's a huge museum and as I walked through, I got one, overwhelming impression over again and again. The Germans have definitely gotten their asses kicked enough times to avoid invading France, Poland, and fighting a two-front war.

That said, there are definitely still some hard feelings here in the former GDR and I'd wage some real genuine money (e.g., not dollars or euros), that if the Russians come calling into Eastern Europe and Germany again, there will be a bit of a battle to be had. And I can almost guarantee you, that the Americans will be footing part of the bill with the Brits. Because that was the other thing I noticed in the German Military History Museum, the HUGE American-Guilt Exhibit, which discussed how much Germany has helped the US-Led coalitions around the world to fight terror and evil since 9/11.

Just some food for thinking.

-Rob

Anonymous said...

If the Russians overrun Europe, they will just be denying it to the Arabs.

Fiftycal said...

Europe, S. Korea and Japan are all "big boys" and should be responsible for their OWN security. We have spent TRILLIONS protecting the rest of the earth for 60+ years. Problems abroad? Well, we could put 4 carrier groups offshore and have more aircraft than all but a handful of nations. N. Korea trys to nuke us? Well, there wouldn't be much left of N. Korea and most of the slaves there would probably welcome their "liberation". The Air Farce needs some new planes. The Marines need to be the ready reaction team and get FIRST RATE equipment instead of hand-me-downs. Keep the Navy strong and we can invade and conquer any nation short of Russia or China in a few days.

But NEXT TIME, let's not stick around ten years to "re-build".

PS, the Afgans and "territorys" in Pak will never be conquered. Not unless you kill every last one of them. We should get out NOW and encourage the surrounding countries to barricade them. They are 10th century savages and they won't accept change, even at the point of a Hellfire. But now we have an intel network, unless Obama kills it off, and we can drop a Hellfire from a drone controlled from any AF base without putting OUR people at risk. But next time, put an explosive charge in the damm thing in case it glides in for a landing.

JC said...

"KiloSagans" is going to me the next big unit (pun intended) on teh intertubenetwebs if I have to do it myself!
Much more genteel than "metric shitload".

Gerry N. said...

Couldn't have said it any better if I could actually write. One lil' thing, though. As we toss NATO over the side, can't we please buldoze the UN Building with all it's occupants into the East River or wherever Noo Yawkahs put their shit? The property would prolly make a nice park. It would save two or three KS's of money as well.

Gerry N.

K said...

All well and good. But those "saved" defense dollars won't go back into your pocket - they'll go to create more social welfare bureaucrats, educrats, nannycrats and medicrats.

Matthew said...

Perhaps we could enable a Mexican/Central American peasant (P)reConquista of Europe to buttress the indigenous population with folks with at least some common culture and language?

Want land and a chance to not live under an entrenched oligarchy or drug warlords? Move back to Spain and pit your Catholic birth rate against that of the Moorish invaders.

Ed Foster said...

Matthew has a good point. Ireland and Austria offer dual citizenship to anyone with a native born grandparent. If Spain offered citizenship to young, healthy married couples who spoke Spanish and had enough Spanish heritage to relate to the place, they would be miles (klics?) ahead of their neighbors.

Mexicans are FERTILE, and the honest ones (like 95% of them) actually know how to work. Hell, if we could screen out the crooks, we could offer Mexico a one for one trade for our limosine liberals and be way ahead of the game.