In response to my earlier post, a friend writes (via g-chat):
you realize the nato charter commits us to nothing, right?
it allows collective self-defense
“as we deem necessary” – we get to choose
i say let russia in tooit is a non-binding and irrelevant organization that does not, in just about any real way, limit our sovereigntynot to mentionthat Putin said the exact same thing about every eastern/baltic stateand so did yeltsinand so did gorbachevand yet NATO and the EU have expanded
The secretary-general added: “The (NATO) Council agreed that if it is determined that this was an attack directed from abroad against the United States, it shall be regarded as an action covered by Article V of the Washington Treaty, which states that an attack against one ally is an attack against them all.”
- We’re not talking about NATO membership for Poland or even the Baltics anymore – we’re talking about the Ukraine and Georgia. Whether we like it or not, Putin seems to consider both countries within Russia’s informal sphere of influence. Georgia and Ukraine have deep cultural and ethnic ties to Russia that pre-date Soviet imperialism. Their close geographic proximity is another factor to consider.
- 2008 is quite different from 1998. Sky-rocketing oil revenues, more military spending, cyber-attacks on Estonia, and the recent Georgia incursion all suggest that Russia is much more assertive than it was a decade ago.
If you think NATO should become a non-binding organization that enhances civil-military relations and meets to discuss counter-terrorism and collective security, that’s fine. But that’s not how John McCain (and evidently Sarah Palin) see things. They view it as a military alliance intended to deter Soviet Russian aggression. And that’s a really bad idea.