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John Feffer, Will NATO’s 60th Anniversary Be Its Last?

Posted by Tom Engelhardt on October 1st, 2009

From TomDispatch: A vivid look at the European version of the Afghan War and why it may bring NATO down — John Feffer, “Afghanistan: NATO’s Graveyard, Is the Transatlantic Alliance Doomed?

The Afghan War crisis is, right now, one of the hottest stories in town, but only the American version. NATO’s side of things is essentially a footnote in the U.S. media. To remedy that, the latest post by the co-director of the Foreign Policy in Focus website and TomDispatch regular John Feffer, just back from a trip across the Atlantic, offers a magisterial overview of the transatlantic alliance and why it is foundering; why, in fact, the expansion into the Hindu Kush of an alliance with the word “Atlantic” prominently in its name may prove such a catastrophe .

Feffer begins: “Celebrating its 60th birthday this year, NATO is looking peaked and significantly worse for wear. Aggressive and ineffectual, the organization shows signs of premature senility. Despite the smiles and reassuring rhetoric at its annual summits, its internal politics have become fractious to the point of dysfunction. Perhaps like any sexagenarian in this age of health-care crises and economic malaise, the transatlantic alliance is simply anxious about its future. Frankly, it should be.”

He then explores just how NATO got to Afghanistan, why it can’t say no to Washington’s wishes, and why Afghanistan may be its graveyard. He offers vivid background on NATO’s near-death experience’s in the post-Cold War world, and on the struggles within the alliance between the Europe Firsters and the Go Global faction. He concludes this way: “Damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t, NATO will limp along much as the British and Soviet empires did after their misadventures in Central Asia. These were, after all, dead empires walking. NATO may be in this category as well. It just doesn’t know it yet.”

This is a missing piece in our world. TomDispatch is particularly proud to provide it.

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to “John Feffer, Will NATO’s 60th Anniversary Be Its Last?”

  1. similar says:

    I met winter soldiers in Japan Osaka , Kyoto.
    and will support as mutch as we can.
    You may saw this and the key to stop wars .

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAaQNACwaLw&feat...

  2. didyouknow says:

    (Afghanistan 1) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words
    http://rainbowwarrior2005.wordpress.com/2009/09...

    Thee are 8 pages of pictures

  3. similar says:

    Let me allow to show 2 more tricks of USA on U-Tube.
    I saw the pictures of AFGAN are the result of THEIR tricks.
    and every war in the History too.
    (form Japan that got 2 ATOMIC BOMBS. thats enough.)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTahZE4q90U&feat...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9AvSQuqQb5c&feat...

  4. irastraus says:

    I'm afraid this is all just fashionable illogic.

    It is indeed possible for arguments like this to be used to talk ourselves into abandoning NATO. It would be quite a self-destructive action. In itself NATO is quite viable, and quite worth our while.

    The US treated NATO badly by not letting it take a share of the initial war sweep, then later dragging it in when the long counterinsurgency phase was going badly. Nevertheless it is doing as well as is feasible, given that it has no supranational legislative authority. Don't blame NATO for the overall context, that was Rumsfeld's legacy, abandoning the war at the end of only its first phase.

    It is a self-destructive habit of Europeans and Americans to expect things of one another that are impossible, and then blame each other – and the joint structures like NATO, that at least improve slightly on the range of what they can do together – for the impossibility.

    Do the opponents of NATO wish to be self-destructive? Often I get that impression. Of the people who say NATO is obsolete and a “cold war relic”, how many always disliked NATO in cold war times too? How many were predicting its imminent demise every year in the 1980s? How many have also been predicting its imminent demise every year since 1991? How many were always negative about the Western side of the cold war in the first place? And make a practice of criticizing “the cold war” (meaning the Western side of it)?

    In my experience, most of the people who say “NATO is obsolete” never liked NATO in the first place, and those of them who are old enough for it were calling it obsolete decades ago. And most of those who call it a “cold war relic” were no friends of the Western side of the cold war when that war was on.

    In the real world, NATO originated as a permanent institutional, in a time of peace but international tension, of the trans-Atlantic alliance that was built in World Wars I and II, in turn built on the basis of the Anglo-American and Anglo-French rapprochements of 1890-1910. The strongest single institution within NATO, the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, is a World War II invention, not a cold war one; all the “cold war relic” polemics are irrelevant to it. It has been sustained in peacetime for 60 years because it is the most important single structure making for the pacification of Europe, the cornerstone on the basis of which it was possible to build a Franco-German reconciliation and a European Union

    Why not put aside the polemical stuff and look at the NATO that actually exists, with its deep roots spanning a century, with its considerable limitations like all international organizations, and with its considerable virtues, some of them unique among international organizations? And wouldn't it be more useful to devote some thinking to how much worse our world would be without it?

  5. similar says:

    Monetary system makes US slave of the Debt.
    Its a Fraud actually.

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-446781...

    and Wars must be the Trap for this.
    So its Never End to Dont Stop Their Business, isnt it?

  6. Peace lover says:

    If NATO was fighting in a just cause, it might have a chance.
    But, in reality, NATO abandoned its goal of keeping the peace in Europe to making war on poor Afghanis. With the NeoCon war on Islam, NATO is fighting GOD.
    So what do expect?

  7. rosy123 says:

    Here is where we have placed ourselves… and the blood and lives of our children…

    Afghanistan has said… you come and build our schools, our homes, bring up our economy… AS you kill yours… bring in your soldiers… NOT to fight… to help US…

    HELL NO… NOW they have us by the balls… either help repair our country, or we let the talaban take you…

    GUESS WHAT… we… USA… are in trouble ourselves… DUE mostly in part to the TRILLIONS of dollars we have spent trying to HELP a bunch of STUPID people…

    NO… NO MORE…

    The kids, soldiers are coming home… they will be standing on the borders… within America… and we will be armed… FULLY armed…

    We will re-build our country, economically… as that is where our PRIORITIES SHOULD BE…

    We have people STARVING IN AMERICA… yet… we are sending out HOW much money over-seas…

    WHY…

    Do you see ANY COUNTRY Helping US?

    It is great being a “Good GUY”… but my mother taught me that Charity begins at HOME…

    AND right American's need help… The problems of other countries are THEIR OWN… NOT OURS…

    TIME to bring the troops home… stop the deaths for a people that would kill us for a handful of poppey seeds…

    THese people are STUPID… and we are STUPID for playing their game…

    We are doing just what they want us to do…

    Where have they put us… death wise… and money wise?

    I used to play chess… and guess what America…

    CHECK MATE… for them…

    We are playing like we are BLIND and STUPID…

    Wake up… Grow up… take a stance… We are America… We will take of our own… If we have anything left… we will offer support… BUT at this time, we need our money and our kids HOME…

    Not saying that we are vunerable… we will be armed… more than you can believe…

    F. . with us… and we will not send kids to die… we will PUSH A BUTTON… and our grand-kids will enjoy fishing in very large lakes in the regions once known as the Middle East.

    WAKE UP…

    STOP PLAYING INTO THEIR GAME..

    WE ARE SMART?

    DOES NOT APPEAR THAT WE ARE…

    I have not lost a child to this war… BUT I would love for someone that has to tell me that they understand… That their child was over protecting America… NO… they are over there being picked off like flies… as the Talaban is LAUGHING… JUST LIKE THE LAUGHED ABOUT THE 9-11..

    REMEMBER JAPAN…

    WE stopped that in a Quick didn't we?

    How much more of this S… do we put up with.

  8. rosy123 says:

    Here is where we have placed ourselves… and the blood and lives of our children…

    Afghanistan has said… you come and build our schools, our homes, bring up our economy… AS you kill yours… bring in your soldiers… NOT to fight… to help US…

    HELL NO… NOW they have us by the balls… either help repair our country, or we let the talaban take you…

    GUESS WHAT… we… USA… are in trouble ourselves… DUE mostly in part to the TRILLIONS of dollars we have spent trying to HELP a bunch of STUPID people…

    NO… NO MORE…

    The kids, soldiers are coming home… they will be standing on the borders… within America… and we will be armed… FULLY armed…

    We will re-build our country, economically… as that is where our PRIORITIES SHOULD BE…

    We have people STARVING IN AMERICA… yet… we are sending out HOW much money over-seas…

    WHY…

    Do you see ANY COUNTRY Helping US?

    It is great being a “Good GUY”… but my mother taught me that Charity begins at HOME…

    AND right American's need help… The problems of other countries are THEIR OWN… NOT OURS…

    TIME to bring the troops home… stop the deaths for a people that would kill us for a handful of poppey seeds…

    THese people are STUPID… and we are STUPID for playing their game…

    We are doing just what they want us to do…

    Where have they put us… death wise… and money wise?

    I used to play chess… and guess what America…

    CHECK MATE… for them…

    We are playing like we are BLIND and STUPID…

    Wake up… Grow up… take a stance… We are America… We will take of our own… If we have anything left… we will offer support… BUT at this time, we need our money and our kids HOME…

    Not saying that we are vunerable… we will be armed… more than you can believe…

    F. . with us… and we will not send kids to die… we will PUSH A BUTTON… and our grand-kids will enjoy fishing in very large lakes in the regions once known as the Middle East.

    WAKE UP…

    STOP PLAYING INTO THEIR GAME..

    WE ARE SMART?

    DOES NOT APPEAR THAT WE ARE…

    I have not lost a child to this war… BUT I would love for someone that has to tell me that they understand… That their child was over protecting America… NO… they are over there being picked off like flies… as the Talaban is LAUGHING… JUST LIKE THE LAUGHED ABOUT THE 9-11..

    REMEMBER JAPAN…

    WE stopped that in a Quick didn't we?

    How much more of this S… do we put up with.

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