Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Force Pool for Coalitions of the Willing

NATO remains valuable to America despite this assessment:

NATO heads of state met to inaugurate the alliance’s new headquarters in Brussels on May 25, and the two main topics of conversation were defense spending and the alliance’s role in fighting terrorism. Both issues indicate that NATO is increasing its political role while diminishing its military function.

The alliance’s link to the national interests of its member states is breaking, meaning that discussions on strategy rarely take place within the alliance. Its military function is declining because alliance members no longer share a common interest as they once did.

One, common interests were always beyond the alliance.

In the Cold War, despite the mission of stopping the Soviet Union, Greece feared Turkey more than it feared the Soviet Union; Portugal and Spain were never going to send troops to defend West Germany; Norway needed help just to hold its own territory; and the French even pulled out of the military command despite the narrow buffer West Germany provided against the Soviet threat.

And two, just by promoting interoperability of member military forces, NATO is worth keeping.

NATO provides a common framework for maintaining separate militaries which can fight together with less friction should an emergency arise that inspires NATO nations to work together. This capacity applies whether the campaign takes place in Libya, in Afghanistan, in Poland, in Norway, or in Romania.

Remember, NATO has never required any specific action by member nations if one member is attacked. It still doesn't. And as long as America is a strong member of NATO able to pull together various nations willing to confront a specific threat, NATO will be just fine and worth the effort to maintain.

Heck, we could adapt to sweep up even dribs and drabs if we had to, couldn't we?

UPDATE: The willing (and in need) sort of join the ranks:

Sweden and Finland have joined a British-led military rapid reaction force that can either operate alone or jointly with the United Nations, NATO or the European Union.

That will come in handy in the Baltic Sea.