Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Objective: Europe

Europe is not safe from Russia or from itself. NATO remains important for securing America's interest in a continent allied to us rather than used against us with its still potent technological and economic power, as well as its military potential.

What are these guys talking about?

If Europe’s security doesn’t depend on NATO, U.S. security is almost totally unrelated. NATO was a good idea. It worked to allow Europe to rebuild after World War II, keep the Soviet Union at bay, and integrate German power into Europe. But with those goals achieved, NATO’s purpose in Washington gradually shifted. Today, the United States isn’t in NATO to help important but threatened states balance menacing rivals’ power. It is there to prevent allies from cooperating outside U.S. control and thereby ensure U.S. dominance of European security affairs.

Certainly I admit that Europe has the potential to outclass Russia. But Europe's scattered and largely light infantry armies cannot defend the borders of Europe from Russia's smaller but armored and homogeneous army of Russians. Yes, Russia is weaker than the USSR and is still weakening its military with one-year conscription despite high profile new weapons that create the image of renewal.

But the Europeans seem to be doing even more damage to themselves. And war is always a contest of relative strengths. Russia can do a lot of damage on the borders, taking much of it if America isn't willing to fight for it; and then put core Europe within reach of Russian arms by making core Europe once again the eastern front of Europe. Europe absolutely needs America to take on Russia. Europe needed America to take on civil war-wracked Libya in 2011, for Pete's sake!

Nor is the problem that NATO requires consensus. It does not actually require consensus to respond to an attack--each state can react as it will if one member is attacked. Nothing is automatic although deterrence is served by assuming that. How would a European Union army do better unity-wise unless the EU becomes an actual empire to enforce consensus from the top? I mean, I have no doubt that the Kaiser, Hitler, or the Soviet communists could have organized Western Europe for a more unified military effort had they ever won their drives to control the heart of the continent.

And if the European Union becomes the imperial state it is trying to be with its "ever closer union" policy that continues to erode national democracy in member states, Europe will have been taken over by a tyranny from within rather than by invasion. How long will Europe remain friendly in that eventuality, even if the weak European defense capabilities without America present manage to deter a Russian invasion?

And American security damn well does rely on Europe.

The Atlanticists are silly to call Trump a threat to NATO, as those authors in the initial link note such people claim. But at least the Atlanticists value the strong ties between America and Europe that NATO serves to preserve.

We would be fools to abandon Europe after the sacrifices we've made from 1917 to 2019 to keep Europe as free and as allied to America as we can in defiance of threats to Europe's status.