Monday, November 08, 2004

Abandoning NATO

Jonathan Steele argues in the Guardian that with the US taking an increasingly unilateral path, it is time to terminate NATO. The alliance was useful during the Cold War when Europe was threatened with Soviet invasion, but it is now past its use-by date; all it does now is provide a lever by which the US can bully Europe into backing its imperial ambitions. Add to the fact that NATO is now a signficant barrier to Europe standing on its own feet militarily (or at least making its own decisions), and the case is compelling.

But what about the historic good ties with the US? Freedland notes that

Ending Nato would not mean that Europe rejects good relations with the US. Nor does it rule out police and intelligence collaboration on issues of concern, such as the way to protect our countries against terrorism. Europe could still join the US in war, if there was an international consensus and the electorates of individual countries supported it.

But Europeans must reach their decisions from a position of genuine independence. The US has always based its approach to Europe on a calculation of interest rather than from sentimental motives. Europe should do no less. We can and, for the most part, should be America's friends. Allies, no longer.

Britain will never go for it, of course - but they're ambivalent about Europe anyway. The core European countries, OTOH - France, Germany, and the Benelux, who have seen all efforts to establish a European military screwed up by the US insisting on its dominance - probably feel very differently about the matter.