Here's another article I've managed to squeeze painfully out of my head. Constructive criticism welcome (as well as a boost to my page views) America's future lies with NATO
According to a BBC News report
, NATO forces are finally drawing up plans for a phrased reduction of its presence in Kosovo, once the site of one of the largest conflicts of the 1990's.
Couple this with news of NATO forces taking heavier losses in Afghanistan due to the Taliban's resurgence and President Obama's new emphasis on the unfinished mission, as well as of NATO vessels fighting international piracy around the Horn of Africa and even the strange case of a possibly hijacked Russian vessel with secret cargo heading toward Cape Verde, and one gets the sense of the strategic importance and power of the North Atlantic Alliance.
At one point after the collapse of the Soviet Union, a wave of criticism plagued the Alliance as being irrelevant in a post-Cold War world, created solely for the purpose of fending off Communist aggression. Now the point can be made that NATO is more relevant than ever and in fact indispensable to global security.
Forget the U.N. Security Council. Only in the case of actions by only the most-deft of dictators, such as Saddam's disastrous invasion of Kuwait, can the veto powers of Russia and China be overcome to formulate unified actions to combat threats to regional and global threats.
This makes the decision to invade Iraq by the Bush Administration, and the subsequent alienation of our NATO allies such as France, which in hindsight appear to have been 100% correct in their situational analysis at the time, all the harder to justify. There was only one organization that attacked us on 9/11, and only one nation fool enough to allow said organization to operate overt training camps for that purpose: Al-Qaeda and Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.
At lot of attention and care has been given to temper NATO's strength and scope in order to pacify Russian concerns and avoid another Cold-War like arms race, especially in regards to missile shields on the Continent. One does not feel the same sort of concern emanating form the Russian leadership, which invaded Georgia in a gross violation of international law and the common sense of measured escalation.
NATO's devotion to global security is even harder to measure from China either, which holds Security Council veto power preventing strong action against nations like Sudan and Myanmar. NATO holds no such roadblock to action, but as a military alliance it is hamstrung by the often lack of overt military hostility in troubled areas.
Its easy to imagine what American's foreign policy focus should be, however, as NATO troops pull out of once-genocide-ridden Kosovo and NATO troops die from IED's set on rural mountain roads by the same evil men that spilled so much blood on American soil in lower Manhattan; the 21st century's first Pearl Harbor.
If anything is going to bring peace and democracy to every corner of the globe, it's going to be NATO and America's commitment to the greatest alliance in history, not the other way around. One can only imagine a world where freedom's are spearheaded by a righteous NATO backed by a benevolent superpower that ties its interests in one thing and one thing only - representative government.
By focusing all our energy on global security and democracy and letting our "sovereign interests" become only the rewards from the resulting gains in global freedoms, weather they vote for pro-American leaders or not, we can forget our -- at times -- shameful policies of the past when universal suffrage, human rights and self-determination were not criteria for our allies. NATO is the white (or rather, blue and white) knight that has transcended such errors of policy (if not of action) and is the only body capable of pushing forward progress in today's age, an age it was never meant to survive to.