The Spectacle Blog

NATO Wakeup Call?

By on 11.28.05 | 8:26AM

Jose Maria Aznar -- the former Spanish PM tossed out of office days after the 3-11 Madrid train bombings -- is appealing to NATO members to wake up and smell the coffee, to join together to defend each other from Islamic terrorism. In a good -- but horrifically unrealistic -- piece in today's WSJ (sub req'd), Aznar says that NATO should be reorganized around fighting that threat because homeland security can no longer be differentiated from the broader concepts of national security. Here's the money quote:

"Sept. 11 was also a strategic revolution for NATO. Traditional concepts like containment and deterrence were no longer viable in the face of global jihadism; relying on passive or reactive defense, as NATO did for more than four decades, meant, in fact, putting at risk the lives of our citizens. Yet going on the offensive, or taking preventive measures against Islamist terror, was something NATO was not prepared to deal with even after activating its collective defense provisions: It had never done so; it had never needed to. But now it is time to change. Islamist terror has struck many of us: the U.S., Spain, Turkey, the U.K., Russia, to name just the countries which are members of, or related to, NATO."

The problem Aznar faces is that NATO has become a debating society, neither equipped nor organized to cooperate and fight. Germany, Italy and Spain, among others, have reached a state that can only be called unilateral disarmament. It's nice to think about reorganizing NATO to fight against terrorism, but unless the EUnuchs are willing to multiply their defense expenditures by a factor of ten and sustain them at that level for at least a decade, NATO is a hollow shell. And Uncle Sam shouldn't defend nations that refuse to defend themselves.

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