Prefacing potential of regional conflagration, the Turkish parliament approved military response against Syria, after a Syrian mortar killed several civilians at a refugee camp in south-central Turkey. Two days of return fire marked a dramatic escalation in the simmering border crisis playing out atop an Ottoman fault-line.
The international response was predictable. At the Security Council, Russia stamped on strongly worded condemnations, while bickering diplomats fumbled with semantics. Things are considerably stickier at NATO headquarters, where higher-ups are weighing the fact that one of its members just suffered a flagrant attack. Turkey has exercised an “Article 4” motion, seeking consultation with member nations.
Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister, representing the “major non-NATO ally” at an event in France, hastily reminded treaty partners that an attack on one NATO member is an attack on them all. The latter statement is confounded by the fact Israel is still technically at war with Syria (harkening back to the ’67 conflict) and undoubtedly antsy about complete meltdown in the marchlands.
If this most recent quandry hasn’t completely imploded by the foreign policy debate on October 22nd, I’d be interested to hear the candidates expound on America’s future in NATO – a collective defense alliance that threatens to makes America less safe.
Allow me to quote the eminent Doug Bandow on the matter:
“…Expanding NATO over the last two decades has turned what once was a military alliance into an international social club. Other than Poland, the post-1989 NATO entrants have been military midgets, security black holes requiring the U.S. to pay to rearm and retrain militaries which remain too small to do anything useful in a real war.”
Too small to do anything at all in a real war…except drag us into it.