NATO: Not Worth the Cost


NATO: Not Worth the Cost

by Mustang
 
President Trump has made an issue of the fact that the members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) does not pay its fair share for what it takes to maintain the alliance, and never has.  It is obvious that Mr. Trump is correct in his assessment, but I wonder if there isn’t a greater issue that he hasn’t addressed.
 

Recently built $1.3 Billion headquarters

NATO is an alliance involving 29 North American and European countries; it is a system of collective defense whereby its independent member states agree to mutually defend one another in the event of an attack by any other external party. 

The effort began in 1947 as the Treaty of Dunkirk, a mutual assistance arrangement between the United Kingdom and France.

In 1948, the alliance was expanded to include the Benelux countries and was then known as the Western Union or the Brussels Treaty Organization.  The alliance was expanded again in 1949 to include the United States, Canada, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland.  NATO was a paper tiger until the Korean War, which by the mid-1950s provided an impetus for member nations to develop contingency plans and “standardize” military armaments/equipment.

There were no NATO operations during the Cold War, but excluding the United States, there were always doubts about the ability of member states to contribute a viable military force structure in defense of Europe.  There was always a question about the probability that member states would hold up their end of the Article Five agreement, particularly in response to aggression by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).

The Warsaw Pact arrangement collapsed in 1991 —along with the Soviet Union, which was the entire reason for the existence of NATO.  And, that being the case, one must question why NATO continues to exist.  Rather than disbanding NATO, which is what should have happened, NATO members began a strategic re-evaluation of NATO’s purpose —which I view as any combination of contingencies to justify maintaining that which has never justified its costs.

This, then, is the question: since NATO has never been a good deal for any of its member states, particularly for the United States in terms of its costs, why do we continue to fund it?

In terms of weaponry, which is the essential element in defeating an enemy, European members of NATO insisted that the United States change its armaments, at a tremendous cost to the American taxpayer. 

These were decisions that placed US combat troops in peril.  Of particular note, NATO standardization required that the United States to replace its time-proven .45 caliber pistol with 9 mm handguns —a weapon that was so ineffective that US infantry training schools began teaching their students that in order to have its greatest effect, they must shoot an enemy target twice.

Similarly, the United States was forced to replace its .30 caliber, M-1 and 7.62 mm M-14 rifles with 5.56 mm (.22 caliber) M-16s.  In Iraq, US and coalition forces using 5.56 mm rifles were overwhelmed by the enemy’s 7.62 mm AK-47’s.  This is not an issue about battlefield toys; it is about the survivability of US combat troops in a lethal environment.  But NATO did more than cost the United States more money in armaments.  NATO also caused conflict where none had previously existed.

Beyond the foregoing, Article 5 (mutual defense) is not worth the paper it is written on.  No member state is obligated to render aid to another because no state commit its national treasury to war simply because of some obscure agreement signed in 1949 that most members states avoid paying for.

NATO is a cold war relic —one that the United States should scrap.  The world may have changed since 1949, but NATO hasn’t.  It was at the beginning, and continues now, as an unnecessary drain on the US treasury and the American taxpayer.

 

NATO Defense Expenditure – click to enlarge.
nato

Mustang also blogs at Fix Bayonets and Thoughts From Afar
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Posted in Military. Tags: , . 9 Comments »

9 Responses to “NATO: Not Worth the Cost”

  1. kidme37 Says:

    I sure agree with all that and I got a lot of new information from this also. I just don’t see Russia as a big threat. Their single aircraft carrier’s electrical system recently caught fire with no way to put it out.

    Russia needs to spend its money on infrastructure not military buildup. Living in Russia pretty much sucks for most who live there. Their only threat is nuclear and as Putin has recently stated “Any nuclear attack will result in the total destruction of the Earth.” Russia isn’t going to fire that up and even if they did – I’m not going to be around forever so hell with it. Out of my hands. Plus the Earth will be destroyed within 12 years due to something or other.

    DJ Trump started off saying NATO was obsolete before taking office. I certainly agree. I also agree it would not even function in its most basic task. I don’t see any of these countries putting any effective activity into defending any of the others, least of all the USA.

    Turkey would probably join up with whoever the attacker was.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Mustang Says:

      I completely agree with you, of course. Russia’s leadership is smart enough to know that “war” is a poor choice, economically. What they’ve done instead (a throwback to the cold war) is to use surrogates to do their bidding, to achieve their foreign policy goals and objectives. While we were pursuing the Bush Wars, they were running about forming alliances with such actors as Iran. So far, or so it seems, this is working out to their advantage while we continue to spend billions of the taxpayer’s money in Afghanistan, Iraq, and any other third or fourth-world crap hole that doesn’t in any way affect the USA’s national interests. Our government is a cesspool of really dumb people, but then that’s just one man’s opinion.

      Liked by 3 people

    • peter3nj Says:

      If the Canucks or the Mexicans- oops they’ve already invaded us-do attack us how long will it take for the EU to move its NATO military machine across the pond? Maybe we should have the Europeans permanently based here for our protection.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. peter3nj Says:

    Mustang,
    Thanks for a concise history lesson.,Having little to no background information on NATO other than the garden variety most of us have is it fair to conclude it has become just another bureaucratic cash cow that will not go away quietly?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    I’m surprised.
    I understand the .45 vs 9mm argument, but if it was a NATO issue, it took a while.
    Similarly, 7.62×51mm NATO (our .308) vs.5.56 (.223).
    I was given the information that .223 was a U.S. choice, offering a lighter load for the infantryman.
    And to further my mis-informed state, NATO was a trip-wire against the Warsaw Pact, NATO never would have come to our aid should Canada have invaded us from the North. 🙂 They probably would have sided with Canada.
    As with most bloated administrative bureaucracies, NATO is looking for a new mission to justify their existence and there is none, save a cohesive military alliance outside of the UN and Russo/Chino influence..

    Liked by 1 person


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