Tag: NATO

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Saturday afternoon we were riding to the House of Prayer (Gebetshaus) in Augsburg, discussing the ISIS attack in Paris the night before. The friend who was driving us- a good Catholic Charismatic CSU voter- brought up the question of Article Five in light of Hollande’s comments about “waging a merciless war” on ISIS. Let’s assume […]

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As you might have already heard, from the Washington Examiner: A Russian air force jet was shot down after it violated Turkey’s airspace, according to unconfirmed reports. Witnesses say they saw a large explosion in Huraytan, northern Syria, as three fighter jets flew above. More

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Remember that time when your wife made you go to the couple’s dinner at the TGI Fridays and you forgot to bring cash? At the end of the night you said to just pass the check to everyone and you’ll put the rest on your card. The bill went around the table and you somehow […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Strategika Podcast: Josef Joffe on Whether the West Will Still Fight

 

josef_joffeIn this next installment of our new series of Strategika shows on NATO, I’m talking with Josef Joffe, research fellow at the Hoover Institution and publisher/editor of the German weekly Die Zeit. Our topic: is NATO endangered partially by an erosion of will on behalf of both Europe and the United States? And is European reticence different in kind than the American version or just in degree? You can hear the conversation below or by subscribing to Strategika through iTunes or your favorite podcast player.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Strategika Podcast: Peter Mansoor on NATO, Past and Future

 

Mansoor-PeterIn the newest installment of the Strategika podcast from the Hoover Institution, I’m talking with retired Army Colonel Peter Mansoor (former executive officer to General Petraeus in Iraq), now the General Raymond E. Mason, Jr. Chair of Military History at Ohio State University. In this first of three podcasts on the future prospects for NATO, Professor Mansoor takes us through the alliance’s history, how it’s adjusted to the post-Cold War world, and what its prospects for survival are given the threats from Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Listen in below or subscribe to Strategika through iTunes or your favorite podcast player.

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The Daily Mail is not generally known for excellence in fact-checking and basic English composition, so maybe I’m reading this article all wrong. It seems like this report is claiming that Russia has occupied a naval base inside Norway’s borders. More

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. NATO: Alliance or Protectorship?

 

640px-Flag_of_NATO.svgGiven Vladimir Putin’s recent aggressions — to say nothing of the sum of Russian history — one might think former Soviet-bloc states would be arming to the teeth, lest one of their border provinces becomes the next Crimea, South Ossetia, or Abkhazia. But as it so happens, very few of the nations who border Russia spend more than 2% of their GDP on defense (Lithuania and Latvia each spend half that; the United States spends roughly 3.5%*). In many of them, military spending has has actually declined in recent years.

This begs a question: what is the United States doing in alliance with imperiled countries unwilling to even attempt their own defense? The matter is especially jarring when one considers that — despite not sharing a land border with a potentially belligerent nation (not for the past 98 years, at least) — the United States spends more than twice on defense as all other NATO members combined, despite having a GDP 17% smaller than that of its colleagues.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. What Ukraine Should Do Now

 

Vladimir_Putin_12024In a new piece I have up at Forbes, I lay out exactly what’s at stake for the West with Vladimir Putin’s continued aggression in Ukraine. In short, Putin wants nothing less than to unravel NATO. The U.S. has been decidedly unhelpful in assisting Ukraine, even though our allies there are much more reliable than the ones we’ve been arming in Syria, Iraq, and Libya. So what should Ukraine do now? My suggestion:

If I were Ukraine, I might concede Donbass and Crimea on a de facto but not de jure basis. Russia will not let them go under present circumstances. Let the Donbass (or that part that it presently holds) be a problem for Russia and the separatists to contend with; don’t let its self-appointed leaders dictate Ukrainian policy. When the time is right, the Donbass can come back into the fold. I would maintain a formidable standing army to defend the remaining Ukrainian provinces that have come to hate Putin’s Russia with a vengeance. I imagine that Odessa, Kiev, Zaporozhe and Lviv will make short change of self-appointed Muscovites when they arrive to proclaim new people’s republics. Who knows? If active hostilities ended, maybe even Barack Obama would supply defensive weapons. He’s good at shutting the gate after the horse has bolted.

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Could a New Warsaw Pact Save Europe?

 

strangelove

Fast forward a year, maybe less. Those Russian troops who keep choosing Ukraine as their top vacation destination after Euro Disney have completed their mission, and Vladimir Putin is eyeing Baltic real-estate for his next dacha. Does anyone see NATO getting into a shooting war over this property transfer (and please don’t take this as a suggestion that NATO should)? My guess is the response would entail a couple of sternly worded speeches at the UN and maybe some shipments of MREs to ensure that the Estonian army surrenders on a full stomach.

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Charles Krauthammer reinforces my doubts about NATO under current leadership. Is NATO still a serious alliance? Does Putin fear it? Would the alliance be called into action to defend some members but not others?  More

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Sorry, Putin, there is another Napoleon in town. In a post on Ricochet last March, I noted that tyrants were always short guys and I advanced the idea that former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was just the man to stop Putin: More

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Some time ago, March 17th to be precise, Jane’s 360 produced an interesting article on the, then potential, conflict brewing between Russia and the Ukraine. Of the many observations a couple were rather striking: • If Russia were to intervene militarily in eastern Ukraine it would seek to do so rapidly, so as to prevent […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. A Violent Weekend

 

Let us begin our tour with a quarrel in a faraway country. As Yahoo Japan reports, “A Vietnamese fishing vessel has sunk after being rammed by a Chinese vessel and the 10 fishermen have been rescued. While Vietnam has not responded yet, the Coast Guard warned “the situation at the site it very tense.”‘

This is not an isolated incident, but rather an escalation of recent tensions. It is most likely a response to last week’s announcement of cooperation between Vietnam and Japan, which followed the Chinese “deploying an oil rig off the Paracel Islands, which Vietnam also claims, leading to physical clashes between Chinese and Vietnamese vessels.”

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Why Won’t Europe Defend Itself? — Peter Robinson

 

Back when the United States had no qualms about maintaining an enormous defense establishment, I could see why the Europeans wanted to let us do all the nasty work, maintaining only nominal defenses themselves. But now? President Obama has devoted the last five years to reducing our commitments abroad, shrinking our armed forces, and making us, withal, much less reliable allies than we used to be.

The European response? To make their defense budgets even smaller.

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