FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Expanding NATO Is a Bad Idea

by Rep. Ron Paul

America’s founders, having survived a violent and protracted struggle to break away from England, shared a belief that their fledgling nation should be free from foreign entanglements. Thomas Jefferson’s well-known quote- “Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations- entangling alliances with none” -encapsulates perfectly their view of the wisest foreign policy for America. A famous portrait of George Washington depicts him holding a sheaf of paper emblazoned with the admonition: “Beware foreign influence.” Yet our modern lawmakers reject the non-interventionist principles of our founders, choosing instead to involve America in conflicts around the globe.

Consider our participation in NATO, which commits American military forces to conflicts that serve no national interest. Congress voted last week to expand NATO and increase the number of countries we are obligated to defend, even while our own military forces are stretched far to thin around the globe. Department of Defense figures show that 250,000 American troops are deployed on 6 continents and 141 nations. When we suffered the September 11th attack on our own shores, we were forced to call on foreign nations to supply AWACS planes and defend our domestic airspace! Our military entanglements, especially NATO, have left us relying on foreigners to defend us- yet this is exactly what the globalists want. They want us to lose our sense of national sovereignty, so that America’s national defense becomes a matter of international consensus. Only by removing ourselves from NATO and the UN can we reassert our fundamental right to defend our borders without the approval or participation of any international coalition.

NATO is an organization that has outlived its usefulness. It was formed as a defensive military alliance, designed to protect western Europe against the Soviet threat. With the Soviet collapse in 1991, however, NATO bureaucrats (and the governments backing them) were forced to reinvent the alliance and justify its continued existence. So the “new NATO” began to occupy itself with issues totally unrelated to defense, such as economic development, human rights, territorial disputes, religious conflicts, and ethnic rivalries. In other words, “nation building.” The new game was interventionism, not defense.

The new approach manifested itself in Yugoslavia in the late 1990s. The defensive alliance became a military aggressor, in direct violation of its own charter. When NATO bombed Yugoslavia, a country that had neither attacked nor threatened a NATO member state, it turned its back on its stated purpose and lost any credibility it once had. Predictably, the NATO strikes failed to produce peace or stability in the former Yugoslavia, and UN occupation forces likely will remain in the Balkans indefinitely.

Now Congress has endorsed the expansion of this purposeless alliance, of course taking the opportunity to grant 55 million of your tax dollars to the former Soviet bloc countries that want to join. This expansion may be profitable for weapons manufacturers and bureaucrats, but it represents another example of U.S. taxpayers subsidizing foreign governments and big corporations. It is time for the Europeans to take responsibility for their own military defense.

As the world’s foremost military power, it always seems that our money, our weapons, and our troops play the primary role in any NATO military action. It’s a one-way street, however, as our NATO partners are not so enthusiastic about defending us. Some NATO states have refused outright to participate in our campaign in Afghanistan, while presumably reliable allies like France and Germany have expressed serious doubts. Only England, with whom we share a very strong kinship regardless of NATO, fully supports our actions. It’s time for America to recognize that the interests NATO serves are not our own. CP

Ron Paul, M.D., represents the 14th Congressional District of Texas in the United States House of Representatives.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

August 30, 2016
Russell Mokhiber
Matt Funiciello and the Giant Sucking Sound Coming Off Lake Champlain
Mike Whitney
Three Cheers for Kaepernick: Is Sitting During the National Anthem an Acceptable Form of Protest?
Alice Bach
Sorrow and Grace in Palestine
Sam Husseini
Why We Should All Remain Seated: the Anti-Muslim Origins of “The Star-Spangled Banner”
Richard Moser
Transformative Movement Culture and the Inside/Outside Strategy: Do We Want to Win the Argument or Build the Movement?
Nozomi Hayase
Pathology, Incorporated: the Facade of American Democracy
David Swanson
Fredric Jameson’s War Machine
Jan Oberg
How Did the West Survive a Much Stronger Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact?
Linda Gunter
The Racism of the Nagasaki and Hiroshima Bombings
Dmitry Kovalevich
In Ukraine: Independence From the People
Omar Kassem
Turkey Breaks Out in Jarablus as Fear and Loathing Grip Europe
George Wuerthner
A Birthday Gift to the National Parks: the Maine Woods National Monument
Logan Glitterbomb
Indigenous Property Rights and the Dakota Access Pipeline
National Lawyers Guild
Solidarity with Standing Rock Sioux Tribe against Dakota Access Pipeline
Paul Messersmith-Glavin
100 in Anarchist Years
August 29, 2016
Eric Draitser
Hillary and the Clinton Foundation: Exemplars of America’s Political Rot
Patrick Timmons
Dildos on Campus, Gun in the Library: the New York Times and the Texas Gun War
Jack Rasmus
Bernie Sanders ‘OR’ Revolution: a Statement or a Question?
Richard Moser
Strategic Choreography and Inside/Outside Organizers
Nigel Clarke
President Obama’s “Now Watch This Drive” Moment
Robert Fisk
Iraq’s Willing Executioners
Wahid Azal
The Banality of Evil and the Ivory Tower Masterminds of the 1953 Coup d’Etat in Iran
Farzana Versey
Romancing the Activist
Frances Madeson
Meet the Geronimos: Apache Leader’s Descendants Talk About Living With the Legacy
Nauman Sadiq
The War on Terror and the Carter Doctrine
Lawrence Wittner
Does the Democratic Party Have a Progressive Platform–and Does It Matter?
Marjorie Cohn
Death to the Death Penalty in California
Winslow Myers
Asking the Right Questions
Rivera Sun
The Sane Candidate: Which Representatives Will End the Endless Wars?
Linn Washington Jr.
Philadelphia District Attorney Hammered for Hypocrisy
Binoy Kampmark
Banning Burkinis: the Politics of Beachwear
Weekend Edition
August 26, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Louisa Willcox
The Unbearable Killing of Yellowstone’s Grizzlies: 2015 Shatters Records for Bear Deaths
Paul Buhle
In the Shadow of the CIA: Liberalism’s Big Embarrassing Moment
Rob Urie
Crisis and Opportunity
Charles Pierson
Wedding Crashers Who Kill
Richard Moser
What is the Inside/Outside Strategy?
Dirk Bezemer – Michael Hudson
Finance is Not the Economy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Bernie’s Used Cars
Margaret Kimberley
Hillary and Colin: the War Criminal Charade
Patrick Cockburn
Turkey’s Foray into Syria: a Gamble in a Very Dangerous Game
Ishmael Reed
Birther Tries to Flim Flam Blacks  
Brian Terrell
What Makes a Hate Group?
Andrew Levine
How Donald Trump Can Still be a Hero: Force the Guardians of the Duopoly to Open Up the Debates
Howard Lisnoff
Trouble in Political Paradise
Terry Tempest Williams
Will Our National Parks Survive the Next 100 Years?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail