28 October, 2009
‘Regional’ defence organisations are very much in transition, notes Eric Walberg
NATO’s reputation as the guardian of peace on Earth is in tatters these days. Once avowedly an alliance of North America and Western Europe to fight the communist hordes of Eurasia, it morphed into something quite difference with the collapse of the socialist bloc two decades ago. It now pretends to unite all of Europe to fight the Muslim hordes wherever they be found and, of course the Russians, just for good measure.
To do this, it expanded rapidly in the past decade, and now has a Partnership for Peace with ex-Soviet hopefuls. It also has a Mediterranean Dialogue with Western-oriented Muslim states and Israel (of them, Morocco and Israel are further blessed as “major non-NATO allies”) and the GCC+2 — the Gulf Cooperation Council plus Egypt and Jordan. GCC+2 has been optimistically dubbed the “NATO of the Middle East” in Western media, but then once-upon-a-time so was the ill-fated Baghdad Pact, originally called the Middle East Treaty Organisation (METO). The real “NATO of the Middle East ” is of course US+1.
Whatever the US/NATO schemes and their pretexts, the results in recent years have been less than impressive. The communist hordes were soon replaced by the Russian and/or Muslim ones, and, despite the Mediterranean Dialogue and the GCC+2, the Muslim ones are multipying daily. Even NATOphiles realise something is amiss. The newly appointed secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, was so eager to transform the organisation he gave up his job as prime minister of Denmark, making him the highest ranking politician to take over NATO. “I want to modernise, transform and reform so that NATO adapts to the security environment of the 21st century.”
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