How long before a NATO exit and for the outdated military and political alliance to crumble?
The author is a Major (Retired) of the US Air Force and a peace activist.
In the United States, throughout Europe, and all around the world the public is clamoring for imaginative solutions and new leaders to meet the challenges of our global society. Increasingly voters are rejecting old, tired and misapplied 20th century solutions to the real, important and pressing issues of the 21st century.
Whether or not you agree with Donald Trump, it is painfully obvious he has some fresh, imaginative and futuristic visions, possibly inspired by his and others famous television programming. He is willing to explore strange new ideas, to breathe new life into the Republican Party and the civilization it created, and to boldly go where no politician has gone before.
During the ongoing 2016 Republican National Convention Donald Trump “…explicitly raised new questions about his commitment to automatically defend NATO allies if they are attacked, saying he would first look at their contributions to the alliance".
By initiating a political and public discussion of a possible US exception to, or exit from, the NATO Military and Political alliance Trump is getting the national and international attention he craves. More importantly he is providing a great public service by opening up the heretofore closed Overton window of mainstream media discourse regarding NATO failings and abuses.
There are many closed minds that will try to readily and quickly dismiss any change in the US commitment to NATO as impractical and impossible. However, a closer look at the construction and mechanics of NATO will provide a plethora of viable options for redefining the US participation in NATO. Of particular interest is the NATO Partnership for Peace (PfP) program.
“The Partnership for Peace (PfP) is a program of practical bilateral cooperation between individual Euro-Atlantic partner countries and NATO. It allows partners to build up an individual relationship with NATO, choosing their own priorities for cooperation.”
Twenty two countries are currently members of the NATO Partnership for Peace program. Russia was a signatory to the NATO Partnership for Peace framework document over twenty years ago, in 1994.
Back in the late 1990s when I served as the United States Air Force and United States Department of Defense representative to multiple NATO committees and meetings inside NATO Headquarters, I personally witnessed Russian military officers in attendance and participating in those meetings as part of their NATO Partnership for Peace affiliation.
If member nations are truly committed to peace, or if the populations of member nations (such as German, British, French, Spanish, Dutch, Greek or Turkish citizens) are increasingly sick and tired of NATO and other US led military coalition excesses and aggression, the organizational structure of NATO already provides a real and viable solution.
Withdrawing from the NATO political and military alliance and joining the NATO Partnership for Peace program is a way for the US and other countries to remain in the NATO organization, reorient the focus of NATO from its recent aggressive posture, and refocus international efforts towards harmonious international relations. Such a move would be a great service to humanity as it would also serve to finally begin the process of reigning in the ever present, ever dangerous and ever growing military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned us about over 50 years ago.
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