NATO EXPANSION COMMITS U.S. TO WARS
September 3, 1997
The current Republican Congress has a duty to save us from Bill
Clinton's blunder in trying to lock America into an expansion of NATO.
The 105th Congress has shown a notable lack of courage about
confronting Clinton on anything, but NATO would be a popular place to
All during the Cold War, NATO had a precise mission: to prevent
the Soviets from invading Western Europe. NATO's job is finished; the
Berlin Wall is history; all hands should be awarded medals and retired.
NATO is now a bureaucracy in search of a new mission. A deafening
drumbeat is now demanding that NATO be put on life support by admitting
the former Warsaw Pact countries to membership.
This provokes so many questions that haven't been answered; many
are probably unanswerable. Who will we be protecting the NATO
countries from? Why admit some Warsaw Pact countries but not others?
How much is it going to cost us? (Estimates range from $5 to $61
The biggest question is, why should Americans commit to defend
faraway European borders that have been the locus of ethnic,
nationalist and religious disputes for hundreds of years? Make no
mistake: NATO is a life-and-death U.S. promise to go to war to protect
any of the other members.
None of Clinton's arguments makes sense. Democracy isn't
threatened in the countries invited to join NATO; it's only threatened
in the countries that are excluded. NATO expansion doesn't erase the
dividing line in Europe; it creates a new one.
Our best chance for a peaceful future is to encourage Russia
toward democracy and the free market. NATO expansion will alienate
Russia, empower the hard-line Communists and ex-KGBers seeking a return
to former glory, and drive Russia toward an alliance with China.
Of course, Western Europe favors NATO expansion. A U.S. presence
assures a steady flow of U.S. cash into their economies, and it is a
useful "cover" for not letting Eastern European countries into the
European Union (EU).
Western Europeans are no longer worried about the Red Army
invading, but they are mighty worried about Eastern Europeans invading
with low-priced products and emigrants willing to work for low wages.
NATO is a clever ploy; let the Eastern European countries into NATO and
don't feel guilty about excluding them from the EU.
Bill Clinton announced his NATO commitment long enough before the
1996 election to make sure that it was known by the Polish, Hungarian,
Czech and Croatian voters whose conservatism might have led them to
vote for Bob Dole. That smacks of a Dick Morris ploy.
We are now seeing a powerful push to keep America on an
interventionist course despite the opposition of the American people.
It's called "global leadership," which means that our armed services
will serve as global policemen and global social workers, while the
U.S. taxpayers will play global sugar daddy.
The interventionists are well aware that the United Nations is no
longer popular with the American people because of impudent demands
that we pay alleged back "dues," as well as the embarrassments of
Somalia, Haiti, and Rwanda. The flap about Army Specialist Michael New
being court-martialed for refusing to wear a UN uniform didn't help,
That's why NATO was chosen, rather than the UN, to sponsor the
Bosnian expedition. Now, NATO expansion is promoted in order to
legitimize the President's ability to continue to engage American
troops in foreign quarrels without ever asking permission from
Congress. It's a sort of "back-door internationalism."
The chief advocate for NATO expansion is Strobe Talbott, Clinton's
personal foreign policy adviser and Rhodes scholar roommate. The
recipient of the 1993 Norman Cousin Global Governance Award, Talbott's
world view calls for birthing what he calls "the global nation" to
replace national sovereignty.
Clinton's Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, is described by
Time Magazine as having a "passion for American activism." Colin
Powell relates in his autobiography that, when he was JCS Chairman, she
said, "What's the point of having this superb military that you're
always talking about if we can't use it?"
Clinton's Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, John
Shalikashvili, said on April 3, 1996: "I'm absolutely convinced that
America will not participate with military forces in Bosnia after the
conclusion of this year. I cannot imagine circumstances changing in
such a way that we would remain in Bosnia."
Since we are now in the ninth month after "the conclusion" of
the year he was talking about, we wonder whether Shalikashvili's
military foresight is absolutely unreliable, or he is just one of those
who thinks that it's no big deal to keep Americans in perpetual
Since NATO expansion is a treaty that will require Senate
ratification, the interventionists are trying to line up Republican
support through a new front called New Atlantic Initiative. Its second
annual conference was held in Phoenix on May 16-18 in order to coopt
one of the Senate's rising conservative stars, Jon Kyl, as a featured
speaker in his home state.