In a recent
interview for a German magazine, then President-Elect Donald Trump called
NATO obsolete. Trump is absolutely correct, NATO is obsolete. Cue neocon and
other interventionist heads exploding in 3, 2, 1"
Trump's statement has caused the predictable hysteria among foreign policy interventionists that is to be expected anytime someone drifts outside the tight confines of the reigning orthodoxy, but let's examine the issue.
NATO is the epitome of the kind of entangling alliance that George
Washington and Thomas Jefferson warned us about. It is a tripwire for a potentially
catastrophic conflict. Plus there's that whole nuclear weapon's thing. The idea
that an attack on any NATO member is an attack on all is absurd on its face and
the kind of thing that only a globalist stooge could believe. I'm sorry, but
from the standpoint of the U.S., an attack on Latvia is not the same thing as
an attack on Omaha, and any treaty arrangement that obligates us to treat them
the same is foolish.
I posted that Trump was correct about NATO being obsolete on social media and was surprised when my statement generated some significant pushback from people I usually agree with on other issues and generally consider within my "paleo" sphere. The crux of the disagreement was that I am naïve about the nature and intentions of modern Russia and Vladimir Putin. Maybe I am, maybe I'm not. I don't have a crystal ball, but Russia is not a particularly wealth country relative to its size, and it is facing a future demographic collapse, something Putin is trying to address. In 2014 the U.S. spent $610 billion on defense compared to Russia's $84.5 billion. It is not justified to view modern Russia as a reincarnation of the old Soviet Union regardless of how skeptically you view Russia's intentions in Eastern Europe.
Disagreements about Russia's intentions aside, how Russia might act in the event of NATO disbanding is not really the fundamental issue. The fundamental issue is why should the U.S. be responsible for the defense of the relatively affluent and populous nations of Europe? Last I checked the United States was made up of 50 states. The purpose of the U.S. military is to defend those 50 states, not countries on another continent a large ocean away.