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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 9/10/18

Why NATO'S Important to America

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When the Soviet Union imploded, I like many others thought that NATO was unnecessary and obsolete. When I saw the United States allow former members of the Warsaw pact accepted into NATO, I, like so many other Americans, believed that the United States had reneged on its promise not to step 1 foot more towards the east. For many years I questioned the validity of having NATO in the first place, especially because the Soviet threat was gone, and the Russian Federation was no longer operating under communism.

When Donald Trump questioned the existence of NATO and suggested that NATO was an outmoded idea, I thought that that was one good idea that Donald Trump had. With our defense budget consuming 55% of our total discretionary spending, higher than the defense budget was during World War II adjusting for inflation, I thought that maybe pulling out of NATO and shutting it down was a good idea.

This week has upended so many of our political beliefs. Everything I thought about the world was colored by my faith in a rock-solid American government. I also believe that many governments around the world were as stable as our American government. This doesn't mean that I always agreed with my government, in fact, I have not agreed with the foreign policy that this country has followed since 1970. I realize we were lied into the Vietnam War, that we were lied to about the reasons we went to war in Iraq, and we are still being lied to about why we are in Afghanistan. This doesn't mean, however, that I believe our government is capable of destroying itself from the inside out.

This week I learned how fragile our government can be. When people are talking seriously about invoking the 25th amendment to remove Donald Trump, I wonder how fragile other governments around the world are. I especially wonder about the governments on the European continent. We have seen how Germany handed over its democracy to a far-right nationalistic national socialist dictator. I can see our country on the precipice of doing something similar. With everything coming apart at the seams, I can see Donald Trump trying to hold things together by stopping all the investigations and trying to shut down all the media outlets.

All the events in the last few weeks have made me believe that all governments change and morph into different forms than when they started out. This leads me back to my thoughts about NATO. I believe one of the reasons that we haven't had another world war is because most of the European states belong same defense alliance. With the stipulation that an attack on one country is an attack on all of NATO, it would be hard for Germany to attack France or vice versa.

I don't think that NATO was formed to keep the European countries peaceful. I believe that NATO was formed to counter the Soviet Union and that after the Soviet Union fell, it was a way for the United States to project power all over the world as we did in Libya. Member nations of NATO (excluding Germany) , bombed that country to oblivion and made it into a failed state that actually engages in slavery.

I realize now, that NATO does indeed serve a purpose, although I don't believe it is a purpose that the American government had in mind. I still believe that NATO is far too large and has far too many weapons and spends and an inordinate amount of money and that these things could all be trimmed back. This would allow our nation and other nations within NATO to use the money for the benefit of the people.

The United States is in a difficult time and we as American citizens need to pay attention and actively participate in the decisions that must come in the coming weeks and months. Assuming Trump survives until the elections, the American people must make it known through the ballot box that we do not approve of his personal conduct, or in the way he runs his administration. There is an old Chinese curse that says, "may you live in interesting times". We are indeed living in interesting times.

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Tim Gatto is Ret. US Army and has been writing against the Duopoly for the last decade. He has two books on Amazon, Kimchee Days or Stoned Colds Warriors and Complicity to Contempt.

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