In 1958, Charles de Gaulle was president of France. He sent a letter to President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Prime Minister Harold Macmillan to protest the power that the United States and the United Kingdom swayed in the NATO treaty. President de Gaulle wanted more power for his country, who can blame him.
However, Charles de Gaulle had another concern. Worries of France being pulled in to a NATO–Warsaw Pact war. de Gaulle wanted to be able to negotiate a peace deal with members of Warsaw, separate from the NATO members if a conflict broke out. In essence, France wanted it both ways.
With friends like these…
Thomas Jefferson once said, “Commerce with all, alliance with none should be our motto”. As with many of the founders of the grate American Republic, Jefferson must have had a crystal ball – he must have seen NATO coming.
There are 28 member nations of NATO. Members of significance are the United Kingdom, Turkey, Spain, Poland, Italy, Greece, Germany, France and the United States. Of significance, meaning countries that have better than 100,00 active troops available in case of war, see the table at the end.
That is a grand total of 9 countries, our of the 28 members, that can make a dent in a conflict. This, of course, is not to demean smaller countries, but to illustrate the disparity and the burden this treaty places on the minority of the nations involved. This about troops. When you couple that with the money that is spent by other nations, the inequity becomes much more considerable.
The United States foots the bill for NATO.
If, in the eventuality that America gets attacked, are any of these smaller nations, I’d dare ask this of the other 8 nations, ready and willing to come to the aid of their benefactor? I am skeptical of this arrangement.
This treaty must be reviewed, not with a “compassionate” eye. But, with an eye towards a future that will allow America to flourish, stop deficit spending and help to create a world in which such treaties are not necessary.
Meanwhile, nations need to handle their own business, if help is required – ask. If there is a situation that threatens the well being or interests of other nations – other nations should intervene, accordingly. If it is the United States that needs to get involved, so be it.
If the United States must get involved, the resolution should be swift and decisive!
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