Originally posted by xmotex
And this would be, err, wonderful and all, if only NATO was an organization that still served any purpose.
It does serve a purpose. It is a military, socio-political, and cultural alliance that was brought on by circumstance and which is still needed.
Notice one thing all NATO member countries have in common, they are all nations which employ a democratic process and which live in a democratic and
open lifestyle. Historically Eastern Europe, especially Russia have always been behind the West in accepting more progressive reforms, in general.
NATO help, although does not single handily ensure, that our beloved principles will never be threatened, either by political, energy, economic or
even by military means.
Developing countries can join NATO for protection and assistance provided they take certain steps to improve their government, economy and defense
industry. While the risk open warfare in Central Europe has diminished, history has shown such a possibility should not be ruled out. You speak of
"long this" and "no longer that" even though the Georgia conflict is not even a year old. With that kind of attention span no wonder you think
1991 is millennia ago. I'm sure certain individuals who advocated lax posture and capability after WWI thought the same thing about 1918. Do not
confuse a lack of resources and capability for a lack of intention and belief. Had NATO not been around, had Europe been isolated and dismembered
militarily, after 1991, would Ukraine be where it is today, would any of the baltic nations? How would the recent gas and energy crisis have played
out? Most people who dislike a powerful and global military presence always forget the immeasurable and unknown conflicts which such a force has
prevented. That is the greatest and foremost attribute of a military force, to deter and prevent. Sure we never went to war, directly, with the
Soviets during the Cold War, however that does not mean all the resources spend on the military were pointless. It was the military, in large part,
which prevented that conflict from occurring in the first place!
There are ideologically opposed cultures which strive to have the military means, among other things, of achieving and imposing their national (or
transnational) view upon interests of ours. As such we must always
be ready and willing to make sure such does not happen.
The world never stays static, you might hardly recognize the world of 2050, heck look what a few months have done to the world so far. Don't take for
granted that the United States and Europe (and by extrapolation me and you) will always be secure and dominant in sectors which matter. Such ability
is earned and maintained, not granted as a birthright.
Originally posted by xmotex
I fail to see how bringing our troops back to defend the US, where they belong, threatens our "freedom".
The things which in part enable our "freedoms" extend far beyond the borders of the United States. What enables me to wake up comfortably, drive out
and enjoy a nice dinner without a case in the world, other than the bill, has its roots in US military, economic, and political deals and means which
are spread out all over the globe. Isolationism does not work, and cannot work, unless we are content with more modestly and without privilege, living
as a people and nation passively. Depending on the good nature of others for prosperity rather than actively ensuring such in the face of any possible
challenge. I for one will NEVER ACCEPT being isolated and surrounded on the American continent by foreign influences. Your "well-equipped,
well-trained, capable military" would be similar to a White shark in a cage. Sure inside that cage he is master, but who cares when everyone else has
the whole ocean to play in.
I don't expect you to understand my views, but that's a small preview.
[edit on 12-3-2009 by WestPoint23]