Archive for NATO Alliance

The Russia Dilemma

Posted in America, Britain, Canada, European Union, Germany, News, Nuclear Weapons, Obama, Politics, Russia with tags , , , , on 24/06/2016 by floroy1942

1It may not be top of the news at the moment, what with the Brexit referendum, but we should spare a thought for the rising tensions between Russia and the West. If things keep going the way they are we could be heading for a war on the European continent within a short time.

NATO is moving four battalions of extra troops into Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on top of the missiles they have already moved into eastern nations because they fear a Russian attack on these countries.

As you would expect, the Russian leaders are worried because they consider this a threat to them, and are moving extra troops into their western border areas. So we have a build-up of troops on both sides of the border with Russia, and to say the least, this is an inflammatory situation that neither side wants.

The problem is that if the Russians answer this new NATO threat by adding yet more troops to the border area then NATO will answer with even more troops and so it goes on. As the tensions rise, at some point in the future the dam will break and we will be in a third world war.

So what do we do about it?

It would seem to me that the only solution is for both sides to pull back their forces and have a so-called ‘neutral zone’ between the two sides. All the border countries like Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland and Ukraine must become neutral nations much like Switzerland. All foreign forces must be withdrawn and Russia must provide a similar zone on their side of the border.

It will take some high-level talks to agree to this plan, but to me that is the only option if we are to solve this problem. When tensions rise between countries it inevitably turns to war if either or both do not back down.

It would seem to me that the only way to solve this problem is for dialogue between America, NATO and the Russians if we are to avoid a war. With the number of nuclear weapons both sides hold it would only take one idiot to push a button and we could see a nuclear war between east and west which may well signal the end of humanity on this planet.

I for one would not like to see this, for I may be old but I’m not dead yet.

The big problem with the world today is a total lack of common sense in governments everywhere. I might add that goes for the greater majority of the populace of the world.

All nations should think more about working together to solve the many problems that abound in the world today, instead of being ‘out for what they can get’.

Little countries like Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia will be of no great significance to a country as large as Russia, and the same goes for the western nations. They are but a pinprick on the map of the world. It is true that to take these countries back will give Russia a large swathe of the Baltic Sea coastline, but if there is peace why would they need it.

The major countries involved in this threat must come together and talk, for that is the only way we keep peace on our planet. If the current tensions continue to rise we can look forward to a war within the not too distant future and we must prevent that at all costs. The main reason being, the future of mankind on this planet is at stake.

Roy.

Has David Cameron Totally Lost It?

Posted in America, Benefits, Britain, David Cameron, European Union, Immigrants, News, Politics, UK, USA with tags , , , , on 10/05/2016 by floroy1942

We all know that the British Prime Minister David Cameron wants Britain to stay in the European Union, but he is now telling the people that if we leave the E.U., peace in Europe could be put at risk and we could be heading for war! What a load of crap!!!! After some of his most recent speeches I think he has totally lost his marbles! Either that or he is getting desperate for excuses to stay in.

It is NATO that defends Europe, and this organization is made up of all the European nations, so whatever comes, we are all in it together. With the backing of the USA no-one would dare to invade our shores – well, except the Muslim immigrants!

There is nothing to stop agreements being made between European countries for a mutual defense system and trade agreements even if we leave the E.U.. To say that we will sink into a hole of our own making is pure rubbish.

In his most recent speech on the matter he said: “Isolationism has never served this country well. Whenever we turn our back on Europe, sooner or later we come to regret it. But we’ve always had to go back in and always at a much higher cost……If we stay, we know what we get – continued full access to a growing single market, including in energy, services and digital, together with the benefit of the huge trade deals in prospect, between the EU and the United States and other large markets. If we leave, it is genuinely a leap in the dark.” Well, he seems to be desperately grabbing at straws.

What he has forgotten is that so long as we continue as members our doors will be open to a mass of immigrants, and we desperately need to shut them to all immigrants for we have far too many already. Another important factor is the Human Rights Laws of Europe that allow brazen killers to go free, and the impossibility of deporting immigrant criminals. It took ten years to get rid of Abu Hansa and Abu Qatada! He has not addressed either of these major concerns with members of the bloc.

I can't Believe He Just Said That!

I can’t Believe He Just Said That!

His main rival Boris Johnson dismissed his claims, accusing the prime minister of failing to deliver proper EU reform in a deal recently struck with European leaders.  Johnson, now free from his post as London mayor, insisted that the EU was ‘an accelerated effort to build a country called Europe’. Something that I have said often enough on these pages!

There can be little doubt that Cameron is now clutching at straws in his efforts to persuade the British people to vote to stay in Europe.

A new poll shows nearly half of voters in eight big European Union countries want to be able to vote on whether to remain members of the bloc. These countries include Germany, Sweden, Holland and Austria among others, and the results could be catastrophic for the European Union.

I believe that Brussels has done this to itself for the data from this poll shows that in some countries as many as 40% would vote to leave, and if you count everybody it could well be more. There is little doubt that the prospect of Britain leaving the E.U. has begun a wave of dissatisfaction at the way Brussels governs us.

All indications are that the main cause of this massive problem was Angela Merkel when she opened Germany’s doors to all and sundry who wanted to come here. Europe is being flooded with so-called refugees, for as many as two-thirds are here for economic reasons, and no-one knows what to do with them.

Brussels has said many times we need a quota system so that each country takes a percentage, but many eastern countries like Hungary and Macedonia to name but two, have refused to accept them. This of course is putting enormous pressure on the remaining countries.

Crossing From Libya

Crossing From Libya

It is clear that the people do not want these refugees flooding their country and turning it upside down, for the people know that it will only bring hardship to them all. Brussels may well have closed the door from Turkey, well, up to a point, but that still leaves those pouring across the Mediterranean from Libya to Italy. In effect, this means that the numbers will not decrease this year but probably escalate.

Already the experts are saying that we can expect at least another million on our shores this year, and many say even more. Perhaps you can tell me what Europe is expected to do with such large numbers?

Had we accepted only genuine refugees, the numbers would have been at least two-thirds lower and it would have been possible to absorbed them, but with the economic refugees far outnumbering them the situation is hopeless.

As you would expect they will all be living off our European benefits system, for the chances of most of them finding a job will be practically zero. This will put dire hardship on those of our people that really need them, and could result in a major financial catastrophe. On top of this there is the housing problem, for most countries do not have enough to house them.

Our own people are being pushed to one side to cater for these immigrants and it is for certain that the general public will not accept this for much longer.

This Is Where We Would End Up If The Roles Were Reversed

This Is Where We Would End Up If The Roles Were Reversed

Let me put another scenario before you. What do you think would happen if some catastrophe happened on European soil, and millions of our people started flooding into Arab states in the Middle East? What do you think our reception would be like? They would certainly not welcome us as refugees and give us free money and housing in the form of benefits, for these things do not exist in Middle East countries. We would all end up in refugee camps, that is presuming they allowed us to enter in the first place!

From all that has taken place over the last year I have come to one conclusion:- We must quit the European Union, before it drags us down into the mud and destroys what little we have left of our economy.

Roy.

How About This For A Ukraine Peace Plan

Posted in America, Britain, European Union, Government, News, Nuclear Weapons, Obama, Politics, Russia, United Nations with tags , , , , on 08/02/2015 by floroy1942

Ever since the beginning of the Ukraine crisis politicians have argued over how to solve the problem and prevent an all-out war between Russia and the West, but none of it is going anywhere. Each time someone opens their mouth we edge a little closer to war without a proper solution in sight. As I see it, and I am by no means an expert, it would seem that a little basic common sense would solve the issue.

Let us first take a look at the Russian side of things. It is clear that Russia first of all wants to retain and protect its naval base in Sevastopol in the Crimea.

Russian Naval Base Sevastopol

Russian Naval Base Sevastopol

The land and port have been leased by Russia since 1997, but in 2008 the Ukrainian government informed Russia that when the lease expired in 2017 it would not be renewed. Russia then threatened to increase the price of natural gas upon which the country depended, and finally the government relented, extending the lease to 2042.

Murmansk Naval Base

Murmansk Naval Base

The base is important to Russia because it is the only ‘warm-water’ port for their naval fleet, the other major bases being Murmansk in northern Russia in the Arctic Circle, and Vladivostok on the Pacific coast of Russia. Strategically speaking, Sevastopol is the only base within easy striking distance of European, Middle East and African countries, the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic. It is vitally important  to the Russians for this reason. It would however make things extremely difficult for Russia if the Ukraine were to become a member of the E.U. and NATO.

Secondly, I believe that Russia does not want another country on its border with Europe to be occupied by NATO Forces, which is what the Western politicians, and in particular the USA want.

NATO Expansion

NATO Expansion

Currently the only three countries that are full members of NATO bordering Russia are the very small Baltic states of Latvia and Lithuania and a part of Poland, but if Ukraine joins, as it wishes to, this will then put a very large swathe of Russian territory within easy reach of NATO forces. In the event of future conflict this will mean Russia will no longer have the advantage of a buffer state.

Finally, it is clear that eastern Ukraine, or at least some element of it, wishes to retain its ties with Russia and does not wish to become part of NATO or the European Union.

Ukraine Ethnicities

Ukraine Ethnicities

After the fall of the Berlin wall the and Russian domination of Eastern Europe, the east of Ukraine has retained its close ties with Russia. In the current battles it is certain that Russia has exerted a lot of influence in the eastern provinces and Russia has assisted the rebels.

So far as the USA and Europe are concerned, I believe their main aim is to expand territory that comes under their control through NATO and the European Union. It is known that the President of Ukraine has requested membership of both organizations but I have to ask if this is absolutely necessary for the country. There can be little doubt that trade agreements can be made with many countries without having to join NATO or the E.U. An agreement can also be drawn up to protect the country from invasion without it becoming a part of any Alliance.

So, in a nutshell this is the situation. I understand that it is grossly simplified but I believe it covers the main arguments for and against. The big problem is what to do to reach an agreement that will satisfy all parties.

Ukraine Trade Balance

Ukraine Trade Balance

Looking at these facts it comes to mind that first of all Ukraine should be recognized as a neutral country much the same as Switzerland and Sweden. This will remove any tension in Russia regarding the presence of western forces on their border.  With such a position, eastern Ukraine will still be able to trade with Russia if they wish while the rest of the country can trade with whomsoever they please. Naturally such an agreement would mean them not becoming a full member of the European Union, but negotiations could still be agreed with regard to trade.

It is essential that the USA and Europe back off from their plans to make Ukraine a NATO member, even though the government there have requested it. This action would give assurance to Russia that rival troops and bases would not be on their doorstep.

A written agreement should be signed assuring the continued presence of the Black Sea Fleet in the base at Sevastopol which would go a long way to reducing tension. This base provides thousands of jobs in the east of the country and is without doubt a benefit to the economy.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond

One immediate step forward would be to see an end to inflammatory remarks such as those made recently by British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond who accused Vladimir Putin of acting like a “mid-20th century tyrant” over Ukraine. Secondly all talk about sending arms to Ukraine by the USA and some European countries only inflames the situation.

If the leaders of Russia, the USA, Britain, Germany and France as the leading nations can sit around a table and discuss the measures I have laid out I believe the crisis would be over quickly.

It is not a question of any country ‘backing down’, but more one of respectable leaders ending a situation that could theoretically escalate into a third world war.

What Continued Escalation Can Lead To!

What Continued Escalation Can Lead To!

When crisis of this nature arise common sense must prevail, for this is not just a case of East versus West or the future of just one country. When tempers are frayed and rhetoric gets tough, eventually someone will press the button and it could mean the end of humanity on this planet.

Roy.

The U.N. Applies Pressure On I.S. – Really?

Posted in America, Britain, England, European Union, Islamic Revolution, News, Obama, Security Council, Terrorism, United Nations with tags , , , , on 11/09/2014 by floroy1942
The UN Security Council

The UN Security Council

The news is yet again full of the pressure that is being applied to the Islamic militants of I.S. But, sad to say, it is not coming from the right quarter i.e. the U.N.

Obama At The NATO Meeting

Obama At The NATO Meeting

This august body has been pussy-footing around with sanctions that target individuals recruiting, financing, supplying weapons, or fighting for Islamic State (IS), but has left it up to NATO to take any positive steps to defeat them. All the U.N. can come up with is sanctions, while under the leadership of the USA, NATO countries are actually taking action against these barbarians.

Korean War

Korean War

Born with such high ideals, and with the promise of a world at peace, the U.N. has, with the exception of the Korean War in 1950, not achieved anything in its mandate to stop wars between countries.

Mark Lyall Grant - Britain's UN Ambassador

Mark Lyall Grant – Britain’s UN Ambassador

UK ambassador to the UN Sir Mark Lyall Grant said Friday’s unanimous Security Council vote sent a “clear political message” that the world was acting to tackle the IS threat. By the time the U.N. gets off its fat a#se and takes some action the whole world will be Muslim.

For this international body to do no more than ‘condemn’ I.S. and ‘sanction’ a few individuals is not going to have any affect on the ambitions of the militants.

IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,

IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,

Do these idiots really think that once the leader of I.S. is told that the U.N. condemns the actions of his group, that he is going to say to his men: “OK Lads! Nice try, but it’s all over because the U.N. has said we cannot do this. Go home to your wives and children. Allah u Akbar!” The U.N., just like NATO must realize that nothing short of a force of arms is going to stop these Muslim fanatics. For without doubt, if they do establish their own country (Caliphate), they will then turn on their neighbours, and eventually us!

The Public's View Of NATO Action Against I.S.

The International Public’s View Of NATO Action Against I.S.

In these desperate times when Muslim fanaticism is spreading across the globe I am very glad that someone like Barack Obama has the foresight to initiate some positive action against these people.

American Air Strike

American Air Strike

While the American contribution has been going on for several weeks in the form of air strikes, I cannot say that the U.K.’s contribution has been as bold, for they have been dropping plates, knives, forks and spoons and frying pans to the beleaguered people “so they can eat”. The Americans and French have dropped arms to the Kurds who seem to be the only people capable of standing up to these killers. It is known that in many cases the Iraqi Army soldiers have dropped their weapons and run when attacked by elements of I.S.

The British Public's View

The British Public’s View

There can be little doubt that nothing less than a force of arms is going to rid the world of these fanatical killers. They must be wiped out to a man or they will come back and haunt us again in the future.

The U.N. - A Toothless Tiger

The U.N. – A Toothless Tiger

It bothers me that the U.N. proves yet again what a toothless tiger it really is. This body, trusted with world peace, should at the beginning have made it plain that either these people stop their activities and go home, or an international force of such size will be sent in to wipe them out. The same goes for Boko Haram, al-Shebab, al Quada, the Taliban and any other upstart group who thinks they can subjugate the people to their will.

We need serious action from the U.N., not years of ceaseless babble that does nothing for anyone.

Roy.

Ukraine – Things Are Getting Out of Hand!

Posted in America, Britain, David Cameron, England, European Union, News, Nuclear Weapons, Obama, Russia with tags , , , , on 31/08/2014 by floroy1942
Ukraine

Ukraine

The question comes to mind – Are we heading for a third world war over Ukraine? The rhetoric from all sides is getting tougher by the minute, and no sensible plan has been put forward to solve the crisis by either side. There seems to be endless mud-slinging, charge and counter-charge over what is happening there, and of course the West with its sanctions against Russia. But you have to ask yourself, what is all this accomplishing? Well, to my mind – nothing!

Push It At Your Peril

Push It At Your Peril

Tensions are getting higher and higher because neither side is (a) willing to tell the truth, and (b) no-one wants to back down. So we have a war of words between West and East and so far as I can see, temperatures are rising.  This is not good for anybody and solves nothing. Eventually some hot-head somewhere will have had enough and push The Button! If that happens it will mean the end of mankind on this planet, mind you, the way we have been carrying on for the last century we probably deserve it!

I am just an ordinary citizen but even I can see a way out of this chaos.

Russia does not wish to have NATO on its doorstep stretching all the way from the Adriatic to the Black Sea, which would happen if Ukraine joins. Militarily it is always better to have another country between you and your protagonist, a buffer zone if you like especially in light of their Naval Base in Sevastopol.

Russian Naval Fleet In Sevastopol Harbour

Russian Naval Fleet In Sevastopol Harbour

Putin is afraid of losing Sevastopol, the only warm water harbour Russia has for it’s Navy. That is the reason the Russians took over the Crimea at the start of the crisis. Should he lose Sevastopol, his Navy would be forced to retreat to the port of Murmansk above the Arctic Circle, or Vladivostok on the Pacific coast of Eastern Russia. For Russia this would be a strategic disaster in the event of hostilities.

Fighting In Ukraine

Fighting In Ukraine

In the meantime, accusations are flying back and forth about Russian troops coming into Ukraine to support the Russian sympathizers, and Government troops have been fighting them for several weeks. Only the other day during his annual visit to  a camp for boys outside Moscow, Putin felt it necessary to remind the West that Russia was a nuclear nation with a large arsenal of weapons.

Russian Gas

Russian Gas

But despite all the sanctions against it, Russia has a large card it can play too in the form of the gas supplies to Europe. Much of Europe now depends on gas pumped from Russia, and should they decide to close the tap this winter, it may not be catastrophic,  but it would certainly cause problems, and tensions would rise yet again.

One thing people need to remember is that all the sanctions in the world may hurt, but they alone will never bring a country like Russia to its knees. But, there can come a time when someone in the hierarchy says, “Enough” and pushes the fatal button.

Conference Table

Conference Table

It is for this reason that I feel all the participants need to sit around one table and find a solution. I mentioned at the beginning that I have a solution that should please everybody. Let Ukraine be neutral in world affairs just like Switzerland.

NATO Symbol

NATO Symbol

If the country were to take a neutral stance, but continue to trade with the E.U. and Russia there would be no problem. Russia would have its buffer-zone, as would NATO, and there would be no harm in Russia retaining its Sevastopol harbour facilities in a trade agreement with the Ukraine government.

I am aware that it all seems simple when sitting behind the computer at home for there would be an awful lot to sort out politically, but is such a thing impossible?

Ukraine wants to join the EU, but being neutral would not stop her trading with EU countries, it certainly doesn’t stop the Swiss. There is also no reason for the country to stop trading with Russia, and in fact, anyone else they choose.

I am sure the government would be happy to receive a steady income from the Russian’s for their use of Sevastopol, and the Russians would be happy to keep using it.

So far as NATO goes, I can see no reason why they would not be happy with such a solution, for an agreement such as this is surely better than a war that would annihilate all of us.

In The Words Of John Lennon...

In The Words Of John Lennon…

I sincerely hope that all sides, and by this I mean Putin, the USA, the Ukrainian leaders of both sides, and responsible people from Europe, can eventually come to the table and discuss this properly without any preconditions, and look to making Ukraine a neutral country spanning East and West.

For that sake of world peace I hope cool heads rule.

Roy.

 

 

 

The Ukraine Crisis And What It’s All About

Posted in America, Britain, England, European Union, Germany, News, Politics, Russia, UK, USA with tags , , , on 01/03/2014 by floroy1942

The crisis in Ukraine has been hitting the headlines for several weeks and sadly many have died. Now we have the Russian’s being accused of ‘occupying’ parts of the Crimea, in particular around Simferopol. Ukraine is a divided nation, with a significant portion of the population in the eastern parts being of Russian origin. This fact alone has raised tensions, as they would rather be allied with Russia than the EU as you would expect.

Yanukovich Balancing Act

The trouble began when politicians started making overtures to Europe to join the Union, which naturally most western countries were for, in particular the United States, Britain, France and Germany. It was no doubt foreseen by many that once a member of the European Union, Ukraine would also join NATO, which would put western forces on the very border of Russia. This would be a strategic advantage for the west, but a nightmare for Russia.

A Man With A Dilemma

The Ukraine politicians, such as they are, are now issuing warnings to Russia and Vladimir Putin not to interfere in Ukrainian affairs. This warning is being echoed by the United States and others. Those currently in power in Ukraine are worried that the country will be split along ethnic lines, and the eastern part will become part of, or at least align, with its eastern neighbour.

Russian Black Sea Fleet

But why is Russia stepping into the game? I believe the answer lies in one thing, their huge naval base in Sevastopol. This Crimea city on the shores of the Black Sea is home to a large Russian fleet, and is their outlet into the Mediterranean Sea. They have only one other much smaller naval base within reach of the Med and that is in Syria, which is now also under threat.

Murmansk Northern Russia

Murmansk Northern Russia

Should Russia lose these two bases, which is likely if (a) Assad is crushed, and (b) the whole of Ukraine joins the EU, the Russian fleets will be banished to ports like Murmansk in the far north, or Vladivostok on the Pacific coast in the Russian Far East. Strategically, this would be a nightmare for Russia in the event of a flare-up of hostilities in the European theater.

In effect, this means that the Soviet Union has a lot riding on the outcome of the political battle being waged within Ukraine. The fact that 6,000 Russian troops are openly reported on the streets of Simferopol means they are not likely to give up trying to get the Crimea at least to join them.

Russia’s Two Navy Bases

This leaves politicians in a dilemma, for while no-one wants to see the country divided, there does seem little choice. Despite all the sabre-rattling, I doubt if any nation, east or west, will risk going to war over this issue and it seems that a political agreement is the only way forward. Of one thing we can be sure, the pro-Russian sector of the country will not want to align itself with Europe and vice versa, so everyone will be forced to accept the compromise of partition in the Ukraine.

Yanukovitch Ousted For Siding With Russia

The whole exercise is however fraught with danger, for tensions are high and it could take only a single shot to plunge the country into chaos and maybe even civil war. Whoever is responsible for negotiating a deal will have to tread very carefully, and both sides will have to be ready to compromise. Let us hope that ‘cool heads’ rule the day.

Roy.

Is NATO Doomed?

Posted in Afghanistan, Britain, Europe, Germany, Security Council, UK, United Nations, USA with tags , , , , on 14/06/2011 by floroy1942

After having worked for NATO for the last twenty five years up to my retirement, the scathing words from Defence Secretary Gates of the USA come as no surprise.

NATO Headquarters – Brussels

During the Cold War the partnership of the USA and NATO countries formed a bastion against Soviet aggression in the West,  and thereby proved its value. Since that time however, the club has got bigger, but  commitment to the Alliance has diminished.

NATO – A Short History:

Too may nations, who in the past were so anxious to join NATO, have proven by their lack of commitment that their membership is in name only. Whenever there is trouble, like Iraq, Afghanistan and now Libya, it is the same few members who step forward to ‘man the guns’. Many have just sat on the sidelines, some have even come out in direct opposition to tasks undertaken.

Many will say that the trouble in the Middle East is outside the confines of NATO responsibility, but they would be wrong. The organization is the only true international armed force in the world and can be likened to a United Nations armed force, so who better to  carry out the dictates of the UN.

Australian Troops In Iraq

True, in Iraq we did see international forces involved in the fighting against Saddam Hussein that were not part of NATO like Australia and that is to the good, but throughout its history, at least since the Korean War, the UN has found it hard to find any nation that will pick up the sword in its name. In NATO they have a working force in being that can be used.

British Troops In Afghanistan

But, it doesn’t always work out as planned, for the simple reason many members of the Alliance are not willing to pull their weight. If NATO is called to action in places like Libya, ALL member nations should make some contribution not just the usual three or four. We have always had the USA in the lead, followed closely by the United Kingdom which has a history of living up to it’s commitments. True, Germany and Italy among others have played a part in some areas, but that still leaves a majority who have not.

After the initial onslaught from the US in Libya, which has now backed off from taking a major role, the responsibility lies with the European NATO countries, many of whom have dropped the ball. Without the participation of France and the UK the whole operation would have died at the planning stage.

Hard Talking Robert Gates At NATO HQ

Gates accused the NATO partners of having trouble in fulfilling their commitment in Afghanistan. He made his point with this blunt statement:  “Despite more than 2 million troops in uniform — not counting the U.S. military — NATO has struggled, at times desperately, to sustain a deployment of 25,000 to 40,000 troops, not just in boots on the ground, but in crucial support assets” .

RAF Tornado’s Take Off On A Mission

Commenting on the Libyan campaign he said “While every alliance member voted for the Libya mission, less than half have participated at all, and fewer than a third have been willing to participate in the strike mission.” On the current air strikes situation he said: “Norway and Denmark have provided 12% of allied strike aircraft yet have struck about one-third of the targets.” I guess that just about sums it up!

Another Load Of Death

He made a further comment on the munitions situation, saying that only 11 weeks into the action and some Allies were already running short of missiles and bombs which they were scrambling to obtain from the US.

Tornado Destroys Two Gaddafi Tanks:

It is without doubt that the NATO command, and indeed all the members countries, needed to hear this piece of straight talking from someone who carries a lot of influence. No-one can deny that the whole organization has been propped up by the United States to a great extent since the end of the cold war.

The big problem on everyone’s mind is of course money, that old, old evil. At the moment there is not much of it around, which is why many countries, including the UK and France are looking to make cutbacks in defense expenditure.  This was precisely the point argued against by Secretary Gates during his final speech in the job.

Nato Awacs At Trapani Airbase In Sicily

On the question of NATO nations defence budgets Gates said: “The blunt reality is that there will be dwindling appetite and patience to expend increasingly precious funds on behalf of nations that are apparently unwilling to devote the necessary resources or make the necessary changes to be serious and capable partners in their own defence.” He continued: “If current trends in the decline of European defence capabilities are not halted and reversed, future US political leaders — those for whom the Cold War was not the formative experience that it was for me — may not consider the return on America’s investment in Nato worth the cost.”

Anders Fogh Rasmussen- NATO Leader With A Big Problem

It is time for many countries in the Alliance to realise this is not just a boy’s club, but a serious and necessary force for good in the world and without the backing and participation of the USA it will cease to exist. Each nation that wishes to be a part of it must carry their share of responsibility if it is to continue. The current situation, where most of the burden falls on just a small number of members cannot continue.

From the original twelve members who formed the Alliance on the 4th April 1949 it has grown to twenty-eight members. Almost all that joined in the last twelve years were previously members of the Warsaw Pact until the fall of communism.

They all wish to feel safe under the shield provided by NATO, but too few are willing to be active members when there is a call for help. Unless these countries start to carry more of the load I can see that America will gradually start cutting back on their investment, and eventually NATO will collapse in on itself. That will be a sad day for world peace.

Roy.

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