Just as Europe undermined the EU so too did we undermine, potentially fatally, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Both organizations foolishly indulged in a promiscuous bout of expansion that has left them unwieldy, incoherent and perhaps even dangerous.
This is EU Europe:
This is NATO:
Both began and operated quite well with a small, well integrated membership, capable of reliably cooperating to achieve clearly understood objectives. And then they both got just a little whorish in the bacchanal that marked the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Oh my, look, there's one missing - the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.
How they got left out I'll never know. I guess Bush and Cheney forgot about them in their race to march NATO to Russia's doorstep.
When it comes to NATO it might be a good idea to cull the membership herd, especially if we see the E.U. beginning to come part at the seams. There are a lot of scary people and movements waiting in the wings to exploit that chaos and we might not find their table manners exactly pleasing.
Don't forget that Article 5 business, the "mutual aid" clause that says an attack on one NATO member is an attack on all. There's no Article 5(b) that covers the situation where one NATO member attacks another. Worse yet, there are some NATO aspirants that might like nothing better than to provoke a regional adversary (can you say Russia?) and then drag in the NATO muscle. Think Georgia. Think Ukraine.
NATO was built to face threats from without, namely the Soviet bloc. It cobbled together nations of the Western European tradition on an implied assumption of shared values and principles. What a happy bunch of chaps - well, except for those uppity French. DeGaulle, you know.
NATO picked up some dodgy characters in its rampage of expansion to the East. Take Hungary, which joined in 1999. Sixty years earlier it joined another alliance, the Axis powers. And today you wouldn't consider Hungary a particularly enthusiastic adherent to democracy. Sort of like the little kid who's standing still in the corner of the pool. You just know he's peeing.
It's like having more kids than you can possibly feed. When you get the urge to add a few more, don't. And try to get the kids you do have educated and out the door as soon as you can.
Quick, put a call through to Grand Fenwick. I need to speak to the Duke.