Sunday, December 16, 2007

So Just When Is "New Europe" Going To Pull Its Weight?

Funny how "new Europe" was clamouring to get under the skirts of NATO but seems intent on doing bugger all to show any gratitude. We're now obliged to defend countries like Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Latvia, and Lithuania but just where are these clowns when they're needed to lend a hand in Afghanistan? If you chose Door "2", "nowhere to be seen", you're right.

Now, admittedly, some of these newcomers are lightweights - total populations smaller than middle sized cities. But then there's Poland with 38-million, Romania with 22-million, Hungary and the Czech Republic, each with 10-million. Here are NATO's own figures:

"...the Alliance's total population [has] increased from 735 million to 839 million since 1999 - an expansion of 104 million or roughly 14 per cent (see table with data from 2000, the most recent year for which detailed comparative information is available). NATO's active armed forces will have increased by a similar proportion, from 3,448,590 to 3,986,045 — an expansion of about 16 per cent. Reserve forces, however, will have grown substantially in size, with the Central and Eastern European states bringing an additional 1,714,700 reserves to the "old" NATO's 3,774,000 - an increase of about 45 per cent."

Excuse me? The new kids have 1,714,700 soldiers in their reserves and we're left struggling with a piddling 26,000 soldiers at the wet end of a pissing contest in Afghanistan? By the way, did you get that combined total - just shy of FOUR MILLION "ACTIVE" SOLDIERS. And we can't find reinforcements and reserves to supplement and relieve the 26,000 in Afghanistan, about half of which are doing the 'heavy lifting'?

I'm sorry but usually when you come into a club you pay your dues. A lot of these countries were falling all over each other to brown nose George Bush when it came to invading Iraq. Why aren't they making anything resembling a decent effort to wade in and help when it comes to Afghanistan?

If these numbers shock you, they should. Canada, and the Dutch and the Brits are hanging our soldiers' butts out there without the support of either "old" or "new" Europe. If that's the best Jaap de Hoop Scheffer can do, he ought to resign.


JimBobby said...

Whooee! Like you said, a lot of tehse countries were kissin' Dubya's ass vis-a-vis EyeRack. They ain't doin' that so much, anymore. The ones that got involved in EyeRack got burned and they been voted out of power.

I figger them countries wanted in NATO when on accounta they just got out from under the thumb of the Russkies and NATO was formed mainly as an anti-Russkie alliance. They didn't sign up to do nation building. They're mostly tryin' to rebuild their own nations after 50 years of Soviet rule.

Consider also that NATO ain't exactly winnin' a decisive victory in Afstan. Who wants to send their kids to die for a lost cause just to appease the Merkans? Who, other than Harper, that is?

Just because we made dumbass move kissin' Dubya's keester don't mean we should expect the Poles an' Romanians to be as stoopid.

Eastern Europe may have some large armies but their economies are generally not very healthy. I wonder if the big armies aren't unofficial welfare. Better to recruit 'em and control 'em than to have 'em riotin' and burnin' cars in the suburbs.

Unlike Merka and Canada, those countries were invaded and occupied. They still bear economic scars of WWII and the Iron Curtain era only ended in 1989.

We should be more concerned with gettin' ourselves out than with tryin' to drag somebody else in. Leastwise, that's the way I see it.


The Mound of Sound said...

Hey JB. Any idea just how we're going to get out of Afghanistan? Just up and leave? Do we tell the Brits we're abandoning their flank? I think we're stuck. The item was mainly to show the massive order of battle of the NATO member nations and illustrate how paltry in comparison is the committment to Afghanistan. It's pretty obvious what I think of the secretary general, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer. He's got the roar of a lion and the spine of an earthworm and that's a big part of our problem. I'm not sure any more that NATO's continuation is worthwhile.

Anonymous said...

Your numbers look suspect. Czech Republic has no more than about 25000 active soldiers at the moment. Some 500 of them in Kosovo, 100 in Iraq, 230 in Afghanistan.

The Mound of Sound said...

The figures used came directly out of the Alliance's "Nato Review", autumn 2002 issue.