Thursday, February 28, 2008

NATO's Doom Foretold Yet Again

Every time the United States doesn't get its way with NATO some American leaps to his feet and warns that NATO is just a breath away from breaking up.

The latest boy to cry "wolf" is Lt. Gen. Henry Obering. He warned that European failure to adopt Washington's missile defence system could spell the end of NATO. From The Guardian:

"...Obering, director of the US Missile Defence Agency, painted almost apocalyptic scenarios at a conference at the Royal United Services Institute in London today. He said that Iran could simultaneously block the Straits of Hormuz and provoke terrorist attacks in Europe, and that al-Qaida could acquire nuclear weapons.

Iran would be able to launch ballistic missiles which could hit most capitals of Europe in "the next two or three years", he said.

He described a hypothesis in which in 2015 Iran announces it has long-range missiles with a nuclear capability and Europe does not have a missile defence system. Iran blocks the Straits of Homuz and provokes terrorist attacks in Europe. There are riots in Europe and only Athens and Rome are protected from Iranian missile attack.

"We would start to see fractures in the alliance," he said. In another 2015 scenario, he said al-Qaida would capture ships and nuclear-armed missiles.

If a missile defence system was in place, he argued, "we can defeat the missiles and dissuade Iran", while European leaders would be able to "bide time" before they made crucial decisions."


WesternGrit said...

The future of NATO? The European Alliance (EU) will stay - they have more common interests. The US will more than likely abandon Europe, once they realize they cannot - for the sake of their own people - be "Team America - World Police". America will more than likely try to form a North American, or North and South/Central American Security sphere. You can already see America extending it's tentacles into South America. Even their urging of Harper's gov't to focus on "our neighborhood" is telling.

The Mound of Sound said...

I agree WG. NATO is steadily becoming a Cold War artifact that suffers from the strain of Washington's demands. From what I've read there is a growing movement among the Euros for a "go it alone" defensive alliance friendly but independent of our side of the Atlantic. I suspect that little reality is only a matter of time.

Besides with Washington furiously stirring the pot in Asia, staying too tied to the US may bring some unacceptable risks.