Sunday, January 03, 2016
A New NATO Charter
It's a problem that afflicts any club. Once it starts growing it inevitably lets in some members who are true dickheads. First everything starts going all to hell then rules of conduct have to be laid down and then you have to start turfing out members who just can't get with the programme.
Which brings me to NATO. The Alliance has growing problems, some of them hardly new. Take Turkey's strongman (thug), Erdogan. He figures we're on the hook to back him up when he shoots down a Russian warplane that briefly, for all of 17-seconds, violated Turkish airspace. That's Russia for chrissakes. Russia - as in more nukes than any other nation on the planet - the US included.
That's Erdogan, the guy who bent over backwards to help ISIS recruits get into Syria. Erdogan, whose kids are suspected of brokering ISIS oil exports. Erdogan, who thinks nothing of violating other nations' sovereign airspace when he wants to bomb Kurds or just piss off the Greeks, another NATO ally. Erdogan, who seems to be on the verge of appointing himself president for life. Erdogan is a full fledged dickhead.
Then there are countries trying to work their way into NATO - places like Ukraine and Georgia - that could well use their membership to get nasty with guys like Vlad Putin. Oh yeah, there's Hungary and, possibly, even Poland.
Maybe it's time to amend the NATO Charter, especially Article 5, the mutual defence provision. That needs tweaking. Let's reserve Article 5 for "Old NATO," the founding western European states who all banded together so long ago to thwart Soviet territorial adventurism through the Fulda Gap and across the central German plain. That was back when the club worked as it was intended to work. We stood in defence of each other.
When it comes to Erdogan or the new NATO members, we should introduce Article 5(b) to provide that the mutual defence obligation will be suspended for members out picking fights or member states ruled by dickheads. You want to pick fights, you're on your own. You want to be a dickhead, nobody has your back. You get a hankering to shoot down Russian planes that are not attacking, you clear it with Brussels first. If you don't, well it was nice knowing ya.
Old NATO was never a source of worry. It put our minds at ease somewhat. New NATO shouldn't be a source of worry either - but it is.