2002 November 19 Tuesday
John O'Sullivan On The Future Of NATO

John O'Sullivan takes issue with Robert Kagan and Charles Kupchan on the question of the future of NATO. O'Sullivan beliefs the military weakness of Europe, the expansion of NATO into states that have warmer views of America, and the terrorist threat all are breathing new life into NATO:

Unfortunately for both schools of thought, the trend of events is against them. First, the low level of European defense spending that has weakened NATO over the years is strangling Kupchan's concept of the EU as a military superpower in its cradle. Though the EU has voted to establish its own 60,000-strong Rapid Reaction Force, it has yet to assign the necessary resources. And while it spends less than 2 percent of its GDP on defense, it will remain a theoretical defense only. No European nation could afford to rely for its protection on such a spavined horse.

Second, neither Kagan nor Kupchan take account of the pro-American shift of influence within NATO, the EU and Europe generally that will result from the entry of pro-American and pro-NATO countries like Poland and the Baltics.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2002 November 19 10:28 AM  Europe and America

Tim Donovan said at May 23, 2003 3:59 AM:

I doubt C.Kupchan's vision of a strong rival Europe-even the French are trying to repair relations with Washington in the wake of the Iraq war. It is true that widespread European defiance of Washington recently appeared to strengthen Kupchan's thesis, but the complete inability of any opponent of the war to take any effective steps to stop the US argues that US preeminence is complete. Basically, the US does whatever it wants and everyone else seems helpless, to he point where they feel they must climb aboard the bandwagon.
Kupchan does display considerable originality and courage when he questions the permanence of US democracy in the digital age. I agree that its survival is no foregone conclusion although I see it falling for a number of different reasons, and would welcome a dialogue on this subject.

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