Wednesday, October 11, 2006

# Posted 4:26 PM by Patrick Porter  

A GLOBAL ATLANTIC: There is a frustrating tendency in the debate about the relationships between democratic allies in the war on terror. It is often dominated by the issue of relations between Europe and America, or by the question of the 'special relationship' and the viability of the trans-Atlantic alliance.

Defenders of NATO argue that just because the Cold War is over, doesn't mean that the alliance members don't have common security interests. Which is true. But their interests are now shaped and pursued more globally than ever before: operations in Afghanistan, humanitarian aid in Indonesia, and logistical support to the African Union in the Sudan.

So Ivo Daalder and James Goldgeier propose that NATO accepts non-European liberal democracies as members. It should redefine its view of security, no longer as a territorially delimited sphere, but as a set of shared liberal and democratic values. A resurgent and giant India, the economically vibrant Japan, and militarily effective Australia would enhance its capabilities and its resources.

What are the benefits? First, there are the hard benefits of military interoperability that join training, planning and campaigning would yield. It would also create closer relationships in areas where the security of older NATO countries are effected, to increase its ability to combat terrorist networks operating from the Pacific to Europe to America. It would also strengthen NATO's legitimacy, and provide it with more resources.

The main problem I can imagine with this proposal is that the question of admitting Israel would divide its members: admit Israel, and others might not join, refuse Israel entry, and it threatens the political basis and identity of the alliance. Hmmm.
(8) opinions -- Add your opinion

interesting post -- could you explain more fully why refusing Israel entry would threaten NATO's political basis and identity.
I guess the argument would be that if NATO were to redefine itself as a worldwide security alliance of democracies, it would be incongruous to refuse entry to the oldest democracy in the Middle East.
But can a country engaged in a project of consistent ethnic cleansing in some major population areas be classed as a liberal democracy?

Maybe the paradigm shift would be NATO's definition of democracy being widened to include such practices!

The Israelis have removed Jews
from their homes in Gaza.

Other than that, the MSM seems
unaware of "consistent ethnic
cleansing in some major population

Would you please elaborate?

What areas?
What ethnicities?
What numbers?
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