Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

07-30-18 Angry Reader

From An Angry Reader:

Subject: NATO

Maybe it’s my old age but you seem to be contradicting yourself. You explain quite correctly how useless it is and then suggest that you think strengthen it is a good idea???

Looks like trump wants to dump it knowing Germany will never pony up. Have suggested that article five only valid with paid up members😎



Dear Angry Reader Michael Sanders,

I did not say that NATO was “useless.” My argument, if you were to reread it, was that NATO has expanded to such a degree that it is losing a common purpose and unity, at the very time the shared enemy of the Soviet Union disappeared. My reform suggestions were to limit membership, insist that all members immediately meet their 2 percent of GDP defense spending obligations, and to insist that all members decide on what or who are the common enemies, and then the expected contributions in wartime to prevent a rogue member like Turkey getting into a war and then demanding NATO’s help. The theme of the essay was that NATO is eroding without radical reform, and changes are necessary to save it—and that it is still worth saving it from itself.


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About Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. He is also the Wayne & Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History, Hillsdale College, where he teaches each fall semester courses in military history and classical culture.

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