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Category Archives: Nato

World War II Amnesia

 

Seventy-seven years ago, Nazi Germany invaded Poland, triggering a declaration of war by Great Britain and its Empire and France. After Hitler’s serial aggressions in the Rhineland, the Anschluss with Austria, the Munich Agreement, and the carving up of Czechoslovakia, no one believed that a formal war over Poland would lead to anything greater than yet another German border grab. The invasion of Poland would likely be followed by loud but empty threats for Hitler to stop, and a phony war of inaction and grumbling.

But after dismembering Poland, and dividing its spoils with the Soviet Union, Hitler unexpectedly absorbed Denmark and Norway the next spring. Then in May 1940, he successfully invaded Belgium, France, Holland, and Luxembourg. He tried to bomb Britain into submission. The conflict eventually spread to the Mediterranean and became truly a “world war” in 1941 with the surprise Axis attacks on the Soviet Union and the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor.
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Is NATO worth preserving?

Donald Trump recently ignited another controversy when he mused that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was obsolete. He hinted that it might no longer be worth the huge American investment.In typical Trump style, he hit a nerve, but he then offered few details about the consequences of either staying in or leaving NATO.NATO is certainly no longer aimed at keeping a huge Soviet land army out of democratic Western Europe, as was envisioned in 1949.

The alliance has been unwisely expanded from its original 12-nation membership to include 28 countries, absorbing many of the old communist Warsaw Pact nations and some former Soviet republics. NATO may have meant well to offer security to these vulnerable new alliance members. Yet it is hard to imagine Belgians and Italians dying on the battlefield to keep Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces out of Lithuania or Estonia.

Today’s NATO pledges to many of its newer participants are about as believable as British and French rhetorical guarantees in August 1939 to protect a far-away Poland from its Nazi and Soviet neighbors.
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The Next President Is Going to Be Hated

By Victor Davis Hanson // Works and Days by PJ Media

Everyone hates the sourpuss who says the party is over. The next president will have to tell the American people that a reckoning is on the horizon—and that it is not going to be pretty.

President Obama has created lots of mythoi about the landscape he inherited in January 2009: the Iraq war was lost and al Qaeda ascendant; the September 2008 meltdown had wrecked the economy; the immigration system “was” in shambles; and Obama would have to restore fiscal sobriety after George W. Bush (all “by his lonesome” with a “credit card from the Bank of China”) in “unpatriotic” fashion had alone piled up U.S. record debt. Read more →

Trump’s Sloppy Populism

by Victor Davis Hanson // Defining Ideas

admin-ajax.phpDonald Trump’s success has been the most perplexing phenomenon of this election cycle. Why on earth has this New York vulgarian resonated with a full third of Republican voters? Trump’s appeal taps into a middle-class fear of American decline: crises from trade and immigration to debt and foreign policy are pulling down a once great America to the mediocre status of other flailing countries. Yet while Trump has proved Machiavellian in tapping into popular furor, his policy proposals are typically vague and at times preposterous. Read more →

War Clouds on the Horizon?

A large war is looming absent preventive American vigilance.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

The End of NATO

Image credit: Barbara Kelley

Image credit: Barbara Kelley

by Victor Davis Hanson // Defining Ideas

Declaring the North Atlantic Treaty Organization dead has been a pastime of analysts since the end of the Cold War. The alliance, today 28-members strong, has survived 65 years because its glaring contradictions were often overlooked, given the dangers of an expansionist and nuclear Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact subjects.

From its beginning, NATO had billed itself as a democratic Western bastion against Soviet totalitarian aggression—if not always in practice then at least in theory. NATO never had much problem keeping Greece and Turkey in the alliance despite their occasionally oppressive, rightwing military dictatorships, given the strategic location of both and the need to keep the pair’s historical rivalries in-house. If the alliance’s exalted motto “animus inconsulendo liber” (“A free mind in consultation”) was not always applicable, NATO still protected something far better than the alternative.

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Sizing America Up

In today’s foreign-relations climate, even a Jimmy Carter would seem like a godsend.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Obama’s Foreign Policy of Empty Words

“When force threatens, talk is no good.” 

by Bruce S. Thornton // FrontPage Magazine

Photo via FrontPage Magazine

Photo via FrontPage Magazine

That line from John Ford’s classic The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance contains wisdom everyone from peasant to king knew before our modern age and its smug illusions. Go back 2,400 years, and you can hear it from the Athenian orator Demosthenes as he chastises his fellow citizens for responding to Macedonian aggression by “forever debating the question and never making any progress” and issuing “empty decrees.” “All words, apart from action,” Demosthenes warned, “seem vain and idle, especially from Athenian lips: for the greater our reputation for a ready tongue, the greater the distrust it inspires in all men.” We’ve had several years now of watching Obama and his foreign policy team prove this eternal truth as they have feebly and fecklessly responded to crisis after crisis in Ukraine, Syria, and a dozen other venues.

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On Cyprus, the World Is Silent

Because Turkey is not Israel.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

A Quiet Mediterranean?

An unusual calm for history’s constant cauldron.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

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