President Trump is right to raise the issue of Europe’s NATO members not spending enough on defense. For decades, those countries have been NATO’s welfare queens, expecting the U.S. to defend them when they have been entirely capable of defending themselves. They’ve had the ships, they’ve had the men, they’ve had the money, too. Since the 1960s they have also had their own nuclear umbrella in the form of France’s nuclear weapons. Quite apart from the American deterrent, the Soviet Union could not risk invading Western Europe because a nuclear exchange with France would have reduced the USSR to a tenth-rate power, unable to compete with America or even China. But why should Europe’s welfare queens go off the dole so long as America is dumb enough to keep paying the bill? President Trump is doing what earlier American presidents should have done but didn’t, mainly because the Washington Military-Industrial-Congressional complex feeds richly off the NATO game.
But mere billions of wasted dollars are not the principal cost of NATO to the United States. Greater is the strategic price we pay for NATO: it locks us into an obsolete grand strategic orientation.
NATO was formed for only one purpose: containing Communism. After World War II, Europe was exhausted. It lacked the military, financial, or industrial strength to take on the Red Army or even Soviet attempts at subversion such as that in Greece. The U.S. made what was intended to be a temporary commitment to defend Europe, a commitment that was intended to last only until Europe could again defend itself. When NATO was founded, then-General Dwight D. Eisenhower said that if we were still defending Europe after ten years, NATO would have proven a mistake. That was seventy years ago.
When Communism fell, NATO’s purpose fell with it. There was no threat from the east for NATO to defend against. At that point NATO should have been dissolved. Failing such a dissolution, the U.S. should have pulled out, leaving Europe to defend itself against—what?
Europe did, and does, face a threat, one at least as dangerous as Communism: the threat from the south. The new enemy is Islam, the invaders are labelled “refugees” or “asylum-seekers”, and they come armed with a violent religion, defective cultures, or both. Immigrants who cannot or will not acculturate are a greater threat than invading armies. The armies eventually go home, but immigrants stay and permanently change the cultural landscape, often in highly undesirable ways. European women will not enjoy living under Sharia.
In re-orienting to the south, Europe should have either formed a new alliance including Russia or invited Russia into NATO. Russia holds Christendom’s vast flank that stretches from the Black Sea to Vladivostok. Should that flank collapse, the West would suffer a defeat at least as damaging as the fall of Constantinople to the Turks. Thanks to President Putin’s efforts to strengthen the Russian state, that now seems unlikely.
But Western elites’ ideology of cultural Marxism forbids them to acknowledge the threat from the south: to do so is to reject “multiculturalism” and embrace “racism”. Cultural Marxism welcomes any and all allies in its battle to destroy Western culture and the Christian religion, even allies such as Islam that will cut the cultural Marxists’ own throats.
So instead those elites have moved heaven and earth to re-start the Cold War, again presenting Russia as a threat, which is absurd. It is to be expected that Russia will seek to reabsorb areas on her periphery that were historically part of the Russian Empire, especially those which have a predominantly Russian population. But this is no threat to Europe or the United States. The likelihood of Russian divisions again rolling into Berlin is small.
President Trump senses that NATO’s anti-Russian orientation is strategically wrong, and he wants normal relations between Moscow and Washington. Yet both his Secretary of Defense and his Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have proclaimed that the U.S. armed forces are to de-emphasize the real threat, which comes from Fourth Generation, non-state elements of many kinds, and instead puff up nonexistent dangers from Russia and China. Why such strategic lunacy from obviously intelligent men? Because Fourth Generation war does not justify vast defense budgets. The demands of the M-I-C complex trump strategy — unless President Trump trumps the M-I-C game.
Interested in what Fourth Generation war in America might look like? Read Thomas Hobbes’ new future history, Victoria.