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A Military Historian On Recent Military Events

February 12th, 2003 - 2:56 pm

John Keegan, defence editor of the Telegraph and author of my favorite history of the First World War, weighs in on the Berlin-Paris-Brussels Axis:

The American offer to Turkey of missile and early-warning defence can in no way be seen as warmongering. The French and Germans, not to mention the insignificant Belgians, seem simply, like tiresome neighbours, to be demanding attention. In so doing, they are inflicting damage on the organisation that secured their safety during the Cold War, and affronting the ally that guaranteed it, to a degree that cannot easily be forgotten or forgiven.

Might the United States have contingency plans, perhaps so. It has been through one Nato crisis already in 1966, when France withdrew from the military structure. Then, although the Nato headquarters had to be withdrawn from a French location, and numbers of American bases extensively built on French soil had to be abandoned, it bit the bullet and reconstructed the alliance. It might, if provocation continues, do so again.

Keegan goes on to make the case that NATO can well survive without Germany, just as it has made do without France for nearly 40 years. Check it out.

UPDATE: I should have mentioned I found the story on Michael Totten‘s blog. Thanks, Mike.

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