The Fruits of Obstruction

You know we’re living in interesting times when even the Wall Street Journal is questioning the sanctity of NATO. An unsigned editorial says that

This may seem a radical thought, but it is certainly warranted by the astonishing recent behavior of nations thought to be U.S. allies. Three countries–France, Germany and their mini-me minion, Belgium–have moved from opposition to U.S. policy toward Iraq into formal, and consequential, obstructionism. If this is what the U.S. gets from NATO, maybe it’s time America considered leaving this Cold War institution and re-forming an alliance of nations that understand the new threats to world order.

During the bad old days of the Cold War, it was, I think, Kissinger’s formula to “accept any economic price, no matter how large, to get any political advantage, no matter how small.” Well, now Germany and France are determined to impose political costs no us, with no discernable financial, military, or political gain to be seen.

I suppose that leaves us with the question of how to punish them in return.

It seems somehow unfair to our better NATO allies to leave the alliance, but there is an alternative: A new alliance that would officially sit alongside NATO, but in practice would render NATO as useful as a buggy whip for a hydrogen car.

Sign up Italy and Spain and Lithuania and the rest of the Gangs of Eight and Ten. Hell, get Israel, Australia, and India on board, too. The new threat is global — not the simple, parochial interest of protecting Germany from. . . um, from whom are we protecting Germany?

Exactly. Don’t withdraw from NATO, don’t give Germany and France the satisfaction of having forced us to bolt “their” alliance. Just let it — and them –wither on the vine.