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"A stronger NATO"? I don't think so

Reader comment on item: Why I Rooted for the Turkish Coup Attempt
in response to reader comment: What course will Turkey now take?

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Jul 31, 2016 at 12:36

Hi, Steve.

I remember when Erdogan was interested in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Unfortunately for him, nobody in the SCO was particularly interested in him.

I question Daniel's assertion that without Turkey, NATO will be stronger. Russia expert Stephen Cohen touches on the subject of NATO at


He notes that US Presidential candidate Trump wants us to re-examine NATO's raison d'etre, and agrees with the candidate in this matter. NATO was cobbled together shortly after WWII ended, to oppose Soviet expansionism. There no longer is a Soviet Union, nor is Russia part of some world-wide revolution endeavor.

Neither has there been a new "Russian expansionism". Brexit champion Nigel Farage


recently set the record straight, that what happened in the Ukraine was a pro-Russian elected government being overthrown by a pro-NATO and pro-EU coup. The Russian annexation of Crimea, and its help of pro-Russian rebels in the eastern Ukraine, therefore, are strategically defensive moves by Russia, not "expansionism". Russia already had a close friend in the Ukraine, before the coup. Now it controls only Crimea and some small autonomous areas there. No sane and fair observer would call that "expansion". Rather, voices in the West, including Barack Obama, have been trying to drum up a "Cold War" to deflect attention from their own failures elsewhere.

Besides questioning the raison d'etre of NATO, Mr. Trump has called most NATO states about their lack of providing their fair share of support for the pact. Among member states, only the US, UK, Estonia, and Greece are paying their fair share:


One reason for this lack of support (which Donald Trump did not cause) is a desire by by Germany and other EU countries to replace NATO with a Europe-only defense force. The anti-Trump pundits seem to ignore that, and blame The Donald for everything.

As for NATO being better off without Turkey, consider that probably the most important part of Turkey's membership, from a US security point of view, is that while they are in NATO, we can keep tabs on them and, to some extent, keep them out of mischief. If Turkey left NATO, they would ally themselves with the Iranians and others in the area and become a complete nuissance.


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