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NATO responds to threats, Erdogan creates them

Reader comment on item: Do NATO and Turkey Have a Future Together?

Submitted by Dave (United States), Sep 4, 2022 at 20:25

The whole purpose of NATO is to defend its members against existential threats. It was created in 1949 to protect the West against the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union was a large, totalitarian, heavily armed empire that could easily have continued its ruthless expansion beyond eastern Europe. NATO was clearly defensive in nature. Soviet claims of needing protection from capitalist predation were rightly viewed as cynical propaganda. The good guys and the bad guys were on obvious sides. People understood and believed in NATO. It was a resource and a comfort.

The clear lines of 1949 have become blurred, and the situation has become much less black and white after the Soviet breakup. Yet, the essential goal of defending freedom should still be paramount. That concept has been severely tested by Turkey's aggressive actions against democratic Greece and the weak Kurdish minority. Turkey has cozied up to Hamas, an aggressive entity threatening Israel. Erdogan is a bully and Turkey is not democratic, but Turkey is just one of many bad actors that NATO should be guarding against. The world is at least as dangerous today as it was in 1949.

With Turkey, we have a NATO member whose actions qualify her as more of a threat to be countered than an ally to defend. This glaring contradiction exposes NATO's confusion, impotence, irrelevance and loss of purpose. NATO is acting like a has-been corporation that has strayed from its founder's vision; her creditors are pounding at the door.

Most likely a new organization is needed, one made up of members who can recapture NATO's original clarity and resolve. Unfortunately, such an endeavor probably requires more grit, intelligence and determination than seems available right now. Leadership, please.


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Daniel Pipes replies:

"NATO is acting like a has-been corporation that has strayed from its founder's vision": I like that analogy.

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