But this is not the first time this kind of internal disagreement is happening. NATO was formed to counter the Soviet challenge, and global communism. Many paranoid countries joined the protective nuclear umbrella of the democratic big powers, namely USA, UK and a handful of western European states.
With the break up of the Soviets the cause and motive of NATO became non-existent, and it rapidly included several former east European communist countries, who now were wary of Russia on their borders. But the inevitable dilution happened.
NATO never owned up collectively against global crisis post Soviet breakup. The Yugoslavia breakup in the mid 90s saw NATO operations, which were severely mismanaged until USA took over the campaign. During and after 9/11 the article 5 (an attack on one member is an attack on others) of the NATO charter was invoked for the first time in the history of the organisation. But even after that the contribution of troops of NATO in Afghanistan and Iraq remained hilarious.
Which is obvious. In a December 2009 article in Bombs and Dollars, I argued how European complacency, and isolationism is proving to be disastrous for world peace.
There are greater dangers now. While the world remains glued to the historical events in Middle East, a little known even went unnoticed. The border clash between Cambodia and Thailand proved China is no longer sitting idle and is actively influencing global politics.
Not only Cambodia. China is influencing Pakistan against its main democratic rival India, which is basically a bid to take control of the trading routes in the Indian ocean, which is still mostly controlled by US and Indian navies and where it is still not a major player. It is also directly challenging the communication and military supremacy of the USA.
During the George Bush presidency, Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice tried to formulate the democratic “Asian arc of freedom” with Japan, Australia and India, dubbed as a “little NATO” by a nervous China. But Australian lack of interest, and subsequently Obama presidency somehow stalled the initiative.
With the new Libya crisis, it is proved again, that USA is to take all the burden with the other European countries mostly disinterested or unwilling to commit its resources in global conflicts. Its about time to scrap NATO, and redraft, formulate and finalise the actual “coalition of willing” of the democratic countries across the globe to face the genuine challenges facing the 21st century.
And for sanity’s sake, this time lets not admit countries which come only for the glamour and show of it.