NATO’s Back in Business, Thanks to Russia’s Threat to Ukraine

This brings to mind the old joke back in high school. NATO = No Action, Talk Only. I didn’t really know the things that NATO did, only that it didn’t do much. It was a jocular thing; finding an acronym for a phrase, then realising it was the acronym for a real organisation.

Well, now I know. NATO really can’t do anything but stand by and watch as Russia readies to march into Ukraine.

TIME

Back in 1993, during the earliest days of the Clinton Administration, Senator Richard Lugar of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee warned that with the Soviet Union history, NATO needed to “go out of area, or out of business.”

Like any self-respecting, self-perpetuating armed bureaucracy, the alliance got the hint, deploying forces—and, in some cases, fighting—in Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, the Gulf of Aden and Libya.

President Clinton may have moved from the world stage, and Senator Lugar may have lost the 2012 Indiana Republican primary to an ultimately-defeated Tea Party candidate, but NATO—thanks to Russia’s threat to Ukraine—is now firmly back in business, finally in its own area.

The North Atlantic alliance made clear Wednesday that “a political solution is the only way forward” in dealing with Russia’s threats to its former fellow Soviet republic. That may be the only way forward for NATO and the West. But Russia may…

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