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Cold War Relics

By James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.

When the Cold War ended, there was a vestige from the days of the old Soviet threat that remained with us. This remnant entity goes by the name of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. To those of us who enjoy an informed perspective on this notable period of history, NATO is no less than a dinosaur, a relic from another era. It should have passed away with dignity like the Berlin Wall or Pravda. Instead, it has been kept on life support by the UN and by businesses such as the defense industry that stand to benefit from its propagation.

Rather than giving NATO the suitable burial it deserves, the Senate on Thursday granted approval to expand its dimensions to include the former Communist states of Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. Since the original requirement of protecting Europe against a belligerent Communist dictatorship in the former USSR no longer exists, we must question why we are making NATO larger while the threats from potential enemies are diminishing. The answer lies in an agenda that is maintained by international globalists. The power brokers of this mindset have a deep-seated desire to place the military personnel of the world's only superpower under foreign command.

According to Article 5 of the NATO Charter, we must go to war, up to and including nuclear conflict, to defend every member-nation in NATO. Many of the likely new constituents are small, unstable nations. These countries have long histories of ethnic, nationalistic, religious and territorial hostility.

It is for this reason that expansion efforts will lead to the weakening of American national security. Indeed, the lives of our young men and women in the military are in great jeopardy if this plan actually materializes.

Placing troops under NATO command is part of the plan of international bureaucrats to enlarge the scope of NATO. NATO expansion would pave the way for U.S. armed forces to be placed under foreign command repeatedly without the need for congressional approval. Our sons and daughters would be obligated to fight in distant lands among people who have been involved in intense battles, the bases of which may or may not be clearly understood. Oftentimes, internal skirmishes have persisted for periods of up to thousands of years. Our commitments to defend new member-countries could easily advance at a rapid pace, and it is not beyond the realm of possibility that weapons of mass destruction would have to be employed in the struggles.

The idea of NATO expansion is highly unpopular in Russia and relations would appear to be further strained as the expansion occurs. This will strengthen the hand of the hard-liners in a way that could threaten the stability of the fragile Russian experiment in democratic governance. By augmenting an obsolete military alliance such as NATO, we could unwittingly be contributing to the creation of a forceful adversary.

The Clinton administration has promised that the United States will pay for at least fifteen percent of NATO expansion costs. These costs could run anywhere from 200 million dollars to 10 billion dollars per year. This is in addition to the tens of billions of dollars we are paying every year to maintain over 100,000 troops in Europe and untold numbers of military personnel on our various so-called peacekeeping missions in Bosnia, Macedonia and Albania. Does anyone legitimately believe that American taxpayers should be footing the bill not only for the wealthy nations of Europe, but also the citizens of Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic? To make matters worse, the Clinton administration has announced that it will also consider asking Romania, Slovenia, the Baltics, Austria and Bulgaria to join NATO in another two years.

The defense industry has spent millions of dollars lobbying Congress to expand NATO. In fact, Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Textron have already indicated that they intend to build arms factories in the new NATO countries. This might explain why both President Clinton and the Senate Republican leadership gave such unflagging support to the expansion plans.

Susan Eisenhower, chair of the Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Washington, D.C., and a granddaughter of Dwight Eisenhower, described the decision to expand NATO as "the greatest error in U.S. foreign policy since the fall of the Berlin Wall." We can only hope that in the future this entire matter is revisited, or in the best possible scenario, a new initiative is brought before Congress that just makes NATO go away.

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James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.

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