Tuesday, April 11, 2006

European Union and NATO: Part IV

Yellow means both EU and NATO membership. Blue means EU only. Red means NATO only.

Part I, Part II, Part III, Part 3.5

NATO was formed in 1949 from the wake of the Berlin Blockade. It was clear to the Western Powers that the Soviet Union posed as much as of a threat as Nazi Germany and a military alliance was needed to fight off possible aggression. NATO spent the Cold War preparing for a European land war.

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union; however, there was concern for the future of NATO. With no primary enemy could the organization survive? NATO was involved in the various Balkan conflicts but everyone knew those styles of conflicts in Europe were limited and would soon past.

September 11th changed everything for NATO. NATO is now in command of the War in Afghanistan. NATO has also recently expanded into Eastern Europe, before the European Union did, and there are talks about including such countries like Ukraine, Finland, and Israel. Further roles in the War on Terrorism and expansion are possible.

The problem for NATO is that of its fundamental character. NATO was created to defend Western Europe from Eastern Europe in a Third Generational War (3GW). If it does global wars and recruits countries not from Europe- is it still NATO?

A secondary threat comes from the European Union. The EU is trying to create an army and may try to force members out of NATO. However, the EU is neck deep in other problems so this is a distant issue for now.

The future of NATO is brighter than the EU. Its focus on purely military matters has spared it from many of the political problems the EU has had. NATO's problems seem to be problems of success and enlargement.

Category: Geopolitics

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