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Gwynne Dyer: NATO may not be obsolete, but it does serve a modest purpose

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04.12.2019

When he took office in January 2017, Donald Trump called the North Atlantic Treaty Organization "obsolete," but he hates all multinational institutions so that hardly counts. Just last month, however, France's President Emmanuel Macron said that the NATO alliance is "strategically brain-dead," which is closer to the truth.

Yet the leaders of the alliance's 29 member countries are all in the United Kingdom this week to celebrate the 70th anniversary of NATO's foundation. Brain-dead or just deeply confused, it continues to stumble around and receives frequent transfusions of cash. Why?

Macron was furious last month because nobody in NATO could satisfactorily answer his big question: "WHO IS THE ENEMY?" The alleged Russian threat is still the glue that holds the alliance together, but Macron doesn't believe in that. His own answer is that the alliance's real enemy is terrorism, but that is equally silly.

Terrorism is a major nuisance but not an existential threat, and counterterrorism is usually a secret 'war' in which armies have little importance. The appropriate tools for combating it are generally intelligence services and police forces, not armoured........

© Peterborough Examiner