National Security

Kamioner: What Next For NATO?

It is toothless in Ukraine.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

There have been proposals, including from this writer, to morph NATO into something else like a purely diplomatic alliance, as the basic threat was gone. Well, when I’m wrong, I’m really wrong.

The NATO I served with in the 80s was literally ten times as strong as it is today. But it seems the same basic mission is back, to deter Russian aggression. As an advantage, we’re doing it from Russian borders, not facing Eastern Germany. Thus, NATO not only is viable, it must be strengthened pronto.

How is it doing now? A NATO linchpin country tells us about their Army, “In my 41st year of service in peace, I would not have thought I would have had to experience another war. And the army that I am allowed to lead, is more or less standing bare,” said the Inspector General of the German Army. He added, “The options we can offer policymakers to support the Alliance are extremely limited…We all saw it coming and were unable to penetrate with our arguments to draw and implement the conclusions of the annexation of Crimea.”

A former German Defense Minister said, “I’m so angry at ourselves for our historical failure. After Georgia, Crimea, and Donbas, we have not prepared anything that would have really deterred Putin.” That can be said for the alliance as a whole. America rushing scattered units to the five frontline states of Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Romania does not make up for decades of NATO neglect.

How’s it going in one of those countries? Our man in Latvia, a retired US Army NCO this writer served with and has known almost 40 years, tells this publication, “Oh they’ve put the Ukrainian flag in front of the Foreign Ministry and lit it up with blue and yellow at nights. Dunno what else they can do, they’re a part of NATO and hosted large winter exercises here a few weeks ago…That large winter FTX I mentioned was in both Latvia and Lithuania. I think the Russian-Byelorussian one was in response. Still unsure about routes of this invasion, but press is saying that indeed Russians did come from the north. By the way, isn’t it interesting that BOTH the Budapest Accords and the deal to give North Korea food in return for their not producing a nuke were both brokered by the Clinton Administration in the same year, 1994? I wonder how well those turned out, don’t you? The Ukrainians must be so pleased they gave up their nukes. Now all they need to do is sing some John Lennon tunes at the Russians to stop the invasion.”

My pal is right. We may as well deploy Yoko Ono for all the good it’s going to do in stopping Putin in Ukraine. Though, listening to her sing could likely halt a tank dead in its tracks. What will stop future invasions is a NATO back to 1980s levels. That is the only thing that will keep the bear in his newly expanded cage.

David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence and an honors graduate of the University of Maryland's European Division. He also served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

Join the Discussion

COMMENTS POLICY: We have no tolerance for messages of violence, racism, vulgarity, obscenity or other such discourteous behavior. Thank you for contributing to a respectful and useful online dialogue.