The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has now expanded to include South America. And into countries with no Atlantic coast at all, let alone on the North Atlantic. Unless you count the Caribbean…
Rick Rozoff, in a post entitled “NATO Expands Military Network To All Continents,” reports on the recent Strategic Military Partnership Conference held in Zagreb and reveals that:
“The South American nation(s) were not identified, but NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Admiral James Stavridis, recently identified El Salvador in Central America and Colombia in South America, respectively, as current and future NATO partners and troop contributors…”
Of course, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are members of the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, a NATO Partner. And Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Tunisia (and soon, possibly, Libya) are members of Mediterranean Dialogue, also a NATO Partner. None of them have an Atlantic coast either. And Admiral Stavridis, Rozoff reports, also Congress in March that Brazil and India also were potential NATO partnership states. India?
Rozoff points out that: “The inclusion of South America marks the crossing of a new threshold for NATO: It now has members and partners on all six inhabited continents, accounting for over a third of the nations in the world.”
NATO’s name is likely to become something of a PR handicap if it continues this expansion. We hereby launch a challenge to our many readers: come up with a new name to fit the existing acronym. A friend has already jokingly suggested “New American Terrorism Overseas,” but of course he was engaging in irony. We all know that NATO is an international organization, that its purpose is peace and the protection of civilian populations, and that it is not in the business of advancing the cause of US foreign policy and arms sales for US manufacturers… Though we have to admit that there is at least a hint of that in NATO’s language: “As NATO has remarked of the Connected Forces Initiative, it is “aimed at ensuring that NATO retains and builds on the valuable gains of interoperability among Allies and partners as a result of NATO’s recent operations.”
Still, Rozoff’s article should be read by anyone who finds it curious that NATO even continues to exist, let alone expand. And everyone with a nervous system capable of engaging with the outside world should read his last paragraph:
The steady expansion of NATO military partnerships and operations around the world, which now include all populated continents, has no precedent in history. This is the first attempt to establish an international military alliance that is capable of and prepared to intervene in any nation and region it chooses to for the geopolitical benefit of its leading member states.
NATO: What’s in a name? ll @ http://99getsmart.com/?p=3779