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  #61  
Old 12.06.2011, 15:12
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Re: NATO Kaput?

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None which means anything without a credible military threat flexing its muscles at the rear.

"Speak softly and carry a big stick," as the saying goes.
The rule of fear ? Can of worms....

I believe the Swiss position contradicts you. They have achieved remarkable periods of prosperity and peace using such tools.
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  #62  
Old 12.06.2011, 15:15
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Re: NATO Kaput?

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The rule of fear ? Can of worms....

I believe the Swiss position contradicts you. They have achieved remarkable periods of prosperity and peace using such tools.
And Churchill's position contradicts you.

You've heard of Neville Chamberlain, I presume? The Czechs certainly have...
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Old 12.06.2011, 15:16
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Re: NATO Kaput?

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And Churchill's position contradicts you.

You've heard of Neville Chamberlain, I presume? The Czechs certainly have...
Far from it... Lessons have been learnt. War is old, passed it's time.
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  #64  
Old 12.06.2011, 15:18
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Re: NATO Kaput?

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Far from it... Lessons have been learnt. War is old, passed it's time.
Alas, it hasn't, as any victim of foreign aggression can tell you.
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  #65  
Old 12.06.2011, 15:36
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Re: NATO Kaput?

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Interesting question. The last century has effectively been under Pax Americana, but when you consider the recent wars fought and people killed, I wonder if China and their non-interference policy would have been a better choice.
Ah, but, in WWII the US had been attempting to stay neutral (well, as neutral as one can be when selling arms to one's allies) but built a base on Greenland to help defend against the Germans in the North Sea and then were dragged fully in when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor.

(Memory pings garnered here, lessons initially learned in US and Hawaiian History elsewhere.)
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  #66  
Old 12.06.2011, 15:46
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Re: NATO Kaput?

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Alas, it hasn't, as any victim of foreign aggression can tell you.
It is to those that preach against it.
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  #67  
Old 12.06.2011, 15:48
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Re: NATO Kaput?

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As a veteran and voluntary service member of my nation's military, I do not appreciate being compared to a rapist or someone who enjoys killing. But I'm also a free-thinking individual, and I do not support the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya or Yemen.
I am with you on this one
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  #68  
Old 12.06.2011, 15:54
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Re: NATO Kaput?

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Does China genuinely have a non-interference policy, or is it just very subtle with its interference?

(Except in Tibet, of course, where it's as subtle as a sledgehammer)
Well, the non-interference of course refers to foreign interference (both Tibet and Taiwan being internal affairs). I think China has sent military mainly (only?) under UN peace-keeping missions and mostly engineers. Compared to the escapades of the US military in Afghanistan, Iraq, etc.

Of course, it's hard to say if this policy exists only due to the relative weakness of China. Perhaps any sole military super-power would use its muscle to gain an economic advantage.
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  #69  
Old 12.06.2011, 15:54
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Re: NATO Kaput?

Anyway, to bring a different perspective into this discussion, I'd like to tell you the tale of an Iraqi refugee with whom I used to work.

It was a grey, dreary day, and nobody was in a particularly good mood. The Iraqi lad, like most teenagers, could be pretty sulky and surly when he wanted to be, and today, the weather being so grim, I could see was likely to be one of those days.

The lad in question wasn't strictly a refugee, in the legal sense. His father was an accomplished scientist who had jumped through all the hoops to come to the United Kingdom as a regular immigrant with papers. They'd had an awful time in Iraq - among other things, the younger brother (five years old) had been kidnapped and kept in a storage container for several days, and was still afraid to be in any room with the door closed (including toilet cubicles!) - but, because they'd arrived in the United Kingdom with papers, much of the support available to refugees was denied them. They simply fell between all the stools and weren't particularly happy about that, as you can imagine.

So this lad, his face like thunder, sidled up to me and, with a slightly aggressive tone, said: "I know why you English are always invade my country!"

"Oh dear," I thought. Discussing politics really wasn't a good idea in the classroom, and I always tried to change the subject as quickly as possible. On this occasion, however, it was clearly hopeless.

"Why's that, then?" I asked, smiling.

"You always invade my country because you weather is so BAD! You want sun, we have sun. So you invade."

So there you have it. From the mouth of someone who had actually endured an invasion by NATO: it is all a direct consequence of bad weather.

Maybe things will improve with global warming?
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Old 12.06.2011, 15:57
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Re: NATO Kaput?

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It is to those that preach against it.
So even though there are still wars taking place, war is past its time.

Is that what you are saying?
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  #71  
Old 12.06.2011, 16:13
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Re: NATO Kaput?

NATO is a curious relic of past threats, and in many US circles it represents a massive cost with little benefit. That is not to say alliances are not a benefit, but the structure and baggage of NATO is being questioned as such. It irks some American hawks that a European foreign policy can primarily be based on "soft" power in the form of humanitarian aid, while US tax dollars fund an institution allowing European defence spending to remain meager in comparison (on top of direct US defence spending.)

This is also not to say the relationship between the US and European nations is not symbiotic, and necessary. The focus is on specifically NATO, and what benefit the US garners from that. Some say, "very little."

A final thought as to American interventionism. With or without the continued existence of NATO, the words of Barack Obama at his Oslo Nobel ceremony still would be relevant, and could be true even without past recognition of NATO:

"Whatever mistakes we have made, the plain fact is this, the United States of America has helped underwrite global security for more than six decades with the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms."
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  #72  
Old 12.06.2011, 16:18
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Re: NATO Kaput?

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So even though there are still wars taking place, war is past its time.

Is that what you are saying?
You misread the post to suit some other reason. War , as a concept has had it's day. It does not achieve what it used to, it is no longer a viable solution to achieve any decent end.
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  #73  
Old 12.06.2011, 16:45
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Re: NATO Kaput?

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You misread the post to suit some other reason. War , as a concept has had it's day. It does not achieve what it used to, it is no longer a viable solution to achieve any decent end.
I like Gandhi too. Unfortunately some couldn't care less.

I do not think war is created to justify the army. I think some armies exist to actually stop the war should it happen.
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  #74  
Old 12.06.2011, 17:21
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Re: NATO Kaput?

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I like Gandhi too. Unfortunately some couldn't care less.

I do not think war is created to justify the army. I think some armies exist to actually stop the war should it happen.
Chicken and egg, armies were created for war. Without armies, there is no war. No war, no armies.
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Old 12.06.2011, 17:53
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Re: NATO Kaput?

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War , as a concept has had it's day. It does not achieve what it used to, it is no longer a viable solution to achieve any decent end.


Do you recognise this flag?

Last edited by Dougal's Breakfast; 12.06.2011 at 18:10. Reason: dropped question about email: I wouldn't have got a sensible answer anyway
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  #76  
Old 12.06.2011, 18:14
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Re: NATO Kaput?

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Or someone figured out that it was easier to let his neighbours do the fighting on his behalf.
Holy cannoli, typically the conflicts will drag on as long as two parties won't find a common ground, be it on the EF or on large scale the global ones.
The art of negotiation and diplomacy is crucial to appease both sides and provide something tangible for agreement.

The NATO had played important role in shaping the world's history in the past, however new demographic frontiers and socio-political requirements call for resorting to different measures. There is no need to lambast the achiever from the past and daresay how useless it is and consumes money of the taxpayers or should be resolved. Come up with new global solution built on the bricks of experiences from the past and show to the world that's it is novel viable solution. In the meantime if there is no such, resort to what's available and safeguard the security in the world.

P.S. My wife just saw a snake in the rocks protruding in the water. We had to evacuate from Küssnacht and successfully back at home
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  #77  
Old 12.06.2011, 19:55
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Re: NATO Kaput?

going to go back to the original topic as to whether NATO has had it's day, until only a few years back the UK was still paying back the debt for the loans given by the US for stopping Hitler in WWII. That is a debt, a monetary loan - one of the reasons NATO was established was that if a member state was threatened they would not have to fear as there would be a 'greater' good.

Regardless of all the American bashing and God Bless America lot out there, there still remains a level of balance which is carefully managed against all the dictators and despots out there.

We live in the most stable part of the worlds evolution, there have been no global wars for over 60 years, there are numerous reasons for this, NATO is part of this, as is also the fact of arms development and nuclear and standard ballistic capabilities.

NATO isn't perfect, the USSR wan't either, American public and foreign policy isn't perfect, neither is the UK or the EU's

BUT because everyone attempts to work together to stop genocide, and other atrocities, which lets face it not one of us here as a member of EF would think normal, we are graced with a 'reasonable' civilised world.

Yes there are parts which need improvement, and yes there are some countries which have conflict which should (imho) have intervention, for example China and Tibet, but............... who am I to say

Governments govern, and bits like NATO and the EU and the US etc.., are huge global players so give them a bit of slack, and just think what would you do if you were in charge of any one of these?
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  #78  
Old 12.06.2011, 21:11
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Re: NATO Kaput?

Let us know how that whole 'war is obsolete' thing works out for you when oil starts to run out, petroleum based agriculture starts to fail, and other strategic national resources are depleted. It's nice to have a pretty philosophy to look at while your children are starving, though. Think it won't happen? Think we'll all just 'get along' ?
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Old 12.06.2011, 21:15
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Re: NATO Kaput?

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Let us know how that whole 'war is obsolete' thing works out for you when oil starts to run out, petroleum based agriculture starts to fail, and other strategic national resources are depleted. It's nice to have a pretty philosophy to look at while your children are starving, though. Think it won't happen? Think we'll all just 'get along' ?
...and if the Military budget was spent on developing alternative resources and less dependence on the goals of war then starving children would not be a problem. I take it from your response that War over Oil is acceptable ?
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Old 12.06.2011, 21:48
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Re: NATO Kaput?

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I take it from your response that War over Oil is acceptable ?
Of course not, but rational adult thought grounded in real world facts seems to elude you.

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