Are we ready to make sacrifices for Latvia? Estonia? How about Albania?
How much are we willing to sacrifice? A lot?
I’m reminded of that old Jay Leno bit “Jay Walking” I think it was, where Jay would ask pedestrians questions about history, geography, etc. I’d like to see the average pedestrian point to those places on a map. Scary. But it may affect all of our lives.
Do you know who’s in NATO?
For what would you consider risking to avoid the start of WW III?
It’s funny how history works sometimes.
The oddest, and smallest, occurrences can sometimes start the biggest events. For the want of a nail, a kingdom was lost…that kind of stuff. The Chaos theory in action.
An event that started as a complete failure was one of the significant events starting WW I, the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Visiting the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo, a group of six assassins from a nationalist group, gathered on a street where the Archdukes visiting motorcade would pass. One of the members of the group threw a grenade at the car, but missed. It injured some people nearby, but Franz Ferdinand’s convoy was able to carry on. The convoy was supposed to be stopped. The other assassins failed to act as the cars drove past. Franz Ferdinand spontaneously went to the hospital to visit some of the injured. When returning from the visit, about an hour later, the convoy took a wrong turn into a street and the car, a convertible, stalled. By an act of pure by coincidence, Princip, one of the intended assassins, had just walked out of a café where he had been lamenting their failed attempt. He walked out, looked up, and there was Franz Ferdinand in a stalled car. Princip pulled out his pistol, shot and killed Franz Ferdinand. Crazy, eh? It’s a story only Jeff Goldblum could retell with the appropriate artistry.
You could certainly say that, without WW I, America would not be the America we know today. Obviously, it had a pronounced influence on the development of our country. Check out the article linked below, “Without World War I, A Slower U.S. Rise, No ‘God Bless America.”
WW I leads to WW II, the end of WW II leads to the start of the cold war.
Thus begins NATO. On we go.
The original twelve members of NATO in 1949 were the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Denmark, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg.
In 1952, Greece and Turkey joined. West Germany was admitted in 1955 and in 1982 Spain became the sixteenth member.
On March 12, 1999, three new countries – the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland – brought the total number of NATO members to 19.
On April 2, 2004, seven new countries joined the alliance. These countries are Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia.
The two newest countries that joined as NATO members on April 1, 2009 are Albania and Croatia.
From the NATO website, here’s a short paragraph on the history of their creation:
It is often said that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was founded in response to the threat posed by the Soviet Union. This is only partially true. In fact, the Alliance’s creation was part of a broader effort to serve three purposes: deterring Soviet expansionism, forbidding the revival of nationalist militarism in Europe through a strong North American presence on the continent, and encouraging European political integration.
Do you know what article 5 of NATO is? Here it is.
The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.
Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall immediately be reported to the Security Council. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security .
Here’s what it means.
Article 5 is at the basis of a fundamental principle of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. It provides that if a NATO Ally is the victim of an armed attack, each and every other member of the Alliance will consider this act of violence as an armed attack against all members and will take the actions it deems necessary to assist the Ally attacked.
This is the principle of collective defence.
So, here’s a question. If NATO was created as a result of the events after WWII, when the cold war ended, why didn’t NATO dissolve? You read the three reasons for the creation, and according to those, NATO would no longer be necessary.
So….we’ve surrounded Russia by encouraging and allowing former Soviet satellites (uh, except for the Ukraine, right) into NATO. Everything’s peaceful. The cold war’s over. Just terrorists to worry about. Then they invade the Ukraine.
So, for Latvia, Estonia, Albania, et al., we’ve made a commitment to these people. How sure are we Russia won’t eventually invade these or other surrounding countries? I would formulate that no one can be sure of anything at this point.
In the meantime, the “The 80’s called, they want their foreign policy back.”