That bar, the Red Star, on the far side of eastern Europe is closed. So why is the Black Star on this side still open, and even extending its drinking hours?
Once the Warsaw pact closed shop there was no good or honest reason for keeping Nato going. The threat it was created to deter disappeared when the Soviet Union collapsed. Let the EU take the strain, by trade, investment, diplomacy and political intimacy, the hallmarks of a successful union that has mastered the art of expansion and influence by clever use of the carrot, while America has led its quest for influence by application of the Bush doctrine of “preventive war.”
As Mark Leonard wrote in Why Europe Will Run the 21st Century, his clever little book of three years ago, “the contrast between the two doctrines is stark. The Bush doctrine attempts to justify action to remove a ‘threat’ before it has a chance of being employed against the US. It is consequently focused very closely on physical assets and capabilities, necessarily swift in execution and therefore short term in conception, and unavoidably entirely military in kind. The European doctrine of pre-emption, in contrast, is predicated on long-term involvement, with the military just one strand of activity, along with pre-emptive economic and legal intervention, and is aimed at building the political and institutional basis of stability, rather than simply removing the immediate source of threat.” This is why Nato is no longer needed in Europe.
Passive aggression—the outward expansion of the Eurosphere—is what Europe needs. For countries such as Turkey, Serbia or Bosnia, the only thing worse than having the Brussels bureaucracy descend on its political system with its multitude of new rules is to have its doors closed to them.
When Nato expansion was first being discussed by the Clinton administration, a group of conservative foreign policy experts, led by Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser to George Bush Sr, wrote in the New York Times, “antagonism is sure to grow if the alliance extends ever closer to Russia… We will have misplaced our priorities during a critical window of opportunity.” George Kennan described it as “the most fateful error of the entire post-cold war era.”
Mikhail Gorbachev said that he was assured by James Baker, US secretary of state, that if the Soviet Union permitted the reunification of West and East Germany, “there would be no…