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Surrender

NATO’s Real Existential Threat: The Surrender of Western Values by William S. Smith.

On January 17, Petr Pavel, a Czech army general and NATO’s military committee chairman, led meetings with his counterparts from Ukraine and Georgia, which he tweeted were “Sessions dedicated to Projecting Stability.” Yet while NATO’s collaboration with nations historically intertwined with Russia could lead to a number of possible outcomes, “stability” seems the least likely one. Like so much of what the alliance does, the purpose of these meetings is to push the alliance ever eastward.

That raises a question. Why should Americans participate in an alliance in which a general—from a minuscule military power that spends 1 percent of its GDP on defense—hosts a meeting that is more likely to provoke a catastrophic U.S.-Russia war than to prevent one? As Ted Galen Carpenter recently explained here at TAC, this is the dangerous calculus that results from interlocking the United States with so many NATO nations, including some that Moscow regards as within its sphere of influence.

Let me offer another reason to be skeptical about the long-term future of U.S. participation in the Western alliance: the West is dying. The historical and cultural legacy that animated Western civilization is atrophying. This is particularly the case in Western Europe, where elites see nothing particularly valuable in their cultural heritage, which will increasingly make them unreliable partners to the United States. How can a Western alliance be maintained when less and less remains of common, distinctly Western values and ideas?

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