World business and political systems are in a mess. America is run by a billionaire reality show host who builds golf courses and casino hotels. The European Union is about to have an economic breakdown after a cultural embolism. China still operates in a stasis of mutual distrust around the world. India is in a dense fog of burning coal smog. And most of the rest of the world is just sick and tired of America running the show. Africa still deals with colonialism. Latin America is still a coup d’état away from more misery. Somebody stop me before I start writing another book!
Ta-da! Enter Dumbo NATO
Right in the middle of all this sandpaper rubbing humanity sits the United Nations. The collective watering hole where the beasts of the geopolitical Serengeti come to drink, the UN reminds me of a Rudyard Kipling story gone wrong. Just turn the Jungle Book upside down and shake it, and the sweet intentions of a man-cub story end up like the most ghoulish episode of The Walking Dead TV series. In other words, don’t be surprised to hear of the UN General Assembly breaking down and eating one another. We just get along THAT badly.
To make matters even worse, smack dab in the middle of the UN assembly hall there sits a great big elephant nobody knows how to deal with. NATO is a snarly-lip, tusk prodding, smelly, rogue of an animal so fearsome a fart from the heavy beast is enough to smother Russia or anybody else in the room.
Or, was this always just a story like those long-winded Rudyard Kipling ones?
NATO never accomplished anything good in 70 years. And UN countries are just plain tired of the smelly old pachyderm. France thinks NATO is more like Dumbo than the Pyrrhus’s Pachyderms of Alexander the Great. Hell, even President Emmanuel Macron said so recently when he called the alliance “brain dead.” Visualize this, will you? NATO Dumbo standing in the general assembly of nations, losing total control, the falling over and killing a couple of poor Meerkat nations sitting next to the saggy war elephant.
You may think I am just joking here, but I am not. Read directly from the United Nations about the clumsy and useless interactions in between NATO and the UN. The BBC tells readers the other day:
“Originally set up to promote “stability and well-being in the North Atlantic area”, Nato was faced with finding a new purpose after the demise of the Soviet Union.”
And then the BBC, the Queen Mother’s news network, pets the old elephant on its furry furrowed brow and begs our sympathy for the gnarly behemoth. According to BBC, since NATO has expanded, “it has struggled to overcome Russian concerns that the alliance poses a threat on its borders.” Really now? Is any BBC viewer, listener, or reader dumb enough to swallow that? NATO’s chief claim to fame includes sitting in Europe policing and sapping money from nations terrified of a Soviet invasion that never came close to happening. Then the military alliance assisted in the breakup of Yugoslavia, which paved the way for the American hegemony to control the Balkans.
Taliban Mouse Whips Dumbo NATO
NATO brags nowadays about its involvement in Afghanistan, a war to end the Taliban that we lost, lost, lost. The Taliban is strong as ever, read it and weep. The United States created the Taliban (Mujahedeen then) to defeat the Soviets, and their numbers have doubled since 2001. Interestingly, the Taliban are the sworn enemies of ISIS. Which brings me to a final point.
NATO cannot defend Europe from potential enemies. NATO cannot help solve ANY of the current problems that face the world’s nations. NATO is the wobbly, dangerous elephant in the geopolicy washroom, a danger to everyone concerned. Read this Bloomberg nonsense if you think I am crazy. Putin hater Leonid Bershidsky (of course) tries to rescue the useless alliance with “NATO’s Defense Guarantee Is Potent Because It’s Vague.”
If you wanted proof, there it is. If you’re not laughing your ass off right now thinking about our Dumbo elephant in the UN General Assembly twirling and bugling as it finally loses control of its bowels and everything else, I haven’t done my job well. We’re supposed to feed a gigantic, awkward, deadly, and ungrateful war elephant to just be scary and unpredictable? That’s it. NATO was founded to be big, dumb, dangerous, and scary! Thank God, we’re all safe.
Dumbo Eats While Rome Burns
The Euro area gross domestic product (GDP) is now forecast to expand by 1.1% in 2019 and by 1.2% in 2020 and 2021. The Trump administration wants more NATO dough, which will further tax this economy. As for the United States, and get this, since NATO tried to push into Ukraine, the U.S. taxpayer has had to pay more than ten times as much in the region.
Before the Euromaidan coup that forced Russia to save Russian speakers in Crimea, the U.S. only spent meager sums in the region. Since the so-called European Deterrence Initiative (EDI) funding has risen from almost nothing to $789 million in 2016, then $3.42 billion in 2017, followed by $4.78bn in 2018, and $6.53 billion this year. All that money just to keep a brain dead, smelly, ill-tempered, and disconcerting NATO elephant mucking up peaceful negotiations.
But, the really bad news is that without a geometric increase in funding, machines, and manpower, NATO would never be able to stop Russia in eastern Europe. As mean and ugly as our hungry elephant is, every study shows Russia taking over the Balkins within 2 or 3 days. However, scenarios, where a limited conventional war in Europe takes place, are adolescent behavior. Still, the think tanks that are the “brains” of our NATO elephant go on creating the fear in the room.
Dumbo NATO Flight Provisioning
Look at this report entitled, “Defending Europe: scenario-based capability requirements for NATO’s European members.” President Macron must have seen this, for the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) creates a detailed justification for us to feed Dumbo even more. When all is said and done, NATO is about the business of arms and profits, with the added benefit of intimidating Europe.
According to IISS, Dumbo NATO needs $104 billion dollar’s worth of subs, ships, and anti-ship missiles, etc. as of today, just so Russia fears Jumbo enough. Add to this the $160 billion so Dumbo can fly like a Typhoon or an F-35B, and I’ll bet NATO Dumbo is becoming less scary than the Pentagon or General Dynamics is. And the tanks! What about the armor? Leopards, Abrams’, Pumas, and other Army toys will run about $200 billion, according to IISS.
I’ll leave off with a couple of questions I know you are already asking yourself. First, “If NATO Dumbo has been so tuskless and underfed all these years, why hasn’t Russia already attacked?” Better still, “If Russia is only spending a fraction of these sums, is the Dumbo NATO elephant really the fearsome animal in the General Assembly?”
Stay tuned, in case the bear decides to fart.
Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, he’s an author of the recent bestseller “Putin’s Praetorians” and other books. He writes exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”