By Steven J. Grisafi, PhD.
I have a habit of reading opinion editorials with which I know I will disagree. I encountered yet another muscle-flexing Anglo-Saxon diatribe this morning published in the Washington Post newspaper. I want every American to ask themselves these two questions:
1. Do you consider it America’s responsibility to insure that Taiwan remains independent of the People’s Republic of China?
2. Do you consider it America’s responsibility to protect one former Soviet Republic from another?
A leader stands alone. In my opinion America, and the world, would be best served if America were to withdraw from NATO. The creation of the European Union ought to have been the first step toward dissolution of NATO. America’s continued presence within NATO enables the Europeans to forgo any needed ability to defend themselves.
The Russian Federation is only one part of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. It may be the largest. But it is dwarfed by the population of the European Union, which is about 50% larger than that of the United States. I consider the protest poised by the President of the Russian Federation to be a ruse. President Putin has argued that admitting the Ukraine into NATO would be an existential threat to the Russian Federation. I suspect, as do most European leaders, that President Putin’s objective is to reformulate the former Soviet Union, albeit as a new capitalist nation.
I propose that America seek to thwart President Putin’s ambitions by calling his bluff. If, America were to withdraw from NATO, that in no way inhibits our ability to take action against those we perceive as acting against our best interest. However, I see no threat to the United States if, for example, the Ukraine, or Georgia, were to become satellite nations of the Russian Federation as is Belarus. Similarly, I see no existential threat to the United States if Taiwan were to be incorporated into the People’s Republic of China in the same manner as is Hong Kong.
America needs the European Union to stand on their own two feet. We cannot afford to continue to enable them to skirt their responsibility for their own defense. We do so by remaining a part of NATO. For example, eastern European nations such as Poland take a bellicose attitude toward Germany. Their distrust of one another is enabled by giving them the alternative of protection from the United States within NATO. Americans agree that it is better to confront our adversaries on foreign soil than on American soil. But neither China nor Russia threaten us militarily. China threatens us economically – they are better capitalists than we are. But neither poses a threat to our way of life.