Wednesday, April 2, 2014
The NATO and Russia
Since Russia annexed Crimea, a debate has been rekindled regarding the role of NATO. Before this after the demise of the former Soviet Union, NATO has been struggling to find a direction for itself as it seemed out of place once the Warsaw Pact countries started to join NATO and it seems that NATO would be reduced to a smaller force doing mainly peace keeping jobs in some areas outside its jurisdiction. But after this Crimea episode, suddenly it seems that NATO has become relevant again at least for now. And during the directionless years of NATO, the countries in it kept on reducing their defense budget along with the personnel in the false hope that peace has broken out and the era of Cold war will never come back. Although the Cold war of yesteryears may not come again but this crisis have brought back memories of NATO countries to the time of that era. And what are the NATO doing right now, with its reduced expenditure on defense and the United States paying for over 75 percent of the defense expenditure (as per a report), the Europeans are again relying on the United States and as usual the U.S. is happy to pay for the defense of Europe in terms of its manpower and military might. Although the U.S. will continue to provide defense in Europe but the Europeans should also step up and increase their defense budgets because there is no greater complacency than to be deficient with your defense capabilities.