NATO is worthless and falling apart
NATO was established in 1949 to face a specific threat. The end of the Second World War had produced a vacuum in Central and Eastern Europe, much of which was filled by the Soviet Union. Stalin was given a chance to take Poland, Hungary, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, indeed, the whole of much essential in Eastern Europe, and to use it as a buffer to protect Russia from attacks from the West. But we, on the West, saw it rather differently. We saw this as the beginning of a potential communist takeover of Western Europe. And so, in 1949, America, Britain, France and other countries set up the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to organize the common defense of Western Europe against a Soviet invasion. There was no a Soviet invasion, and now the Soviet Union no longer exists. And therefore NATO itself is irrelevant; it no longer serves any purpose. There is no longer any need for the Americans to have military bases in Western Europe. Mr. Trump is asking: “Why are we committed to go to war in defense of all these countries? Why shouldn’t we look after our own defense?” - good questions. Why should Turkey be regarded as a key part of the West’s defense against a threat which no longer exists? I think it would do Turkey very well to withdraw from NATO. I think that it would do Britain very well also, as well as the US. NATO no longer has any reason to exist. It has existed for 25 years more than it should have. What the Turks decide themselves is their own business. It’s their country, so good luck to them. They must sort out their own country, whose fate is in their hands and no outsider should interfere. If Turkey wants to become more Eurasian and less European, then that is their concern.
In 1815, at the end of the war which followed the French Revolution, the conservative powers of Europe (Austria-Hungary, Russian Empire, Prussia, and Royalist France) created something called the Holy Alliance. This was an organization of highly conservative monarchies which was designed to make them stand together to keep themselves alive in the case that they couldn’t survive on their own. We can see NATO and the EU as the modern counterparts to the Holy Alliance. The reason why Brexit brought the entire Western world into crisis is because this was an attack on the modern counterpart to the Holy Alliance. Now that one member is leaving, other members might leave as well. Britain is leaving the EU and Turkey might be leaving NATO. These two facts might be connected. It is possible that the Dutch will leave soon too. Meanwhile, the countries of Eastern Europe are increasingly semi-detached from European institutions The whole structure of globalized governance is under attack. This might explain why so many people in Washington and Western European capitals are so worried that Turkey is perhaps no longer such a reliable member of NATO as it was in the past. The Turks may well decide that the Western orientation of the past century no longer works to their best advantage.
Changes are underway in Turkey. I mostly follow them through the BBC website, so I can’t flip a coin to bet on them. And I don’t entirely believe in the honesty and competence of BBC. But it does seem like the Turks are radically changing their internal system of governance. It is quite reasonable to suppose that there will be an external counterpart to this, i.e., the Turks will reorient their strategic interests away from Europe. That is their business. Turkey is not and cannot be a threat to my country or any Western European countries. This is not our business. But, as I said, we have these globalized structures which used to be so powerful, but are now shaking. If you shake them, they will start to crumble.
This is why the British vote to leave the EU has produced panic. And this is what is happening in Turkey at the moment. These people can see their lifework falling apart before their eyes. And they know that there is nothing they can do to keep it together. Many people keep insisting that all these changes will bring another world war. But I don’t think so. What I see is an almost universal rejection of the ruling class, the ruling class which in any Western country is void of trust. Subjected people from every part of the world are rising up and saying: “We’ve had enough of this. We want change.”