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Old 08-21-2009, 02:19 PM
HeatherH HeatherH is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 8
Default Re: NATOs uncertain future in Eastern Europe


Thanks for the excuse to write about OSCE! Alas, I worked at OSCE for four years long ago and thus am well aware that it cannot "replace" NATO -- though I do believe it plays an essential role as a truly pan-Eurasian regional organization -- the only one-- and should be rescued from the Europeans' desire to downgrade it and the Russians' desire to eliminate it and its human rights norms and monitoring as well as its conventional forces monitoring.

I also don't actually favor a concert of democracies, either Europe-based or globally, as an action body -- though there's nothing wrong with democracies conferring together. No point in fighting over who qualifies as a "democracy" and alienating various countries (such as Russia) which you actually need to get things done.

It's also not in the US interest to be trying to kill the UN -- showing that we want to work within it is one of the easiest ways to build goodwill toward our goasl, as Obama's nonproliferation security council session next month will demonstrate. and the vision of the OSCE you propose is a mini-UN which can be expected to have all the same drawbacks, less legitimacy, and (thanks to the unwillingness of your favorite blocs to pony up) so small a budget as to render it utterly ineffective. That is, of course, what they want.

A few other points: it's Europeans' disinclination to spend money on defense, and some Europeans' continued regard for a defense body that includes the US that retards EU defense cooperation.

Re the Turkey/Mexico comparison: giving Mexicans more safe and regulated access to the US labor market (eg immigration reform) would over time lower cultural and political friction between our two societies and allow better law enforcement cooperation on the border. In a similarly pragmatic vein, Europe has to ask itself whether rigorously holding its big Muslim neighbor at arms-length is in fact a long-term solution for either economic or cultural concerns. The record thus far suggests not.

And for the record: Anne Applebaum is not and, as far as I know, never has been affiliated with the International Crisis Group. And over forty-one years I have accumulated many things to apologize for -- but Macedonia isn't one of them. I don't want to speak for Ms. Power, but I strongly suspect she feels the same way.
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