Skip to comments.NATO No More: One for all and all for naught
Posted on 03/30/2014 6:13:00 PM PDT by Daniel Clark
NATO No More: One for all and all for naught
by Daniel Clark
Ukraine is not a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organizaion, but it did have an agreement with us, which has proven to be all but meaningless. That realization, driven home by Russias annexation of Crimea, has got to have recently admitted Eastern European NATO members wondering just how worthless, or even counterproductive, their alliance with the U.S. and its Western European partners has been.
The Budapest Memorandum of 1994, signed by President Clinton, British Prime Minister John Major, and Russian President Boris Yeltsin, promised on behalf of their three nations to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine, to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and to refrain from economic coercion designed to subordinate to their own interest the exercise by Ukraine of the rights inherent in its sovereignty.
At first glance, the involvement of the U.S. and Britain in such an agreement makes about as much sense as having Nolan Ryan, Florence Henderson and William Ayers all sign a pledge not to bomb the Pentagon. The only reason for the first two to sign is to obscure the fact that the third signatory is the only one who would contemplate such an evil act.
There was no need for Clinton and Major to promise not to attack or threaten Ukraine. By signing onto a statement that none of the three nations would do so, they were really only vouching for Russia. This was not a treaty, which would have required ratification, but a legally nonbinding pledge signed by three heads of state. Nevertheless, it was presented to Ukraine as a promise from the West that it would not be threatened or violated. In response, the Ukrainians part of the bargain was that they dismantle their nuclear program, which they did.
In the absence of that nuclear deterrent, Ukraine has had its sovereignty trampled, had its territorial integrity shattered by the use of force, and been economically coerced in order to subordinate its rights to Russias interests. If Ukraine had understood that the West would have done anything to prevent that, it was mistaken, for theres nothing in the agreement to suggest any consequences for violating it. We simply trusted that Yeltsins successors would honor his commitment.
Like Ukraine, the Baltic States Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are former Soviet possessions. Unlike Ukraine, these three nations were admitted into NATO in 2004. Their obvious motivation for joining was to protect themselves from future Russian hostilities. They must now be wondering why they bothered. If they are not going to be protected by their fellow NATO members, theres not much point in their putting up any resistance. If Russia is bent on subsuming them, they might as well go ahead and get it over with as bloodlessly as possible.
According to Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all. If Russia invades Estonia, will we really consider that an attack on ourselves, just as if the Soviet Union had invaded West Germany? Heres a hint: no. In fact, the treaty does not require a military response to such an attack. It merely stipulates that each member state shall take such actions as it deems necessary.
NATO is not, of course, the first organization to employ this one for all and all for one credo. The Three Musketeers used this as their motto, and like NATOs Cold War-era signatories, they meant it. The Musketeers had no problem maintaining this oath of loyalty while extending it to a fourth member, but what if theyd opened their doors and allowed every Tom, Dick and Harry to sign up?
Remember how, in the 1973 film version, Athos, Porthos and Aramis, though all wounded, came running to DArtagnans aid outside the royal palace. Imagine instead that it was the gratuitously added member Harry who was in danger of being turned to Swiss cheese by the Cardinals guards. Such an attack on Harry could not realistically be perceived as tantamount to an attack on DArtagnan.
The Three Musketeers most significant display of loyalty would probably be a toast at their local cafe. Too bad about Harry, theyd say. He seemed like kind of a nice fellow. It is only to be expected that Tom and Dick would have second thoughts about joining such a chicken outfit.
-- Daniel Clark is a writer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is the author and editor of a web publication called The Shinbone: The Frontier of the Free Press, where he also publishes a seasonal sports digest as The College Football Czar.
The on the ground fact that Russia loaded many places in Eastern Europe with Russians over the years causes multiple problems on the ground (see Kaliningrad Oblast).
Not About Treaties, 0bama...
NATO: I’ll see your Crimea and raise you one Kalinigrad to protect the interests of the ethnic Germans under Russian discrimination.
Babylon has fallen
It was widely derided as a fools errand.
AKA, "Moe, Larry and Curly".
The Russians pretty much made sure there were no more Germans in Kaliningrad (Königsberg).
NATO will fight the Russians right down to the last Pole.
Sad but true.
“The Russians pretty much made sure there were no more Germans in Kaliningrad (Königsberg).”
Despite Stalin’s criminal ethnic cleansing and Russian colonization of East Prussia (Kaliningrad), some Germans have survived and returned: 7,349 Germans (0.8%) of the population. By the terms of Putin’s reasoning with respect to the Crimea, the West would be in its right to reverse the ethnic cleansing perpetrated by Stalin and remove all of the Russians from East Prussia (Kaliningrad) to end the Russian discrimination against the languages and cultures of the Germans, Ukrainians, Azeri, and other non-Russian population. By the terms of the reasoning of the West, Russia’s possession of Kaliningrad would be respected despite Russia’s criminal ethnic cleansing, so long as Russia respected the human rights of the non-Russian population.
Putin’s invasons and conquests threaten the future of Russia in ways that the West never have and never would without such extreme provocations.
During World War II, Soviet troops reached the border of East Prussia on August 29, 1944. In January 1945, Soviet forces overran all of East Prussia except the area around Königsberg. Many Germans fled west at this time. During the last days of the war, over two million Germans were evacuated by sea. The remaining German population was deported after the war and the area was repopulated primarily by Russians and, to a lesser extent, by Ukrainians and Belarusians.
Königsberg was renamed Kaliningrad in 1946 after the death of Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR Mikhail Kalinin, one of the original Bolsheviks. The survivors of the German population were expelled, and the city was repopulated with Soviet citizens. The German language was replaced with the Russian language.
After 1991, some ethnic Germans began to return to the area, such as Volga Germans from other parts of Russia and Kazakhstan, especially after Germany raised the requirements for people from the former Soviet Union to be accepted as ethnic Germans and have a “right of return.”[
Kaliningrad is the only Russian Baltic Sea port that is ice-free all year round and hence plays an important role in maintenance of the Baltic Fleet. In July 2007, Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov declared that if US-controlled missile defense systems were deployed in Poland, then nuclear weapons might be deployed in Kaliningrad. On November 5, 2008, Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev said that installing missiles in Kaliningrad was almost a certainty. These plans were suspended, however, in January 2009.
DemographicsPopulationAccording to the 2010 Census, the oblast population is 941,873; down from 955,281 recorded in the 2002 Census. The 1989 Census recorded 871,283 inhabitants.
Kaliningrad Oblast is the fourth most densely populated federal subject in Russia, with 62.5 persons/km2 (162 persons/sq mi).
Population-wise, the oblast is thoroughly Russian in character; almost none of the preWorld War II Lithuanian population (Lietuvininks), Polish, or German population remain in Kaliningrad Oblast.
Ethnic groupsAccording to the 2010 Census, the ethnic composition of the oblast was as follows:
772,534 Russians (86.4%)
32,771 Ukrainians (3.7%)
32,497 Belarusians (3.6%)
9,769 Lithuanians (1.1%)
9,226 Armenians (1%)
7,349 Germans (0.8%)
4,534 Tatars (0.5%)
3,282 Azeris (0.4%)
2,788 Poles (0.3%)
2,245 Uzbeks (0.3%)
16,857 others (1.9%)
48,021 people were registered from administrative databases and could not declare an ethnicity. It is estimated that the proportion of ethnicities in this group is the same as that of the declared group.
“NATO will fight the Russians right down to the last Pole.”
You are promoting Russian false propaganda. Britain and France payed very dearly in lives and treasure opposing Hitler’s Third Reich and its invasion of Poland, and the West paid heavily in treasure opposing the Soviet Union’s occupation of Poland.
NATO will fight over Estonia. Putin has guaranteed this with his Crimea antics.
The NATO military are will decimate Russia’s conscripts so fast it will make the Marianas Turkeyshoot look like a split decision.
Stupid Russians trying to gain cridibility like a third rate Iraq...cracks me up.
Good morning to the Kremlin-based Borscht Brigade.
If the Russians try to invade Poland, they will be in a rude surprise, just like in 1920.
The willing Ukranians in the western provinces would be signing up to get in front of that line in NATO.
Yes, it would be nice if this time the Ukrainians actually did fight with the Poles instead of against them.
Are there areas of western Ukraine that would rather be part of Poland?
Not many Poles left there today.
Ukrainians and Poles make good neighbors, but it's not a good idea to have them under the same roof.