Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by NATO AIR, Feb 21, 2006.
and while we're at it, Iraq, Ukraine too.
I saw this, problem is Europe would NOT go along with adding Israel. It seems they have a bit of a Muslim problem there and that problem would not be alleviatied by the addition of Israel.
None of this matters. Who's going to stop iran?
Actually NATO AIR`s idea about bringing Iraq, and the Ukraine into NATO, has quite a bit of merit to it.
The problems that would need to be overcome with bringing the Israelis in, are many, and large.
The idea of containment was the point. As I already posted, I don't think this would fly with the Euros.
NATO should concentrate on Georgia and Azerbaycan joining NATO.
Ukraine joining NATO is also good. But when you see latetst poll results Juchtchenko and Timochenko are not doing good. Janukovitch's (Kreml-loyal) who was the former government has a high possibility to lead the country again.
I don't know if such a country led by political unconcerns (Kreml or West) is good for joining NATO.
Ukraine should first fight its war within the country on which side it wants to stand, then it can join NATO.
To Israel: extension of NATO has to be agreed by all NATO-Members. One by One. There surely NATO-countries who do not want to take Israel-arab conflict into NATO. That NATO is seen by the arab world as an instrument in which Israel takes part.
The same thing goes for Iraq. I don't think that the extension to these countries will be agreed by all NATO-countries one by one.
A somewhat different view, but interesting:
Egypt, Iraq and Israel in NATO!
Mohamed Sid-Ahmed discusses a controversial proposal put forward by the well-known American columnist Thomas Friedman
In an article published on 27 October in The New York Times, Thomas Friedman proposed that NATO be expanded to include Iraq, Egypt and Israel. The argument on which Friedman bases his proposal is that "virtually all of NATO's future threats are going to come not from the East and Russia, but from the South -- the Middle East and Afghanistan". In his view, if NATO wants to secure Europe, it can no longer just be in Europe, but needs help to stabilise these other regions -- help from three new members: Iraq, Egypt and Israel. Why these three countries specifically?
In respect of Iraq, Friedman argues that even after a legitimate government emerges there, the country will continue to be faced with two security challenges, the first concerning the size of the Iraqi army; the second, the fragility of any democratic system in Iraq for a long time to come. "The Iraqi army should be big enough to work as a deterrent against any threat coming from Iran, but not so big that it could be used to smother Iraqi democracy and threaten the whole neighbourhood." The best way to reach the ideal equation, he believes, is for Iraq to join NATO, which would give the Iraqi military a credible deterrent power without having to maintain a large army. The military could then be in a position to serve as the guardian of Iraqi democracy the way the Turkish army does in modern Turkey.
If Iraq were in NATO, Friedman concludes, it would be politically so much easier to deploy such a force, which would be stationed in a base out in the desert, but will always be in the background, just in case.
To begin with, is the precaution that Friedman describes as "just in case" not the very opposite of the principles of self- determination and national sovereignty? Is there not the presumption that the deployment of this force lacks acceptance and legitimacy, and that is why it must be kept discreetly out of sight in some remote desert location? Is this not using NATO as fig leaf for continued foreign military presence, a device by which to legalise the US-led occupation of Iraq? These critical questions are at the very heart of a global debate now underway and cannot be dismissed as easily as Friedman would like.
Moreover, it does not follow that NATO, the instrument created to face the Soviet Union throughout the Cold War, is fit to face the challenges coming from the South. There is nothing automatic in passing from a confrontation between North and South. NATO is not equipped to fight terrorism, and, as long as the Palestinian problem is not solved, Israel cannot acquire the status of "partner", "ally" or "friend" of the Arab world, be it in the context NATO or otherwise.
This brings us to the second country, Egypt, whose main role according to Friedman, is to provide manpower. Can this be seen as an acceptable proposition for Egyptians, reminiscent as it is of a dark chapter in history when hundreds of thousands of Egyptian workers perished while digging the Suez Canal, which served British, French and other corporate interests rather than those of the Egyptian people.
to make the case for Egypt's inclusion in NATO, Friedman reports that the organisation's secretary-general, Lord Robertson, told him that NATO has a combined total of 1.4 million soldiers on active duty, but that only 55 thousand are actually "usable" for missions abroad. According to Friedman, "Egypt has a huge surplus of military manpower with little to do." Bringing Egyptian military personnel into NATO would give it the Arab- Muslim character it needs, make it much easier for NATO to do peace-keeping in Afghanistan and Iraq, and provide resources and status for the Egyptian army while tying it to the West -- a scenario eerily reminiscent of the Suez Canal scenario.
Can Egyptians accept that their army be perceived uniquely as cannon fodder, as mercenaries to fill up the gap whenever NATO suffers from a manpower deficit? Egyptians see their army as a shield against aggression by any external party, including Israel, even if a peace treaty binds it to Egypt. Indeed, the Egyptian- Israeli Peace Treaty did not prevent a former Israeli minister, Avigdor Liberman, from openly declaring that Israel would blow up the High Dam if Egypt decided to side with the Palestinians in their resistance fight against Israel. How to reconcile such threats with a rationale for Egyptian-Israeli relations based on the principle of "balance of power"?
Moreover, what does Friedman mean by providing "resources" and "status" for the Egyptian army? Does Egypt's inclusion in NATO presuppose that the financial assistance the military in Egypt -- as well as in Israel -- have been receiving from the US since the signature of a Peace Treaty between the two countries, will be re- examined, reduced and perhaps even cancelled? Will this assistance no longer be seen as necessary once NATO appears in the forefront, or even in the background? This might not mean a problem for Israel, given that it receives aid, including military aid, from Washington, in a variety of manners. But, in the case of Egypt, would the re-examination of financial assistance acquire the character of pressure at a time proposals such as Friedman's are being aired in the most prestigious American newspapers?
Noting that the main justification NATO proponents gave for expanding its membership base to the "shaky democracies" of Eastern Europe, was that this would promote democratisation and stability there, Friedman asks: "Where better to promote reform than Iraq and Egypt? Surely they are as important as Latvia" -- in other words, no less, if not surely more important than even the smallest countries in the former East-West confrontation. Friedman's premise is that denying this importance can only be interpreted as being unwilling to admit that North-South confrontation has now come to overshadow East-West.
Making his case for Israel's inclusion in NATO, Friedman argues that if Egypt is brought in, Israel will have to be as well to maintain the "balance of power". Moreover, its inclusion would make any peace process easier by giving Israelis a deeper sense of security. Also: "If Israelis and Palestinians can ever, one day, reach a peace accord, they will very likely need a credible multinational force to police it and the only one I can think of is a US-led NATO force," writes Friedman.
Does the premise that the North-South confrontation has come to eclipse the former East-West confrontation mean that the Arab-Israeli conflict has become outmoded and irrelevant, a historical anachronism to be replaced by a triumvirate made up of Israel, Egypt and Iraq determining the shape of things to come? That is the basic assumption on which rests the whole edifice of Friedman's proposal and it is in glaring contradiction with the actual developments.
There's needs to be native middleastern freedom based coalition "Mid East Communist Hating ANd Not Islamofascist Coalition"-- M.E.C.H.A.N.I.C.
Separate names with a comma.