Afghan War Topples Dutch Govt (AntiWar.com)
More important than the toppling of the Dutch government, and the prospect of new elections, is NATO’s actions which led up to it. Generally speaking, NATO has not made a habit of pressuring for action against the will of that nation’s ruling coalition, and many saw Rasmussen’s request as a sign that the Dutch coalition’s leadership had already signed off on the move. If NATO’s eternal quest for more troops to throw at Afghanistan has seen it now moving unilaterally against the elected governments of member nations, Rasmussen’s comment that “Afghanistan is only the beginning” may soon need to be revised to “the Netherlands is only the beginning.”
Gates Calls European Mood a Danger to Peace (New York Times)
“The demilitarization of Europe — where large swaths of the general public and political class are averse to military force and the risks that go with it — has gone from a blessing in the 20th century to an impediment to achieving real security and lasting peace in the 21st,” he told NATO officers and officials in a speech at the National Defense University, the Defense Department-financed graduate school for military officers and diplomats.
Speaking today at the National Defense University, US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates condemned European nations in general for their refusal to contribute larger portions of their population to NATO.
Gates warned that Europe’s aversion to war was doing serious harm to assorted US military operations with NATO backing, and was therefore “an impediment” to the lasting peace he envisions those wars eventually creating.
Gates’ comments appeared to be directed in part at the Netherlands, who saw its government collapse this weekend after NATO pressure to continue its commitment to the Afghan War led antiwar members of the government to withdraw.
He said that the “demilitarization of Europe” was a long-term, systemic problem for NATO, and that the European members of NATO needed to increase their military spending to NATO mandated levels.
Phi Beta Iota: This is a classic example of “best and brightest” becoming “like morons” as Daniel Elsberg put it in talking to Henry Kissinger. Dr. Robert Gates, one of the smartest people in the U.S. Government, has been “captured” by the twin stakes in the heart of American democracy: a partisan ideological machine that wants the wrong wars in the wrong place to continue as global theater; and its military-industrial complex co-conspirators who don’t care who dies for what, as long as the Pentagon budget keeps growing. News Flash: the Europeans are sane. The Dutch are not only sane. but smarter than the rest of Europe less the Nordics. This is a very important development. In our view, what Dr. Gates should be doing is leading a QDR that creates an Open Source Agency able to explain to both the partisan ideologues and the rabid but generous contractors that reform can be revenue and job neutral district by district, company by company, but reform it must be. If Dr. Gates does not clean house, he is going to find the house burning down around his ears. Robert Ackoff would say Dr. Gates excels at doing the wrong things righter. We need a government of, by, and for We the People that does the right things righter.