16 February 2017

Worth asking over and over again

The eminently sensible, yet consistently underappreciated, Peter Hitchens on the hard but necessary question of why NATO even needs to exist anymore.
Russia’s sensitivity about hostile armies on its borders is not some sort of pathology, but a perfectly reasonable position. If we continue to treat it with contempt, we will make trouble where no trouble was, and live to regret it. And for what reason? What do we gain from this? We, who massage our defence expenditure by cramming the intelligence budget and some pensions into it, to look as if we are spending substantially on defence when in fact we are letting our conventional forces fall apart with poverty and neglect.

Why did NATO’s pen-pushers not go home, when its soldiers did? It’s a question worth asking over and over again.


  1. If Russia is allowed to be sensitive about hostile armies on her borders, one supposes little Estonia and Latvia might be allowed to be even more sensitive.

  2. If Estonia and Latvia had pursued a course parallel to that of Finland (an option very much open to them at the time), they would have no reason to worry.

    But no, they had to give into Nazi nostalgia, disenfranchise broad swathes of their populaces, and join a military pact whose raison d'être has an expiry date long past.

  3. And let's be clear, 'Finlandisation' is not the kumbayah solution certain wild-eyed democratic-idealist looneys on this side of the pond make it out to be. Finland is very much armed (and conscripted) in its neutrality and has been for decades.