Revamp NATO to Fight Radical Islam

Feb. 16 2017

Surveying NATO’s checkered record since the fall of the Soviet Union, Rafael Bardají and Richard Kemp argue that the alliance must be expanded and revamped to save it from obsolescence.

NATO should accept that we are all under attack by Islamist extremist forces of all kinds. President François Hollande said that France was at war, and the rest of the allies cannot sit idle by his side. NATO must make the fight against Islamic terrorism its core mission. . . .

In order to reinforce our Western world, NATO must invite to become members countries that are alike in the defense of our values and with the willingness to share the burden in this civilizational struggle. It should [therefore] invite without delay Israel, Japan, Singapore, and India to become members.

Defense expenditures should be revised and increased, but ceilings and burden-sharing are not the problem. We don’t expend more because current leaders do not feel compelled to do so. Furthermore, to spend more on the same will not change our ability to confront the threats and challenges we face. There is a myriad of things that can be done to put NATO back on track. . . .

But above all, what NATO needs is a vision and an impulse to transform from the new U.S. president and administration. Yes, Mr. President, we agree with you that NATO has become obsolete. But we believe you can make it relevant again. Your allies will follow.

Read more at Telegraph

More about: Donald Trump, Francois Hollande, NATO, Politics & Current Affairs, Radical Islam

Can President Trump Break Free of Conventional Wisdom about the Peace Process?

President Trump arrives in Israel today on the heels of a series of seeming fissures in his administration’s promising relationship with the Jewish state. First, a low-level American diplomat stated that the Western Wall is not part of Israel; when asked, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster then declined to express an opinion on the issue. Thereafter, Prime Minister Netanyahu was reportedly requested not to be on hand at the president’s upcoming visit to the Western Wall. Lee Smith comments:

Donald Trump was elected because he was going to drain the swamp, and there is no fouler cesspool in U.S. foreign policy than the peace process. It’s an industry that creates a lobby of many thousand creeps around the world who have a vested interest in prolonging a pointless exercise regardless of how many Israeli, Arab, or American lives are sacrificed along the way so they can go on mouthing platitudes at Davos. Trump is not going to walk away from the peace process because the swamp will drag him in—it already has. . . .

Trump is the guy who was supposed to have seen through this garbage and was determined to back his words with actions. Being a good ally—as Trump promised—means supporting the Israelis 100 percent in international fora, sharing intelligence, and arming Israel’s fighters to the teeth so that they can send to the next world as quickly as possible as many terrorists as it takes to ensure peace. So what does Trump think now? That the millions of American children, Jewish and Christian, who read the Bible in Saturday or Sunday school learn that Jerusalem isn’t actually the capital of the Jewish people and the center of their religious and national yearnings for 3,500 years—no, it’s a mere detail that will have to be settled in final negotiations.

But what about the peace process? Isn’t that important to Israel’s future—indeed, to its very survival? Here’s another news flash: Israel is doing fine. Its economy is booming. . . .

One of the reasons Trump isn’t moving the American embassy to Jerusalem, at least not now, as he promised, is that he doesn’t want to upset other American allies, like Saudi Arabia. It’s good for America that Trump wants to reinvigorate the American alliance system in the Middle East, . . . but let’s be serious: what are the Saudis going to do if their American protector decides it’s moving its embassy to the Israeli capital? Retaliate by losing $5 billion out of the $100-billion arms deal the Saudis [were] cutting with Trump this weekend for the sole and explicit purpose of making sure the president’s mind is focused on Iran?

Read more at Tablet

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Donald Trump, Israel & Zionism, Peace Process, Western Wall