How NATO changed the perception of what an alliance is and does (II)

First part:

(9) Never before did an alliance have its own air force (NATO E-3 planes officially belong to Luxembourg, but they really are NATO's planes)

(10) Alliances didn't use to routinely deploy symbolic force detachments into areas of crisis. Nor was such behaviour expected, much less without any such obligation in the treaty text.

(11) Permanent ("forward") deployment of forces in allied states wasn't typical of alliances at all prior to NATO (and the Warsaw Pact). The current "normalcy" of forward deployed forces is a leftover from post-WW2 occupation forces - path dependency led us here. Previously, permanent military detachments in allied countries were typical of a hegemon-client relationship between the allies (such as Nazi Germany and Romania 1939/41, or Sparta and Thebes etc.) only.

I suppose that modern Europeans aren't really aware how atypical NATO is as an alliance. Seemingly self-evident features of NATO have hardly ever or never before been observed in other alliances.



  1. ‘NATO-Gremlins’ explaining how electricity works (humour)

    If you allow me to humorously adapt the metaphor from a Hollywood movie, I would say NATO has become a bizarre ‘mutant animal’. Let’s say one buys cute little fluffy kittens and over time they mutate like ‘gremlins’?
    You just showed that NATO, sometimes, tries to distantiates itself from the very purpose of the alliance, collective defence. Sometimes, some people with some very personal interests try to use NATO as a personal tool to achieve personal goals. ‘NATO-Gremlins’ have become one concern for Russia, China... the non-NATO world.

    Warsaw Pact has disappeared, now the CSTO (RUSSIA) and the Shanghai 5 mutual security, political, economic organisation (not a defence Treaty) can be seen as partners/competitors.
    USA is more than the backbone of NATO, there is no NATO without USA. And NATO has served stability and peace in Europe since WWII.
    Europeans often have several countries (ancestral, birth, adoptive) that are part of NATO, and each enjoys a different status and treatment. But my American friends keep asking me:
    Why do you need NATO, you are grown ups, aren’t you?

    With much sympathy for both peoples I cannot explain the logic behind the almost ‘genetic’ relationship between USA (date of birth: 1776) and Israel (date of birth: 1948), since even some of my American friends do not comprehend:

    Though Benjamin Netanyahu Speech to Congress 2015 is not a first, many foreign dignitaries have spoken in front of the Congress usually about political, economical and cultural exchange, this speech had a different tone, it almost resounds as a call to war:

    And American president/candidates speaking at AIPAC:
    President Obama at 2012 AIPAC Policy Conference

    Hillary Clinton Addresses AIPAC March 21, 2016 [FULL SPEECH]

    Watch Donald Trump speak at AIPAC 2016

    But astonishingly, I see no Treaty between USA and Israel

    So, are we better of without a Treaty and each one of us, including Russians, Chinese, North Koreans… 200 countries having its own AIPAC-like committee acting to get closer ties and relationships with the USA, just like Israel does?
    I think that way we could all gather at Uncle Sam’s for a potluck and talk like humans do starting with reading, all together, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, from the preamble:
    ‘Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world…’

    'I understand that someone living 1 floor beneath me in an apartment building has electricity and me none; that happens because the pressure in the tube is not strong enough to bring the electricity up to my apartment…'

    1. "Previously, permanent military detachments in allied countries were typical of a hegemon-client relationship between the allies [...] only."

      There's your answer right there. For all the reasons you listed - great work! -, NATO simply cannot be labeled an alliance; a more adequate term could be "hegemonial bloc", referring to the military branch of the emerging, as of yet nameless Atlantic super-state, whose still forming civil-political aspect in Eurasia is called the EU.