|No alternative to NATO|
|February 08, 2009|
In "An alternative to NATO Membership" (Views, Feb. 6), Karl Kaiser observes that conventional war in Europe is again possible, but he baselessly blames President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia for "reckless engagement with a superior Russian military."
Last Aug. 7, Russia attacked Georgia - logistics, training exercises and cyber attacks paving the way for two armored land fronts, a methodical air campaign and a naval blockade. Russian forces deployed were those that have always been in violation of the Conventional Forces in Europe treaties, which Kaiser would resurrect as Georgia's alternative to NATO. Disunity, he argues, will expose NATO as a "paper tiger" if it ever faces war.
Perhaps. But the West needs a military alliance that calmly and firmly faces real challenges. Otherwise, we will be consigned to endless rounds of Cold War-style arms control talks that Kaiser sees as an alternative. All Europe will still be threatened by conventional war.
David J. Smith, Tbilisi, Georgia Director, Georgian Security Analysis Center
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