America’s Cycles of Change

The Madness of Bringing Montenegro into NATO

Tue, 21 March 2017

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

On Tuesday, March 21 Reuters’ news agency reported from Washington that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had sent Senate leaders a letter urging them to quickly ratify the expansion of the NATO alliance to include Montenegro, a tiny Slavic nation in the Balkans that was, for three quarters of a century, part of Yugoslavia.

In a letter dated on March 7, Tillerson said that expanding NATO to include Montenegro was “strongly in the interests of the United States.”

Tillerson is an exceptionally experienced and accomplished man: For more than a decade he ran Exxon Mobil, one of the world’s largest energy companies with exceptional success.

So does he actually believe such nonsense?

The population of the United States is around 320 million. The US has an annual Gross Domestic Product of around $17 trillion. Montenegro’s GDP is a bit over $4 billion, more than 4,000 times smaller.

Montenegro has a population of around 620,000. The city of Detroit has more people.

So how much extra security, exactly, is Montenegro going to bring to the United States of America – or to the mighty NATO alliance either for that matter?

The answer of course is, none at all.

And will Montenegro itself and its 620,000 people be safer and more secure for being protected by NATO’s mighty shield?

Not at all, of course.

For if war should come, Montenegro would now be a frontline target: And if Islamic radicals were able to sweep into the Balkans, their respect for Montenegro’s NATO membership would be nonexistent.

No doubt the people of Montenegro may briefly feel safer, though that is debatable.

The enormous US defense contractors are looking forward to a $100 billion windfall from selling their high tech weapons systems to major NATO nations in the coming years but it is doubtful if targeting Montenegro is high on their list.

There will of course be US training and advisory military missions to Montenegro. But as Colonel Doug Macgregor, one of the finest US military strategists today has repeatedly warned, that kind of activity is a prime cause of US Army weakness, not strength.

Of the 490,000 troops in the US Army, more than 180,000 are scattered on military advisory and training missions around 120 countries, Macgregor observes.

The US therefore no longer has an army at all, it has the biggest, most diffusive international training mission in history, Macgregor concludes.

Large allies win wars. Tiny ones distract major powers and draw them into unnecessary wars. They do not produce security, they consume it.

Less than two months into office, even the Trump administration has already been drawn further into the idiotic Bizarro world of strategic overstretch.

Extending NATO to include Montenegro, like expanding the alliance to include Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia 13 years ago, is certain to outrage Russia and bring the ghastly specter of thermonuclear world war closer.

The madness continues unabated.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.