Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Purpose of NATO - Now



NATO's purpose now is to guarantee the freedom and security of its members through political and military means.  

POLITICAL - NATO promotes democratic values and enables members to consult and cooperate on defense and security-related issues to solve problems, build trust and, in the long run, prevent conflict.  

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Formed in 1949 with the signing of the Washington Treaty, NATO is a security alliance of 28 countries from North America and Europe.  NATO's fundamental goal is to safeguard the Allies' freedom and security by political and military means.

What NATO does today In accordance with the Treaty, the fundamental role of NATO is to safeguard the freedom and security of its member countries by political and military means.  NATO is playing an increasingly important role in crisis management and peacekeeping.   (Me - The US needs crisis management and peacekeeping.  NATO needs to pay America a visit.)

Under the Clinton administration, there was a debate on whether, and on what terms, Russia could become a member of the Alliance.  Russian leadership, however, made it clear Russia did not plan to join the alliance, preferring to keep cooperation on a lower level now. 

SwedenAustriaCyprusFinlandIreland and Malta are the only EU states which are not also NATO members.  Historically, Sweden stayed out of NATO in solidarity with its neighbour Finland, which stayed out in order not to antagonize Russia.  Sweden also has a tradition of neutrality going back to World War II.      (Apr 22, 2013) 


Since 2017 NATO has had 29 members.  Twelve countries were part of the of NATO - Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States.  Later joined Greece, Turkey, Germany (originally, West Germany joined NATO in 1955), Spain, the Adriatic States, Albania, Croatia, and Montenegro.  

       Iceland, the sole member that does not have its own standing army, joined on the condition that it would not be expected to establish one.  However, its strategic geographic position in the Atlantic made it an invaluable member.  It has a Coast Guard and has recently contributed a voluntary peacekeeping force, trained in Norway for NATO.

          France withdrew from the integrated military command in 1966 to pursue an independent defense system but returned to full participation on 3 April 2009.

          Denmark's NATO membership includes the Faroe Islands and Greenland.

          Greece withdrew its forces from NATO's military command structure from 1974 to 1980 as a result of Greco-Turkish tensions following the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

NATO also embodies the transatlantic link by which the security of North America is tied to the security of Europe.  It is an intergovernmental organization which provides a forum where members can consult together on any issues they may choose to raise and take decisions on political and military matters affecting their security.  No single member country is forced to rely solely on its national capabilities to meet its essential national security objectives.

As an individual person you can't join NATOyou have to join the military of a NATO member country.  Countries aspiring for NATO membership are also expected to meet certain political, economic and military goals in order to ensure that they will become contributors to Alliance security as well as beneficiaries of it.


From - https://www.vox.com/world/2018/7/10/17474972/nato-definition-summit-trump-europe   

(character enhancements are mine.)

"President Donald Trump is in Brussels this week for a critical NATO summit, where he and 28 US allies will discuss threats to European security.

I reached out to Ivo Daalder, a former US ambassador to NATO from 2009 to 2013 and now the president of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.  We talked about NATO’s role today, why the typical US taxpayer ought to care about the alliance, and what the world might look like without it.

Sean Illing - Why does NATO matter in the world of 2018, a world in which the Soviet Union no longer exists?


Ivo Daalder - Russia, although it’s not the Soviet Union, continues to pursue a policy of trying to undermine the unity of not only the transatlantic alliance but also Europe more generally — and is engaged in active measures to undermine that unity.  NATO is the best and strongest counter to Russia’s attempts to break NATO apart by interfering in the domestic political systems of its member countries or, as it did in Ukraine, physically invading them.

The second reason is that a Europe in which the US is not engaged is a Europe that is likely to be unstable. That’s as true today as it was in 1949.  The investment that the US has made to ensure that Europe is peaceful remains a much cheaper investment than if we allowed it to descend into war, in which case we’d inevitably get dragged into the conflict.   (Me - What if the US said "no" to the invitation.) 

Sean Illing - Does Trump have a point when he criticizes other NATO nations for not paying their fair share?  Does NATO have a free-rider problem?

Ivo Daalder - Yes, he has a point. NATO does have a free-rider problem that is becoming less of a problem but is still there. For a whole host of historical reasons, Europeans invest less in defense than the US, in part because we have a global security role and the US is seen as a country that is committed to the defense of Europe.  That doesn’t mean Europe doesn’t spend money on defense.  It does, and in fact the Europeans are currently spending more than any other combination of countries around the world.

Sean Illing - What would happen if NATO was dissolved over night?  How different would the world look in the short and medium term?

Ivo Daalder - Individual nations in Europe, along with the US, would turn inward and try to figure out a way to provide for their own security without cooperating with other countries.  And in a world in which everyone is looking out for themselves and no longer cooperating, suspicions, and fears will go up, which will lead to more defensive measures and perhaps even conflict.  So it would create a much more unstable situation overall.

Sean Illing - Could the US sustain its relationships with European powers if it led the effort to scrap NATO?

Ivo Daalder - NATO, without the US, is not a viable alliance.  The reality is that the US, both politically and militarily, forms the fundamental core of the alliance.  If you take the US military out of NATO, you’re left with a shell of an infrastructure and a shell of a command structure.  And if you take the US politically out of NATO, it’s highly unlikely that you’d be able to sustain the alliance given the massive role the US plays in it.  So it’s hard to see how scrapping NATO wouldn’t severely damage our partnerships with European nations.

Sean Illing - Is there a strategic alternative to NATO that could serve the same ends but at less cost for the US and the world?

Ivo Daalder - The price that the US pays to NATO is relatively small.  In fact, if NATO didn’t exist, we’d have to spend more on defense because NATO European countries are paying for US bases, paying to host US troops, and we’d have to pay for much of this ourselves without NATO.  We’d have to move thousands of troops back to the US and spend billions of dollars building new bases and new facilities to house them in the US.   So it would be vastly more expensive for the US to maintain the military capability it has today without NATO.

More importantly, much of our military spending is not allocated to defend Europe. It’s to maintain a global presence, to maintain the freedom of the seas, to have a presence in the Middle East and Asia and other parts of the world.  This benefits global security but isn’t directly linked to European defense.  So this idea that the US military spending is all about NATO or Europe is just wrong.  (Me - again, why can America NOT get as much security as the other ally nations.  Why?)
At the end of the day, NATO provides a support structure that is beneficial to the US and would be more costly to replace."

So, NATO is there to protect the security Europe and our allies.  The United States gives NATO more money and military power than all the other countries combined to protect the security of Europe and our allies.  Why does the treaty  not include NATO protecting the security of the US, as well?  Yes, we are a big country, but we too have civil wars and what is turning into tribal wars.  It is beyond ridiculous.  NATO should send their people to America to bring about civility here.  

See  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Member_states_of_NATO https://www.nato.int/cps/ua/natohq/topics_68144.htm


11 July 2018
From - https://www.nato.int/docu/review/2006/issue2/english/art1.html 
(sorry for the indention that I cannot correct.) (Emphasis of characters are mine.)
current issue: summer 2006 
Sebesty�n L. v. Gorka analyses the significance of the invocation of Article 5 of the Washington Treaty five years on.
On 11 September 2001, the international terrorist organisation known as al Qaida achieved something that the Soviet Union never attempted.  It killed large numbers of Americans, together with many non-Americans, on US soil. The carnage and death toll inflicted on that day were greater than that inflicted 60 years earlier during the attack on Pearl Harbor, the event that brought the United States into the Second World War. And its impact on both the wider security environment and NATO can hardly be over-estimated.

The very next day, the North Atlantic Council, NATO's highest decision-making body, decided that: "If it were determined that this attack was directed from abroad against the United States" then it would be regarded as an action covered by Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, the most important clause of the Alliance's founding charter. After briefings by US officials to NATO member states on 2 October, the condition relating to externality of attack was deemed to have been satisfied. In this way, NATO's so-called "commitment clause" came fully into effect.

The irony of NATO's decision was immediately obvious.  The Berlin Wall had been breached almost 12 years earlier on 9 November 1989 (11/9) and NATO had won the Cold War without needing to invoke Article 5, the political and military "heart" of its founding charter, or even firing a single shot in anger.  Moreover, although the clause was clearly envisaged by the Washington Treaty's signatories as a mechanism by which the United States would come to the assistance of its European Allies, it was the European Allies who were offering Washington their support.

Given the enormity of the events of 9/11, it is no exaggeration to say that they brought NATO's post-Cold War adaptation to an abrupt end.  If, therefore, the period between the 11/9 fall of the Berlin Wall and the 9/11 terrorist attacks forms a distinct second phase of the Alliance's history after four decades of Cold War, then the symbolic significance of the invocation of Article 5 heralded the beginning of a third post-post Cold War phase, the ramifications of which are still emerging five years on.

Though clearly the invocation of Article 5 was a historical milestone, some analysts have sought to downplay its significance and even the importance of Article 5 itself. Citing the careful wording of the original text, they argue that the commitment clause has minimal real value and was little more than a smoke screen.

On the one hand, Article 5 stipulates that an attack on one shall be deemed equivalent to an attack on all, that Allies are obliged to respond, and that military force is an option.  On the other hand, it also states that any given Ally "will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith. such action as it deems necessary". However, to understand the force and significance of the clause and the Alliance itself, the motivations of the original framers must also be taken into account.

Original intent

The Washington Treaty, which is remarkable in comparison to similar documents in its brevity and clarity, was drafted as a political statement as well as a legally binding document.  As such, it was a compromise between two existing models for collective defence, namely the Rio Pact of 1947 and the Brussels Treaty of 1948. The former, agreed among American states, pledged signatories to "assist in meeting the attack" against a fellow signatory; the latter, agreed among Western European countries, stated that members must "afford the Party so attacked all the military and other aid and assistance in their power".

The framers of NATO's founding charter understood the first to be too weak a formulation and the second to be too all-encompassing, given that certain founding members, such as Iceland, could not reasonably be expected to provide a military response to an attack, yet by dint of geographic location, or for other reasons, could make their own contribution to collective defence.  As a result, the obligation was automatic but not restricted to a military response.

In this way, NATO also sent a political message to the world.  As an alliance, it respected the will of its member states and allowed them the freedom to choose the nature of the response best suited to their own situation.  This characteristic of NATO would be cast in sharp relief six years later when its adversary created its own formal alliance, the Warsaw Treaty Organisation, an involuntary alliance in which the will of the members was not a factor and where all interests were superseded by those of Moscow.

In addition to considering the political nuances of the original intent behind Article 5, the perception of the military threat among both the Washington Treaty's framers and its signatory heads of state and government needs to be taken into account.  At the time, Western Europe appeared massively outgunned by the Soviet Union and therefore vulnerable to a blitzkrieg-style invasion. Subsequently, the scenario was one in which a weak Europe would be assisted upon attack militarily by the United States.  Should the Soviet Union invade, the world's only nuclear superpower would come to the rescue.

What the Alliance's founding fathers could never have predicted was the scenario in which Article 5 would be invoked.  On 9/11, the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact no longer existed.  Moreover, it was not Europe that was conventionally attacked by a nation state and its allies, but the United States by a non-state actor using wholly unconventional means. NATO's founding charter had been overtaken by events.

Immediate consequences

What, therefore, were the immediate consequences of Article 5's invocation and how has NATO coped with the fundamental change in its operational responsibilities?

While the Alliance is today extremely active in Afghanistan, where it runs the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), Washington chose to operate outside the NATO framework in ousting the Taliban and al Qaida from Afghanistan, despite the invocation of Article 5. Indeed, to make things clear, when Richard Armitage, then US Deputy Secretary of State, came to NATO Headquarters days after the 9/11 attacks, he stated bluntly: "I didn't.come here to ask for anything."

The US decision effectively to do without NATO support reflected US perceptions of the Alliance's performance during the 1999 Kosovo campaign, the then limits of NATO's anti-terrorism capabilities, and a desire to avoid future political problems.  Rightly or wrongly, NATO was associated with "targeting by committee", which was not deemed to be a sufficiently efficient mode of operation.  Although the United States recognised that NATO had come a long way since the Cold War, the Alliance was clearly not configured to execute counter-terrorist operations in Central Asia.  Moreover, Washington did not wish to have its hands tied by the need for consensus in the North Atlantic Council in the event of future campaigns, such as the invasion of Iraq.

Some analysts have argued that the European members of NATO failed to make a more robust response to the terrorist threat because of the absence of shared threat perception among Allies - a loss of what Phillip Gordon of Washington's Brookings Institution has called the "glue" that held the transatlantic community together for so long. However, this is not necessarily so.

Despite deep political differences over the Iraq campaign, the US National Security Strategy and the EU Security Strategy are similar documents and security professionals whose job it is to assess the threat to their countries, whether in Berlin, Paris or Washington, are largely agreed that the looming menace is extremist Islamist terrorism. Moreover, following the 2005 attacks in London and Madrid, it is clear that Europe is no longer at peace.

Despite Washington's decision to go it largely alone in Afghanistan, 14 of the then 19 NATO Allies contributed forces to the campaign to oust the Taliban and al Qaida in 2001. Moreover, the invocation of Article 5 has been fundamental to the Alliance's retooling in the intervening period to equip it with the capabilities to take on operations such as ISAF. In effect, it set in train NATO's ongoing post-post-Cold War transformation. In the process, the Alliance has built new command structures, launched various capabilities initiatives, developed some terrorism-related competencies and created the NATO Response Force. It has also moved well beyond the Euro-Atlantic area with operations and missions in Iraq, Pakistan and Sudan, in addition to Afghanistan.

NATO is not and never has been a club of homogeneous states. Rather it has traditionally provided and continues to provide different things to its different members. For many and in particular the new Allies, Article 5 remains a cornerstone of the Alliance. For others, the clause retains a greater political importance. And others see the Alliance's value in practical terms in its new out-of-area missions and operations, which are not a part of the traditional menu of war-fighting skills.

Finally, there are those who believe that NATO has demonstrated that it can adapt over time to new challenges, and that in time Article 5 may come to be understood as having direct relevance not to scenarios of invasion, but to the ways Allies collectively combat the scourge of international terrorism.  As a result, while EU watchers have for years spoken of the possibility of a multi-speed European Union, NATO has already created the reality of a multi-speed alliance, that is one able to serve many purposes to cater to the diverse needs of its many members.

The debate over whether NATO remains a collective-defence organisation or whether it is turning into an alliance for collective security is largely academic. The Alliance satisfies both needs and will continue to do so for some time. Moreover, as such, it possesses capabilities that no other international organisation possesses. As for Article 5's historic invocation, we may do well to agree with the assessment of former Secretary General Lord Robertson, namely that: "It is still too early to say what the decision on Article 5 will mean in practical terms for the immediate future."

Article 5

The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.  Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall immediately be reported to the Security Council. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security.







Thursday, July 5, 2018

Of Whose Image Is Lucifer?


Man was made in the image of God, so how about angels?  Whose image are they?  What do they look like? 

Lucifer was an angel, as was his army who were defeated and cast to live on Earth.  

Pictures of angels and demons I've seen usually depicted a human form.  Is this how people saw them, even back at the beginning of mankind?  If so, then angels, too, were made in the image of God.  Even cute little cherubs have human looking features.   All angels have individual purposes, as do people; but most people don't think, much less act, about their purpose.  

So Lucifer and his kind are angels, and look like God's angels, who resemble people, who was made in God's image.    

Imagine that. 


This Eroding Earth . . .


Since I've known it (since 1955), this Earth has been heavily jostled many, many times, tilting the Earth more and more on its axis.   In 2011 alone, Japan moved over seven-inches closer to America's west coast due to the violent earthquake that hit northern Honshu.  The shift and cracks in the Earth's crust and below are constantly changing, drawing in or out the oceans and seas, causing unexplainable weather.  I'll bet the route of the Atlantic Trade Winds are different now in 2017 than it was in the 1400s when global travelers took to their ships, crossing the oceans to trade with other countries.  There is no real explanation yet for the vast change in weather across the globe, seeming to become more violent and destructive as the years pass.  I don't think it is all the fault of people that has caused the climate to change.  

There's a lot of molten lava across the Earth, under the crust.  What does science know, factually, about what's in that Ring of Fire and below?  We learned in science class, as  kids, that islands usually came about from eruptions of volcanoes.  Land mass increases because of volcanic eruptions.  When the hot lava hits the oceans, what happens?  Lots of steam as well as water being displaced.  The water is getting pushed out and it has to go somewhere.  Thus, tsunami!  The waves can travel well across the oceans and seas, displacing all the water it's holding along the way, creating floods and mudslides.  And as the earth crumbles, taking the earth with it, even more water gets displaced, being filled in with the eroded ground.  

 At this point in time, where are we in conjunction with the Equator?  According to science, paleontology, and history, west Tennessee was much further north, away from the Equator.  Mastadon bones had been found in a local river and elsewhere, putting this area having been inhabited by them whose environment was in the cold.  It does seem that within the past few decades, the summers seem longer and hotter.  There is the occasional ice storm or freak snows, but not enough to say we really have winters.  

1.  Earthquakes - displaces dirt/ground/land, water.  Pushes the water out or in and down as the earth cracks and opens, letting oceans get sucked into the open spaces.  Sometimes that water gets spit back out, forcefully, causing tsunamis.

2.  Volcanoes - displaces dirt/ground/land and water.  Inner lava erupts, sucking it's insides out, pouring lava onto land and in the water, building on to existing land.  It also shoves water out of where it's being replaced, causing unbelievable wakes and tsunamis. 

3.  Axis tilt and the Equator - Earthquakes jostle the Earth and where it sits on its axis, as well as moving land through shaking loose.  Volcanic eruptions jostle the Earth, well down below the crust.  Does the continual deposit of new land, i.e., hardened lava, cause that land to weigh more and maybe shift the heavier side of Earth towards to bottom?  





  

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Deviated Septum . . .


MYSTERY SOLVED.  I think my allergies are no longer seasonal.  My nose stays so irritated, the nose hairs are assaulted, bombarded.

While bonking myself in the nose to replace the irritating assault with a nose pain, it dawned on me that I found the source of my deviated septum the doctor said I had for a long time.

People I've known who have deviated septums had them because they had been punched in the nose from a fight, so I had no explanation for the deviation.

As I sat in my little rocker, my self-inflicted bonk to the nose, I realized that as soon as I'd bonked, I felt the septum shift slightly.  Therefore, I've done it to myself.   Ding, ding, ding, ding!

I will now wear my Vogmask, the respiratory mask, much more often.  It does work very well at keeping particles and allergens out and I can breathe.


Check out www.vogmask.com for masks

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Before the beginning . . .


BEFORE THE BEGINNING, GOD SENT MICHAEL AND HIS ARMY TO DEFEAT LUCIFER AND HIS MINIONS AND HAD THEM CAST TO EARTH.   The Turf War was coming to an end.  

These minions and Lucifer made Earth their playground.  What a great place to end up.  What became of all the minions and Lucifer once they inhabited Earth?  Had reproduction taken place amongst them all?  If so, They are here, and They dwell with ordinary citizens.  

How many of Them are there now?  Now since humans came into existence.  Their population has probably exploded as has the human population.   

Lucifer and his minions had their own sense of power since before the beginning, and their life goals and purposes were to what? Disassemble.  However it needs to be done.  Forever, or until the end of Time as we know it.   They're all really just a bunch of p.o.'d angels, with Lucifer getting too big for his britches.  And they're vengeful, having a huge bone to pick with God.   They will always be there; everywhere.   They just will.  There will always be evil, bad "people".  There always had been, even before Our beginning.  History repeats itself'; over and over and over.  It just does and it always will.  We can wish for global peace, and it's a gracious attempt.  There are Those that will never leave it alone.  It's part of the disassembly.  

Global disassemble.  

What if We are all just Lego characters vs Transformers?  It is Them that are the Transformers.  




Saturday, August 19, 2017

Military Brat Life - Racism


The more caca I read and hear and how everybody hates everybody else, I am thankful for the growing up I had that was NOT like any of the heathens from the outside.
I was born and raised a military Brat and I retired from the military. There IS NO color, just people doing what they are there to do. School life with children of all colors and backgrounds was the norm. Getting a good education was the norm.  People of all colors living in the same neighborhoods was the norm.  At one post we lived, one next door neighbor was black, the other were Mexicans.  Across the street were Asian kids; down the street were mixed black/white kids, and of course the white kids.  Whoopee doo doo.  We all played together.  We all went to school with each other.  We ate with each other.  We hung out together.  We did everything together.  And we believed the same way - that we were all just people, here to do what we were here to do, to keep on pursuing our adventures of assuring peace, justice, and the American way.
This civilian population is who needs to live behind the gates of hate. There is no room out here for hate to overrun the productivity and sensibility for people to live peaceful, productive lives that do nothing more than help others and bring communities together.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Me and Mary Jane since the 1970's


I was never a stoner, but I knew plenty.  I enjoyed those friends of mine; they were always amusing.  I've always loved being amused.  This is not to say that I had not indulged a time or ten; it's saying that I've sure been around long enough now to have had decades of deep thoughts about the subject of the wild wood weed.

On the one hand, I love to eat; in particular tasty foods.  These people would end up with the munchies and they usually had some pretty good stuff to eat around the house.  Or to conjure up a tasty new recipe made from whatever was in the refrigerator and the cabinets.  As we got older, our new-found recipes became more complex and even more delicious; but that comes with the experience of age and wisdom.  And even better food items in the pantry and cabinets than any 25-year old's.   Fortunately for me, I was a small person who needed to consume as many calories a day as I could just so I wouldn't be dragged off by a good gust of wind.  I ate well, thanks in part to my friends, thank you Jesus.  

On the other hand, I liked making money to support my habits - eating well, having a roof over my head, and helping others when I could.  I took on education, training, and jobs that did not allow drugs of any kind, and testing was the norm.  You just could not do it, period.  It even said so in the books.  I didn't have a problem with that because having that goal and being on that mission of being career oriented with the intention of furthering myself in the work force to provide the best service possible (thus promotions, more money, more great food!), being of sound mind, of being mentally prepared 100% of the time, meant nothing but good results for me and my resulting families.

And speaking of Jesus - his Dad.  Don't you want to be used by God? What are some of the reasons you're on this earth?  I think one of my purposes is to give people a reason to laugh.  Laughter is such great medicine and good for the body and soul.  So, how can God use you as a witness to others if you have no self-control, no self-discipline, are setting a bad example to others, and are behaving like the present world by drinking or getting high?  God's Word tell us that for us to be used by God, we must be sober and of sound mind.  100% on top of your A-game.  We must be of sober mind to be able to act/react at any given moment to anything that is thrown at us; and there's always some strange things out there that is thrown.

Back to the stoners.  Hey, they'll be stoners, but to me, if that's all they are and nothing more, come time when somebody has to be of clear mind to undo a situation or take action. there will be those present who can step in.  This is by no means endorsing weed or trying to be an enabler; that is far from the truth.  This is simple logic for now.  There are those who do not and cannot see right now, but they are good, helpful people.  These are but one group of my friends that I love.  God and Jesus loves them too.

 


The Purpose of NATO - Now

NATO's purpose  now is to guarantee the freedom and security of its members through political and military means.   POLITICAL -  NAT...