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Showing posts from October, 2016

The US NATO Debate: A Review

Magnus Peterson is at once a historian, a political scientist, and a sociologist. If he added to these the role of autobiographer, he would surely tabulate these former positions for the convenience of the reader. In a threadbare analysis of speeches and policy statements by NATO officials, the Obama Administration, Congress, and the so-called ‘media/think-tank environment’ concerning the role of American leadership during the period in NATO’s history as bookended by the Libyan War (2011) and the Ukrainian Crisis (2012), Peterson attempts to make the claim that there is (was) a debate being waged on this subject, though by his own admission, no one with whom he consulted on this matter seems to agree with him. What Peterson describes instead is a sort of soft dissonance in the views and statements originating from the three major headings under which he has organized his sources. Therefore, the truth, which may be summed up in just a half dozen words or so (there is and was no debate…

Permanent Alliance: The NATO Debate from Libya to Ukraine, A Review

Reviewed: Sloan, Stanley R. Permanent Alliance: NATO and the TransAtlantic Bargain from Truman to Obama. (New York: Continuum International Publishing Group, 2010) 317 pages.

When in 2016 the Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump, suggested walking away from NATO, perhaps it wasn’t Trump that was letting the nation down, but the nation failing itself. Historians will lament, whichever way the tide crashes, that at this moment America did not immediately halt in mid-mechination for a sober and conscious reflection on A) the merits and mandates of the NATO construct, B) the quids and quos of American hegemony within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and C) the present pulse of the nation’s sentimentality in matters of interventionism, collectivism, and so forth. For those frenzied, scrutinizing souls clawing in the dark for some comprehension of these and other critical concerns, sans any hope for a productive or even informative national discourse, there is refuge in S…