Guest post: The reason we haven’t had a World War during NATO’s run

Originally a comment by Freemage on Rex has to get a haircut that day.

And Trump (and even Vladimir) fail to fully understand the reason for the US involvement in NATO. It’s not got anything to do with protecting Europe from Russian aggression–that’s a happy coincidence, frankly, though it’s one that gave a polite cover-story to the real benefit to the U.S. for the last almost-70 years.

To-wit: We’re there so that everyone else doesn’t need to protect themselves from Russia. It’s a subtle, nuanced difference, but it’s the reason we haven’t had a World War during NATO’s run. I’m sure Germany, France and England could all make themselves largely impossible to easily invade. Even most of the nations in Europe with less military experience and economic strength would be able to make themselves unattractive as invasion targets.

But achieving that on their own? Yeah, that would require a truly massive military build-up. Especially in Germany. Anyone remember what happened the last two times Germany built a massive war-machine? Even if they did so out of the most genteel and respectable intentions of self-defense this time around, there’s no way the other European powers would look at that and go, “Oh, hey, that’s cool.” No. They’d all build up their own military might. You know, ‘Just in case.”

And some of those smaller nations might just decide to, you know, forge an alliance with this or that larger power, in order to ensure they don’t have to deal with Russian aggression alone. And soon you’ve got a network of alliances and deals and such, many of which are under the table because nobody wants to make it TOO obvious just how much influence they’ve got.

And then some guy is sitting in a sandwich shop and suddenly sees his most hated enemy, and soon we’re all fooked.

We’re in Europe (and Japan and South Korea, for that matter), so that the local armed forces don’t get built up to the point where someone looks around and says, “Hey, now that we’ve got all these soldiers and tanks and things, shouldn’t we maybe use them?”

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