The recent British decision to leave the European Union dealt a body blow to the smug globalist establishment that assumed from the beginning that it would never happen and are now predicting that Britain will collapse as a direct result of the foolishness of her voters rejecting their leadership and advice.
Britain will survive as she has for centuries with or without Scotland, but whether the EU itself can or will survive in its current form is a more important issue. Several other EU members are considering Brexit-like referendums to decide whether they should remain members of what began as an admirable attempt to create a continental free market, but has morphed into a quasi-government with a system that reminds those of us who lived through it of the old Soviet bureaucracy staffed by imperious men and women ready, willing and able to meddle with just about every aspect of life within the borders of its member states.
Still uncertain is what impact Brexit and the shakiness of the EU will have on that other Brussels-based organization:NATO. Some appear to believe that NATO will be the glue that holds the EU together. Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Adm. James Stavridis predicts a "stronger trans-Atlantic military alliance” to counter "adventurism by Putin’s Russia.” Even the usually level-headed Steve Forbes has suggested illogically that in response to what he considers the Brexit "disaster,” NATO should deploy an armored division to Poland and another to the Baltic States.
Brexit aside, placing NATO forces in these areas might reassure the nations of the region that NATO will stand with them in the event of trouble with Russia, but it will also signal Moscow that the United States is willing to risk a nuclear war to defend areas on which Russia says she has no military designs. It strikes many as an unwise overreaction to a possibly nonexistent threat that can only increase tensions between Washington and Moscow, lead inevitably to a counter-escalation by Moscow and, in the process, increase the danger of an unintended incident that could result in the sort of armed confrontation that would be in no one’s interests.
Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump has claimed, rightly in our view, that NATO has thus far failed to counter the real threat to European and, ultimately, American security: the growing migrant-driven jihadi fifth column moving into western and other countries and dedicated to their destruction. No one doubts that after Paris, Brussels, San Bernardino, Orlando, Istanbul, Dhaka and Bagdad there will be more of the same.
What good has NATO been in countering that threat? Not much, and moreover, its intelligence even failed to locate terrorist cells in its own Brussels headquarters’ backyard. NATO’s main relevance to the jihadi peril so far is to boost it by overthrowing Libya’s government and allowing that country to morph into a terrorist playground and staging point for unvetted migrants and jihadists crossing the Mediterranean to Europe.
Edward Lozansky is president of the American University in Moscow, Professor of Moscow Sate and National Research Nuclear Universities