The summit meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the military alliance that is expanding its deployments of troops, combat and surveillance aircraft and missile ships around Russia’s borders, took place on July 11-12 and was a farce, with Trump behaving in his usual way, insulting individuals and nations with characteristic vulgarity.
Before the jamboree, NATO’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg (one of those selected for a Trumpian harangue), recounted in a speech on 21 June that “NATO has totally transformed our presence in Afghanistan from a big combat operation with more than 100,000 to now 16,000 troops conducting training, assisting and advising.” But then he had a bit of a rethink when he was asked a question about whether NATO had learnt any lessons that might make it think about “intervening in the future.” To give him his due, Stoltenberg replied that he thought “one of the lessons we have learned from Iraq, from Afghanistan, from Libya, is that military intervention is not always solving all problems.”
He is absolutely right about that, because the US-NATO military interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya have been catastrophic.
It is intriguing that NATO’s secretary general can at last admit that military muscle doesn’t solve every problem, but he did not expand on the subject of Libya, which unhappy country was destroyed by US-NATO military intervention in 2011, and it is interesting to reflect on that particular NATO debacle, because it led directly to expansion of the Islamic State terrorist group, a prolonged civil war, a vast number of deaths, and hideous suffering by desperate refugees trying to flee from Libya across the Mediterranean.
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