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May 2012, Week 4

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Tue, 22 May 2012 22:35:43 -0400
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NATO Talks a Sham
 
By Rep. Dennis Kucinich, 

Reader Supported News
May 22, 2012
 
http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/268-35/11554-nato-talks-a-sham 
 
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is not a benevolent
organization. NATO is not about the North Atlantic and it's
not about our collective defense.
 
NATO is a cost-sharing organization that finances aggressive
military action. By hiding behind the claim that the
organization provides for 'common defense,' NATO allows us to
wage wars of choice under the guise of international
peacekeeping. The most recent example was the
unconstitutional war in Libya where NATO, operating under a
United Nations mandate to protect civilians, instead backed
one side in a civil war and pursued a policy of regime
change.
 
Today, NATO leaders are meeting in Chicago to discuss the
future of Afghanistan. The talks are being billed as
discussions of plans to end the war. The war in Afghanistan
is not ending. These talks are simply about financing the
next phase of the war.
 
The Strategic Partnership Agreement between the U.S. and
Afghanistan commits us to the country for at least another
decade, despite public support for the war being at an all-
time low. The United States will pay for half of the
estimated $4.1 billion per year cost of supporting 352,000
Afghan army and police officers. Afghanistan's contribution
will be $500,000. The rest will be financed by our 'NATO
partners.' It is not surprising that support for the war
among NATO members is waning, with France threatening to pull
out its troops by the end of this year.
 
Our participation in NATO comes at a great financial cost to
the U.S. We contribute the majority of funds for NATO's
common budget, including 25% of the military budget. Between
fiscal years 2010 and 2012 alone, we contributed more than
$1.3 billion to NATO's military budget. We also incur
significant costs through the deployment of our forces in
support of NATO missions. According to The Atlantic, the war
in Libya cost the United States $1.1 billion.
 
NATO was originally founded to provide a strategic
counterbalance to the Soviet Union. Its founding purpose no
longer exists, but NATO continues to circumvent the authority
of the United Nations and to provoke other nations. NATO is
an anachronism. Instead of trying to bolster the
organization, we should begin serious discussions to
dismantle it.
   

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