11/07/2024 lewrockwell.com  5min 🇬🇧 #252353

 Le sommet de l'Otan se déroule à une période charnière

Ike To Biden: Get out of Nato

By John Seiler
 John's Newsletter

July 11, 2024

I was surprised to see  this in the New York Times on July 7, just before the NATO summit Biden hosted in D.C. It's by Editorial Board member Farah Stockman:

What would Ike say now?

Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, NATO's first Supreme Allied Commander Europe, felt strongly that his mission was to get Europeans "back on their military feet" - not for American troops to become the permanent bodyguard for Brussels and Berlin.

"If in 10 years, all American troops stationed in Europe for national defense purposes have not been returned to the United States," he wrote of NATO in 1951, "then this whole project will have failed."

Ike quit as SACEUR to run for and become the 34th president. Ten years from 1951 was 1961. By then, Western Europe was back on its feet economically. West Germany was enjoying the fruits of its 1950s Wirtschaftswunder - economic miracle. Under Chancellor Adenauer and his chief economist, Ludwig Erhard, the country threw off the socialist restrictions imposed by the U.S. occupation forces and switched to free-market economics. Erhard's assistant was economist  Wilhelm Roepke, one of the first professors the Nazis had fired, and a  student of the great Ludwig von Mises. Deutschland soon became the economic driving force of Europe.

France, under DeGaulle, also enacted market reforms, as did Gaspari in Italy. Only the UK, of the four major West European economies, failed to move on from wartime controls and remained stuck in the socialism imposed by PM Clement Atlee starting in 1945. The UK became the "sick man of Europe." As a consolation prize, in the 1960s the Brits got the Beatles. In 1979, Margaret Thatcher came in and finally enacted market reforms - squandered since she was ousted in 1990 by her own Conservative Party's "wets" (who are sort of like RINOs - Republicans in Name Only).

Despite all that, non-U.S. NATO members' populations today  total about 613 million people (953 million minus U.S.' 240 million). That's more than four times Russia's 140 million. And NATO nations' GDPs in 2023 totaled $18.9 billion ($46.3 trillion minus U.S.' $27.4 trillion). That $18.9 billion is 9.5 times the  $2 trillion GDP of Russia. That's why Trump called these Eurotrash a bunch of "freeloaders."

Yesterday's shindig in Washington for the 75th Anniversary of NATO proved Ike right that the alliance had "failed." It was supposed to get Western Europe back on its feet, protecting them until they could protect themselves against the Soviet threat, then by 1961 witness G.I. Joe go marching home to Peoria and Phoenix.

When I shipped over to West Germany as a U.S. Army Russian linguist in Sept. 1979, I was surprised how prosperous the Krauts were. I had read the statistics. And by then Mercedes and Porsche had become major status symbols in America, with BMW and Audi also on the way. But Germany by 1979 was about as prosperous as my own country. The Army took GIs on tours. I remember one to the picturesque Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

We rode on a rickety old American-made bus. Said the tour guide, a German woman, "Das ist nicht ein Mercedes." I wanted to say, "Why don't you defend yourselves against the Red Army?" But when you go in country, the Army gives you a lecture about being "an ambassador for America." So I kept mum. I've never been diplomatic. But more so than Biden, who hasn't even met Putin for three years at a summit to work out Ukraine, the Middle East and other global crises. Every one of his predecessors since FDR met regularly with his Soviet or Russian counterpart.

The late 1970s also was a time of massive U.S. inflation under President Carter. The dollar was dropping like a stone against the deutschemark. Sergeants in my unit had to put their families on food stamps. I still took vacations around Europe. But that meant less money left when I returned home. And when I did come home in 1982, Michigan was in a major recession, suffering 16% unemployment. I headed to D.C. and a life back in journalism.

Which brings us back to the 75th Anniversary of NATO. It now has lasted longer than the 74 years of another bureaucracy that became pointless and sclerotic, the Soviet Union, which dissolved in 1991, taking any need for NATO with it. But as Milton Friedman once put it, the closest thing to eternity on earth is a government program. And nothing is bigger and more remunerative than the U.S. "defense" budget.

Let's get back to Ike. In his Farewell Address in 1961, the year NATO was supposed to dissolve, he Eisenhower Farewell Address - Military Industrial Complex about the Military Industrial Complex soaking up our tax dollars and fighting pointless wars. But even he couldn't have imagined a president with dementia risking getting us  nuked by a post-Soviet, non-communist Russia over Ukraine, during his lifetime always a part of Russia or the Soviet Union. But here we are.

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