Nikolas K. Gvosdek, editor of The National Interest and a senior fellow at the Nixon Center, points out in the Washington Realist that Georgia, Ukraine, Albania, Croatia and Macedonia are the recent recipients of billions in largesse from the U.S. Congress, with the funds slated for upgrading their militaries and putting them on a fast track to full NATO membership. The “NATO Freedom Consolidation Act of 2007” was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bush with “almost no debate,” bringing “together members of the legislature who otherwise never stand shoulder to shoulder on other foreign policy issues—including Iraq.” Why this strange comity when it comes to the expansion of an alliance that has long since lost its original rationale? “Whereas the creation of the alliance itself back in the 1940s was hotly and vigorously discussed,” notes Gvosdek, ”the extension of NATO’s geographic reach as well as its commitments to new states is now apparently not a matter for serious dialogue. Why?”
The reason is all too apparent. Albania, say, cannot just join NATO: aside from jumping through all sorts of procedural and political hoops, the Albanians must upgrade their armed forces to meet NATO standards. And they can’t do that without first buying a lot of expensive equipment from American arms manufacturers. The billions in “foreign aid” going to these aspiring NATO nations is a direct subsidy to America’s military-industrial complex, a gift from Congress to Lockheed-Martin.
That’s why ….