the UN, NATO, and the trip-wire

I’m so sorry to write this missive as a lead article (for 15 minutes) but I don’t remember how to find the comments and respond to them. The lonely little side-bar response to my article I’ve not seen, except for half a sentence. It seemed to be saying that the old days are gone now, and so we need NATO and the JN. I agree. With NATO, it is the trip-wire provision that we go to war, automatically if any NATO nation is attacked, regardless of who the attacker is. This takes not only the United States Congress, but the president, as Commander in Chief, from the decision to go to war. I support both the UN and, if handled correctly, NATO. But President J. Reuben Clark and I oppose the automatic going to war. Just like the fools, the ancient general staffs of all sides in WW I. No one wanted that war. There was no Adolph Hitler in that war that destroyed the entire 20th century. Better to have shot the general staffs, who came to deserve exactly that. What President Clark called for, and I, are what the United States has always done, before NATO. That is, to have treaties of peace and friendship with our allies and then, should hostilities commence, such treaties would call for all parties to go to war, or not, as their constitutions provide. In this way, we don’t declare war against a nation, and surely all the people, have not yet been born. How, pray tell, do we justify going to war against, and for, people not, or no longer, live on earth. With a few caveats, ditto for the UN. No provision of law allows the UN to overreach Congress in the decision for war or peace. For anyone interested, read my book with the late Francis Wormuth, To Cain the Dog of War. It is by odds the best book ever written on the way we go to war. Every single war we’ve ever fought, including our wars against the Indian tribes, is there analyzed. Francis did not live to see this book in print. I worked two years after his death to finish it. And I updated it 4 or 5 times, alone. I still put my dear friend’s name first, because I am honored to be linked, now, forever. Something like Mormon marriage through time and eternity. ed firmage xoxo

  1. #1 by Nathan Erkkila on June 6, 2014 - 5:44 am

    Congrats. You found a huge hole in foreign policy. An alliance is a treaty that is used to combine foreign forces. Which means that if one country goes to war, the other must follow. Now in the case of the US, war must be declared by congress. But let’s say that congress doesn’t want to go to war even if an ally is attacked. That would make the alliance useless.

    This is what I call a paradox.

  2. #2 by Richard Warnick on June 6, 2014 - 6:33 pm

    I made some edits, the main one being a change of the reference to World War II to World War I. I’m not convinced that it’s fair to compare NATO to the network of alliances before the First World War.

    NATO isn’t perfect, but it was successful at preventing World War III. The main purpose of NATO was seen as eliminating the uncertainty about whether the USA would help defend western Europe, our pledge not to hesitate as we did in 1914 and 1939.

    Because of NATO, during the Cold War I served as the executive officer of a tank company in the Second Armored Division in Bavaria near the Czech border. In the event of a Soviet invasion, victory was not assured – but our commitment was. I like to think we helped preserve peace to the benefit of all nations.

    I just hope the neocons and blunderers don’t figure out some way to re-start the Cold War, it was no joke.

    In an irony of history, it was the USA that received help from our NATO allies post-9/11 and in Afghanistan. On September 12, Article 5 of the Washington Treaty was invoked for the first time in the Alliance’s history.

    Instead of American getting dragged into a European war, it was our allies who stood with us after we were attacked.

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