March 3, 2022

Col Macgregor - NATO is a Deadman Walking

An excerpt from, "The “Blue Chip” and the Little Blue Bird: Change and Continuity in NATO Policy" By Timothy Andrews Sayle, Foreign Policy Research Institute, April 4, 2019:

First, U.S. policymakers, especially Nixon and Kissinger, have always calculated that the American people and Congress would not support the deployment of U.S. military forces abroad as pawns. To maintain support for the NATO deployment and bases, it was essential to describe the troops as serving abroad in service of American security. Anything else would open up the deployment, and thus NATO itself, to horse trading and bargaining, and ultimately lead to their withdrawal. Make no mistake: Implicitly, as Nixon showed, the U.S. force presence in Europe and support for NATO did give Washington leverage in European capitals. But trading on this too heavily and publicly would, Nixon believed, backfire.

Second, Nixon knew that NATO ultimately served American security and foreign policy interests inside and outside of Europe: Of course, NATO was useful in keeping Europe peaceful. But, just as important, a Europe at peace allowed the United States to focus its efforts and concentrate its policy in other parts of the world. When Nixon argued for NATO against those in Congress who wanted to pull back from Europe, he told them that NATO was the “blue chip” at the center of American policy. Only by keeping Europe stable could America respond to change in the rest of the world. For Nixon, this was no mere political posturing. He believed that NATO gave him the “diplomatic wallop” necessary for his ambitious policies towards the USSR and China.

The Trump administration is, reportedly, looking for NATO support in contesting specific Chinese policies and technologies. This, however, will be difficult to do in the current climate for Trump has not presented NATO as the “blue chip” of American policy, as a source of stability and strength that allows American power to be exercised elsewhere. Instead, he has picked fights with NATO and specific NATO Allies, sparking tariff wars with both Canada and the European Union. Nixon and Kissinger feared that linking economic competition and military cooperation too closely would ultimately lead to Congress giving up on NATO. At the moment, Congress has been steadfast in its support of the Alliance. But Trump is playing with matches that even Nixon would not light.

Video Title: Col Macgregor NATO is a Deadman Walking. Source: Col Douglas Macgregor Clips. Date Published: February 27, 2022. Description:

On 25FEB22 Col Macgregor speaks at the Research Fellow, Institute for Peace & Diplomacy panel titled: 

A Year of Ups and Downs: President Biden’s Foreign Policy at the One-Year Mark. 

Two great quotes from this clip: 

"NATO is a deadman walking." 

"It's over. We live in a Multi Polar world now."