Tuesday, June 1, 2010

It is a NEW MONTH!

Well that is more or less exciting. My magazines are starting to come in which is pleasant and happy. I've been picking through Foreign Affairs recently which is one of those things. It makes me thing about things and becomes interested in the larger issues facing the world and I am struck with the realization that I am unable to affect the modes of thought that affect the wider world. So while I find myself ultimatly enjoying thinking about these things I am made sad with the way things work sometimes. Though for every time I am made sad by something I find my self relieved about something else. It is hard to explain. I ended up grabbing a subscription to it because it is pretty cheap and over the course of the year I will get roughly a 1000 pages of text about all sorts of neat things. Mostly though, I grabbed a subscription because more often than not I need to go research the things they are talking about and it helps when I can do that in the comfort of my home or over lunch rather than in Barns and Noble which is where I normally do things like that.

I find it upsetting just how large the gaps of information are inside of my head. Take NATO for example! After reading an article about how the European Union needs to communicate with NATO more I realized that I have no idea what the hell it did. It turns out that it is a collalition of allies that all promise to come to each others aid should they ever be attacked. Basicly, you know how we got into WW2 because of Pearl Harbor. All of Europe wanted to be like that so should someone every try to gank Poland or something like that ALL allies that belong to NATO will come to Poland's aid. Of course the amount of aid will vary from country to country. So Greece will be giving signifigantly less aid than say America. While we can dance around the subject and smile away the pain the overwhelming reason why NATO was formed is to protect Europe from Russia which has only just recently stopped being crazy sauce. No seriously Russia was FUCKING SCARY.

This of course lead me to realize that I didn't know what the hell the UN did. So there are NATO troops, UN troops, and troops for each and every individual army. That is kind of insane. Furthermore all the malarky that is going on Afganistan should more than likely be handled by the UN and not NATO. But since we are at a point where we are thinking of including Russia in NATO, we have to wonder what the hell are we going to do with the entire organization now. Right now it is doing lots of peace keeping stuff much like the UN is supposed to be but it isn't doing it nearly as well. In fact UN peacekeeping missions are overwhelmingly more successful than our country.

The thing is that the UN has a far more inclusive membership than NATO. Wee I am using an alphabet soup and I know pretty much what it all means. I feel special.

So back to Russia! Russia joining NATO has all sorts of potential. We are using NATO more and more for peacekeeping and miscilaneous world actions. Like the 9/11 terrorist attacks were enough to warrent NATO involvement whereas our activities in Afganistan are a bit more nebulous. Leaving the current situation aside we generally spend 700billion monies on our armed forces. The entirty of Europe spends 300billion. Their contribution isn't insignifigant, about 1/3 of the troops in Afganistan are NATO troops and they have sustained more than 40% of the total casualties. The problem is that European countires would much rather send money and non military aid rather than just a bunch of people holding guns. As it stands now European forces are so behind the times that someone could snatch up two or three countries and consilidate forces before anyone could mobilize enough forces to stop them. Europe suffered through two world wars on their soil they are pretty much done fighting.

Russia isn't done fighting. Fuck, immeadiatly after WW2, after loosing 17 million people, Russia wanted to keep fighting. So if we were to add to Russian milirary power to American Miliary power, combined with the European ability to teach, and organize? Then hell, we could do all sorts of good. The now the problem with that is who do we help and how.

Personally I think post colonialism needs to back off a little and let us breath but that is another post for another time. Also? I gotta run.

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