Should NATO Exist? Democracy Now! Debate on Alliance's Purpose, Afghan War's Future
DemocracyNow.org - As NATO concludes its largest-ever summit in Chicago, we host a debate on whether the trans-Atlantic military alliance should exist at all and its new agreement to hand over control to Afghan forces next year. "When you are a hammer, everything looks like a nail -- when you're a military alliance, every problem looks like it requires a military situation," argues Phyllis Bennis, an author and Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. "NATO is a giant big hammer. The problem is Afghanistan is not a nail, Libya is not a nail. These are political problems that need to be dealt with politically. By empowering ... a military alliance, NATO is undermining the goal of the U.N. Charter which speaks of the importance of regional organizations in political terms for nonviolent resolution of disputes, not to put such a primacy and privilege on military regional institutions that really reflect the most powerful parts of the world." Speaking in support of NATO, Stan Sloan, a 30-year security analyst at the CIA and former senior specialist at the Congressional Research Service, counters: "I believe that having allies in this alliance for the United States serves our interests, serves a national interest ... has always been a political alliance ... I think as long as the member states regard cooperation among them as valuable and even necessary if they have to use military force, they will continue to judge that we need the Alliance."