Chris Dierkes

Chris Dierkes (aka CJ Smith). 29 years old, happily married, adroit purveyor and voracious student of all kinds of information, theories, methods of inquiry, and forms of practice. Studying to be a priest in the Anglican Church in Canada. Main interests: military theory, diplomacy, foreign affairs, medieval history, religion & politics (esp. Islam and Christianity), and political grand bargains of all shapes and sizes.

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7 Responses

  1. E.D. Kain says:

    What would be the strategic advantage of an organization that included all European states?Report

    • Jaybird in reply to E.D. Kain says:

      Maybe we’d finally be able to achieve peace in our time.Report

    • Nob Akimoto in reply to E.D. Kain says:

      NATO was a specific collective defense institution made to balance against the Soviet threat in the Cold War. It’s something of a dead letter organization now and it’s been looking for a purpose ever since the wall fell.

      Disbanding it in favor of a regional collective security regime sounds much more reasonable than keeping it going as a means of antagonizing a declining power.Report

      • Chris Dierkes in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

        What Nob said. Essentially NATO exists as (from Russian pov) an anti-Russian alliance. NATO’s mission in Afghanistan is clearly not going well and will likely not be repeated. It would allow Europe to handle its own security affairs–along the lines laid out by Jurgen Habermas.Report

  2. Kyle says:

    Well the political answer is that as per Article 10 of the North Atlantic Treaty, states can only be invited/admitted by unanimous consent and the Baltics would block Russia. Any steps Russia could take on the path to membership would be deeply humiliating and untenable for a politician to support or advocate.

    Add to that a fairly high satisfaction with the NATO-Russia council and I don’t think you have the political will to buck the status quo and/or actually admit Russia to NATO.

    As for the second part of the question, I think it’s certainly much trickier. On one hand there are scores of multi-national organizations and arrangements – CIS, Shanghai Five (now the SCO), G6-7-8, EU, ASEAN, OAS, AU, etc…and accomplish either very specific things, very little, or specifically very little.

    On the other, they also serve as a proxy for regional dominance, China dominates the SCO, Russia the CIS, France & Germany the EU, America NATO . Between both I think the relevant question becomes what would a new organization do and how would its structure reflect geopolitical realities. If constituent states can’t agree on the latter – and it’s doubtful they would – it seems most likely to lead to a structurally ineffective compromise organization or no agreement at all.

    Something that just popped in my head is the degree of defense contracting and collaborative weapon system development we do with NATO allies. Russia isn’t on our list of states we probably won’t fight and therefore can sell weapons to. Unlike say Greece and Turkey who use the weapons we sell them to fight each other.Report

    • Chris Dierkes in reply to Kyle says:


      Your points are well taken, especially the second one. I think the learning of the value/practice of these kinds of institutions is the only way nation-states are going to have any relevance in the 21st century. This would take more visionary leadership, which (as far as I can tell) nowhere exists on the planet currently.

      I think one way to begin to model this would be to expand the G8 to the G20–i.e. the G20 that already exists would have the same role/power/responsibilities as the G8 currently does. And then set them to work on various trans-national tasks: climate change?, regulations in the business sector, terrorism (intelligence sharing would be a biggie).

      Again this is all pretty far out in terms of ideas and probably has no real political legs given the entrenched status of what’s happening now.

      Maybe the place to begin with Europe is just to expand the NATO-Russia Council. I think that could then be the template for basically merging the two into one and jettisoning NATO.Report