NATO looked menacing in its heyday. Drawing by Sergei Yolkin
NATO’s inability to act in the face of the Russian military’s quick and bloodless integration of the Crimean peninsula was seen as a defining low in the 65-year old military organisation’s history. “We thought if we can’t protect our own guys in Ukraine, then what can we do?" General Patrick Varkrimnelle, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told USA Today.
NATO constitutes a system of collective defence in Europe whereby its member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party. “Most of the senior European member states were lukewarm to a strong and united response to Moscow,” General Varkrimnelle said. “If they are not interested in mobilising against Russian threats, then there’s no point in us sticking around. At least if the Pentagon is not weighed down by our European allies it would be able to take a stand when it matters.”
Others were more forthright. “Look we can’t fight Russia or China, it’s simply out of the question,” said General Barry McKilla, the former Vice Chief of Staff of the US Air Force. “At the same time there are hardly any small countries left for NATO to bomb.”
According to General McKilla, all the anti-American dictators are long gone. “Sure Kim Jong-un is still around and occasionally he threatens the West, but the North Koreans have nuclear weapons, so we can't flatten Kim like we did Muammar Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein,” he said.
NATO’s military command will be transferred out of Brussels, the current headquarters, to a destination in North America. Canada will continue to be part of the new organization and NATO insiders say Mexico could be invited. “That will paint the entire continent a uniform shade of blue, providing some relief to the American right that is currently traumatised by the US military’s impotence against Russia,” said Robert Krauthammer, Director, Whitesuper Foundation, Mississippi.
Most Canadian and many US members of the military are already grumbling at Mexico’s inclusion. Spanish will most likely be an official language of the new alliance. “I don’t want to learn Spanish, with its inverted question marks at the beginning of a sentence, in addition to my normal quota of compulsory studies,” said Corporal Max Thickhead at the US Air Force’s Pensacola Air Base. “I was half-way through my German class when I received the news that NATO is shipping out of Europe. It is the devil’s tongue, so difficult, and now Spanish.”
However, language studies are the least of NATO’s problems. Several East European member states are unhappy with the alliance’s exit and have threatened to lay siege to the NATO Secretariat in Brussels. “There’s no way we’ll allow the Americans to leave us to the mercy of the Russian bear,” said Estonian President Jan Schutzstaffel.
Estonia is a key destination for renditions and interrogation of suspected terrorists apprehended by the US law enforcement agencies around the world. “We are very useful to America,” said Schutzstaffel, as he left to inaugurate the annual festivities marking the Nazi ‘liberation’ of his country in 1941.
Polish leaders were almost apoplectic with anger at the “American betrayal”. General Tadeuz Crackheadowsky said at a media briefing that Poland had been sacrificed at the altar of commerce. “Russia and German are now major trade partners and very soon you’ll see a reprise of WWII. They’ll be doing business in chunks of Polish land, mark my words.”
Across the American defence establishment, there was an inevitable sense of déjà vu. Many blamed President Barrack Obama’s policies for the state of drift. At a meeting of the US Central Command, when General Varkrimnelle said that after Obama’s presidency was over, Syria would be back on the table, his counterpart in the British Army became aggressive, saying, "What harm has Syria done to the UK? I don't want to jeapordise my retirement plans in the Bahamas over Assad.”
General Varkrimnelle remained unfazed and was extremely critical of Russia, saying that President Vladimir Putin had strayed from the script that had been followed for the past 20 years. "We were looking forward to landing our Ospreys in Crimea. But Putin just kicked us in the guts, I hate him," he said.
Meanwhile in Moscow, a Kremlin insider said President Putin was mulling retirement now that the premier threat to Russia was leaving the continent. “There are many tigers to tranquilise and migratory birds to help, but all this geopolitical work is getting in the President’s way,” he said.
In New Delhi, asked for his opinion about this strategic development, Rahul Gandhi, the leader of the Congress Party, said, “Actually, NATO’s exit will only have any meaning if there’s women’s empowerment.”
And if you are still here and believe everything in this story, I have some prime real estate for sale in Antarctica.
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