Bacevich: Get out of NATO, shut down combatant commands,

Daniel Larison, former senior editor at The American Conservative magazine

The United States needs to make a major overhaul of its alliances and partnerships in the world, and it needs to rethink which of its existing commitments truly protect the vital interests of the United States.

In light of the devastating effects of the pandemic on the country, including the loss of more than 600,000 people, we cannot afford the conventional understanding of national security that has prevailed up till now. Above all, we have to shed the self-congratulatory and self-justifying notion of American exceptionalism that has so warped our thinking about our foreign policy.

These are just some of the provocative ideas that Quincy Institute President Andrew Bacevich proposes in his new book After the Apocalypse: America’s Role in a World Transformed. […]

One of the big changes that Bacevich proposes is to end U.S. involvement in NATO. “NATO has become an exercise in nostalgia,” as it tries to guard against threats that no longer exist while it is incapable of addressing contemporary problems that do not have a military solution. Our European allies have the means to provide for their own defense, but for decades the U.S. has actively discouraged them from building up their own security institutions for fear of undermining NATO. There is growing recognition on both sides of the Atlantic that the current arrangement makes no sense and European states need to assume more responsibility for their own defense. Continued U.S. membership in NATO is not only unnecessary, but it actually impedes European states’ efforts to develop their own capabilities. In short, “U.S. security guarantees to Europe have today become redundant,” and therefore Bacevich proposes that the U.S. should announce its intention to withdraw “within the next decade.” Läs artikel