The Atlantic Council has awards? Like for what? Being voted most likely to respond to an armed attack in a collective defence agreement?
— Stephanie Carvin (@StephanieCarvin) September 27, 2013
plus the damage done by six hours of driving through New York to get to a college to visit for Teen Spew yesterday, I developed the question: What would a NATO Awards Show be like? And, yes, the awards would be called the Robbies after Lord Robertson.
First, everyone would get an award because all members are equally specially except in ways that they are not.
Second, we would have to specify some clear caveats to start, such as:
- NATO is the most effective, interoperable alliance even if it falls far short of what we would like it to be or do (I am a Churchillian and not a Bonapartist on this one).
- This is going to be incomplete since I am writing it from the road.
- I don't fight after midnight.
- Don't blame me for all of this: Stephanie Carvin had some wonderful ideas about categories.
- Most Useful Country ending in an "a"*: Estonia--for providing a proportionally significant contingent that took some significant hits in Afghanistan. Surprising upset over Australia, which may have been hurt by not being a member of NATO.
- Country Most Likely to Be Obsessed with Flags to Post (getting flag officers assigned to NATO billets): France, always.
- Country That Was Most Thankfully Eclipsed By Germany: Italy, which had as many or more restrictions on its forces than the Germans but Germany remained the poster child for caveat criticisms.
- Most Excessive Enthusiasm for the Possibility that Paddy Ashdown is named grand poobah again for a NATO intervention: Great Britain, always Great Britain.
- Most Likely to Provide Only token Contribution: Greece, which has one of the largest militaries in NATO yet sent around 15 troops to Afghanistan for much of the mission.
- Most Likely to Break Silence to Block a NATO intiative: Greece and Turkey tie as always.
- Country That Punched Most Over Its Weight: Denmark for both its contributions in Afghanistan and Libya
- Country Most Likely to Leave a NATO Op Early: Canada.... because it not only withdrew from the combat mission in Afghanistan before most others but also it got to leave the Bosnian effort with the US when it was renamed a EU mission. The Dutch feel ambivalent about losing this one.
- Most Transparent Abuse of a UN Resolution to Produce Regime Change: While the entire alliance gets the Robby for this, France accepts the award since it was the most enthusiastic and first mover.
- I will take nominations for both new categories and for next year's potential winners.