Friday, October 11, 2013

The Incredibles Disease: NATO edition

When NATO Secretary General Anders Rasmussen travels to NATO capitals, he must rah-rah the country he is visiting.  So, please ignore the positive attitudes he is tweeting while in Greece today.  Check out what he said and my first reaction:
Oy. What has Greece done for NATO lately?  As in the past ten years or so?  In Afghanistan, Greece won the award for the most token contingent.  For much of the mission, it has about fifteen troops in Afghanistan.  Not too good for one of the largest militaries in NATO.  Eventually, over one hundred Greek soldiers were involved somewhere in Afghanistan, making it just about reach the commitments made by far smaller countries--Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania.  Only Iceland did worse. 

Greece did better during the Libyan effort--participating in the naval embargo... which was just about the least one could do unless one did nothing at all (Germany, Poland). 

On the political side, the Greeks, along with their frenemies nearby in Turkey, do their best to hold up much progress over a variety of issues due to their disagreements with each other.  Good times. 

So, when Rasmussen extols the virtues of the Greeks, I cannot help but think of The Incredibles: if everyone is special, no one is.  Alas, the job of the Secretary General involves this cheerleading which does little to enhance his credibility.  I guess if everybody understands the game, we can all distinguish between this empty cheerleading and more substantive stuff that the SG might say, right?

No comments: