Today is the 67th anniversary of NATO's founding. Woot! What do you give an alliance? Well, the 60th anniversary gift is diamonds. But 67? and to an alliance?
Um, how about Donald Trump? Since damn near everything he says is wrong, and given that the supermajority of the American people have "unfavorable" attitudes towards him, isn't his criticism of NATO good for NATO? It has caused all kinds of folks to stand up and defend NATO and its contribution to American security/interests. Not the best of gifts since Trump is, well, gross.
So, what else can one give? How about a handy paperback edition of a book that examines NATO's last two major operations (Afghanistan and Libya)?
Of course, I have been arguing that we should give NATO two things: command authority to SACEUR (the military boss) to make decisions in a crisis so that he (no she's yet) prevent a fait accompli from the east; and more NATO troops permanently based in the Baltics for the same reason.
I think with the change in SACEUR from Gen. Breedlove to Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, the odds of NATO getting the former gift have improved somewhat (the Europeans did not like how forward leaning Breedlove has been). And we are seeing some progress in Europe on willingness to tolerate the latter. We shall see what statements come out of the Warsaw Summit.
Anyhow, I have little control over what SACEUR will do or what basing plans will be hatched, so I can only give the Dave and Steve book and the related playlist. Happy Birthday, NATO!