It is time for the United States to debate the downsizing, if not the dissolution, of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). U.S. national security would be strengthened by the demise of NATO because Washington would no longer have to guarantee the security of 14 Central and East European nations, including the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. European defense coordination and integration would be more manageable without the participation of authoritarian governments in Poland and Hungary. Key West European nations presumably would favor getting out from under the use of U.S. military power in the Balkans, the Middle East, and Southwest Asia, which has made them feel as if they were “tins of shoe polish for American boots.”
Russia would obviously be a geopolitical winner in any weakening—let alone the demise—of NATO, but the fears of Russian military intervention outside of the Slavic community are exaggerated. The East European and Baltic states would protest any weakening of NATO, but it would be an incentive for them to increase their own security cooperation.
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