Like all grandparents, I worry about my offspring. As President Trump and John Bolton continually remind us, it’s dangerous out there. But these nights I am sleeping better. My granddaughter, age nine and living in Norway, is being particularly well looked after.
Fifty thousand allied troops are participating in Operation Trident Juncture in Trondheim, Norway, my granddaughter’s home town. It is the largest North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) exercise since 1991. About 15, 000 American troops are involved, almost as many as President Trump has promised to send to the United States border to stop the “ caravan.” Fifteen thousand troops to protect my granddaughter just because her mother and grandfather are American citizens. What service! This is why American citizens, even those abroad, file taxes.
NATO was established after World War II to defend the western alliance against the Warsaw Pact and a confrontation with the Soviet Union in Europe. Originally twelve countries, the alliance has grown to 29-member states. After the end of the Soviet Union, NATO was active in the former Yugoslavia and in out of the European areas such as Afghanistan. During a cooling of U.S.-Russian relations – remember Hillary’s “reset the button” – the alliance seemed like 29 characters in search of an author. What was the point of military cooperation if there was no common enemy to fight?
The alliance has now found a…