Pat Buchanan

In an op-ed last week in The New York Times, Obama, along with Nicolas Sarkozy and David Cameron, wrote:

"Our duty and our mandate is ... not to remove Gadhafi by force. But it is impossible to imagine a future for Libya with Gadhafi in power. ... It is unthinkable that someone who tried to massacre his own people can play a part in their future government."

But if it is "unthinkable" and "impossible" for Gadhafi to remain in power, who is going to remove him?

Absent celestial intervention, it is Uncle Sam, or no one.

If regime change is now the unstated NATO mission, who but the United States can ensure the mission is accomplished?

The Post story about Britain and France, the leading military powers of NATO Europe, depleting their smart-bomb supply in a one-month clash with an African nation of 6 million, and begging the Yanks to come back and win the war for them, raises a major question.

Is the most successful alliance in history, which kept the Red Army of Stalin, Khrushchev and Brezhnev from smashing through the Fulda Gap and reaching the Channel, a hollow shell?

Is NATO, without America, a paper tiger?

On the eve of World War I, the German foreign minister, after visiting the aged Emperor Franz Josef in Austria, reported back to the Kaiser, "Sire, we are allied to a corpse."

Are we?

In the 1990s, we had to pull the British and French chestnuts out of the Bosnian fire. When Serbs fought for their cradle province of Kosovo, America had to break Belgrade with 78 days of bombing.

NATO Europe couldn't handle a fight in its own backyard.

Though we are still in Iraq, NATO is gone. There are NATO units in Afghanistan, but some have pulled out and others won't fight.

What benefit does America receive from membership in NATO to justify the cost of maintaining tens of thousands of troops, air and naval bases, ships and planes defending a rich and populous continent that chronically refuses to provide the arms and men to defend itself?

Why are Americans still defending Europe 66 years after World War II ended and a generation after the Soviet Union disappeared?

Isn't it time we kicked them out of the nest?

Pat Buchanan

Pat Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative magazine, and the author of many books including State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America .
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