Thursday, September 11, 2008

Yikes! Palin Talks Up War with Russia

A scary lowlight from Gov. Sarah Palin's ABC interview to be broadcast tonight: 
CHARLES GIBSON: And under the NATO treaty, wouldn't we then have to go to war if Russia went into Georgia? 

GOV. PALIN: Perhaps so. I mean, that is the agreement when you are a NATO ally, is if another country is attacked, you're going to be expected to be called upon and help. 

5 comments:

Dan Paden said...

I believe that is correct as far as it goes, that is, my understanding is that membership in NATO does come with such obligations--which is one of the reasons I am vehemently against including Georgia (or anyone else) in NATO. I think promising that you will go to war on anyone's behalf is a very foolish thing to do.

Is your objection to her understanding of NATO war obligations, or to including Georgia in NATO? Last I heard, unfortunately, both Senator Obama and Senator McCain supported including Georgia in NATO. If I'm mistaken on either count, great! But I fear I am not...

Tulsan said...

I agree with Dan. Palin is merely drawing a logical conclusion that would be elided by a more sensitive politician. NATO seems to be considered now as a feel-good club rather than the treaty organization it originally was.

Tulsan said...

This reader comment from TPM clarifies the NATO business a good bit. I needed clarification, but clearly Palin is in even more need of it.

"What Obama and Biden favor is for NATO to offer these two countries accession to the 'Membership Action Plan' (or MAP), a process set up in the late 1990s to help aspirant countries prepare for possible membership in the Alliance. MAP isn't a promise of membership, and the last members to join NATO were in MAP for nearly a decade. It would take at least as long for Ukraine and Georgia to become members of NATO, not least since one of the criterion for membership is that there are no territorial disputes involving the country that is requesting membership... A lot of mumbo jumbo on NATO accession procedures, this. But here's the kicker: What Palin said is that Ukraine and Georgia should become NATO members now. Not even Bush is arguing that. (He, too, favors MAP.) McCain was with Bush on this until recently and, I assume, if asked still is. Palin didn't know the distinction, and is suggesting that these countries get into NATO tomorrow. She may not realize that this is a decision that NATO members need to make collectively, all 27 of them, which won't happen, given that MAP was denied the countries just a few months ago..."

Dan Paden said...

Interesting information. Thanks.

Tulsan said...

You're welcome. I feel better understanding more about NATO's workings, and that they are not as absurd as I had supposed.