February 21, 2006


Contain Iran: Admit Israel to NATO (Ronald D. Asmus, February 21, 2006, Washington Post)

The United States already has a de facto security commitment to Israel. Any future U.S. president would go to the defense of that country if its existence were threatened by a nuclear-armed Iran. And in spite of the anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic voices that one can hear in Europe, there is little doubt that European leaders such as Tony Blair, Angela Merkel and even Jacques Chirac would also stand tall and defend Israel against an Iranian threat. Given this situation, basic deterrence theory tells us that it is more credible and effective if those commitments are clear and unambiguous.

The best way to provide Israel with that additional security is to upgrade its relationship with the collective defense arm of the West: NATO. Whether that upgraded relationship culminates in membership for Israel or simply a much closer strategic and operational defense relationship can be debated. After all, a classic security guarantee requires clear and recognized borders to be defended, something Israel does not have today. Configuring an upgraded Israel-NATO relationship will require careful diplomacy and planning. But what must be clear is that the West is prepared to match the growing bellicosity against Israel by stepping up its commitment to the existence of the Jewish state.

There are growing signs that Israel is interested in such a relationship with NATO.

Why lash Israel to the mast of a sinking ship? How about formalizing a new Alliance aimed at radical Islam and Communist China that would comprise Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Poland, the Czech Republic, Russia, Japan, Mongolia, Taiwan, the Phillipines, Indonesia, India, Israel & Turkey to begin with.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 21, 2006 10:40 AM

Not so sure I want to include Turkey in the mix, since the Turks (government and "street" both) seem to be siding against us in Iraq. Or should I say, "Kurdistan and neighboring countries?"

Posted by: Mike Morley at February 21, 2006 10:58 AM

The mullahs in Indonesia, for one,would never support it. The violent mob would have the last say.

Posted by: Tom C,Stamford,Ct . at February 21, 2006 11:01 AM

Yes, they have to get over losing Kurdistan, but what option do they have? Israel is getting over losing Palestine too.

Posted by: oj at February 21, 2006 11:02 AM


Turkey has extremely close ties to Israel without much problem. Indonesia won't have much trouble either. Neither cares about Arabs.

Posted by: oj at February 21, 2006 11:07 AM

No half-measures. Admit Israel to the Union as the 51st state.

Posted by: Bob Hawkins at February 21, 2006 11:22 AM

I'm referring to the mob rather than the government. It is a 'democracy', after all.

Posted by: Tom C,Stamford,Ct . at February 21, 2006 11:24 AM

If you deferred to the mob Israel would have no allies, certainly not in Europe.

Posted by: oj at February 21, 2006 11:26 AM

Islas Filipinas seems a bit dicey too.

Posted by: ed at February 21, 2006 12:22 PM




Roman Catholic 80.9%, Evangelical 2.8%, Iglesia ni Kristo 2.3%, Aglipayan 2%, other Christian 4.5%, Muslim 5%, other 1.8%, unspecified 0.6%, none 0.1% (2000 census)

Posted by: oj at February 21, 2006 12:29 PM

Rather than a 51st state I'd prefer to have the rich Arab states buy out Israel lock stock and barrel except for the holy sites which would become an International Protectorate. Move the Israelis willing to any country in the world they desire, and especially welcoming them here to the USA, all of them if they so wish.

I've come to think the USA is the real and only land of promise for the Jews and for their protection. What a talented addition they would make to our nation.

I've been told that 60+/-% of them are non-religious, therefore those choosing not to leave for religious reasons would be accommodated within the Protectorate.

I know ... doable? Yes; realistic? No. But being realistic, must we wait until a bomb drops? What then?

Posted by: Genecis at February 21, 2006 12:35 PM

Indonesian clerics are particularly insane, my friend. Even nuttier than the radical secularists.

Posted by: Tom C,Stamford,Ct . at February 21, 2006 12:41 PM


A few are, to no effect.

Posted by: oj at February 21, 2006 12:46 PM

Show me the rational ones, please.

Posted by: Tom C,Stamford,Ct . at February 21, 2006 1:03 PM

Even the radical ones aren't generally death cultists:


Most are just regular decent religious leaders.

Posted by: oj at February 21, 2006 1:35 PM


Only one 'Isla Filipino' is a problem: Mindanao (where the 5% of Muslims live). Israel would be smart importing Filipino labor (as the Saudis do) instead of West Bank Arabs.

Posted by: Fred Jacobsen (San Fran) at February 21, 2006 1:59 PM

Re: P.I., we should feel confident about a people who know to call a Moro a Moro.

Posted by: Lou Gots at February 21, 2006 8:02 PM