Saturday, September 13, 2008

"Perhaps" Sarah Palin will have to learn a bit more about NATO before declaring [preventive*] war on Russia:

There's a bit more on Georgia and Ukraine and NATO. 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.
* - Ahem.

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