Of my time in the Royal Air Force, I spent four and a half years serving in Number 4 Wing of NATOs Second Allied Tactical Air Force.
It was my squadron’s primary role to deliver a significant number of our supply of the (unusable) nuclear weapons on to a massive range of military and strategic targets in Eastern Germany and the Soviet Union.
We were part of a machine; NATO/OTAN was an impartial organisation that operated (at that time) outside of the political spans of control of any national administration.
Things have changed, however, and the NATO/OTAN of my years of active service – and the organisation that was created in 1949 – is not the same one that is being used, by politicians in a number of countries, as a political football, these days.
One of the fundamental funding rules is that a member of NATO/OTAN must spend at least 2% of its GDP on its defence.
And yet the number of NATO/OTAN members who actually do spend 2% of their GDP on their defence – apart from the UK, USA and France – is in the minority by a massive margin.
Ironically, the two most recent NATO/OTAN conflicts – Afghanistan and Libya – have highlighted the damaging corruptions that, surely, will become the organisation’s destruction.
There are 28 nations in the NATO/OTAN club, yet just nine sent their aircraft in to operation against Libya.
Germany refused point blank to take part at all.
Whether one believes that the Libya and Afghanistan actions were just and proper or not, the NATO/OTAN club has rules – financial rules and operational rules – and if members can’t be arsed to abide by those rules, the club has no future.
The club is facing a certain death.
So my argument, in this bright and breezy piece of thinking, is that we should get out before the collapse.
Let Spain, Germany, Greece, Turkey, Poland, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Italy, Denmark and all the other lightweight nations pick up the bill and pick up the action.
Because that’s the price of admission to any club.
That’s the price of admission to the NATO/OTAN club.