Target Centermass


An Amphibian, a Dictionary and an Alliance

Filed under: — Gunner @ 11:48 pm

CDR Salamander takes a look at the current situation of NATO’s involvement in Afghanistan and struggles to find the right word.

Culminate is a strong word in this line of work.


In military terms, it can often be seen as a high-water mark. A point where a force has lost its ability to advance.

My concern is that Salamander may have the right word but the wrong verb tense. I’ve repeatedly expressed my concerns about the value of NATO in the post-Cold War era [see here and here for examples]. I even briefly held out a resurrection of personal optimism for the alliance after a commitment to the Afghan theater, but CDR Salamander points out that my hope for a better distribution of burden among our allies was misplaced.

Notice what troops are where. Notice where the fighting is (RC South, and RC East). Have we reached the point that only English speakers will die for NATO? Is that a fair alliance? Is this what you get for keeping (most of) them safe from Communism? At least Poland will try to step in some, after the fact. Maybe. They have a history of helping.

He provides more information, including some sweet military history links, before concluding the following:

This is gut check time NATO, and from what I see, you have a yellow stain running down your pants.

This is not too far from something I wrote not too long ago:

I’d say it’s not very complimentary to brag that NATO, an alliance based upon mutual defense, can heartily be relied upon for humanitarian disasters but is rather pick-and-choose on military assistance, always quite willing to find a reason to avoid exposure to potential danger. That is not a strong foundation for mutual defense. NATO really must be re-envisioned or cast away as a Cold War relic.

Culminates or culminated?

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