General Hillier on the future of NATO

NATO had yet to articulate a clear strategy for what it was doing in Afghanistan.  It failed to operate as one cohesive block in dealing with Pakistan, greatly diminishing its ability to affect what happens in that country—which, by the way, affects everything in Afghanistan.  In short, Afghanistan has revealed that NATO has reached the stage where it is a corpse, decomposing, and somebody’s going to have to perform a Frankenstein-like life-giving act by breathing some lifesaving air through those rotten lips into those putrescent lungs, or the alliance will be done. Any major setback in Afghanistan will see it off to the cleaners, and unless the alliance can snatch victory out of feeble efforts, it’s not going to be long in existence in its present form.  As Dr. Barney Rubin, an internationally renowned expert on Afghanistan, said, “NATO is condemned to success in Afghanistan.  Anything else will be the end of the alliance.

— Hillier, Rick [General, CF]. A Soldier First: Bullets, Bureaucrats and the Politics of War.  Toronto:  HarperCollins Canada, 2009. p. 477. [Emphasis mine]

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