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Monday, May 01, 2006

Europe's Response to the Threat of Global Terror

This article was written by Jose Maria Aznar, Spain's former Prime Minister. It's a pity he wasn't re-elected. Spain has lots of problems today - its non-Muslim birthrate is 1.1 children per couple, which is far less than replacement rate. But Aznar has his head screwed on right....

If defending our own values against the radical Islamists is the future of NATO, we must change the way the Alliance is conceived geographically and open its doors to those nations that share our values, that defend them on the ground, and that are willing to join in the fight against jihadism. Thus, NATO should invite Japan, Australia, and Israel to become full members.

As you can imagine, many people in Europe and in NATO were shocked by the idea of inviting Israel, although they took as a natural fact the establishment of closer cooperation with Japan and Australia, which indeed is a big change for NATO. Some people from Israel also objected to having Israel as a formal ally in NATO.

But treating Israel as if it were not an integral part of the Western world is a big mistake that will affect our ability to prevail in this long war against jihadism. I think it is in our mutual interests to have Israel as a formal ally.

In the case of Iran, no one has any doubt about the real intentions of Iran concerning their nuclear program. The ayatollahs want the bomb, and unless we do something to thwart their efforts, they will get it. We spent three years in diplomatic efforts trying to get Iran to freeze their research.

I think we must do whatever is in our hands to prevent Iran from becoming nuclear. But we should also prepare ourselves to force a nuclear Iran to behave wisely. If Iran sees and feels that Israel is an integral part of the West, I think our deterrent posture will be strengthened. I believe having a NATO umbrella over Israel will have a beneficial impact. Alternatively, having an Israel that is progressively isolated from NATO will increase the chances that a miscalculation of some sort may happen, and engulf everyone into a conflict of incalculable consequences.

Read the whole thing.


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