As the Cold War fades from memory and the world adjusts to post 9-11 realities the alignment of nations is undergoing the
most significant changes since the end of World War II. It is a major shift in old allies, former enemies, and newfound friends.
The temporary and unlikely alliance of the British Empire, American Republic and Stalinist Russia that defeated the Axis
of German Nazism, Italian fascism, and Japanese militarism quickly collapsed as that war came to an end. The new alliance
of democratic and anti-Communist countries in Europe crystallized in the formation of NATO. This powerful alignment of allied
countries remained virtually unchanged for the next fifty years.
The collapse of the Soviet Union and the freeing of Eastern Europe have caused questioning of the relevance of the NATO
alliance and a shifting of the spheres of influence in Europe. The events of 9-11 was not only a death knell of the average
Americans feeling of security but also of the old alliances forged in the fire of WWII and the intrigues of the Cold War.
France has now closed ranks with Belgium and its old enemy Germany in an attempt to control the European Union and undermine
the power and influence of the United States. While it is nice to see the French and Germans talking instead of slaughtering
each other, the contents of their dialogue is questionable and disturbing at best. They have emerged in agreement on several
issues and in their defiance of the United States.
This new axis of weasels were united in opposing holding Saddam Hussein accountable for his weapons of mass destruction.
They were united in propping up the "little Hitler" of the Middle East by building his chemical weapons plants, bunkers, and
oil facilities while providing military and political intelligence and assistance. And they were united in opposition to the
liberation of the Iraqi people from a regime of terror.
One would think that a nation like France who had suffered under the heel of a vicious tyrant and Germany which created
such a tyrant would be a little reluctant to sponsor and act as a benefactor to one. The memories are short and the greed
is overpowering. It is France and Germany who have played the politics of petroleum and sold their souls for cheap oil.
Now these two proud defenders of freedom have joined with Luxembourg and Belgium to launch their own military planning
headquarters next year. In what they hope will be expanded to other European Union countries it includes the creation of a
joint rapid-reaction unit; a unit to counter threats from chemical, biological, or nuclear attacks; military training centers;
and a purchasing agency to coordinate arms acquisitions.
While NATO struggles to redefine itself and to remain relevant the stated goal of this new all European force is to strengthen
Europe's military forces to create a counterweight to the superpower might of the United States and to lay the groundwork
for a European Union military alliance that would compete with NATO. Perhaps more revealing is the statement by the French
Defense Minister in Moscow that "Russia should be associated with the planning work that we are carrying out".
It is apparent that the oddball axis of Brussels, Paris, Berlin, and Moscow that opposed the United States led coalition
in the Iraq war is developing into a permanent anti-U.S. political and military alliance. Each of these countries are bumbling
actors on the world stage. Germany searches for identity after causing two world wars and suffering territorial division during
the cold war. France searches for international relevance and a eplacement of its lost territorial empire with an empire of
influence. Russia seeks to undermine the world's last remaining superpower and regain a glimmer of its former power and prestige.
Admittedly, NATO as a military alliance has been impotent and militarily increasingly irrelevant since the collapse of
the Soviet Union but it remains significant as a political alliance of states. It is a way for nations to strengthen ties
with the United States and is an important avenue for territorial integrity and internal stability to be guaranteed by the
world's last remaining superpower. The recently freed states of Eastern Europe and the newly emerging states of the Baltic
are clamoring to join the United States dominated transatlantic alliance while the French are ferociously fighting to undermine
Australia and the nations on the fringe of Europe - Britain, Portugal, Spain and Italy, together with the emerging democracies
of Eastern Europe, are the major members of the new United States alliance against terrorism and tyranny. It was these brave
nations who withstood the bullying and threats of France and supported the United States in the Iraq war. They will be the
new partners in a new alliance for the new century.
This change is occurring swiftly and dramatically. The 17,000 member 1st Armored Division, most of which was sent to Iraq
from Germany, will not return there. The Pentagon will be removing most of its troops from the old cold war bases in Europe
and basing them in the territories of its new found friends. It will be former communist countries like Poland, Romania, Hungary,
and the Czech Republic that provide the new bases for U.S. power in the region and a growing voice of support for the United
States in the game of global politics.
No longer does Germany or France deserve the title of ally or friend of the United States. They have abandoned the United
States in its war on terror and tyranny and seek to undermine it internationally, diplomatically, and militarily. Those honored
titles should now be reserved for the brave people of Eastern Europe and the few old friends who have stood side by side with
the United States through the trying events of the last two years.