WASHINGTON – With Turkey suspending diplomatic relations with Germany over the German parliament’s decision to declare the 1915 Armenian killings at the hands of the Turkish Ottoman Empire “genocide,” concerns have been raised over the effectiveness of the Western alliance NATO, according to a new report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
It’s a development that plays into the strategic hands of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely told G2 Bulletin that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO, already is ineffective, since the United States is bearing nearly 80 percent of its cost and readiness.
The 28 countries that belong to NATO are supposed to make an annual contribution of 2 percent of their gross national income, but, in reality, many are providing less than 1 percent, given the economic downturn throughout Europe.
“Turkey’s latest action will make an already ineffective NATO alliance even more ineffective,” Vallely said.
Vallely, who served as the deputy commanding general of U.S. Pacific Command until he retired in 1993, today heads the non-profit Stand Up America, which develops information and analysis to brief U.S. government officials.
Vallely also is chairman of Montana Veterans for Trump, which supports the presumptive Republican nominee’s run for president.
Vallely said Donald Trump is correct in saying NATO is obsolete and expensive, and he criticized Trump critics who say that Trump wants the U.S. to pull out of the Western alliance altogether, as his democratic opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has accused him of saying.
Vallely said NATO needs to be replaced to cope with current threats, and members need to absorb more of the cost to maintain it.
The retired major general said that the infighting among the NATO members as a result of the most recent dust up between Turkey and Germany not only weakens the alliance further, it also “plays into the hands of Putin,” who wants to stop any further NATO expansion and seeks to neutralize its effectiveness.
“Turkey really has never been that strong of a NATO partner,” Vallely said.
Not only is Turkey in a squabble with Germany now, but it also has an historical animosity toward another NATO partner, Greece, which in recent years has begun to draw closer to Russia.
Vallely said he was involved in a military exercise years ago with the Turks and Greeks, “and they hated each other.”
The ancient rivalry dates back to 1453 when the Ottoman Empire captured Constantinople from the Greek Byzantines and renamed it Istanbul. The latent hostility has simmered even into the modern era, flaring up in a dispute over claims to a group of islands that almost brought both countries into war during the administration of President Bill Clinton.
In addition, Turkey undertook the eradication of all Greeks who once lived in Asia Minor, or modern-day Turkey, and continues to find itself in conflict with Athens over claims to the island of Cyprus.
And now, as in the past, Turkey is releasing hundreds of thousands of refugees – this time Syrians – through Greece who seek a better life in Europe, creating a massive humanitarian crisis throughout the European Union and raising the specter of greater Islamic influence.