In the wake of the debacle that’s unfolding in Ukraine, I’m seeing an odd sort of argument being made. It goes something like this.
Various miniscule countries have a right to exist because of self-determination. They don’t have the ability to protect themselves from their neighbors. Consequently, we (the United States) have an obligation to defend them.
Note that’s what is meant by NATO these days: the obligation of the United States to protect other countries while the remainder of our NATO allies stand around, ready to hold our coat while we work. Or not as they see fit.
I think that’s the most bizarre definition of self-determination I’ve ever heard. What the heck kind of right to exist does a country that can’t or won’t defend itself have?
I completely understand why these countries want us to defend them. What I can’t figure is what’s in it for us. I don’t see that it strengthens our security, enhances our prestige, or furthers any strategic interest.