Douglas Carswell

18 FEB 2016

Our national security depends on NATO, not the EU

What keeps the peace in Europe? Euro elites like to pretend it's the EU. Yet for most of the last 70 years, only NATO has stood between Western Europe and war. The latest Russian incursion into British air space yesterday should remind us that NATO remains vital to our national security today.

Europhiles have long tried to argue that the European project ensured peace after the Second World War. It's nonsense. Almost as soon as the WWII ended, Europe was divided against itself again – only along different battle lines. The Cold War gave Western Europe a common foe, and a common interest. What kept it safe was NATO's military might and nuclear umbrella.

The USSR's collapse led many Western policymakers to believe that Russian imperialism was over. Despite proving that assumption wrong, Vladimir Putin has done nothing to dampen their optimism.

Hoping to pacify Putin, President Obama openly sought to 'reset' relations with Russia. He scaled back missile defence shields in Eastern Europe. He let Putin to cross his 'red lines' with impunity. He allowed Russia to become the regional powerbroker in the Middle East. But the result is that as NATO has receded, Russia has filled the vacuum.

In recent years, Russia has invaded Georgia and Ukraine. Russian bombing raids in Syria are aimed not at destroying ISIS, but at enabling the brutal Assad regime to crush other rebel groups. Russian operatives poisoned Alexander Litvinenko on British soil.

The increasing regularity of Russian attempts to probe the NATO air defences in the UK, not to mention in Turkey, shows that the threat she poses to our security and that of our allies is growing. NATO's recent decline has made us less safe. Euro-federalism won't protect us. We need to sustain the international alliance that does.

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