On 4 Apr 1949, 12 nations, including the US, signed the North Atlantic Treaty thus creating the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). This organization very effectively defended Western Europe against Soviet expansion for decades. i served in Europe for 3 years in the 1970s as a part of the NATO force–I was XO of a mechanized infantry battalion. But with the demise of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s and the subsequent rise of socialism in Western Europe, the military forces of our NATO allies slipped quickly into barely more than ceremonial units. Yes, the all have some form of special ops ability, but they’re unable to even defend themselves–they’re so used to the good old USA defending them. Case in point–the air war enforcing the no-fly zone in Lybia. Given a week to get some aircraft together to enforce the no-fly restrictions, they couldn’t do it; they needed an extension. They’ll likely be able to pull together a few fighters for the task, but it’s time to realize that NATO is the US and also that the US is broke and leaderless.