Letters | Ask not why Nato is expanding, but why it is showing so much restraint
- Readers discuss arguments against Nato’s expansion, and the need to reflect on the destruction caused by war as Armistice Day approaches
Why do countries like Poland join Nato?
Well, in the case of Poland, it had been erased from the map of Europe by neighbouring empires and vowed never to let that happen again. It was not that long ago, when Polish troops surrendered to the Soviet Union after it carved up Poland in 1939, that the communist secret police shot dead over 20,000 military officers, clerics, professors, government officials and anyone of authority in the forest of Katyn near Smolensk.
Was it not the Russian troops who stopped short of the gates of Warsaw in 1944 during the uprising to ensure that a communist regime would take over for more than 40 years?
To answer the question of why Nato was in Afghanistan, the World Trade Centre in New York was attacked and hence Nato responded.
What does Poland contribute to Nato? Well, it is one of the largest military forces in Europe and a Nato member that maintains military spending above 2 per cent of annual gross domestic product, unlike many other members.
Has Nato really moved eastward? Well if you look at the maps of Europe before 1939 compared to after 1945, you will notice the following: Poland has moved westwards into Germany, Ukraine moved westwards into Poland, the Baltic states shrank after the Soviet takeover.
The question your correspondent should be asking is: why is Nato restraining itself so much?
Jan Bochenski, Mid-Levels
Ukraine war should have been avoided
The war between Russia and Ukraine was totally avoidable if the Ukrainian leadership hadn’t pushed forward with plans to join Nato despite strong and clear objections from Russia over decades.
As Armistice Day approaches, we should honour the dead by teaching young people that wars throughout history are invariably destructive to all living systems and the environment, are often initiated by unpredictable, immoral and mindless leaders of nations and that humans are the only animal on Earth that pursues such insane and self-destroying activities.
Morris Givner, Halifax, Canada