What is the status of the "Manifesto for a New NATO" which five military has-beens have recently produced? It proposes that the West should be ready to resort to a pre-emptive nuclear strike in various circumstances. (Podcast here for details).
To start with, it would help if the public could have ready access to the Manifesto, rather than having to depend upon media reports. In over 650 references to the Manifesto on Google, I can't find a copy of the full document nor the means to obtain it. I would be grateful to anyone who could provide me with this missing link.
Yesterday's report in The Guardian included the following claim - "The manifesto has been written following discussions with active commanders and policymakers, many of whom are unable or unwilling to publicly air their views. It has been presented to the Pentagon in Washington and to Nato's secretary general, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, over the past 10 days. The proposals are likely to be discussed at a Nato summit in Bucharest in April."
Does this mean that the Manifesto was in some way commissioned by NATO (or the Pentagon), or do they investigate anything from old military relics? If it is the latter, then as I am pensioned off from parliament perhaps the Commons would like to set up a Select Committee to examine the pearls of wisdom coming from my blog.
With a bit of luck, NATO will bin the old fogies Manifesto just as the Commons would if I sent them a link to my blog. I grant, however, that (in theory) once I get to read the full Manifesto I might be swept off my feet by its erudition - just as others could who stumble upon "Threescoreyearsandten".
The Guardian gives these details about the authors of the Manifesto. I add the links. -
The US's top soldier under Bill Clinton and former Nato commander in Europe, Shalikashvili was born in Warsaw of Georgian parents and emigrated to the US at the height of Stalinism in 1952. He became the first immigrant to the US to rise to become a four-star general. He commanded Operation Provide Comfort in northern Iraq at the end of the first Gulf war, then became Saceur, Nato's supreme allied commander in Europe, before Clinton appointed him chairman of the joint chiefs in 1993, a position he held until his retirement in 1997.
Viewed as one of Germany's and Nato's top military strategists in the 90s, Naumann served as his country's armed forces commander from 1991 to 1996 when he became chairman of Nato's military committee. On his watch, Germany overcame its post-WWII taboo about combat operations, with the Luftwaffe taking to the skies for the first time since 1945 in the Nato air campaign against Serbia.
Field Marshal Peter Inge is one of Britain's top officers, serving as chief of the general staff in 1992-94, then chief of the defence staff in 1994-97. He also served on the Butler inquiry into Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction and British intelligence.
Henk van den Breemen
An accomplished organist who has played at Westminster Abbey, Van den Breemen is the former Dutch chief of staff.
A French admiral and former navy chief who was also chief of the French defence staff.