January 6, 2023•757 words
The democratic backsliding of NATO members is an extremely important issue, and I hope the administration at NATO recognizes this. The democratic requirements for NATO membership are extremely important to the American people. Americans will absolutely not defend or fight for a nation that is run by an authoritarian or totalitarian regime. The American people will not support going to war to defend an anti-democratic nation. That means the USA can not have treaty obligations with nations that are anti-democratic. So we can not have anti-democratic nations as members of NATO. We have to address this issue of democratic backsliding among NATO members now before the problem becomes worse.
It's time to get real about Turkey. Turkey is a member of NATO, but they are obviously not a like-minded ally. They may have been like-minded when they first joined the alliance, but they are not anymore. Turkey is not a liberal democracy. According to Freedom House, Turkey is not even partially free. Turkey has the lowest ranking of all European nations at Freedom House. Turkey has become anti-democratic and pro-authoritarian.
Turkey is the only NATO member that continues to hold up the accession process for Sweden and Finland - two of the freest and happiest countries in the world. The demands Turkey is making of those countries are counter to our own political beliefs. On top of that, Turkey is continuously threatening other NATO members, specifically Greece. Turkey's threats to Greece need to be taken more seriously. Turkey also buys weapons from Russia. And Turkey is the only NATO member that has not imposed sanctions on Russia. Turkey is a serious problem for the alliance. I do not trust Turkey as an ally at all.
I'm not sure if our future NATO allies, such as Finland and Sweden, should change their arms export bans on a country that has recently threatened to use those arms against another NATO ally. In fact, I think all NATO members should consider adopting the same stance as Sweden and Finland instead.
NATO must put together a policy for dealing with members that are no longer meeting the requirements for membership in the alliance. Turkey could be put on probation and given a deadline to live up to the alliance's expectations before they are expelled from the alliance. If necessary, Turkey can be downgraded to a NATO partner, and reapply for membership again when they meet the membership requirements. NATO could create incentives that will help Turkey become a more like-minded ally. Our new proposal for a new visa free, restrictions free traveling zone among all NATO member countries that are rated free by Freedom House could provide a positive incentive for Turkey and other democratic backsliding members, like Hungary, to reverse this trend. Our proposal provides an incentive for citizens of NATO nations to put pressure on their governments to meet the NATO requirements, because they would otherwise be excluded from the privilege of restriction free travel if their nation does not meet the requirements. This incentive could also be very effective in assuring that NATO allies are meeting other NATO requirements such as the defence spending requirement. NATO should also consider helping all NATO members develop better economic strategies to correct their economic woes, which often tends to be the cause of democratic backsliding.
Americans will support and defend nations that want to be free and democratic, just as we are doing for Ukraine. Support for Ukraine is extremely popular among the American people, because they are fighting for liberty and democracy. Support for Sweden and Finland is also extremely popular among the American people, because there is no doubt that both of those countries are like-minded and share our values. Turkey, on the other hand, will never be able to rally that kind of support from Americans, because they are currently anti-liberal and anti-democratic. Americans would protest and refuse to go to war for Turkey. The American people will not honor a treaty obligation with an anti-democratic, pro-authoritarian nation. Woe to any US administration that tries to force them to honor it. The democratic requirement for US alliances is essential to American morale. This is why it is so important to create a solution for this problem immediately - ignoring the problem could lead to the breakup of the alliance. Americans need to know that all of our allies are like-minded and that they share the same values we have. If they are not like-minded, if they have no regard for our values, they can not be our ally.