Ron Paul
2001 Ron Paul Chapter 95

Expansion of NATO is a Bad Idea

November 7, 2001

Home Page   Contents   Cached from Ron Paul’s Congressional website.
Congressional Record (Page H7863)   Cached

2001 Ron Paul 95:1
   Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding time to me.

2001 Ron Paul 95:2
   Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the rule. The rule is noncontroversial, but the bill itself, the bill to expand NATO and the foreign aid involved in it, is controversial from my viewpoint. It may not be controversial here in Washington, but if we go outside of Washington and talk to the people who pay the bills and the people who have to send the troops, they find this controversial. They think we are taken for saps as we go over and extend our sphere of influence throughout the world, and now extending into Eastern Europe.

2001 Ron Paul 95:3
   I, too, was a friend of Jerry Solomon. We came into the Congress together in 1978. One thing for sure that Jerry understood very clearly was the care that we must give to expanding our influence as well as sacrificing our sovereignty, because he was strongly opposed to the United Nations.

2001 Ron Paul 95:4
   As chairman of the Committee on Rules, he would permit my amendment to come up and at least debate the effectiveness of belonging to the United Nations, so I have fond memories of Jerry, especially in his support of my efforts to try to diminish the United Nations’ influence and the taking away of our sovereignty.

2001 Ron Paul 95:5
   Mr. Speaker, this is one reason why I do oppose NATO. I believe that it has a bad influence on what we do. We want to extend our control over Eastern Europe, and as has been pointed out, this can be seen as a threat to the Russians.

2001 Ron Paul 95:6
   NATO does not have a good record since the fall of the Soviets. Take a look at what we were doing in Serbia. Serbia has been our friend. They are a Christian nation. We allied ourselves with the KLA, the Kosovo Muslims, who have been friends with Osama bin Laden. We went in there and illegally, NATO illegally, against their own rules of NATO, incessantly bombed Serbia. They had not attacked another country. They had a civil war going on, yet we supported that with our money and our bombs and our troops, and now we are nation-building over there. We may be over there for another 20 years because of the bad policy of NATO that we went along with.

2001 Ron Paul 95:7
   Mr. Speaker, I think we should stop and think about this, and instead of expanding NATO, instead of getting ready to send another $55 million that we are authorizing today to the Eastern European countries, we ought to ask: Has it really served the interests of the United States?

2001 Ron Paul 95:8
   Now that is old-fashioned, to talk about the interests of the United States. We are supposed to only talk about the interests of internationalism, globalism, one-world government. To talk about the interests of the United States in this city is seen as being very negative, but I would say if we talk about U.S. security, security of the United States of America and our defense around the country, it is very popular.    Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I sincerely appreciate the fact that I have brought together bipartisanship here and got time from both sides. I deeply appreciate that, especially since I am taking the opposition to this bill. I do rise in opposition to expanding NATO. I do not think it is in the best interests of the United States. The one thing that I would concede, though, is that everyone in this Chamber, I believe, every Member agrees that our country should be strong; that we should have a strong national defense; and that we should do everything conceivable to make our country safe and secure. I certainly endorse those views. It just happens that I believe that membership in organizations like NATO tends to do the opposite, tends to weaken us and also makes us more vulnerable. But that is a matter of opinion, and we have to debate the merits of the issue and find out what is best for our country.

2001 Ron Paul 95:9
   I think the bill is motivated for two reasons. One is to increase the sphere of influence into Eastern Europe, who will be the greatest influence on the commercial aspects of Eastern Europe, and so there is a commercial interest there, as well as in this bill there is $55 million of foreign aid which I think a lot of Americans would challenge under these circumstances whether or not we should be sending another $55 million overseas.

2001 Ron Paul 95:10
   We have this debate now mainly because we have had the demise of the Soviet system, and there is a question on what the role of NATO should be and what the role of NATO really is. It seems that NATO is out in search of a dragon to slay. It appeared that way during the Kosovo and Serbian crisis, where it was decided that NATO would go in and start the bombing in order to help the Kosovars and to undermine the Government of Serbia. But our own rules under NATO say that we should never attack a country that has not attacked a member nation. So this was sort of stretching it by a long shot in order to get us involved. I think that does have unintended consequences, because it turns out that we supported Muslims, the KLA, in Kosovo who were actually allies of Osama bin Laden. These things in some ways come back to haunt us, and I see this as an unintended consequence that we should be very much aware of.

2001 Ron Paul 95:11
   But overall I oppose this because I support a position of a foreign policy of noninterventionism, foreign noninterventionism out of interest of the United States. I know the other side of the argument, that United States interests are best protected by foreign intervention and many, many entangling alliances. I disagree with that because I think what eventually happens is that a country like ours gets spread too thin and finally we get too poor. I think we are starting to see signs of this. We have 250,000 troops around the world in 241 different countries. When the crisis hit with the New York disaster, it turned out that our planes were so spread out around the world that it was necessary for our allies to come in and help us. This is used by those who disagree with me as a positive, to say, “See, it works. NATO is wonderful. They’ll even come and help us out.” I see it as sad and tragic that we spent last year, I think it was over $325 billion for national defense, and we did not even have an AWACS plane to protect us.

2001 Ron Paul 95:12
   During that time when we had our tragedy in New York, we probably had cities that we paid to protect better than our own cities. If planes went awry or astray in Korea or Haiti or wherever, I think that they probably would have been shot down. I see this as a tragedy.

2001 Ron Paul 95:13
   I hope we will all give some consideration for nonintervention.

2001 Ron Paul 95:14
   Mr. Speaker, more than a decade ago one of history’s great ideological and military conflicts abruptly ended. To the great surprise of many, including more than a few in own government, the communist world and its chief military arm, the Warsaw Pact, imploded. The Cold War, which claimed thousands of lives and uncountable treasure, was over and the Western Alliance had prevailed.

2001 Ron Paul 95:15
   With this victory, however, NATO’s raison d’etre was destroyed. The alliance was created to defend against a Soviet system that as of 1991 had entirely ceased to exist. Rather than disbanding, though, NATO bureaucrats and the governments behind them reinvented the alliance and protected its existence by creating new dragons to slay. No longer was NATO to be an entirely defensive alliance. Rather, this “new” NATO began to occupy itself with a myriad of non-defense related issues like economic development and human rights. This was all codified at the Washington Summit of 1999, where the organization declared that it would concern itself with “economic, social and political difficulties ..... ethnic and religious rivalries, territorial disputes, inadequate or failed efforts at reform, the abuse of human rights, and the dissolution of states.” The new name of the NATO game was “interventionism”; defense was now passé.

2001 Ron Paul 95:16
   Nowhere was this “new NATO” more starkly in evidence than in Yugoslavia. There, in 1999, NATO became an aggressive military force, acting explicitly in violation of its own charter. By bombing Yugoslavia, a country that neither attacked nor threatened a NATO member state, NATO both turned its back on its stated purpose and relinquished the moral high ground it had for so long enjoyed. NATO intervention in the Balkan civil wars has not even produced the promised result: UN troops will be forced to remain in the Balkans indefinitely in an ultimately futile attempt to build nations against the will of those who will live in them.

2001 Ron Paul 95:17
   Mr. Speaker, we are now called on to endorse the further expansion of a purposeless alliance and to grant $55.5 million dollars to former Soviet Bloc countries that have expressed an interest in joining it. While expanding NATO membership may be profitable for those companies that will be charged with upgrading the militaries of prospective members, this taxpayer subsidy of foreign governments and big business is not in the interest of the American people. It is past time for the Europeans to take responsibility for their own affairs, including their military affairs.

2001 Ron Paul 95:18
   According to the Department of Defense’s latest available figures, there are more than 250,000 U.S. military personnel deployed overseas on six continents in 141 nations. It is little wonder, then, that when a crisis hit our own shores--the treacherous attacks of September 11--we were forced to call on foreign countries to defend American airspace! Our military is spread so thin meddling in every corner of the globe, that defense of our own homeland is being carried out by foreigners.

2001 Ron Paul 95:19
   Rather than offer our blessings and open our pocketbooks for the further expansion of NATO, the United States should get out of this outdated and interventionist organization. American foreign policy has been most successful when it focuses on the simple principles of friendship and trade with all countries and entangling alliances with none.

This chapter appeared in Ron Paul’s Congressional website at

Previous   Next

Home Page   Contents   Concordance
  Links   E-mail list.