Letter: A Nato farce

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Sir: It is always amusing to read citizens of the one of the most imperialistic and militarist nations in history (Great Britain) moralising about the poor record of the US in international affairs (letters, 11 May).

Of course the US government, during its 50 years of playing "global policeman", has done many bad things, which sensible Americans deplore. One could say the same of Britain during its heyday, though that does not lessen the evil in either case. Nor does it take into account the good done by both nations in world affairs.

Your correspondents should be aware, however, that had it not been for the clever (and self-serving) policies of British leaders during the Second World War, seeking to bring the US into a wartime alliance against Germany, America might never have had the "security" presence in Western Europe that it now has. It seems to be easier for some to ignore history rather than own up to this country's important part in creating the present European defence arrangement.

One can only hope that out of the Kosovo "conflict" a new European defence initiative will arise, and the US can disentangle itself from European internal affairs, which is the outcome that most Americans desire. The present arrangement is irrational, and too costly to be sustained any longer. Sadly, in this as in so many other instances, the US government still lags behind majority public opinion in America.


London NW6