NATO Isn't Worth Our While?

That's what Daniel Larison thinks:

In the end, the main argument for perpetuating the NATO relic is that it provides the support structure for projecting power into remote parts of the globe where American interests are even less clearly defined. In other words, what once was a purely defensive alliance dedicated to European security now has little to do with either defense or Europe. The Alliance is not only outdated for America’s European allies, who increasingly see no reason to participate in "out-of-area" missions, but also functions as a potential enabler of American involvement in parts of Asia and Africa where no vital American interests are at stake. By keeping NATO in existence, Washington leaves itself open to the temptation to meddle in far-flung parts of the globe, even as it provides the superficial "multilateral" cover to make U.S. military intervention overseas more politically palatable.

It's hard to imagine that sans NATO that Bush/Cheney would've foregone meddling. But in the coming necessary debate about serious defense cuts, this kind of real debate, outside of what Andy Bacevich calls "Washington Rules", is exactly what we need.