Defending Bush

It's rare that I have the opportunity, but here goes -- Mark Krikorian's got an anti-Bush screed up on the Corner that doesn't even involve immigration:

Croatia and Albania are going to join NATO. So now an attack on Albania will be an act of war against the United States. Can someone explain to me how this is in our national interest? I have three sons myself, and I can't spare any of them to die defending one pissant Balkan dump against another pissant Balkan dump.

The obvious starting point of analysis here is that the odds of any American troops dying in a war for the defense of Albania are vanishingly small. And that's the point. Albania is a small and weak country that one could imagine some neighbor maybe trying to push around with military force. But nobody's going to want to take on NATO over some beef with Albania. Meanwhile, over the longer term the goal would be to bring the entire Balkans into a common security architecture that could help ensure the peace among all of them.

Recall that NATO's great achievement in the 1940s and 50s wasn't just that it helped face down the Soviets. That was important, of course, but in many ways equally important was that it allowed the various countries of Western Europe to rebuild their militaries without those militaries appearing threatening to other European countries.