McCain Calls for ‘League of Democracies’
I was able to get in the first question and followed up on this idea, asking whether he was talking about a “NATO Plus” organization or something else. McCain replied that he envisioned something more along the lines of ASEAN or the G-8, a somewhat formal IGO that would have regular meetings but no standing forces. In follow-up, I inquired whether he thought this meant that NATO and the UN Security Council, as presently constituted, were failures. He said that, no, those organizations have their purposes but that NATO was a military alliance whereas his League of Democracies would focus mostly on non-military solutions such as economic sanctions, trade, diplomacy, and public relations.
The idea strikes me as a good one, although I’d prefer to see the use of existing organizations, notably NATO and the G-8, to achieve these ends. While NATO was formed as a collective defense alliance, that role was all but obviated by the collapse of the Soviet Union. Transforming it into a collective security organization that marshals economic and diplomatic power, in addition to military, is essential.
The main advantage of McCain’s proposal is that it includes states not currently in NATO such as Japan and Australia. But, aside from not fitting in with the “North Atlantic” theme, there’s certainly no reason they couldn’t be brought into NATO.