Not that its a contest. But Australia enacted ANZUS on the 12th of September, and had troops in Afghanistan in early October. However, things were a bit different for Australia as our prime minister watched the attacks on the Pentagon from his hotel room in Washington DC on 9-11 with his eyeballs. I wouldn't be jumping up about NATO's agility from its performance and commitment in Afghanistan. Certainly from Australia's view, adding Australia to NATO would likely slow our deployments and make everything more Europe focused.Article 5 has so far been triggered only once, by 9/11. Norwegian Special forces were operating in mountainous regions of Afghanistan in December 2001, after receiving a request from the US in November 2001.
Afghanistan probably makes China feel confident that NATO will essentially do nothing. The Taliban won. They are still in control. China feels its much stronger than Afghanistan, and the CCP is much more capable than the Taliban.
Im not sure the Europeans will decide that.Not going to happen.
So you believe there is no reason for the US to be involved in NATO, as the existing member states can handle its threats easily?As for Russia: you must be joking!? Ukraine has managed to hold their own against Russia in spite of having extremely limited air power, and no naval power. With NATO entering the fray, there would be plenty of both. I am quite sure Finland, Poland and Turkey would (together with Ukraine) be able to handle what's left of Russian armed forces on their own, if some of the European F-35s could just do a little bit of SEAD/DEAD first... The main issue would of course be to avoid Russia going Nuclear. Russia's Master China would probably forbid Russia to do so, but would Russia listen after losing their surface fleet and significant parts of their air force?
How can it be both?
The US is facing overmatch in Asia, like for real, in a way not even the soviets really could. Its territories like Guam, are likely to basically be wiped clean, there are 170,000 Americans who live on Guam. Current war games has the US losing ~1000 planes, two-four carrier groups, and dozens of ships. Japan is likely to see devastation like it did in WW2. the Koreas, may cease to exist all together. The Chinese will of course take heavy losses too, but that doesn't mean the conflict isn't impossible. The Americans are in a situation where they could loose, and loose big (WW2 casualty numbers), even if they win the conflict.
Do people think the US will simply not touch its European forces or posture while it loses entire fleets, tens of thousands of personnel, and Guam experiences a first strike probably ten times greater than Pearl Harbor? While its protectorate of Taiwan is forcibly invaded? That the NATO nations will be absolved of all commitment by hiding behind article 5 language about territories?
As for nuclear power. China doesn't seem overtly interested, while increasing their capabilities, they field nothing like the US/Soviet arsenals. China believes it can defeat the US through conventional means. China seems to understand that nuclear threats are meaningless and ineffective. Modern China isn't the soviet union or Russia. China believes they can exceed the US economically, politically, and with conventional military power.
China is building a force to deter US through conventional means. That is why the period 2025-2027 is so critical. That is the period western analysts believe that China will have the capability to match the US military power in the Pacific and deter them through military means.
At the frantic pace that China is increasing its military,
The threat of China is not that its going to annoy Japan, or annoy Australia. Its not going to invade Australia or Japan. We don't need a NATO to protect us, we aren't the main game. The fear is is that China feels that it can pick up the US by the ankles and start throwing it around the room until the US withdraws back to the continental US. The conflict is less about Taiwan as its more about global order.
While that is certainly terrifying. Also terrifying is a world after two of the worlds major powers spend ~3 years trying to wipe each other out. Which is when Australia is expected to get its first SSN. AUKUS wasn't about stopping the US-China conflict over Taiwan, its about what happens afterwards.
However, European thinking seems to be different. Asia and China are far away, like on another planet. That the US, and US lead order is invincible.
It does look different from where I'm sitting. Countries should be frantically investing in full spectrum military capabilities, urgently, like the current world order may not be the same as it is currently post 2030.
Im not sure a leisurely expansion of NATO, or NATO in Asia is solving the problem. Its not the 1950s.