Thursday, December 19, 2002
Jim Bennett (link via Instapundit) thinks we should take Ankara up on its threat to Brussels and extend an invitation to Turkey to join NAFTA.
An excellent idea. I've been arguing for some time: we don't want the Eurozone to grow on the notion that it will thereby be diluted and less of a threat. We want it compact and manageable so that it can still function as an ally (if it remains one) and so that more solid allies (like Britain and Turkey) are not restrained from supporting America by their membership in the EU.
I think extending an invitation to, say, the Czech Republic to join NAFTA would change the politics of EU expansion suddenly and dramatically. Here's a simple illustration: the Czechs ask why they can't join both NAFTA and the EU, and have favorable trade terms with both regions. We say, why not? The EU says: unacceptable; once you join the EU, Brussels decides what trade terms you have with the outside world. How likely do you think the proud peoples of Eastern Europe will be to sign up for EU membership when the threat to their hard-won sovereignty by so joining is made so starkly manifest?
We should not be pressuring Brussels to let Turkey into the EU. We should simply do the following: tell our Turkish allies they are welcome into NAFTA, and tell Brussels that we will not allow NATO troops (i.e. Turkish ones) to be placed under non-NATO command (i.e. the EU "rapid reaction" force) without the contributing country's express permission (unlikely to be forthcoming after being so snubbed by the Eurocrats). Let Brussels try to build its super-state without our - or the Turks' - help.