Weakening U.S. Allies Is Risky

Weakening U.S. Allies Is Risky

This is a lousy time to have a president in the White House who is, apparently, contemptuous of Winston Churchill. At this writing, President Obama was poised to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, the latest in a series of efforts aimed at weakening Israel and otherwise bending it to the U.S. administration's will - a practice against which an historian/statesman like Churchill would have strenuously warned.

In his extraordinary memoir, "The Gathering Storm," the future British prime minister recalled how he had publicly pronounced in the run-up to World War II that he could not "imagine a more dangerous policy" than one then being practiced by the British government. It involved trying to appease Adolf Hitler by encouraging Britain's principal continental ally, France, to disarm - even as Nazi Germany was remilitarizing in increasingly offensive ways.

This practice was subsequently applied by both the British and French as they compelled another powerful ally, Czechoslovakia, to surrender its formidable Western defenses and military-industrial capabilities to the Nazis. The results of these misbegotten initiatives produced not peace, but an unprecedented conflagration. Extreme care should be exercised to avoid a repetition of this tragic history.


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