lieve that the Balkans mattered. Friedman professed that “Irndon’t give two cents about Bosnia. Not two cents. The peoplernthere have brought on their troubles.” However, he felt “loyaltyrnto the allies who have put their own troops into harm’s way.”rnNow, Britain and France are perfectly nice places to visit, butrnthey arc grown-up countries and walked into danger with fullrnknowledge of what they were getting into. Both have significantrnand sophisticated militaries of their own. Why should itrnbe America’s job to rescue their troops?rnAbout all that can be said of Friedman’s idea was that it wasrnnot quite as crazy as that of William Odom of the Hudson Institute,rnwho wanted Washington to insert 100,000 soldiers intornthe Balkans as an occupation army to force an end to the war.rnWhat American interest warranted that kind of commitment,rnand what specific settlement would be fair, he never said; norrndid he explain why the tragedy in Bosnia deserved such a commitmentrnwhile those in, say, Angola or Armenia or Sudan didrnnot. At least President Clinton waited for a semblance ofrnpeace, even though the half-life of the peace agreement couldrnbe months.rnOf course, the lack of serious interests in a region has notrnstopped the administration from seeking to extend NATO tornMoscow’s doorstep and convince Russia that expanding thernformedy anti-Soviet alliance is a friendly act. Countries likernHungary and Rumania hope to use the so-called Partnershiprnfor Peace as a way station to full alliance membership. AlthoughrnMoscow’s military is nearly as decrepit as its economy,rnand Russia’s primary challenge today is simply to hold itself together,rnthe administration wants to defend not only populousrnand prosperous Western Europe, but also Central and EasternrnEuropean nations barely five years removed from the WarsawrnPact. Even that fails to satisfy George Melloan of the WallrnStreet Journal, who wants to “extend NATO’s protection tornGeorgia and Azerbaijan.” Some people, like Alexander Haig,rnhave even proposed including Russia in NATO, which wouldrneffectively turn the North Atlantic Treaty Organization into thernNorth Atlantic-North Pacific Treaty Organization. Perhaps thernalliance could next invite, say, China to join.rnIndeed, what country should not sign up? The administrationrnwants to move NATO south as well as east. Washington,rnat Europe’s urging, would insert what formally remains thern”North Atlantic” Treaty Organization into North and WestrnAfrica to act as an anti-Islamic bulwark. Former NATO SecretaryrnGeneral Willy Claes, for instance, charged (in a statementrnthat he later recanted) that Islam poses as great a threat todayrnas communism did in the past. Another European officialrnwarned that North Africa’s population is growing much fasterrnthan that of Europe. “Given the demographic gap, the eventualrnoutcome is predictable. The West is destined to succumb,”rnhe warned.rnSupposedly so serious is this possibility that alliance officialsrnare demanding an official Western response. “For the past twornyears, the main concern among NATO’s military strategicrnexperts has been the southern threat,” explained another unnamedrnEuropean source. Thus, NATO officials have begun arndialogue with Egypt, Israel, Morocco, Tunisia, and, yes, Mauritania.rnThe goal, it is said, is a North African version of the Partnershiprnfor Peace. One NATO official anonymously called forrnmilitary involvement in Morocco and Tunisia: “You could haverna preventive deployment of forces on the requests of those governments.”rnBut then, to listen to the Heritage Foundation, there are otherrnreasons to bring Morocco into a dialogue with NATO. Accordingrnto analyst James Phillips, Morocco “was a key U.S. allyrnduring the Cold War, cooperating with Washington to containrnSoviet influence in the Middle East and Africa.” Really? Howeverrnsoothing King Hassan’s words, they did not have much torndo with Libya’s terrorist activities, Egypt’s expulsion of Sovietrnadvisors, the switch in allegiance of Ethiopia and Somalia withrnAmerica and the Soviet Union, or the friendship with Moscowrnof Syria’s Assad. Anyway, how about today? “Morocco hasrnbecome a bulwark of stability in a volatile region,” explainsrnPhillips. Consequently, Washington needs to “cooperate withrnMorocco in containing radical Middle Eastern states and Muslimrnextremism.” In particular, he argues, America needs to developrncontingency plans in case Algeria’s military governmentrnfalls to fundamentalist Muslims, build and even operate surveillancernradars, and possibly jointly support anti-Islamic groups.rnWhy American taxpayers,rnwho are each alreadyrnspending more than Korean citizensrnjust to defend Korea, shouldrnpay even more is not immediatelyrnobvious. Washington’s allies havernbecome a bunch of internationalrnwelfare queens.rnNor is that all. Phillips wants the United States to “seek torndeprive Algerian Islamists of external support. The U.S. needsrnto increase economic and diplomatic pressures on Iran and Sudan,rnwhich aid Algerian Islamists, and cooperate with Europeanrnallies to reduce the flow of arms and money from Algerianrnexpatriates in Europe.” Yet what does America have to fearrnfrom Muslims in Algeria, Muslims who won a free election, onlyrnto see their victory voided by the military? They have no interestrnin carrying conflict to America—unless Washingtonrnturns itself into a target by targeting the ancient religion. Andrnespecially by working with Morocco, hardly a paragon of democraticrnvirtue.rnBut Morocco and Algeria are not our only interests in Africa,rnin the opinion of some pundits. Columnist B.J. Cutler, for instance,rndemands action in the Sudan—an “economic embargornand a blockade to stop arms and aviation fuel from reachingrnSudan.” Why should we intervene there? Well, he writes, thernnation “borders on Egypt, Libya, Chad, Central African Republic,rnZaire, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Eritrea. It threatensrnto export instability and Muslim fundamentalism.” Yet thernSudan has been in chaos and immersed in civil war for arnMAY 1996/17rnrnrn