Could we be entering the Age of Umperialism?
With the success of its mission in Libya, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is considering changing its name, according to enterprising reporter Adam Baum.
“In the 21st century, branding is everything,” Baum said, “and ‘North Atlantic’ just doesn’t have the zing needed for a military alliance with operations all over the world.”
“Its original members were in North America and Western Europe,” he said, “but really, how can you say an alliance that includes Bulgaria and Turkey is in the North Atlantic?”
Baum, who called from Brussels where he’s been talking off the record with Alliance officials, says the 63-year old organization is looking for a public relations firm, to help it choose a new moniker.
“The leading candidate seems to be ‘UMPIRE,’ the United Military Powers for International Reform,” he said. “The name has a judicial ring to it, which makes it sound dignified and impartial. And it lends itself to a catchy term for the next global governance system, ‘umperialism.”
“Another option is the World Alliance for Reform, or WAR,” he said.
“That seems pretty straightforward,” I said. “But what’s with the word ‘reform?”
“Everybody likes reform,” Adam said. “And when you think about it, since the collapse of the Soviet Union 20 years ago, NATO isn’t really about defense any more, it’s about re-forming the world order to suit its leading members.”
“NATO does have almost 130,000 troops in Afghanistan,” I said. “Any more choices?”
“They’re looking into ‘Oceania,’ but it’s a long shot.”
I agreed. “It might be wise to pick a name with literary cachet to win support among intellectuals,” I said, “but I’m not sure Orwell’s 1984 is the right place to look. How are they going to choose?”
“Based on the Request for Proposals I saw, it looks like they’re going to organize focus groups in all 28 member countries, from Albania to the USA, and take suggestions on their Facebook page,” he said.
“I think I’ll suggest the North American North Atlantic North African Navy and Airforce, or NANANANA,” Adam added.