If you’re in need of something unintentionally funny to read, you can usually count on Anne Applebaum’s op-eds in the Post, and today’s entry fails to disappoint.

Commenting on NATO’s role in the hapless war in Afghanistan, Applebaum actually says that if and when NATO leaves Afghanistan in 2014—as the NATO summit in Lisbon suggested last week is the “plan”—then at least “NATO’s soldiers can return home having proved, if nothing else, that the Western military alliance still exists.”

That it exists? For some, including Richard Holbrooke, that’s the actual reason to be in Afghanistan in the first place, to prove that NATO exists. Why, exactly, NATO still exists decades after the end of the Cold War, is a puzzle that historians will analyze. Why it keeps expanding—let Georgia and Ukraine join! how about Israel? what the heck, let India in!—is a stranger puzzle. Perhaps one day NATO will expand to include the entire world. (Take that, Mars!)

But Applebaum goes further, suggesting – and this is not a joke on her part – that NATO might invite Russia to join, all the better to fight a war with—wait for it—China:

“I can even imagine Russia being included, at some date. Who knows? One day we may find ourselves helping Russia defend its borders against China, so we might as well start practicing.”

Yes, she gets paid for this.

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