NATO is a defense alliance in search of someone to defend against. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:
“Treaties are like roses and young girls. They last while they last.”
So said President Charles De Gaulle, who in 1966 ordered NATO to vacate its Paris headquarters and get out of France.
NATO this year celebrates a major birthday. The young girl of 1966 is no longer young. The alliance is 70 years old.
And under this aging NATO today, the U.S. is committed to treat an attack on any one of 28 nations from Estonia to Montenegro to Romania to Albania as an attack on the United States.
The time is ripe for a strategic review of these war guarantees to fight a nuclear-armed Russia in defense of countries across the length of Europe that few could find on a map.
Apparently, President Donald Trump, on trips to Europe, raised questions as to whether these war guarantees comport with vital U.S. interests and whether they could pass a rigorous cost-benefit analysis.
The shock of our establishment that Trump even raised this issue in front of Europeans suggests that the establishment, frozen in the realities of yesterday, ought to be made to justify these sweeping war guarantees.
A weird thing happens when you shoot and bomb innocent people: they end up hating you. From John LaForge at counterpunch.org:
NATO’s and the US military’s desecration of corpses, attacks on wedding parties, mosques, hospitals and market places — along with the bombing of allied troops, torture of prisoners, and their notoriously unaccountable drone warfare — are a few of the alliance’s more infamous outrages in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia.
Twenty years’ worth of “unintended” or “collateral” damage hasn’t created friends in the war zones:
+ On April 23, 1999, NATO rocketed the central studio of Radio Televisija Srbije (RTS), the state-owned broadcasting corporation in Belgrade, destroying the building. Sixteen civilian employees of RTS were killed and 16 wounded. Amnesty International concluded the attack was a war crime.
+ In a Feb. 12, 2010 atrocity that was kept secret until March 13, US Special Forces killed a teenage girl, a pregnant mother of 10, a pregnant mother of 6, a police officer and his brother, and were accused of then trying to cover-up the killings by digging bullets out of the victims’ bodies, washing the wounds with alcohol and lying to superior officers.
+ While bombing Libya in March 2011, NATO refused to aid a group of 72 migrants adrift in the Mediterranean Sea. Only nine people on board survived. The refusal was condemned as criminal by the Council of Europe.
+ On Nov. 26, 2011, NATO jets bombed and rocketed an allied Pakistani military base for two hours, killing 26 Pakistani soldiers and wounding dozens more. NATO refuses to apologize.
NATO and its US puppet-master are bat-shit crazy. From Patrick Armstrong at strategic-culture.org:
In previous essays I argued that NATO tries to distract our attention from its crimes by accusing Russia of those crimes: this is “projection“. NATO manipulates its audience into thinking the unreal is real: this is “gaslighting“. NATO sees what it expects to see – Moscow’s statements that they will respond to medium range missiles emplaced next door are re-jigged as the “threats” which justify NATO’s earlier act: this is “confirmation bias“. And, finally, NATO thinks Russia is so weak it’s doomed and so strong that it is destroying the tranquillity of NATOLand: this is a sort of geopolitical “schizophrenia“. (I must acknowledge Bryan MacDonald’s marvellous neologism of Russophrenia – a condition where the sufferer believes Russia is both about to collapse, and take over the world.)
I wrote the series partly to amuse the reader but with a serious purpose as well. And that serious purpose is to illustrate the absurdities that NATO expects us to believe. NATO here being understood as sometimes the headquarters “international staff”, sometimes all members in solemn conclave, sometimes some NATO members and associates. “NATO” has become a remarkably flexible concept: Libya was a NATO operation, even though Germany kept out of it. Somalia was not a NATO operation even though Germany was in it. Canada, a founding NATO member, was in Afghanistan but not in Iraq. Some interventions are NATO, others aren’t. The NATO alliance today is a box of spare parts from which Washington assembles its “coalitions of the willing”. It’s Washington’s beard.
Russia represents a dire threat to the West, but it’s on the verge of collapse. From Patrick Armstrong at strategic-culture.org:
NATO sorrowfully explains its problems with Russia on its official website:
For more than two decades, NATO has worked to build a partnership with Russia, developing dialogue and practical cooperation in areas of common interest. Cooperation has been suspended since 2014 in response to Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine but political and military channels of communication remain open. Concerns about Russia’s continued destabilising pattern of military activities and aggressive rhetoric go well beyond Ukraine.
None of this – of course – is NATO’s fault: on the contrary NATO is concerned that
Russia’s military activities, particularly along NATO’s borders, have increased and its behaviour continues to make the Euro-Atlantic security environment less stable and predictable, in particular its practice of calling snap exercises, deploying near NATO borders, conducting large-scale training and exercises and violating Allied airspace.
Suffice it to say that this statement would have a closer relationship with reality if the words “NATO’s borders” were replaced with “inside Russia”. And I would be interested to hear the details of “violating Allied airspace”. Why even the Daily Telegraph in 2015 with its suggestive headline of Mapped: Just how many incursions into Nato airspace has Russian military made? had to admit “The Ministry of Defence says the Russian bombers have never violated Britain’s sovereign airspace, which extends 12 nautical miles from the coast.” Likewise Violated US Airspace 16 Times In Last 10 Days turns out to be Air Defence Identification Zones which is not the same thing at all. Or Most Russian Plane Intercepts over Baltics Due to Error: NATO General. So NATO’s statement needs a further calibration so that “violating Allied airspace” becomes “flying in international airspace close to Allied countries’ airspace”.
If it ever was, NATO is no longer about the US protecting Europe, it’s about making Europe the US’s vassal. An editorial from strategic-culture.org:
“Insulting” – that’s how US President Donald Trump sharply reacted to the idea of a “real European army” proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron.
And it was how Macron rationalized the need for an independent military force for Europe that perhaps most irked the American leader.
Speaking on a tour of World War I battlefields in northern France last week, Macron said that Europe needed to defend itself from “China, Russia and even the United States of America”.
It was a pretty extraordinary choice of words by the French leader. To frame the US among an array of perceived foreign enemy powers was a devastating blow to the concept of a much-vaunted transatlantic alliance.
Since the Second World War, ending 1945, the concept of an American-European alliance has been the bedrock of a supposed inviolable, mutual defense pact. That nearly seven-decade alliance is now being questioned more than ever.
Macron’s call for a European army was further backed up by German Chancellor Angela Merkel who also pointedly said this week that Europe can no longer rely on the US for its defense.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has welcomed the proposal for Europe to form its own military organization, independent from Washington. No doubt, Moscow views such a development as augmenting a move towards a multipolar international order, which Russia and China, among others, have been advocating in opposition to American ambitions of unipolar dominance.
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Imperialism, Military, War
Tagged Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron, Europe, France, Germany, NATO, President Trump
Since World War II, the US government has not liked the idea of Europe as anything other than an American vassal. From Eric Margolis at lewrockwell.com:
Asked if President Donald Trump’s highly critical tweets about French president Emmanuel Macron were unpleasant and inelegant, Macron elegantly replied, `you summed up everything.’
Yes, they were unpleasant and inelegant, to put it mildly. Worse, Trump’s tweet barrage came on the same day France was commemorating the murder of 130 Parisians by gunmen in 2015. A senior French press official claimed Trump ‘lacked common decency.’ Making matters worse, Trump refused to show up at a graveside memorial for American GI’s killed in the bloody, 1918 Belleau Wood battle. He went the following day to another memorial closer to Paris.
A major faux pas, Monsieur le President Trump. You need some foreign policy pros instead of the amateur ideologues who have made a huge mess of the nation’s affairs and image.
This row arose after Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed the European Parliament in Strasbourg and called for a common European army to ‘complement’ NATO.
Earlier, Chancellor Merkel stated that Europe could no longer depend on the US for its protection.
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, Imperialism, Military, Politics, War
Tagged Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron, Europe, NATO, President Trump
NATO likes to say it defends democracy, but when democracy produces a result it doesn’t like, it ignores the result and does what it wants. From Andrew Korybko at orientalreview.org:
Nearly two-thirds of Macedonian voters boycotted the faux referendum for changing their country’s constitutional name and facilitating its entry into NATO, yet the vehemence with which the bloc is still trying to get them to join exposes its Hybrid War and anti-democratic modus operandi.
NATO membership used to be motivated by a shared fear, however exploited, of a so-called “Soviet/communist threat” which made joining the military bloc a seemingly “natural” decision for the countries that did so during the Old Cold War. The US certainly pressured many of them behind the scenes, however, and it also exploited their membership for clandestine purposes such as embedding Gladio squads into their societies. The Soviet dissolution of 1991 removed the very reason for NATO’s existence, yet the organization survived and has been progressively reinventing itself throughout the subsequent two and a half decades.