Zombie NATO Is Obsolete; Militarists Try To Revive It Through Expanded Targets


Please consider this by way of a PSA.  The title is from this morning’s Popular Resistance newsletter and was written by Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, December 8, 2019, after the 70th Nato Summit had wrapped up on Dec. 4.

As all their content is CC w/ attribution, I’ll paste it all in, although I haven’t taken the time to check all the internal links.  The ‘bitterly divided’ link is a barn-burner by Alex Lantier at wsws.org, imo.  I haven’t brought their photos, either; I’ve used images from NATO on Twitter instead.

“The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) held an abbreviated two-day meeting this week in London on its 70th anniversary. On display was a zombie alliance that is bitterly divided on multiple issues and has lost its purpose for existing. Rather than recognizing it is time to end this obsolete military alliance, they decided to expand their activities, search for a purpose and conduct a study to determine their strategy.

NATO is a cold war relic, an anti-Soviet tool continuing to exist 40 years after the Soviet Union ended. NATO was created one month after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in September 1945, with 12 members. This was ten years before the formation of the Warsaw Pact, which was founded on May 14, 1955.  NATO was not formed to combat the Soviet Union’s Warsaw Pact, although that was the previous excuse used for its existence.

When President Trump campaigned for office he correctly declared NATO was obsolete, but then he reversed course in April 2017. As president, he has pressured the 29 member-countries to increase their military spending. Between 2016 and 2020, NATO’s budget increased by $130 billion – twice as much as Russia’s total annual military spending. NATO members are expected to contribute two percent of their gross domestic product to the military.  NATO’s total budget is 20 times that of Russia and five times that of China.

It is time for the US to withdraw from NATO and for the alliance to disband. It serves no useful purpose and is a cause of global conflicts and militarism.

Internal Conflicts: An Alliance That Cannot Agree On The Definition Of Terrorism

NATO shortened its summit because internal divisions threatened to blow up the meeting.

On December 3, before the meeting, Trump and French President Emanuel Macron held a testy joint press conference. Macron told The Economist last month that NATO was suffering “brain death” because of the poor US leadership under Trump. Trump called Macron’s comments “very insulting” and “very, very nasty.” Macron and Trump are also at odds over Trump’s handling of the military conflict between Turkey and Syria, what to do with captured foreign Islamic State fighters and a trade dispute.

A late Tuesday video showed world leaders ridiculing Trump at the summit. Trump abandoned plans for a Wednesday news conference and branded the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, “two-faced.” He cut short his attendance at the summit avoiding the final press conference.

While combating terrorism is one of NATO’s supposed tasks, Macron said: “I’m sorry to say that we don’t have the same definition of terrorism around the table.” Macron warned that “not all clarifications were obtained and not all ambiguities were resolved”. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to hold up efforts to protect the Baltics against Russia unless the alliance branded the Kurdish militias as “terrorists.” He later backed off and allowed NATO to go forward with increasing battalions on Russia’s borders to “protect Poland and the Baltic region” against fanciful threats from Russia.

NATO is facing four crisis areas. First, a deep political crisis including quarrels among the leading military members, accusations, and substantial differences of strategy and purpose. There is also a legal crisis as it consistently operates outside – indeed in violation of – its own goals and purposes and in violation of the United Nations Charter. Third, a moral crisis resulting from its wars against Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria…all catastrophes that caused unspeakable suffering, death, and destruction to millions. And, finally, an intellectual crisis, as an echo chamber alliance that sings only one tune: There are new threats, we must arm more, we need new and better weapons and we must increase military expenditures.

NATO’s Search For A Purpose

Rather than facing the fact that they are no longer serving a useful purpose, and despite their internal conflicts, NATO leaders did manage to pull together a final declaration.

Their declaration pointed the way to NATO expanding its military forces on a global scale that will result in creating instability and military conflicts to justify their existence. NATO has a history of brutal military attacks, including the brutal bombing and destruction of the former Yugoslavia and the Balkans in the late 1990s, regime-change wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, where it still has troops. And, the destruction of Libya that has left the country in chaos. NATO also worked with the United States in the violent coup in Ukraine in 2014.

NATO is playing its role as a military force that supports the US national security agenda. It continues to target Russia as “a threat to Euro-Atlantic security.” In reality, NATO creates that conflict by expanding eastward and putting weapons, bases, and troops along the Russian border. This violated a promise made by Secretary of State James Baker to the final Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev. In a February 1990 meeting, Baker said three times that NATO would not expand, “not one inch eastward.”  NATO’s expansion has been a major provocation in generating the New Cold War with Russia.

NATO is planning Defender 2020 the third-largest military exercise in Europe since the Cold War ended. Some 37,000 troops from 15 NATO nations will be involved including some 20,000 US troops who will be flown from their bases in the United States. Scott Ritter points out the costs associated with these exercises against Russia are considerable, along with the cost of raising, training, equipping and maintaining forces in the high state of readiness needed for short-notice response to an imagined attack by Russia. This is part of increasing confrontations along Russia’s borders, where a total of 102 NATO exercises were held in 2019.

Earlier this month, NATO said they’d formally rejected a Russian request to prohibit installing missiles previously banned under the now-defunct Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in Europe. The Russian request was made directly by President Putin, who fears “a new arms race” following both Moscow and Washington pulling out of the landmark 1988 INF treaty. Despite the facts, NATO blames Russia for the demise of the INF treaty. The French president brought out the reality: “Today would everyone around the table define Russia as an enemy? I do not think so.”

At this year’s summit, the NATO leaders “for the first time” discussed China as a collective security challenge. Prior to the meeting, CNN reported that NATO was falling in line with the anti-China strategy of the United States as NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance needed to start taking into account that China is coming closer to us.’” He pointed to China “‘in the Arctic, … Africa, … investing heavily in European infrastructure and of course investing in cyberspace.”
Despite Stollenberg’s push to make China a target of NATO, their members could only agree on a  declaration that said: “China’s growing influence and international policies present both opportunities and challenges.” NATO members know that China is a benefit to the economy of their nations and that the Belt and Road Initiative connecting China to Europe through the Middle East and Africa is likely to be the defining source of economic growth this century.

NATO has also joined President Trump’s call for the militarization of space, declaring “space an operational domain for NATO” in their declaration.  Related to this, they also pledged to  increase their “tools to respond to cyber attacks.”

In April we reported that NATO seeks to expand to Georgia, Macedonia and Ukraine as well as spreading into Latin America with Colombia joining as a partner and Brazil considering participation (not coincidentally, these two nations border Venezuela).

NATO is also bringing nuclear weapons to the Russian border. The Washington Post reported, “A recently released — and subsequently deleted — document published by a NATO-affiliated body has sparked headlines in Europe with an apparent confirmation of a long-held open secret: some 150 US nuclear weapons are being stored in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey.” Raising questions: Under whose control are these weapons held? Are host countries permitted access to US nuclear weapons? Are the host nations informed? Do NATO’s practice deployments involve nuclear bombs and missiles? The Brussels Times reported this summer that “In the context of NATO, the United States [has deployed] around 150 nuclear weapons in Europe.”

NATO’s search for a purpose has led to a fundamental strategic review of the alliance’s purpose. Members know their mission is unclear and their purpose is questionable.

70 Years Of Destruction Is Enough, Time To End NATO

The 70th anniversary of NATO is an opportunity to honestly examine the history of NATO destabilization, wasteful military spending, and destructive military attacks. It is also an opportunity for people to urge the end of NATO. On April 4, 2019, NATO foreign ministers met in Washington, DC to celebrate its 70th anniversary, peace and justice activists held a week of actions in protest, disrupting meetings, shutting down an entrance to the State Department and taking the streets. This past week there was a large anti-NATO protest in London.

Scott Ritter believes NATO is as good as dead writing “NATO is on life-support, and Europe is being asked to foot the bill to keep breathing life into an increasingly moribund alliance whose brain death is readily recognized, but rarely acknowledged.”

Ajamu Baraka of Black Alliance for Peace declares: “Today [NATO] is the militarized arm of the declining but still dangerous Pan- European Colonial/capitalist project, a project that has concluded that the stabilization of the world capitalist system and continued dominance of U.S. and Western capital can only be realized through the use of force.”

It is time to demand an end to this destructive alliance as a step toward ending white supremacy, colonization, the destructive military-industrial complex, and the exploitative capitalist economy.”


Now they make no mention of the African Desk of NATO per se, which is another  criminal terrorist organization (imo), creating chaos by CIA/Special Ops astro-turfed ‘insurrections’ which chaos Africom is very willing to ‘solve’ by installing US-friendly puppet leaders to rape and pillage Africa’s resources in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Africom’s official site; their ‘What We Do’ tab; in part:

AFRICOM Mission Statement

‘U.S. Africa Command, with partners, counters transnational threats and malign actors, strengthens security forces and responds to crises in order to advance U.S. national interests and promote regional security, stability and prosperity.

Our Approach

U.S. Africa Command most effectively advances U.S. national security interests through focused, sustained engagement with partners in support of our shared security objectives. The command’s operations, exercises, and security cooperation assistance programs support U.S. Government foreign policy and do so primarily through military-to-military activities and assistance programs. These activities build strong, enduring partnerships with African nations, regional and international organizations, such as ECOWAS and the African Union, and other states that are committed to improving security in Africa.

Our core mission of assisting African states and regional organizations to strengthen their defense capabilities better enables Africans to address their security threats and reduces threats to U.S. interests. We concentrate our efforts on contributing to the development of capable and professional militaries that respect human rights, adhere to the rule of law, and more effectively contribute to stability in Africa.’

Africom on Twitter

Black Alliance for Peace on Africom, Oct. 6, 2018

(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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Alligator Ed's picture

Once again, humble thanks for your encyclopedic essay (as always). There is much meat to gnaw on here (metaphor deliberately chosen)l

Suffice it to say, because my reptilian brain can only hold so much information: NATO is not obsolete. Gun-running, arms dealing, child-trafficking (Serbia/Kosovo etc) are always lucrative business opportunities. And this is to say nothing of the money laundering. Macron, Merkel, Trump, Erdogan, etc. all have their stubby fingers in various money pots.

Other commenters may take issue with my cynical analysis, mirroring your skeptical analysis; however, I am awaiting a valid reason for the continuation of NATO, other than those cited above.

Give rose

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wendy davis's picture

@Alligator Ed

have been a better title, sir gator of the swamp, but you're welcome.

but ach, i'd had this on my word doc for this, and w/ RL so fraught today, had forgotten to add it; my apologies:

Russia-NATO relations DEGRADING, causing global security to decline – Defense Minister, 8 Dec, 2019, Rt.com

“Russia is ready to work with NATO despite the alliance’s buildup near its borders and unfounded claims of a Russian threat, but all of Moscow’s proposals are falling on deaf ears, Defense Minister, Sergey Shoigu, has warned.

“Everything isn’t just halted, but degrading every year,” Shoigu told Rossiya 1 broadcaster when asked about the current state of Russia-NATO relations.

There was “quite active cooperation” between Russia and the bloc just five years ago, but “now our partners, along with the US, of course, are withdrawing from most of the agreements. The security space is getting narrower and narrower,” he pointed out.

NATO is reluctant to work with Russia, even on such a pressing issue as fighting terrorism in Syria, the minister said. “We keep saying that we’ll do everything faster and more effective together. But all we could agree upon is avoiding some kind of incident between our aviation and the aviation of the coalition.”

Russia’s new ambassador to the UK, Andrei Kelin, recently addressed the country’s ties with NATO, saying that the US-led military bloc has “a lot of inertia in its work… It’s going along the lines that have been assigned years ago.”

The Cold War ended decades ago, but somehow NATO “continues to work against us in a confrontational mood,” he said, in an interview with RT’s Going Underground program.
“Confrontation is dangerous and new and new monies, which are being allocated to so-called defense, but, in fact, its for a buildup of armaments along our borders – this doesn’t bring détente and this is bad for European security,” Kelin said.

(w/ this longish accompanying video)

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Pluto's Republic's picture

...that has bloomed on the only continent to which Whites are indigenous — a continent lacking in adequate natural resources. They reject Russia and its resources, and hide behind it to mask their true intentions. They see before them the world's remaining continents, all of which are indigenous to the non-white races — and all of which are rich in untapped natural resources, all of which they have attempted to colonize in the past. They are guarding the world's resources, and have been doing so in one form or another for centuries. All of the world's bounty they believe rightfully belongs to them, alone. This is NATO's only purpose. It is an offensive force.

Interesting to see this altogether. Thanks, Wendy.

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If the people were to ever find out what we have done, we would be chased down the streets and lynched.
– George H.W. Bush, 1992
wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

i'd responded sorta at length, then clicked save and got 'you are not authorized to post comments'.

i'll try again later (she sayed hopefully.

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wendy davis's picture

@wendy davis
i'm so gad that JtC's software knows my password; i don't. but your 'NATO is the White People's Empire auxiliary force' reminds me that slobodon milosovic died in the hague prion and was pardoned posthumously of being guilty of war crimes.

and yes: the World belongs to the white europeans in Nato, save for the nations they're recruiting to fight the proxy wars with russia, VZ, and bolivia. designations such as: 'aspiring nations, under nato's umbrella, friends of nato'.

my understanding was that nato had already 'acquired' colombia, absurdly enough. S/NATO?

but it's not just Nato's raison d'etre, but the relatively unknown/unsung Africom.

on edit: apologies for not being able to reconstruct my longer comment.

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snoopydawg's picture

Yes and no. Shuffle a few from here to there and let everyone freak out about how he is abandoning the mission, but then hire private contractors at 3x the price. And look who he hired.

The United States Uses “Blackwater” PMC Mercenaries and Terrorists to Steal Oil in Syria

From where did the Kurdish terrorist get his watch worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, how are American PMC mercenaries from “Blackwater” connected, and where do Americans sell stolen Syrian oil? Read the FAN investigation to find out.

In early November the Federal News Agency (FAN) discovered that several thousand mercenaries from the American private military company “Academi”, better known by its first name, “Blackwater”, had been deployed to the Syrian province of Deir Ezzor to ensure the illegal export of oil from the country by the United States of America.

The use of PMCs allows the United States to disguise its extensive military presence in the occupied oil-bearing areas of Eastern Syria and officially declare a “decline in the US Army military contingent’s strength,” replacing each withdrawn soldier with several mercenaries from “Blackwater”.

I wonder how our troops feel seeing the mercenaries making more money than they do while knowing that veterans at home are living on the streets?

Hope you don't mind me parking this here.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

so i need to ask: are you referring to a link from the zeese and flowers OP? CIA erik prince's mercenaries moved under different names post-blackwater: Xe, acadamei, or close to that. i d remember, and found corroboration, that he'd asked trump to 'manage' the war in afghansitan, but syria? i'll have to read it in the morning, sorry. gotta shut down now and get some beautiful zleeeeep.

tonight's closing song's gotta be Nato Blues (One Earth 2016):

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wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

once i'd clicked on Save, i'd seen your text below the quote box:

Hope you don't mind me parking this here.

but was too pooped to correct my misunderstanding. yeppers, that's another sordid story from this Shining Nation on a Hill. who will stop 'us'? those who can...and must. some of us may end up as 'collateral damage'.

i will say that i did finally get some sleep, and feel like 'a new man' a the saying goes.

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wendy davis's picture

award-winning title, too:

Senile, Demented and Incontinent: NATO at 70’, Martin Sieff, dec, 8, 2019, strategic culture (a few outtakes; his references to de Gaulle are wholly new to me)

“NATO does not strengthen the defensive capabilities of its members against real threats such as illegal immigration, pandemic diseases, transnational crime, drugs and human trafficking and the destabilization and smashing of state structures around the world. On the contrary it has become a major factor in destroying resistance to those pathologies.

Those major nations like Russia and China that successfully strive to protect their own integrity, sovereignty and security are then subjected to waves of abuse and attempted destabilization. Then they are accused of the very crimes and excesses that NATO’s leading members are themselves guilty of.

NATO was allegedly created to protect the nations of Western Europe from the threat of the Soviet Union and also to provide a security framework that would unite the nations of Western Europe and prevent them from going to war ever again.

But as early as 1962, the Cuban Missile Crisis had convinced De Gaulle, the greatest European strategist and diplomatic thinker of the past three generations that the opposite was the case. He defied very real and formidable pressures from Washington, London and Brussels to pull France out of NATO”s unified military command structure, while keeping the United Kingdom out of the then-small but tightly integrated and very dynamic six-nation European Economic Community.

Almost 60 years ago, De Gaulle could already clearly see that far from bringing peace and security to Europe, the NATO Alliance was generating fear, distrust and a hugely expensive arms race instead.

Far from being a sage gathering of dignified and seasoned statesmen and women, it resembled nothing more than the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party in “Alice in Wonderland” – offering a bizarre and genuinely disquieting subversion of all the solemn values it claimed to celebrate: Another cheap, gimcrack simulacrum, in fact.

A generation of spoiled brats and preening narcissists played at being statesmen and stateswomen: They howled like babies deprived of a sweet to suck on when US President Donald Trump as the only adult in the room told them they could not have security and stability unless they were willing to pay for it.

In reality, of course, NATO does not uphold and protect world peace at all: It is in the business of relentlessly eroding global security and setting the great nations of the Northern Hemisphere on a hell-for-leather collision course to full-scale, no-holds-barred thermonuclear war.”
[long snip]
The 75-year-old Treaty of London signed back in 1839 propelled the British Empire into World War I and destroyed it. NATO at 70 poses an even greater danger to the American people.
To flee the Alliance is the best hope to survive the horrors that its leaders and policymakers seem determined to bring upon themselves and the rest of the human race.”

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Not the focus here, but I'm amused by articles worrying about Turkey leaving (or being kicked out of) NATO. My response to those worries is, EVERYONE should leave NATO.

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wendy davis's picture

@tle

an excellent position, tle!

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