Brussels (SCF) – When the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was created 70 years ago in 1949 it was formed as a blatant military instrument for waging the Cold War, a war that the US, Britain and other European allies had newly embarked on. NATO’s public relations cant about “peace and security” is but Orwellian rhetoric.
The supposed allies of the Soviet Union hastily went from an ostensible joint purpose of defeating Nazi Germany during the Second World War to initiating hostility towards Moscow. Already in 1946, British war-time leader Winston Churchill was fulminating about “an Iron Curtain” descending across Europe, in language adapted from Third Reich propaganda maestro Joseph Goebbels. The ensuing Cold War would last for nearly half a century until the Soviet Union collapsed from its internal political and economic stresses.
NATO’s first secretary general, Britain’s Lord Ismay, was candid in the mission of the military alliance. Its objective, he said, was to, “Keep Russia out, the Americans in, and Germany down”.
Of course, Western propaganda always portrayed the Soviet Union as the “aggressor”, alleging that the so-called Red Menace had designs on conquering all of Europe. Not much has changed when one listens to Western contemporary claims of Russia being an aggressor. As in the past, present innuendo casting Moscow as a demonic force has a decidedly hollow quality, at least for those willing to be critical about Western state and media “information”.
Lord Ismay, perhaps unwittingly, let the cat out of the bag in his statement all those years ago. The purpose of NATO was to serve as a means of dividing and ruling over Europe for Washington and its always closely aligned, servile British partner.
If countering Soviet aggression was the real purpose of NATO, as officially claimed, then one must ask why is this organization still in existence – some 30 years after the alleged “evil communist empire” dissolved?
NATO is a military monster desperately in search of a purpose. The substitution of Russia as an enemy in place of the Soviet Union doesn’t quite hold the same propaganda cachet, but nonetheless, that is why Moscow continues to be designated the official “enemy” – in order to justify the existence of NATO. The US-led military bloc needs enemies like a junkie needs a narcotic fix.
NATO’s real function is at least three-fold. First, it gives the US an excuse to justify its enormous military presence in Europe. Instead of appearing as an occupying force, which it is, the Americans claim to be a protector of allies against malign Russia, or formerly the Soviet Union. This allows Washington to exert political control over its so-called European allies, and specifically to prevent any normalized relations with Russia. US vice president Mike Pence this week scolded Germany and fellow NATO member Turkey for daring to continue relations with Moscow, in the form of the Nord Stream 2 gas project and Ankara’s purchase of Russian S-400 air defense system. Pence inferred treasonous conduct on the part of Berlin and Ankara just because these two nominally independent countries have chosen to do business with Russia. Pence was thus demonstrating the classic NATO purpose of dividing Europe from Moscow.
A second function of NATO is to serve as an extension of the US military-industrial complex and, in turn, an important buttress for American corporate capitalism, which is totally dependent on military spending. When President Donald Trump castigates European allies, like Germany, for not spending enough on military and NATO, his real concern is for European nations to buy more American weaponry, such as the vastly over-priced and over-rated F-35 fighter jet. If NATO were to be disbanded – as it should from its obsolete objective purpose – then US capitalism would suffer a major withdrawal of European subsidy in the form of decreased weapons purchases.
The irony here is that Trump has previously denigrated NATO as obsolete. In his irascibility, he is more correct than he seems to realize. But Trump has – despite superficial griping – still continued to boost NATO for the purpose of hiking European military spending. What Trump means by “obsolete” is that the past financial tribute from the Europeans to the US militarized economy must henceforth be significantly increased. The outrageous demands by Trump are inciting tensions within NATO. At a time of massive civilian social needs across Europe being neglected due to “fiscal constraints”, the American ultimatums for more military spending are bound to be seen by the wider European populace as an intolerable dictate.
A third function of NATO for its American leadership is that it gives a pseudo-legal cover of “multinationalism” to what would otherwise be seen as blatant US imperialist aggression all over the globe.
NATO forces have assisted US illegal wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, among other interventions. This by an organization that self-declares itself a bastion of security and peace.
It was 20 years ago that US-led forces under the cover of NATO bombed Serbia and its capital Belgrade. That marked a watershed assault on international law and the unleashing of US global violence with impunity.
Washington could not carry out its aggression without the political and legal cover of NATO. Jens Stoltenberg, the present NATO secretary general, was in Washington this week calling for more aggression towards Russia. The Norwegian figurehead is a shameless warmonger who is violating the UN Charter for the sake of feathering his career as an American puppet.
It is all the more disturbing that this week in Washington, foreign ministers of the 30 member states belonging to NATO deferred to the US calls for naval forces to be deployed to the Black Sea “in defense” of Ukraine and Georgia from “Russian aggression”. These two countries have done everything possible to provoke Russia. They are cat’s paws for their NATO master, and are reckless enough to instigate a full-on war. Washington and its NATO minions have the audacity, or intelligence deficit, to call such an explosive situation as “defense” against Russia.
NATO, or rather the US, is giving itself a green light to mount even more aggression against Russia than it already has done over the past 30 years. In that period, NATO membership has almost doubled with the result that the military bloc is now on Russia’s border – and at the same time claiming with Orwellian double-think that it is defending Europe from Russian aggression. As Russian wit would have it: Russia has had the temerity to move its border towards NATO offensive forces.
Global security and peace is too serious for jokes. The maintenance of NATO, with its original aggressive objective against Moscow still intact, is a grotesque joke. A joke sickeningly played on the people of Europe who could benefit greatly from halting the squandering of billions of dollars each year on military budgets. NATO’s gratuitous belligerence towards Russia – based on trumped-up, ridiculous propaganda – is an obscenity. This organization is a dinosaur that somehow outlived its Cold War environment because those powers who control it from Washington and London want it to live on for their own selfish, ideological, economic reasons.
For the sake of world peace, the citizens of North America and Europe should demand that NATO be liquidated. Thirty years too late.
This post originally ran on Strategic Culture Foundation.