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NATO Expansionism in Europe

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NATO Expansionism in Europe

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Written by Manlio Dinucci. Originally published by Global Research

“NATO’s enlargement in the last decades has been a great success and has also paved the way for a further enlargement of the EU”: this was reiterated last Saturday at the Munich Security Conference by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. In order to fully understand his words, it is necessary to reconstruct this “great success” story in its essential terms.

It begins in the same year – 1999 – in which NATO demolishes Yugoslavia with war and, at the Washington summit, announces that it wants to “conduct crisis response operations, not provided for in Article 5, outside Alliance territory”. Forgetting that it had committed itself to Russia “not to expand even one inch to the East”, NATO began its expansion to the East. It includes the first three countries of the former Warsaw Pact: Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary. Then, in 2004, it extends to seven more: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania (formerly part of the USSR); Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia (formerly part of the Warsaw Pact); Slovenia (formerly part of the Yugoslav Federation). In 2009, NATO incorporates Albania (formerly a member of the Warsaw Pact) and Croatia (formerly part of the Yugoslav Federation); in 2017, Montenegro (formerly part of Yugoslavia); in 2020, North Macedonia (formerly part of Yugoslavia) In twenty years, NATO expands from 16 to 30 countries.

In this way, Washington achieves a triple result. It extends the military alliance close to Russia, even inside the territory of the former USSR, and maintains the levers of command: the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe is, “by tradition”, always a US general appointed by the US president and the other key commands also belong to the US. At the same time, Washington ties the Eastern countries not so much to the Alliance, but directly to the US. Romania and Bulgaria, as soon as they entered, immediately made available to the United States the important military bases of Constanta and Burgas on the Black Sea. The third result obtained by Washington with the enlargement of NATO to the East is the strengthening of its influence in Europe. Out of the ten Central-Eastern European countries that joined NATO between 1999 and 2004, seven joined the European Union between 2004 and 2007: the United States superimposed NATO on the EU, which expanded to the East, over Europe.

Today 21 of the 27 countries of the European Union belong to NATO under US command. The North Atlantic Council, the Alliance’s political body, according to NATO rules decides not by majority but always “unanimously and by common accord”, i.e. in agreement with what is decided in Washington. The participation of the major European powers in these decisions (excluding Italy, which obeys by keeping silent) generally takes place through secret negotiations with Washington on give and take. This involves a further weakening of European parliaments, in particular the Italian one, already deprived of real decision-making powers on foreign and military policy.

In this framework, Europe finds itself today in an even more dangerous situation than during the Cold War. Three other countries – Bosnia Herzegovina (formerly part of Yugoslavia), Georgia and Ukraine (formerly part of the USSR) – are candidates to join NATO. Stoltenberg, spokesman for the US before NATO, declares that “we keep the door open and if the Kremlin’s goal is to have less NATO on Russia’s borders, it will only get more NATO.”

In the US-NATO escalation, clearly directed to explode a large-scale war in the heart of Europe, nuclear weapons come into play. In three months, the U.S. begins mass production of the new B61-12 nuclear bombs, which will be deployed under U.S. command in Italy and other European countries, probably also in the East even closer to Russia. In addition to these, the U.S. has in Europe two land bases in Romania and Poland and four warships equipped with the Aegis missile system, capable of launching not only anti-missile missiles but also cruise missiles with nuclear warheads. They are also preparing intermediate-range nuclear missiles to be deployed in Europe against Russia, the invented enemy that can, however, respond destructively if attacked.

To all this is added the economic and social impact of growing military spending. At the meeting of defense ministers, Stoltenberg triumphantly announced that “this is the seventh consecutive year of increased defense spending by European Allies, increased by $270 billion since 2014.” More public money diverted from social spending and productive investment, while European countries have yet to recover from the 2020-21 economic lockdown. Italian military spending has exceeded 70 million euros per day, but it’s not enough. Prime Minister Draghi has already announced “We must provide ourselves with a more significant defense: it is very clear that we will have to spend much more than we have done so far”. Very clear: let’s tighten our belts so that NATO can expand.

This article was originally published in Italian on Il Manifesto.

Manlio Dinucci, award winning author, geopolitical analyst and geographer, Pisa, Italy. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG).

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Reactionary Monarcho-Socialist Hellene

Yes but in this crisis, we see for example that countries like Serbia or Armenia take a neutral position. So there are other groups that doing work also.

Jon

The inevitable March of time favors the west, individual Liberty and free market economies. Russia will ultimately join this association to the lasting benefit of its people. In the meantime, Putin attempts to turn the clock back but the tides of history will sweep away his effort at USSR reprise.

Veritas Vincit

The ‘European Union’-NATO bloc model is based on the former Soviet Union economic-military bloc model but in opposition to Russia. This bloc concept is not isolated to Europe as the US, UK and Australia (AUKUS) in particular are seeking to form an ‘Asian NATO’. Various alliance structures such as AUKUS, QSD, RAA, and CSPs, etc. relate to this project. Australia (a firm strategic adversary of Russia and China) is playing a key role in this project.

As US-NATO bloc military-missile architecture is being developed in Europe (in preparation for ‘large-scale military conflicts’ as interpreted by the Russian Foreign Ministry), so is the US-allied bloc militarisation of the Asia-Pacific. In addition to Australia acting as a primary regional ally of the US-NATO bloc, it is increasing the presence of US military forces that importantly include strategic aviation (nuclear bombers) with plans to host US and UK nuclear attack submarines while it seeks to procure its own new nuclear submarine fleet (US Virginia-class and UK Astute-class submarines being shortlisted). Australian strategic policy documents verify Australia is integrated into US operational plans (for war scenarios against Russia and China). Reports also verify Australia is seeking to covertly attain allied nuclear device delivery potential.

As situations of war between the US-NATO-allied bloc and the Russia-China alliance are likely approaching, the preparation (and in some cases the application) of counteractions may be required. For example, Australia is aggressively pursuing a maximum allied economic warfare policy (‘crippling sanctions’) targeting Russia. The lack of consequences will only serve to further embolden them. As the hybrid warfare domain is active and intensifying, responses in this domain are not only legitimate but arguably necessary to establish deterrence against further hostile behaviour.

The Australians have openly stated their intention to engage in economic and cyber warfare operations in collaboration with the US and now Ukraine (in response to Russian moves to protect the Russian-speaking LDNR, an ‘invasion’ according to Western bloc narratives [propaganda]). Australian threats that its sanctions are “the first tranche and if Russia does not de-escalate then more will follow”, can be responded to accordingly. As Australia is seeking the formation of anti-Russia and anti-China alliances, responses to their intention to escalate forms of warfare can involve counter-alliances (particularly China). As the Western bloc seeks to inflict harm on the Russian economy, so is it reasonable to target the economies of hostile nations. If conflicts progress to direct kinetic stages, it is logical responses will then be in a military format.

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