Towards “NATO-Exit”? Shift in the Structure of Military Coalitions. Turkey’s Alliance with Russia, China and Iran?

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Written by Prof Michel Chossudovsky; Originally appeared at Global Research

Reminiscent of World War I, shifting alliances and the structure of military coalitions are crucial determinants of history.

Today’s military alliances, including “cross-cutting coalitions” between “Great Powers” are equally dangerous, markedly different and exceedingly more complex than those pertaining to World War I. (i.e  the confrontation between “The Triple Entente” and “the Triple Alliance”).

Contemporary developments point to a historical shift in the structure of military alliances which could contribute to weakening US hegemony in the Middle East as well as creating conditions which could lead to a breakup of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

NATO constitutes a formidable military force composed of 29 member states, which is largely controlled by the Pentagon. It is a military coalition and an instrument of modern warfare. It constitutes a threat to global security ad World peace. 

Divisions within the Atlantic Alliance could take the form of one or more member states deciding to “Exit NATO”. Inevitably an NATO-Exit movement would weaken the unfolding consensus imposed by our governments which at the this juncture in our history consists in threatening to wage a pre-emptive war against the Russian Federation.  

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In this article, we will largely be addressing a concrete case of a NATO member state’s intent to exit the Atlantic Alliance NATO, namely Turkey’s “NATO-Exit” and its evolving rapprochement with Russia as well as with Iran and China.

Turkey is contemplating a “NATO-Exit”, the implications of which are far-reaching. Military alliances are being redefined.

In turn, Turkey in Northern Syria is fighting against America’s proxy Kurdish forces, i.e. one NATO member state is fighting another NATO member state.

Russia’s stance in relation to Turkey’s military actions in Northern Syria is ambiguous. Russia is an ally of Syria, whose country has been invaded by Turkey, an ally of Russia.

From a broader military standpoint, Turkey is actively cooperating with Russia, which has recently pledged to ensure Turkey’s security. “Moscow underscores that Turkey can calmly withdraw from NATO, and after doing so Ankara will have guarantees that it will not face any threat [from US-NATO] in terms of ensuring its own security,” (According to statement of Turkish Air Force Major-general Beyazit Karatas (ret))

Moreover, Ankara will be acquiring in 2020 Russia’s state of the art S-400 air defense system while de facto opting out from the integrated US-NATO-Israel air defense system. The S-400 deal is said to have caused “concern” “because Turkey is a member of NATO and the [S-400] system cannot be integrated into NATO’s military architecture”.

Russia’s S-400 Triumf (NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler) is the latest long-range antiaircraft missile system that went into service in 2007. It is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, including medium-range missiles, and surface targets. The S-400 can engage targets at a distance of 400 kilometers and at an altitude of up to 30 kilometers. (Tass, December 29, 2017)

Towards “NATO-Exit”? Shift in the Structure of Military Coalitions. Turkey’s Alliance with Russia, China and Iran?

What does this mean?

Has NATO’s “heavyweight” (in terms of its conventional forces) namely Turkey chosen to exit the Atlantic Alliance? Or is Turkey involved in an alliance of convenience with Russia while sustaining its links with NATO and the Pentagon?

The Atlantic Alliance is potentially in shatters. Will this lead to a NATO Exit movement with other NATO member states following suit?

Moscow’s intent in this regard, through diplomatic channels is to build upon bilateral relations with selected EU-NATO member states. The objective is to contribute to NATO “military deescalation” on Russia’s Western frontier.

Apart from Turkey, several EU countries including Germany, Italy, Greece (which has established defense ties with Russia) as well as Bulgaria could contemplate Towards “NATO-Exit”? Shift in the Structure of Military Coalitions. Turkey’s Alliance with Russia, China and Iran?a NATO-Exit.

Turkey’s “Rapprochement” with Russia is strategic. While playing a key role in the Middle East, Turkey also controls naval access to the Black Sea through the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus. (see image right)

In other words, Turkey’s withdrawal from NATO would have an immediate impact on NATO’s land and naval deployments in the Black Sea basin, which in turn would affect NATO military capabilities on Russia’s doorstep in Eastern Europe, The Baltic States and the Balkans.

Needless to say, the Moscow-Ankara alliance facilitates the movement of Russian and Chinese naval forces to and from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean via the Bosphorus.

Turkey’s realignment is not limited to Russia it also includes Iran as well as Pakistan, which is in the process of severing its military ties with the US, while extending its trade and investment relations with China. Pakistan as well as India are full members of the Shanghai Cooperation Agreement (SCO).

The broader structure of military as well trade/ investment alliances must also be addressed, including maritime routes and pipeline corridors.

US Influence and Hegemony in the Broader Middle East

These geopolitical shifts have served to weaken U.S. influence in the Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia.

Turkey has an alliance of convenience with Iran. And Iran in turn is now supported by a powerful China-Russia block, which includes military cooperation, strategic pipelines as well extensive trade and investment agreements.

In turn, the unity of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States is now in jeopardy, with Qatar, Oman and Kuwait building an alliance with Iran (as well as Turkey), to the detriment of Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Saudi Arabia’s economic blockade directed against Qatar has created a rift in geopolitical alliances which has served to weaken the US in the Persian Gulf.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is profoundly divided, with the UAE and Bahrain siding with Saudi Arabia against Qatar. In turn Qatar has the support of Oman and Kuwait. Needless to say, the GCC which until recently was America’s staunchest Middle East ally against Iran is in total disarray.

U.S. Central Command Military Base in Qatar 

While Turkey is deploying  troops in Qatar, it has also established the Tariq bin Ziyad military base in Qatar (in cooperation with the Qatari Ministry of Defense) under an agreement signed in 2014.

The Qatar based Al Udeid US military facility is the largest in the Middle East. Under USCentCom, it hosts the command structure of all US military operations in the entire Middle East-Central Asian region.

Al Udeid –which houses some 10,000 US military personnel–, has played a strategic role in the ongoing conduct of US air operations against Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.

There is however a fundamental contradiction: America’s largest military base in the Middle East which hosts USCentCom is at present located in a country which is firmly aligned with Iran (i.e. an enemy of America). Moreover,  Qatar’s main partners in the oil and gas industry including pipelines are Iran and Turkey. In turn, both Russia and China are actively involved in the Qatari oil and gas industry. 

In response to Qatar’s rapprochement with Iran, the Pentagon has already envisaged moving its Central Command headquarters at the Al Udeid Air Force base (image left) to the Towards “NATO-Exit”? Shift in the Structure of Military Coalitions. Turkey’s Alliance with Russia, China and Iran?Prince Sultan Air Force base in central Saudi Arabia, 80 km south of Riyadh.

The structure of military alliances pertaining to Qatar are in this regard strategic.

Why? Because Qatar is a Geopolitical Hot Spot, largely attributable to its extensive maritime reserves in natural gas which it shares with Iran.

Iran and Qatar cooperate actively in the extraction of  maritime natural gas under a joint Qatar-Iran ownership structure. These maritime gas fields are strategic, they constitute the World’s largest maritime gas reserves located in the Persian Gulf. (For further details, see Michel Chossudovsky, Middle East and Asia Geopolitical Alliances, Global Research, September 17, 2017)

Towards “NATO-Exit”? Shift in the Structure of Military Coalitions. Turkey’s Alliance with Russia, China and Iran?

In March 2018, Washington demanded that Qatar’s Al Jazeera News agency register in the U.S. as a “Foreign Agent” intimating that Doha has an “alliance” with enemies of America, including Iran and Russia.

Is this not a prelude to “Qatar-Gate” under the helm of Trump’s newly instated “war cabinet” (with Pompeo taking over from Tillerson at the State Department)?

Towards “NATO-Exit”? Shift in the Structure of Military Coalitions. Turkey’s Alliance with Russia, China and Iran?

Screen shot Middle East Monitor, March 9, 2018

In November 2017, Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani intimated during a visit to Washington that “Qatar does  not rule out the possibility of a Saudi-led military operation against it”. While this option is unlikely, a “regime change” in Doha sponsored by the US and its Saudi ally is a distinct possibility.

The Incirlik Air Force Base in Southern Turkey 

Meanwhile, the Pentagon is envisaging moving US Air Force facilities and personnel out of the Incirlik base in southern Turkey:

Earlier in March, Johnny Michael, the spokesperson for the US European Command (EUCOM), denied “speculative” reports that the US military reduced its operations at Incirlik base, adding that all military activities continued normally.

A day before Michael’s remarks, a Wall Street Journal report suggested that the US “sharply reduced” combat operations at the airbase and was considering permanent cutbacks there. (Al Jazeera, March 26, 2018)

Concluding Remarks: With NATO in shambles, America’s “war hawks” do not have a leg to stand on.

The alliance between Washington and Ankara is in crisis. NATO is in crisis. In turn, a Turkey NATO-Exit could potentially destabilize NATO.

We are at a dangerous crossroads. The US-NATO military agenda threatens the future of humanity.

How to reverse the tide of war? What concrete actions should be taken?

“NATO-Exit” could become a rallying call, a movement which could spread across the European landscape.

Both the European and North American anti-war movements should concretely focus their grassroots campaign on country-based “NATO-Exit” with a view to breaking the structure of military alliances required by Washington to sustain its global military agenda.

No easy task. This movement will not emanate from the governments. Most of the heads of State and heads of government of  NATO member countries have been coopted.

Moreover, many of the West’s civil society organizations and NGOs (financed by corporate foundations) are tacitly supportive of US-NATO “humanitarian wars”.

What this means is that the anti-war movement has to be rebuilt.

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  • 1691

    Nato should have been suspended as soon as the Warsaw Pact was cancelled.

    • John Brown

      Yes

      • Sean

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    • Tommy Jensen

      Thats why they invented new enemies, new threats. Its difficult to get rid of red tape when they first have glued the system in.

  • Serious

    Turkey should not leave NATO and be an easy target for the west. In the same way, Turkey should not ally too much with Russia because Russia is a poor ally unless if Turkey wants to become like Syria.

    The best think to do right now is to stay in NATO without being an active member and act as spy and gather precious informations.

    The utopy is that european nations leave NATO in which case Turkey can levae NATO as well.

    • Savio

      First of all Syria is not official Russian ally.
      Russian official allies are members of ODKB. Kazahstan, Belaruss, Kyrgystan, Armenia…
      And they are totaly safe. Safe as Russia is.

      Second, Turkey is way stronger then Syria.
      It is hard to turn Turkey into Syria. Espetialy if Turkey is backed by Russia.

      Third, Russia is not a poor ally.
      That is western and zionist myth used to scare their pupets from leaving their criminal NATO club.
      Try to attack Belaruss, or Kazahstan and lets see if Russia is poor ally or not.

      • David Pryce

        Scared shirtless of Russia, who has powerful allies China India Iran Brazil Pakistan and Turkey will be protected while these latter Countries make there break from US regime which is a terrible allie

        • Sinbad2

          Notice how the US has turned to destabilizing the weaker parts of the alliance, South Africa Brazil, and of course poor old Venezuela is getting the American treatment, again.

      • Ronald

        Syria is an official ally of Russia, and has been for over thirty years.
        Those nations in the ODKB are “home turf”, but that does not exclude other allies.

    • John Brown

      Turkey should stay in NATO to disprupt it from within, veto any decision to attack Goyims, warn those whom racist supremacist Jews plan to attack etc. spill all of NATO’s Jewish racist Mosaad secrets and force racist supremacist Jews too kick them out

      • Sinbad2

        The problem with that, is the US uses its NATO bases to destabilize Turkey, and even decide who rules Turkey.
        Without Russia, Turkey would have Victoria Nuland appointing a Turkish version of Yatsenyuk.

        • John Brown

          You appear to be a racist supremacist Zio dis info agent.
          It should read as “The problem with that, is Israel and racist supremacist Jews use USA slaves and their NATO bases to destabilize Turkey, and to decide which slave, puppet, Lowtar will rule Turkey.
          Without Russia, Turkey would have racist supremacist Jews like Victoria Nuland appointing the Turkish version of Yatsenyuk, M. Fethullah Gülen to be the Shabbas slave, Goy, puppet, Lowtar ruler or Turkey.”

  • Serious

    If you want to destroy NATO make Germany leave NATO. Germany is the key country in Europe. That’s why, USA planed WW2 and is now occupying Germany with military bases just like Afghanistan.

    • Assad must stay (gr8rambino)

      how to do this?

      • Ishyrion Av

        Re-population. Already on the way.
        Now, seriously, NATO is just another cover for US military forces and a pretext for american bases everywhere in the world. Plus a lot of customers for US defense industry.
        Don’t think it as an alliance because is not.

      • Sinbad2

        Well conveniently for the Eurasian partners, the US is pushing Germany away, by demanding Germany buys more expensive American fuel.

        If Germany has to pay American prices for energy, it will destroy German industry, whilst industry in nations getting cheap Russian energy will boom.
        Either way, Russia wins.

        • Assad must stay (gr8rambino)

          Haha very nice :)))

      • Tommy Jensen

        We Americans cannot compete with Russian gas.

        Therefore we have created an ironwall of former East European states as buffer zone and belt of hostile countries to oppose any rapprochement between Germany and Russia.

        If this doesnt work, we have build up ISIS sleeper cells all over Europe and forced weapon bans upon all countries of Europe, so in case Germany breaks loose of its US handcuffs, we can let these forces free to stir up tensions and attacks like in Libya and Syria, and finally Europe will forced via NATO into war with Russia to destroy Germany and Russia both like in WWII.

        Thats why we Americans build up our military by NATO proxy in Europe and have ISIS forces to cut off the heads of Europeans if they get too close to Russia………..LOL.

    • Sinbad2

      Exactly, Germany is the prize. If Germany moves over to the Russian side, the American empire in Europe is cactus, and the Eurasian empire will be the global dominant force.

  • JP Leonard

    “In March 2018, Washington demanded that Qatar’s Al Jazeera News agency register in the U.S. as a “Foreign Agent” ”
    Are they doing this because Al Jazeera has always been an MI6 operation? to shore up its credibility on the Arab street?

    • David Pryce

      They’ve also cut transmission of RT in D.C. Washington in the last few days. RT also had to register as a foreign agent even though it had received guarantees it would not be taken of Air. But as we no live in the era of satellite packs, its still available in D.C and America 🇺🇸
      Who’s the fascist regime?

  • RichardD

    The primary factor keeping our planet in a state of constant conflict is Judaism. The place to start with improving security structures on Earth is by outlawing Judaism, delisting Israel from the UN and replacing it with Palestine, and dejudifying Israel, the US and the rest of the planet to create a Jew free world that will be much better for humanity.

    America First is about stopping the Jew world order hegemony wars and normalizing relations with Russia and the rest of the planet’s governments to stabilize the planet’s security situation to create a better future for everyone. This is diametrically opposed to what the Jews are trying to do. They need to go to get these problems solved.

    • RichardD

      Dejudification in Europe, the near east and north Africa 1945 to 2010. This should continue until these areas and the rest of the planet are Jew free.

      https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8f/Europe_Jewish_%25_change_1945_2010.png

      • Smaug

        That has nothing to do with the article, and are you advocating another holocaust?

        • RichardD

          It has everything to do with the article. The Jew world order control of US, UK, French, Israeli and other governments is the problem that is driving the wars. What does outlawing an evil Jew baby raping cult have to do with genocide?

          • Smaug

            Because you’re definitely a neo-Nazi.

          • RichardD

            You’re a false accuser and an evil Jew pedophile mass rape cult supporter. Miscreants like you are part of the problem. You didn’t answer the question because it would make you look like a fool.

          • RichardD

            Have you been to any diseased Jew prostitute blood sucking pedophile rape rituals recently where they rape the cult babies, infect them with venereal disease, brain damage and murder them?

          • Smaug

            That’s both a confession and harrassment. Goodbye.

          • RichardD

            You didn’t answer the question liar and truth hater.

          • RichardD

            There were no Nazis involved and it happened across the board.

          • Smaug
          • RichardD

            The victims of Jew crime and evil aren’t laughing. It’s why they’re the most persecuted, expelled and genocided group of people in history.

    • Feudalism Victory

      Bah just a smear against trumpism to tie it to irrational haters. If you think only Jewish people agitate for war I got a bridge to sell you because you seem naive and gullible.

    • Sakaramanga

      I wish.. It could even be possible if only they did not own all NATO member governments.
      But even if the state of Israel could be demolished peacefully and jewish people who are not peaceful were relocated to other parts of the world, it would calm everything down in this world of awfully unbelievable and illogical events.

  • Smaug

    NATO need reorganized because it was built around the Cold War conflict, the fact that Turkey is increasing at odds with key NATO members (US, France, Germany, UK) shows the problem. What NATO needs is multiple levels of membership and observer states with full members being only the cornerstone states (US, UK and Commonwealth, Japan, and a few others).

  • Manuel Flores Escobar

    1º Turkey want to be a petrol/gas Hub to EU of Russia, Caspian countries, Syria, Irak and Iran( Turk stream)..once the Gas/petrol pipelines of Saudi/Qatar/Emirates..failed!.
    2º Qatar have also stocks and capital in Russia ( Rosneft) and other producing countries!
    3º NATO never supported Turkey in case of war vs Russia as they told because there was no invasion!
    4º NATO support Kurdish state in Syria.
    5º NATO prefer another Turkish president who ban Turk stream and break ties with Russia…thas why they supported failed military coup!

    • Sinbad2

      Number 1 is the key, there is huge money to be made by being the middleman between the gas producing nations and Europe.

      That’s why the US has spent so much money and killed millions trying to become the middleman.

      All wars are about money.

      • John Brown

        No they are about power, the power to control who issues / creates, the currencies of nations. “Let us control the money of a country and we care not who makes its laws.”

        • Sinbad2

          Money is power, without the money from the petrodollar racket, the US could not afford the weapons it uses to intimidate the world.

          • John Brown

            The petro dollar is only part of it. Do you even understand where money comes from? How it is created or are you just a Mossad disinfo info agent? Why don’t you tell me as you claim to know something. When the amount of money in the economy, a country, the planet increases, where did it come from? Explain in detail.

  • VeeNarian (Yerevan)

    The breakup of NATO will begin in the run-up to the coming US attack on Iran. The only question is will the SCO take action to prevent the attack on Iran or pussyfoot around until it is too late and would require actual military action?
    Who wants Iran to be be attacked and destroyed like Iraq, Syria and Yemen?
    The SCO MUST guarantee Iran’s security in crystal clear terms and so draw a line in the Iranian sands against the US/EU/NATO/GCC/Israel wars of expansion and global dominance.
    The united voice of SCO and BRICS to the warmongers of the US/EU/NATO gang will be a sight to behold.
    Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria and Turkey combined with the voices of South Africa, Brazil, Bolivia, Venezuela and others will unite all strands of human civilisation against US exceptionalism, expansionism and supremacism.
    The protection of Iran will be the act that starts a new multipolar world order.

  • MeMadMax

    I think erdoghan is just doing up both sides because neither can be counted upon for being a good ally: NATO/UN/EU/US/Israel/etc is becoming unstable(and potentially backstabbers), Russia/China cannot be counted upon to come to the aid right away(unless they have good reason too: I.E. their interests are at stake).

    Its actually a really good play with what erdoghan is doing and the balls he has for doing it are bigum…

    /respect

  • Hell Sing

    This explains why Moscow agreed to supply Turkey with the S-400 to fend off any U.S. air incursion when they get ready to make their exit from NATO.