Over a number of years now the BCN (British Church Newspaper) has exposed the warmongering adventures of the transformed post-Cold War NATO (issues 280, 292, 301, 304, 319, 324, 328, 332). Of particular significance was “The 15th anniversary of NATO aggression against Serbia” published in issue 280, where I called the new NATO in reality the ‘North American Terrorist Organisation’.
NATO is still rightly remembered by many as the defensive alliance which successfully withstood the Soviet threat; but since the post-USSR Russian Federation no longer poses such a threat, NATO had to invent and exploit an imaginary continuing Russian threat in order to justify its existence today. By expanding NATO since the 1990s right up to Russia’s very borders, in blatant breach of a pledge not to do so if the Red Army would withdraw from Eastern Europe, the US recklessly created a perpetual provocation to Moscow and altered the whole purpose of the alliance’s continuing existence. Edward Spalton put the transformation well when he memorably described NATO’s unprovoked attack on Yugoslavia in 1999 as marking the “malign metamorphosis of NATO from a highly successful, limited, defensive alliance into a dangerous, all-purpose vehicle for unlimited aggressive ambitions, masquerading as ‘humanitarian intervention’”.
In the current military and geopolitical context NATO is a redundant organisation which should have been completely disbanded in 1991 when the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact collapsed. Thereafter NATO served no useful purpose other than being what former US diplomat and Senate policy adviser James Jatras called “an American-made mechanism for geopolitical control of Europe”. After Russia thwarted NATO’s attempts to take over Ukraine and establish a foothold in Crimea in the Black Sea, NATO chose Montenegro as its latest target for chaos in 2016 in an attempt to control the Adriatic Sea instead. Its ongoing aggression against this small Balkan state must be the subject of a separate detailed study.
During his Presidential campaign Donald Trump made it very clear that he considered NATO to be “obsolete” and that it did not contribute to – and was even dangerous to – American security. Unfortunately, like many of Trump’s other policies and promises, his attitude to NATO after his election weakened and changed. One suspects that when he dismissed the alliance as “obsolete” what he really meant was not the intention of the US to withdraw from the military pact, but rather to offload its running costs onto those 23 European nations which have not paid their fair share of contributions to their so-called ‘defence’ by NATO.
Trump’s visit to the NATO summit in Brussels on 25 May 2017 proved that he had in fact reversed the position taken during his campaign. Instead of being a critic of an “obsolete” NATO that was potentially dangerous to American security, he seemed “to have been sucked into the establishment position on NATO” and thus to have made the NATO leaders “very, very happy”. That established position has often been summarised as ‘to keep the Americans in Europe, keep the Russians out, and keep the Germans down’: the purpose has not changed, even if the Russian threat has now been proven as an imaginary one.