NATO 2020: A Coalition of the Unwilling

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NATO 2020: A Coalition of the Unwilling

ILLUSTRATIVE IMAGE: NATO Maritime Command

Written by J.Hawk exclusively for SouthFront

Too many cooks spoil the broth

The problem with alliances is that they ultimately either become victims of their own success, or cannot figure out what to do with themselves once the original rationale disappears. The original Cold War-era NATO was a relatively cohesive entity led by one of the two superpowers, with most of its members being the industrialized democracies of Western Europe, with West Germany being its eastern-most European member, and alliance planning revolving around USSR. But even then there were cracks in the alliance. Italy, for example, had nearly no role to play as it did not border any Warsaw Pact country and did not practice deploying its forces to West Germany to practice its defense against the anticipated Warsaw Pact invasion. And while Greece and Turkey were ostensibly part of that alliance as well, in practice they spent more time clashing with one another than planning for joint action against USSR.

The end of the Cold War made the problem of alliance cohesion far worse, for two reasons. One, it quickly added as many members as possible thus greatly expanding its geographical extent, and two, it lost that single unifying factor in the form of USSR. Today’s NATO is a patchwork of mini-alliances revolving around the United States which is determined to replace the alliance aspect of NATO which assumes that all members have interests that are to be taken into consideration, by patron-client relationships.

Are you ready for some Freedom™?

Not to put too fine a point on it, the goal of the United States is global domination. This goal is shared by the entire political elite and major portions of the population, though it is nearly never discussed openly or directly. Instead, it is framed in terms of “American Leadership”, “New American Century”, and of course “American Exceptionalism” which is used to justify any policy that violates international law, treaties, or agreements. Given that every country which has not recognized “American Leadership” is described as a “regime”, there is no indication the US elite is interested in anything resembling peaceful coexistence with other sovereign states.

NATO plays a double role in achieving that goal. First, it is a military alliance that projects military power against anyone refusing to accept “American Leadership”. Military contributions by European member states are certainly important, not least by giving America the veneer of international legitimacy, but the presence of US bases on the European continent is far more so. US forces stationed in or staged out of European naval, air, and land bases are indispensable to its efforts to control the MENA region and to promote the US policy of driving a wedge between Europe on the one hand and Russia and China on the other. Secondly, a European country’s membership in NATO means a sacrifice of considerable portion of its sovereignty and independence to the United States. This is a wholly asymmetrical relationship, since US bases its forces in European countries and sells its weapons to them, not the other way around. The penetration of a European country thus achieved allows US intelligence service to develop agent networks and to employ the full range of lobbying techniques which have been particularly visible in the US efforts to press F-35 aircraft into the hands of NATO member states.

Agreeing to Disagree

America’s self-appointed task is made not easier or harder by the fact that today’s NATO is therefore fragmented along both geographic and national power lines. The geographical divide is plainly easy to see: Norway and Denmark mainly care about the Arctic, Poland and Romania obsess about Russia, Mediterranean countries freak out about what’s happening in North Africa. The wrangling over sending more troops to Mali or to Estonia is the reflection of the differing security concerns of individual members of the far-flung pact. The power divide is less easy to see but more problematic for Washington. Of the European powers, only four—Germany, France, Italy, and Great Britain—may be considered to be powerful and independent political actors with which the US has to contend on anything like an equal basis. The first three form the core of the European Union, whereas Great Britain opted for Brexit, likely in part because of the looming big power struggle between the US and the EU that has the potential of degenerating into a destructive trade war. It is doubtful that the skirmishes over Huawei and North Stream 2 are anything but the opening salvoes in the confrontation over whether the EU will emerge as a political actor independent of the US, or be reduced to a collection of client states. Unfortunately, America’s task is made easier by the fact of the intra-European divisions mentioned above.

Euromissiles 2.0

United States is pursuing development of several hypersonic missile systems with the aim of ultimately fielding very large numbers of them in order to be able to launch disarming first strikes against Russian and Chinese nuclear arsenals. Since the weapons themselves are relatively short-ranged (though that may change once the US allows New START to lapse), they require basing close to their intended targets. That means having to find countries willing to base them in Europe, where it is liable to provoke a  political debate of the magnitude comparable to that of the original Euromissile controversy of the 1980s. Since Germany is not interested in being reduced to the status of a US client, it has resisted the US on a variety of fronts, including the North Stream 2, the refusal to buy F-35s, and now also the lack of desire to host the new US missiles. Even the German defense spending increases are intended at least as much to counter US influence in Eastern Europe as the supposed Russian threat to NATO. The United States has responded using the usual array of tools: economic sanctions on any and all European entities participating in the project and even using the gas, apparently launching a cyber-attack that US-friendly German intelligence promptly blamed on Russia, and also threatening to move US troops out of Germany and possibly to Poland. There is even discussion and rumors that US nuclear weapons stationed in Germany might be moved to Poland.

The outcome of this so far is a power struggle between two NATO allies, US and Germany, over the political alignment of a third—Poland. While Germany has the power of EU institutions on its side and massive economic gravitational pull, US has cultivated a cadre of friends, possibly intelligence assets, as a result of post-9/11 collaboration in Afghanistan, Iraq, and in the realm of intelligence-sharing. This has produced a government more than willing to deploy US troops, missiles, and even nukes on Poland’s territory. The power of US influence is visible in Poland’s weapons procurement: Patriot, Javelin, HIMARS, F-35, and not a single comparable European system in recent years. The US weakness in this confrontation consists of the unwillingness to subsidize Poland economically which, combined with the ruling party’s fiscal irresponsibility, will make it difficult for the country to maintain its anti-German course in the longer term.

Cold Turkey

While in Eastern Europe US national security state is using Poland as a proxy against Germany, in the Mediterranean it has adopted Turkey as a proxy against France and Italy. After some hemming and hawing, the US hawks dropped the Kurds yet again, with Trump happily taking the blame, in order to piggy-back on Erdogan’s Libya ambitions to curtail French and Italian interests there. To be sure, Turkey retains far more autonomy in the relationship than Poland, which was unable or unwilling to play US and Russia and EU against one another in order to secure a measure of freedom of action. But the US Congress measures to allow the purchase of S-400 weapons from Turkey is an indicator that Turkey’s behavior is once again useful to the US. And even though Turkey was excluded from the F-35 program, its firms continue to make components for various assembly plants. The result has been a number of stand-offs between Turkish warships on one hand and French and Italian on the other off the coasts of Libya. And whereas France and Italy are backing the Marshal Haftar’s LNA, Turkey’s preferred proxy is the GNA, leading to a veritable “anti-Turkey” alliance being formed that includes Turkey’s old time NATO adversary Greece. While the US is officially aloof of the entire situation, in practice controlling Libya’s oil is part of the Washington strategy of “energy dominance” every bit as the North Stream 2 sanctions are.

Hang together or hang separately?

The remarkable part of these two sets of conflicts among NATO powers is that in both cases Russia has sided with Germany and France against the US in both cases. It is Russia’s policies that are more beneficial to French and German interests than America’s, since Russia is not actually seeking to monopolize energy supplies to Europe in the way that the US clearly and openly is.

So far the US strategy consisted of steadily ratcheting up pressure through sanctions and proxies and occasional intelligence-generated anti-Russia provocations (sometimes helpfully delivered by British agencies), trying to find that happy middle of policies that actually force Germany, France, and Italy to change their policies and which do not force a permanent breach in the trans-Atlantic relationship. But the cracks in the relationship are clearly visible and they are not attributable to Trump’s erratic and brusque manner. It is the US Congress which passed the successive rounds of anti-North Stream 2 sanctions, with strong partisan majorities. It means the assertion of US control over European major powers is part of the US agenda. Since that agenda is motivated by a US political and economic crisis of a magnitude not seen since the 1930s, there is little likelihood Biden’s presidency would represent a radical departure from the current trend.

Of course, for Germany, France, and Italy to successfully resist US encroachment they would first need to transform the EU into something closer than a federation. The COVID-19 pandemic and the associated economic crisis already providing considerable impetus for such a transformation, America’s insatiable appetites might provide the rest.

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  • rightiswrong rightiswrong

    Like all imperial powers, after spending their bollox on wars and their patrons whims and fancies, they are broke and expecting their minions to pay their bills, through tribute and sanctions, fines, penalties and blackmail.
    Unfortunately for the average Joe Soap in Europe, our political classes are compromised by decades of dealings with them.

    • cechas vodobenikov

      Heidegger wrote that it was not Rusianism that would destroy Western Europe but creeping amerikanism (putrefaction)—the “coca-colonization of Europe…NATO

  • cechas vodobenikov

    largely funded by the USA—NATO is a wonderful accelerator that hastens the demise of the putrid empire

    • Dick Von Dast’Ard

      And what is so wonderful about being dictated to by U.S. tyranny exactly?

      I’m guessing you are just another of Eastern European origins with an itch to be butt fucked by Corporate America?

      • Wizzy

        Dude, you are on the same side

      • cechas vodobenikov

        satire Dick –comprehended by wizzy

        • occupybacon

          Satire is a big word here, let’s say both of you have the same IQ.

          • cechas vodobenikov

            stupid amerikans actually believe u can measure intelligence numerically—no civilized people do —-LOL
            apparently I am more intelligent than u idiots …when we came to US as a teenager they administered this test—told my parents I was too intelligent and skipped me a grade…I left soon after I finished grad school —amerikans r farcical Disney characters that live in hyperreality

          • occupybacon

            So you was in school in USA but you couldn’t figure out my first language is not English. Anyway your comment is a clear sign of wisdom. Probably aliens kidnaped you and overclocked your brain.

    • Justin

      USA wants to leave it!

      • cechas vodobenikov

        if this were true why is NATO mainly funded by USA, a military dictatorship where USA spends more on its military than the next 14 largest military nations combined per CIA consultant professor Juan Cole—who also writes that the USA is the most corrupt nation on earth

        • Justin

          good question!
          its always good to ask such questions and then try to get the answer to it!
          have u researched ur answer or have u assumed “USA is ASSHOLE”?

          Let me tell u something!
          >2016 USA is the OPPOSITE of <2017 USA

          Most European nations (80%) do not pay the legally required 2% GDP for NATO to be "sufficient"! The USA has for decades taken up the slack!

          Tell me if u agree with Trump's statement:
          "why do we pay 4% GDP for NATO when countries like Germany only pay 1% yet do deals with Russian gas which gives Russia BILLIONS of dollars. Yet here we are paying double to defend a nation enriching a country that we are supposed to be protecting Germany from"!

          Trump (like he just announced on Syria) wants to get out of NATO! As soon as he said that, they started paying! But they owe decades of Arrears!

          u can argue that the USA occupies Germany and Japan! but thats a biased view! let me entertain a different train of thought!

          imagine a country who starts 2 world wars within 20 years! 10 of millions die! Would u want to place restriction on them? What if they did commit genocide to some extent? What would be smart to do to such a country? Destroy them completely? No! You occupy the mother fuckers for 100 years (at least 10) and u help them rebuild! Where is Germany today? Ranked 4th or 5th biggest economy! Remember this is a country we all had 2 world wars with! now? Placid and wealthy! Not destroyed!

          Next u have a nation that bombs all of your ships without warning or declaring war! They invade your islands and the south pacific! they invade korea, china, indonesia, south pacific islands, they even bombed Darwin in northern australia and killed a few ships in Sydney harbour! These mother fuckers were crazy! Kamekaze! They were willing to fight in a war THEY STARTED to the last man! Because their GOD emperor willed it! (yes they thought he was a God just like KJU in NK) These fuckers wouldnt give up! 2 bombs saw to the end of that! So what shall we do with these technological advanced Suicidal maniacs? Should we destroy them with our atom bombs? No! lets occupy them for 100 years! Lets rebuild their economy! Where is japan today? 3rd biggest economy?

          NATO works against US interests as a whole! NATO doesnt defend america, it defends Europe!
          What does Europe do in return? 1% GDP and not the required 2% for decades?

          Where is NATO HQ?
          Where is EU HQ?
          Where is UN HQ?
          Where is WHO HQ?
          Where is the IMF?

          They are all in Brussels!
          So when u say the words "Globalists or JEWS" u should think "Brussels"!

          NATO, just like the jew and globalists, work AGAINST US interests! Globalists set up China! Globalist prop up china! WHO supports china!

          Under Trump, he leaves the world court, he announced he no longer wishes to remove assad, he pulls out of the UN human rights group, he crosses the DMZ and shakes hands with KJU! Trump wants to LEAVE Brussels!

          He wants Europe to pay its share or he leaves! its that simple!
          As for Dictatorship, the winner usually takes all in a war right? Dont u agree?
          They occupied Germany and Japan for good reasons! they didnt fuck them over! they rebuilt them!

          When the Soviet union was a round u could have called them dictators too!
          When china has a president for life, muslim slaves imprisioned by the millions, a one party communist system, a digital spy grid and a social credit system….. here u are calling the USA a dictatorship yet the nations they occupy started 2 world wars! And their economies are insanely good!

          Who can u compare this too?
          Lets compare North Korea! is that good compared to south korea?
          Is ukraine good?
          Is eastern Europe good when compared to 1990 and now?

          u need to take that massive biased dildo out of your asshole and start thinking more clearly!

          Are they dictators really? after what i have said one could argue they were liberators!

          but yes the USA has since been hijacked! however the fight back has begun! you see it in the news every day but u would have to get off this website and start doing your own research!

        • Justin

          China by far is the most corrupt nation in the history of the solar system!
          They have a 100% fake economy!
          Have u ever asked yourself why they can only access world trade by using the Hong Kong Dollar? Why cant they just use the Yuan?
          Oh because that requires transparency of their economy?

          lol! u have zero idea dont u! u are so biased u are willing to forgive seriously bad nations just so u can shit on the USA!

          Yet let me guess, u LOVED stalin! i bet u did!

  • Wizzy

    When I see sanctions, I see desperation

    • Daily Beatings

      US has over 8,000 sanctions in 39 countries. At this pace the entire world will be under US sanctions.

      • Ivan Freely

        Strangely when you sanction everyone, you effectively sanction yourself. LOL

        • Daily Beatings

          Yep, it will end up like the UN. You’ll have the entire world on one side and the US, Israel, and sometimes Palau on the other.

          • occupybacon

            The same like Russia’s little friends like recognised Crimea referendum

          • Brother Ma

            Whether part of “Ukraine” ,part of Russia or independent no one with a brain will admit it belongs to Turkey ,ever. You invaded and then you were thrown out. Simple.

            Turks are Johnny-come -latelys to Asia Minor /Eurasia and only foolish American Average Joes don’t know it.

          • Daily Beatings

            Which would have never occurred without the US and there little color revolution in the Maidan. Now neo-nazi Ukraine has the lowest standard of living in all of Europe. This is how the US treats its “partners”.

          • occupybacon

            And before 2014 which countries from Europe had a lower standard of living?

          • Daily Beatings

            In 2014 that would be Kosovo, Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova:

            https://eucham.eu/2014-10-richest-countries-in-europe/

            In 2019 Ukraine was dead last:

            https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/the-poorest-countries-in-europe.html

          • cechas vodobenikov

            where do u observe homelessness? not Eastern Europe, S amerika….”as one digs deeper into the national character of amerikans one sees they have sought the value of everything in this world according to the answer to a single question__how much money will it bring in”. Tocqueville
            money worshipping sexually repressed puritanical morons r expected in an empire nearing collapse

          • occupybacon

            Soviet Union was built on the hope that the West will fall soon. Good luck with that wish.

          • Brother Ma

            Nato ? Called an American Protection Racket….like Al Capone and the Mafia. Pay us and be with us or WE bash ,kill or rob you and not the other guy…

        • occupybacon

          Wishful thinking Ivan, my small town with under 40k inhabitants have almost 8k commercial entities. And what does a sanction mean: we ain’t doing business with you, and they have to chose either doing businesses with you or with us. Why do you think you are entitled to do business with the ‘Empire’? They set you free.

          • cechas vodobenikov

            all failing—US produces trash …everything in US produced in US is created in other nations—over conformist semi automatons w a shallow national character—keeping up w the jones? LOL

          • occupybacon

            Keeping up with the greens, my poor friend.

    • occupybacon

      The cold war was a permanent sanction between 2 halves of the globe. This is just a small picture of how it used to be.

  • verner

    yep nato is driven by the paranoia in the white house and a number of members would just not do what the charters specifies if the morons decide it’s time to deal with russia and the disjointed states of A would be left with the group of 5, poland, estonia, lithuania and latvia and a very reluctant norway (owing to the fact the general secretary is a norwegian dimwit).

    • occupybacon

      It’s not like US can’t make Geirgia and Ukraine NATO members, just because they have parts occupied by RF, NATO doesn’t require nuclear war.

  • cechas vodobenikov

    while Nato nations poorly cooperate—they are willing. they r not coerced directly to maintain membership—sweden, Finland, Austria, Serbia Moldova all reject nato—only 3 nations in the Western Hemisphere r members—USA, Canada, Colombia….previously France was not…it is largely funded by uSA–it now has little relevance, except when the USA wishes to invade a weak non nuclear nation–Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Venezuela, Serbia—will NATO support the US annexation of Greenland?

    • occupybacon

      LOL Columbia is not member of NATO you silly, they are NATO partners, the same like Ukraine and Georgia. And the one that wanted to invade Libya was France, USA paying for France participation in Iraq.

      • Brother Ma

        France was Jewish -led via Sarkozsy for American Jewish interests. Don’t pretend that the US didn’t want to the the Libya invasion and didn’t use France and the uk as its proxies.

      • cechas vodobenikov

        a difference without a distinction—there r nine US military installations in Colombia–7 official

        • occupybacon

          And which is the magic number of US military installations that makes a country a NATO member?

  • © Proud 2b Greek

    NATO is clinically and brain dead due to Turkey

  • Tommy Jensen

    On the contrary. Nato expanded successfully its role first to E-Europe, then ME, Latin-America is begging Nato to become members, Colombia latest.
    When the mercenaries in Africa are done, the countries there will also beg Nato to become members.
    Pacific is the new potential as everybody wants Europe and peace, and refute Hitlers and a cup of rice per day.
    US did it again, showing leadership to the world as Chief of Nato managed from behind by our Deep State Department…………………………………LOL.

  • Ryan Glantz

    Wanna do an article on the Russian/USA Alliance in the space and starfleet programs? Wanna talk about StarGate or the PSI soldiers?