No Need For Nato 499

A NATO summit approaches that brings Donald Trump to Europe and then on to these shores, and brings the usual clamour for more of the taxpayers’ money to be given to arms manufacturers.

Yet NATO is a demonstrably useless institution. It’s largest ever active military deployment, for 12 years in Afghanistan, resulted in military defeat throughout 80% of the country, the installation of a pocket regime whose scrip does not run further than you can throw the scrip, and a vast outflow of heroin to finance the criminal underworld throughout NATO countries.

Look at this chart closely, and marvel at the fact that the NATO occupation began in early 2002.

In invading Afghanistan and boosting the heroin warlords, NATO countries destabilised themselves

NATO’s second biggest military operation ever was the attack on Libya, where NATO carried out an incredible 14,200 bombing sorties using high explosive munitions and devastated Libya’s infrastructure and entire cities. Here is Sirte after NATO “liberation”.

The direct result of the devastation of Libya and destruction of its government infrastructure has been the massive untrammelled exodus of migrants, especially from West Africa, through Libya and across the Mediterranean on boats. This has not only led to the appalling exploitation and tragic death of many migrants, it has fundamentally weakened the governments and indeed governing public ethos of European NATO member states and led to a right wing populist surge throughout much of the EU.

In short, in destroying Libya, NATO members destabilised themselves.

The direct result of NATO’s destruction of Libya.

Now NATO is focusing once more on the original “threat” it was supposed to combat, a Russian invasion of Western Europe.

Russia has absolutely no intention of invading Western Europe. The very notion is ludicrous. It does not require NATO to deter a threat that does not exist.

Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia alone have a combined GNP as big as Russia. On a purchasing power parity basis, if you add in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania those Eastern states still match Russia economically. On a PPP basis, the combined GDP of all NATO states is 12 times that of Russia.

Russia does have disproportionate military power for its size – but not that much. Russia’s defence spending is one sixth that of NATO defence spending, though it is slightly more efficient because, despite corruption, less of Russia’s defence spending goes into the pockets of arms company shareholders, lobbyists, politicians and other fatcats than happens in the West. But that cannot outweigh Russia’s massive economic disadvantage. Nothing can. Russia is very well placed to defend itself, but in no position to attack major powers.

Russia’s foreign policy successes – in Crimea, Syria and Georgia – have been based not on massive military strength – the NATO powers far outweigh Russia there – but simply on much better statecraft. And NATO, for all the trillions western taxpayers spend on it, has been unable to do anything about it, despite the fact that Russian actions in Crimea and Georgia have been illegal in international law.

In fact if anybody has not worked out by now that our famed nuclear arsenal is a chocolate teapot, then they have not been paying attention. In none of the recent foreign policy crises – including the North Korean nuclearisation issue – nobody, anywhere, ever has mentioned Trident missiles as part of the solution. They are utterly worthless.

The threat of a Russian attack on NATO itself is non-existent. The EU is not officially a military alliance but the idea that any part of EU territory could be subject to invasion without the rest of the EU reacting is a political impossibility. It is very plain that Vladimir Putin’s policy is to reincorporate into Russia those bordering pockets of ethnic Russians in former Soviet states. But this has been approached piecemeal and avoiding major confrontation. There is no practical threat to the Baltic states whose security is already de facto guaranteed by EU membership.

So NATO’s role of defence against Russia is otiose, and its wider military adventures have been a total disaster.

Finally, a thought about China. I cannot think of a parallel to China these last two decades, where any country in history has obtained so much economic pre-eminence in the World and shown so very little interest in military expansion. The invasion of Tibet occurred before China’s economic flowering, and the South China Sea dispute is hardly the invasion of Iraq. I do not claim any expertise in Chinese culture or thought, but they appear to realise that dominance can be achieved by more subtle means than the sword. It is going to be a fascinating few decades as China rapidly overtakes the USA in the superpower stakes.

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499 thoughts on “No Need For Nato

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  • Paul Barbara

    The US ‘War Against Progressive Latin American Leaders’ continues apace (the ones who haven’t ‘contracted cancer’ and subsequently died: ‘They want me dead’: Rafael Correa defies arrest order & talks ‘lawfare’ in emotional RT interview’:

    ‘…“That is called lawfare, you know,” Correa said. “They can’t defeat us in elections, so they try to defeat us using the judicial system. We have to stop that because this is not democracy.”

    The former president, who also hosted a show ‘Conversations with Correa’ on RT Espanol, said that his adversaries “may invent whatever they want because they control everything – media, judicial system, the National Assembly [Ecuadorean parliament], etc. to pursue left leaders.”

    “This is a regional strategy to pursue progressive leaders through judicial system – it’s called lawfare or judicialization of politics,” he said. Asked what he is going to do next, he replied: “Just waiting because there is no hope to have a fair [trial].”….’

    • Charles Bostock

      Rafael Correa is talking nonsense as usual. Why do left-wing presidents always whine about sinister conspiracies to do them down whenever their electorate, weary of their grandstanding incompetence, boot them out at election time?

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Charles Bostock July 4, 2018 at 21:00
        As per usual, you don’t know what you are on about. Rafael Correa did not lose; he was barred from standing again by rules on how many times consecutively a person can stand as President. His party won, but the slimeball who took over as President showed himself to have been a ‘snake in the grass’, and filled his government with the opposition who had lost.
        The great majority of Ecuadorans understandably wanted the party’s Left wing policies to continue.
        Now he is being targeted so that he won’t be able to stand in the future, in the sure knowledge that if he did, he would win.

      • SA

        Maybe it has something to do with the study of history. At least he is still alive, unlike Allende where even the pretence if any democratic process was not even considered. Also lawfare has been and is being practiced in Brazil in the same way.

  • fwl

    Power is gained through slow momentum and making the use of opportunities at decisive or pivotal moments. This strategy neither precludes or encourages the use of the military. It is case by case with a view to both the current short term and the long term. Short term military gains are pointless if they jeopardise the long term. When developing the long term military is weak until it is strong. When it is weak best to be noisy i.e. bluff but back off if called. When it is strong best to be quiet as everyone knows then anyway. What to do with jokers and wild card players is of course an interesting conundrum.

    • Herbie

      Interesting drama.

      But abstract.

      It’d be good to hear you flesh it out in terms of the teams as they’re playing today.

  • Steve Hayes

    Nato is a criminal organisation. The bombing of the former Yugoslavia in 1999 was clearly a war crime. The invasion of Afghanistan was clearly a war crime. The invasion of Iraq was clearly a war crime. The bombing of Libya, the most highly advanced country in Africa, back to the middle ages was clearly a war crime. And these are just the highlights.

  • Sharp Ears

    Wish I could get up to London to hear these speakers but I cannot.

    Eminent global level speakers.

    Dates in London (July 11), Birmingham (July 12), Manchester (July 16), Liverpool (July 15).

    George Galloway Former Member of Parliament
    Peter Ford, Former UK Ambassadorto Syria and Bahrain.
    Prof Peter Kuznick, Director of Nuclear Studies Institute. American University. Washington DC.
    Prof Piers Robinson Chair in Politics, Society and Political Journalism, University of Sheffield.
    Eva Bartlett, Investigative Journalist.
    Neil Clark, Author, Journalist & Broadcaster.
    Adam Garrie, Director at Eurasia Future.

    Peter Kuznick is co-author with Oliver Stone of the Untold History of the United States.

    ‘We provide a platform where an alternative perspective and analysis challenges the mainstream narrative, with speakers from the world of politics, academia, journalism, former diplomats and clergy.

    All speakers are driven by a profound and sincere desire for an end to these endless wars of aggression, and regime changes. We want peace, diplomacy, and good international relations to replace what has become the norm: coercive diplomacy, sanctions, threats of war, hot wars, cold wars and proxy wars.

    We believe that trade and international relations should be based on parity, and not coercion and subservience. We espouse the rights for countries to have national sovereignty and self-determination, and to
    not live in fear of war or economic hardship from sanctions.

    We are anti-imperialists, and don’t pick favourites. We don’t victim-blame. A victim of imperialism is a victim. No person, no country, no leader is perfect. It is not the role of the West, or any nation to impose its will on another sovereign nation.’


  • Richard Hoertz

    Re: “It is going to be a fascinating few decades as China rapidly overtakes the USA in the superpower stakes.” Interesting statement. But as a retired military officer familiar with instruments of national power, to include, but not limited to the military, I would be interested in your logic that may persuade an educated group that it is inevitable that China will overtake the US in the “superpower stakes”, whatever that means.

  • teflon don

    China’s strength is a mirage based on the greatest debt bubble in history. You are falling into the same trap as people did with Japan a couple of decades ago

  • Sharp Ears

    ‘NATO’ along with these others fund the European Leadership Network

    The ELN would like to thank the following organisations for their support for our activities.
    Carnegie Corporation of New York
    Nuclear Threat Initiative
    Ploughshares Fund
    Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust (JRCT)
    Polden-Puckham Charitable Foundation (PPCF)
    The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
    The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office

    On their advisory board from the UK –
    Des Browne -Chair of the ELN, Vice Chairman of the NTI, Convener of the TLG and former UK Defence Secretary
    Menzies Campbell
    Former Leader of the Liberal Democrats

    Browne and Campbell are also on the Executive Board along with
    Gerard Griffin Managing Partner at Chilmark Capital Management
    Ian Kearns Co-Founder, Board Member and former Director
    Malcolm Rifkind Former Foreign Secretary, Former Defence Secretary

    Tugenhadt, to whom I referred on the Amesbury Mystery thread was funded by them to attend one of their conferences in March 2017.

    What’s that all about?

    The Catholic Bishops’ Conference fund Tugenhadt to the sum of £5,000 – £6,000 pa to provide an intern. TWFY.

    Better use of their money (from whence does it come incidentally?) would be better spent compensating the many victims of sexual abuse by their priests. The lives of those children and young people were wrecked.

    United Kingdom

  • Steve

    Sorry but this piece is uncharacteristically ill-informed and unrealistic regarding NATO and Russia. The countries of Eastern Europe are military pygmies compared to Russia, which has not only large and effective conventional forces (certainly enough to defeat any or probably even all of them together), but is a nuclear superpower (and UNSC veto member), which gives it a massive advantage in terms of blackmail potential and virtual impunity of attack against unallied and unsupported smaller nations especially. The Baltic nations’ security is not at all ‘de facto guaranteed by EU membership’, the EU has near-zero military power, and very little effective political will, and the Baltics would be sitting ducks for Russian takeover without NATO membership. The will thereto would depend in good measure on the likely costs, which currently are high, without NATO (or equivalent) they would be laughably low by comparison.

    As to China, it also invaded Vietnam in the late 70’s, and the SCS is of major strategic significance in Asia and beyond, and Chinese ‘victory’ there will likely lead to repeats elsewhere like the ECS.

    I dislike neocon warmongering and idiocy, but the all too common ‘get rid of NATO’ narrative is based all too often on false premises and notions.

  • Harald Meling

    Even the illegality of Russian action in Ukraine, Crimea and Georgia is doubtful.

  • Greg Bacon

    “… Russian actions in Crimea and Georgia have been illegal in international law.”

    So when Crimea looked North and saw that the US-backed color revolution was wrecking havoc with Ukraine, and decided they wanted nothing to do with murder, riots and mob rule, so they voted to leave Ukraine, then asked Russia to take them in. Russia’s Duma voted to accept the Crimea, so they returned to Russia.

    So what international law is Russia violating in taking back–after they asked–one of its provinces?
    If that’s the case, then all of those little nations formed after NATO bombed Yugoslavia relentlessly are also illegal and should be regrouped to form a new Yugoslavia.

  • Elwood

    “The direct result of the devastation of Libya and destruction of its government infrastructure has been the massive untrammelled exodus of migrants, especially from West Africa, through Libya and across the Mediterranean on boats. ”

    Not to mention Hillary’s turning over of Libya to ISIS. But that, no doubt, was the point of that exercise in slaughter and obliteration of a government.

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