With friends like this, who needs enemies?
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced publicly that “NATO has strived for a better relationship with Russia for decades.” He made the claim right after he had said at the same news conference that NATO had been preparing for conflict with Russia since 2014.
NATO members and their partners met for a summit meeting in Madrid, Spain, and the debate looked like a competition to decide whose attacks against Russia are going to be more virulent than everybody else’s.
This is definitely not to say that everything Russian President Vladimir Putin stands for is hunky-dory and a contribution to humanity and its progress. Far from it.
But pushing the world to the brink of a nuclear confrontation was, quite obviously, not Putin’s idea.
NATO’s Stoltenberg was very open when he announced that it was the plan to start a conflict with Russia that had led to increases in military spending and rising numbers of troop deployments in Eastern Europe since 2014. He should and could have added that NATO and EU contributed mightily to the 2014 so-called “Orange Revolution” at Kiev’s Maidan square.
Turning matters upside down, NATO’s Secretary General claimed that Russia was “using force in the eastern Donbass since 2014.”
Whether he (and other NATO leaders) believe that it was so, ignoring the proven fact that it had been Ukrainian forces that had been shelling cities in the region ever since the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics declared independence from Ukraine that year, is not really too relevant.
What matters is that facts contradict almost every utterance about guilt in the conflict.
According to Stoltenberg said for the record that the U.S.-led military bloc had decided in 2014, eight years ago, that is, to start beefing up its forces in Eastern Europe.
“The reality is also that we have been preparing for this since 2014,” Stoltenberg said. “That is the reason that we have increased our presence in the eastern part of the alliance, why NATO allies have started to invest more in defence, and why we have increased [our] readiness.”
NATO’s own figures confirm that Stoltenberg was forthright on this occasion: the alliance’s members have increased their military expenditure by between 1.2 per cent and 5.9 per cent every year since 2014. Strangely, only 10 out of 30 NATO states currently meet the bloc’s target of spending 2 per cent of GDP on defence.
Eastern Europeans (and the Baltics) have been the most eager among the NATO beavers: Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania all met the 2-per-cent target for the first time in 2022.
Of course, these countries started at zero when they joined the alliance. On the other hand, they would just switch their spending on the now-defunct Warsaw Pact to this new accounting entry and be done with it. They have all been joined in their hatred of everything Russian since the fall of the Soviet Union. That it had been the Soviet Union under the communists’ firm grip on power that caused them grief, not Russia, has been an angle they had somehow forgotten. They joined NATO that has always been under America’s grip, about as firm as the Soviets’ over the Warsaw Pact, not really realising that they may be moving from outright rain outside right into its flow under the gutter.
In any case, to make themselves look important, NATO members have announced they have created a new policy plan. One of its main features: Russia has now become the “most significant and direct threat.”
It seems to have escaped NATO leadership’s attention that, in turn, Russia would be logically viewing NATO as her “most significant and direct threat.”
Or not: on admitted war standing since 2014, NATO must be eager to try their power in an arm-wrestling match that would definitely destroy most (if not all) of the humanity now living on this planet. Of course, that is not part of the equation as announced by the NATO chief civilian official.
Oversight? Not really: it is part of the Great Reset agenda that had been made public with the same cynicism as the announcement made by NATO’s Stoltenberg.
According to latest information, Canada has sent a unit or two of her special operations units to Ukraine. This reckless move has made Canada part of the war. Not de iure, but de facto. If it comes to nuclear conflagration, Canada would be fair target for Russian weapons.
For members of those units it means that, should any of them be captured, they could (and would, based on precedent) face capital punishment. So far as the breakaway Donetsk and Luhansk Republics are concerned, they are mercenaries. The Geneva Convention that regulates treatment of prisoners of wars does not apply.
Russia claims NATO expansion endangers her security. She received solemn promises in the early 1990s that, once the Moscow-led Warsaw Pact goes phut, NATO won’t expand past the Oder River. Of course, this raises the rather complicated question of newly-independent countries being able to join whomever they felt they needed to join. Except: they could be applying at their will, but NATO did make a solemn promise.
The old fox of Henry Kissinger weighed in on the topic: making promises to anyone and of any kind is a dangerous idea. What if you happen to change your mind?
NATO has provided a perfect example: who cares about the 1990s promises? The 2008 Bucharest Declaration has stated that Georgia and Ukraine will become NATO members. No date was mentioned, but the trend was obvious.
That’s the kind of gamesmanship that lets Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy abuse his western counterparts whenever he feels their weapon deliveries are too slow, or whatever other help he needs should have been provided yesterday.
Zelenskyy, in his traditional khaki t-shirt and pants, his signature clothing to show that he’s as combative a warrior as any, told NATO leaders’ meeting in Madrid that he needs $5 billion a month. And nobody dared rebuff him.
Ukraine signed so-called Minsk agreements in 2014 and 2015. These were supposed to confer special status within the Ukrainian state upon the predominantly Russian regions of Donetsk and Lugansk. Germany and France brokered the protocols, but former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”
The strange thing is that it has never bothered anyone within NATO that Ukraine has embraced Nazi ideology and her official policy includes treating Second World War criminals as her national heroes. Quite to the contrary: as Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo put it so succinctly, “We make it very clear that this war can only be won on the battlefield and we should continue to support President Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian population as much as possible to be able to win the war on the battlefield.”
Fight to the last Ukrainian on our behalf, and we’ll be happy, that’s what this message means.
To sum up: NATO has changed. It used to be Europe’s post-Cold War guard dog. It has become America’s attack dog.