NATO is not prepared to compromise By John Robles
Interview with Rick Rozoff, the manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list and a contributing writer to Global Research.ca.
My first question regards Russia, and NATO, and the integrated ABM shield that Russia has been – for want of a better word – pushing for implementing a sectoral defence architecture, what Russia was looking for. What are the chances of this happening, in your opinion?
By all indications after the meeting of the NATO-Russia Council in Sochi, there are no prospects of this occurring in terms of – using your wording – an integrated ABM system. NATO, with the US constantly barking orders at it, as it seems, is definitely opposed to a sectoral approach that would permit the integration of Russian interceptor missile, radar and other, operations within NATO.
NATO insists on doing it alone, if you will. And, as always when it makes overtures to Russia, bringing Moscow in as a junior partner. We have to recall that at the Lisbon Summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization last November the US missile system, what is called the Phased Adaptive Approach initiated by the Obama administration two years ago, has been endorsed heartily, that is unanimously, by NATO.
So, what we are talking about is a continuation of the US interceptor missile system in Europe, throughout Europe, covering the entire continent, excluding perhaps Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.
Overtures have been made for the last decade to try to enlist Ukraine as part of the NATO project. And those efforts are still not dead, if they haven’t born fruit to date.
First of all, I think, at the root of this issue is what is the true intention of the so-called Aegis Ashore, or Phased Adaptive Approach – the Obama administration and former Secretary of Defence Robert Gates’ project – which is a four-phased programme to bring Standard Missile-3 interceptors, which to date have been ship-based, and to place them on land.
The reports are, as the third and the fourth phases arrive in the upcoming years, that as many as 20 Standard Missile-3 advanced types will be placed each in Poland and Romania – and that’s in addition to the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 theatre interceptor missiles that are already placed in Poland. And then, of course, the ship-based versions on Aegis class cruisers and destroyers will be deployed as Washington sees fit – in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea, and the Baltic Sea.
What we’re seeing is an almost impenetrable missile shield being erected along the entire western flank of Russia. Russia is not allowed to be an integral part of that system and with projected or anticipated more sophisticated versions of the Standard Missile-3 that are able to intercept both intermediate and perhaps even long-range missiles, in the words of several Russian officials, civilian and military, this potentially threatens Russia’s strategic interests.
So, you mean, is there any hope that they have been wrangling over this for a long time?
The fact is that Dmitry Medvedev became the first Russian or Soviet head of state ever to attend a NATO summit, as he did in Lisbon last November, while NATO was formally endorsing a continent-wide system that some people refer to as ‘Son of Star Wars’.
Perhaps somebody in the Kremlin at that time had hopes that NATO would listen to reason. But I think the evidence of the Sochi NATO-Russia Council meeting suggests that NATO is not budging, it is not prepared to compromise.
Some Russian experts say there was much progress made in Sochi. You see the opposite?
I’m just quoting Russian officials, including Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, both on the issue of Libya, the war against Libya, as well as the interceptor missile defence system, which is still fantastically described by the US and by NATO, by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, as being aimed at some 23 countries, I believe, some astronomical number of nations that are supposedly developing ballistic missiles.
But nations that are usually identified are, of course, Iran, Syria – interestingly enough, given the current situation in that country – and I cannot, for the life of me, understand in terms of trajectory or anything else why 20 advanced Standard Missile-3 interceptors are to be placed in Poland to intercept missiles from Iran. It’s as nonsensical as the George W. Bush version – putting ground-base midcourse missiles there.
Backing up a little bit: some experts say that NATO should have been disbanded when the Warsaw Pact was dissolved. NATO was designed, as a fact, to contain the USSR and continues to operate in such a manner. What do you think about that statement? As far as the ABM shield goes, I agree with you about trajectory and the location – I mean that there could be no other reason for it rather than to contain Russian missiles.
Patriot Advanced Capability missiles were placed in Poland, in the city of Morag, 60 kilometers from Russian territory. Against whom else have these missiles been deployed, with accompanying US military personnel who are manning them?
You now have the first permanent deployment of foreign troops in Poland since the breakup of the Warsaw Pact 20 years ago. NATO should never been formed, but that having been done in 1949 most surely it should have been a precondition, as a matter of fact, for the former Soviet government of President Gorbachev that, while discussing the breakup of the Warsaw Pact and so forth, a quid pro quo, reciprocity, should have been demanded, that NATO should have been disbanded.
The fact that instead, within one decade, from 1999 to 2009, it increased its membership by 75%, going from 16 countries to 28 countries, all 12 new countries in Eastern Europe, of course, from the Baltic to the Adriatic Seas. And every one of them either former members of the Warsaw Pact – Albania for a short while – or former republics of Yugoslavia is a clear indication NATO expansion eastward is not only to contain Russia. I would argue it’s meant to confront Russia.