8 July 2011 — Strategic Culture Foundation
Since the collapse of the Warsaw Pact, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has made no secret of its goal to expand to the east, as well as into North and sub-Saharan Africa. After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet bloc, many observers believed that NATO’s raison d’etre had ceased to exist and that the collective ‘defensive’ organization would join the Warsaw Pact in historical oblivion. However, those Americans, Canadians, and Europeans who believe in a ‘new world order,’ led politically by the United States in concert with the European Union and Canada and militarily by NATO, re-invented NATO as an aggressive military pact with the goal of enforcing the will of a North American-European ‘axis’ on a expanded stage far beyond Europe or the North Atlantic.
NATO’s expansion to the east and south has been marked by a number of NATO-linked ‘Pentagonese’ alphabet soup fast track membership and associate member programs, including the Partnership for Peace (PfP), Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI), Membership Action Plans (MAPs), Individual Partnership Plans (IPPs), and the Mediterranean Dialogue (MD).
NATO’s Nazi-like drang nach osten, or ‘thrust to the east,’began in earnest after the Czech-born U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright pressed hard for NATO membership for the Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary, while re-assuring Russia’s leadership in 1997 that such expansion would not result in NATO military bases or troops in the new NATO nations. Arch-Cold Warrior Zbigniew Brzezinski, a native of Poland, backed Albright and was a strong force behind what he called NATO’s ‘double enlargement.’ The influence of Eastern European émigrés like Albright (née Korbel) and Brzezinski, with their anti-Russian ‘baggage,’ influenced U.S. foreign policy in a way that was not in the best national security interests of the United States. As has been seen with the influence of American Jews on Middle East policy, Irish-Americans on the problems of Northern Ireland, and Cuban exiles on Latin American policy, the American ‘melting pot’ usually does not prevent generational biases against certain nations and regions of the world from worming their way into American foreign policy.NATO expansion to the borders of Russia stands as a case in point…
It was also inferred by Clinton administration officials that NATO would never take in members along the Russian border. Both promises were hollow. On May 21, 1998, President Bill Clinton signed the NATO Enlargement Pact admitting the Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary to NATO. The three nations became members of NATO the following year. Nine years later, the United States announced plans to establish anti-missile bases in Poland and a radar station in the Czech Republic.
In 2004, three years following NATO’s invocation for the first time of Article 5 of its charter after the 9/11 attack on the United States, stipulating that an attack on one member is an attack on all, NATO expanded to the Russian border when Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania (in addition to Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia) were admitted to membership. In 2009, NATO expanded to Albania and Croatia. That same year, France rejoined NATO’s military command structure, reversing Charles de Gaulle’s decision to withdraw from NATO’s military component in 1967.
Through the MAP, Ukraine and Georgia, deep within the former Soviet Union, were being actively considered for NATO membership and four Balkan states, Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and NATO-occupied Kosovo, were angling for NATO membership. NATO also sent signals to three other nations that if there was a change in the political leadership and a subsequent change in foreign policy, Moldova, Belarus, and Serbia would be considered for NATO membership. Cyprus and Malta, members of the EU, have been under strong pressure to join NATO, especially as a result of the Libyan war and the regime changes in Egypt and Tunisia.
Albright and other Clinton administration foreign policy and military officials also presided over an eleven week NATO military air campaign against Yugoslavia. In another throwback to Nazi policies, the NATO campaign featured the first aerial bombardment of Belgrade since the German Luftwaffe pummeled the city during World War II.
By 2002, NATO forces were fighting far to the east in Afghanistan as part of the U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). During the following years, NATO operations in Afghanistan began penetrating across the border into Pakistan. A number of NATO nations provided troops for the United States-led invasion and occupation of Iraq. NATO forces also became active in ‘peacekeeping’ operations in Sudan at the same time the United States was consolidating its new U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), a major step by the United States to extend its military reach into Africa. In fact, AFRICOM’s headquarters are maintained under the NATO command infrastructure in Stuttgart, Germany. NATO personnel also arrived at a ‘technical liaison’ unit at the headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
During the NATO Summit in Bucharest in 2008, the issue of NATO’s expansion to Ukraine, Georgia, and Macedonia met with internal NATO resistance. For the time being, NATO expansion was tabled. However, the decision in Bucharest only resulted in other mechanisms for NATO expansion to go forward.
The idea of ‘associate membership’ of NATO was being proffered to nations outside of Europe. Article 10 of the NATO charter offers expanded NATO membership to European nations only. In addition, Article 6 of the charter explicitly states that NATO’s geographic ‘area of operation’ includes ‘territory of any of the Parties in Europe or North America, on the Algerian Departments of France, on the territory of or on the Islands under the jurisdiction of any of the Parties in the North Atlantic area north of the Tropic of Cancer.’
While serious consideration is now being given by NATO to amending Articles 6 and 10, NATO concocted Individual Partnership Plans through the auspices of the Mediterranean Dialogue and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative. Through the MD, an Individual Cooperation Program (ICP) was launched between NATO and Israel, the first for the alliance and a step toward something long-sought by Israel and its powerful lobby in Washington, NATO membership for Israel. The MD also laid the groundwork for ‘associate membership’ status in NATO for Egypt, Jordan, Mauritania, Tunisia, Morocco, and Algeria. If NATO’s military campaign against Muammar Qaddafi’s government in Libya is successful and the NATO-backed Transitional National Council takes over in Tripoli, NATO’s ‘associate membership’ regime will include all of North Africa. Even under Qaddafi, Libya was an ‘observer’ at the MD.
At the 2004 NATO Summit in Istanbul, the ICI was launched as a way to move NATO into the Arabian Peninsula. Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates, all members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), joined the ICI. Two other GCC nations, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, remained outside the ICC. However, Morocco and Jordan, MD members, recently joined the GCC in what many observers in the Gulf region believed was the cementing of NATO’s hold over the Gulf states and a consolidation of Arab monarchies under an informal NATO guarantee of security. As icing on the cake, Blackwater founder Erik Prince recently launched a mercenary force in Abu Dhabi, called Reflex Responses (R2) under the patronage of the government of Abu Dhabi. R2 consists of Colombians, Chileans, and South African ex-special forces personnel.
The linkage of the Gulf states to NATO has been realized through the participation of United Arab Emirates battalions with the NATO’s Kosovo Force (KFOR) in northern Kosovo, near the border with Serbia, and with Qatar and UAE fighter squadrons participating in the air assault on Libya from NATO bases in the Mediterranean. In addition, Tunisian-flagged vessels have been caught smuggling NATO weapons to Libyan rebels, a further indication that the MD and ISI have become working arms of NATO outside of NATO Articles 6 and 10.
A number of NATO Secretaries-General, including the previous NATO chief, Jaap de Joop Scheffer and the current chief, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, both habitués of Bilderberg conferences, have called for NATO expansion beyond the confines of the NATO charter. The contrivance being used is through the PfP and IPPs. ‘Associate membership’ status has been offered to Australia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, India, Brazil, and South Africa. Only Australia, New Zealand, and Japan have been keen on the idea. However, NATO has achieved some success at expansion with a neutral Scandinavian country. Swedish fighter jets are participating in the NATO campaign against Libya, a sign that NATO will not stop expanding until it includes every nation of Europe. NATO is accomplishing what Adolf Hitler could only dream of: a Euro-Atlantic military alliance that dominates the entire world…”