This article provides an introduction to the history, the idea, the political and military structure of NATO (NATO – North Atlantic Treaty Org). It also aims to create awareness about legal and scientific issues related to the military operations of the organization. This is essential because NATO is the largest military organization in history. This is of significant importance to every European, given the fact that all EU member states are integrated in the Alliance: German, British, French and soldiers from many other nationalities for years were involved in the war in Afghanistan (2001), Middle East and North Africa.
The picture on the left shows the military participation of Germany. It casts strong doubts about the neutrality of a member state, which is enshrined in its constitution after the second World War.
This article will answer the following two questions: which country dominates the political-military paradigm of NATO? And can we talk about this organization as a peaceful project, given its military history?
This organization must be analyzed with accuracy, mainly because it intends to deploy about 300,000 troops on the border with Russia.
History of NATO creation
NATO was founded on April 4-th, 1949 in Washington by a total of 12 countries. The headquarters is in Brussels (Belgium). According to official documents it is a project of peace and cooperation. According to research in 2015 this is believed by 89% of Germans.
The first 40 years after its creation, after the Second World and during the Cold War the open goal was intimidation of the Warsaw Pact countries with military force. The USSR and the Communist system were seen as a major threat to the freedom and independence of Western Europe – so it is written in an independent report of NATO. As a reaction to this in 1955 the Warsaw Pact entered into force. These two unions, which can also be called blocks of power, competed for zones of influence in Europe.
Issues related to the legitimacy of the continued existence of NATO do not only arise as a result of the crimes of the Cold War, but the discrepancies in the series of formal arguments.
· how can the Warsaw Pact be pointed as an enemy given the fact that NATO was founded six years earlier?
· How can capitalism / socialism be defined as a threat, since they played a major role in the fight against fascism and nationalism?
· Do the interests of the United States play a significant role or the left (Communists) are undemocratic? If the second is true, how can we explain that in some western European countries Communists / Socialists quite legitimately and democratically reach power? The left wing won majority in Norway (50.9%), Sweden (51.1%), almost absolute majority in Austria (47.3%), Denmark (46%), Finland (47.5%) and the UK (46 , 4%). In Italy and in France the left has a very strong position with respectively 40,8% and 42,8% (Bartolini, p. 60-61).
In this respect it is good to remember that the US overthrew the legitimately elected government of Iran in 1953 and Chile in 1972. Such regime change is in violation of the UN Charter (Article 2 para. 7), which ensures that a country does not interfere in internal affairs . Who exactly wanted to overthrow Gaddafi, Saddam and Assad?
Even if you missed all of the previously mentioned facts it is enough to know that “communism” no longer exists. Russia and even China have been transformed into capitalist systems. Russia is seen as a “controlled democracy”, but it is far less dictatorial or violating human rights as are major partner countries of the US (respectively – Saudi Arabia and Israel).
The US itself, which has the largest army in NATO and the nation that founded it, is not a real democracy but an oligarchy – this as it shows from a study by Princeton.
Problems in setting the targets
In the treaty between the parties forming NATO, the initial task of the organization is mentioned in the preamble.
It was mentioned that the organization seeks to preserve inner strength and prosperity in the North Atlantic. (BGBl. 1955 II S. 289, i.d.F. des Protokolls v. 17. 10. 1951; Download auf eng. – Hier).
NATO still stands behind this manifesto: in the current document the purpose of the North Atlantic alliance consists in preservation of the integrity of the entire North Atlantic region against the dangers of terrorism. http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_publications/20120116_nato-trans-ger.pdf
Obviously, the question remains whether countries such as China and Russia are not excluded by this doctrine. Is world peace possible when not allowing for the inclusion of all parties. Does this create an image of enemies and division? The latter is not only implemented in an indirect manner in the contract between the countries of NATO, but even being formulated openly by NATO Secretary General Lord Hastings Ismay. In a statement he said that the alliance exists, in order to keep “the Russians out, the Americans in and the Germans down”. (Ziemer, p.65; Vawick p.34; Winkler).
This method of distinction (and repression), and violations of international law by NATO (which is later addressed in this article) are factors that contradict completely the Enlightenment (if we follow the philosophy of Kant) and humanism.
The book by the German philosopher Imanoel Kant, “Perpetual Peace” has a strong influence on the UN Charter and formulated the criteria for world peace. They are in total contradiction with the way NATO operates.
Demilitarization, already deployed troops (miles perpetuus) should be dissolved over time.
Without intervention and preventive warfare: no country should interfere in the constitution and the way of functioning of a state.
Without expansion due to “purchase”: No country should be owned by another, inherited because of exchange, purchase or donation.
A new arms race?
Before turning to statistics and armaments, I want to quote American researcher in the field of law, Rosa Brooks . In her book: How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales from the Pentagon, she wrote that a large part of the US military (Pentagon), after November the 9-th, participated in covert operations and shows that the boundary between war and peace frankly has been blurred.
The Pentagon has not only increased its military budget through astronomically high amounts, but has made possible for the army to enter in almost all public areas. More about this can be found in “How the Pentagon Became Walmart”.
The costs for the US’ military actions in 2016 are about 596 billion dollars. They are much higher than those of China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Lebanon, Jordan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Somalia combined.
According to a study of “American University” (Washington) and according to the statement of US General Dempsey, new military bases and a network of combat drones are being constructed worldwide (Professor Chomsky speaks of the largest terrorist attacks worldwide) as well as command units.
From 1945 in Germany alone there are over 200 US bases. At present, at least nine of them are active. You can find the report on the subject of the German Embassy.
While the subject of nuclear weapons in possession of Israel is taboo, at the same time the former Soviet republics such as Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine are destroying their arsenal. While Israel is building nuclear weapons under top secret conditions, Iran is almost forced (through sanctions) to stop its nuclear program.- Borger 2014.
Since Israel is a key partner of the US and NATO member (MD) it is important to look at the war crimes expansion and history, if only to look critically at the issue of joining NATO.
Countries that George Walker Bush categorizes as the “axis of evil” are extremely powerless against NATO, the US and its allies. The very concept of “axis of evil”, formulated by the Bush administration has been repeated thousands of times by the media. It can be seen as a cultural fundamentalism. This conclusion reached Swiss attorney Gret Haller.
This polarization and separation of enemies and friends surely leads to the spread of fear and terror. Thus reinforces the need for a sense of security. Then comes the logical consequences – militarization and the police state.
While the main enemy – the Soviet Union and the Warsaw pact (military alliance- това ли имаш предвид) stopped existing, NATO’s expansion continues. This is despite false promises to the contrary. What is the actual legitimacy of NATO, in the absence of its opponent? Former Minister of Defense Chuck Hagel made the following statement: The crisis in Ukraine recalls of NATO’s reason for emerging.
Before that, however, we must give an answer to the question, who really was the aggressor in Ukraine? What actually happened in the 20 years before the crisis in Ukraine? In 1970 Richard Nixon declared a “war on drugs”. (Standford University).
After 09.11.2001 the problem with the “Lost image of enemy” was radically solved with the so-called “war on terror”. The concept of terrorism’s omnipresence, that could be anywhere, creates legitimacy of the preventive strikes and war (defined in the national strategy of the US).
Militarization and expansion are considered in the official report on the NATO strategy as strengthening the defense capability (NATO Strategy). Meanwhile, Pentagon speaks clearly and openly about Full Spectrum Dominance. (Joint Vision 2020).
From the point of view of the international law these “precautions” by US / NATO are not justified, because the real danger
a) has not been proven yet and is based mainly on lies (Tonkin, 935 Lügen vor dem Irak-Krieg (PCI), Brutkasten -Lüge …) unusable for the Bulgarian version
b) are unlawful under Article 2 para. 7 (Regimechange).
Furthermore, all operations undertaken by US and NATO in the name of self-defense is against the law because it does not correspond to the level of real danger.
This is clearly seen in the graph below. It shows that between 2001 and 2015 about 3380 people have died by terrorist attacks. Meanwhile, soldiers who died in these operations are over 15 400.
These figures alone show a clear discrepancy, but the illegality of the actions become even more obvious when we look at the way the United States respond in the Middle East. If we must be completely accurate, in three countries alone (Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan) about 13 million people have been killed. In addition to these direct hits in response to the attacks of 09.11. I want to draw attention to the (over) 400,000 victims in Syria. In this case the “War on terror” is apparent (indirectly by creating the image of the enemy).
I will try to answer the question whether NATO and its member states have actively intervened with military activities in the internal politics of other countries. The following graphs by the Swiss Peace Institute SIPER show the military history of NATO.
In the book “The Pentagon’s New Map” American strategist T. Barnett displays with great pride this map (left) and says a lot about political hegemony. The image shows that between 1990 and 2003 the Pentagon had over 40 military interventions. I did a detailed report on the hidden warfare by the US / CIA and their crimes against democracy and humanity. They prove empirically substantial interference in the political structures in over 30 countries.
The US is an Empire – get used to the idea. It reads a headline in The New York Times. Also, the US Think Tank Starfor ( Stratfor ) reveals how much responsibility the United States have as an empire. More than 1000 times the US is termed in their own media with this concept. Even Vice President Dick Cheney talking about it.
This data is from a study made by Princeton University. The exact use of the concepts in this case is extremely important because you have to ask whether the only world power and most powerful empire in human history imposes the direction of NATO policy. Now is the time to answer this question in this article.
Germany supplies arms to dictatorships (Saudi Arabia – 361 million dollars), as well as countries that violate international and human rights (Israel – 267 million dollars, Turkey – 84 million dollars). Spreading weapons, and yet we want to reap peace?
What Western policy causes not only through arms exports, explains journalist and expert on the Middle East Michael Luders.
We want to spread democracy and to maintain the values of enlightenment and at the same time to deliver weapons to dictatorial regimes? We force in an indirect way wars and build walls, and then we do not want to accept refugees?
The war in Afghanistan in 2001 violates human rights, by this logic alone intervention by German forces should be refused. This is the conclusion of a scientific, legal report by the German professor Norman Paech.
Despite this, there have been bases and German soldiers for decades as part of NATO.
Is it really necessary for German soldiers to participate in violaton of international law in wars and ? Can NATO turn the notion of war in Germany again into near reality, despite the bitter experience of World War II?
The conflict over resources in Mali (gold / uranium; the Areva compaund) originated from NATO members France. It is reminiscent of the colonial era and also involves the US and NATO calls for intervention. For years French forces were trying to maintain “peacemaking” Africa. Mali was one of the richest countries of earth resources, and today is in total chaos. Corruption, famine, war run rampant.
Colonization of North Africa from France (Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria) and during World was not terminated.
Events in Algeria from the years between 1954 and 1962 were marked by oppression, information campaigns (censorship, dictated by the authorities) and violation of human rights. Sovereignty claims were put down violently by France. At the same time it continued exploitation and unequal distribution of wealth.
Was France ruled out from NATO because it hinders the development of democracy in foreign countries? One of the most serious moments against the Soviet Union has always been that it is not democratic. If this is the basis of legitimacy of NATO and if NATO really holds on so badly to democracy then the logical question that comes to mind is why fascist Portugal (Estado Novo 1933-1974) was among its founders.
We can also ask for what reason the military dictatorship in Greece was not excluded from this “peaceful union.”
Even the mere threat of NATO against Serbia in 1999 was in violation of the UN Charter. Not to mention the precedent in European history an organization to declare war on a particular country (Hipp).
This happened even without the consent of all UN member states. Then perhaps in this case we can talk about war contrary to international law.
Even before the actual start of the war in Iraq, the US led a propaganda war in the media. A substantial part was contrary to international law and in particular of paragraph 20 of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This reports the Austrian Institute for Human Rights ETC- Graz.
Numerous scientists and professors dealing with law, also declared the very war in 2003 as contrary to international law. Among them are (Holger P Hestermeyer; Hans Arnold, Baumann 2008). Moreover purposeful manipulation (false information about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq) puts cooperation with the US generally under question.
Quite a legitimate question is whether intervention in Iraq really was a question of self-defense (preventive war) or whether the real motive was interest relating to ground gas.
UPI, a German Institute for Environment and forecasts showed evidence for the theory that this was the real reason for military action. Is NATO involved in wars for resources? This organization attacked Libya, the eighth country in the world regarding extraction of natural gas, in the name of “protecting the rights of the civilian population” from the dictator Gaddafi.
Today, five years later, Libya has fallen into chaos. The country is in military turmoil and is filled with Islamic terrorist organizations. Moreover, this humanitarian crisis provoked a strong migrant flow.
Italy and Turkey
The possibility of full nuclear self-destruction of the world, or the so-called “Cuban Crisis” began with the deployment of nuclear weapons from the US to Italy and Turkey (April 1962). In response, the Soviet Union deployed some in Cuba in October of the same year. NATO members have played a inconspicuous supporting role in this human tragedy. Here I want to say something more interesting: apparently as winners write history, it does not speak of the “Turkish crisis.”
I want to mention my critical view on the fact that there is little democratic transparency. On one hand this is understandable, because we’re dealing with a military organization. For each country, it is important to hide from one another classified information.
On the other hand this stops the process of control and mutual decision-making. Civilian control over the military action was completely lost in many countries. Among these are the Baltic countries, Romania and Bulgaria. There, the systems were set up in a vertical principle which is applied by NATO (Wade Jacoby, p. 116).
Political, military structure and hierarchy
The public figures in NATO, its Secretary Generals, throughout its history have always been Europeans. This can be seen clearly in the graph on the left. This probably aims to give Europeans a sense that they dominate NATO. But this is totally wrong, considering the following fact: operational management, which led NATO military intervention, ie posts in the department with the name “Surpreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR)”, throughout history has been one American admiral.
SACEUR is part of the “SHAPE” (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe) and at the same time guided “USEUCOM” (US. European Command). USEUCOM is also a part of the Regional Command of the United States.
USEUCOM turns out to be the highest operational instance of the military structure of NATO. The latter is subordinant to the Pentagon, which divides the world into six zones of influence of the United States. Does China and Russia have military interests around the world?
NATO is firmly in American hands and is part of its geostrategic development plan. An important aspect to this statement gives us James J. Jones, who has been part of NATO. It is the supreme commander not only of NATO (SACEUR), but also USEUCOM. During the Obama administration he was appointed national security adviser. This position has always been occupied by great geostrategists such as Henry Kissinger (“World Order”) and Zbignev Bzhezhinski ( “The grand Chess board”: American Primacy).
Was Jones not part of the peace project of NATO? Why did he vouch for the Obama administration, which lead an illegal war with drones in Pakistan?
Another direction in the search for an answer to who commands NATO and the role of European countries in this process gives us President Richard Nixon. He said: “NATO is the only functioning international organization and that is because it is a military organization and because it is managed by the US.”
Norwegian political scientist, Janne Haaland states that European member states often oppose coordinated intervention of NATO and thus leave operational control to the United States (Haaland, p. 1-3). British politician Jolyon Howorth even titled his book “Defending Еurope”. There he wrote about the dangers the European countries face for not being able to defend their interests because of the hegemony of the US in NATO.
Is there a consensus in NATO or an air of division is apparent? Is the inclusion in the Alliance voluntary? Even more important is the following question: Does the country’s population openly support the inclusion of the country into NATO?
Back in 1955 in FRD (Federal Republic of Germany) there were strong protests. In 1983 over 1.3 million people took to the streets in open protest against NATO. In Poland, Germany and Britain there were held mass protests against NATO in 2016.
Located in Germany, Ramstein a US base guides military drones and three NATO member countries have a US nuclear weapon (Germany, Italy and Germany). In these cases there is no broad public support – quite the opposite – strong protest movements.
A true peace movement should strive for a world disarmament. This includes the dismantling of nuclear warheads. Don’t you agree with that? Instead, the missile march expands steadily to the east. Today it already covers Poland, and maybe tomorrow will be in Ukraine?
Help or buying?
The founding countries of NATO (1949), among them Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and the UK received a large amount of resources between 1948 (year of creation of NATO) and 1952 through the European Recovery Program (ERP (European Recovery Program) of “Marshall Plan”. These include raw materials, cash, groceries and equipment worth 130 billion dollars (then – 13 billion).
Surely this way the US is trying to restore balance to Russia’s influence, especially given the fact that at that moment in time in Italy and France, the communist parties are poised to gain power.
USA introduced mechanisms for its own benefit in order to open the European markets ( “EU Cooporation Act”), in favor of American corporations, as well as to counter communism. Moscow responded with the so-called “plan Molotov” and prohibited Soviet countries to accept aids from the US.
Did the Soviet Union believe this to be a donation of ideology and self-interest or there is some other reason, this proposal was not accepted? Marshall Plan is certainly a huge step towards cooperation and convergence between the US and Europe. This aid package, serves as the base of the emergence of NATO.
Secret armies of NATO
Paramilitary project of the Secret Intelligence Service and the CIA, representing a network called “Stay Behind” ( “Gladio” in Italy or “P26” in Switzerland) aims to influence under false flag (of terrorist nature), the political system of Western Europe. The setting of the political direction goes through the constant implying of fear (bombings on trains and community shopping centers in Italy). Other similar funds were support for right – wing coups (Greece and Turkey). Italian judge Felice Casson defines the case about the terrorist attack in 1972 at Petten (Peteano), Italy as false flag of the Italian secret services. According to him, it was created in collaboration with right-wing terrorists and received support from the network named “Gladio” (Ganser, p. 5).
Investigative Committee of 2000 concluded as follows: bloody attacks, bombs and military actions have been carried out and supported people from Italian government organizations and those who interact with the American secret services.
Wasn’t the end objective to pacify and secure Euro-Atlantic area? Didn’t NATO want to actually defeat terrorism?
The Secret document “SIFAR” from 1959 (top left) shows how Europe plans preventive measures against a possible Soviet invasion. That’s why there is a “secret anti-Communist army.” Here you can read this important historical document.
First Italian Prime Minister Gulio Andreoti denounced the existence of this secret army (Gladio). On 22/11/1990 the “Gladio” affair is discussed openly in the European Parliament (No. C 324/201). On these grounds there are parliamentary studies Gelgiya, Italy and Switzerland.
Covert military actions ?
American anthropologist David Price, ( “NSA Security Act 1949”; “NSC-68’s”; “Policy Planning Study 23) draws attention to the fact that the CIA and the Pentagon, utilize the following basic resources (among many others) during the Cold war: secret contract killings, kidnappings and cleaning of democratic movements. The general public ignores them because of “the militarization of anthropology.” The transformation of consciousness occurs through the funding of research and with the help of over a hundred NGOs and institutes. Is there anything new here?
At the end of the article I want to contribute with a slightly positive mood.
Here are some things that everyone can do:
Check the sources in this article for authenticity;
Once you reach your own conclusions, talk with friends and family on this exciting topic, share your experience. Tell people in your circle;
Join the demonstrations against war and meet new people there, which in turn will lead to new information. That way you will not feel alone with their knowledge of this negative information;
Accept newspaper articles and reports of wars in the media criticaly;
Participate in petitions and popular votes for an exit from NATO.
Author: Josef Muehlbauer
Translation: Hristo Stratiev, 06.04.2017
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.