Why we oppose NATO: links and references

Background

To understand why we oppose NATO, it is helpful to understand the driving forces behind the foreign policy of the U.S. and its close allies, of which NATO is a key part. In our view, the laundry list of violent U.S. interventions overseas, not to mention what top-level planners actually say in internal documents, shows that the main aim of this policy has nothing to do with humanitarianism, or protecting people from totalitarian regimes or terrorism.  It is to create a world safe for big businesses to exploit, and to protect the privileges of elites in the most powerful countries.

NATO humanitarianism in Kosovo?

Kosovo is often bought up as the best evidence of NATO humanitarianism.  We say that this is yet another example of NATO acting to enable its further expansion and to make the world safe for big business. In our view, the documentary evidence conclusively shows that NATO bombing not only did not prevent, but actually precipitated, large-scale ethnic cleansing, while directly causing hundreds of deaths in Serbia through the bombing campaign.  This is only one more reason to oppose the military alliance. A very brief selection from Mark Curtis’ meticulously referenced arguments can be found elsewhere on our site.  Chomsky puts forward more evidence on Kosovo, and more detailed references to sources can be found in his book.

 Afghanistan

NATO has been carrying out a bloody and unnecessary war in Afghanistan for the last 13 years.  Hundreds of thousands have died as a direct result, and many more have been displaced or had their livelihoods destroyed. Original NATO interests in Afghanistan included the building of gas pipelines, and strengthening of Western power in the region.

Opposition to Putin?

The new excuse for the existence of NATO is that it stands as a bulwark against Putin.  But when it suited them, NATO leaders were not above cozying up to Putin both in words and deeds, even during the period of his worst crimes in Chechnya. It’s a similar story with many other dictators and war criminals around the world.  The opposition of NATO is not to Putin himself, but to any policies that threaten the interests of Western elites.  The facts on this issue are summarised elsewhere on this site, and confirmed in some of the books listed above.

A “new Cold War”?

Right now, the US and NATO are pushing for more control in Eastern Europe, sparking potentially disastrous conflicts that are already claiming lives in the Ukraine.  The NATO powers were involved in the overthrow of the Ukraine government, and now their plotting for expansion up to the borders of Russia has resulted in war in the East and South of the Country, with bombing of major cities, and thousands of civilians already dead.

Africa in the crosshairs

Africa has long been a blood-soaked battleground for the “great powers,” and now the stakes are rising again as NATO rushes to secure resources (like the oil fields on the Ethiopian/Somali border) and other economic advantages (including arms sales) against its enemies.  NATO airlifted  1,700 Ugandan troops into the Somali capital as part of the recent conflict there.  Now NATO is strengthening ties with the African Union, in part to increase its ability to apply African troops as proxy forces.  For example, a force trained by U.S. Africa Command and NATO recently fought on the side favoured by the US in the Ivory Coast.

In the corporate media, the debate on Africa is about whether it is wise of rich nations to be so generous with aid.  But while Africa receives $30 billion in aid per year, mostly from taxpayer’s money, $192 billion is pumped back out in forms such as private corporate profits.  Western corporations, and their friends in government, want to make sure the wealth flows into their pockets and not to the Russians or Chinese — let alone the Africans!

Corporate and State Media distortions

Can we expect the media to tell the truth about the corporations when they are corporations?  Media outlets face distorting pressures from owners, advertisers, information sources such as the government, political flak campaigns and so on.  With these pressures at work, it doesn’t take a conspiracy to effectively limit political discussion to within narrow boundaries.  Many detailed case-studies and other evidence back up this view, which has never received a truly convincing reply from opponents.   This is another reason why there is no substitute for carefully thinking over the facts and arguments for ourselves.

 

“If NATO had been developed to defend the West against the USSR, it would have been dissolved when the USSR collapsed. If, on the other hand, the goal was to extend the dominance of the US and its allies and clients, it would not only remain but would expand its membership and range of actions — exactly as has happened.” — Chomsky