NATO Expansionism in Europe

"NATO enlargement in recent decades has been a great success and has also paved the way for a further enlargement of the EU": NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg reiterated this last Saturday at the Munich Security Conference. To fully understand his words, it is necessary to reconstruct this story of "great success" in essential terms.

It began in the same year - 1999 - in which NATO demolished Yugoslavia with the war and, at the Washington summit, announced its intention to "conduct crisis response operations not provided for in Article 5 outside the territory of 'Alliance". Forgetting that it had pledged with Russia not to "expand even an inch to the East", NATO began its expansion to the East. It incorporated the first three countries of the former Warsaw Pact: Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary. Then, in 2004 it extended to other seven nations: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania (formerly part of the USSR); Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia (formerly part of the Warsaw Pact); Slovenia (formerly part of the Yugoslav Federation). In 2009, NATO incorporated Albania (once a member of the Warsaw Pact) and Croatia (formerly part of the Yugoslav Federation); in 2017, Montenegro (formerly part of Yugoslavia); in 2020 North Macedonia (formerly part of Yugoslavia) In twenty years, NATO has expanded from 16 to 30 countries.

In this way, Washington achieves a threefold result. It extends close to Russia, right into the territory of the former USSR, the military Alliance of which it maintains the command levers: the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe is by tradition, always a US general appointed by the President of the United States and the other key commands also belong to the USA. At the same time, Washington binds the Eastern countries not so much to the Alliance, but directly to the United States. Romania and Bulgaria, as soon as it enters, immediately make the important military bases of Constanta and Burgas on the Black Sea available to the United States. The third result obtained by Washington with the expansion of NATO to the East is the strengthening of its influence in Europe. Central-Eastern European countries that joined NATO between 1999 and 2004, seven out of ten joined the European Union between 2004 and 2007: the EU expands to the East and the United States overlapped NATO that expands to the East over Europe. Today 21 of the 27 countries of the European Union belong to NATO under US command. According to NATO rules the North Atlantic Council, the Alliance political body, decides not by the majority but always "unanimously and by mutual agreement", which is in agreement with what was decided in Washington. The participation of the major European powers in these decisions (excluding Italy, which obeys in silence) generally takes place through secret negotiations with Washington on giving and take. This entails a further weakening of the European parliaments, in particular the Italian one, already deprived of real decision-making powers on foreign and military policy.

In this context, Europe today finds itself in an even more dangerous situation than that of the Cold War. Three other countries - Bosnia and Herzegovina (formerly part of Yugoslavia), Georgia, and Ukraine (formerly part of the USSR) - are candidates to join NATO. Jens Stoltenberg, spokesman for the US before NATO, declares that "we keep the door open and, if the Kremlin's goal is to have less NATO on the borders of Russia, it will only get more NATO". In the US-NATO escalation, clearly aimed at detonating a full-scale war in the heart of Europe, nuclear weapons come into the game. In three months, the serial production of the new B61-12 nuclear bombs will begin in the US, which will be deployed under US command in Italy and other European countries, probably also in the East even closer to Russia. In addition to these weapons, the US has in Europe two land bases in Romania and Poland and four warships equipped with Aegis missile systems, capable of launching not only anti-missile missiles but also nuclear-warhead cruise missiles. They are also preparing intermediate-range nuclear missiles to be deployed in Europe against Russia, the invented enemy that can however respond destructively if they attack.

To all this, the economic and social impact of growing military spending is added. At the meeting of Defense Ministers, Stoltenberg triumphantly announced that "this is the seventh consecutive year of increasing European Allied defense spending, which has increased by $ 270 billion since 2014". More public money is stolen from social spending and productive investment, while European countries have yet to recover from the 2020-21 economic lockdown. Italian military spending has exceeded 70 million euros per day, but it is not enough. Prime Minister Mario Draghi has already announced "We must equip ourselves with a more significant defense: it is very clear that we will have to spend much more than we have done so far". Very clear: let's tighten our belts so that NATO can expand.

Written by Manlio Dinucci

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