At Russia’s border, NATO mobilizes 30,000 troops

U.S. soldiers take part in military exercises outside the town of Yavoriv near Lviv, Sept. 19, 2014.

U.S. soldiers take part in military exercises outside the town of Yavoriv near Lviv, Sept. 19, 2014.

For NATO’s defense ministers meeting in Brussels yesterday, it was “a very busy day.” After the bilateral meeting, in which U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel sent instructions to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the Nuclear Planning Group met. (Italy participates in this group, violating the Non-Proliferation Treaty.) What they decided is unknown, since they issued no press statements. But, since Washington has reiterated that “NATO will remain a nuclear alliance,” it can be deduced that they decided to accelerate the ‘’modernization” of U.S. nuclear forces deployed in Europe (including Italy) and the strengthening of the French and British forces.

Then the NATO-Georgia Commission met and gave its appreciation for Georgia’s contribution to operations in Afghanistan and the “NATO Response Force” (encouragement for the now certain admission of Georgia into the Alliance).

After this constructive beginning, the North Atlantic Council met with the participation of 28 defense ministers, announcing that NATO has decided to strengthen its military forces to conduct “the full range of missions” and “meet the challenges that come from any direction.” Particularly, it referenced Ukraine, where “violence is growing” because “Russia continues to violate international standards, supporting the separatists,” and because ‘’violent extremism” is spreading in North Africa and the Middle East.” For this purpose the “NATO Response Force” will be strengthened, raising its size from 13,000 to 30,000 troops and establishing command and control units in six countries of Eastern Europe. At the same time a “strike force” will form, consisting of 5,000 troops, deployable in a few days.

NATO (and with it Italy) is therefore at war on two fronts, eastern and southern. How did we get to this situation? After the Cold War ended, the U.S. began using NATO to maintain its leadership of Western Europe and at the same time conquer Eastern Europe. It demolished Yugoslavia with a war, then extended NATO eastward, encompassing all the countries of the former Warsaw Pact, two of the former Yugoslav republics and three republics of the former USSR. When they enter NATO, the Eastern European countries come to depend more on Washington than Bruxelles [e.g., the European Union].

But something is jamming up the U.S. plan for conquest: Russia adapts to the crisis and tightens growing economic relations with the EU by providing the bulk of Western Europe’s natural gas needs and opens up new business opportunities with China. This endangers U.S. strategic interests. It is at this point that the crisis breaks out in Ukraine: after using years of preparation to take control of key positions in the military and training the neo-Nazi groups, NATO promotes the Kiev putsch. Thus, it forces Moscow to move in defense of the Russian-speakers in Ukraine, exposing Russia to the sanctions of the U.S. and the EU. And the Russian counter sanctions, damaging especially the EU, facilitate the plan of the transatlantic partnership for trade and investment through which Washington seeks to increase U.S. influence in the EU.

At the same time, U.S.-led NATO extends its strategy to North Africa and the Middle East. The demolition of Libya with the war, the same operation launched in Syria, the revival of the war in Iraq, the use of double-edged Islamic formations (supported to bring down governments that NATO targeted, and then used as a pretext target to justify other armed interventions) all part of the U.S./NATO strategy.

The author is an Italy-based military strategist. This article was published in Il Manifesto, Feb. 6.

Translated by Workers World managing editor John Catalinotto.