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Will NATO’s expansion bubble burst?
Published Sep 24, 2008 8:32 PM
Part II: U.S. more dependent on military solutions
Washington increasingly looks to threats of sanctions and/or military attack to
resolve its every problem and challenge. But the Bush administration finds it
more difficult to line up its imperialist allies for each new aggression. Even
some U.S. puppet and client states now try to distance themselves from U.S.
Every major capitalist country competing with the U.S. looks first to its own
economic interests. Their calculations are that the U.S. has lost its
competitive economic edge; its financial institutions are in crisis, weakening
the entire capitalist system. The overcommitted U.S. military machine is bogged
down in disastrous occupations, facing long-term resistance movements.
As Dick Cheney visited Georgia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine in early September,
President George W. Bush announced $1 billion in new aid to Georgia, describing
it as a multi-year commitment. The U.S.-controlled International Monetary Fund
will open access to another $750 million in immediate aid to Georgia. Billions
more in military aid are projected.
Simultaneous with NATO’s aggressive stance in the Black Sea is expansion
of U.S./NATO military raids and bombings in U.S.-ally Pakistan. This affront to
Pakistan’s sovereignty has already enflamed anti-U.S. and anti-NATO
sentiment. In a Sept. 16 statement, Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani
called for an immediate halt to U.S. incursions, adding that “the
sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country would be safeguarded at
NATO’s bombing of a village in Afghanistan killing more than
90—primarily Afghan children and civilians—has forced even the
puppet Afghan regime to denounce the attack.
U.S. occupation forces in Iraq are still unable, after more than five years, to
secure their bases or provide even the most basic services of potable water and
electricity to a population that has overwhelmingly refused occupation.
In the midst of all this, the U.S. threats and leaks about a possible military
attack on Iran continue almost unabated. Half the U.S. Navy is in striking
distance of Iran.
At the same time, the U.S. has pushed ahead with a wild escalation: the plan to
base anti-ballistic missiles in Poland and radar sites in the Czech Republic in
the face of overwhelming popular opposition there.
Collapse of a U.S. puppet
The dangerous escalation of NATO ships in the Black Sea, the further expansion
of NATO membership, the attempt to line up the other Western imperialist
members of NATO to impose sanctions on Russia, Cheney’s heavy-handed
visit and the dramatic increase in aid to Georgia are all desperate U.S.
imperialist efforts to reinforce its position. But these measures can’t
reverse the U.S.’s big setback in its Georgian client state.
The Georgian army had received five years of U.S. and Israeli military training
and millions of dollars of high-tech equipment, along with U.S. political
support and encouragement to join NATO. Thousands of U.S. corporate-funded
nongovernmental organizations ran most of the state apparatus, keeping Georgia
firmly in the U.S. orbit.
Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili then initiated a devastating attack on
the tiny autonomous region of South Ossetia on Aug. 7, bombing its capital,
Tskhinvali, and the surrounding area and killing many South Ossetians.
Within a day of a Russian counterattack, the Georgian military collapsed in
utter chaos. Officers abandoned their posts, hijacked ambulances and fled back
to the capital of Tbilisi. Units could not communicate. Rank-and-file soldiers
then dumped tons of new U.S. weapons on the roadways and also fled.
A Sept. 3 New York Times article put it all on technology:
“Georgia’s military shortfalls were serious and too difficult to
change merely by upgrading equipment.” The article, however, went on to
say that “training and equipping new brigades, re-equipping existing
forces and installing a modern air-defense network could cost $8 billion to $9
billion,” and that this was under discussion.
Only U.S. solution is more war
The U.S. corporate ruling class is relying more and more on war to salvage its
position. This is reflected in both Republican and Democratic support for U.S.
aid to Georgia, along with continuing support for a further expansion of NATO,
troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and U.S. bases around the world.
Even though the U.S. is suffering political, economic and military setbacks,
the contradiction that leads invariably to an increased threat of war is that
militarism is an endless subsidy for the dominant U.S. corporations—the
military corporations of Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, McDonnell Douglas and
GE—along with thousands of contractors and subcontractors. The war in the
Caucasus was “a bell-ringer for defense stocks.” (Wall Street
The excuses for new wars and new arms shipments are mother’s milk to
these merchants of death.
The U.S. military budget is already larger than that of the rest of the world
combined, and it is growing. U.S. imperialism today has no solutions to the
crises emerging around the globe except militarism, war and the threat of war.
This makes the entire capitalist system more dangerous and more desperate.
It is essential that the working-class movement and progressive and anti-war
activists oppose not just the individual wars of U.S. imperialism. Opposing all
U.S. wars and calling for the abolition of NATO is now on the agenda.
< a href="http://www.workers.org/2008/world/nato_0925/">Will NATO’s expansion bubble burst? Part 2
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