NATO: Towards the Generalized Militarization of Europe

An article published in La Tribune des Travailleurs (France)

What should we learn from the NATO summit that took place in Madrid (Spain) from June 28 to 30? According to the official communiqués of this U.S.-led military alliance, founded in 1949, the Madrid summit marked a « strategic turning point. » What is that? 

NATO is now calling Russia « the most significant and direct threat to the security of the allies.” The military alliance adds, « We cannot rule out the possibility of an attack on the sovereignty or territorial integrity of the allies. » Not only does NATO not rule out the possibility of a direct confrontation, but in fact it is looking for one. For example, during the summit, bombings took place on the Russian city of Belgorod, 40 kilometers from the Ukrainian border, as a result of massive arms deliveries to Ukraine from NATO countries. Shortly before the summit, the Lithuanian government (a member of NATO and the European Union) declared a blockade of the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad (a Russian territory between Lithuania and Poland and a Russian naval base in the Baltic Sea). 

The Madrid summit, moreover, was an opportunity for the U.S. president to impose upon the Turkish president, who was opposed to it, NATO membership for Sweden and Finland. (Finland has 1,300 kilometers of land border with Russia). In « exchange » – it goes without saying – there was a commitment by the Swedish and Finnish governments to restrict the activities of Kurdish militants who have taken refuge in their countries. 

But it is not only Russia that is being targeted. Following on footsteps of the G7 summit, which brought together the heads of state of the seven most powerful imperialist countries (and the European Union) a few days earlier, the NATO summit clearly targeted China as a « security challenge.” The NATO summit also contemplated intervention in the Sahel, where French imperialism is in great difficulty. China, the Sahel and yesterday Afghanistan … all far from the North Atlantic, which is supposed to be NATO’s zone of intervention. 

The NATO summit was the occasion for decisions leading to the generalized remilitarization of Europe. 300,000 soldiers of all nationalities were placed on alert in the east of the continent and Biden announced – without putting a figure on it – that he would increase the number of U.S. soldiers present on the continent (there are already more than 100,000). « For our part, the United States is doing exactly what I said we would do if Putin invaded: enhance our force posture in Europe. We’ll station more ships in here, in Spain. We’re stationing more air defense in Italy and Germany; more F35s in the United Kingdom; and, to strengthen our eastern flank, new permanent headquarters for the Army Fifth Corps in Poland, » said Biden. 

All this comes at a cost. Biden announced an additional $800 million in military aid to Ukraine (translate: $800 million taken from the pockets of U.S. taxpayers and given to U.S. multinational arms companies). Biden’s staunchest ally, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, added: « The 2 percent [i.e., Trump’s original goal that NATO member countries increase their military spending to 2 percent of their gross domestic product ed. Note] was always meant to be a floor, not a ceiling, and allies must continue to step up in this time of crisis. » 

These additional tens of billions of dollars and euros, which will fatten the arms dealers and fuel the next world war, will have to be taken from somewhere… and everyone knows where: from the budgets of public services, schools, hospitals, roads, civil servants’ wages, etc. 

It should be noted that this policy dictated by Biden to his NATO « allies » has met with no resistance, especially from governments in which « socialist » parties are in power (Germany, Belgium, Portugal) or coalitions of « socialist », « communist » and « radical left » parties (the Spanish State). Building on the broad pro-NATO consensus in the European Parliament, they all backed the summit decisions. A summit of preparation for a new World War. 

Biden, representative of the U.S. oligarchs, could well pay tribute to Putin at the end of the summit. Thanks to the military intervention in Ukraine by the representative of the Russian oligarchs, Biden congratulated himself: NATO is « more united than ever »… behind the interests of Wall Street.

Jean Alain