Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Support Our Annual Fund Drive! We only shake you down once a year, but when we do we really mean it. It costs a lot to keep the site afloat, and our growing audience, well over TWO million unique viewers a month, eats up a lot of bandwidth — and bandwidth isn’t free. We aren’t supported by corporate donors, advertisers or big foundations. We survive solely on your support.
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

NATO: the Expendables

by

Poor NATO. Damned Soviets. The benign North Atlantic Treaty Organization has spent two decades “trying to build a partnership” with Russia. But now, “clearly the Russians have declared NATO as an adversary, so we have to begin to view Russia no longer as a partner but as more of an adversary”, according to NATO deputy secretary-general Alexander Vershbow, a former US diplomat/ Pentagon employee.

The hot lava irony of a Pentagon hack carping about ”Russia clearly trying to re-impose hegemony” is enough to put the Vesuvius to shame. But that’s only a minor plot twist in NATO The Expandables (the movie).

NATO – still in the process of being epically humiliated on a daily basis by a bunch of Pashtuns with Kalashnikovs in Afghanistan – is now considering “new defensive measures” to deter ”evil” Russia from “aggression” against NATO members, mostly the Baltic states. And that will mean deployment of “more substantial numbers of allied combat forces to Eastern Europe” – mostly Poland. Permanently. Or, in Pentagonese, “semi-permanent unit training rotations”. As if any doubt remained that Cold War 2.0 is here to stay.

NATO will “debate” the issue – in its usual muddy waters fashion – over the summer, and the result will be announced at a meeting in Wales in September, presided by Emperor Barack Obama himself.

Any analyst not embedded in the Pentagonese matrix knows that key European Union powers Germany and France – which have solid economic and business ties to Russia – will never buy this new spin for Cold War 2.0. As for other sizable NATO members, they are simply broke, and/or have better (economic) fish to fry at home.

Informed opinion also knows that were Cold War 2.0 to progress, payback will be handsome – as in, just for starters, Russia simply killing the Northern Distribution Network, which allows NATO’s escape route from its sterling performance in Afghanistan.

Vlad the Contemplator

Nonetheless, NATO spin remains relentless; there’s ”no sign of Russian troops withdrawing from the Ukraine border; the US is sending “non-lethal” military aid to Ukraine (as in what? Baseball bats?); US ground forces are being sent to Poland. And all this to fight “separatists” and “pro-Russian” militants in Eastern Ukraine.

Rubbish. These people need to study geography, not to mention NATO’s own charter. Ukraine is not even part of NATO, to start with. And the majority of Eastern Ukrainians don’t want to annex themselves to the Russian Federation. What they want is strong autonomous provinces, free from Kiev meddling, in a cadre of a federal, Finlandized Ukraine. All one needs is to ask those Ukrainians who are now controlling 23 cities – and counting – in the Donbass, which accounts for over a third of Ukraine’s GDP.

Meanwhile, adults are talking, unlike the Obama administration’s proponents of the juvenile delinquent school of diplomacy. Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were on the phone on Workers Day. Putin once again stressed Kiev should halt its repeated “anti-terrorist” offensives, and launch an inclusive national dialogue. That does not seem likely.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu also felt compelled to remind Pentagon head Chuck Hagel that Russia will not ”invade” anything, unless Kiev uses their military against unarmed civilians – which is exactly what the latest Kiev provocation in Slavyansk is all about.

US Think Tankland is frantically downgrading NATO hysteria about ”aggressive Russia” as a “measured response”. That fools only the hopelessly misinformed. After creating a failed state in Libya and the Afghanistan fiasco, global Robocop NATO, in its quest for ”purpose” and meaning, cannot stop from fabricating an enemy.

Some gloss is offered via what is described as shifting the ”strategic focal point” – from Afghanistan? – to the Baltics plus Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic. The Pentagon as well as Vice-President Joe Biden has promised to “increase training” with “eastern NATO partners”.

Putin, meanwhile, is just applying Sun Tzu. He might as well be calmly cross-legged contemplating the waters of the Volga. So far away from that nonsense about Moscow “aggressively” invading the   Baltic states. By the way, it could be done in a heartbeat; and NATO would never see it coming. But Moscow does not want, or need, any such escalation.

The bottom line: global Robocop NATO can only survive if it faces a mortal threat. So what better platform to ”harmonize” NATO than a ”hostile” Russia? Either that, or keep licking those Pashtun-inflicted wounds in the Hindu Kush.

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009). He may be reached at pepeasia@yahoo.com

This essay originally appeared on Asia Times.

 

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).  His latest book is Empire of ChaosHe may be reached at pepeasia@yahoo.com.

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

September 28, 2016
Eric Draitser
Stop Trump! Stop Clinton!! Stop the Madness (and Let Me Get Off)!
Ted Rall
The Thrilla at Hofstra: How Trump Won the Debate
Robert Fisk
Cliché and Banality at the Debates: Trump and Clinton on the Middle East
Patrick Cockburn
Cracks in the Kingdom: Saudi Arabia Rocked by Financial Strains
Lowell Flanders
Donald Trump, Islamophobia and Immigrants
Shane Burley
Defining the Alt Right and the New American Fascism
Jan Oberg
Ukraine as the Border of NATO Expansion
Ramzy Baroud
Ban Ki-Moon’s Legacy in Palestine: Failure in Words and Deeds
David Swanson
How We Could End the Permanent War State
Sam Husseini
Debate Night’s Biggest Lie Was Told by Lester Holt
Laura Carlsen
Ayotzinapa’s Message to the World: Organize!
Binoy Kampmark
The Triumph of Momentum: Re-Electing Jeremy Corbyn
David Macaray
When the Saints Go Marching In
Seth Oelbaum
All Black Lives Will Never Matter for Clinton and Trump
Adam Parsons
Standing in Solidarity for a Humanity Without Borders
Cesar Chelala
The Trump Bubble
September 27, 2016
Louisa Willcox
The Tribal Fight for Nature: From the Grizzly to the Black Snake of the Dakota Pipeline
Paul Street
The Roots are in the System: Charlotte and Beyond
Jeffrey St. Clair
Idiot Winds at Hofstra: Notes on the Not-So-Great Debate
Mark Harris
Clinton, Trump, and the Death of Idealism
Mike Whitney
Putin Ups the Ante: Ceasefire Sabotage Triggers Major Offensive in Aleppo
Anthony DiMaggio
The Debates as Democratic Façade: Voter “Rationality” in American Elections
Binoy Kampmark
Punishing the Punished: the Torments of Chelsea Manning
Paul Buhle
Why “Snowden” is Important (or How Kafka Foresaw the Juggernaut State)
Jack Rasmus
Hillary’s Ghosts
Brian Cloughley
Billions Down the Afghan Drain
Lawrence Davidson
True Believers and the U.S. Election
Matt Peppe
Taking a Knee: Resisting Enforced Patriotism
James McEnteer
Eugene, Oregon and the Rising Cost of Cool
Norman Pollack
The Great Debate: Proto-Fascism vs. the Real Thing
Michael Winship
The Tracks of John Boehner’s Tears
John Steppling
Fear Level Trump
Lawrence Wittner
Where Is That Wasteful Government Spending?
James Russell
Beyond Debate: Interview Styles of the Rich and Famous
September 26, 2016
Diana Johnstone
The Hillary Clinton Presidency has Already Begun as Lame Ducks Promote Her War
Gary Leupp
Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Against Russia
Dave Lindorff
Parking While Black: When Police Shoot as First Resort
Robert Crawford
The Political Rhetoric of Perpetual War
Howard Lisnoff
The Case of One Homeless Person
Michael Howard
The New York Times Endorses Hillary, Scorns the World
Russell Mokhiber
Wells Fargo and the Library of Congress’ National Book Festival
Chad Nelson
The Crime of Going Vegan: the Latest Attack on Angela Davis
Colin Todhunter
A System of Food Production for Human Need, Not Corporate Greed
Brian Cloughley
The United States Wants to Put Russia in a Corner
Guillermo R. Gil
The Clevenger Effect: Exposing Racism in Pro Sports
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail
[i]
[i]
[i]
[i]