Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 19, 2021

More Brain Death At NATO

Two years ago France President Macron diagnosed NATO's 'brain death':

"What we are currently experiencing is the brain death of Nato," Mr Macron told the London-based newspaper.

He warned European members that they could no longer rely on the US to defend the alliance, established at the start of the Cold War to bolster Western European and North American security.

Since then NATO's condition has further deteriorated.

The second biggest army under NATO command, Turkey's, is now hostile to the U.S. which continues to support PKK terrorists who are fighting against the Turkish state. Since the 2016 coup attempt against President Erdogan Turkey had leaned towards Russia. It has bought Russian air defense systems which enables it to defend itself against NATO attacks. The relations with the U.S. and with NATO have since further declined.

Macron's diagnose came when the U.S. pulled some forces out of Syria. The NATO allies had not been informed about the move. This year's U.S. retreat from Afghanistan was likewise not communicated before its announcement even as NATO had an official mission in Afghanistan. Getting ignored by the U.S. does not create the trust needed for an enduring military partnership.

Then came the new AUKUS alliance which put the U.S. focus on China while screwing France out of a huge submarine contract with Australia.

When U.S. President Biden called Macron to apologize for the insult Macron gained a statement of U.S. support for an independent European army:

The United States also recognizes the importance of a stronger and more capable European defense, that contributes positively to transatlantic and global security and is complementary to NATO.

The folks at NATO's headquarter in Brussels will have read that with deep fears. A separate European Union army, which France has long promoted, will inevitably diminish NATO's role.

NATO's original mission, to keep the U.S. in Europe, to keep Russia out of Europe and to hold Germany down, has withered away. The U.S. is concentrating on China and will do so for the foreseeable future. Russia is no longer interested in Europe. Germany is militarily irrelevant, has an aging population and no interest in any expansion.

With Russia having no interest in Europe NATO also lost its favored enemy. While the Baltic states, Poland and the United Kingdom are still hyping Russia as an enemy - mostly for domestic reasons - no one in Italy, France or Germany believes that Russia has plans to attack anyone.

The NATO bureaucrats know all this. To stay in business they continue to lash out at Russia. Most recently by sending some Russian diplomats at NATO's headquarter back home without any sane reason. Russia wasn't impressed by the move. It has resolved to from now on ignore NATO:

Russia plans to cease its diplomatic engagement with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Russian foreign minister said on Monday, in the latest sign of unraveling relations between Moscow and the West.
...
By early next month, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, Russia will halt the activities of its representative office at NATO headquarters in Brussels and withdraw diplomatic credentials from emissaries of the alliance working in Moscow.
...
Earlier this month, NATO ordered eight Russian diplomats to leave Belgium by Nov. 1, saying they were undeclared intelligence officers. The alliance also reduced the size of the Russian representative office.
...
Relations with the alliance had in any case long ago gone off the rails, he said. NATO had already twice reduced the size of the Russian delegation, in 2015 and 2018, he said. “On the military level there are absolutely no contacts taking place,” he said.

He said NATO had set up a “prohibitive regime” for Russian diplomats in Brussels by banning them from its headquarters building. Without visiting the building, he said, they could not maintain ties with alliance officials.

Mr. Lavrov suggested the expulsions of Russian diplomats had come as an unwelcome surprise, as he had met in New York just days earlier with the alliance’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, and discussed de-escalating tensions.

“He in every way underscored the honest, as he said, interest in the North Atlantic alliance in normalizing relations with the Russian Federation,” Mr. Lavrov said.

Since his surprise move against Russian diplomats NATO's secretary general has visited the U.S. where he received new marching orders. He announced these in an interview (paywalled) with the Financial Times. Alex Lantier takes it apart:

Speaking yesterday to the Financial Times of London, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg demanded that the military alliance intensify its threats against China. His remarks highlighted both the extremely aggressive policy pursued by the NATO alliance and explosive divisions emerging among the NATO imperialist powers.
...
Stoltenberg was returning from a meeting with Biden in Washington, where he also spoke at Georgetown University, provocatively demanding that NATO “step up and do more” to allow countries on Russia’s borders to join the NATO alliance. His Financial Times interview was a barely disguised message from the White House calling for the EU powers to fall in line with the mounting US war drive targeting China.

NATO, Stoltenberg insisted, should target not only Russia but China as well. He criticized “this whole idea of in a way distinguishing so much between China, Russia, either Asia-Pacific or Europe,” adding, “it’s one big security environment, and we have to address it all together. … It’s about strengthening our alliance to face any potential threat.”

He denounced China, claiming it was a major security threat in Europe.

Good luck with selling that to European taxpayers. China is by no means a security threat to Europe. Certainly none which a military alliance bound to the North Atlantic's geography has to or can confront. China has good relations with most European countries, is trading with all of them and is Germany's largest customer.

NATO was created when it was in the common interests of its members to counter the Soviet Union.

With regards to China U.S. and European interests diverge strongly. What the U.S. sees as a serious competitor to its outsized role in the world is seen in Europe as a non aggressive partner that creates new economic opportunities.

During next years NATO summit in Madrid the U.S. will want to put China firmly on NATO's agenda. But I highly doubt that the European NATO countries will commit to anything but mealy mouthed statements. They will certainly not cough up money to create new NATO capabilities that could actually be used against China.

NATO is dead. It has outlived its purpose and utility.

To keep peace in Europe the creation of a new military cooperation framework in parallel to the European Union makes much more sense. It should not be the aggressive imperial force France envisions to defend its interest in Africa. To keep peace within Europe a defensive cooperation, operationally limited to its members' European geography, makes the most sense. The incoming new German government could take the initiative to create it.

Posted by b on October 19, 2021 at 17:31 UTC | Permalink

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Are the Russians really that naive????? For decades, they have met the duplicity of the Western world, were lied to in their faces, cheated and humiliated in various ways. Or are they masochists??? Of course the Western world will look them in the face and lie. WTF, Lavrov??? Wise up, you sound like ma naive child. Stoltenberg is laughing at you behind your back.

Posted by: hoyeru | Oct 19 2021 17:44 utc | 1

"I highly doubt that the European NATO countries will commit to anything but mealy mouthed statements. They will certainly not cough up money to create new NATO capabilities that could actually be used against China."

Actually, European NATO members have all necessary capabilities already and they participate in NATO missions. Basically, naval vessels sail back and forth, spending some time in South China Sea, keeping collisions with commercial vessels to minimum. What else can they do? Perhaps EU should make it official that fuel burned outside EU water by the navy does not count within ambitious climate goals.

Alternatively, they could develop spanking new military vessel with wind propulsion. Many interesting designs exist https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rOzwIlwQPk

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 19 2021 17:53 utc | 2

Continuing: a revolutionary idea would be to deploy wind-propelled submarines: it is totally possible to attack SkySail to an underwater boat! By saving on electricity usually used for underwater navigation (by non-nuclear boats), they could stay under water much longer. Add a dash of stealth technology to hide the sail....

BTW, Australia has a huge sailing tradition, so it could be a common project. Military applications are particularly well suited to the navy, because when wind fails, sailors could do some fishing etc., it is not like they are urgently needed anywhere.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 19 2021 18:01 utc | 3

There is another, infrequently discussed and known, purpose of NATO: to protect against what US Senator Vandenberg and Canadian PM Pearson called "internal subversion," essentially socialist transformation in Europe. So, NATO was always an alliance of capitalist classes to maintain the capitalist system from both Soviet expansion (however unlikely that was), and domestic revolutions in Western Europe.

Posted by: Prof | Oct 19 2021 18:01 utc | 4

part 2
Did the Russians really forgot how NATO lied to Gorbachev 30 years ago, promising (without singing any documents, the Russians are SO smart, NOT!) not to advance, then swallowing all the former countries right up to Russia;s border. man, are Russians dumb! think the NATO generals.

I can even tell you what happens next. USA will kick out a significant number of Russian diplomats, making it impossible for American businessman to get a visa for Russia, thus rendering business ties between RUssia and US impossible.
This is all the continuation of "contain and isolate Russia" doctrine, and I bet the Russians KNOW and understand that very well, but all the can do is flop around and feebly complain, generating laughter and contempt from NATO< USA< and the West.

Posted by: Hoyeru | Oct 19 2021 18:02 utc | 5

As Lavrov said recently, Russia can't do much about geography. It is part of Europe, like it or not.

These calculated childish contradictory actions by the US puppy dog are part of the laughable 'maximum pressure' technique - the only bargaining tool the US knows.

The aim is to write a new Russia US (NATO) agreement that will increase tensions in Europe so that Europe will keep shooting itself in the foot, while US business profits.

Vienna is dead, NATO a tool for US business expansion at Europe's expense.

Posted by: Powerandpeople | Oct 19 2021 18:03 utc | 6

China is by no means a security threat to Europe.... They will certainly not cough up money to create new NATO capabilities that could actually be used against China.

I dunno. US/NATO has seemed to be mostly successful at scaremongering.

What b writes at the end of his previous post (New Chinese Wonder Weapon ...) rings true:

It might of course be that whoever briefed the officials who talked to the Financial Times has exaggerated the Chinese intent and its capabilities.

Such talks of 'missile gaps' and of purported super weapons an adversary allegedly has is useful when one wants Congress to cough up more money for weapons development.


But instead of just US Congress as the target, it is likely that US Congress and Europe are BOTH targets of the military shakedown.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 19 2021 18:07 utc | 7

@4 prof
Yes, that's a big part of it. The US centered alignment can also be seen, from the point of view of some countries like Poland, as counterweight to the more Franco-German center of gravity of the EU.

Posted by: ptb | Oct 19 2021 18:15 utc | 8

The globalists' plans are being pulled apart at the seams. The COVID narrative is failing in the US.
An EU army will probably be used as the Davos crowd's internal security service.

If the EU isn't with the US, it's against it, per the US's deranged calculations. I wonder if the UK's aristos knew when they fomented Brexit that they were signing up to be the US aircraft carrier off the coast of enemy EU.

Posted by: NoOneYouKnow | Oct 19 2021 18:16 utc | 9

NATO as a serious military alliance has been dead for quite a long time. Any alliance that encourages the incorporation of such stalwart allies as the Baltics, Poland, etc. is demonstrating an epic lack of seriousness and begging to be put our of its misery.

But NATO as a business office ... whole different story. The alliance is a still useful foil for some unnecessary many billions $ of military/security spending by all and some very cushy duty stations in Europe for favored general officers. Who'd want to end that?

Posted by: Caliman | Oct 19 2021 18:21 utc | 10

Thanks b. "A new military cooperation framework" for Europe's defense is on the mark. NATO with the US running the show, will only further damage trade relations with China, Russia, and the other countries of the Eurasian Integration.

Posted by: Michael Crockett | Oct 19 2021 18:24 utc | 11

I agree that NATO is dying (at least NATO as we know it). I don't agree that NATO's death would herald an European renaissance, though (as the author of this blog thinks).

There are no signs Europe is in any better shape economically than, e.g. before 2008. The EU has just come from a devastating and humiliating territorial loss (Brexit), and is facing revolt in its Eastern provinces (the "populist Right"). It barely escaped financial meltdown in 2011-2014 - and it only managed to do so because Greece was literally sacrificed. It is losing geopolitical importance in favor of the Eurasian concept.

In this light, we should ponder how this hypothetical European Army would take shape. First, it would certainly be a poorer and weaker version of NATO, since the EU has less material resources than the USA. Secondly, there's the problem of which would be its overall, uniting strategy: as the author of this blog correctly states, France would like to use it as essentially a cheaper tool to protect its neocolonial adventures in Africa; Spain would like to use for the same ends to protect its interests in non-Brazilian Latin America (specially, but not only, Venezuela, where a direct conflict with the USA would take place); the Eastern Provinces (mainly Poland and the Baltic Republics, but also Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic and the Balkan members) would like to continue to use it as a tool against Russia. Thirdly, there's the simple, objective fact that American influence over Europe would not vanish with the end of NATO: the USA has real power over Europe, it's not just some figment of our imagination; Germany would still be pressured (and would still find huge pro-Western support among the masses) to follow American adventures in East Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East.

I don't think the EU has any long-term plans at all. They're betting capitalism will somehow recover, that the USA will somehow manage to restore "Western Civilization" and that everything will go back to the 90s, when the American Empire was at its apex.

Posted by: vk | Oct 19 2021 18:25 utc | 12

I will add that Europe would also be under constant pressure to purchase more poorly made and overpriced weapons systems from the US. Europe should make a clean break and get out from under the Empire's boot. Try to exercise some common sense.

Posted by: Michael Crockett | Oct 19 2021 18:33 utc | 13

There is only one thing you need to understand with regards to Jens Stolteberg: He is a Quisling

Posted by: Norwegian | Oct 19 2021 18:38 utc | 14

when an entrenched institution such as NATO no longer serves a function, it persists only as something dysfunctional. an in-house parade, chatter for its echo chamber.

Alistair crooke's last two pieces emphasize the continuity of US 'strategic' thinking, regardless of who is president. that's true but that still sounds like some group is in control, as opposed to just institutional inertia. a huge institutional blob that cannot stop its own momentum is not really in control. it's operations without agency. hence US foreign policy makes little sense, even for achieving its own purported goals. it's baffling unless thought of as various persistent dysfunctionalities all working at cross purposes.

Posted by: mastameta | Oct 19 2021 18:41 utc | 15

Just as Europe was geoeconomically dependent on the Outlaw US Empire after WW2, Europe is becoming geoeconomically dependent on China today, although the driving forces are very different--the first was the result of military warfare; the second is the result of financial warfare. The Valdai Club's discussion paper contains some excellent graphics related to military spending. Very few of NATO's members are spending the demanded 2% of GDP on weaponry; so, I'd imagine many would welcome spending even less given the genuine lack of threat.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 19 2021 18:51 utc | 16

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 19 2021 18:51 utc | 16

The real matter is more important than the two percent, it is how do you spend your money, buying US weapons or developing your own industries. In Spain most of the military industry is US owned now, it was privatized, so situations like a contract to supply Venezuela with ships and transport planes was cancelled since parts and components were of US origin, the occupation goes beyond territorial bases and overlaps with the economy, that I think is even more serious than the required military budgets. Europe is occupied, and I do not see the US vacating soon, even if the Germans would pull some courage and politely asked them to leave they would move east to Poland and the Baltics, not back home. Occupation, that's the crux of the matter, and that is the main NATO purpose dressed as “protection”, just like Chicago in the old days.

Posted by: Paco | Oct 19 2021 19:09 utc | 17

Europe as a whole should have the sense to realize that it should actually ally with Russia and China against common enemies - to begin with, USA, Gulf States and their jihadi death squads.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Oct 19 2021 19:13 utc | 18

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 19 2021 18:01 utc | 3

Wind-propelled submarines, eh? Weren't these pioneered by the Irish Navy? Or was it developed as a side-project by the Mexican Navy interested in researching wind-propulsion generated by beans and burritos? They couldn't overcome the problem of the bubbles giving away the submarines' position.

Posted by: Patroklos | Oct 19 2021 19:21 utc | 19

@vk 12 -

That is a good way of looking at the situation. I suspect all of the parties you mentioned in your hypothetical scenario would be disappointed.

Despite that, with EU-27 GDP of EUR 3.5 trillion [FRED], a 1.5% defense expenditure would be EUR 50 billion. With a world-class technology base that is not dependent on the military sector, it would be plenty enough for a modern military that isn't trying to fight a cold war. This would be a good outcome, IMO. Sadly not too likely anytime soon.

Posted by: ptb | Oct 19 2021 19:29 utc | 20

Paco @17--

Yes, what you detail is part of the financial warfare--neoliberal privatization allowing US-based Vulture Funds--often CIA fronts--to purchase them so they can be controlled. Napoleon's Army existed on its stomach, while NATO exists on its members contributions. If the Army starves, it doesn't move or fight; the same would happen to NATO if it was starved of funds. It's that latter possibility which propelled Stoltenberg to DC to try and keep NATO relevant. IMO, Russia will continue to keep an eye on NATO, but it will disappear from being discussed by its media or government unless absolutely required.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 19 2021 19:29 utc | 21

Lavrov, Q&A with Valday in Sochi, today, so far I just read the first quiestion that says, (machine trans.)

Question: On the eve of Moscow announced retaliatory measures to the aggressive steps of the North Atlantic Alliance. Does Russia assume that it is NATO that should take the first step to improve relations with Moscow?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, we proceed from this. We have never started the deterioration of our relations with NATO, the European Union, or any other country in the West or any other region of the world. Everyone knows this story well. When M.N.Saakashvili in August 2008 gave the criminal order to bomb the city of Tskhinval and the positions of peacekeepers (including Russian ones), Russia insisted on convening the Russia-NATO Council to consider this situation. The then US Secretary of State K.Rice categorically refused, although when creating the Russia-NATO Council, the Founding Act emphasized that it should act in any "weather", especially when crisis situations occur. This is one example that marked the beginning of the current state of affairs between us and NATO.


https://www.mid.ru/ru/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/4908916

Posted by: Paco | Oct 19 2021 19:32 utc | 22

oh fun. that data is quarterly. So EUR 14 trillion, 1.5% being EUR 140 billion

Posted by: ptb | Oct 19 2021 19:32 utc | 23

As long as the US has the UK and Israel - it does not need NATO (= all the rest).

By using the UK bases of Gibraltar, Cyprus, and on Crete, plus Israel's "control" of Suez (being nearby). Which can be allied with the US bases in various countries that are paid by the countries themselves. Germany being the prime example with the largest examples. Italy has about 88 bases, and others normally have several. Many are exterritorial anyway like the one in Poland. (where the "host country doesn't have the right of entry) Include the new port on an island in Greece, and new setups in Jordan, and the land they have "taken" in Syria.

The Med has become an US lake.

Why would they want to have to make decisions with others, (....when they don't really know what they are doing themselves). They no longer need as many personnel, or at least they may calculate that they don't. Robotics and distance warfare make big ship or land exercises less important.

OK, they may want to see the EU involved in doing the fighting for them in the Pacific.

The US can continue to be a parasite on the world all by itself. Even then it is only really interested in being financially supported and have captive markets. (The "new" EU Force?)

Posted by: Stonebird | Oct 19 2021 19:39 utc | 24

"[EU Army] should not be the aggressive imperial force France envisions to defend its interest in Africa."

French troops have been operating in Mali, supposedly fighting against ISIS. But the reality is that ISIS is used as a justification for a French presence - Mali has gold, diamong and uranium.

A metaphorical handful of Russian PMCs from Wagner have actually trained Mali forces to deal with military level opponents, rather than act as a glorified colonial police force (US/NATO style). ISIS has been trashed, and the French forces have left, voluntarily or kicked out?

Posted by: Arfur Mo | Oct 19 2021 19:56 utc | 25

In a recent post by M. K. Bradrakumar on Indian Punchline, he uses the term "narrative trap." His focus is on India's inability to grasp the changed circumstances in India's relations with Pakistan and China, and how India is trapped in a narrative that once may have addressed some short-term issues but is now inadequate.
It's worth a read, not just for what he says about India and her neighbors, but also about the world and Covid, and NATO and Russia.
I write from Australia where we are trapped in two narratives. One is
Covid where we are trapped in a vaccine narrative with no appreciation that the bug is here to stay and treatment, not prevention, is the only rational way forward. The other is China where we blissfully ignore the economic realities and pretend that China can be "contained".
(Honestly, Australia needs submarines, nuclear or not, about as much as a fish needs a bicycle.)
To use a different analogy, our various governments in Australia are like a person who gets on a horse, the horse bolts, and our leaders have neither the wit nor the will to get off this mount that is running away with them.
I look in vain for ANY politician in the western world showing even a modicum of common sense.

Posted by: Hal Duell | Oct 19 2021 20:02 utc | 26

@ Posted by: ptb | Oct 19 2021 19:32 utc | 23

Your argument doesn't work because we live in the USD Standard, not in the EUR Standard. Just because nominal GDP of the EU is EUR 14 trillion, it doesn't mean it can field a complete, modern and up-to-date Armed Forces equivalent to EUR 140 billion (using the USA as the parameter).

For the USA it works (and even then, endemic Pentagon corruption relatives that) because the USA can print USDs and automatically and forcefully purchase the goods it needs equivalent to the amount of USDs printed from the rest of the world. The EU doesn't have that privilege, and would have to end up spending much more than those nominal EUR 140 billion to have a EUR 140 billion armed forces.

Posted by: vk | Oct 19 2021 20:03 utc | 27

Piotr Berman #2

Alternatively, they could develop spanking new military vessel with wind propulsion. Many interesting designs exist https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rOzwIlwQPk


The Greta class of destroyer. War against China could become a seasonal circus with the fleet from the EU scurrying home before the winds change.

Thank you for ridicule, it is a fine way to start the day.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Oct 19 2021 20:37 utc | 28

mastameta @15

"that still sounds like some group is in control, as opposed to just institutional inertia. a huge institutional blob that cannot stop its own momentum is not really in control. it's operations without agency. hence US foreign policy makes little sense, even for achieving its own purported goals. it's baffling unless thought of as various persistent dysfunctionalities all working at cross purposes."

Presidents come and go but the "deep state", "permanent state" or whatever you wish to call it remains in place and continues to advance its agenda. What exactly that agenda is depends on who you ask but something all, or most, people who accept this notion have in common is that they assume this 'system within a system' has much more direct agency than it actually has.

By the time a system gets to the moribund stage, as the American political system arguably has, its various moving parts are no longer working together in harmony and this results in decisions and policies that increasingly come across as chaotic, irrational and counterproductive.

If the people working within the system do not, or cannot, recognize that it is no longer fit for purpose and continue to act like they did when it was still reasonably functional and outcomes were more predictable, they can't change course and try new methods so the whole thing begins to resemble a failing system that is run by, as you say, "various persistent dysfunctionalities all working at cross purposes."

This is the problem I have with many "conspiracy theories" that posit a world where individual actions are the primary drivers of political events. Systems, even one's that are functional, run on a kind of autopilot and they don't require a group of individuals directly and specifically controlling all of the moving parts. For a simple example, editors at mainstream media outlets don't have to tell their hacks to push propaganda and clickbait because the employees do that anyway (or they wouldn't have a job there). The same principle goes for every other hierarchical system.

Systems are designed to automate tasks and procedures, that is their primary purpose. If every action has to be explicitly spelled out and all the parts guided directly by a few geniuses, nothing would ever get done. When a system can no longer successfully reinvent itself and begins to decay, the illusion that it was a well-oiled machine run by a handful of brilliant people at the top of the hierarchy who micromanage every aspect of it also crumbles and it begins to resemble a Monty Python sketch.

This is where the United States is at today. I am sure there are people in charge who recognize that their country is in serious trouble but all of them have a vested interest in keeping the system going as it is because that's what gives them power and status. No mainstream American politician will question American Exceptionalism and their country's "right" to rule the world nor will they seriously call the tenets of American capitalism into question. Witness also the hariographic eulogies for the war criminal Colin Powell coming from American politicians and media personalities, even those who consider themselves on the left or "progressive".

As the sclerotic system's internal contradictions mount pile up it will get increasingly more dysfunctional, particularly for people who don't have access to power and influence. That doesn't mean it's going to collapse overnight. It will likely keep going for a while yet and continue to cause damage abroad and to itself at home.

Posted by: Antibody | Oct 19 2021 21:06 utc | 29

...
To keep peace within Europe a defensive cooperation, operationally limited to its members' European geography, makes the most sense. The incoming new German government could take the initiative to create it.
Posted by b on October 19, 2021 at 17:31 UTC

I hope you're right.
ABC.net.au 4Corners broadcast an (imported from France) episode devoted to the origins and rise of Angela Merkel on Monday. I recorded it and have half-watched it a couple of times but still haven't really got a handle on her - apart from the fact that she's definitely NOT an intellectual pygmy.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 19 2021 21:14 utc | 30

Thank you b for this report. The BIG issue for the EU is to make NATO relevant or replace it. My problem with the replacement game is that a new army just might go looking for a new war to exhibit its 'prowess'. Its what they often do it seems.

Considering the times and malign drivers behind NATO then I suggest they name the new entity PoleAxU. The Polish nutters will love it and immediately invade Belarus or Germany depending on whether they are hungover or drunk. Its meaning is clear and even the USA will get it.

I just hope the EU will retire Stoltenberg to the nearest wildlife refuge for endangered quislings. Who would be the new PoleAxU secretary? Eric Zemmour perhaps, or the genius of judaism himself: Bernard-Henri Lévy. That would be the expected right form of appointment. Yes! the world deserves better but then there is little room to move in the pit it has dug for itself.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Oct 19 2021 21:26 utc | 31

I'm mostly in agreement with this op/ed, "Russia’s dramatic decision to cut direct diplomatic ties with NATO further proof that Moscow no longer cares what the West thinks," which implies that "the West thinks" when on the surface it appears to act like a stubborn mule. The author seems to think Russia will eventually regret its decision, but then he is a professor at the University of Ottawa. IMO, Russia sees NATO as a pack of tiny yip-yap dogs who never stop their barking no matter what's done to appease them that finally resulted in an Oy Vey!! moment that led to its own collective Security Council decision to pack up and leave. Lavrov refrained from once again reviewing the entire list of wrongs done by both NATO and EU, but they go very well beyond what he cited at the presser. So, why not let them come one at a time with hat in hand to ask for fuels to feed their economies and keep their citizens warm, and let there be a friend of Russia discount applied.

Overshadowed by the NATO announcement was Lavrov's admission that neither France or Germany want the Outlaw US Empire added to the Normandy Format of negotiations over the Ukraine situation, which might be related to Medvedev's very forceful essay about relations with Ukraine and its boss. I don't know what Russia will do next, but I wouldn't be surprised if it did nothing formally for several months while Germany forms its new government.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 19 2021 21:38 utc | 32

With all respect,

Germany is not interested in expansion? Its EU empire is now at the borders of Russia - not unlike the Wehrmacht in the summer of 1941. This time the Drang is being carried out without any military losses. Why is everybody overlooking this simple fact?

Posted by: Jacob's Ladder | Oct 19 2021 21:38 utc | 33

"a new military cooperation framework in parallel to the European Union makes much more sense." Well, good luck with that. The UK would fight tooth and nail to undermine such a move.

Posted by: Sarcophilus | Oct 19 2021 21:43 utc | 34

Posted by: Hal Duell | Oct 19 2021 20:02 utc | 26

Agreed about Oz (writing from the Emerald city). That's what you get when you're governed by schizoid lobbyists working for the mining sector (China good!) who are also racists settler oligarchs (China bad!).

Posted by: Patroklos | Oct 19 2021 21:43 utc | 35

The formation of a European-only military structure would face two problems: what to do with the UK, and what to do with Turkey.

Do you leave them out of it, in which case they have the potential to become Europe's book-end enemies?
Or do you invite them in, in which case they will do everything in their power to nobble the organization?

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Oct 19 2021 21:49 utc | 36

NATO is an alliance of war criminal nations--first and foremost, the United States of America.

It is not defensive in nature but aggressive.

The purpose of NATO is to act as junior partners for American wars of aggression and ultimately conquest of the world.

NATO nations are thus guilty of the aggression against Serbia in the 1990s, Libya in 2011, and the colonial occupation of Afghanistan for the last 2 decades.

These USA/NATO wars of aggression will be sold and propagandized with the usual lies: Wars to defend "Democracy, Freedom, Human Rights," or the greatest lie of all, the bogus War against Terrorism.

In practice, these wars are fundamentally driven by America and its partners' ambition to subjugate any nation that stands against the America-led Unipolar World Dictatorship, which is euphemistically called the "Free World."

Towards this end, America must target Eurasia--firstly Russia and China--as part of NATO's very own Nazi-style Drang Nach Osten.

As Wayne Madsen states below, "NATO is accomplishing what Adolf Hitler could only dream of: a Euro-Atlantic military alliance that dominates the entire world…"

“NATO’S “Drang Nach Osten” (Thrust to the east)”
https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2011/07/08/nato-drang-nach-osten-thrust-to-the-east/

The bully as the good guy: The looking-glass world of NATO’s threats to Russia
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/368260-nato-drang-nach-osten/

Posted by: ak74 | Oct 19 2021 22:03 utc | 37

Macron just would like an European Army to force on the resisting people, which is more than half the population of France, his current dictatorship.

The same could be said of Dragui, the man who assassinated the Italian Republic...

Then, the other day, the Bundeswehr marched with torches in Berlin in homage to the German mission in Afghanistan..in the same style they do Banderites in Ukraine...

All these fascist mediocrities currently governing Europe, will be placed in the rubish of history, along their ilk....

On the contrary, one day, everybody in the world would know about the dockers of Trieste, who did not step back in the fight fro freedom, from the stories told around the fire by the eldest...

https://t.me/liberumasociscion/692

Forza Italia! Avanti!

Posted by: Black bread | Oct 19 2021 22:03 utc | 38

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 19 2021 21:38 utc | 32

Hello Karl.

Did you read what Putin said about (Rudyard) Kipling?

Posted by: John Cleary | Oct 19 2021 22:03 utc | 39

Since NATO chief Jens stultus as a berg doesn't seem concerned that China isn't Russia, they need to change the name from North Atlantic TO to North Atlantic and formerly Afghanistan but now China TO, the NAAFABNCTO. Because I'm not sure China is in the North Atlantic and such confusion can be unhelpful in a military pact. accurate acronyms are the 1st step to not shooting your military alliance in its own remaining gangrene-free foot.

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Oct 19 2021 22:04 utc | 40

notice how sensible b discuses this. Notice how no major media comes close to noticing how far from reality US foreign is.

Posted by: gepay | Oct 19 2021 22:06 utc | 41

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg . . intensify its threats against China . . . target not only Russia but China as well. . . China, claiming it was a major security threat

NATO: a pact of mutual assistance to counter the risk that the Soviet Union would seek to extend its control of Eastern Europe to other parts of the continent.

Article 5 provides that if a NATO Ally is the victim of an armed attack, each and every other member of the Alliance will consider this act of violence as an armed attack against all members and will take the actions it deems necessary to assist the Ally attacked.
Article 5 has been invoked once, using the US hoked-up 9/11 charge against Afghanistan to aid the US in the 'good war.'
The US has claimed that Russia and China are military threats derived from strategic competition. . . .from the 2018 National Defense Strategy:

The Pentagon justifies the enormous annual expenditure on armaments and world-wide deployment because “Long-term strategic competitions with China and Russia are the principal priorities for the department of defense, and require both increased and sustained investment, because of the magnitude of the threats they pose to U.S. security and prosperity today, and the potential for those threats to increase in the future.”

NATO is a military organization which was formed as a defensive force responding to an attack, under Article 5, and not as an attacking force against strategic competitors.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 19 2021 22:35 utc | 42

Russia considers it's diplomats to be "above it all" in a sense, so listening to noisy gongs is considered simply part of the price you must pay to be strong and confident. And they are just that. This change means they no longer consider Nato relevant. So this is the shape of things to come. By cutting off contact with Nato, Russia consigns that anachronistic farce to the dust bin. What is the point of playing games with the Nato aristocracy? They are all hot air and bluster. The major powers in the bloc are all skeptical of US motives and know that Russia does not threaten them. There are much more pressing problems unfolding for them, economic and social. America will get nowhere with gung ho allies like Poland and the Baltic sick men, much less with rump Ukraine. Reality is about to slap them all in the face. I wouldnt be surprised if the EU is next, with Russia cutting off all relations with Brussels and focusing on individual states.

Posted by: norb | Oct 19 2021 22:36 utc | 43

John Cleary @39--

Yes, about 6 months ago he said he was a great/clever writer, referencing The Jungle Book. I see most NATO members as hyenas, which are sort of like jackals. But the what to do question's surly been discussed to death and the last straw was laid.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 19 2021 22:50 utc | 44

thanks b...

here is the wests approach... ''say'' they want good relations with russia, while ''act'' 180 degrees the opposite... this formula has been used constantly... i am glad russia is calling bullshit on it, because bullshit is what it is..

Posted by: james | Oct 19 2021 23:06 utc | 45

44 Cont'd--

Thinking further about the need to supply the proper context for Putin's citing Kipling, I decided it best to post that portion of Putin's 21 April 2021 speech to the Federal Assembly:

"At the same time, unfortunately, everyone in the world seems to be used to the practice of politically motivated, illegal economic sanctions and to certain actors’ brutal attempts to impose their will on others by force. But today, this practice is degenerating into something even more dangerous – I am referring to the recently exposed direct interference in Belarus in an attempt to orchestrate a coup d’état and assassinate the President of that country. At the same time, it is typical that even such flagrant actions have not been condemned by the so-called collective West. Nobody seemed to notice. Everyone pretends nothing is happening.

"But listen, you can think whatever you like of, say, Ukrainian President [Viktor] Yanukovych or [Nicolas] Maduro in Venezuela. I repeat, you can like or dislike them, including Yanukovych who almost got killed, too, and removed from power via an armed coup. You can have your own opinion of President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko’s policy. But the practice of staging coups d’état and planning political assassinations, including those of high-ranking officials – well, this goes too far. This is beyond any limits.

"Suffice it to mention the admission made by the detained participants in the conspiracy about a planned siege of Minsk, including plans to block the city infrastructure and communications, and a complete shutdown of the entire power system in the capital of Belarus! This actually means they were preparing a massive cyberattack. What else could it be? You know, you cannot just do it all with one switch.

"Clearly, there is a reason why our Western colleagues have been stubbornly rejecting Russia’s numerous proposals to establish an international dialogue on information and cyber security. We have come up with these proposals many times. They avoid even discussing this matter.

"What if there had been a real attempt at a coup d’état in Belarus? After all, this was the ultimate goal. How many people would have been hurt? What would have become of Belarus? Nobody is thinking about this.

"Just as no one was thinking about the future of Ukraine during the coup in that country.

"All the while, unfriendly moves towards Russia have also continued unabated. Some countries have taken up an unseemly routine where they pick on Russia for any reason, most often, for no reason at all. It is some kind of new sport of who shouts the loudest.

"In this regard, we behave in an extremely restrained manner, I would even say, modestly, and I am saying this without irony. Often, we prefer not to respond at all, not just to unfriendly moves, but even to outright rudeness. We want to maintain good relations with everyone who participates in the international dialogue. But we see what is happening in real life. As I said, every now and then they are picking on Russia, for no reason. And of course, all sorts of petty Tabaquis are running around them like Tabaqui ran around Shere Khan – everything is like in Kipling's book – howling along in order to make their sovereign happy. Kipling was a great writer.

"We really want to maintain good relations with all those engaged in international communication, including, by the way, those with whom we have not been getting along lately, to put it mildly. We really do not want to burn bridges. But if someone mistakes our good intentions for indifference or weakness and intends to burn or even blow up these bridges, they must know that Russia's response will be asymmetrical, swift and tough.

"Those behind provocations that threaten the core interests of our security will regret what they have done in a way they have not regretted anything for a long time.

"At the same time, I just have to make it clear, we have enough patience, responsibility, professionalism, self-confidence and certainty in our cause, as well as common sense, when making a decision of any kind. But I hope that no one will think about crossing the 'red line' with regard to Russia. We ourselves will determine in each specific case where it will be drawn." [My Emphasis]

NATO/EU had almost six months to the day to repair the bridges they burnt but decided to burn those few that remained. I guess they didn't listen to Putin--again--back in April, just like the western presstitute didn't listen a few days ago. IMO, Europe is extremely fortunate that Russia greatly values its word and honor. If it were the Outlaw US Empire, all energy shipments would have ceased long ago with no further pipelines built.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 19 2021 23:13 utc | 46

Of course, one could say that Russia merely applied John Bolton's recent advice in the opposite manner since that what any sane person would do with any advice offered by that criminal. Who knows, maybe his crap was the last straw?

I'd hoped for more reporting on Lavrov's Valdai Club participation, but nothing yet; perhaps tomorrow.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 19 2021 23:48 utc | 47

@karlof1 - Continues to be clear that rapprochement on equal terms is a non-starter for NATO. No change from the status quo.

Posted by: ptb | Oct 20 2021 0:15 utc | 48

NATO employs the same tactics as Pfizer to mobilize state propaganda to convince people that parting with public money is virtuous.

Posted by: Jezabeel | Oct 20 2021 0:17 utc | 49

Jacobs ladder:

Yes the EU is snuggling close to Russia but the difference between now and 1941'ish is that they don't have the Wehrmacht. Germany and the rest of the EU are like little ankle biter dogs snapping away at the bear. They can't fight their way out of a paper bag.

Posted by: morongobill | Oct 20 2021 1:00 utc | 50

China IS a military threat to Europe

They are on the verge of establishing spheres of influence with Russia, Venezuela, and Iran, host Communist missionaries, and then force the EU to both produce and buy Opium ... oh wait ... never mind.

I got both the roles reversed and the centuries wrong.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Oct 20 2021 1:52 utc | 51

If Lavrov was genuinely taken by surprise by the NATOstani expulsion of Russian diplomats, there are only two explanations of this:

1. He is an idiot as well as deaf and blind and/or

2. Russian intelligence is a shambolic disaster.

Anyone who's heard Lavrov speak knows that he is neither stupid nor deaf and blind. And anyone with a brain knows Russian intelligence is very, very good. That the Putinist regime doesn't always act on the intelligence received - as most infamously in Kiev 2014 - is another thing altogether.

So the only explanation is that Lavrov was not taken by surprise at all, and that Russia has been looking for a reason to break off the by now useless diplomatic engagement with NATO, and that it used the expulsions (which it knew were coming) to terminate that engagement.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Oct 20 2021 1:53 utc | 52

Only thing I know, is that pulling NATO duty in the US Naval Reserve was like winning the boondoggle lottery. Even lowly E-6's lived like kings on those "AT", "ADT", or "ADSW" orders back in the 1990's. Good times...at least I got SOME of my tax dollars back..

Posted by: Adriatic Hillbilly | Oct 20 2021 1:56 utc | 53

US arrogance has pushed Russia and China into each other's arms. In time, Western Europe will awaken to the fact that they have little to gain and much to lose from continuing to serve as a vassal to the US. At that point, one can expect a rapprochement between Western Europe and both Russia and China. The US will be stuck with the UK, AU, Canada and maybe Japan and South Korea, though I wouldn't bet on the latter two. So perhaps Europe is merely comatose and not yet brain dead.

Posted by: Rob | Oct 20 2021 2:04 utc | 54

Posted by: Paco | Oct 19 2021 19:09 utc | 17

I think you exposed the core essence of NATO, Paco: "Occupation, that's the crux of the matter, and that is the main NATO purpose dressed as “protection”, just like Chicago in the old days."

Neighborhood gangs and mafias understand the "protection" racket: demand money/subservience from the locals in return for "protection". In other words, "we won't let any thugs (including ours) hurt you if you pay us." The U.S. has a more layered/laundered version which is more removed from the "shithole" countries in our hemisphere but it's the same concept: "we have the power and we will protect you if you bow down... if you don't you could get destroyed by someone."

There is always an enemy in this game, and the threat must be imminent. NATO needs to convince the people of its reason to exist-- to defend them.
Bottom line, NATO is in trouble. Thanks Paco

Posted by: migueljose | Oct 20 2021 2:07 utc | 55

@ Rob 54
The US will be stuck with the UK, AU, Canada and maybe Japan and South Korea

Regarding the latter two, they may well be stuck with the US. If the US originates strike aircraft or ships against China from US bases in either of those two countries they may suffer mightily. Of course they are both US-occupied countries so what choice do they have.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 20 2021 2:51 utc | 56

NATO, Stoltenberg insisted, should target not only Russia but China as well.

Who is this dude? Did the citizens of any nation vote for him? If not then what, or who, gave him his soapbox for his war-mongering? I am presumed to enjoy the right to vote my polticians out of office. But what is the point of that if neither I, nor anyone else, can vote this cretin out of office.

If no taxation without representation is a valid cri de coeur, then no blood-letting without citizen authorization should be equally valid.

Forget China and Russia. The real threat comes from the repressive autocratic unaccountable mendacious guttersnipe polecats who claim to be democratic "representatives."

And in my next post I'll tell you what I really think.

Posted by: Sushi | Oct 20 2021 4:06 utc | 57

A European Union army will not operate independently from NATO outside of EU borders. Its main role will therefore be a militarized police force to suppress civil unrest among its own uppity citizens, like the National Guard in the US.

Posted by: Leif Sachs | Oct 20 2021 4:56 utc | 58

@ 57 sushi... i will let norwegian give you the low down on stoltenberg! see @ 14 for a taste!

Posted by: james | Oct 20 2021 4:57 utc | 59

I haven't seen mention of the main purpose of NATO being an organization/military structure that US nukes can be projected through.

Turkey is an example of where that NATO relationship is strained but I think there are still nukes on Turkey soil. What happens to other NATO countries that have US nukes on their soil? Do they ban them and go off and make their own?

NATO is needed to enforce economic cohesion around global private finance managed US Reserve Currency status and everything else is secondary to that goal......China represents a tangible threat to historic global financial hegemony.

And while what remains of the global financial mafia is powerful, they will be unable to enforce ongoing payment of the current debt burden of nations when the global economy crashes because China and Russia et all will not let them. That is the crucible "pound of flesh" moment humanity is coming to, IMO. China is in the lead of showing a more humanistic way of social organization that does not require the "pound of flesh" and will work with Russia and other countries to insure that smaller countries are not economically bullied into further debt.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 20 2021 5:01 utc | 60

Sushi #57

This rsole stultenberg is a totally subservient clown for the USAi. He will likely be the end of NATO. We won't miss them. Then they will inaugurate an EU army to execute an even more deadly and unrestrained role in the world.

Lavrov has done the best thing imo and disengaged. It will be exasperating enough dealing with THE EC idiot from Spain without adding the clowns From NATO.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Oct 20 2021 5:12 utc | 61

The French outcry is already over and everything is back to normal at NATO. Pdt Macron behaved like a little poodle that barks but nobody listens, not even himself. As usual with european nato country.

Posted by: John V. Doe | Oct 20 2021 5:12 utc | 62

It seems to me that shortly after Macron made his statement about NATO, the US took his analysis to heart and moved its chips to the Australian side of the table... leaving Marron with a brain dead sub deal

What goes around comes around

Posted by: Les7 | Oct 20 2021 5:35 utc | 63

The longer Jens Stoltenberg lasts as NATO secretary-general, the more I wish he had stuck to his day job (temporary though it actually was).

At least if Stoltenberg had crashed the taxi, the taxi company could have written it off its books.

When NATO finally crashes, it'll suck entire nations down into a trillion-euro black hole.

Posted by: Jen | Oct 20 2021 5:39 utc | 64

"I haven't seen mention of the main purpose of NATO being an organization/military structure that US nukes can be projected through." psychohistorian

yes but what is the function of thoee nukes now? a deterrent against an imaginary Russian invasion. as if Ukraine and Poland are desirable enough to be worth waging war and occupying. Russia wouldn't even want them for free.

as it now stands, the purpose of NATO is not for staging nukes there, rather the nukes are there for staging NATO and russophobia.

you could say US keeps nukes there not for deterrence but to have first strike capability. that does makes sense since there is so little sense in what the US does. the idea is even more absurd with the advent of Russia's hypersonic missiles.

Posted by: mastameta | Oct 20 2021 5:44 utc | 65

@ Posted by: Leif Sachs | Oct 20 2021 4:56 utc | 58

That's one of the possibilities, defended by Jan-Claude Juncker (who is backed by Germany), among others.

The only significant member of the EU who wants an European Army as a full-fledged military force to substitute NATO is France. The other members (those who want, because the majority doesn't) want an EU Army that would coexist with NATO - assumedly, as a de facto Gestapo/National Guard (because for investigation they already have Interpol).

Posted by: vk | Oct 20 2021 5:51 utc | 66

@Sushi | Oct 20 2021 4:06 utc | 57

NATO, Stoltenberg insisted, should target not only Russia but China as well.
Who is this dude? Did the citizens of any nation vote for him?

Jens Stoltenberg is the former Prime Minister of Norway, and the son of former Foreign Minister Thorvald Stoltenberg, who in 1993 was appointed Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for the former Yugoslavia and UN Co-Chairman of the Steering Committee of the International Conference on the former Yugoslavia. We all know what happened to the former Yugoslavia after that.

In the 1980's Jens Stoltenberg was leader of AUF (Arbeidernes Ungdomsfylking), i.e. the youth section of the Norwegian Labour party. When he was leader of the AUF, he presented himself as a prominent NATO opponent, and he expressly stated that Norway's break with NATO was his goal:

Here is an article from the Norwegian mainstream newspaper VG in March 2014 (partly paywalled, but you can see enough) when he became NATO General Secretary. The headline says "Here, Jens was NATO opponent, now he becomes NATO boss". "Here" refers to the photo with a newspaper facsimile from 1985 when Stoltenberg became leader of AUF. The headline in the facsimile quotes the young Stoltenberg saying "Norwegian break with NATO is our goal" .

Jens Stoltenberg was Prime Minister during the July 22, 2011 bombing of the Oslo government building and the killing of almost 70 AUF Labour youth politicians at the Utøya Summer Camp island (traditional AUF summer camp that Jens always attended). The event took place just before the local elections in September 2011. All of the July 22 atrocities were supposedly carried out by a single person, Anders Breivik, who was arrested, convicted and imprisoned. In a public speech immediately after the 22 July 2011 event, Jens Stoltenberg declared "Vårt svar er mer demokrati, mer åpenhet og mer humanitet" (translation: "our answer is more democracy, more openness and more humanity").

Now his boss wants him to target Russia and China.

Posted by: Norwegian | Oct 20 2021 5:56 utc | 67

When was this ever about "peace" or "sense" ?

Posted by: Charles Peterson | Oct 20 2021 6:03 utc | 68

Posted by: Norwegian | Oct 20 2021 5:56 utc | 67

Interesting curriculum, a parallel biography of another NATO secretary general, the Spanish Solana, scion of the elite dressed as a sixties revolutionary, protesting during his stay as a student in the USA against the Vietnam war, he went on to campaign against Spain becoming a NATO member, and a beam of light came down from the sky, Solana fell from his horse like Saulo and miracle of miracles, the new convert becomes the boss and on we go to bomb Yugoslavia. Seems like someone in Langley has read some history books and is aware that there is no fanatic as fanatic as a convert. After a NATO airplane bombed a bridge right when a passenger train was crossing, convert Solana told the whole world that "the pilot threw the bomb with the best of intentions, like every fighter pilot from a democratic country does". Cheer up Yugoslavians and Iraquis if your dear one was blown to pieces by a "democratic" bomb thrown to you with "the best of intentions".

He dropped his bomb in good faith, as you would expect a trained pilot from a democratic NATO country to do.

Read -if you can without puking- the presser by some Jamie Shea, orwellian newspeak at its best, that quote would be repeated by Shea's boss and anti war protester Solana.

https://www.nato.int/kosovo/press/p990415a.htm

Posted by: Paco | Oct 20 2021 7:47 utc | 69

Posted by: Norwegian | Oct 20 2021 5:56 utc | 67

Your ex-president is or was a CIA asset.

Posted by: Misotheist | Oct 20 2021 7:47 utc | 70

NATO doesn't have the capacity to take on Russia or China, but so long as its inhabitants can be persuaded that they are under threat, they are less likely to make a fuss when NATO attacks weak countries in Africa, which as far as I can see is its mission.

Posted by: MFB | Oct 20 2021 7:49 utc | 71

China is by no means a security threat to Europe. ...

NATO was created when it was in the common interests of its members to counter the Soviet Union.

At the end of WW2 the Soviet Union was Europe's ally and ordinary people had enormous respect and warmth of feeling towards the Soviet Union for their overwhelming role in conquering Hitler, and compassion for their enormous losses in that war. To claim that it was in the interests of the members of NATO to "counter the Soviet Union" at the time it was created is utterly false, in exactly the same way that the alleged threat from China is false - indeed arguably far more so.

On the other hand, the European - and US - elites were afraid precisely of those warm European feelings towards the Soviet Union, and of the social example it offered, not of the Soviet Union itself.

Similarly but differently, the US is now afraid not of the security threat of China but of the golden trade opportunities between Europe and China, that would eclipse the US's already disintegrating power.


At the time NATO was formed the people of Europe had limited means for securing information outside of the monopoly on propaganda of the elites. Now, by contrast, they have abundent access to alternative sources of information through the internet. But people today are zombified and lethargic - which of course is intentional on the part of the elites - and they are reluctant to speak out. Current regime policies of political intimidation and restriction of free speech, enhanced by covid-autocracy, exacerbate those limitations. So the question is, will the people of Europe object, or will they simply acquiesce and concentrate on watching television, exchanging kitten and puppy snaps with their friends on social media, and watching porn movies? My guess is that wit the exception of a vocal but marginalised and dispossessed minority, it will be the latter.

Posted by: BM | Oct 20 2021 7:58 utc | 72

was likewise not communicated before its announcement

By the way, that phrase verges on a tautology. How can something be communicated before it is communicated, or announced before it is announced?

Saying, for example, "NATO was given no advance warning before this year's U.S. retreat from Afghanistan, even as NATO had an official mission in Afghanistan." would alleviate the problem and make more sense.

Posted by: BM | Oct 20 2021 8:05 utc | 73

Amazing that nobody has mentioned Charles de Gaulle:

In 1966, President Charles de Gaulle withdrew France from NATO’s integrated military command structure (a decision that was reversed in 2009 -by Sarkozy). Charles de Gaulle expressed a desire for greater military independence, particularly vis-à-vis the United States. This materialised in the refusal to integrate France’s nuclear deterrent or accept any form of control over its armed forces, and the removal of all foreign forces from its territory.

Recently Nicolas Sarkozy started to serve a year of house arrest for illegal campaign financing, just a minor item of his crimes. https://www.france24.com/en/france/20210930-former-french-president-sarkozy-found-guilty-of-illegal-campaign-financing


https://www.cvce.eu/en/recherche/unit-content/-/unit/02bb76df-d066-4c08-a58a-d4686a3e68ff/c4bbe3c4-b6d7-406d-bb2b-607dbdf37207

Posted by: Antonym | Oct 20 2021 8:14 utc | 74

Wind-propelled submarines, eh? Weren't these pioneered by the Irish Navy? Or was it developed as a side-project by the Mexican Navy interested in researching wind-propulsion generated by beans and burritos? They couldn't overcome the problem of the bubbles giving away the submarines' position.

Posted by: Patroklos | Oct 19 2021 19:21 utc | 19

On the contrary Patroklos, the wind sails would 100% eliminate the problem of the bubbles giving away the submarines' position - the sails would be so prominent that the bubbles - so much more difficult to look for - would be completely lost in irrelevance. Voila, problem solved!

---

By the way, did you know it is possible to fuel a car on expended coffee suds? Such a car has been built, and it works, using nothing else whatsoever as fuel. Erm, top speed, if I remember correctly, about 10 miles per hour under optimal conditions.

Posted by: BM | Oct 20 2021 8:27 utc | 75

B in 2021:
"Good luck with selling that to European taxpayers. China is by no means a security threat to Europe. Certainly none which a military alliance bound to the North Atlantic's geography has to or can confront. China has good relations with most European countries, is trading with all of them and is Germany's largest customer."

Me on 1913 or 1939:
Good luck with selling that to American taxpayers. (Nazi) Germany is by no means a security threat to the US. Certainly none which a historic bond bound to the North Atlantic's geography has to or can confront. Germany has good relations with most European countries, is trading with all of them and is the US largest customer.

If the CCP's BRI can reach till Italy its PLA can too. But they don't need to as the EU was also de-industrialized by the same globalists that got more profit out of China. Western Europe is just a bunch Client states, next a far Eastern master over a Western one, because its leaders went for easy personal $$$$$$$$ + sub-power.

Posted by: Antonym | Oct 20 2021 8:28 utc | 76

why not let them come one at a time with hat in hand to ask for fuels to feed their economies and keep their citizens warm, and let there be a friend of Russia discount applied.
Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 19 2021 21:38 utc | 32

Good idea Karl! Gazprom is a state-owned company, it is able to operate in the interests of the state rather than profit. For those countries such as Italy that are more inclined to cooperate in a friendly manner with Russia, Gazprom could offer discretional discounts (i.e. at Russia's sole discretion) in response to recent friendly vs. hostile actions, on the condition that Italy is contractually obligated to pass on those discounts to end users. That furthers mutual goodwill with the country's citizenry. For those schizoid countries such as Germany that combine both fiendly and hostile inclinations, Russia can offer both discretional discounts and counter-discounts (that eliminate to a greater or lesser extent the discounts). Russia can give a full and detailed accounting for each discount and counter-discount in terms of political actions of the elites and of the government, so that end users can clearly see how their discount (or lack thereof) is calculated, and the positive or negative effects of each political policy action on their personal economic situation, and pressure their government to be more friendly with Russia.

(The EU would vociferously object, of course).

Posted by: BM | Oct 20 2021 9:01 utc | 77

The formation of a European-only military structure would face two problems: what to do with the UK, and what to do with Turkey.
Posted by: Yeah, Right | Oct 19 2021 21:49 utc | 36

Very simple: Leave the UK and Turkey out (neither are EU members anyway), and buy Russian weapons for defence. Problem solved.

Posted by: BM | Oct 20 2021 9:05 utc | 78


Prof @ 4 ..

NATO was always an alliance of capitalist classes to maintain the capitalist system from both Soviet expansion (however unlikely that was), and domestic revolutions in Western Europe.

<=at what level are you referring to when you say "domestic revolution".. ?
the Oligarch choose leaders in charge of European nations threatening to leave NATO
the citizens rising against the Oligarch choose leaders from inside NATO nations


i can see withdrawal from NATO as a constant pressure from the bottom up, but remain within
the NATO as a demand from the corrupt top down.

"domestic revolution? What do you mean?


Hoyeru @ 5 says "I can even tell you what happens next. USA will kick out a significant number of Russian diplomats, making it impossible for American businessman to get a visa for Russia, thus rendering business ties between RUssia and US impossible.

This is all the continuation of "contain and isolate Russia" doctrine, and I bet the Russians KNOW and understand that very well, but all the can do is flop around and feebly complain, generating laughter and contempt from NATO< USA< and the West."

<== Who invented the contain and isolate Russia Doctrine.? Where can its planning documents be found?


mastamerica @ 15 says
US foreign policy makes little sense, even for achieving its own purported goals. it's baffling unless thought of as various persistent dysfunctionalities all working at cross purposes.

<= i think US foreign policy makes a lot of sense.. if you consider oligarch and its leg breaker monopoly powered global corporate interest as the intended beneficiaries of foreign policy? The political system @ USA (something that organizes the disorganized masses) no longer has oversight power. It political power has been replaced by the oligarch administered top down demand system.

Clueless Joe @ 18 says
Europe as a whole should have the sense to realize that it should actually ally with Russia and China against common enemies - to begin with, USA, Gulf States and their jihadi death squads.

Yes, I don't understand it either, why would Europe side with the western oil and gas industry.. when there is more oil and gas to be had from the East?

Stonebird @ 24 says
ALAE USA has the UK and Israel - it does not need NATO (= all the rest). <=the USAIUK alliance?


Hal Duell @26 re the term used by M. K. Bradrakumar "narrative trap." to reflect opinion resistance
to change on the part of mass audiences ?

<=Mind control is made difficult when changing narratives conflict with a narrative mass audiences have previously adopted into their belief systems. Does this explain why the member states of EU remain in the EU? Does this explain why Americans do not rise when the government infringes on the Bill of rights? Does narrative trap explain why citizens don't rise when a nation state changes its purpose and changes its methods? Let's see what started WWI? Who got shot?

Antibody @ 29 uses "system trap" to explain why governing systems do not change when their underlying purpose or objects have changed.

ak74 @ 37 may have explained Jacob's Ladder @ 33 plea not to over look that Germany is on the borders of Russia same as in summer 1941. in reporting that Wayne Madsen states, "NATO is accomplishing what Adolf Hitler could only dream of: a Euro-Atlantic military alliance that dominates the entire world…"

Karlof1 @ 47.. who is we?
we behave in an extremely restrained manner, I would even say, modestly, and I am saying this without irony.

Jezabeel @ 49
NATO employs the same tactics as Pfizer to mobilize state propaganda to convince people that parting with public money is virtuous.
<= very astute observation.

Posted by: snake | Oct 20 2021 9:34 utc | 79

The EU political establishment supported TTIP mostly driven by fear of being marginalized on the world stage. This Dutch analysis of the Dutch government financed think tank Clingendael supplies some insight in that kind of thinking: https://www.clingendael.org/publication/geopolitics-ttip
It is the same kind of thinking then expressed by a German think tank Stiftung fur Wissenschaft und Politik:
https://www.jstor.org/stable/resrep19047
These documents can be characterized as fear driven zero sum "us versus them" politics. These people are so obsessed with power that it is always "you are with us or against us". Add to that a completely misplaced boundless moral arrogance impeding any normal diplomacy because they can't even bring themselves to acknowledge that other states are sovereign and are entitled to protecting their own interest.
TTIP was seen to complement NATO as war criminal Hillary Clinton stated: "TTIP is an economic NATO". Actually TTIP by imposing the corrupted US legal system through arbitrage would indeed have bound the EU closer to the US. However in a lucky escape TTIP proved to be the US overplaying its hand and TTIP went down the drain. Of course the European "elite" (read unelected EU bureaucrats) tried to save this through CETA but it looks this will now not reestablish the momentum already lost.
NATO after being a destabilizing extension of US foreign imperialism for more than 2 decades finally reaching the end of the road will hopefully also put a stop to the McKinder/Brzezinky inspired endless interventions on the Eurasian continent. Next should be the end of that European Neighborhood Policy aiming to create an exclusive EU sphere of influence driven by that very same zero sum power politics.

Posted by: JR | Oct 20 2021 10:15 utc | 80

Sure the EU will make just as good as NATO, and some good money signing 'research' deals with US-sponsored military bodies
https://www.rfi.fr/fr/podcasts/invit%C3%A9-afrique/20211020-moncef-djaziri-la-division-des-institutions-rend-la-stabilit%C3%A9-pr%C3%A9caire-en-libye

Posted by: Tom2 | Oct 20 2021 10:29 utc | 81

Unfortunately, there are no US allies in Western Europe only vassals. They can't say no to the master.

Posted by: Igr | Oct 20 2021 10:48 utc | 82

B., do you really mean that or are you kidding?

To keep peace in Europe the creation of a new military cooperation framework in parallel to the European Union makes much more sense. It should not be the aggressive imperial force France envisions to defend its interest in Africa. To keep peace within Europe a defensive cooperation, operationally limited to its members' European geography, makes the most sense.

As if to say "It is better that the wolves cooperate on the condition that they no longer attack the lambs."
And the new German government with the king warmongers of the green party would have "no interest in any expansion"?
I didn't expect reading such political misjudgements here in MOA.

Posted by: Bahman Shafigh | Oct 20 2021 11:36 utc | 83

ph @ 60

Yes.

"Facing a series of challenges, the Chinese leadership proposed the idea of Double Circulation in 2020.  The success of this new strategy would depend on two conditions.  Firstly, the vitality of domestic circulation would depend on how weak domestic consumption can be improved.  It depends on improving the wealth disparity and the imbalanced asset allocation with a too heavy portion on real estates.  Secondly, the viability of international circulation would rely on a successful industrial upgrade and building a de-dollarized regional trading system."

Lau Kin Chi and Sit Tsui in the foreword to 'Ten Crises: The Political Economy of China's development (1949-2020)

Posted by: financial matters | Oct 20 2021 11:58 utc | 84

"NATO is dead. It has outlived its purpose and utility." That's the point.

Posted by: Steve | Oct 20 2021 12:31 utc | 85

RE: Posted by: Steve | Oct 20 2021 12:31 utc | 85

“"NATO is dead. “

Perhaps for those unversed in Archanology.

“It has outlived its purpose and utility. “

Among its present utility is communicating through an office in Brussels, so presently it has neither outlived its purpose nor utility for some.

“That's the point. “

No that is one of the points, not “the” point.

Posted by: MagdaTam | Oct 20 2021 13:30 utc | 86

I believe the US is indeed treating NATO as "brain dead". But this means not that the US is "brain dead" in its manure manouvers to keep NATO members subjugated: It's just that the US bootheals are not broad enough to stamp out any doubt about the SS-Western Europe partnership amongst the populace and politicians of maijor Far Western Eurostans like in Italy, France or Germany. But keeping Poland. The Baltics, Norway and Rumainia under their heels is accomplished by threatsa and boot.stamping. A maijor part of this effort is establishing in thouse statelets US extraterritorial bases outside of local juristiction even in pisstime. So as to induce a Slave-of-USA mentality among their leaders.

Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐/טלפ וש | Oct 20 2021 15:31 utc | 87

Pepe Escobar reports on developments at Sochi and links to some of the numerous papers that are the basis for discussions. After a long preamble, Pepe provides a synopsis:

"The discussions in Sochi essentially focused on the twilight of the current hegemonic socio-economic system – essentially neoliberalism; the crisis of alliance systems – as in the rot within NATO; and the toxic confluence of Hybrid War and the pandemic – impacting billions of people. An inevitable conclusion: the current dysfunctional international system is incapable of dealing with crisis management."

Pepe cites what IMO is a very important observation made by Thomas Gomart, a director of the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI):

"Gomart also made two crucial points that escape many analyses across the Global South: Washington has decided to remain the primus inter pares, and won’t abdicate from this position no matter what. This is happening even as global capital – heavily slanted towards the US – wants to find the new China." [My Emphasis]

That's precisely what we just witnessed with the formation of AUKUS--it's the Outlaw US Empire's last gasp, displaying the utter lack of thought aside from staying #1 in its own mind's eye since in reality it's failing in so many places.

The two linked papers and two videos ought to keep barflies busy amidst a day where other happenings are occurring that I'll post to the open thread.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 20 2021 15:47 utc | 88

the origins and rise of Angela Merkel on Monday. I recorded it and have half-watched it a couple of times but still haven't really got a handle on her - apart from the fact that she's definitely NOT an intellectual pygmy.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 19 2021 21:14 utc | 30>/blockquote>

The missing element in an analysis of Angela Merkel, is culture.

Posted by: Sarlat La Canède | Oct 20 2021 17:37 utc | 89

There will be no EDF. The us will make the Baltic countries veto it if it sehow in some extraordinary circumstances pushed by France to the agenda.

Posted by: A.z | Oct 20 2021 17:39 utc | 90

@ Morongobill 50

Is it wise to underestimate the Germans? In 1918, they were on the brink of a complete breakdown. It took them several years to build the strongest army in the world. In 1945? There was no return, right? Yet now they are ranked 3rd or 4th as arms exporters and RULE Europe.

They do not need to fight though - their economic and political power is such that the Russians are squeezed and controlled (while never being given a casus belli). Much better than the Wehrmacht.

Posted by: Jacob's Ladder | Oct 20 2021 17:46 utc | 91

The UK is a big supporter of NATO and is happy to contribute to the demonization of Russia , hoping that this will prevent Europe to develop it's own defense. The British are russophobic to the bones and with their trail of murdered attributed to Russia they have created a gap between the EU and Russia
Now they are gone and establish their own defense system AUKUS independant from NATO, there is no reason why Europe should not di the same . Bye NATO...

Posted by: Virgile | Oct 20 2021 20:27 utc | 92

@78 BM No, you don't understand my point: the notional membership would exclude UK and Turkey, precisely because they are not EU members. But leaving them out guarantees that those two countries would feel threatened by that European army, and would act accordingly: most likely by the UK allying even more closely with the USA, and Turkey by seeking an alliance with Russia.

So in effect the Europeans would be creating their own enemies. Which is seldom smart.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Oct 20 2021 21:32 utc | 93

Yeah, Right @36 & 93 The UK has the CJEF(Combined Joint Expeditionary Force) with France & the JEF with Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, & Sweden. There is the forward holding base at Sennelager, Paderborn, Germany, which the British Army uses as a hub of operations. Apparently, "These hubs will enable the army to be more actively & persistently engaged across the globe, including in Europe, where we continue to have a leading role in European defence & security." https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/germany-and-uk-stand-up-binational-bridging-engineer-battalion

Posted by: boon | Oct 20 2021 22:28 utc | 94

...
The missing element in an analysis of Angela Merkel, is culture.
Posted by: Sarlat La Canède | Oct 20 2021 17:37 utc | 89

That could well be correct. My own appreciation of culture doesn't extend much beyond art galleries, concerts and table manners.

On the other hand, according to the 4C/French doco, Ms Merkel embraced the Culture of East Germany and made the most of the educational opportunities available to build a reputation as an accomplished scholar/student.
Pre-1989 she was permitted to cross the border on several occasions and always returned to her home - apparently never tempted to defect to the West before re-unification. i.e. a good little Commie?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 20 2021 22:39 utc | 95

@3 OMG that is hysterical! Thanks, I needed a good chuckle.

Posted by: New Guy | Oct 20 2021 23:21 utc | 96

In the debates of grand strategies, some historical experiences are studiously ignored. I am a proponent of "Paraguyan Option". The experience of Paraguay was singularly tragic. The War of Triple Alliance reduced the population by 80%, male population by 90% -- precise numbers are not available, as it is usual for the cases of greatest mayhem. There was also a considerable loss of territory.

Surely, Paraguay has security needs, and, potentially, an existential threat. How does Paraguay cope? Clearly, preventing invasion from Argentina or Brasil is the key to the national survival, and Paraguay did survive, thank you very much, without splurging on futile attempts to obtain parity of sorts with its huge neighbors. The secret is that it refrains from picking fights or even acute conflicts.

In the aftermath of WoTA, Paraguay had only one war that did not entail any particular danger to the country or destruction (many troops died, but with no real demographic consequences). Conflicts with Bolivia are over. Manifestly, Paraguay achieved sufficient security. The military budgets of interest:
Paraguay: X
Brazil: X times a lot
Argentina: X times a lot
Uruguay: who cares

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 21 2021 15:17 utc | 97

A European Union army will not operate independently from NATO outside of EU borders. Its main role will therefore be a militarized police force to suppress civil unrest among its own uppity citizens, like the National Guard in the US.

Posted by: Leif Sachs | Oct 20 2021 4:56 utc | 58

Exactly ! Rem acu testigi !

Posted by: Sarlat La Canède | Oct 21 2021 15:28 utc | 98

"Forget China and Russia. The real threat comes from the repressive autocratic unaccountable mendacious guttersnipe polecats who claim to be democratic "representatives."

And in my next post I'll tell you what I really think."
Sushi | Oct 20 2021 4:06 utc | 57

Yeah. Don't hold back next time. You are being far too kind.

Also. It sucks to be Canada. I don't think a wall is going to help.

Posted by: David G Horsman | Oct 21 2021 15:46 utc | 99

Norwegian | Oct 20 2021 5:56 utc | 67
I didn't know about that atrocity:
https://www.nbcnews.com/id/wbna43854355
"At least 85 dead in Norway youth camp attack
A suspected right-wing Christian gunman in police uniform killed at least 84 people in a ferocious attack on a youth summer camp of Norway's ruling Labour party, hours after a bomb killed seven in Oslo.....
Witnesses said the gunman, wearing a police uniform, went on a prolonged shooting orgy on Utoya island northwest of Oslo, picking off his prey unchallenged as youngsters scattered in panic or jumped in the lake to swim for the mainland.

A police SWAT team eventually arrived from Oslo to seize Breivik after nearly 90 minutes of firing, acting police chief Sveinung Sponheim said at a news conference. "

I really have no meaningful comment on this beyond how tragic it was.

Posted by: David G Horsman | Oct 21 2021 16:10 utc | 100

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