NATO Celebrates 75th Anniversary

Bharat Dogra

On 4 April NATO completed75 years. The alliance has nearly tripled in size since it was founded after WW2. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has proposed a new five-year plan in which NATO would assume coordination of international weapons deliveries from the US. They have this deal hammered out by July, but Ukraine will still not be getting what it wants–to be the 33rd member of the alliance.

A military alliance can only be justified if it protects against any big threat. Such a threat is difficult to point out after the break-up of the Soviet Union–for the last three decades. True, China can be quite a bully to some of its neighbours, but there is hardly any chance of China being the one to initiate any attack on any NATO member.

The most powerful NATO members are increasingly influenced by the military-industrial-political complex. Hence the aims of NATO get unduly influenced in highly unethical and destructive ways in favour of forever wars due to the profit interests of a small number of persons, probably just 1 percent of the total population of NATO countries, or perhaps even less.

It is one of the most important requirements of creating a safer world so that any confrontation involving the biggest nuclear weapon powers is avoided. This is complicated by the existence of NATO and military alliances like this.

In particular, the violation of earlier agreements to pursue relentless eastward expansion of NATO has greatly escalated the tensions between big powers and the present Ukraine conflict is closely related to this.

Smaller member countries of NATO are not necessarily protected by NATO as in case of aggression against them the more powerful NATO members will weigh their interests and options; there is no assured commitment on their part to enter into war with the aggressor to protect the small country. They may decide to help in other lesser ways so that the small country faces a difficult situation. In fact, NATO membership may provide an exaggerated sense of security to small countries due to which they may neglect improving relations with other neighbours, or maybe unduly, unnecessarily hostile or provocative towards them. When small countries are drawn into big power conflicts by such military alliances, they may become the scenes of highly destructive wars, something which they can avoid by remaining neutral and non-aligned in big power rivalries.

Thanks to NATO, most of Europe becomes tied to a one-dimensional future of remaining tied to the aggressive ambitions of the USA, instead of seeking a world role more in keeping with the objectives of world peace and safety.

The actual role of NATO in many countries has been mostly that of destruction instead of peace, leading to the avoidable death, due to direct and indirect impacts, of several hundred thousand innocent people, including women and children.

Even many senior diplomats and statesmen of the USA have argued that NATO often involves the kind of overreach on the part of the USA which is not even in its interests (particularly keeping in mind the unmet needs of millions of poorer US citizens), and it has used NATO in unnecessarily aggressive ways, against the better advice of these statesmen and other important NATO member leaders, as in the context of relentless eastward expansion of NATO.

If NATO continues to be justified on false grounds, then this can also be used as a justification to promote other equally harmful military alliances in other parts of the world.

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Vol 56, No. 43, Apr 21 - 27, 2024