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A more aggressive NATO

A more aggressive NATO

Marcelo Rech

In November of last year, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), created in 1949 by the United States in the context of the Cold War, approved a new strategic concept that makes it more aggressive.

Every ten years, the NATO revises this policy and promotes the updating that it judges necessary in accordance with the majority interests of the alliance.

Among several discussed themes, the Summit of Lisbon ended up with the approval of a document that prescribes the creation of an antimissile shield in the molds of the project established by Washington.

For the entities of defense of the global peace, the NATO is already the principal instrument of militarization and war at service of the United States and of its European allies.

The secretary-general of the Atlantic Alliance, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, pointed out that the Summit of Lisbon constitutes “a new beginning” in the relations with Moscow, after the impasse produced by the Georgian-Russian conflict of August of 2008.

Rasmussen also considers that the intervention in Afghanistan was a mistake, once the Atlantic Alliance underestimated the challenge and didn´t make the necessary resources available: “in retrospect, I think that we underestimate the challenge and our operation in Afghanistan wasn´t disposing of sufficient resources; in this sense, my answer is ‘yes’, it was a mistake”, he admitted in press conference last year.

The concrete fact is that the new Strategic Concept that defines the policy of the NATO for next decade may have a negative impact regarding the national security of Russia.

The NATO wants to keep the role of principal entity provider of peace and security and this role teases in “securing protection, prevention of crises and regulation of conflicts in the whole world through military operations under direction of the Alliance”.

Besides, it was noticed in Lisbon that the NATO has Armed Forces able to cooperate in any situation and that its reduction was not even considered.

What is really intended is to endow these forces of conditions to drive simultaneously “major joint operations” (such as in Afghanistan and Iraq), as well as “several minor operations”, which can be started to secure the joint defense and to respond to crises.

Such claims cause doubts, like the ones Russia has.

Not at random, the permanent representative of Russia in the NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, affirmed that he “will give a million dollars to someone who can prove that the NATO doesn´t conduct a military planning against Russia”.

Besides, the new Strategic Concept confirms the task of the NATO in preserving its nuclear weapons while they remain in other countries.

The security of all the member-states of the NATO is assured by the strategic nuclear potential of the United States, of the United Kingdom and of France.

On the other hand, no mention was made regarding the removal of North American nuclear weapons from Europe, though that represents a serious violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

With much difficulty, they achieved to promise to provide “conditions” for future reductions of the nuclear weapons in the European continent. Also, no document of the Summit regards the desertion of NATO’s doctrine of “nuclear weapon of initial blow”.

It was decided, still, to create a joint system of defense of missile up to June of 2011, subject that will be discussed in the next meeting of Ministers of Defense of the member-countries of the Alliance.

The participants of the Summit also recognized the connection between NATO’s system of defense of missile and the ‘Adaptable Approximation in phases for Defense of Missile in Europe’, adopted last September by the government of the United States, and which is considerably superior, because of its information and components of intelligence, to the former North American System of Defense of Missile, which George W. Bush wanted to unfold in Poland and in the Czech Republic.

This decision constitutes a straight threat to the existent balance of the nuclear intimidation in Europe.

The differences between NATO and Russia in questions that regard the expansion of the Alliance, for example, didn´t suffer any change.

The NATO sought still to strengthen the partnership with Ukraine and Georgia through appropriate joint commissions, which acted within the alliance.

Moscow complains, moreover, of the indifference regarding its proposal of a new treaty of security for Europe, even recognizing the importance of the offer made by the NATO as for the narrowing of the relations with the increase of the cooperation in the field of missile defense, counter-terrorism and piracy, and drugs policies.

Though the Summit of Lisbon has been closed with the exaltation of which the NATO doesn´t represent a threat to Russia, this is not the feeling in Moscow.

With the exception of the rhetoric, Russia hasn´t any reason to think that it is safe. The confidence isn’t built only with words, but also with concrete gestures.

The new Strategic Concept can be reduced to merely political affirmations, which the NATO itself hardly ever implements in practice.

Marcelo Rech is a journalist, editor of the InfoRel and specialist in International Relations, Strategies & Policies of Defense and Terrorism & Counter-Insurgency. E-mail: inforel@inforel.org

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